There are a couple more days left to Baselworld 2017 but we are officially done. Five days of non-stop chaos (in a good way) and running around halls the size of football fields stacked on multiple floors has left me knackered but satisfied. The things we witnessed in these five days are a good indicator of what we can expect from the world of horology in 2017. We'll definitely be keeping you informed over the coming months. Here’s a teaser of what’s what at Baselworld until we give you the full monty on what went down at one of the biggest watch shows on the planet.
The Octo Finissimo is back with yet another “world's thinnest” record, following the minute repeater from last year and the tourbillon from the year before that. With a movement just 2.23mm thick, the entire watch is only 5.15mm in height! But unlike other thin watches that have a more classical aesthetic, this watch maintains a strongly masculine design, thanks to the 110 facets often associated with the Octo Finissimo cases.
The biggest thing out of Grand Seiko this year is the Japanese brand’s declaration of independence from Seiko. Stepping out into the world can be a daunting task but certainly Seiko's Toyota/Lexus move could be a good thing for the brand. And to commemorate the auspicious day, they have decided to re-create the first ever Grand Seiko watch in three different materials – steel, yellow gold and 999 platinum – along with a re-interpretation of this watch from 1960.
In true Hublot fashion, the manufacture celebrated the 70th anniversary of Ferrari in a spectacular way. Not only with a new watch launch, but a new identity – Techframe. They call it the timepiece with the heart of Hublot and the soul of Ferrari. The movement of course comes from Hublot but the entire case was designed by the good folks over at Maranello. Handing over the design reigns to people more accustomed to designing cars has yielded quite an interesting talking piece for Hublot. There are in fact quite a few incredible novelties to have come out of them this year, but that’s a story for another time.
Sixty years of the Speedmaster and of course this year Omega has a new Speedmaster watch. But the novelty that caught our attention (I'm a sucker for vintage timepieces) were three watches from 1957, the year when Omega released three professional timepieces that would go on to become cult classics. The 1957 Speedmaster, Seamaster 300 and Railmaster were the three watches with the original design codes. Broad arrow hands for days! They are available in a three-piece set (this comes with a special inscription on each dial) or individually.
Breitling & Tudor
Here's an interesting one. Breitling and Tudor are sharing expertise in terms of in-house movements offering each the know-how the other lacks. So Tudor has inherited Breitling’s B01 calibre with an integrated chronograph so that it can offer the Heritage Black Bay Chrono while Breitling gets the MT5612, which it has tweaked for the latest Superocean Héritage II. Isn’t that something.
Sure the Modular 45 watch (as the name suggests the lugs and strap can be detached from the case to swap out the movement and customise the look of the watch) may be pretty interesting but the remake of the Autavia Cup is well worth mentioning. The design you see here is based on the Reference 2446 Mark 3, The “Rindt” Autavia and was actually voted in by the fans out of a pool of quite a number of designs.
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross watches have always been square watches inspired by the gauges of an airplane cockpit. This year they’ve kept only one of those two elements for the BR03-92. This is perhaps the first and probably only square diver's watch you'll ever see on the market. With the brand’s new commitment to watches for professionals, the watch is not just aesthetically sound, but meets all the necessary ISO requirements for a diver's watch. It’s definitely interesting, to say the least.
If you’re familiar with the very elegant Golden Bridge and Admiral’s Cup watches of Corum, the current novelties are quite a jump in the opposite direction. Yeah, there are a few new Golden Bridge expressions, but since last year the Bubble watch has really just ballooned! They're back this year with more collaborations and funkier designs including this very cool eye that seems to follow us wherever we go.