By Rebecca Doulton
Presented with all the solemnity of a milestone in the company's history, Rolex watches unveiled its new masterpiece at Baselworld 2015 - only it wasn't exactly new. The Oyster Perpetual Day-Date, the culminating watch of founder Hans Wilsdorf, married the Oyster waterproof case, the Perpetual winding system, the Datejust date window and added the day of the week spelt out in full at 12 o'clock, and a rich gold bracelet to create the Day-Date, first introduced in 1956.
One of the best men's watches launched at Baselworld 2015, what's new with the Day-Date? In pride of place, the men's watch has been fitted with a brand-new engine backed by 14 patents. Calibre 3255 promises to duplicate the already formidable levels of precision held by the original COSC-certified chronometer, thanks to its new Chronergy escapement. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date watch was also subjected to a merciless round of cased-up tests and had its autonomy increased to 70 hours. In addition, the beloved President bracelet is back - in platinum, yellow, white or Everose gold - and the case size has been reduced to 40mm with a choice of new dials in ice blue with laser-etched motifs, gold with striped motifs and champagne with a sunray finish.
Patek Philippe watches, still basking in the golden rays of its 175th anniversary celebrations, managed to surprise us again at Baselworld 2015. If you remember, last year Patek Philippe decked out its Annual Calendar Chronograph in stainless steel. Among this year's best men's watches at Baselworld, Patek Philippe launched its Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524, a vintage-inspired aviator watch that caught many of us off guard, primarily because we had not associated Patek Philippe watches with the world of aviation. Far from being a nostalgic revision of a pilot's watch, it features a sophisticated, patented and refined two-time-zone mechanism activated with pushers on the side. Presented in a 42mm white gold case, the lovely blue dial, with its aviator's soul, will prove a reliable travel companion for men who spend most of their lives airborne.
Tudor watches has come of age and is flying its very own flag of independence, buoyed by the development of its first in-house automatic movement. Among the Baselworld watches launched last week, North Flag is one of the proud recipients of the new manufacture movement, offering a feisty 70-hour power reserve and COSC certification as a chronometer. The new North Flag men's watches celebrate the British North Greenland Expedition of the early 1950s, accompanied in its day by Tudor Oyster Prince watches. The 40mm angular stainless steel case with a black ceramic ring, matte black dial and yellow markings on the seconds hand and power reserve indicator give the watch a robust, masculine presence prepped for a lifetime of hardcore adventures.