As is customary, some of the Baselworld big reveals were made in advance of the fair; a tradition which the Swatch Group brands, exhibiting in Zurich this year, haven’t lost. While some take advantage of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva to present line extensions, others offer just a glimpse of what’s in store, keeping excitement levels high. With one day to go before curtain-up, here’s something to whet the appetite.
Breitling Aviator 8 Chronographe 43 Curtiss Warhawk
With Breitling under new management, there was always the possibility that the brand might loosen its ties with the world of aviation. Not happening. First off, earlier in the year, it introduced a capsule collection dedicated to the golden age of commercial aviation with models in TWA, Swissair or PanAm livery. Now comes a trio of Aviator 8 watches in honour of the legendary Curtiss P-40 Warhawk plane. They include this Chronograph 43 with a matte-finish military green dial and tone-on-tone subdials. The movement is the Breitling Calibre 13.
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo TB Carbon
This watch already grabbed headlines last year when it claimed a double world record as the thinnest automatic watch ever made and the thinnest tourbillon on the market, courtesy of an extraordinarily slender, 1.95-mm high movement inside a 3.95-mm thick case (if thick is the appropriate word). Following on from its stablemate, the record-breaking Minute Repeater launched in 2018, it adopts a carbon CTP case that Bvlgari is releasing as a 50-piece limited edition.
Chanel Boy.Friend Tweed Art
The Boy.Friend is Chanel’s gender-fluid watch. Taking its cue from Mademoiselle Chanel, who borrowed items from a man’s wardrobe and gave them a new twist, it takes the Première watch into masculine territory. As the Boy.Friend Skeleton Black Edition, it carried off the Ladies’ Watch prize at the 2018 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Now it returns as the Tweed Art, dressed in beige gold and sporting a tweed-patterned dial in Grand Feu enamel.
Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin
This L.U.C watch sees the debut of Chopard’s first automatic calibre with a flying tourbillon, and while the technical expertise contained in this watch speaks for itself, refinement is the dominant feature here. The movement, the 96.24-L, stands a mere 3.3mm high (retaining the same dimensions as Chopard’s first in-house movement). It resides in an elegantly thin case measuring 7.2mm. In keeping with Chopard’s principle to only use ethical gold, the case is crafted from Fairmined gold. The dial, also in solid gold, is finished with a superb hand-guilloché pattern. The watch is hallmarked with the Poinçon de Genève, while the movement is chronometer-certified by the COSC.
De Bethune DB28GS Grand Bleu
Mention sport watches, and De Bethune isn’t the first manufacturer to spring to mind, yet here we have it. A dive watch that serves up a new calibre, a bezel that rotates with the crystal to indicate dive times, a super-light titanium case, and excellent legibility thanks to a light source from inside the movement. When activated, a small geartrain, driven by the twin barrel, generates a bluish-white light by means of a miniature dynamo. The manual-wind movement is De Bethune’s twenty-seventh in-house calibre, and delivers five days of power reserve.
Greubel Forsey GMT Quadruple Tourbillon
This watch is the fusion of Greubel Forsey’s second Fundamental Invention, the Quadruple Tourbillon, and the brand’s vision of the GMT function by means of a spinning terrestrial globe. This powerfully structured timepiece displays three time zones. They are completed on the reverse side by a world time indication, shown on a 24-hour scale with day/night divisions, and a disc carrying three-letter abbreviations for world cities. This same disc also distinguishes between time zones that observe summer time, and those that don’t.
H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Tourbillon
A red gold case with black DLC titanium inserts that’s water-resistant to 120 metres gives this undoubtedly high-mech watch the “all-terrain” exterior it needs to stand up to the rough and tumble of daily life. On the mechanical front, the movement is Moser’s own HMC 804 automatic calibre. It incorporates a double balance spring, a speciality of the brand which by improving isochronism improves precision. Another signature feature is the tourbillon. Designed as an interchangeable module, it can be assembled and regulated independently of the movement via a “plug and play” system.
Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Orlinski Sapphire
It’s been two years since Hublot and Richard Orlinski formed their “fusional duo”, regularly treating fans to the results of this merging of sculpture and the watchmaker’s art. This Classic Fusion Tourbillon is the latest iteration. It comes as three 30-piece editions in ceramic, King Gold or sapphire – three materials with strong connections to Hublot. The 45-mm facetted case opens onto a highly stylised openworked dial that includes an indication of the five-day power reserve, supplied by the in-house, manual-wind movement.
Zenith Defy Classic Black Ceramic
Ceramic makes its debut in the Defy Classic collection, which is Zenith’s “neo-futuristic” range. Visible through the star-shaped openworked dial is the Elite 670 calibre. Zenith’s in-house base movement, it appears here in a skeletonised version, complete with a silicon lever and escape wheel.
Breguet Classique 5177 Grand Feu Blue Enamel
Breguet’s classicism shines through in this watch, whose pedigree is instantly discernible in the fluted sides of the white gold case, the moon-tipped hands, the straight soldered lugs, and the calligraphy imagined by Breguet himself. The most striking feature, however, is the rich blue of the Grand Feu enamel dial that echoes the colour of blued hands. For ease of readability, in this instance the hands are made from rhodium-plated steel. They are driven by the 777Q automatic movement, incorporating a silicon lever and escape wheel.
Jaquet Droz SW Chrono
While Jaquet Droz may be renowned for its classic watches highlighting the many métiers d’art mastered within its walls, this doesn’t preclude it from proposing the SW sport watch range. New to the collection this year is this chronograph, distinguished by a midnight blue dial. A redesign underscores its sporting style, with the introduction of a central display for the time combined with the chronograph central seconds hand and two counters. A large date at 12 o’clock completes the layout.
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Ceramic and Titanium
Mechanical upgrades and innovative materials are giving a new face to Omega’s iconic Seamaster Diver 300M. Continuing in this direction, this year sees the introduction of a 43.5-mm model made from black ceramic and titanium. The dial, in brushed ceramic, is laser-engraved with the Diver 300M’s signature wave pattern. Beating inside this dive watch is the Omega Master Chronometer Calibre 8806, which has been tested and certified by METAS.