Baselworld 2017 had a plethora of luxury timepieces to behold, but these 10 surprised and delighted us most:
Jaquet Droz – Petite Heure Minute
Jaquet Droz Ateliers d’Art is known for its mastery of creating beautiful dials, and this year it presented some serious novelties.
We especially loved the Petite Heure Minute collection, which pairs Grand Feu enamel with miniature painting to extraordinary effect.
Three versions are available: lion, carp and flamingo, all of which feature vivid colours that beautifully complement the deep black of the dial.
The flamingo version comes with 248 diamonds studded on the case. Each version is limited to 28 pieces.
Breguet – Marine Équation Marchante 5887
This timepiece from Breguet is grand complication at its best, and features a tourbillon, true equation of time and a perpetual calendar. The complication that stole the show, however, is the true equation of time, which is the difference between mean solar time (also known as “civil time”) and true solar time (actual sun time), which can range from minus 16 minutes to plus 14 minutes.
To demonstrate this, Breguet has employed a separate minute hand marked by a golden sun to tell the solar time, and a figure 8 subdial that acts as a visual representation of the analemma. Two versions are available: 950 platinum with blue dial, and 18ct rose gold with silvered gold and anthracite movement.
Omega – Trilogy limited edition
It is difficult for a band to release one watch that will go on to take its place as a classic timepiece, never mind three. But in 1957, that is exactly what Omega did with the release of three professional timepieces: Seamaster 300, Railmaster and Speedmaster.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the timepieces, the brand launched a special limited-edition trilogy box that faithfully copied the vintage designs and dimensions of the original models save for a few upgrades. The trilogy box, which also features a vintage design, is limited to 557 pieces.
Dior – Grand Bal Pièce Unique Galaxie
Ten unique pieces inspired by the galaxy that featured a transparent oscillating weight at the front of the dial set with diamonds and gold accents were presented by Dior.
Each timepiece boasts a case back engraved with a different constellation, ranging from Pegasus to Pavo.
The timepieces are powered by the Dior Inversé 11 ½ calibre, a patented automatic movement.
Hermès – Slim d’Hermès L’heure impatiente
Hermès debuted a beautiful timepiece that pairs its unique watchmaking know-how with playful whimsicality. The new timepiece is armed with a chiming function and is meant to make waiting, something mundane at best and irritable at worst, fun.
Similar to an alarm clock, a designated time is set via the subdial at 5 o’clock. An hour before the designated time, the “impatient hour” complication, located at 7 o’clock, begins to count down each minute. A striking mechanism announces the time – and your wait is over.
Chanel – Première Camélia Skeleton
Chanel marked the 30th anniversary of its Première watch with the Première Camélia Skeleton. Inside ticks the calibre 2, the maison’s second in-house manual-winding mechanical movement with 48 hours of power reserve. The skeleton movement features a 3D representation of the camellia flower.
There are three versions available: a case set with brilliant-cut diamonds, a case set with baguette-cut diamonds housing a diamond-studded camellia, and a full-set diamond model including a diamond-studded camellia, case and matching bracelet. The last model is limited to 12 pieces.
Chopard – L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer
The highlight of this piece is the officer-type back cover that flips open to reveal a sapphire crystal case back through which the L.U.C 96.01-L movement can be viewed. Engraved on the inside of the very slim back cover is a beehive with bees flying around it – the placement and number of bees differ from model to model.
On the solid gold dial is a hand-guilloché honeycomb motif, which is also echoed on the case back. Although it is a men’s watch, the slim case size and elegant design means it does not look out of place on a woman’s wrist. Limited to 100 pieces.
Bulgari – Serpenti
Bulgari debuted not only its newest Serpenti timepiece, but it also launched a new app that gave freedom and flexibility to female clients to create their own dream watch.
The app allows clients to pick and choose their favourite dial, case and strap, out of which more than 300 combinations can be made. Straps made of either calfskin or Karung, a non-venomous water snake, are available. Inside each timepiece is a B033 quartz movement.
Rolex – Cellini Moonphase
No round-up would be complete without mentioning Rolex. This year, Rolex launched a new addition to its slimmer and dressier Cellini line – the Cellini Moonphase. The 39mm model comes equipped with a highly accurate patented moonphase module that only needs to be re-adjusted every 122 years. Two moons are visible on the blue enamel disc at 6 o’clock: a full moon depicted by a meteorite appliqué, and a new moon depicted by a silver outline.
Whether the moon is waning or waxing can be read via the indicator located at 12 o’clock on the moonphase disc. The timepiece also includes a date display, at the circumference of the dial. Inside the timepiece is the calibre 3195, a manufacture self-winding mechanical movement. Although the Cellini collection is often overlooked in favour of the brand’s sportier lines, this timepiece in 18ct Everose gold is one that demands attention with its clean lines and beautiful design.
Patek Philippe – Aquanaut Ref. 5168G
The house celebrated 20 years of its sporty Aquanaut collection with the new Aquanaut Ref. 5168G. The case is presented in white gold while the dial features a striking blue gradient – both a first for the collection. And at 42.2mm, it is also the largest to date for the line.
It retains the beloved octagonal-shaped bezel and core design codes that elevated the Aquanaut into a classic fan favourite. Inside the timepiece is the self-winding calibre 324 S C.
WATCH THIS SPACE
STYLE is on the ground at Baselworld, bringing you sneak previews, exclusive interviews and debut highlights.