Highlights From Baselworld 2018: The Must-See Timepieces

Watches & Jewellery

March 29, 2018 | BY Charlene Co

Hong Kong Tatler's watch and jewellery editor rounds up what's new and notable at Baselworld 2018.

Blancpain Villeret Grande Date Jour Rétrograde
Why we love it:

For the first time, we see a retrograde day indicator on Blancpain’s classic Villeret collection, placed between 7 and 9 o’clock, right beside the large date positioned between 5 and 6 o’clock. The position of these indicators are intentional, to keep the dial well proportioned and balanced.

Taking the seamless approach a step further, Blancpain uses under-lug calendar correctors so that save for the main crown, the profile of the watch is clean. Such is the way in the world of Villeret, where achieving a pure and elegant aesthetic comes first.

Chopard Happy Palm
Why we love it:

As Chopard announced that by July 2018, 100-percent of its jewellery will be made using Fairmined gold—or gold that has been certified to have been sourced ethically and responsibly—the brand introduced here at Baselworld the first watch to be made with this very precious metal. Called the Happy Palm watch, a play on the brand’s signature Happy Hearts collection, it has a gold palm seen on the Cannes Festival’s Palme d'Or award with five moving diamonds. This piece was also created to coincide with the Happy Sport collection’s 25th anniversary this year.

Also see: Inside the Chopard Space Party at Cannes

Breguet Marine Chronographe 5527
Why we love it:

For the first time, Breguet comes out with a titanium version of the Marine Chronographe. Combining elegant and sporty aesthetics, this 42.3mm timepiece features on its gold, slate grey coloured dial Roman numerals, luminescent dots, proportionally positioned counters, and a marine-inspired central chronograph hand. Apart from titanium, the Marine Chronographe also comes in a white gold case matched with a blue dial, and a rose gold case with a silvered dial, with a choice of either a rubber or leather strap.

Read also: A Breguet special with Datuk Kelvin Tan, Lee Jim Leng and Dato' Sri Jeffrey Raymond

Chanel Code Coco All Diamond
Why we love it:

On the heels of the very successful launch of the Code Coco last year—the fun and stylish watch whose dial is inspired by the clasp of the iconic Chanel 2.55 bag—the French maison comes out with an ultra-luxurious Code Coco All Diamond version. Made in 18K white gold, the piece, as the name suggests, is covered in baguette-, princess- and brilliant-cut diamonds totalling a blinding 54.76 carats.

Hublot Big Bang MP-11
Why we love it: 

Ah, Hublot and its high-tech materials. This year, using 3D carbon, we see the alchemist watchmaker create an astounding timepiece called the Big Bang MP-11, signalling yet another chapter in the brand’s “Art of Fusion” programme. In this hefty yet ultra-light piece, carbon is reinforced with three-dimensional fibre woven resin, and then moulded into a race engine-inspired case. It also features 7 series-coupled barrels lined horizontally which not only ensure an impressive two years of power reserve, but likewise provide a rather spectacular aesthetic.

Did you know: Rapper Joe Flizzow is Malaysia’s first friend of Hublot

Harry Winston Premier Winston Candy Automatic 31mm
Why we love it:

It’s all about colour at Harry Winston this year. Apart from the vibrant new pieces added to its Ocean Collection—which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary—it also introduces a very vibrant Premier Winston Candy Automatic watch, where the brand demonstrates its snow-setting expertise. Said to be the most vivacious high jewellery timepiece within the Premier Collection, this new model is speckled with 322 gemstones and diamonds. This piece, which will be limited to only 77 pieces, also marks the first-time Harry Winston fitted an automatic movement on a 31mm watch.

Graff MasterGraff Métiers d'Art
Why we love it: 

At Graff, we turn our attention to its Master Graff Métiers d'Art line, who this year looked to the East for inspiration. A 43mm dial turns canvas, where master artisans apply grand feu and champlevé’ enamelling techniques on the gold dial to create a lifelike dragon relief. Each of these artistic dials—there are three versions of the dragon—take more than 40 hours to create. Beside this stunning artistry is a majestic flying tourbillon.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II
Why we love it:

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II is arguably one of the most talked-about watches at Baselworld, which comes with a bidirectional bezel and a 24-hour graduated two-colour Cerachrom insert in red and blue ceramic.

