Each March the world gathers in Basel – a small Swiss city on the borders of France and Germany. Watch and jewellery enthusiasts, journalists, buyers, VIP clients and celebrities all gather in this small city for arguably the greatest horology and jewellery fair in the world – Baselworld.
Although this year’s Baselworld had been two days shorter, the overall number of visitors remained unchanged with the leading brands participating to showcase their latest and greatest creations in jewellery and watchmaking. We’ve chosen the top 3 watches for ladies and gentlemen each; as we thought they could be a stylish and valuable addition to a wardrobe.
Harry Winston has a legacy as one of the world’s most important purveyors of diamonds. Jewelled watches remain an important part of the company, including the new Emerald watch with diamonds that adds the soft touch of pink sapphire. The Art Deco lines of the eight-sided case, set with 53 brilliant-cut diamonds, are a tribute to the emerald-cut. The emerald shape is repeated on the dial as an outline composed of 44 brilliant cut diamonds set into a background of white mother-of-pearl. The frame is accented by pink sapphires, set at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock and a larger, emerald-cut pink sapphire at the 12 o’clock position. The matching pink satin strap wraps around the wrist twice, which is something of a trend in ladies’ watches today.
Movement: Quartz HW1040.
Functions: Hours and minutes.
Case: 18k white gold, 17.8 mm x 24 mm, set with 53 brilliant-cut diamonds. Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides. Water-resistant to 3 bar (30 m/100ft).
Dial: White mother-of-pearl, 44 brilliant-cut diamonds, 3 brilliant-cut pink sapphires, 1 emerald-cut pink sapphire.
Bracelet/strap: Pink satin double tour, 18k white gold pin buckle set with 11 brilliant-cut diamonds.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the iconic Happy Sport – the watch with freely moving diamonds between two sapphire crystals over the dial. To celebrate the milestone, Chopard has fitted the watch with an in-house automatic movement. It features functions that include hours, minutes and a graceful sweep seconds hand. Furthermore, the movement is visible through the sapphire crystal on the case-back, which is a rare visual treat on a ladies’ watch. The dial is made of rare textured mother-of-pearl that has naturally occurring wave-like motifs. Overall, there are four case options, including stainless steel, 18k gold or a combination of the two metals, with or without diamonds. In addition, the mother-of-pearl dials can be white or in a soft pastel shade of either pink or blue. Five bezel-set diamonds move freely between sapphire crystals over the dial.
Movement: In-house Chopard mechanical movement with automatic winding 09.01-C, 159 components, 27 jewels, 25,200 vib/h (3.5Hz), 42-hour power reserve.
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds.
Case: Four references in 30 mm wide and 10.95 mm thick, including: diamond-set stainless steel; stainless-steel and 18k rose gold; 18k rose gold; diamond-set 18k rose gold. With glare-proof sapphire crystals over dial and exhibition case-back with screws and Happy Sport logo. Water-resistant to 30 metres (3 bar/100ft).
Dial: Light blue, light pink or white textured mother-of-pearl, with gilded or rhodium-plated Roman numerals and hour markers, gilded or rhodium-plated cone-shaped hours, minutes and sweep seconds hands.
Bracelet/strap: Lavender blue, matt pink or matt white alligator leather with polished steel or 18k gold pin buckle.
The tubogas bracelet, with its flexible links that coil around the wrist, is one of the brand’s signature looks. It was first used by Bulgari in the 1940s. Tubogas is so-called because of its similarity to a woven-metal gas pipe, which serves as an elegant expression of industrial-inspired design. The bracelet is formed by wrapping long bands of gold or steel around a steel core, interlocking to hide the core metal. It is combined for the first time this year with the case of the Lucea, Bulgari’s most modern ladies’ watch. The name Lucea comes from luce, Italian for “light,” and celebrates the essence of the sundial, with its light-reflecting mother-of-pearl and diamond dials. Lucea Tubogas watches come in a two-tone combination of gold and steel.
Movement: Quartz calibre B046 customised by Bulgari.
Functions: Hours and minutes.
Case: Two-tone steel and 18k rose gold bezel, 28 mm. Crown set with pink cabochon stone. Water-resistant to 50 metres (5 bar/165 ft).
