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Baselworld 2017: Rolex between Heaven & Earth

Anna Wu-Chauvineau
Le 24 March 2017

Yesterday Tudor, today Rolex. I have a feeling that you can’t wait to have a closer peek at what this manufacturer has concocted for us this year. Very nice things, don’t fret. I’m sure you’ve already heard of a Sea-Dweller with a fine red line due to the 50th anniversary of the watch. But let’s not stop there. Daytona expands their line as well: a new Sky-Dweller, and a personal favorite…a terrible sight for sore eyes. The plot thickens…

New Rolex “Red” Sea-Dweller

Baselworld 2017 - Rolex Sea-Dweller Red

This is Rolex’s new pièce de la résistance at Baselworld 2017. I remember the Black Friday-like atmosphere at the official opening of the doors to the show, people were literally running to Rolex dying to discover the new products. A crowd quickly formed in front a one of the display windows, and the Sea-Dweller revealed itself to the public. A peculiar version of the Sea-Dweller with a 43mm opening, the text “Sea-Dweller” in red as a nod to the first “Single Red” model of 1967 (reference 1665), and the cyclops for the date of course.

I know what you’re thinking. 43mm? That’s 2mm more than the previous model, making it more similar to a more voluminous Deepsea. For purists, the cyclops is neither a “must have” nor particularly useful given the proportions of this Rolex. But we shouldn’t forget that Sea-Dwellers have always been imposing on the wrist, perfectly adapted to deep sea diving. It’s true that very few people still use this optical tool.

This is a watch that positions itself comfortably between the Submariner and the Deepsea. As for finishes, no complaints here whatsoever. There is, however, something we must mention in terms of movement. It’s a new Caliber 3235 that possesses a new escapement mechanism and a significant 70-hour power reserve.

Price: 10,400 EUR (available from April)

New Rolex Cellini Moonphase

Baselworld 2017 - Rolex Cellini Moonphase

Voilà our big-time favorite at this year’s 2017 edition of Baselworld so far…without a doubt. Elegant, harmonious, and a movement of the utmost quality, but not only. The hot new addition to the Cellini is a moonphase with an automatic manufactured movement to match…what else? The gorgeous blue-lacquered moonphase sits marvelously well on this dial.

Baselworld 2017 - Rolex Cellini Moonphase

The 39mm rose gold case displays harmonious proportions we appreciate so much, with a delicately domed and fluted bezel, skilfully enhanced by a white lacquered dial that adds charm and depth to the ensemble. We can find the moonphase at 6 o’clock with a rhodium-plated meteorite full moon finish, but also a new moon display in silver decal, surrounded by starry skies. Another fine deep blue hand, echoing the moonphase, gracefully indicates the date with its tiny crescent. Pure inspirations of poetry and travel.

Price: 24,550 EUR (available from September)

New Rolex Datejust 41mm

Baselworld 2017 - Rolex Datejust 41mm

A simple piece available in steel or Rolesor Grey (bezel in grey gold). This watch is the essence of a resistant and timeless piece that we can wear our whole lives….more or less like a life partner. The case has evolved to 41mm, with joyous wearability, even on small wrists like mine. A new caliber 3235 beating at its heart completes this pretty picture.

Baselworld 2017 - Rolex Datejust 41mm

Price: 8,900 CHF

New Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Cerachrom bezel

Baselworld 2017 - Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Cerachrom

Three new versions of the famous Cosmograph Chronograph. A few aesthetic changes for the most part. First addition to the collection: an Oysterflex elastomer bracelet that had been discovered on the Yacht-Master of 2015. Then Cerachrom bezels in black ceramic. This brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the piece, and reinforces its sporty and classy side as well, ultimately reminding us all of its glorious origins.

Baselworld 2017 - Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Cerachrom

Price: 25,250 EUR (in yellow gold)

New Rolex Sky-Dweller Rolesor Grey

Baselworld 2017 - Rolex Sky-Dweller Rolesor gris

A new interesting variation of the Sky-Dweller that gives us the warm fuzzies. Nothing drastically new, except for a “Rolesor” piece (steel case and bezel in grey gold) and numeral markers that have been replaced with simple markers for higher clarity. The blue dial adds depth and works incredibly well with the grey gold bezel.

The rest is similar to previous models, with a level of functionality we value so much, where we can easily change the time, the timezone, the date, and the months with a simple pull of the crown and turn of the bezel to select what needs to be changed. Regarding the price at 13,150 EUR, it’s not shocking considering a piece with such complications, such highly-refined finishes, and a renowned Rolex movement, not to mention a bezel in grey gold.

Price: 13,150 EUR 

Our Take

Two major pieces to take note of in our opinion. First, the superb Cellini that we can’t get enough of (who would’ve thought that a Cellini could win the spotlight this year?), and this Sea-Dweller for the ripples it’s already causing among divided views on the topic. Movements that also innovate the fine details which, incidentally, prove to be crucial for the watch’s precision and resistance. This is Rolex’s most important quest. We had hoped for a new GMT “Pepsi” in steel (currently only the grey gold version exists, and it’s not cheap), our heart still hopes…