Basel, Switzerland – Jennifer Sembler, Associate Editor, Exclusive Elite Traveler Report of timepiece trends at Baselworld Fair
At last week’s Baselworld Fair, noteworthy watch brands revealed their 2010 creations. As with January’s industry-only SIHH, the current economic situation prompted many companies to add line extensions rather than entirely new models. However, some of the notable trends seen collection after collection included the introduction of anniversary pieces, a concentration on high jewelry or heavily-diamonded watches and the addition of chocolate-hued timepieces.
Brands celebrated numerous milestones this year with the unveiling of anniversary timepieces. In celebration of their 150th anniversary, the house of Chopard revealed four entirely new calibres in four new models in the L.U.C collection. Most memorable was the L.U.C 150 “All in One,” which is the most complicated watch the brand has ever created. The multi-complication mechanical hand-wound movement features small seconds on the tourbillon, a perpetual calendar with 24-hour indication, day of the week, date, month, leap year, power reserve, 24-hour indication, equation of time, sunrise and sunset times and moon phases.
For its 10th anniversary in the watchmaking business, de Grisogono revisited its iconic Instrumento No Uno model, the first to be designed by Fawaz Gruosi, and reinvented it with brightly colored accents, stones and straps.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Admiral’s Cup and the 30th anniversary of the Golden Bridge, two prominent models for Corum. Therefore, the brand chose to focus on new versions of both, introducing models such as the Admiral’s Cup Deep Hull 48, the first dive watch in the line, and the Miss Golden Bridge, a ladies’ version available with or without diamonds.
Bring on the Bling:
Even with the current economic climate, many brands revealed high jewelry and heavily-stoned timepieces this year. The house of Boucheron, in partnership with Girard-Perregaux, created the stunning Ladyhawke Tourbillon, which features GP’s famed tourbillon movement with three gold bridges. Adorned with over 25 carats of diamonds, only one piece has been made thus far, but others will be made to order.
A brand renowned for their high-quality diamonds, Graff used their expertise to their advantage with the introduction of the MasterGraff Tourbillon in platinum, a timepiece that contains around 300 diamonds (for a total weight of roughly 35 carats), and is limited to just five pieces.
In what seems a departure for the brand, the ever-innovative Concord came out with a heavily-diamonded timepiece, the Eternal Gravity, which juxtaposes the watch’s sporty nature. Set with over 25 carats of invisibly-set stones, the timepiece is a one of a kind that retails for over $1.2 million.
Also new this year, Breguet’s high jewelry watch, the Crazy Flower, features a case set with asymmetrical rows of baguette-cut diamonds (over 35 carats worth) on minimalist, springy settings that allow the diamonds to sway back and forth in response to movement.
Brown is the New Black:
Chocolate dials, accents and straps were seen all over this year at the fair. For its 25th anniversary of the Beluga watch, Ebel created a chocolate collection of the model featuring milk, dark and white chocolate versions (light brown, dark brown and white).
Meanwhile, Chanel introduced a stunning new addition to its J12 line that featured cognac sapphires and diamond baguettes in a limited edition of 12.
For the first time, Patek Philippe presented the Nautilus chronograph on a brown leather strap with an 18K rose gold case (Ref. 5980R), and a dial that features a dark brown to brown gradation from the outside in and a horizontal embossed pattern, both typical of the Nautilus.
Carl F. Bucherer also came out with a brown on brown design for their new EvoTec Power Reserve model, which features an innovative peripheral rotor on a shock absorption system.