Baselworld 2013: Patek Philippe Ref. 5200 Gondolo 8 Days

Patek Philippe unveils a new rectangular movement with eight day power reserve, inside an art deco white gold Gondolo case, the Ref. 5200 Gondolo 8 Days.

At Baselworld 2013 Patek Philippe had a relatively quiet year – with speculation being that 2014 will be a year of major new products since it is the 175th anniversary of the company. Patek Philippe presented one new movement, the caliber 28-20 REC 8J PS IRM C J, a form movement with eight days power reserve, thanks to twin barrels, along with day and date indicator.  Located at six o’clock on a single sub-dial, the day and date display are both instantaneous, switching within three milliseconds at midnight. And at 12 o’clock is the power reserve display.

In addition the movement has silicon escape wheel and pallet fork (which Patek calls Silinvar), and also a silicon hairspring (Spiromax in Patek speak). These are derived from the silicon components pioneered in the Advanced Research series which culminated in the ref. 5550P in 2011. A notable detail of the movement is the “trompe l’oeuil” going train bridge, which seems to be three separate cocks but is actually a single bridge.

The calibre naturally bears a lot of resemblance to that of the ref. 5100 10-Days “Manta Ray” limited edition made in the year 2000. Patek says the new ref. 5200 contains an entirely new movement, but I would not be surprised if something was carried over from the ref. 5100. Available only in white gold for now, the ref. 5200G measures 46.9. mm long and 32.4 mm wide. Two dials are available, a metallic blue or a silvery white.  – SJX

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Baselworld 2013: Omega Speedmaster ’57 with Co-Axial cal. 9300/9301

Omega takes inspiration from its archives for the latest generation of Speedmaster, equipped with the cal. 9300/9301 with Co-Axial escapement.

One of the highlights of Omega’s Baselworld line-up, the Omega Speedmaster ’57 has details like straight lugs and even an arrowhead hour register hand, two elements obviously inspired by the 1957 Speedmaster. Inside is the Co-Axial cal. 9300/9301 – the 9300 is used for steel models and 9301 with its gold rotor and balance bridge for the gold models – which is now becoming the standard, in-house movement for mid-range Omega chronographs like last year’s De Ville.  Besides the Co-Axial escapement, the movement also has a silicon balance spring, as well as a four year warranty (all Omega watches with silicon movement parts have longer than usual warranties). This movement has both the hour and minute counters on the same sub-dial at three o’clock, giving the dial a cleaner appearance.

Elapsed hour and minute hands co-axial at three o’clock

With a 41.5 mm case size, the Speedmaster ’57 is available in a diverse array of metals: steel, steel and red gold, titanium, as well as yellow or red gold. Each is available with matching bracelet or leather strap. The closest to the original Speedmaster is the all steel model with black dial.

Omega Speedmaster ’57 in steel with black dial

And the titanium version is worth mentioning, since that alloy is not often used for Speedmasters. The titanium model has a lacquered white dial with blued steel hands and indices. – SJX

Omega Speedmaster ’57 in titanium

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Introducing the Swatch Sistem51, the first ever first mechanical movement with fully automated assembly – perhaps the most important watch of Baselworld 2013

The Swatch Sistem51 is probably one of the most significant timepieces presented at Baselworld 2013. It is the world's first mechanical movement which has an entirely automated assembly.

Since time immemorial mechanical watches have been produced by hand. Even if it’s the tiniest bit of manual labour, during assembly or regulation, the human element was still present. In contrast, the Swatch Sistem51 has an automatic movement that is entirely put together by machines, an extraordinary technical achievement for the Swiss watchmaking industry.

The movement of the Sistem51 has 51 components, which have been welded together to form a single assembly centred on one screw. In addition, the movement has no regulator and does not need regulation, instead the rate is adjusted by a laser during assembly. Despite its extraordinarily, it still manages a 90 hour power reserve.

