11 extreme watches The most... from Baselworld
Baselworld is a watch fair of extremes, featuring a huge variety of exceptional concepts, finishes and designs. Worldtempus takes a closer look at some of most striking examples. Each represents one extreme of a particular genre.
Most complicated: Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300
The original series of seven watches produced to commemorate Patek Philippe’s 175th anniversary has now been transferred over to the watchmaker’s regular production... if you can use the word “regular” for a watch priced at 2.2 million francs, only a couple of which will be produced every year. In case you have forgotten, it is a perpetual calendar watch with grande sonnerie, petite sonnerie, alarm with time strike and date repeater, in a reversible case.
Most certified: Chopard - L.U.C Perpetual Chrono
This L.U.C, a perpetual calendar chronograph, is the epitome of Chopard’s attachment to official certification. As well as COSC chronometer certification, this imposing timepiece also bears the Geneva Hallmark. The gold from which its case is made is Fairmined assured, a guarantee of responsible mining which the brand is hoping to extend to all its L.U.C complication watches.
Most geographical: Graff GyroGraff World
These are not universal time watches. They are exquisite three-dimensional representations, produced strictly to order. Their dials feature a faithful reproduction, in enamelled gold, of whichever part of the globe the client requests. What is particularly impressive is the way the materials are skilfully manipulated to depict differences in altitude.
Most frosted: Breguet Tradition Dame 7038
“Frosted” is how Breguet describes the sand-blasted silvered finish of this first Tradition watch specifically aimed at women. The watch’s coolly glittering demeanour is offset by the warm mother-of-pearl dial and a hot pink strap.
Most red: Bulgari Diagono Magnesium
The award for the reddest timepiece goes not to a jewellery watch paved with rubies or garnets, but to Bulgari’s latest Diagono Magnesium chronograph with red dial and lugs.
Most transparent: Hublot Big Bang Unico Sapphire
Rather than skeletonising the movement to achieve maximum transparency, which Hublot is more than capable of doing, the watchmaker has chosen for the first time to enclose its Big Bang in a completely transparent sapphire case.
Most spine-chilling: HYT Skull Bad Boy
The watch industry has more than its fair share of skulls, but this Skull Bad Boy is particularly well-named. Its dark and disturbing looks are magnified by the Damascus steel of the skull, and the watch’s imposing diameter shows it means business.
Most leather: Hublot Classic Fusion Berluti Scritto
The partnership is surprising but completely in keeping with Hublot’s aesthetic. Berluti, formerly a shoe manufacturer, now in the luxury ready-to-wear business, has collaborated with the watchmaker to produce a timepiece with an unusual leather dial. The strap is also supplied by Berluti, as is the presentation case, which doubles as a very posh shoe shine kit.
Most architectural: DeWitt Academia Skeleton
The last few years have seen a plethora of skeleton watches, and Baselworld 2016 continues the trend. Very few, however, are as revealing as this one. The DeWitt Academia stands out not only for the extent and application of the skeletonising, but also for what it contains: a bi-directional seconds hand that reverses direction every 30 seconds, twin barrels and a beautiful winding system driven by satellite gears.
Most textile: Harry Winston Premier Precious Weaving
This diamond-set ladies’ watch in white gold is precious beyond belief. The fruit of a collaboration between Harry Winston and a Japanese manufacturer of high-end luxury fabrics, the dial of the Premier Precious Weaving is woven from silk threads and delicate strips of mother-of-pearl and gold. It’s intriguing from a distance and even more fascinating close up.
Most ethereal: Boucheron Hopi Ajourée
It’s not just the bird motif that makes this Boucheron so airy and light. It is also the actual weight, which is virtually non-existent, and the story it tells. Two hummingbirds are frozen in flight at the edges of the case, on either side of the dial, their beaks just barely touching.
Everything in the Maison centers on a global message linked to joy, to happiness and the celebration of life: for the Boucheron family, life is festive. Frédéric Boucheron’s choice of the theme...Find out more
Breguet’s archives, kept in Switzerland and in Paris, record the developments that have sustained Breguet watchmaking for more than two centuries. The firm is committed to remaining ahead of its...Find out more
Bulgari has its own clear definition of excellence, which involves the perfect balance between design, added-value, quality of its products and its worldwide service. In the case of Bulgari...Find out more
Maison Chopard epitomises the alliance between watchmaking and jewellery. It has always known how to meet the expectations of its day, relying on four essential values: expertise, tradition,...Find out more
Although the project was originally that of one man, the adventure is collective. Jérôme De Witt's view is that the past centuries hold abundant wealth – and that given the technological resources...Find out more
Graff watches capture all the finesse of the firm’s jewellery heritage.Find out more
Harry Winston’s commitment to quality and fine craftsmanship, in keeping with the finest traditions of Haute Horlogerie, remains the unmistakable signature of a rare degree of legitimacy in the...Find out more
From the outset, Hublot has embodied design and innovation that differ markedly from the established watchmaking order. With the impetus provided by Jean-Claude Biver, by 2004 these values had...Find out more
The Hydro Mechanical Horologists at HYT have realised an impossible dream: combining mechanics and fluids in a wristwatch.Find out more
Patek Philippe enjoys outstanding renown and rare prestige, due to the constancy with which the Manufacture has applied its philosophy of excellence ever since it was founded.Find out more