CHANGE UNIVERSE: Magazine Jewels
BaselApril 28, 2013

Watch Picks at Basel World 2013

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Are you visiting Baselworld, the world’s largest watch fair, by any chance next week?  Well, even if you’re not, you should keep an eye out my selection of highly uncommon luxury timepieces. I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like them before: hydromechanics, one-thousand-hour power reserve, mechanical temperature indication and even weather prediction number among the special functions they are capable of. And that doesn’t even begin to cover their remarkable, futuristic designs.

Boutique brand HYT launched last year with the H1, the first mechanical wristwatch to use liquid as a time display. Needless to say it made quite a “splash,” even taking home a coveted prize for innovation at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in November. The company’s second timepiece will be introduced to the public during Baselworld, which startED on Thursday, April 25: the H2 still uses hydromechanics to display the hour , but extends the complication factor to include a hand for the minutes that jumps from one position to the next and even a temperature indicator for the fluid.

Breva’s Génie 01 actually predicts the weather. It does so by including an anaerobic barometer, which expands and contracts with changing air pressure, in the fully mechanical movement – something that has not yet been seen in a mechanical wristwatch. The Génie 01 also accommodates an altimeter in addition to the time and the power reserve (which indicates the time remaining until the watch needs to be wound again). The time display is located within a subdial at about 10 o’clock, while the weather prediction can be spied in the larger subdial marked “meteo” (French for “weather”) at 2 o’clock.

Ressence founder Benoît Mintiens is not a watchmaker by trade, but rather a designer. Thus, the out-of-box-thinker’s timepieces are anything but ordinary: his third creation, Type 3 (nicknamed Le Scaphandrier), is even more extraordinary than his previous creations thanks to the combination of flawless design and audacious mechanics. The handless, fluorescent indications of this timepiece are found inside a “bubble” crafted in anti-reflective sapphire crystal that is really a compartment filled with a naphtha-type (hydrocarbon-infused) liquid, which provides it with an index of refraction similar to that of the surrounding sapphire crystal. This greatly minimizes reflection and tricks the brain into eliminating the impression of depth. The automatic movement and its unique case comprise 407 total components, 287 of which are found in Mintiens’ patented module. The purity of the design is accentuated by the absence of a conventional crown.

American brand Devon burst onto the scene a short few years ago with a proprietary electronic timepiece that looks like nothing else in horological existence. This year at the fair, Devon launches a new, limited edition version of the Tread 1 called the Exoskeleton that is transparent – and thus reveals how the fascinating tread belts and gears that move them look at work. The Exoskeleton’s metal is replaced by a translucent polycarbonate that creates a sort of panoramic window into the heart of the movement, while the use of new translucent time belts enhances the entire effect

Is it a watch or a Transformer? Hard to tell sometimes with Rebellion’s mechanical extensions of the T-1000 model. This one bearing the predicate Gotham boasts the timepiece’s typical power reserve of superhero proportions: it only needs to be wound once every 1,000 hours. It is easy to see that this mechanical movement performing more like a high-octane sports car than a timepiece was inspired by the grueling annual race known as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

Romain Jerome became known several years ago for a controversial timepiece whose case and dial contained smelted remains of the original Titanic. This year at Baselworld, the boutique brand introduces a new concept not based on a legend or story, but rather on interesting mechanics and futuristic design. The Spacecraft may be rooted in so-called driver’s watches of days gone by, but one would be hard-pressed to find another link with existing horological conventions from the outside. “This combination of four functions – lateral, linear, jumping and retrograde hours – is unprecedented,” watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht explains of the automatic caliber he created for the Geneva-based brand. The hour seen within a diamond-shaped sapphire crystal window shows us a row of numerals from 1 to 12, with the numeral in red denoting the current hour. The minutes are shown in an entirely different location: on top of the elongated case, where a disk makes one full revolution in 60 minutes to show the appropriate minute by means of white markers and a red indicator against a black background. While the displays end up looking relatively simple, the mechanics housed within a trapezoid-shaped titanium case boasting black PVD-coated titanium elements, are decidedly not.

