Top 5 Mechanical Marvels of Baselworld 2016
Paradoxically, the slow down in the exportations of Swiss watches seems to be a strong stimulation for the brands. It is not question here of crazy designs or stunning technological innovations as these last 15 years were full of them. The matter is more about doing better, going deeper, giving more substance and legitimacy as well as lowering the prices at the maximum. Consequently, we picked up 5 new products that illustrate the best what represents to us the strongest trend of the 2016 edition of Baselworld.
CEO of TAG Heuer as well as President of Hublot and Head of the watch division of LVMH, Jean-Claude Biver had announced it last: TAG Heuer was preparing a 15'000 $ tourbillon watch. It came one year later, a few days before the fair, as a good move to create some buzz. But the thing is that the Carrera Heuer-02T is in addition a chronograph manufactured in-house. Usually, the price of any tourbillon is on average of 100'000 $. Launching a model 10 times less expensive is a bet that impacted seriously the tourbillons makers. President of Patek Philippe Philippe Stern evoked the idea of eventually stopping to produce tourbillons if prices would become so low. Future will tell what a tourbillon is today - or to be precise: a flying tourbillon in this case, the finest type of tourbillons.
Breguet could rest on its laurels because of the prestige of its name and the fact to belong to powerful Swatch Group. But the brand is ambitious and strengthens always more its personal approach of high-end watchmaking. The Tradition Repetition Minutes Tourbillon 7087 is a supreme example of its power. At the beginning, the goal was to obtain one special sound. The whole development of the movement started from there. Then, innovative systems were development such as an internal bezel on which the gongs are fixed, or a coaxial striking mechanism driven by a micro-chain. Many other elements make that the Tradition Repetition Minutes Tourbillon 7087 is for us one of the strongest classical timepiece of the fair.
Rebellion is famous now for its unusual and technically extreme watches. The T-1000 model launched a few years ago was redesigned to become the Prometheus T3k. If the caliber is the same, the case has now triangular shapes that make it super futuristic, in addition to be slightly easier to wear.
Harry Winston explores for 7 years the limits of the tourbillon throughout its series Histoire de tourbillon. The 7th version that was launched at Baselworld caught our eyes because of the two bi-axial tourbillon interconnected with a spherical differential. What mattered for us first is how Harry Winston ensured the continuity of this evolving tribute to the most spectacular watch mechanism. And naturally, the result is just as impressive as it used to be. And in a way, as the Opus series is not anymore the expected highlight of the brand at Baselworld, we appreciate that the Histoire de tourbillon took over.
Finally, we wanted to congratulate Hermès for the innovative work the brand did by adapting a new enamel technique to watchmaking: the shaded enamel. This technique is derived from the litophania used to create ceramic art pieces using the natural light. The craftsman Olivier Vaucher and his team worked about 2 years until they could master the technique, which consists in revealing an engraved motive by using the light going throughout a layer of tainted and transparent enamel.
Don't hesitate to watch the videos we produced about most of these watches and topics. There is a lot to discover and enjoy there.