Increasingly knowledgeable prospects are straying from the mainstream to seek out something really particular person, which is sweet news for niche watchmakers, says Alex Doak. Our useful guide will provide help to find the choose of the misfits on BaselWorld’s reshuffled floorplan
Arnold & Son Time Pyramid
The biggest watch news of 2012 that you just most likely never heard about was Citizen’s whole acquisition of Prothor Holdings – a Swiss group that features excessive-end motion maker La Joux-Perret, decrease-profile component maker Prototec SA and the Arnold & Son model, which has been separate from British Masters stablemate Graham since 2010.
While many carped on about Citizen’s newfound potential to make affordable Swiss ébauches with proprietary Japanese steadiness springs (a genuine different to ETA), purists have been happy that perennial wallflower Arnold was safe from harm. And the flourish of creativity that adopted has affirmed this renewed confidence.
This 12 months’s Time Pyramid, with its skeletonised, pyramid-shaped movement seemingly floating between two sapphire crystals, is impressed by the regulators created by John and Roger Arnold more than 200 years in the past.
Orion 38 Grau
Can Nomos Glashütte ever put a foot mistaken? While everyone’s favourite quiet man of watchmaking might be accused of sticking too rigidly to its refined breed of Bauhaus, the method is so perfect and the brand’s irreverent Germanic character so refreshingly un-Swiss that we are going to all the time forgive its lack of experimentation.
Especially when you hear a sales pitch as immediately likeable as that of 2013’s Orion 38 Grau, which could nicely be ‘the’ watch to wear with a suit: “Gray like the skies over Glashütte, or grey like financial bookkeeping?” says the release. “Colourless, sad, unprepossessing? Nonsense! As Bauhaus artist Johannes Itten once stated, gray is ‘easily excitable into magnificent tones’.” We agree.
Histoire de Tourbillon
Our obsession with the tourbillon may have abated with the latest return to easy, retro styling, however the very top end of the market remains to be looking to spend huge bucks on ornately engineered funding pieces.
At watchmaker Harry Winston, part of the Swatch Group, the ongoing collaboration with Greubel Forsey’s mercenary arm Complitime has given us Histoire de Tourbillon, a collection of thoughts-boggling exercises in mechanical gymnastics.
Cult model MeisterSinger’s USP is sort of irritatingly easy: a single hour hand, with some extent that’s positive enough to learn off the minutes between the hour indices. The clever use of the musical fermata or ‘pause’ image as its emblem displays MeisterSinger’s guiding philosophy of a extra relaxed perception of time.
Which isn’t to say things don’t get racy, as borne out by the new Singular chronograph in anthracite (following Nomos’s gray development, we be aware) and sporty red accents.
Later this yr, we’ll be seeing MeisterSinger’s Paleograph fitted with its very first in-home motion, plus a really special collaboration with Westminster Abbey to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Big Bang Ferrari Crimson Magic Carbon
For all of Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver’s shameless (but arguably justified) self-promotion and his watch brand’s innumerable advertising ploys and publicity stunts, you can not deny that Hublot makes very first rate watches indeed. The sources and talent inherited from BNB Concept’s dissolution in 2009 seeded its rapid rise to producer status, and now it even makes its personal circumstances as well as actions.
One year on from the primary Ferrari watches, encased in a scratchproof 18ct gold-ceramic compound – or “magic gold”, as Biver so charmingly dubbed it – the new Large Bang Ferrari Red Magic Carbon boasts a carbon-fibre case that’s also solely conceived and manufactured in-home. A brand new “multi-layer principle” includes stacking up to 12 sheets of carbon fibre and forging them in polymerisation ovens.
The result? No bubbles, and subsequently excellent homogeneity as well as vast mechanical power.
Lots of the most remarkable issues at BaselWorld are to be discovered not on a multi-storey, multimillion-euro stand in Hall 1, however crammed into a makeshift marquee next to the automobile park – called, rather ambitiously, The Palace. Here, the biggest brand is arguably Max Büsser’s science-fiction collective, MB&F, whose new launch is the Megawind.
More than just a variation of HM3, MB&F’s best-selling line, it's actually a totally new technology of HM3, which reworks its bug-eyed time show and encompasses a giant version of Max’s Manga-impressed battleaxe rotor.
Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva, co-creator of MB&F’s MoonMachine, offered both the initial thought for the big rotor and the identify Megawind, while Agenhor’s Jean-Marc Wiederrecht was entrusted with turning the drawings of designer Eric Giroud into horological actuality.
RRP: E79,000 plus tax
Luminox Atacama Field
The gasoline tubes on Luminox dials glow 100 times brighter than most Superluminova-equipped timepieces, which means a tough Swiss-made Luminox watch is the final word evening imaginative and prescient package for athletes, outdoorsmen and army men. Indeed, it is the watch of choice for a number of elite forces, including the US Navy SEALs and F-117 Nighthawk Stealth jet pilots, for whom the brand new black-on-black PVD-coated Atacama could have been designed. Named after the notoriously dry Chilean Atacama area, the Atacama Subject series options 45mm cases and durable 26mm leather-based straps.
Premium GA 1000FC
More than 200 handmade prototypes have been examined to destruction by Casio till finally, three many years ago, the first “unbreakable” G-Shock watches hit the streets of Japan and began to establish the sub-brand as a true cult.
The latest within the Premium collection is the GA 1000FC, which encompasses the seven G-Shock components – toughness, and resistance to electric shock, gravity, low temperature, vibration, water and shock.
It has been developed with RAF pilots to include essentially the most useful function for the cockpit: a bearing memory compass. Aviators set their target course and, if the watch goes off observe, the LCD display notifies the user.
It is nonetheless shocking that Victorinox took nearly a century to deviate from cutlery and military-challenge multi-instruments and try its hand at Switzerland’s more conventional trade, however since 1989, the family-run firm has wasted no time in becoming a world-leading watchmaker. The Unique was the very first mannequin, launched in the US in 1989, after which sales increased 20% 12 months on year and Victorinox turned America’s greatest-promoting Swiss watch brand.
Still military-inspired, monochrome in tone and effortlessly straightforward to read, Authentic is being modernised and “urbanised” in 2013 with a new modular leather strap and cuff, its tan colour scheme harking back to the unique Swiss Army officer’s knife of 1891.
Gc B1 Telemeter
Since Paul Marciano, founding father of the Guess attire brand, started luxurious watch offshoot Gc in 1997, the watch brand has earned the lofty ‘Swiss-made’ appellation and develop into a rock-stable entry-level model for budding watch collectors.
The Telemeter, a brand new execution of Gc’s B1 series in rose-gold PVD coating, achieves a distinguished, classic model with a restraint and composure of which many Swiss grande dames would be proud. The interlocking subdials, Cuban colour scheme and engraved telemeter calibrations all lend a definite ‘gentleman explorer’ feel. The fashion is rounded off by a croco-embossed leather-based strap, which would co-ordinate properly with the straps on Phileas Fogg’s trunk.
For the first time since its launch in 2009, Perrelet’s signature Turbine assortment – a spread that makes a kaleidoscopic function of Abraham-Louis Perrelet’s self-winding rotor invention, a key function of the brand that was invented in 1770 – incorporates a chronograph operate with spectacular coherence.
The chronograph measurements are offered by a central seconds chronograph hand and an progressive 60-minute counter, whose two juxtaposed sapphire crystal parts do not detract from the radial dial pattern. It is available in five variants and our favourite must be this slick, titanium-on-titanium quantity with DLC case coating.