And after it is put together, the movement is hermetically sealed inside the case. That means no dust or moisture can get in, and I assume also that nothing can get out, meaning this watch cannot be serviced or repaired. The bridges of the movement are made from ARCAP, an alloy composed of copper, nickel and zinc, which was used for the first time in watchmaking by Richard Mille several years ago. The Richard Mille watches of course cost several thousand times as much as the Sistem51. And it doesn’t end there, the Sistem51 also has a bidirectional mystery rotor made of a transparent plastic disc weighted on one side.

The motif on the dial is a reference to the Copernican Revolution which brought forth the idea that the sun is at the centre of the solar system. Swatch says the Sistem51 is a Copernican idea in watchmaking, which is a somewhat grandiose claim, but it might be true with regards to Swiss watchmaking.

Both Seiko and Citizen of Japan, and Chinese manufacturers like Seagull, already make incredible numbers of low cost mechanical movements, though they are not entirely automated in production. This watch further proves the Swatch Group’s unrivalled mastery of the industrial processes in watchmaking.

Swatch has not set the price yet but it will be in the region of CHF100-200, though likely closer to the lower figure. Swatch says this watch is “100% Swiss Made”, which likely makes it the only mechanical watch at this price to be able to claim this. I would expect more elaborate movements, similarly assembled by machine, to eventually make their way into the slightly more upscale but still entry level brands of the group like Tissot and Longines. The official launch date is 13 October 2013.

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Baselworld 2013: Nomos 38 series, including larger Tangente

The Tangente, Orion and Ludwig from Nomos are finally available with enlarged, 38 mm cases.

From left: Nomos Orion 38, Orion Grau 38, Tangente 38 and Ludwig 38

Previously only available with a 35 mm case, the base model manual wind Tangente, Orion and Ludwig are now available in 38 mm. Though the cases are only 3 mm larger, it will make a huge difference on the wrist.

35 mm was for a long time too small for a modern men’s watch, so it is high time Nomos made the case larger. Up till now, the only larger Nomos models were the more expensive ones like the Tangomat with automatic movement. The entry level models all remained 35 mm, which was a shame because they are good value.

The Nomos 38 series also comprises one new addition to the Orion line, the Orion 38 Grau (German for “grey”) which has a grey, rhodium-plated dial.

Nomos Orion 38 Grau

The Nomos 38 series watches are about 10% more expensive than their smaller counterparts.


Nomos Tangente 38
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Baselworld 2013: Nomos Ahoi sports watch with 200 m water resistance

The Nomos Ahoi is the the brand’s first entirely new model in some time, and it is also its first true sports watch with a water resistance of 200 m.

Nomos Ahoi Datum

Nomos is best known for its slightly formal but charming timepieces like the Tangente. The new Ahoi goes in a different direction, though it still retains the quintessential Nomos styling.

Waterproof to 200 m, the Ahoi has a 40 mm case that stands 10.64 mm high. The steel case has crown guards, as well as a domed sapphire crystal.

For a sporty touch the hour and minutes hands are blue while the seconds hand is red.

Nomos Ahoi

The Ahoi is available with or without date, though both have the same case dimensions. Both models are fitted with a fabric strap with the new Nomos folding clasp, but are also delivered with a shell cordovan strap and strap changing tool.

Though Nomos is known for its moderately priced timepieces, both Ahoi watches are fairly expensive at US$4500 for the Ahoi Datum and US$3940 for the Ahoi. 


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Baselworld 2013: Tudor Fastrider Black Shield ceramic chronograph (ref. 42000CR and 42000CN)

The Tudor Fastrider Black Shield is the brand’s first all ceramic watch. It has a monobloc matte black ceramic case with the case and bezel being a single piece.

Equipped with a one piece black ceramic case made by injection moulding, the Fastrider Black Shield is Tudor’s first all ceramic watch. The case construction makes it unusual as typically ceramic watches have multi-part cases.  A one-piece case on the other hand means fewer gaskets are needed, meaning there is a lower chance of moisture or dust entering the case.

The crown and pushers are in black PVD coated steel, completing the all black look. For contrast the indices, hands and chapter ring are in red (ref. 42000CR). This is available with a rubber strap or a leather strap with red stitching.

