Ahead of this year’s Baselworld exhibition of some of the world’s biggest watch and jewellery brands, Ruth Faulkner brings you Retail Jeweller’s guide to what to expect from the show
Echoing the trends depicted in Gucci’s spring/summer 2016 runway collections, Gucci Timepieces has released new varieties of its ladies’ G-Frame timepiece for Basel. These new watches are fitted with a double-loop strap, and come in a variety of designs, from sporty, to classic to urban.
Recognisable by its bevelled square case and minimalist dial, the suite of new G-Frame variants shows how by simply switching materials, the look of the watch can change. Inspired by the Gucci green-red-green web stripe, a sporty model displays the two-tone canvas on the wraparound strap and matching dial, set within a yellow gold PVD case, while the new G-Frame with a brown calfskin looped strap, polished gold PVD case and mother-of-pearl dial creates a more classic look. A black variant offers a more urban aesthetic, seen in the black dial and black leather wraparound strap embellished with metal studs.
On these two leather versions of the watch, Gucci’s new motif, the honeybee, is present next to the clasp, in matching yellow or stainless steel. Each timepiece shows the Gucci logo at 12 o’clock, the “Swiss made” stamp at 6 o’clock and “G” insignia on the crown, with the honeybee symbol engraved on the caseback.
Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil is presenting a new maestro timepiece ahead of Basel as a tribute to the brand’s watchmaking roots and its primary source of inspiration, music. This new model, an addition to the Automatic Maestro collection, features delicate dial decoration and modern hands and indexes, and is said by the brand to be an “evolution” of the timepiece.
The mechanical movement with automatic winding has a 38-hour power reserve with a large date window at 3 o’clock for optimal readability. The 39.5mm polished stainless steel case balances the black dial and strap. This maestro also features a very unique folding clasp system.
In music, which is the brand’s primary source of inspiration, the word maestro refers to the esteem commanded by a grand personality, composer or conductor. Entirely mechanical and including some complications in the great Swiss watchmaking tradition, the maestro collection was first launched in 2010.
The Renaissance 7 Time Zones is a new mechanical Aerowatch model that, in addition to local time, also displays the time in six of the world’s major cities. This timepiece is the brainchild of Fred-Eric Bolzli, horological engineer and co-proprietor of the family-owned Aerowatch company.
The movement of the 7 Time Zones model, the Swiss company’s latest, is integrated in a renaissance-style case. Based on a manually wound Unitas caliber, the watch displays local time plus the hour in six further time zones. Its satin-finished stainless steel case has a diameter of 44mm and, to match the case, the silver dial has been endowed with a sunburst finish that reflects incident light. A pusher at 10 o’clock makes it possible to conveniently set the hands to local time at the owner’s current location. The displays of the subsidiary dials remain unaffected. This adjustment is needed only when the owner travels across time zones.
In addition to the Renaissance 7 Times Zones, Aerowwatch is also set to unveil its new 1942 Butterfly, a limited edition ladies’ watch of just 888 pieces. To match the round steel case, Aerowatch has added an onion crown fitted with a mauve stone and a mother-of-pearl dial. On the dial, all butterflies except one gradually change colour in the course of time.
The watch also features a diamond set at 12 o’clock as well as the grained and rhodiumed butterfly at 8 o’clock. The model has a Swiss quartz movement with a date display and is worn on a pink Vacoas leather strap with a signature clasp.
Blancpain has chosen Basel to mark the 60th anniversary of its iconic Ladybird timepiece by releasing a 60-piece limited edition version of the watch.
At the time of its launch in 1956, the Ladybird was equipped with the smallest round movement on the market. This was a period when dainty sizes were all the rage, and the Blancpain master-watchmakers had demonstrated ingenuity in successfully miniaturising the components of a mechanical watch. To mark the watch’s 60th birthday, the brand has already come up with several versions of the Ladybird, starting with the romantic Saint Valentine’s Day model, which was released in February.
At Basel, a further new version will debut, featuring a dial with luminous contrasts and displaying an elaborate foliage motif. The strap of the Ladybird is exclusively crafted from the small scales of Louisiana crocodile leather. The bezel is set with 32 diamonds and the dial features a further eight diamonds, with drop-shaped hands framed by a 21.5mm-diameter white gold case, which houses a self-winding movement with a silicon balance spring.
