KEEPING TIME WITH THE ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF TIME AND TIMEKEEPING
Baselworld 2017 concluded on March 27th and the horology world once again heaved a collective sigh of wistfulness. One week, or six days to be precise, is simply too short a time to have one’s fi ll of the best watches in the world. Thousands of haute timepieces were on display as the fi nest names in watchmaking showcased their inventive and creative genius. Rather than skim through them like a tourist on a budget holiday, ticking off destinations faster than his coach can travel, we decided to be more selective and savour the best and the brightest among them. So that we can share with you our pleasure, albeit vicariously, in fuller measure.
The cream of the horological world was present. Tag Heuer, Rado, Frederique Constant, Seiko, Carl F Bucherer, Chopard, Omega, Bell & Rose, Rolex, Breitling, Breguet, Harry Winston, Blancpain and Patek Philippe, not to mention fashion icons like Chanel and Bulgari. All presenting their most advanced, innovative and aesthetically spectacular creations. It was a repast to satisfy the most fastidious and demanding of connoisseurs and one is left wishing that time had slowed down just for that week to enable a more wholesome experience.
WATCHMAKER TO FRENCH ROYALTY DISPLAYS ITS INNOVATIVE ACUMEN
Breguet’s collection at Baselworld 2017 was, as always, distinguished by creativity and innovation, underscored by a nod to its history and illustrious founder, AL Breguet. A member of the Bureau des longitudes in Paris, he was appointed chronometer maker to the French Royal Navy by Louis XVIII and was a member of the French Academy of Science. AL Breguet conceptualised and developed a wealth of spectacular timepieces including astronomical clocks and marine chronometers.
The brand now reinterprets this rich heritage by launching a worldwide exclusive model – the Marine Équation Marchante 5887. This “Grande Complication” marks the start of a new era for the contemporary Marine collection and takes the helm of the line it is joining. At Baselworld, Breguet offered devotees of Haute Horologerie an opportunity to discover the fundamentals of this line through an exhibit combining visual panels and explanations, scale models and interactive modules. This travelling exhibition will now make stopovers in major cities across Europe, Asia and the United States.
In parallel with this exclusive launch, Breguet continues to encourage women’s interest in mechanical watchmaking by enriching its ladies’ collection with exquisite variations featuring a stunning array of gems, mother-of-pearl and other precious materials, crafted in the purest artisan-style tradition.
Tradition Dame 7038
The Tradition collection from Breguet belongs to the select circle of authentic Haute Horlogerie icons. First introduced in 2005, it has a palette of exceptional models now enriched by the rose gold Tradition Dame 7038. With this self-winding timepiece, Breguet has succeeded in feminising a model whose aesthetic essence lies in mechanical horology, which has been perceived, hitherto, as a male preserve.
The new Classique 7147 is imbued with a blend of classicism and tradition, such as only Breguet is capable of producing. It is distinguished by all the refi ned details that have been the brand’s signature since 1775. As on many historical models, the dial of this new creation is made of “Grand Feu” enamel, a magnificent artistic craft.
Reine de Naples Princesse 8965
Inspired by the first wristwatch made by AL Breguet for Caroline Murat in 1810, the Reine de Naples Princesse 8965 epitomises femininity and boldness. The gentle, subtly cambered design of its rose gold oval case makes a pleasing contrast with the cleancut, resolutely graphic lines of its engine-turned dial. Its bezel and lug are set with 83 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 1.53 ct) and the crown is set with an inverted diamond (approx. 0.15 ct).
Reine de Naples 8918
This year, Breguet also revisits a bestseller in its ladies’ collection, the Reine de Naples 8918, a mesmerizingly beautiful model leading the distinctly larger Breguet numerals into a merry dance. The new Reine de Naples 8918 comes in two versions: one with a midnight blue satin-fi nish leather strap; and the other with a chain bracelet that closely resembles a supple rose gold ribbon.
The year 2017 also sees the arrival of a new addition to the Reine de Naples Mini line, now available in six additional variations that pick up the aesthetic codes of the Reine de Naples collection.
