With the show reaching the half way stage, it is apparent that Baselworld has definitely delivered on its promise. I am positively in awe at the amount of wonderful timepieces on display. As always the Swatch Group, LVMH and Rolex dominate proceedings (in terms of marketing). However if you delve a bit deeper there are some magnificent independent watchmakers exhibiting this year. Here are some timepieces that perfectly illustrate this point.
Dietrich 1969 Organic Time Companion model A
Dietrich 1969 is a really exciting new and exciting brand established by renowned designer Emmanuel Dietrich. With 20 years of experience within the industry he has worked for many prominent watchmakers including Hermes, Technomarine, Louis Vuitton and Calvin Klein. This year at Baselworld the company have unveiled the fantastic and affordable (1,255 CHF) Organic Time Companion model A. Dimensionally the watch measures 48mm x 46mm x 13.7mm, which should make a bold statement. What makes this watch so distinctive is the multi-layered dial, which delicately exposes the intricate mechanics of the movement. In my opinion this gives the timepiece a high quality three- dimensional appearance.
Montres duManège Exploration
Montres DuManège is a small independent watchmaker located in the picturesque location of La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland. Accomplished designer Julien Fleury is the brainchild behind the brand. At Baselworld 2014 he is presenting a wonderful new timepiece called the Exploration. Currently the watch is available in a choice of steel, titanium and opulent 18-karat red gold. I love the black lacquer dial and contrasting bold markers. Other delightful features include white rhodium-plated hands and large retrograde date display. Beneath the 44.5mm case lays a twin barrel self-winding movement developed by Technotime. This Caliber comprises 43 rubies and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 (4Hz) vibrations per hour.
Pierre Thomas Geneve Tourbillon N°5
Swiss watchmaker Pierre Thomas Geneve draws its inspiration from vintage mechanical timepieces of the 19th and 20th Century. They are currently presenting their watches at Baselworld in a private exhibition called “Swiss Creative Lab”. Although all of their timepieces are beautifully designed, my personal favourite is the sublime Tourbillon N°5. What makes this watch so special is the sensational meteorite dial. I absolutely love this material and think it perfectly compliments the large exposed tourbillon. To power the watch the company has sourced a historical movement; which was originally manufactured between 1870 and 1930. The mechanism is hand decorated and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 (3Hz) vibrations per hour.
Italian watch brand U-Boat is synonymous with bold and oversized watches. Recently the company has been experimenting with more radical and eclectic designs. The Phoenix is one of their latest and most original offerings. What makes this watch so unique is the distinctive black diamond filled cracks on the solid silver case. This incredible effect has been achieved by using age-old traditional artisan techniques. Other impressive features include a stylish dual layer dial and bespoke leather strap. Beneath the gothic exterior lies a self- winding mechanical chronograph movement modified to U-Boat’s specifications. This caliber comprises 25-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 (4Hz) vibrations per hour.
Devon Tread 2G
A few years ago Californian brand Devon took the world of horology by storm with their sensational Tread 1. Last November I was fortunate enough to try on and review the stunning new Tread 2. With much smaller dimensions than its predecessor I concluded this fantastic watch would appeal to a much broader demographic. At this time there were four exciting versions to choose from. The superb Tread 2G is one of the company’s new releases at Baselworld 2014. What make this watch so special is the wonderful 18-karat gold case, bezel and bracelet. Devon has even constructed the motor covers, adjustment and indicator plates out of this luxurious material. Beneath the stylish façade is the same brilliant engineering used in all their previous models.