German family watchmaking company Mühle-Glashütte, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, presents its new 29er Zeigerdatum (hand date), exclusively for Baselworld 2016.
The collection of 29er models, which was named after a class of sailing dinghies, nods to the family’s maritime heritage with the rich navy blue colour of the robust Nato strap. The clear design of the watch face also provides a contrast to the dark strap. The ice-grey colour of the face highlights the silver indices, each of which features a luminous coating that is designed to help the wearer to master the waves on even the darkest of nights. The face is framed by the Zeigerdatum’s light blue weekday display on the flange.
This type of date display features a date hand that makes one revolution around its axis every 31 days and provides an analogue display of the current day, which is framed by a dark blue crescent on the tip of the hand.
In contrast with the watch’s waves of blue colour, its red second hand clearly stands out against the face and emphasises the timepiece’s sporty design. Mühle-Glashütte’s patented woodpecker neck regulation in the Mühle version of the SW 221-1 automatic movement helps to ensure precise navigation in even the stormiest of weather.
Seiko will introduce the new Prospex Radio Sync Solar World Time Chronograph at this year’s Baselworld, designed to offer a precision of one second every 100,000 years and the reliability of a solar-powered caliber that never needs a battery change.
The three new models in this collection feature a new, more powerful radio wave caliber, which can receive time signals across a much wider geographic area than ever before, delivering enhanced coverage in Europe and China, as well as throughout the US and Japan.
When conditions allow, the time is synchronized automatically, up to three times a day, to the atomic clock signals broadcast in Japan, US, China and Germany. This adjustment can also be made manually at any time.
In addition to radio wave precision, these new creations offer the professional specifications with which Prospex is synonymous, optimized for pilots who fly, professionally or for pleasure, all over the world. Caliber 8B92 features world time and chronograph functions. It displays 25 time zones, and a rotary slide rule on the bezel allows easy calculations and conversion of distance, fuel load, weight and speed.
The exterior design is also made with the needs of the pilot in mind. The bezel edging is designed to be easy to grip. The top surfaces of the buttons on the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock sides of the case are different, thus minimising the risk of pressing the wrong button. Those on the 3 o’clock side control the stopwatch, while those on the 9 o’clock side are for the radio sync and world time functions.
The hands and indices are coated with Lumibrite and the Hardlex crystal has an anti-reflective coating, all to ensure high legibility. All three versions of this new timepiece will be available in stores from August.
Oris will unveil its first bronze watch at this year’s Baselworld, which has been created in memory of Carl Brashear, the US Navy’s first African-American master diver.
The Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition is based on Oris’s hugely successful Divers Sixty-Five and celebrates a man who conquered not only challenges of race, but also of disability. Brashear joined the Navy in 1948 as a 17-year-old and, despite facing discrimination on account of his race, he graduated from the Navy’s diving programme in 1954. In 1966, he lost the lower part of his left leg in an accident during a mission to salvage a hydrogen bomb. After an exhausting period of rehabilitation, he became the US Navy’s first amputee diver in 1968, and then qualified as a Master Diver in 1970, the first African-American to do so.
The watch marking Brashear’s life and character is the first Oris watch to be made in bronze, a naturally ageing material used in deep-sea diving helmets of the 1950s. It takes its aesthetic from the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, but is 42mm in diameter.
Bronze is initially bright and shiny, and then darkens as its copper content reacts with carbon dioxide and moisture. This means each of the limited run of 2,000 pieces will develop a unique patina over time – and a unique relationship with their owner. The unidirectional rotating bezel is also made of bronze, with a raised minute scale for tracking dive times, a look that recalls a number of diver’s watches in the Oris archive.
The stainless steel caseback shows Brashear’s helmet. Under the watch’s dark blue dial is an automatic mechanical movement and the watch is water-resistant to 100m.
Glashütte Original introduces the latest version of its successful Senator Chronometer in a dark blue model.
The term chronometer characterises the most precise timekeepers of their generation. In the past, these extremely accurate and reliable instruments found use, for example, in shipboard navigation. Today, the strict requirement for the highest quality and performance remains: official measurement laboratories use standardised procedures to test the timepieces for extreme rate precision. A watch may only exhibit the title of “chronometer” when it has earned a seal of approval from one of the authorised testing institutes.
