Here it is – The Baselworld 2014. This year’s fair is a personal milestone for me. I’ve been visiting the fair annually and this year marks my tenth. That’s like ancient in blogger years which should be reason enough for me to reflect and that’s something I will get to eventually but right now as I type this, I’m moments away from the ribbon cutting for this year’s edition. This year also marks the 42nd edition of the fair which is certainly something. A lot has changed for the fair in the past decade. The biggest milestone being of course, it’s ambitious redesign where it shed its traditional conservative skin.
The redesign was led by Herzog and de Meuron, the Swiss architects behind the London’s Tate Modern and Beiging’s Bird Nest stadium – Both credentials delivering a hint of the ambitions. The final building was just as iconic as it was futuristic – it was wrapped in a metal sheet with patterned cuts featured throughout.
Things have changed in the industry as well. The Japanese (Seiko/Citizen) moved up on their hierarchy of needs and positioned themselves upmarket. The Swiss crown remains challenged as always. The Swatch group squeezed their fists by attempting to close access to its movements. The ripples of its effects were felt everywhere.The smartphone industry exploded and the disposable income pie of the average consumer was further divided. The recession made the industry stumble a little. Companies disappeared overnight and other brands visited the fair peddling their licenses to watch brands.
Personally, I don’t know how long I will continue to write about the fair but hopefully, here’s to another ten years.
Alright, the title should be singular – The solitary thing to look forward to (at least for me) at Baselworld this year. Revealed back in September, The Experiment ZR012 Nitro wristwatch is a collaboration between two of the most creative brands in horology – Urwerk and MB&F. They have come together to build a watch based on a movement created by a German engineer in 1957.
The movement was notable for its eccentric rotary design and its also notable for its price tag – $182,000 USD. The timepiece will be limited to just 12 pieces worldwide.
Former car designer, Dzmitry Samal, has been churning out eccentric glasses for quite some time now. Now, he’s added a limited edition swiss made watch made out of concrete. The pieces are limited to a 100 units and the price is 1240 Euros.
I personally love this. For this one, Hermes dipped into their past – back in 1912, when Jacqueline Hermès, fourth generation of the family was a child, she received from her father, Emile, a pocket watch with a clever system that holds it in place on a leather strap. It was made especially for her because she could not wear a watch at that young age nor carry one. Cut to Baselworld 2013, the brand is issuing a tribute to it with a release of 24 pieces of the pocket watch complete with the leather holder.
All new for Baselworld 2013 from Hautlence – Destination is a self-winding watch that offers a more sub-dued version of the kind of watches the brand usually makes. The watch features a 12-hour dragging dual time-zone display, revealed by a 24-hour day/night indicator.
Burberry goes back to the drawing board with their new introduction and introduces a new classic slash modern hybrid called the Britain. The range features four special edition self winding automatic styles and also chronograph, three hand styles in quartz. Plus additional sizes aimed at ladies.
Buglari introduced it’s first grand complication watch for women during Baselworld 2013 – The Il Giardino Tropicale di Bulgari timepiece combines two of Bulgari’s mastered art forms: jewellery and miniature painting with a self-winding tourbillon movement that boasts a power reserve of 64 hours.
2322-3631-55B- Le Brassus, Tourbillon Carrousel, calendar, power reserve up to 168 hours. Self winding movement.
For Baselworld 2013, Blancpain launched another world first complication, a women mechanical chronograph and a diver’s his and her collection.
The most notable from the introductions is the complication, where Blancpain combined the tourbillon and the carrousel. These are two devices added to a mechanical movement to reduce the effects of gravity on it’s accuracy. For the first time, both of these time regulators are combined in a single watch by Blancpain, though it isn’t clear whether having two different regulators actually is an improvement or it’s meant to be another feather in Blancpain’s hat for have acheived another complication milestone.
3626-2954-58B – Women Chronograph, power reserve up to 40 hours. Self winding movement.
Bathyscaphe Duo – Since its creation in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms by Blancpain has been the archetypal
modern diver’s watch. 60 years on, two new models join a fabulous lineage that has
earned iconic status.
The Breguet Reine De Naples is a beautiful diamond studded ladies mechanical wristwatch that features two dials. The day and night are marked on the upper dial with the Breguet balance-wheel representing the sun, and the moon engraved on a titanium disc, rotating together in 24 hours. Hours and minutes are on the lower dial. It also has 143 diamonds and a power reserve of 57 hours.
For Baselworld, TAG Heuer has updated their motor inspired Carrera range with four new models. For those not in the know, Carrera remains the standard-bearer of TAG Heuer’s motorsports pedigree that began with the first car dashboard chronograph all the way back in 1911.