We're on the other side of BaselWorld 2015 and we're still bedazzled by some of the developments that we saw there. Much like the SIHH, BaselWorld is eagerly anticipated by ardent watch lovers around the world.
What is BaselWorld?
BaselWorld, hosted in Switzerland's Basel, is the world's largest watch and jewelry trade show. Also called the Basel Fair, this year's edition took place from March 19 to 26, and saw many of the world's biggest names exhibiting their latest creations.
Very recognizable names here were Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breitling, Breguet, Bulgari, Chopard, Harry Winston, among many others. Brands like IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier and Panerai, aren't on this list because they displayed their newest pieces at their own show (read our post on the SIHH 2015).
Our BaselWorld 2015 Wishlist
With around 1400 brands participating, you're hard pressed to find favorites. Even so, from so many fantastic developments across the board, we have picked out a few that we think are gonna make it onto the year's wishlist!
This is the age of wearable technology...the era of the smart watch. Or, as Bulgari prefers to call its creation, an intelligent watch. Few people can watch the James Bond movies and not think "I wish I could have that cool gadget!" And the Diagono Magnesium Concept Watch is possibly a chance to make that wish a reality.
The product of a partnership between Bulgari and Swiss NCF expert WISEKey, the Diagono Magnesium ("e" in bold to differentiate it from the standard Magnesium range) is a mechanical movement watch as well as a gateway of sorts to a "digital vault" of personal data. Essentially, the watch transmits a digital signature to the "Bulgari Vault" app that can be downloaded onto an iOs or Android smart phone, and used to store all your data. Trés futuristic, yes?
This piece has a 41mm case (with a middle made of magnesium and a polymer called PEEK), ceramic bezel and black PVD case back. Without the NFC chip (which allows the secure data access), the watch comes in a blue, silver/grey, bronze or anthracite color, with matching dials. The concept watch is available in bronze for now.
Bulgari Diagono Magnesium Concept Watch
Breguet had two headliners at BaselWorld 2015 – the Breguet Tradition Automatique Seconde Rétrograde 7097 and the Breguet Tradition Chronographe Indépendant 7077.
The Tradition Automatique Rétrograde 7097, the latest addition to the Tradition collection, tips its hat to Abraham-Louis Breguet, the creator of the tourbillon. Like all Tradition watches, this watch leaves its inner workings bare to the wearer, without disruption by the watch dial. The 7097 draws its "seconde rétrograde" title from the retrograde hand that counts the seconds on an arc between 7 and 10 o'clock. This watch comes in a 40mm 18k white gold case with a silver 18k gold dial, and selfwinding movement Calibre 505SR1. It is also available in a rose gold version (7097BR/G1/9WU). Check out Watch Time's review of the 7097.
Breguet Tradition Automatique Seconde Retrograde (7097BB/G1/9WU)
The Tradition Chronograph Indépendant 7077 is what you might call a 2-in-1 watch – a timekeeper and a chronograph. And we separate it like this because this watch has two separate gear trains (with no interaction, unlike the usual dual-escapement pieces) to power both these functions. The 7077 has a 44mm 18k white gold case and a silvered 18k gold dial with a retrograde power reserve display and chronograph counter overlapping either side of the dial, powered by manual movement Calibre 580DR. This piece is also available in rose gold (7077BR/G1/9XV).
Breguet Tradition Chronograph Independant (7077BB/G1/9XV)
Breitling made a fine showing at BaselWorld 2015, with four watches that took center stage – the Breitling B55 Connected, Breitling Chronoliner, Breitling Galactic Unitime and Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915.
While not technically a smart watch, the B55 Connected uses Bluetooth to connect with your smartphone to display some of your phone notifications. This is primarily a pilot's watch, so the communication with your phone is going to be rather time measurement-related. This piece has a 46mm black-coated titanium case, a black dial with a WiFi-looking connected symbol, and a blue rubber strap. Check out the review on A Blog To Watch.
Breitling B55 Connected
While looking ahead, Breitling also looks behind for inspiration. The Breitling Chronoliner, another new pilot's watch, maintains the standards set by Breitling today while bearing the grace of the 50s and 60s models. This GMT chronograph, housed in a polished steel case with an Ocean Classic Steel bracelet, allows you to track three separate time zones thanks to the GMT hand as well as the 24-hour ceramic bezel. This is also available in a Navitimer Steel bracelet (Y2431012/BE10/443A). Check out the reviews on A Blog To Watch and Watch Time.
Breitling Chronoliner Y2431012/BE10/152A
The Galactic Unitime SleekT is considered a double revolution, with its brand new manufacture movement Calibre B35 and its new smooth tungsten carbide bezel. This new movement provides an unprecedented user friendliness for the watch's world time feature while the bezel, almost five times stronger than steel, is highly resistant to scratches. Coming in at a 44mm diameter with a steel case and Pilot bracelet, this watch is available with a "Trophy Black" or "Antarctica White" (WB3510U0/A777/375A) globe-patterned dial. Get to know this piece with Watch Time.
Breitling Galactic Unitime SleekT WB3510U4/BD94/375A
With the Transocean Chronograph 1915, Breitling marks 100 years of a major development in horology – the chronograph. A limited edition collection (appropriately 1915 pieces), this watch pays tribute to its roots while moving with the times. Unlike the usual Transocean watches, which operate on the Breitling 01 movement, the 1915 edition is powered by Calibre B14 movement. This 43mm watch has a stainless steel case with a transparent case back, engraved to mark the occasion – "100e anniversaire 1915-2015", and either a crocodile (AB141112/G799/739P/A20BA.1) or Ocean Classic steel bracelet. You can read Watch Time's review for a deeper understanding of this watch.
Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 (AB141112/G799/154A)
And with that, we round out our picks. Do you love them? Tell us!
In the meantime, you should consider BaselWorld 2016. BaselWorld is an event open to the public, so if you'd like to attend next year's affair, you should definitely check out this quick tip guide on what to expect from Watch Time. Start your planning!