Baselworld 2014: Introducing the Rolex Daytona Platinum with Diamond Bezel and Dial 116576 TBR (with specs and price)

The new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona has everything that makes a Rolex expensive – a platinum case with a matching platinum bracelet, a baguette diamond bezel and diamond pave dial.

Last year Rolex unveiled the first ever Daytona in platinum, complete with a beautifully crafted platinum bracelet. This year at Baselworld 2014 Rolex presents the same, but with diamonds set on the bezel and dial. For those who thought last year’s Daytona was not enough, the new Daytona with diamonds (ref. 116576 TBR) should do the trick.

Equipped with the cal. 4130 movement, the new Daytona has a 40 mm platinum case with a platinum Oyster bracelet – essentially the specs are identical to last year’s platinum Daytona.

However, the bezel is set with 36 baguette cut diamonds, and the dial is paved with 437 round diamonds. The hands are blued white gold, while the chronograph registers are finished in the distinctive ice blue colour found only on platinum Rolex watches.

The Daytona ref. 116576 TBR will retail for 148,000 Swiss francs, or about US$167,000. That’s more than double the price of the regular platinum Daytona.

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Baselworld 2014: Introducing the Grand Seiko 1964 Self-Dater Remake in Spring Drive and High-Precision Quartz (with specs and price)

Distinguished by its wide and flat lugs, the Grand Seiko “Self-Dater” of 1964 provides the template for five new Grand Seiko models in 2014, including both Spring Drive and high-precision 9F quartz models.

Introduced in 1964, the Grand Seiko 57GS, nicknamed “Self-Dater”, was the first Grand Seiko with a date function. Its most striking design element was the broad and flat lugs, making it appear larger than its smallish 36.5 mm. With that as an inspiration, Seiko has unveiled five new Grand Seiko models at Baselworld 2014, all based on the 1964 Self-Dater. Closest to the original are a pair of limited edition high-precision quartz watches. Both use the 9F82 movement, part of the 9F series of Grand Seiko quartz movements, possibly the most advanced quartz movements on the market today. Thermo-compensated and equipped with a high torque motor, the 9F movements are rated to within 10 seconds a year.

With a 37.2 mm steel case and the box-form sapphire crystal typical of Grand Seiko, the limited edition quartz Self-Daters are available with a silver or black dial. The silver model (SBGV009) is a replica of the 1964 original and is limited to 1200 pieces, while the black version (SBGV011) is limited to 900 pieces. These will cost €3750 before taxes, or about US$5160.

Grand Seiko 57GS Self-Dater, c. 1964

The other series of Self-Dater inspired watches feature Spring Drive movements, which essentially self-winding, mechanical movements with an integrated circuit to control the escapement. This gives them an accuracy of within 10 seconds a month, whereas the average mechanical chronometer is rated to 5 seconds a day. These are powered by the 9R15, which has a date function and power reserve indicator for its 72 hour autonomy. All have the same 39.9 mm case. The top of the line model is the SBGA107. This has a platinum case, champagne dial and crocodile skin strap. Limited to 50 pieces, this will retail for €31,900, equivalent to US$43,900.

The other two are both in steel, and limited to 500 pieces each. One has a silver dial (SBGA103), and the other has a deep blue dial (SBGA105). These will cost €6050, or about US$8320.

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Baselworld 2014: Introducing the Omega De Ville Trésor, Retro Fifties Elegance with an Antimagnetic, Co-Axial Movement (with specs and pricing)

Inspired by the fifties model of the same name, the Omega De Ville Trésor is a slim, vintage style wristwatch featuring a non-magnetic, Master Co-Axial movement that is, unusually for a modern Omega, manually wound.

The Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial is not the only new Omega at Baselworld 2014 that looks to the past. With the aesthetics of mid-twentieth century wristwatches, the Omega De Ville Trésor is an elegant 40 mm wide, with a thin bezel, hobnail guilloche dial and a box-shaped sapphire crystal. Inside is the new Master Co-Axial calibre 8511. Unlike most Omega Co-Axial movements which are automatic, this is hand-wind with a 60 hour power reserve. Like the rest of the Master Co-Axial movements, this has a Si14 silicon hairspring and resistance to magnetic fields of over 15,000 Gauss, the highest on the market. And because the De Ville Trésor has a gold case, the balance bridge is in solid red gold, a hallmark of all Co-Axial timepieces in gold.

The dial has a silvered finished and is decorated with a Clous de Paris guilloche. Very slightly domed to complete the vintage look, the dial has gold indices and hands.

Available only in yellow, white or Sedna rose gold, the De Ville Trésor will retail for 17,850 Singapore dollars (~US$14,200) in yellow or Sedna gold. The white gold version is 19,400 Singapore dollars (~US$15,400).

