The Best Watches At Baselworld 2018
From the Tissot T-Race MotoGP Limited Edition to the Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater, there was no shortage of cool timepieces in Basel
It’s time for the festivities to begin in Basel as enthusiasts gather this month, from March 22 to 27, for the annual watch and jewellery fair. Ahead of the event, here are the timepieces that we are keeping an eye on.
Breguet Classique Tourbillon ExtraPlat Automatique 5367
This new addition to Breguet’s Grandes Complications collection stands out for its pared down look, and the brilliant whiteness of the ‘Grand Feu’ enamel dial. The power-reserve indicator has been done away with from the dial, allowing for the focus to be primarily on the graphic hand-bevelled tourbillon bar and the blue Breguet hands, which strike a powerful contrast against the white background. The extra-thin mechanical selfwinding movement is a slim 3 mm in thickness, enabling the 42 mm, 18K rose gold case to be just 7.45 mm thick. The watch provides a power reserve of 80 hours. The case is also available in platinum.
Bulgari Octo L’Originale
The Octo collection, which was launched at the turn of the millennium to embody the spirit of the changing times, has, over the years, evolved to be Bulgari’s flagship line of men’s watches. The Octo L’Originale range is now available with two new models in titanium. The 41mm three-hand version gets a titanium crown, transparent caseback and a titanium dial with applied hour-markers. It’s powered by the mechanical self-winding movement BVL 191 Solotempo. Power reserve of 42 hours.
Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater
Part of the brand’s line of automaton watches, this one honours the Enlightenment-era passion of creating such clocks. At the heart of the mother-of-pearl dial is a tropical landscape. In the center, a hand-carved hummingbird moves towards a shrub of bright orange birds of paradise, its wings beating 40 times a second. Beside the peacock with intense blue feathers, a toucan emerges from the palm leaves at 3 o’clock to open its beak. There is a dancing flight of three elegant dragonflies, located at 9 o’clock, with glow-in-the-dark wings. A push-piece activates the minute repeater for the off-center onyx dial. The hand-wound RMA89 movement comes with a 47mm, 18K red gold case. Limited to 8 pieces. Power reserve of 60 hours.
Carl F. Bucherer Manero Peripheral 43mm
After hitting the right chord with patrons in the 40.6mm avatar, the Manero Peripheral has now received a 43mm update, with the case in rose gold and a light brown alligatorleather strap. The white dial on the certified chronometer features two rose gold hands, a small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock and a date window at 3 o’clock. The CFB A2050 automatic movement with its signature peripheral rotor has a power reserve of 55 hours.
Zenith Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Flyback
Zenith harks back to its military watchmaking history, particularly the iconic Cairelli model from the 1960s, with this column wheel chronograph with a flyback function (CP refers to cronometro di pulsa, or chronometer on the wrist). With a 43mm bronze case, the timepiece is designed to ensure high precision and perfect readability for adventure seekers in tough conditions. The bronze grained dial features arrow-shaped hands, and running seconds and minute counters at 9 and 3 o’ clock respectively. The automatic movement has a 50-hour power reserve.
Chopard L.U.C Quattro
This new edition of the emblematic watch of the Chopard L.U.C collection is driven by the mechanical handwound movement L.U.C 98.01-L, with a nine-day power reserve. The 43mm, rose gold case is only 8.84mm thick. The vertical silver-toned dial features small seconds and date at 6 o’clock and the power-reserve indicator at 12 o’clock. Limited to 50 pieces.
De Grisogono Allegra 25
The Allegra, named after founder Fawaz Gruosi’s firstborn daughter, has become a symbol of excellence for the brand. The 25 in the name stands for the brand’s silver jubilee this year. The 41.7mm case in glowing pink combines the brilliance of gold and the alternately snow-set and bezel-set gems. 29 polished or diamond-set rings entwine the offset mother of pearl (or diamond-paved) dial at 3 and 6 o’ clock. The quartzpowered timepiece comes in a total of five precious and distinctive interpretations.
Breitling Navitimer 8 B01
A throwback to the days when air pilots wore a Breitling, the 8 in the name of this watch refers to Huit Aviation Department founder Willy Breitling’s cockpit instruments and pilot watches division (Huit also means eight in French). A part of the new five-member Navitimer family, the B01 has a ratchet-wheel chronograph, and a display that features 30-minute and 12-hour counters and a date window. The in-house Caliber 01 ensures a power reserve of 70 hours. It comes in a 43mm stainless steel case with a black or blue dial, or in 18k red gold with a bronze dial. Each comes with distinctive design elements of contrasting sub-dials.
Bell & Ross Vintage BR-V2 Steel Heritage
This watchmaker’s true legacy lies in the air battles of World War II, where its timepieces helped combat crews with navigation and pilots with operational support. Its military-inspired pieces still comply with strict specifications established by the armed forces. It is available in two versions — a three-hand V2-92 and a V2- 94 chronograph. The 41mm Vintage BR-V2 Steel Heritage models are powered by automatic mechanical movements. The latter features a steel bezel with an anodized black aluminum ring and 60-minute scale, alongside screw-down crown and push buttons. There’s also a seconds sub-dial at 3’o clock and a 30-minute timer at 9’o clock.
