Baselworld 2015 came and went pretty fast as it always does. This year, it appears that the attendance from the media was up, and slightly down from the retailers. What’s surprising though from other commentators is the suprising number of younger enthusiasts who visited this year, especially after the famed Apple Watch launch. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting 2015 novelties.

Patek Philippe

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The famous or perhaps infamous PP 5524

One of the most surprising releases this year at the entire exhibition, was the Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524. Yes, the name is a bit of a mouthful and watch aficionado’s all over the world are definitely talking alot about it. The like/dislike camps are split between this watch. Some argue it is a brave and forward move for Patek Philippe, while others argue that it deviates too much from the Patek DNA and bears an uncanny resemblance to a Zenith Type 20. Patek Philippe is undoubtedly top of its class and in no way a plagiarising student as the Zenith Type 20 itself is merely a representation of a design of the time. However it would be hard convincing many that they’re investment of approximately $60,000 looks much like a $7,000 Zenith. Nonetheless, it appears that Patek has received enough interest and orders to sell each and every one of the Ref 5524′s.

Our opinion is that Patek Philippe would have won the show if it had reflected back on its root’s and produced a watch similar to the pilot watches of it’s past.

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We think Patek should have released a pilot watch like these

The darling favourite from Patek Philippe in 2015 would probably have to be the Ref. 5370P Split Seconds Chronograph With Black Enamel Dial. Paying homage to its classical designs of the 1930′s to 1950′s. The 5370P 41mm platinum cased beauty has a black enamel dial with Breguet numerals and a slightly stepped bezel. Mated with the CH 29-535 PS caliber, the watch has a 30-minute counter and a power reserve of 65 hours. Expect this piece to be up around the AUD$350,000 mark.

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A hot favourite, the PP 5370P

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We could stare at the 5370P’s rear end all day

Rolex

Many hoped for a re-edition of the famed Newman Daytona, and many were disappointed. However Rolex did release a couple of pieces that are worth mentioning. The first being the modern President’s watch, the Day Date. Revised down from Day Date II’s 41mm to 40mm, you might not recognise any chance from the existing line up but there are a few considerable improvements. First off is the way the presidential band meets the case, it is more uniform now. Secondly, the bracelet has been changed dramatically. Gone are the days when the steel pins holding the bracelet caused the softer gold to deform out of shape resulting in sloppy and loose bracelets. The new bracelets now contain ceramic sleeves between the pins and links to ensure the bracelets last alot longer.

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The Day Date 40 in platinum with its cool dial

The new ice blue dial on the platinum Day Date 40 is a winner. The criss cross pattern is produced by using two different coating operations and is obviously as a result of the huge investment Rolex has made into their integrated dial factory at Chaine-Bourg. The Caliber 3255 in the Day Date 40 is a brand new movement. The 3255 offers increased precision, a top up on the power reserve by 24 hours up to 70 hours, and an overall better feeling and adjusting movement for its owner as the lubricants have been much improved. Last but certainly not least, the Rolex Chronergy Escapement that boasts a 15% increase in efficiency and better resistance to magnetic interference.

Another noteworthy release was the Everose Yacht-Master. What makes this model unique is the Oysterflex strap that was developed in-house by Rolex. It was always a battle against rubber strap strength and the comfort of a metal bracelet. Rolex have merged the two by fusing the inner metal bracelet with a black elastomer.

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Oysterflex – is it a band or a bracelet?

Finally, to add some more colour, a new range of Oyster Perpetual’s sized at 39mm. The Red Grape sunburst dial model is our pick of the crop.

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The Oyster Perpetual at 39mm

Tudor

Tudor watches have always been referred to as “bang-for-buck”, well now they are definitely adding more “bang”. The Pelgaos has been fitted with the Caliber MT5621 which is a completely in-house movement (yes you heard us right) that is COSC certified. Nice to have the words “Chronometer Officially Certitfied” on the dial for a change. The titanium cased watch now also comes with a blue dial. For only a couple hundred dollars more that the ETA based current model, the new Pelgaos is sure to be a hot seller.

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The great value Tudor Pelagos in black

Omega

The Speedmaster ’57 is a re-edition of a re-edition. This time around they’ve finally added the broad arrow hands that are the distinctive trait of the original Speedmaster ’57. Containing the same in-house Caliber 9300, the Speedmaster ’57 is probably the Speedmaster we would buy if we ever decided to get one. We’re big fans of the faux patina colour used on the luminous hands, much like those of Panerai.
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The Speedmaster ’57 done right this time

Hermès

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A great dress watch, the Slim d’Hermès 

Hermès have come leaps and bounds to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of horology. The Slim d’Hermès is a much talked about Basel 2015 release from this luxury house. The focus (as the name implies) of this watch is the slenderness of the case. The variant tailored towards men is the 39.5mm version which I think is a perfect dress size watch for the modern man. Unfortunately the other sizes are quartz movements. Hermès have also paid alot of attention to the dial that was designed by the Creative Director of Hermès Watches, Philippe Delhotal. It is a mix of old and new – part Art Deco, part modern minimalistic. The movement is the thin H1950 with a micro-rotor (we love micro-rotors) and is decorated heavily with the Hermès “H” motif, all of which can be admired through the sapphire caseback.

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Movement decoration from Hermès has certainly improved

That’s a wrap for another interesting year at Baselworld 2015. Please let us know what your thoughts/likes/dislikes were in this year’s exhibition, we’re keen to hear and learn more from our audiance. Meanwhil, we’re excited and keen for SIHH for 2016.