The watch features long, slim poire hands in polished white gold, while the dial is inspired by the famous marine chronometers of the past. This latest version is housed in a newly designed white gold case, with the Senator line’s characteristic slim bezel. This makes it easier to read the different displays: the small seconds at 6 o’clock, for example, or the power reserve display at 12 o’clock.
The Senator Chronometer also presents the characteristic, colour-matched Glashütte Original Panorama Date at 3 o’clock, along with a separate day-night display. A midnight blue Louisiana alligator leather strap with a white gold fold-over clasp completes the look of the timepiece, while the functions are driven by the sophisticated manual winding Calibre 58-01.
Swarovski will be using Baselworld to unveil its first automatic watch for women, the Crystalline Hours collection. Created in collaboration with watch designer Eric Giroud, the watch features a round face, and a curvy domed case containing approximately 4,000 tiny faceted crystals that sparkle when the wearer moves their wrist.
The watch is available with either a white leather strap with an embossed crocodile structure and a stainless steel case filled with 4,000 clear crystals, or a black leather strap with an embossed crocodile structure and a stainless steel case with rose-gold tone coating filled with 4,000 black crystals.
The watch face is 38mm in diameter, is Swiss-made and is water-resistant to 50m. Swarovski creative director Nathalie Colin explains: “When we started the design phase, we wondered how to feature as many crystals as possible within such a limited space, without compromising on the understated elegance of the watch.
“We came up with this idea to reverse proportions and elaborate a transparent case, which would allow a front and back view of both the movement and the crystals.”
Bremont will be releasing three new timepieces at this year’s Basel, the first of which is the ALT1-C/PB Chronograph.
The ALT1-C/PW chronograph was Bremont’s first non-limited-edition polished steel watch, forming part of the core collection. In a very short period of time, this chronometer has become an important and successful part of the Bremont watch range so, as a natural extension of the line, Basel 2016 sees the launch of the ALT1-C/PB. This chronometer has a black dial with polished applied numerals. The dial is offset with two dark grey subtly etched sub-dials. The ALT1-C/PB has newly designed polished nickel hands, with integrated Super-LumiNova technology for legibility at night.
As with all core collection timepieces, this polished steel case will undergo a similar hardening treatment, providing high-impact resistance, but still retaining its polished surface finish. The signature coating gives the watch case toughness, good wear and high impact fatigue resistance, a technique used widely in the aerospace industry.
The brand will also add to its Z series with the introduction of the ALT1-ZT/51. The ALT1-Z formed part of the launch collection in 2007, and has become central to the Bremont offering over the years. Basel 2015 saw the launch of an updated version, the highly anticipated ALT1-ZT. This year, the ALT1-ZT/51 adds a new dimension to the range, while integrating a very important design cue from Bremont’s past. Bremont co-founder Nick English explains: “For me, the ALT1-ZT is arguably the most handsome and practical GMT chronograph we have manufactured to date.
“It is beautifully simple, easy to read and a watch you would happily see strapped to your wrist in 20 years’ time. One of our most iconic limited editions to date is the sought-after Bremont P-51. The heritage look and feel of this timepiece inspired many collectors internationally, and it seemed fitting to pay tribute to it through the new ALT1-ZT/51.”
New from fashion brand Versace for this year’s show comes its new watch style, the V-Race. A chronograph design, this timepiece fuses contemporary design with watchmaking. The watch has an ion-plated yellow gold case with an interchangeable top ring and the crown is embossed with Versace’s iconic Medusa logo. It comes with either an ion-plated yellow gold bracelet, or straps to match the urban jungle prints that defined Versace’s spring/summer 16 catwalk shows.
The watch comes in special packaging with an additional fabric-edged black leather strap, while the Swiss-made quartz movement displays the chronograph hours and minutes in the same counter at 6 o’clock on the dial, with the big date indicator at 12 o’clock. The watch is available in ion-plated yellow gold, as well as all-black, all-blue, all-bronze and bi-colour.
Versus by Versace
Versus by Versace
Versus Brick Lane is the new watch by Versus Versace, named after the iconic London street, known for its individuality and quirky sense of style. This model showcases the brand’s lion head logo in 3D.
Made from polished steel, the luminosity of this watch is enhanced by the Clous de Paris motif top ring and bracelet links. It is also available in IP gold or rose gold. The dial is available in silver, white and black, blue, and purple. The Versus Brick Lane will be available from May.