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Baselworld 2014: Introducing the Chopard L.U.C 8HF Power Control, in Black Ceramic and Running at 57,600 bph (with specs and price)

Chopard has given its ultra-high frequency movement a striking, modern look, with a black ceramic case and red accents, available as the 250-piece limited edition L.U.C 8HF Power Control.

Chopard was amongst the first brands to create a serially produced, ultra-high beat movement when it presented the L.U.C 8HF back in 2012. Running at 8 Hz or 57,600 beats per hour (bph), the L.U.C Calibre 01.09-L movement returns at Baselworld 2014, inside the L.U.C 8HF Power Control. The high frequency of the Calibre 01.09-L – double the 28,800 bph of most conventional movements – helps it keep better time by increasing the inertia of the balance, making it more stable and less prone to deviations caused by external factors like impacts and shock. Despite the high frequency of the movement, it still manages a respectable 60 hour power reserve.

Notably, the silicon parts used in the Calibre 01.09-L, namely the impulse pin, lever, escape wheel, are interchangeable with the same components in other Choprad L.U.C movements. That means these silicon components will surely make their way into other calibres in the not too distant future. The L.U.C 8HF Power Control has a 42 mm matte black ceramic case and crown. The bezel is also ceramic, with a black titanium ring in between the bezel and case. A sapphire porthole in the back exposes the balance wheel beating at a frenetic 57,600 bph.

Finished with a sunburst brushing, the dial is black with red accents. The date window is at six, and the power reserve at 10. Though Chopard’s track record in watch aesthetics is inconsistent, the Power Control is surprisingly attractive and coherently designed.

The L.U.C 8HF Power Control is limited to 250 pieces with a retail price of 26,530 Singapore dollars. That includes 7% tax and is equivalent to US$21,000.

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Baselworld 2014: Introducing the Seiko Prospex Air Diver “Monster” in Black PVD, SRP581 and SRP583 (with specs and price)

As Seiko brings its Prospex line global in 2014, it has introduced new Prospex “Monster” Air Diver watches featuring black PVD coated cases and 4R36 automatic movements.

For the first time Seiko will distribute its Prospex line outside of Japan starting in 2014, and one of the new models for this global push is the Prospex Air Diver 200 m “Monster”. The Prospex Monster has the same specs as the other Monster watches powered by the 4R36 movement, but it features new case colours as well as the redesigned Prospex logo on the dial. Case diameter is 42.3 mm with a 200 m depth rating and a Hardlex crystal (strengthened mineral glass). The 4R36 movement has a 41 hour power reserve, hack seconds and hand-winding capability.  Two models are available, both with black PVD coated cases, each taking elements from the 100th Anniverary Blue Monster of 2013. The SRP581K1 has a black case and blue coated bezel, along with a blue minute hand, and is on a black rubber strap.  And the SRP583K1 has a black case and bezel, along with a gold hands and a gold crown, on a black coated bracelet. The new Prospex Monster on rubber strap will be US$475, while the version on bracelet will be US$595.

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Baselworld 2014: Presenting the Seiko Prospex Kinetic GMT “Tuna” Diver (with specs and pricing)

Seiko has unveiled the Prospex Kinetic GMT Diver, featuring an updated “tuna” shrouded case and an electro-mechanical Kinetic movement with second time zone. This model is amongst the first new Prospex watches which will now be available worldwide.

An abbreviation of “professional specification”, the Seiko Prospex line of sports watches for rigorous activities on land, in the air as well as under water. Prospex gets a new logo and goes global in 2014 – previously available only in Japan, the Prospex line will now be sold worldwide. One of the key new Prospex models presented at Baselworld 2014 is the Kinetic GMT “Tuna” Diver. In the tradition of Seiko’s distinctive shrouded dive watches, the new Prospex Kinetic GMT Diver has a double case nicknamed “tuna” by collectors. A protective outer steel case is screwed to the inner case, giving the watch an overall diameter of 47.5 mm. For the first time the outer shroud is skeletonised, revealing the inner case. Rated to 200 m, the GMT Diver has a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.

This uses the Kinetic 5M85 movement, which has a GMT hand and date. It’s powered by an oscillating weight that generates a charge, which then powers the circuit that keeps the time. At full charge the watch will run for about six months, with the second hand indicating the remaining power reserve when the button at two o’clock is pushed. Three versions of the Prospex Kinetic GMT Diver are available. The SUN019 is in steel with a steel bracelet. Then there are the SUN021 and SUN023, both of which are on a rubber strap. The SUN021 has a steel case with a black coated bezel, and yellow dial accents. 

And the SUN023 has a black coated case and bezel, along with orange accents.

The retail for the base model SUN019 will be €660, which is about US$908.

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