Highlights from Baselworld 2012
by Mike Manjos on April 10th, 2012
Baselworld 2012 was the most exciting and upbeat watch fair in the last five years. Incredible demand from Asia, alongside a strengthening US market, has stoked demand for luxury watches to record levels. Most manufacturers have now recovered from the global crisis and are again expanding in-house offerings, as well as developing increasingly complicated models.
Rolex and Patek Philippe dominated this year’s show. While traditionally conservative, Rolex raised the bar, showcasing the new Sky-Dweller, which features an impressive dual time zone annual calendar. Although it’s a brand new complication for the manufacture, it retains the DNA we expect from a Rolex. This is one of the most innovative and easy-to-use annual calendar movements you will ever see.
On the other hand, Patek Philippe made 2012 the year of the bracelet. Patek added a bracelet to the ever-popular 5396 in both white gold with a blue dial and rose gold with a brown dial. The 5130 World Timer also received a bracelet in rose gold, while the white gold version added a spectacular black center disk- the finishing touches on two truly spectacular watches! Lastly, the 5726 Nautilus Annual Calendar now features a bracelet on both the black version and a new white dial model.
The highlight of Patek’s 2012 collection is the 5204 split-second chronograph perpetual calendar. The 5204 is the much anticipated replacement of the iconic ref. 5004, which many enthusiasts think of as the ultimate collector’s watch. For now simply in platinum, the 5204 features a traditional case design that has been beefed up to 40mm; a clean, easy to read dial; and, spectacular new in-house caliber. This is an exceptional evolution of a venerated classic and will be the new collector’s dream for years to come!