Tudor at Basel 2014 Report…

It was a great honour for me to be invited to Switzerland to attend Baselworld 2014 as a guest of Tudor. We have all watched as year after year Tudor have released some of the most eagerly awaited and well received watches. Every year Tudor’s releases are now one of the most anticipated, possibly now even more so than Rolex, Tudor’s stablemate under the Wilsdorf Foundation. Where other brands are churning out copies of old watches, Tudor are creating homage pieces that reference timepieces from their archive, but that are very much current and relevant for today’s very demanding wristwatch consumer.

And so my journey began on a cold and rainy Tuesday morning on a Swiss Air flight to Zurich..

IMG_3678Tudor MN strapped on for the flight…
IMG_3679From Zurich it was a short train journey to Basel, through some beautiful Swiss countryside…
IMG_3681IMG_3682IMG_3683On arrival in Basel, I took a brief taxi ride to my accommodation; a luxury river cruiser that was moored on the bank of the Rhine for the duration of Baselworld 2014…
IMG_3686I had stunning, uninterrupted river views from my room…IMG_3688IMG_3689Once I had checked in I had some time for a quick lunch, beer and a look around the old town of Basel. And of course, a look in the watch shops!IMG_3691IMG_3694IMG_3701IMG_3702Then it was time for a quick change and the short journey to an amazing restaurant for the Tudor dinner.IMG_3705IMG_3709A small intimate evening with some great guys..IMG_3710And then a surprise. After our main course, Davide Curruto (Creative Director – Tudor SA) introduced one of the new watches, to be released the day after at the world press launch – the Black Bay Blue. This was a world exclusive for the attendees and it was received with great excitement. IMG_3713IMG_3714IMG_3716IMG_3717IMG_3719IMG_3720IMG_3721The blue Black Bay is an important nod to Tudor’s heritage; most notably the blue snowflakes from the 1970’s. The contrast of the midnight blue bezel insert against the matte black dial with silver print is amazing and I believe will be the new star of the Tudor Heritage collection.

We were also treated to some amazing pieces from Tudor’s archive at the meal too. MN77…

IMG_3722The watch was on the original strap, as used by the Marine Nationale. These elasticated straps were created from parachute strapping…IMG_3723Another amazing archive watch – another major inspiration for the Black Bay, the 7924 ‘Big Crown’ Submariner…IMG_3727IMG_3729IMG_3730All three versions of the Black Bay were present – the blue leather strap, the fabric strap and steel bracelet…
IMG_3733IMG_3734More pieces from the archive. A beautiful 7021 Submariner. This was the first Tudor Sub to feature a date complication…IMG_3745IMG_3746IMG_3747IMG_3748Old and new…IMG_3756IMG_3760No mistaking who these watches belong to! Is this a future ‘ultra rare’ engraving feature? We’ll be paying a premium for these in 30 years…
IMG_3762And so onto the big day – the world press launch. We had all been Instagramming and blogging pictures of the new Black Bay overnight and throughout the morning, but we knew there was more in store…IMG_3772IMG_3773IMG_3774And so into the Tudor booth…and a glimpse of what was to come…IMG_3780Mr Philippe Peverelli and Mr Davide Cerrato begin the presentations…IMG_3781And onto the novelties…IMG_3783The Heritage Ranger! A favourite from Tudor’s past and the inspiration for this modern watch. There are some new and very nice features with this new model. Drilled lugs – a small but very important detail from the past; as was the bracelet without endlinks. The finish of the case is superb and the dial with hand applied luminous material is a classy touch. To be clear, these are not imitations of vintage watches, but modern interpretations that take the best from Tudor’s rich past.IMG_3784IMG_3785IMG_3787And again, the Black Bay in its new guise – the dial and insert combo is fabulous!IMG_3791

And all too quickly it was over and I was waiting for a cab to Basel airport. What a great year for Tudor and I am already excited about what they will have in store for 2015…see you there guys!

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