Watch enthusiasts all over the world await the month of March with baited breath, as their favourite brands head to Basel and unveil their latest creations to the public. The fair is the biggest spectacle in a watch lover’s calendar – a sensory overload to all who visit. Baselworld 2017 saw many new watches with designs inspired by their storied histories, and watches designed to defy the boundaries of traditional watchmaking. Here, we present the pieces that set the watch world abuzz with chatter, widely praised for their looks, or their technical prowess.
Hublot continues to surprise at Baselworld, creating pieces that certainly got people talking. With the release of the Big Bang Unico Sapphire in 2016, the brand continues the “Sapphire Revolution” in 2017, and in doing so, pushing the boundaries of materials science, in terms of what was thought possible before. The new Big Bang Unico Sapphire comes in Red and Blue variants, a result of a breakthrough in engineering and chemistry, enabling Hublot to produce sapphire crystal suitable in quality and quantity for use in its watch cases. The Big Bang Unico Sapphire is also a world-first in watchmaking to have blue sapphire crystal used in the construction of a watch. Housed within the ground-breaking blue sapphire case is the exceptional manufacture Hublot Unico movement, a self-winding column wheel controlled chronograph with flyback function.
Beginning with the Autavia Cup, where watch enthusiasts could vote which model that the company creates as a tribute to the legendary model, the result of the popular vote fromthis contest was launched at Baselworld 2017, much to the delight of collectors and connoisseurs around the world. Based on the vintage Autavia reference 2446, Mark 3, the details of this iconic vintage piece were brought into the 21st century, updating the original manually wound movement to the new Heuer-02 automatic chronograph movement, as well as upsizing the watch to modern tastes, from 39mm to 42mm. The dial echoes the original reference, with it’s “reverse panda” design: black with white subdials. The watch is available on the vintage-styled leather strap as pictured above, and on a period-inspired “grains of rice” steel bracelet, making this watch perfect for those who are lovers of vintage watches.
A new direction for Zenith, the brand debuted its vision for the 21st Century in the new Zenith Defy El Primero 21. Since 1969, the El Primero has been an iconic movement, the first integrated automatic chronograph movement ever produced, and remains in production largely unchanged till today. With the new Defy El Primero 21, the new movement benefits from modern manufacturing techniques, whilst still remaining true to the historical characteristics of the original movement. The new watch from Zenith has a movement combining two beating hearts – one for timekeeping, beating at 5 hz, and one for the chronograph beating at 50 hz, giving the watch a chronograph capable of measuring 1/100th of a second. All of this is accomplished with even fewer parts than a standard El Primero movement – the benefits of modern engineering. In addition to the two-chain architecture of the movement, the watch is equipped with Carbon-Matrix Carbon Nanotube hairsprings, ensuring the effects of gravity, temperature and magnetism are neutralised, which assures performance in any situation. The Zenith Defy El Primero 21 makes a bold statement on the wrist, and the movement is a quiet achiever, resulting in a modern watch, with a movement sure to please watch enthusiasts.
Stay tuned for more of our favourites from the fair.