- Haute couture houses started their fory into the world of high-end watchmaking in the 1970s. Brands gradually launched their own watches inspired by catwalk trends. This  Baselworld show, which highlights this close link between haute couture and horology. Dior watches are directly inspired by current trends:

The French house  presenedt the Dior Christal Blue, directly inspired by the denim trend seen in many brands' Spring/Summer 2013 shows. This watch with a diamond-set dial has a stainless steel case and a rotating bezel set with pyramids of blue sapphire crystals. The strap is made out of steel and pyramid-shaped blue sapphire crystals with a deployant clasp. This model has a quartz movement and hours, minutes and seconds functions. ( relax News)

Since 1884, Bulgari has been inspired by the female form to create unique pieces infused with passion for a demanding customer. Just as the iconic snakeskin scales of the Serpenti collection are reflected in the fashion house's stand at Bâle, the new Cantene watch embodies another of the label's emblematic motifs; chains. Used for the first time by Nicola Bulgari in 1960, the classic 18 carat rose gold chain of this watch encircles a mother-of-pearl face set with diamonds.

The Arceau Temps Suspendu watch by Hermès Available in cognac, cherry, emerald and havane, the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date watch in these warm, comforting tones instantly evokes the effervescent atmosphere of New York jazz clubs. Elegance and charm at its finest.(Vogue Paris )
The fluorescent pink Mini D watch by Dior Horlogerie  injects a fluorescent impulse into its Mini D 19mm watch available in vivid pink and flamboyant coral. These bright splashes make it the perfect watch for summer.
 The Butterfly watch by Graff  turned to nature for inspiration for this watch, covered in a cloud of butterflies. Diamond experts, the label used different sizes of the precious stone creating a 10.3 carat masterpiece.
The Imperiale Chrono , all black watch by Chopard ,for the new Imperiale collection let itself be intoxicated by the dark side. An inky black covers this Imperiale Chrono All Black finished with a brilliant shine, highlighted by the diamonds encircling the face.
 The black ceramic Speedmaster watch by Omega whose qualities of precision, technique and rigor combine in this Speedmaster watch. The label, created in 1957, unveiled this latest ceramic black edition to the collection at this year’s Baselworld exhibition.
Charlton & Co, art deco watch. New York, 1922. Paired with a 1935 Cartier diamond bracelet. From Siegelson, For the Basel event, vintage jewelry specialist Lee Siegelson has looked to two jewelry houses, showcasing a storied piece that combines the craftsmanship of both Charlton & Co. and Cartier. First created in 1922 by Charlton & Co., this watch’s original timepiece was ordered by James Buchanan Duke as a Christmas present for his wife.  Fast forward to 1935 and Duke’s second wife then took the Charlton watch to Cartier to order a new diamond-encrusted bracelet for the timepiece. Jewelry box gems don’t get any more loaded with history than this.
As surprising as it may seem, this collection marks the first time that Chanel has used Mademoiselle Chanel's favorite flower, the camellia, for its fine jewelry. Previously spotted on rings and on iconic pearl necklaces from other collections, the flower is in full bloom in the new Jardin de Camélias fine jewelry line. In the skillful hands of the Chanel Joaillerie craftmen, the camellia is incorporated into 90 pieces in Chanel's signature black and white palette, engraved in gold, covered in a blanket of diamonds, studded with black diamonds or speckled with a dusting of onyx and pearl. The highlight of the collection is this Camélia Coromandel brooch, which unites two of Coco Chanel's favorite motifs, the camellia and the singing birds that adorned the Chinese screens in her suite at the Ritz. The brooch's black enamel provides the perfect backdrop for the 4.3 carat yellow cushion-cut diamond to shine. ( Vogue Paris)
Made by noted enameller Anita Porchet, the dial is Grand Feu enamel on a solid 18k gold disc, depicting a motif inspired by Coromandel lacquer screens.
The scene is hand painted miniature enamel and the foliage is made of individually applied 18k gold paillons. The 38.5 mm case is white gold and set with 4.13 carats of diamonds. This is a unique piece and it proves that fashion houses are doing serious timepieces, which I am certain will get even better as more resources are devoted to proper watchmaking. (JK)

Joelle's Picks:

Breva watch: COLLECTION

ROMAIN JEROME

Devon Timepieces

Hublot | Swiss Luxury Watches & Horology - The Art of fusion

?www.hytwatches.com

BVLGARI - Magnificent Italian Jewelry and Luxury Goods

CHANEL - Watches - the world and collections of Chanel watches

Chopard US Official E-shop | Swiss Luxury Watches & Jewelry

Graff Diamonds

Hermès - Welcome to the official Hermes.com website

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