In the new Ferragamo Time collection, both gents’ and ladies’ lines express the same offer: a take on the marriage between modern design and Swiss-made excellence.
The design of the pieces is brimming with details, from the arched case middle and rounded top ring, which has a polished finish for gents and is entirely diamond-covered in the ladies’ line, to the octagonal crown decorated with black onyx. The dial sets a sunray finish outer band off against a special guilloche pattern in the centre, accentuating the perception of depth.
With its more robust technical specifications, the gents’ model is driven by an automatic movement that can be seen through a glass caseback, while in the line for women it [the movement] is quartz. Straps are available in blue, brown or black crocodile print leather for men, while the line for women favours soft calfskin in smoky grey, nude or violet. Ferragamo Time is also available with a single or bicoloursteel bracelet and in five models for Gents and five for Ladies.
Bovet will introduce several novelties at Baselworld 2016, including the Amadeo Fleurier Lady Bovet, the Amadeo Fleurier Virtuoso VII, the Ottantasei Pininfarina Collection and Récital 18 – the Shooting Star.
In 2010, Bovet unveiled its Amadeo convertible case concept. This system enables a timepiece to be transformed from a wristwatch to a pocket watch, a pendant watch or even a desk clock without the use of a single tool. Six years later, the Amadeo system has captivated collectors around the world.
Another crucial stage in Bovet’s development came in 2014 with the launch of the Calibre à Spécialités Horlogères, the Virtuoso II. This was the first movement not regulated by a tourbillon to be entirely developed and produced by the brand’s own technicians and watchmakers.
This year, the Bovet launches Lady Bovet and its 39mm diameter case. Now, women can also enjoy the Virtuoso II caliber’s seven days of autonomy and the reversibility of the case, which gives the timepiece multiple guises.
An off-centered dial at 12 o’clock houses the hours and minutes hands, and enables the movement’s atypical structure to be appreciated. The seconds carriage at 6 o’clock completes the vertical axis with a triple hand, with each arm successively tracing the 120° scale on the dial. The centre wheel and its bridge, both visible at 4 o’clock, mirror the sprung balance and balance cock, while the power-reserve indicator is located at 10 o’clock.
Guess Watches will debut its new Romantic Rebel collection at the forthcoming show. The fashion watch features gold and black sequins, and the centre of the timepiece includes dimensional florals and brocade plush patterns designed to add a touch of glamour. This black and gold brocade patterned dial is enclosed by a gold crystallised case, while another fashion twist has been added in the form of black denim and sparkle leather straps. The mix of the dark tones with polished gold, black cases and a sparkling dial creates a bold fusion resulting in a striking, yet luxury, look.
Georg Jensen will unveil a new version of its Koppel watch at this year’s show. The Koppel was the first men’s watch launched by the brand in 1977 and was named after the artist who designed it, Henning Koppel, one of the house’s prolific collaborators. Designed to fuse understated urban Danish design with the best in Swiss watchmaking, the Koppel watch continues to be a favourite for Georg Jensen and is already available in a variety of incarnations. This year, the brand will launch the Large Date Small Seconds model, as an addition to the Koppel collection. Georg Jensen has been designing watches in Denmark since the mid-century.
This year marks a new chapter for Mondaine as it continues to blend the cultural fabric, innovation and timekeeping proficiency of its native Switzerland with clear, intelligent and functional design aesthetics. To that end, at Baselworld 2016, the brand will unveil a special Gotthard time collection to honour the opening of the new Gotthard Base Tunnel on June 1 – a collaboration that echoes all the finest qualities of Swiss technical and aesthetic excellence. At 57km, this world-leading example of Swiss engineering is officially the longest rail tunnel in the world.
The second facet of the collection, the Mondaine SBB Nord Sud (North South), highlights the union of these two compass opposites, thanks to the innovation of the new Gotthard Base Tunnel. The watch features the word Grieäzi, the local Swiss-German word for ‘hello’ embossed above the 12 o’clock mark and the words Buondi, the local Italian dialect way of saying ‘good day’ embossed on the black leather strap below the 6 o’clock – an indication of the tunnel’s journey to the Italian-speaking Canton Ticino in the south. This extraordinary attention to detail is compounded by the inclusion of the Canton’s two flags on the underside of the strap, and the official logo of Gottardo 2016 on the caseback, all displayed in a specially-designed gift box.
