As this year’s show draws to a close it is great to reflect on a diverse range of timepieces on display. If Baselworld can be used as a benchmark, 2014 promises to be a fantastic year for the watch world. I have received numerous press releases that showcase a broad spectrum of timepieces. Due to the sheer volume of new watches it is virtually impossible to feature every one. On that basis I have shortlisted some of my personal favourites.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantième Ivory Enamel
The name Jaquet Droz is synonymous with the production of high-end luxury timepieces. I recently featured their phenomenal Charming Bird, which is one of the most distinctive watches I have ever seen. The Grande Seconde Quantième Ivory Enamel is a lot smaller in size (43mm x 12.21mm) and the appearance is more classical. What makes this timepiece so refined is the ivory Grand Feu enamel dial, which acts in perfect harmony with the opulent 18-karat red gold case. Other stylish details include the off centre hour/minute counter and large second sub dial located at 6 o’clock. Beneath the elegant exterior lies a sophisticated double barrel mechanical self-winding movement. The Caliber 2660Q2.P contains a silicon balance and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
De Bethune DB28 Digitale
Within eleven years De Bethune have become one of the most exciting watchmakers in the world of horology. Primarily this is down to their innovative designs and complex mechanical movements. A year ago I reviewed their award winning DB28, which I found to be a highly stimulating appearance. Amongst other sublime creations they are showcasing at Baselworld 2014 is the DB28 Digitale. What makes this watch so unique is its striking futuristic appearance. A rotating disc displays the minutes and jumping hours presented in digital format via a window located at 12 o’clock. Another marvelous feature is the central spherical moon phase indication. The company has equipped the watch with an accomplished mechanical hand winding movement that contains 355 handcrafted parts.
Finnish watchmaker Kari Voutilainen has over thirty year experience within the industry. The V-8R is an award winning limited edition watch (25 pieces) that has been entirely manufactured by hand. With a diameter measuring only 39mm the timepiece should appeal to both male and female collectors. The silver dial displays hours, minutes, small seconds and retrograde power reserve indication. What makes this watch so beautiful is the attention to detail and level of finishing. Beneath the luxurious 18-karat gold case lies a highly complicated manual winding movement. This caliber comprises 28-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour. The mechanism contains 228 components and is visible through the sapphire crystal case back.
Chronoswiss Timemaster Chronograph Skeleton
Chronoswiss are renowned for producing a range of high quality Swiss made timepieces. I absolutely love their watches and especially the formidable Wristmaster. The Timemaster Chronograph Skeleton is a new novelty that has just been unveiled at Baselworld 2014. What makes this watch really stand out is the exquisite highly decorated skeleton dial. Other distinctive characteristics include a sporty bezel and chronograph counters. With a DLC treated stainless steel case measuring 44mm x 15.30mm, I suspect the watch will appeal to a wide variety of buyers. At the heart of the watch is a high quality mechanical self winding movement. The Caliber C.741 S contains 25-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
Christophe Claret Maestoso
Christophe Claret is widely regarded by its numerous contemporaries as a watchmaker of distinction. All their timepieces are entirely manufactured in house and are finished to the highest level. The wonderful new Maestoso illustrates this point perfectly. Dimensionally the watch measures 44mm x 52.11mm x 13.59 mm (including the crown) which is designed to make a bold statement. It is also constructed from luxurious 18-karat gold and grade 5 titanium, which should appeal to watch aficionados. What makes this timepiece so special is the sensational three-dimensional skeleton dial. Beneath the sublime façade lays a sophisticated 44-jewel twin barrel mechanical hand winding movement. The Caliber DTC07 contains 301 individual components and oscillates at a frequency of 14,400 vibrations per hour (2 Hz).