Dial: White mother-of-pearl for two-tone steel and 18k rose gold models. All dial set with 12 brilliant-cut diamond hour markers.
Bracelet/strap: Two-tone steel and 18k rose gold tubogas bracelet.
The Carl F. Bucherer Manero Peripheral collection, so far exclusively available in a 40.6-millimetre-wide case size, is now extended by the Manero Peripheral 43 mm. Crafted from 18kt rose gold and coming in at 43.1 millimetres in diameter and 11.2mm thick, this latest version makes for a grander take on the brand’s highly successful CFB A2050 caliber.
This movement is one of the few currently produced calibers that sport a peripheral self-winding rotor. It is a rare engineering feat, designed to provide ample winding efficiency without adding to the thickness of the movement and the case. Just as important is the fact that, the case-back side of the movement can be appreciated in its entirety at all times. Unlike with conventional automatic calibers, the oscillating weight does not hide a large part of the movement from sight. Albeit a bit larger, the Manero Peripheral 43 mm features everything that made the original version a favourite for many.
Movement: CFB A2050 mechanical movement with peripheral automatic rotor, 33 jewels, 55-hours power reserve.
Functions: Hour, minute, subsidiary seconds, date.
Case: 18K rose gold, 43mm. Convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, see-through case-back. Water-resistant to 30 metres (3 bar/100 ft).
Bracelet/strap: Louisiana alligator leather strap in light brown with 18K rose gold pin buckle.
Jaquet Droz’s flagship Grande Seconde collection contains the most poetic of complications. With its moon phase, it is a tribute to the role of astral phenomena in the origins of watchmaking. The clean aesthetic of the Grande Seconde collection, with its figure-8 dial configuration, is rendered here in black Grand Feu enamel. The realistic moon dominates the lower subsidiary dial, which is engraved out of 22K gold and mounted on a black rotating onyx disk. Since this is an astronomical moon-phase, you’d only have to correct it once every 122 years. In addition, the in-house automatic calibre drives it with a silicon balance spring.
Furthermore, a red-tipped hand indicates the date on an 18K gold ring surrounding the moon phase, while the other hand indicates seconds. The moon phase can be set using the corrector at 8 o’clock. Finally, the 43 mm case is 18k red gold.
Movement: Mechanical automatic Jaquet Droz 2660QL3 Calibre, 28,800 vib/h (4 Hz), 30 jewels, 18k gold rotor, silicon balance spring and pallet horns, double barrel, flat bridges, 68-hour power reserve.
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, moon phases.
Case: 18k red gold, 43 mm, thickness 13.23 mm. Individual serial number engraved on the case-back. Water-resistant to 3 bar (30 m/100 ft).
Dial: Double-level black Grand Feu enamel with 18k red gold hands, hours, minutes, seconds, star appliqué and date ring. Date with red varnished top. Black onyx moon disk, moon appliqué in 22k red gold.
Bracelet/strap: Rolled-edge hand-made black alligator with rolled edges and 18K red gold buckle.
The Octo Finissimo, with the world’s thinnest automatic movement, is now available in a subtle, sandblasted finish over steel. The sandblasting technique tone-down the gleam of the metal with a matt-style approach. Therefore, giving the rhodium-plated steel version an elegant, silky shimmer. Additionally, the finish is applied to the bracelet links. These links are as supple as leather, and taper in size from the 40 mm case to the clasp. The Octo Finissimo Automatic, already a cult favorite, uses the world’s thinnest automatic movement, the Bulgari BVL Calibre 138 Finissimo.
Movement: Manufacture automatic calibre BVL 138 Finissimo with platinum micro-rotor, 21,600 vib/h (3 Hz). Adorned with Côtes de Genève motif, chamfered bridges and circular-grained baseplate, 60-hour power reserve.
Functions: Hours, minutes and subsidiary small seconds.
Case: Sandblasted rhodium-plated steel, 40mm, thickness 5.15 mm, transparent case back. Steel crown with ceramic inlay. Water-resistant to 30 metres (3 bar/100 ft).
Dial: Steel dial, faceted black rhodium-plated hands.
Bracelet/strap: Sandblasted steel bracelet with folding clasp.
by Anton Rodionov