Gucci Jewellery will use Basel to debut its own take on the charm-style-bracelet with the introduction of the coin-inspired charm bracelet to its silver collection. Sterling silver coins feature in a bracelet and necklace ensemble, both strung onto a silver chain. Each coin is stamped on both sides and displays different motifs, including a four-leaf clover, a bee, a bird and a decorative interpretation of Gucci’s famous interlocking double G motif. These elements are inspired by Gucci’s spring/summer 16 catwalk shows and make for a contemporary, yet wearable, addition to the brand’s silver jewellery collections.
Guess Jewellery is to introduce collections based on three key trends for 2016. The Neo Heritage collections embody the true identity of the brand, yet surprise with a strong connection between the everyday and the luxurious that adds a chic touch to iconic pieces, while Adventuress celebrates and showcases the brand’s unmistakable taste for cutting-edge style, with designs that display a playful sense of adventure. Finally, Essential features jewellery with a linear design wearable for any occasion. All Guess jewellery features high-quality crystals and, in the premium collections, the enamel is applied by hand to each piece individually. Among the innovations introduced, there is the nano-coating, a new coating technique consisting of a protective layer applied to the jewellery during the plating process. As a result, the plating lasts longer and is more resistant to abrasion.
This will be the sixth Baselworld show for bridal jewellery manufacturer Gemex. This year, for the first time, Gemex has moved up one floor to Hall 2.1, Stand L70, where the company will showcase its bridal and eternity ring collections, available with certified centre stones. New for Baselworld this year will be a collection of micro-shoulder-set styles with and without halos, as well as a complementary range of matching wedding bands. Last year, Gemex revealed a new app to assist its stockists with re-orders and bespoke orders. This has been a huge hit and the company will continue to promote it at this year’s show.
Uno de 50
Uno de 50
Celebrating its 20th anniversary at Basel this year, Spanish brand Uno de 50 will reveal its spring/summer 16 collections at the show. The collections feature silver-plated rigid necklaces decorated with stones, choker-style necklaces, eye-catching ear cuffs and midi-rings, all drawing on new jewellery trends. The brand is already present in over 40 countries, and 2016 marks its third appearance at Basel. It will also be celebrating its 20th anniversary on the stand throughout the show.
Fine Italian jewellery brand Marco Bicego will debut its new Masai collection at Baselworld this year. Inspired by the arts and traditions of African culture, Masai is a modern and sophisticated collection of necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings, all designed with Marco’s signature style. The collection is defined by intertwining coils of 18ct rose, white and yellow gold. The mixed metals give the collection a contemporary twist, with designs beautifully enhanced by cushions of pavé diamonds set against the fluid lines of gold.
All Marco Bicego jewellery is crafted in Trissino, in the Venetian region of northern Italy, and is made in 18ct gold and enriched by bespoke multicolor gemstones, carefully selected and exclusively cut to enhance their inner light. Diamonds are purchased from legitimate sources and are rigorously conflict-free, according to the United Nations’ resolutions. All jewels are hand-crafted with the traditional ‘bulino’ engraving technique and the distinctive coil twisting. Each creation is a one-of-a-kind piece.
Domino’s focus at Baselworld this year will be its UK-made ranges – especially its Diamond Ring Mounts (DRM) collection. This collection is created and crafted entirely at the company’s Birmingham headquarters and is the very epitome of classic British style. The DRM collection comprises more than 100 ring designs, available in a choice of platinum and white, yellow and pink 18ct gold. Rings can be supplied semi-finished for customers to set with their own stones or fully finished using a choice of GVS or HSi diamonds, or can be set by the company’s expert setters using the customer’s own stones. The collection offers tremendous choice and covers everything from solitaire engagement rings through to more extravagant lifestyle designs. Diamond content ranges from delicate 10pt stones through to statement 7ct pieces. Particular trends include textured and highly detailed shanks, multi-stone designs and more contemporary-looking pieces.
Domino will also show a collection of cluster and eternity rings, some of which tap into the fashion for rub-over settings to provide designs that will appeal to a younger, more fashion-forward audience. Another important range will be the company’s recently expanded collection of wedding bands.
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