A sneak peek at some of the timepieces on show at this year’s Baselworld Fair.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton
The Octo collection, unveiled in 2012, is a mainstay of Bulgari’s men’s watches. Recognisable by its eight-sided case and topped by a round bezel, Octo will see several new interpretations this year, notably the Octo Roma and the ultrathin Octo Finissimo models.
The new Octo Roma has some updated features, but they are so subtle, one would be forgiven for not noticing them.
Designed to be a dress watch, the new version now looks more casual due to its thinner, less angular design.
The edges of the octagon case are now smoother and the lugs are thinner. The watch remains a comfortable 41mm and is powered by Bulgari’s in-house movement, the BVL 191.
The 40mm Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, which debuted in 2014, houses the thinnest movement ever created, with a flying tourbillon – coming in at just 1.95mm thick and 32.60mm wide. Despite its slimness, the Bulgari BVL268 Finissimo calibre contains 253 parts.
This year, Bulgari is introducing a skeletonised version of this model, where the complex working of the record-setting movement, such as the tourbillon spinning on ball bearings, can be easily viewed. Beating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour, this watch has a 62-hour power reserve and the case is made of platinum.
Breguet Tradition Dame 7038
The Tradition collection pays vibrant tribute to the memory of Breguet as it belongs to the haute horlogerie icons. Introduced in 2005, it includes a women’s model for the first time – the 37mm rose gold Tradition Dame 7038.
With this self-winding timepiece, Breguet has succeeded in feminising a model whose essence lies in mechanical horology, a field that many tend to reserve for men. The watch features the signature fluted case band and the dial is engine turned mother-of-pearl. You’ll also notice the floral engraving on the central barrel.
Clearly visible on the front and the middle of the watch, the barrel is decorated with a rosette motif and overlapped at 12 o’clock, by a mother-of-pearl dial adorned with hand-crafted engine-turned ‘Clou de Paris’ hobnailing. The sandblasted mainplate and bridges are rhodium-plated to create a pleasing contrast with the rose gold case set with 68 diamonds. At the heart of this Tradition Dame beats Calibre 505SR, equipped with a lever escapement with silicon pallets and a Breguet balance-spring also made of silicon.
Hermès Cape Cod has been reinventing itself since its 1991 debut. Designed by Henri d’Origny, the easily recognisable timepiece which features a square inside a rectangle with curved edges and lugs that look like horse bits has become a signature watch for the brand. Although it was originally a feminine quartz line, it has expanded to include a men’s collection. Some models are automatic.
The watch celebrates the Parisian brand’s approach to design, mixing elegance, understatement and eccentricity. For 2017, the masculine models – the 33mm TGM (Très Grand Modèle) – embrace colour.
Dials come in blue, anthracite or black with matching alligator straps. Adding a nod to its equestrian legacy, cuff straps are made from alligator skin or Barénia calfskin while two-tone smooth calfskin strap features blue and red. It is also powered by the Calibre H1912 made by movement specialist Vaucher and boasts 50 hours of power reserve.
Hermès has also revealed new versions of the quartz Cape Cod TGM, which retains the same 33mm by 33mm size. These include the Cape Cod TGM Cadran laque with a metallic finish dial in brown or red, the Cape Cod TGM Bracelet de force that’s mounted on a leather strap with a band beneath the watch, and the Cape Cod TGM Bicolore with two-tone leather straps.
Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture
Frederique Constant has redesigned its iconic Classic Worldtimer Manufacture to make it more user friendly. The new worldtimer features a gold case that contrasts pleasingly with the chocolate-coloured dial, which is finely etched with a world map and circled by a day/night indicator, with 24 reference cities around the outer rim. The date is pointed by a hand in a subdial at 6 o’clock. A further circle of hour-markers ensures perfect legibility without detracting from the harmonious layout of the dial as a whole.
This long-haul traveller boasts some technical feats, orchestrated by Frederique Constant’s FC-718 proprietary movement. There is no pusher or corrector, as each function is controlled by the crown, making it simpler to use, a first for a worldtime complication. It also looks more pleasant.
The movement is the mechanical FC-718 calibre, developed and produced by Frederique Constant. It features 26 jewels, 28,800 vib/h, circular-graining and Côtes de Genève decoration. The watch has 42-hour power reserve and is water-resistant to 50 metres. The strap is brown leather with white top-stitching.
Carl F. Bucherer
Carl F. Bucherer teamed up with automotive powerhouse Rinspeed to introduce a new urban car concept – the Oasis. The car was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January. The multifunctional automatic Oasis concept also serves as a stage to unveil one of Carl F. Bucherer’s first new product launches for Baselworld 2017 – the new Manero Flyback.
The watch is embedded within the steering wheel of the sophisticated vehicle, winding the watch and delivering energy with every movement. Behind the classical rounded casing of the Manero Flyback is a sophisticated automatic stopwatch. By pressing the zero-button it is possible to measure several time frames – one after the other – with minimal time loss. In the background the wearer can see the turning wheels of the stopwatch, which set the hands in motion again as soon as the zero-button is released, in contrast to conventional stopwatches, where the button needs to be pressed three times for a new start. The Champagne-coloured clock-face complements the cognac-coloured leather watch-band.
Inspired by the beauty of the Japanese Sakura season, Harry Winston captures the ephemeral beauty of a cherry tree in bloom to give life to the captivating Avenue Classic Cherry Blossom.
For the dial, mother-of-pearl makes an iridescent backdrop to a flurry of 39 white diamonds and 29 pink sapphires that represent the flowers and petals of the cherry blossom tree, a sign that spring has arrived. Attached to the white gold branches or floating gently to the ground, the precious stones are cut in different sizes to create fascinating effects of depth and movement.
They form a representation of nature’s beauty that will never fade. This magnificent tableau is framed by an 18ct white gold case whose architecture takes its design cues from the stately stone facade of Harry Winston’s historic Fifth Avenue salon in New York, and the three arches surrounding the entrance. The 29 brilliant-cut diamonds on the case are a reminder of the long-standing association between the House of Harry Winston and precious stones.