– AMERICAN HOROLOGICAL GLAMOUR WITH PRECISION SWISS HEARTS
Harry Winston started life as a haute jeweler in 1932, the height of the Art Deco movement. New York City was his home, first love and creative muse. His creations shifted the focus of high jewelry from Paris to New York, establishing the House of Harry Winston as a symbol of American glamour. As a brand, Harry Winston entered the world of horology in 1989 and forthwith carved a niche for themselves by blending all the style that is essentially American with the fi ne technology that is characteristically Swiss. The reasons for the brand’s success were all too clearly visible in the models they chose to showcase at Baselword 2017.
The Avenue Collection
Named after Fifth Avenue, home to Harry Winston’s New York Flagship Salon, this Collection evokes the streamlined styling and urban sophistication of the Art Deco period, when Harry Winston founded his eponymous business in 1932. It moves with the times thanks to its sophisticated automatic Swiss caliber which makes it the first Avenue Classic timepiece fi tted with an automatic movement.
Feminity revised in smaller proportions
Women’s timepieces have always been prominently featured in the Midnight Collection and, this year, Harry Winston continues this tradition with the introduction of a smaller 29mm model. More than just a smaller case size, everything about the new Midnight Automatic 29mm has been carefully rethought and redesigned to create a more feminine and graceful timepiece.
Ocean Biretrograde Automatic
The Ocean Collection showcases some of the most respected mechanical complications in watchmaking.
The new Ocean Biretrograde Automatic 42mm bears two of Harry Winston’s hallmark complications – excentered hours and minutes and a double retrograde display. This timepiece celebrates Harry’s passion for diamonds being adorned with a total of 351 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Premier Delicate Silk Automatic 36mm
Since 1989, the Premier Collection has showcased new and rare artistic crafts. This has now resulted in two singular dials with a silk base that made history in the art of embossing when, after countless trials, a master embosser was able to stamp the 18-karat or 22-karat gold design into the raw silk, giving the material a remarkable sense of volume and depth.
Both architectural and technical, the eleventh edition of Project Z, has a unique mechanical personality asserted through its dial. Made of Zalium™, an alloy exclusive to Harry Winston, the sporty and yet decisively elegant Project Z11 is a highly wearable timepiece with a modern design and strong technical quality.
The Mini Twist timepiece
In 1955, Harry met Ambaji V. Shinde, an Indian painter and jewelry designer in Mumbai, whose creations adorned Indian royalty. Their collaboration produced some of the House’s most iconic pieces. This gold and diamond timepiece is inspired by Shinde’s design legacy, featuring marquise and brilliant-cut diamonds set in twisted gold cables to form fluid, intertwined jewelry creations reminiscent of the lush, dense vegetation in India.
Pendant watches are currently making a revival on the high jewelry scene. Divine Time is a scintillating and versatile high jewelry timepiece that can either be worn as a pendant or on the wrist as a traditional timepiece. Set with an array of glistening diamonds, time has never been so brilliant.
The Emerald Time
An exquisite high jewelry objet d’art, this watch is crafted in white gold and adorned with shimmering aventurine and radiant diamonds, reminiscent of the elegance of the Art Deco period when the House of Harry Winston was founded.
The Broadway Glasses
The star of this year’s high jewelry timepiece collection, this glamorous pair of opera glasses – that amazingly tell time – are decorated with diamonds, emeralds and black onyx, evoking the bright lights of Broadway and the sleek, geometric aesthetic of the Art Deco era.
This extraordinary high jewelry timepiece celebrates the inherent beauty of the flawless Winston Legacy diamond. Continuing to uphold its legendary reign as the “King of Diamonds,” the House of Harry Winston acquired the Winston Legacy in 2013. The remarkable stone serves as the inspiration behind the Legacy timepiece’s magnificent pearshaped dial.
