Basel 2009: Rolex
By Timm Delfs
There wasn’t too much news, technically speaking. The Geneva-based brand presented the Ladies’ Oyster Perpetual Datejust Rolesor in the new size 36 mm and a diamond-set bezel. They come in either bicolor or white Rolesor, this being the name Rolex gives to a combination of steel and gold. The models are available either with Oyster or Jubilée bracelets equipped with the new massive folding clasps. Some of the watches come with a rather unusual floral dial.
Detail of Datejust Rolesor 39mm Rolesor dial with fancy flower decoration.
The new Datejust Rolesor 39mm for ladies with a fancy dial-design.
For men there is the new Oyster Perpetual Datejust II in Rolesor with a diameter of 41 mm, which comes in new dial variations.
Unusual layout of enamel-filled roman numerals and single index at 9 in the 41mm Datejust II in yellow Rolexor,Cartier watches.
Detail of Datejust II Rolesor dial with enamel filled numerals.
Datejust II 41mm in white Rolesor.
There are two gem-set Daytona-models, a bling-bling version of the Datejust with a diamond-set zebra dial and a strap made from a combination of rubber, stingray-leather and diamonds set in pink gold (Everose as Rolex calls it) buttons. Furthermore there is an Oyster Day-Date II with a diamond-set dial, enamel indexes and a bezel set with baguette diamonds. Last but not least the famous brand presented us two new Rolesor versions of the Submariner Date, one with a blue dial and bezel, the other with both components in black. The coloured bezel inlay is craftet from high-tech ceramics.
(Photo by Jocke)
(Photo by Jocke)
The biggest surprise in the Rolex booth this year, however, proved to be the presentation of the new Tudor models. Up to now Tudor used to be Rolex’ little sister, aiming at people who wanted something like a Rolex, couldn’t afford it, but were reluctant to by a fake. The brand had been bought by Wilsdorf in 1926, to be relaunched only in 1945. Tudor watches looked like Rolexes but were equipped with ETA movements. This all changed about a year ago when suddenly there were flashy advertising campaigns showing Tudor in a rejuvenated environment. Formerly the brand hadn’t been present in ads at all.
At Baselworld it was the brand’s head of marketing himself, Davide Cerrato, who presented the watches. It seems that the Rolex management had foreseen some major changes in the economic situation. With Tudor they are now aiming at a young clientele who are looking for an affordable timepiece in a sporty look, made up to Rolex standards.
To make a mark und to underline their determination, Tudor have announced a cooperation with Porsche Racing, supporting their "Grantour" family of watches. That this may cause interferences with the watch brand "Porsche Design" doesn’t seem to bother the brand managers all too much. Grantour comprises a three-hand model with date and a chronograph,sunglasses4usale.com, both with a characteristic black bezel that, despite its look, cannot be turned because it bears the numerals of the hours. The leather straps are perforated to recall the look of the seventies.
Detail of the crown protection of the Hydro 1200.
"Hydronaut" is the name for the watersports watches. The name remotely recalls Patek’s "Aquanaut". The case shape bears resemblances with the "Grantour" family of watches. There is also a chronograph "Hydronaut II" and a three-hands model "Hydro 1200". The latter is water resistant to a depth of 1200 metres. It is equipped with a helium valve and a unidirectional turning bezel. Whereas the "Hydronaut II" chronograph comes with a rubber strap, the "Hydro 1200" is equipped with a steel bracelet that has black ceramic inserts.
Hydronaut II Chrono
The sturdy Hydro 1200, watertight to a depth of 1200 meters.
The "Glamour" family is probably the least exciting. It is supposed to be an elegant dress watch for him and her. There are date and day-date versions, some of them with diamond indexes. The shape of the case recalls early Rolex Oyster models, especially the the crown that seems to sit on a short neck.