In this latest iteretion, the lugs and sides of its Oyster case have been redesigned, and is fitted with a new five-link Jubilee bracelet. Ticking inside is a new calibre with an impressive 10 patents pending under its belt, equipped with a “Chronergy” escapement that guarantees a power reserve of about 70 hours.

Patek Phillipe Ref. 5738R-001 Golden Ellipse
Why we love it:

Now this, ladies and gentlemen, is pure class. After the Calatrava, which first hit the market in 1932, the Golden Ellipse is the second oldest watch in the Patek Philippe collection that debuted 50 years ago. Matched with a rose gold case, the Ref. 5738R-001 comes with an ebony black sunburst dial featuring applied hour markers and delicate cheveu hands. Arguably the ultimate dress watch, its crown is set with a black onyx cabochon and fitted with a hand-stitched shiny black alligator strap with square scales. You can also opt to get this handsome timepiece with its matching cuff links.

Further reading: Four reasons why a Patek Philippe watch is worth the wait

H. Moser Venturer Small Seconds XL Purity
Whe we love it:

It’s been said that no one does fumé quite like H. Moser & Cie. Looking at this new Venturer Small Seconds XL Purity, it just might be the case.

In this iteration, red gold is used for the first time in this line, a gamble that worked handsomely as the warm tone of precious metal gave the watch’s rhodium-plated fumé dial more depth and vibrancy. The piece is fitted with a distressed beige kudu leather strap, a nice contrast to the watchmaker’s famously pristine dial.

Tudor 1926
Why we love it:

From Tudor comes a completely new line called 1926, named after the year “The Tudor” was registered as a brand on behalf of Rolex Founder Hans Wilsdorf. With aesthetics that harken back to watches of the 1930s and 1940s, its dials are domed and have a waffle/honeycomb-like texture that offers a nice contrast against a smooth, high polished minute scale. Its debut line comes in four sizes from 28mm to 41mm, and a choice of a silver, opaline or black dial.

Should you want a touch of shine on your piece, you can opt for a version with its odd hours presented in diamonds. The pieces are equipped with an automatic movement with a 36-hour power reserve, which at a price range of CHF1,600 (about HK$13,000) and CHF 2,750 (about 22,800), is very attractively priced.

Zenith Defy Zero G
Why we love it:

The cool new Defy Zero G features an innovative gyroscopic module designed to cancels out the effects of gravity on the running rate of the watch, by maintaining the regulating organ and the balance wheel in a horizontal position. This year, Zenith pushes the envelope further by reducing the size of the module but at the same time increase its efficiency. The gyroscopic cage—inspired by historical marine chronometers—which previously spun between two convex sapphire crystals, now occupies merely 30 percent of what it used to, and now fits perfectly between the two flat sapphire crystals of the Defy case. This version comes in a solid rose gold case and bracelet.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted (rose gold version)
Why we love it:

The metallic stealth appearance of Bulgari’s new Octo Finissimo Automatic Sandblasted timepieces is aimed to appeal to the younger watch aficionados who maybe want to buy a “grown-up” watch, but still insists that it be utterly cool. And we say its satin-brushed, matte surfaces delivers just that. This year, Bulgari has added steel and rose gold versions, in addition to the titanium model launched in 2017. Inside these ultra-svelte pieces—a mere 5.15mm thick—is the self-winding BVL 138 Finissimo calibre, which currently holds the record for the world’s thinnest automatic movement. The watches are fitted with very supple bracelets that follow the curve of one’s wrist, making them comfortable and super sleek to have on.


Tag Heuer Monaco Bamford
Why we love it:

In partnership with the Bamford Watch Department, a company well known for its highly exclusive, customised watches, Tag Heuer, has created a special edition of its iconic Monaco watch. The Tag Heuer Monaco Bamford watch comes with a solid carbon case, entirely black dial and aqua blue chronograph counters. Said to be the boldest the Monaco has ever gone, followers of the Monaco must definitely add this edition in their collection.

Glashütte Original Sixties Panorama
Why we love it:

Are you a child of the Sixties, or maybe a fan of the era’s funky style? You can look to Glashütte Original’s Sixties collection, a line whose aesthetics are dedicated to the fashion of the decade. At Baselworld, the brand presented this new Sixties model that comes with a retro-cool green dial with a dégradé effect, where the colour gets more saturated towards its peripheral. Of course, we see on this piece the line’s signature features: domed sapphire crystal, curved hands and quirky Arabic numerals. If you like what you see, do not delay on that order as this watch will be available only this year.

Related Stories