By Drew Taylor
Some of the world’s premier fashion houses debuted their newest watch releases at this year’s Baselworld show, offering chic timepieces that are the perfect counterpart to their highly coveted ready-to-wear collections.
Fendi’s whimsical Crazy Carats watch launched at last year’s fair to much acclaim, and now just in time for summer, the Italian house is unveiling its newest iteration. The limited edition Crazy Carats Pavé (available by special order only) features the same patented rolling gemstone mechanism as its predecessor—allowing the wearer to “flip” the gems on the watch face, changing their colors, with a simple turn of the crown. This year the look is extra dazzling: The face, dial, case and bezel of each watch is fully set with diamonds. New color schemes, in of-the-moment hues like ruby red and aqua green (with coordinating precious gems), make it hard to choose just one.
Hot on the heels of the launch of their first automatic movement men’s timepiece, The Britain, last fall, Burberry also showcased new limited edition watches for both men and women. In 18K “trench” gold (the warm taupe hue nods to the Brit label’s most iconic design), a men’s 47mm automatic chronograph and women’s 34mm automatic version (complete with shimmering pave diamond-set case) are limited to just 50 numbered pieces each, available in September.
Alongside new designs in its burgeoning fine jewelry collections, Gucci showed off a selection of key watch releases at Basel. The classic Bamboo range for women saw the addition of an eco-friendly quartz watch made from painted bamboo (a sustainable wood) in summer-ready white and graphic black. For men, the new Sync watches were the perfect fusion of fashion and technology: Available in two sizes and four colors, these sleek timepieces (available online only) will connect wearers to exclusive content on the house’s new Myspace platform, including specially curated music mixes.
Salvatore Ferragamo hit upon a key trend for women, the bracelet watch, with a new timepiece dubbed the Gancino. With scaled-down proportions (the case is just 22.5mm in size) and an ultra-feminine round face, it transitions easily from day to night and pairs well with other jewelry. Available in steel or rose gold, it’s slated to hit Ferragamo boutiques next month.
Creative director Donatella Versace has a hand in all things Versace, including its growing line of timepieces for men and women. In keeping with the house’s seductive, all-Italian aesthetic, bold colors and youthful silhouettes were a key trend, as in the new Venus collection, which features a colored glass ring around the dial. Versace also continues to expand upon its fine jewelry offerings, which debuted at last year’s show—look out for an array of bold cocktail rings with candy-colored gems at flagship boutiques in the coming months.