Head of Watches Stuart McDowell outlines his picks from this year's watch industry fair.
"With Patek Philippe’s 175th Anniversary, and their Grand Watch Art Exhibition at the end of May at the Saatchi Gallery in London approaching, it is a busy year for Patek Philippe. As is always expected, the discontinuing of some models in certain materials, in turn saw the introduction of new metal options for other models, along with dial variations. For example, the 6102R, now available in 18 carat rose gold with a beautiful black celestial dial, which makes the celestial chart visually pop."
"For me, Patek’s watch of the show. The most talked about watch of the fair, however, was Patek’s 5524G. The watch itself came as a surprise to many, essentially a pilot’s watch (for the private jet passenger!) featuring a white gold case and a very subtle dark navy dial. This follows on from Patek Philippe’s extremely rare pilot’s watches that can be found in the museum in Geneva."
"Rolex launched at this year’s Fair two new sizes – the Day Date 40 and the Datejust 28 in precious metals. Both of these house new in-house Calibres demonstrating what Rolex can do with new technology. This new technology has the knock on effect of being twice as precise as an official chronometer, and extends autonomy by 50% to 70 hours, meaning at last you can take your watch off on a Friday evening, and put it back on Monday morning."
"For me one of the most exciting watches of the fair was the new Yachtmaster in Everose on a practical black Oysterflex rubber strap, available in 40mm and 37mm. The watch has a ceramic bezel, and in general is a departure for Rolex, being their first watch on a rubber strap. And they seem to have got it exactly right, being both practical and elegant. The months of development that went into making this watch are clear to see."
"Tudor have introduced and spent time developing two complete in-house Tudor movements. As always with developments like this, my first worry is that there will be a major increase in price point due to the in-house calibre. However, Tudor have managed to somehow create two new calibres with only a small increase in price from other models in the range, which is very pleasing."
"The North Flag is a new watch for 2015, an evolution of the Ranger 2. Offering a power reserve feature, and again for the first time, sapphire crystal case back to view the new movement of which Tudor are so proud. The Pelagos Blue is Tudor’s other new watch for 2015, again using the new in-house calibre, cased in lightweight titanium, with a beautiful light blue bezel and dial."
"There was lots of buzz and hype surrounding Nomos this year, and its elegance and simplicity has drawn comparisons to Apple, which is obviously a huge compliment for such a young brand. Continuing with the use of their new Swing System, they have introduced a cleaner non-power reserve Metro in a slightly larger case size with a dark dial option."