Tag Heuer Carrera Heuer 02
This new version of the legendary racing watch from 1963 comes with a new Heuer 02 Calibre movement, a tachymeter bezel and a skeleton dial with 3-6-9 counters. The 43mm modular case comes in 13 variants in steel, carbon, ceramic or gold with a metal, rubber, leather or ceramic bracelet. There is also a 45mm version with GMT function. 75-hour power reserve.
Hublot Big Bang Meca-10 Blue Ceramic
Forged in blue ceramic, the new Big Bang’s 45mm case reveals a bluish skeleton mechanism and comes with a rubber strap in the same royal colour. The manually-wound skeleton caliber has a 10-day power reserve. Accentuating this mechanical architecture, an opening at 3 o’clock unveils a red dot when the movement is nearing the final days of its power reserve, while a gearwheel at 6 o’clock indicates the exact number of days remaining. The regulating organ, coupled with the small second regulator, appears at 7 o’clock.
Rado True Thinline Quartz
The four ceramic colours of the True Thinline collection are now joined by a green version of the 39mm sandblasted titanium case, with ‘organic detailing.’ The yellow/gold-coloured crown compliments the hues of the pointers and the hands on the green mother of pearl dial. The compact ETA 282.002 quartz movement ensures a minimalist shape and 5mm profile.
Graham Chronofighter Superlight Carbon
This vibrantly coloured range of chronographs take their inspiration from colourful Formula One tyres. They come in a wide array of strap hues – orange, green, purple, red, yellow, white and blue – all featuring a 47mm case, made of superlight black carbon composite that weigh less than 100g. They come with the Graham signature black carbon fast-action start/stop trigger and black rubber reset pusher. The automatic movement comes with a shock absorber and yields a power reserve of 48 hours.
Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture
With a new green colour pattern, this redesigned Classic Worldtimer features 24 cities on its outer rim and a world map on the dial. The FC-718 automatic caliber is designed such that all watch functions, including the date and worldtimer, are adjustable via the crown without any additional push-buttons. Two separate discs on the watch feature a 24h day-night indicator and a 24-city configuration. 42-hour power reserve.
Longines Conquest V.H.P.
34 years after a quartz calibre was first fitted in a Conquest V.H.P that set a precision record for that time, this new version comes with a chronograph calibre in various chromatic variations. It stands out for the high degree of precision for an analog watch (±5 s/yr) and its ability to reset hands after an impact or exposure to a magnetic field, using the Gear Position Detection system. It comes in steel or black PVD models (two sizes: 42 mm and 44 mm). The 30-minute counter is at 3 o’clock, the 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock and 60-second counter in the centre. The intelligent crown drives an indicator that indicates low battery. Comes with blue, carbon fibre, silvered or black dials.
Alpina Startimer Pilot Chronograph Quartz
Faithful to its rich aviation history, Alpina partnered champion air racer Mike Goulian and his Team Goulian at the Red Bull Air Race World Championships last year. Continuing its aviation connection, this new collection features five new quartzdriven chronographs in three colour options, including the all-black version. The 42mm case has the Alpina logo embossed on the back and houses three dials, at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, to display the small seconds, the 30-minute counter and days of the week respectively.
Oris Carl Brashear Chronograph Limited Edition
Based on the Oris Divers Sixty-Five, this two counter chronograph is the second limited edition Oris watch to honour Carl Brashear, who fought racial discrimination and disability to become the US Navy’s first African American and first amputee Master Diver in the 1960s. Bronze, the choice of material for diving equipment during Brashear’s time, is used not only for the 43mm case but also the bezel, crown and pushers. The automatic Calibre 771 movement has a 48- hour power reserve. Limited to 2000 pieces.
Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon Limited Edition
The matte 43mm case of this quartz watch is made from carbon, which is 50 per cent lighter and five times more resistant than steel. The camouflage-inspired khaki dial is overlaid with military time, printed in red beneath the sapphire crystal. The striking orange paracord strap is made from multi-strand nylon cord. The 1,000-piece collection includes an additional khaki rubber strap, while the 200-piece Victorinox own store exclusive comes with a second orange rubber strap.
Tissot T-Race MotoGP Limited Edition 2018
True to its racing DNA, this 43mm quartz timepiece is a tribute to the rich history of MotoGP, with its black overall look and red details. A stamp of approval is pasted on the glass caseback in the form of the official silk-printed MotoGP logo. Bits like the fiberglassprotected case, start-and-go engraved on the pushers, the tyre tread marks on the dial and the rubber strap are all meant to capture the attention of many a petrolhead. The chronograph comes with three sub-dials at 2, 6 and 10 o’clock with a perpetual calendar at 3. Limited to 8,888 pieces, each watch is presented in a helmet box worthy of its name.
Citizen EcoDrive One
Marking the 40th anniversary of its first analog quartz watch that used light as a power source, Citizen will display a new flagship model – the Eco-Drive One – at Basel. It will be the world’s thinnest light-powered analog quartz timepiece, with a 2.98mm thick case enclosing a movement that is only 1mm thick. Despite its slimness, the watch runs for 10 months on a single charge. The case is made of a specially developed material called cermet*3 which ensures its durable hardness and metallic lustre, despite the thinness of the profile.
Gucci Constance, 30 X 34 mm
Taking its inspiration from Gucci history, this quartz watch reflects Gucci’s fashion approach to watchmaking. Designed with the web motif, it features a shackle that allows it to be hooked to any opening. The green and red web plexiglas case comes with a twirl central system and white mother of pearl dial. The brown leather strap is adjustable from 155mm to 165mm.