If there's one thing that's seriously underrated these days, it's consistency. Night follows day, lunch comes after breakfast, and so on. Watch fanatics love consistency; after all, they want things to run like clockwork (groan) and a routine that you can set your watch by (more groans). So, for men of routine it's incredibly annoying when someone moves the goal posts. Take Baselworld, for example: the world's premier watch fair usually takes place in early March and really we should be talking about the sudden rush of new watches already. This year, however, the event has been pushed to late April, so all we have at the moment is the slow drip, drip of releases that characterises the run-up to Basel.
To satisfy ourselves in the meantime we should probably mention a few highlights among those, such as the Corum Ti-Bridge Automatic Dual Winder (below right). Now, Corum has its detractors, and it's a brand that can be hard to warm to, but what is undeniable is the technical prowess of its instantly recognisable Bridges collection. The Ti-Bridge is known for the horizontal nature of both case and movement, but in this iteration Corum has created the first automatic Ti-Bridge, with the CO 207 calibre movement creating an impressive 72 hours of power. The power is derived from two interconnected inline oscillating weights, which sounds complicated and is a world first. As with all Ti-Bridge watches, the movement is visible and given the impression of being suspended, although in reality it's held in place by four titanium cross bars. The tonneau-shaped case is sized at 42mm x 52mm and comes in white or red gold, with the former limited to 200 pieces and the latter 25. Prices for the Corum Ti-Bridge Automatic Dual Winder will be confirmed after Baselworld.
One thing that is most certainly consistent is the quality of JeanRichard watches and the brand's big pre-Basel tease is the Terrascope (bottom). JeanRichard is well known for its masculine designs and nautical and sporty flavoured watches, and the Terrascope is no different, with a 44mm stainless-steel case housing a dial face that is bold, simple and there to make a statement. The casing is designed in such a way that it is reinforced to deal with more than your average amount of shock. JeanRichard is one of the oldest watchmakers in the world, having been established in 1681, and all that experience and expertise has gone into fashioning the in-house JR60 calibre movement, which pumps out 42 hours of power. Two alternatives to the stainless-steel bracelet are also offered: one in rubber and one in leather. Hong Kong prices for the JeanRichard Terrascope are to be confirmed.
The buzz surrounding Harry Winston when Baselworld swings around is almost invariably about the latest iteration of the Opus series. The 13th edition will no doubt leave watch lovers open mouthed but the brouhaha over its release detracts from the other great watches coming from Harry Winston. The Histoire de Tourbillon 4 (above) is one that deserves greater attention and not just for its eye-catching design. Coming in a 47mm case made of polished white gold, this is a technical tour de force and a truly 3D watch with its centrepiece a single oscillator contained within three concentric cages. Each cage rotates at a different speed and at a different angle. Basically, that's geek talk for saying this watch does things that are incredibly difficult. For such a complex power-hungry watch, the HW4501 calibre movement provides an impressive 50 hours of power. Limited to 20 pieces, prices for the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 4 are available upon request.