THE UNRIVALLED LEADER IN PRECISION TIMEKEEPING
The heritage of Rolex as one of the fi nest names in the science and art of horology and chronometry is the stuff of legend. It was one of the pioneers of the wristwatch. And it developed the technologies that enable watches to work with the fi nest possible precision in the most diverse and demanding of environments. At Baselworld 2017, Rolex focused on two of its fl agship collections: the Oyster and the Cellini, putting on display the state of the art to emerge from these two stables, each timepiece certifi ed as a Superlative Chronometer for its precision, performance and reliability.
The Cellini Collection
In this collection, we got to see an entirely new model, the Cellini Moonphase, with a distinctive and exclusive display of the phases of the moon.
Like all Rolex timepieces, the new watches presented in 2017 are covered by Rolex’s own uperlative Chronometer certification – symbolized by the green seal – guaranteeing that they satisfy performance criteria that exceed watchmaking norms and standards in terms of precision, power reserve, waterproof ness and self-winding. The certification is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.
The Oyster Collection
This year’s fl agship models included a new generation of the professional divers’ model, the Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller, updated for its 50th anniversary with a new, larger 43mm case and Rolex‘s new calibre 3235 movement. The new Yacht-Master II, the unique regatta chronograph, showed off a new dial and new hands for increased legibility. One also got to see new versions of the Cosmograph Daytona in 18 ct yellow, white or Everose gold, which, interestingly enough, have adopted the innovative Oysterfl ex bracelet in elastomer and a monobloc Cerachrom bezel in black ceramic.
The Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller, the classic watch for world travellers, now comes in yellow Rolesor and white Rolesor versions (combining 904L steel and 18 ct yellow or white gold) with new dials. The men’s and women’s classic Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41 and Lady-Datejust 28, updated in 2015 and 2016, are offered this year in 904L steel or in white Rolesor versions (904L steel with an 18 ct white gold bezel), equipped with new-generation mechanical movements.
Rolex’s expertise in gem-setting was displayed on an Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40. In 18 ct Everose gold on a black Oysterflex bracelet, this version features a bezel adorned with gems of many hues.
OFFICIAL SUPPLIER TO WORLD AVIATION
“You simply don’t become official supplier to world aviation by chance” is how the Breitling website introduces the brand. And this is no empty boast. This specialist of technical watches has shared all the fi nest moments in the conquest of the skies thanks to its sturdy, reliable and highperformance instruments. It is one of the world’s only major watch brands to equip all its models with chronometer-certifi ed movements, the ultimate token of precision, and one of the few companies to produce its own mechanical chronograph movements, entirely developed and manufactured in its own workshops. To put its continuing success in perspective, this family business is also one of the last remaining independent Swiss watch brands.
At Baselworld 2017, Breitling’s military and professional instrumentation expertise was on display in all its glory in the form of four superlative new models.
The Colt by Breitling expresses its youthful, dynamic and winning spirit in a brand new model dedicated to thrillseekers that is named after the plane fl ying under Breitling colors in the fabulous Red Bull Air Race. With an avant-garde case in Breitlight® and an ultra-technical black look, this high-performance, effi cient, ultra-reliable Colt has retained from its military background all the qualities of an authentic instrument for professionals. This state-ofthe- art model combines reliable technical assets with an original design and an extremely reasonable price.
Avenger Hurricane Military
With its black avant-garde case in Breitlight®, its dial with aeronautical-type numerals, and its selfwinding caliber powering an exclusive 24-hour display, the new Avenger Hurricane Military 1000-piece limited series displays the assets of an instrument for which prowess is the norm. On the new version of this superlative-charged chronograph, Breitling has equipped the black dial with luminescent hands and numerals featuring a slightly patinated yellow-beige color evoking the instruments produced by the brand from the 1940s to the 1960s – a nod to Breitling’s long standing aeronautical and military heritage.
Few watch brands have their own mechanical chronograph movements. Fewer still offer a proprietary split-seconds movement genuinely developed and produced in-house. Breitling now reaffirms its supreme mastery of chronographs by unveiling its own split-seconds chronograph movement, certified by the COSC, in its most emblematic model, the famous Navitimer, interpreted in steel or gold with an exclusive bronze colored dial. Developed in the spirit of instruments for professionals, the Caliber B03 (protected by two patents) is distinguished by its innovative construction ensuring a maximum of precision, sturdiness and reliability.
