Hello, sorry for the long period of time since my last blog update - I intend to make up for it by writing a couple more in-depth reviews over the next couple of days. But firstly, I thought I'd kick things off with a few words about the new watches of Basel 2010, now that they've had chance to reach reality.
I thought it was a slightly poor showing from Omega this year, nothing to really excite the senses, despite a raft of new models. We had yet another limited edition Speedmaster Professional, this time to commemorate the Apollo-Soyuz linkup. The main talking point is its Meteorite dial - a nice idea in theory, but in reality, it falls flat. The problem is, the Meteorite is too dark, and lacks the play of light that Rolex's Meteorite dials have, for example. If anything, it just makes it look as if the crystal has been scratched up. Then we have the price - at a smidge over £5000, you're looking at a £3000 premium over the standard model. Sure, you get a fancy box, but I can't see how it can be over double the price of the standard model, just because of the dial. In my opinion, Limited Edition Omegas being churned out every year is just damaging the collectibility of them, and surely that's what it's all about?
They also introduced a white version of the Plo Prof - not my cup of tea, but I think it may have a niche following. The only downside is that it is going to date horribly - I reckon this one will only stay in the range for 2 or 3 years at max. A new Double Eagle multi-counter chronograph has been launched (same movement as in the Olympic multi-counter chrono that came out a couple of years ago), which gives a very sporty look to the traditionally dressy Constellation line. However, I think with the black contrast bezel, crown and pushers, it looks too much like a TAG F1 for my liking. Plus, it's another chronograph in an already overcrowded range - I don't think it's going to have much of a following. The introduction of an Aqua Terra Annual Calendar is a nice idea, and gives a slightly more useful every day design option compared to the Hour Vision Annual Calendar, but I reckon the price might be prohibitive. Time will tell with that
Rolex's two big model revisions this year were the long-awaited introduction of the ceramic Submariner, both in black and green, and the much needed touch-up of the Explorer. Both subscribe to Rolex's new cutting-edge design ethos, and look brilliant in the flesh. The new Submariner is streets ahead of any other diver on the market (despite what some Planet Ocean LiquidMetal fanboys may say), and is a great example of what a modern sports watch should be. The Explorer has its own niche by being 39mm (sitting between the 36mm case diameter of the old Explorer, and the 41mm of the Milgauss), has a rather nice new matte dial, and, of course, a heavily revised bracelet. There has been some discontent over the size of the hands, but in reality, it really isn't an issue. I was very impressed by both of these models, in depth reviews will follow.
From other brands, the stand out for me was Breitling: they've launched a great looking and very affordable new SuperOcean. I love the choice of contrast colour chapter rings available, and the amount of performance for the price is very tempting. This could well eat into the market of the Omega SMP and the TAG Aquaracer.
There were, of course, plenty of other brands launching, but I feel these were the most worthy of commenting on. Hope you enjoyed the read, and stay tuned for more reviews!