Baselworld 2018 Highlights – Discover the Novelties – Get to know the best of 101st edition of Baselworld.
The array of maisons in attendance proved that a smaller fair can still showcase the world-class artistry and a mastery of technical craft for which Baselworld has come to be known. From Harry Winston’s Ocean-inspired collection to Bulgari’s record-setting timepieces, see the best of Baselworld 2018’s haute horology below.
Patek Philippe Embraces the Future
Patek Philippe, an “anchor” exhibitor whose presence lends much gravitas to Baselworld, surprised the watch world just days before the fair opened when the 179-year old company launched its official Instagram account. The brand used the social media platform to debut its first self-winding travel watch for women, the Reference 7234R, with a rose gold case and a brown sunburst dial.
The Many Faces of Jaquet Droz
At Jaquet Droz, the first order of the day was to celebrate the brand’s 280th anniversary, which the Chaux-de-Fonds-based manufacture marked with the new Classique Grande Seconde Tribute, a watch in line with Jaquet Droz’s heritage.
The brand also introduced two spectacular additions to the Petite Heure Minute collection. For the first time, Jaquet Droz has created a piece using a method called plique-à-jour, which literally means “letting in daylight.” The technique dates to the Byzantine Empire and requires fitting together discrete pieces of enamel to produce the effect of stained glass, in this case an abstracted mosaic of a tiger’s face made of translucent enamel.
Harry Winston’s Aquatic Aesthetics
The American jeweler Harry Winston, today wholly owned by the Swatch Group, has married its jewelry heritage to watchmaking since 1989, particularly with the 2007 opening of a watch manufacturer in Geneva.
The Future Is Gender-Fluid at Chanel
Breguet Brings Its Best
At Breguet, the highlight among the novelties this year was the Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique 5367, shown in a high-fire enamel dial with hand-painted numerals. “This heritage-inspired timepiece is reminiscent of the pocket watches in our museum, with a very thin movement and an in-house tourbillon from Breguet, the brand that invented the tourbillon,” said a spokesperson for Breguet. “This watch represents the best of Breguet watchmaking.”
Bulgari’s World Record-Setting Watch
At Bulgari, the star of the show was the new Octo Finissimo Automatic Tourbillon, an “icon in Bulgari’s men’s watches,” and the world’s thinnest automatic watch measuring just 3.95 mm in thickness. The watch established two new world records, according to Bulgari, for both the world’s thinnest tourbillon watch and the world’s thinnest automatic watch.
The Thrill of the Drive at Graff
At Graff Diamonds, all the 2018 novelties for men showcased the brand’s mastery of complex métiers d’art and marquetry techniques. Among them, the striking new MasterGraff GyroGraff Drive watches were directly inspired by the passion of François Graff, the brand’s chief executive, for modern and vintage cars. Produced in three dial versions, the GyroGraff Drive puts the wearer in the driving seat by depicting three unique scenes taken out of a high-speed driving experience.
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