Superocean Heritage II
Breitling celebrates this line’s 60 anniversary year by giving it a new face that is as original, pure and dynamic as ever. First launched in 1957, the Superocean professional diving watch – rapidly adopted by the fi rst enthusiasts of leisure diving – has since spawned several generations of instruments boasting peerless aquatic performance. Yet Breitling has also preserved the spirit of the original model in a line named Superocean Héritage that has become one of the brand’s stellar collections, thanks to its unique and timeless look combined with cuttingedge technology.
IMAGINATION TRANSFORMED INTO TIMEKEEPING
Rado has always been a pioneer of sorts in the world of watchmaking, right from its early days. Its brand ethos: ‘if we can imagine it, we can make it’ defines it perfectly and continues to hold true today.
Last year Rado updated the iconic Ceramica with a contemporary new look for the current zeitgeist. Now three new additions to the Ceramica family have arrived and are ready to make a bold impact on the wrist. Teaming up with renowned industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, the brand updated its well-known, starkly geometric timepiece with a contemporary new look for the current spirit of the times. With strong lines and gently curved silhouettes, these three new Ceramicas are ideal for fans of minimalism and come in matte black, matte grey and polished grey. As the name indicates, the Ceramica is made from high-tech ceramic, a material favoured by luxury watchmakers for its incredible marriage of lightness and scratch resistance, as well as the astonishing number of colours and fi nishes that it allows for. It is also hypo-allergenic, and gentle against the skin.
THE AVANT GARDE ENFANT TERRIBLE TO THE WATCHMAKING WORLD.
Every domain needs its youth, who have the courage and curiosity to open new doors, ask questions and strike out in new paths, some times where none seemingly exist. For the watchmaking industry, this role has been admirably played by Tag Heuer for over a century and a half, bringing the irreverent and the avant garde to the classical art of watchmaking.
Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45
At Baselworld, Tag Heuer’s showcase timepiece was this truly modular watch that quirkily enough links the future with Switzerland’s hoary watchmaking tradition. The watch’s launch in March set the tone for this anachronous character. It was held in the historic plains of Rutli, a veritable national shrine which was the site for the foundation of Switzerland. The Connected Modular 45 is a genuine Swiss luxury watch engineered in collaboration with Intel. Water-resistant to 50 meters, it features GPS, an NFC sensor for payments, a stunning high defi nition AMOLED screen, and a wide selection of unlimited customizable TAG Heuer dials. Google’s Android Wear 2.0 and the new TAG Heuer Companion app improve the software experience and keep you connected with the people and information that you care about most. In crafting this watch, no compromises were made on design. Only high-quality materials have been used, such as titanium, ceramic, and rose gold, with impeccable attention to detail.
CARL F BUCHERER
A FAMILY TRADITION OF PRECISION WATCHMAKING FOR WELL OVER A CENTURY
Carl F Bucherer is one of the few remaining family owned watchmaking businesses in Switzerland. Now in its third generation, it continues to turn out exclusive timepieces that keep its reputation as an icon of Swiss precision craftsmanship intact.
The Manero Flyback Chronograph.
A certain something with a classic look – this is the mark of the Manero series. This is especially true for the Manero Flyback, which was exhibited in its three new variants at Baselworld. Paying special attention to the watch dial, the brand from Lucerne created three highly unique timepieces, each with its own character.
The Manero Flyback Chronograph is the perfect companion for the modern gentleman who has a yen for refi ned technology. With classic rounded lines, it presents a cool and stylish look with its stainless steel case and its cockpit framed in a matt bluish-grey shade. Depending on the light, the color refl ections vary between a soft green and a subtle blue.
PIONEERS OF THE SWISS MADE HOROLOGICAL SMARTWATCH
Based in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland, Frederique Constant created a whole a category of timepieces in 2015, when they introduced the fi rst Swiss made Horological Smartwatch, powered by MMT SwissConnect and entirely displayed with an analog dial. Defi ned by their high quality, differentiation and precision, their perceived value, through quality of design, materials and manufacture, is a key component of their success.