Another model is available with khaki hands and indices, for a more casual look (ref. 42000CN), with the option of a khaki Alcantara strap or a black rubber strap.

Water resistant to 150 m ,the ceramic case has a diameter of 42 mm and the movement is the automatic Valjoux 7753. – SJX 

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Baselworld 2013: Hublot Masterpiece MP-05 LaFerrari with 50 day power reserve (with pricing)

At Baselworld 2013 Hublot announced the amazing Masterpiece MP-05 LaFerrari. It has a cylindrical, transverse movement with a tourbillon regulator and 50 day power reserve.

Named after the limited edition LaFerrari hybrid supercar launched at the Geneva Motor Show in January, the Hublot Masterpiece MP-05 LaFerrari is probably the most intriguing automotive themed watch of recent years. It was created by Mathias Buttet, the technical genius at Hublot who was also behind the MP-02 Key of Time.

The movement – which has 637 parts, the most of any Hublot calibre – has 11 barrels laid out side by side in a straight line down the centre of the watch. These barrels unwind simultaneously, and give the watch a record 50 day power reserve. This puts the MP-05 LaFerrari ahead of the previous record holder, the Rebellion T-1000 which can run for 41 days.

All the gears of the movement are vertical, bringing to mind the watch that was the first of this type, the Cabestan Vertical Winch Tourbillon.

At the front of the watch case, at the base of the stacked barrels, is the vertical tourbillon. Beating at 21,600 bph (3 Hz), the tourbillon has an extremely large balance wheel with a diameter of 14.5 mm.

An exploded view of the movement with its 637 components, including 108 jewels

The time is displayed on two revolving cylinders on the top right of the watch, with the upper cylinder indicating the hours and the lower one the minutes.

On the other side is the power reserve display on a single cylinder. Both the time and power reserve cylinders are secured by red anodised reinforcement bars.

The 11 barrels are wound with a key that has to be inserted into a socket at the top of the watch, while the time is set by a crown under the watch.

The case is black PVD coated titanium, fitted to a rubber strap. Only 50 pieces of the MP-05 LaFerrari will be made.

In Singapore this will retail for S$585,300 including 7% tax, which is equivalent to about US$475,000.


Chairman of Ferrari Luca Cordero di Montezemolo with the MP-05 LaFerrari and with the actual LaFerrari behind him

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Baselworld 2013: Sinn T1 and T2 titanium dive watches (price and specs)

Sinn now has a second line of dive watches, comprising the T1 and T2. Both are in titanium with seventies style cases. And are fitted with Tegiment bezels and Ar-Dehumidying Technology.

Sinn T1

Just announced at Baselworld is Sinn’s new range of dive watches in titanium. The T1 and T2 both have titanium cases reminiscent of 1970s dive watches (and also of the Sinn 8820 of the 1980s and 1990s), while the bezels are treated with Tegiment, Sinn’s proprietary hardening technique. And both also have Sinn’s dehumidifying technology which consists of an argon capsule embedded in the case to absorb moisture. And for the first time Sinn uses an arrow shaped minute hand, which along with the 12 o’clock marking on the bezel uses a different coloured Luminova to differentiate them.

Both have the Soprod A10 movement inside and are available on titanium bracelet or rubber strap. The T1 is the larger of the two at 45 mm wide and water resistant to 1000 m. It weighs 71 g without strap. This retails for EUR2960 including German VAT of 19% on rubber strap, with the titanium band costing EUR50 less.

Sinn T1 with argon capsule at six o’clock

And the T2 is rated to 2000 m, but is smaller at 41 mm wide. This weighs 59 g without strap. Retail is EUR2490 including German VAT of 19%, with the titanium band costing EUR50 less.

Sinn T2

Argon capsule on the bottom on the left side of the case

I like Sinn watches for their durability and accessible pricing and this one looks to be no different. The retro style case shape in titanium is a big plus.  – SJX

Sinn T2 on rubber strap
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