Highlights from Basel 2013 (Part 1)

So last weekend I decided to hit BaselWorld for 2 days (one of them being a trip on my own and the second with my fellow students from the university).In this post I will describe and share my best moments from the exposition.

First of all upon entering the fair I was kindly asked to give my camera as only the press is allowed to film and take pictures. Soon enough I walked in again carrying a press badge. As I proceeded I realized one mistake that I made, and that being – I did not schedule any appointments with the major brands, so I couldn’t really take a good look at some of the watches from brands such as Patek Philippe or Harry Winston (and I was really looking forward to seeing the new Opus).

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My Press Badge Pass

Nevertheless most of the watch brands interesting me were in another building called the Palace (that reminded me more of a village summer house). All the brand representatives there were a lot more kind and did not require any appointments. As well as that I got to meet many CEOs from companies such as Urwerk, Artya group (the creator of Romain Jerome and Spero Lucem) and Konstantin Chaykin.

So starting from the beginning I will show the new watches I found interesting and cool:

First up – Patek Philippe who have released more than 100 new models this year. From the outside they still look pretty much like the older versions. For example this Nautilus is the one Patek Philippe that I absolutely love almost in any case or dial, the shape created by G. Jenta (designer of Royal Oak) is very unique and distinguishing on the wrist.

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Patek Philippe Nautilus in Rose Gold and full Steel

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Girard Perregaux Constant Escapement

Another company that I really enjoyed looking at was Girard Perregaux, with their invention of the constant escapement in a watch (a mechanism allowing time to be more precise as the charge of the movement decreases), and other models like the one showing the triple bridge tourbillon. I also visited their workshop where I could see masters working on some of the watches, and one of them explained to me how difficult it was to make the constant escapement come to life. The watch is very complicated and the price for it this limited to 8 pieces edition would be around $100000.

Next up was a brand that I was really psyched to see and got to try on – De Bethune. Here are some of there finest watches:

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De Bethune DB28 Moonphase

On the first image is the De Bethune DB28, all DB28 watches have a very distinctive slick look to them, and this one is equipped with a 3d moon phase ball at 6 o’clock. The balance wheel is displayed just above the moon phase and it is really nice to just look at it work. As well as that I have to say its the most comfortable watch I’ve ever tried on, made of titanium it is very light. The case is done in a way where it lays perfectly on the wrist personalizing the watch just for the owner. The price for this model is around $90000

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De Bethune DB28 Tourbillon

The second model is pretty much the same watch but instead of a moon phase it is showing us the tourbillon, counting 30 seconds with each full rotation. (See another picture of it on the FaceBook at – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=358608024238840&set=pb.356458617787114.-2207520000.1367777819.&type=3&theater priced at $190000

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De Bethune Mayan Calendar

Taking into account the recent ‘End of The World’ trend going around De Bethune created a watch with a Mayan Calendar in the dial. With a price of around $95000 you might be wondering ‘why is it expensive?’ Well you see, the entire dial has engraved gold on it and represents (if you look closely) all the holy animals and Mayan glyphs. This is not rally a very functional piece (as their calendar has ended without any consequences for our planet) but a very artistic one. Personally, for this money I’d rather go for the DB28 moon phase.

After checking out De Bethune I went to the booth of Christophe Claret. You might’ve read my post on their BlackJack model (and the Baccara). This time I am posting 3 of their watches, one of which is a novelty of this year and the other two are just awesome.

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Christophe Claret Kantharos

So this first watch is called Kantharos. It is a one button push chronograph made in a very nice design with an open movement at 6 o’clock, and the cool thing about this watch is that every time you press the chronograph button to activate/stop/reset it there is a musical gong at 10 o’clock that makes a sound. It exists in different variations, I grabbed the one matching to my shirt 😉 It also happens to be the cheapest Christophe Claret model – you will be able to get it for ‘only’ $100000

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Cristophe Claret Soprano

The second watch from Christophe Claret is the Soprano Tourbillon Minute Repeater. This watch has patented 4 gongs, that together can play a Westminster melody. The watch is very nice to look at and to listen to, and the starting price for it is $550000.

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Christophe Claret X-TREM 1

This watch from Christophe Claret is called X-TREM 1. The design of the watch is really extreme. It looks nothing like a mechanical traditional watch and at first you don’t even understand how it shows time. For the hours you have a little ball on the left side in a tube, going up from 12 to 12, and then retrograding back down to start again. Same principle goes for the minutes on the right. It also has a tourbillon movement on the bottom, and overall has a really cool futuristic design. I did try it on (and it feels comfy) but it looks better on the picture behind the glass. The price for it is around $300000.

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Urwerk UR-210

Last brand for this first part of BaselWorld highlights is Urwerk. As I sat down with Felix Baumgartner (the CEO of the company) he told me all about the UR-210, my favorite Urwerk model yet. As on all the brands watches it features a really cool technology of showing the time. The hours are displayed on 3 big hands rotating around the dial and within their own orbit (creating a 3d effect), while the minutes are shown on the bottom part of the dial. So if you would be reading the time from the photo it would be 11:33. This particular model is made from titanium, and has a power reserve indicator on the top right of the dial, and an efficiency indicator (created by Urwerk to see how well the watch is performing) in the top left side of the dial. You can also set your watch from full to reduced charge (in case you’re too active, so that the watch is not overcharged), or turn the automatic charging off.

Here’s another picture of me wearing the watch, standing with Mr. Baumgartner of Urwerk. The price of the watch is around $140000 and it also exists in a matted version (both are titanium + steel). Comment which watch was your favorite so far and don’t forget to Like my Facebook page and share it with your friends interested in watches!

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Felix Baumgartner of Urwerk (left) Me (right) wearing UR-210

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