The Flyback Chronograph Manufacture
At Baselworld 2017, Frederique Constant showcased their fi rst Flyback Chronograph, developed in-house from scratch over a six year period. The Flyback Chronograph Manufacture is a marvel that features one of the most diffi cult watchmaking complications. Featuring all the iconic traits that make a Frederique Constant so recognizable, the collection has two main versions, one that is essentially casual looking with a silver or dark grey smooth dial; and another more classical looking with a silver dial.
A YEAR WITH TWO ANNIVERSARIES AND FASCINATING DEBUTS CHANEL
With an uninterrupted legacy of 178 successful years in watchmaking, Patek Philippe, these days, fi nds every year to be an anniversary. Which is all the more exciting for connoisseurs of horology because we get to see new commemorative and limited edition pieces of classic models. At Baselworld 2017, Patek Phillippe marked two anniversaries.
The Aquanaut completes twenty years
Paying tribute to the 20th anniversary of the Aquanaut launched in 1997, the men’s model is now available in the new 42.2-millimeter “Jumbo” format in 18K white gold. It features an embossed dial subtly graded from black to night blue. With decidedly masculine looks, this incarnation of casually elegant chic is framed by a delicately satin-fi nished bezel. The whitegold case is water resistant to 120m and protects the selfwinding caliber 324 S C movement.
The ultra-thin self-winding Caliber 240 movement turns forty and adds lustre to the debutante Calatrava Haute Joaillerie
A broad array of artisanal techniques transforms this new selfwinding Calatrava Haute Joaillerie into a highly seductive and refi ned jewelry watch. It is a very feminine companion in white gold with mother of pearl, a full complement of fl awless rare white Top Wesselton diamonds and pink sapphires on the case and buckle (702 precious stones totaling about 4.35 ct.); as well as a snow setting on the dial. Not to forget, of course, that it owes its grace and poise to the slender Caliber 240 movement.
The wonderful thing about a fashion brand entering a precision fi eld is the manner in which it is able to stretch boundaries. Unfettered by technical conventions and scientifi c legacies, it can conceive the watch purely as an object of pleasure and style, naturally without compromising on the technical expertise and artisanal fi nesse that goes into its making. 2017 marks thirty years since Chanel brought its unique creative genius and infallible instinct for glamour to bear on watchmaking. At Baselworld, this year, the brand showcased, among others, two collections that have helped it carve a niche of its own in the world of haute jewelry and horology.
Mademoiselle Privé – Coromandel Glyptic and Sculpted Gold
The jewelry watch collection, “Mademoiselle Privé”, opens the door to the intimate world of Gabrielle Chanel by showcasing her most cherished symbols and the things she loved to be surrounded by. In the Coromandel Glyptic watch, one is witness to the ancient Egyptian jewelry art of the glyptic being used to give the watch dials inspired by the renowned Coromandel screens, a unique depth and realism. Crafted by the fi nest master artisans – enamellers, engravers, carvers and stone-setters – each dial is unique and the result of more than a hundred hours of focused creative effort.
Première Camélia Skeleton
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Première watch and Chanel commemorates the milestone appropriately with the Première Camélia Skeleton. This exceptional piece is equipped with the second in-house Chanel movement, the Calibre 2, whose ethereal geometry sketches out the shape of a Camellia fl ower. This skeleton movement in deepest black with optional gem-settings, unique in its genre, thus incarnates one of the iconic symbols of the House. Conceived by the Studio of Creation at Place Vendôme, before being designed, developed, controlled and assembled by the Swiss Manufacturer Châtelain, the Calibre 2 illustrates – in its genes and design – the absolute liberty of the House’s Studio of Creation. It is presented in three diamond studded versions – two numbered editions with total diamond weights of 5.53 and 7.82 carats respectively and a limited edition of just 12 pieces that has a total diamond weight of 22.66 carats.