Let’s Talk Daytona
Sitting inside of the Rolex room at Basel, we all sort of knew we where going to see a new Daytona – that’s reason enough to shout. And we already kinda knew what was coming our way, because it was right there on a large poster in front of us – a new Daytona – white lacquer dial, black snailed counters and, of course, with this brilliant new black monobloc Cerachrom bezel fitted with a tachymeter scale that we’ve now only seen on the precious metal Daytonas – you know, like the platinum one with the ice blue dial.
But then they brought out two, one with said white dial and the other, a deep black lacquer one paired with grey snailed counters – and suddenly there was just utter barbaric cheering in the room. We couldn’t help ourselves, could you?
Looks familiar no? But that’s really what’s so mind-blowing about Rolex to begin with – this ability to take something so familiar, put all sorts of new innovations in and have it come out looking like the same face we’ve known and loved now for years.
Take for example the new bezel: it looks like the one from the past generation – but hey, the tachymeter design on it is now different and owing to the Cerachrom used, the bezel is completely matt.
Can’t decide which one you like better? Honestly, neither could we. But at CHF 11, 800 – the only logical solution is really to just get both.
The “Air-King” Relaunch
Bumped up to sport Rolex’s modern silhouette of 40mm (up from the original 34mm Air-King) the watch pays tribute the Crown’s affiliation to the world of aviation during its golden age (circa 1930s). Apparently at that time a lot of pilots were using the Oyster Perpetual.
This is the first time Rolex has rendered minutes on one of their dials in almost the same size as that of the “3, 6 and 9” hour markers. This supposedly is an inspiration taken directly from old observation watches.
And I really must squeeze this gem of a bit of information in about the new Air-King: that typography used to spell out the watch’s name at 6 o’clock? That’s a specific that was decided upon by Hans Wilsdorf himself, back in 1943. Simply amazing.
So the last of our highlight focus is the new Yacht-Master 40 in a bi-color Everose Rolesor rendition. Check out that chocolate dial – completely mind boggling how the chocolate color matches up with the Everose so seamlessly.
The appliqués and the hands on the watch are now treated with Chromate, and are said to be larger than before on the previous generation.
The Ultimate Announcement at Basel
It being Basel, you’d think that nothing could possibly be bigger than the watch unveilings – and with us sitting inside Rolex what more could we have asked for right then? But Rolex is one to one-up themselves every step along the way.
So the biggest news from Rolex this year at Basel, perhaps isn’t even one of their new watches – rather it is that every single one of their watches, henceforth, will not only be COSC certified, but once the movements return to Rolex – post chronometer certification – Rolex will perform their own set of tests on the CASED movements to have them certified: Superlative Chronometer (-2/+2 sec/day rating).
Explaining the rationale behind this bold move, Grégoire Baillod (PR Editorial Manager, Rolex SA) says, “We don’t want to do without COSC – COSC does a great job. But we wanted to push our abilities to make the most difference for our customers”.
The precision that is claimed, can now be experienced – decimal point for decimal point – on the wearer’s wrist.
The -2/+2 sec/day rating is, of course, an extremely narrow allotment. Being able to have every watch from every collection of Rolex’s stand up to these standards means that this wasn’t the result of a solitary innovation, rather that every nut and bolt in their complete production process had to be tightened in order to have it cumulatively give rise to this precision.
And just like that, we are reminded exactly why these guys are – the Crown.