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Baselworld 2017 - Fur, feathers and scales

Baselworld 2017 Fur, feathers and scales

Whether at the foot of a mountain, perched on a branch or swimming in a pond, animals made a tentative return to watch dials at Baselworld.

The fever has abated. After years of unbridled creativity, carried on the back of the watch-buying public’s enthusiasm for artistic crafts, watches with animal-themed dials appeared to have retreated into the undergrowth, melted back into the forest, sunk beneath the waves. But Hermès has signalled its displeasure with a testy “Grrrr!” – which is the name of one of its latest watch creations. The face of a bear peers out from the dial, placing the horological bestiary back quite literally in centre stage.

Fur, feathers and scales

Métiers d’art watches, which are expensive even though they are no longer so very rare, are a battle field. And the battle is being fought out between different techniques, different brands and different worlds. Jaquet Droz has chosen the theme of koi carp, swimming in a pond. It’s a highly symbolic choice: according to Chinese beliefs, this peaceful freshwater fish shows us how to live within the constraints of reality. Blancpain offers a scene straight off a Swiss postcard. On the dial of the new Villeret Métiers d’Art Shakudo, a battle takes place between the bovine “Queens” of the Val d’Hérens, a springtime ritual of Switzerland’s Alpine pastures, under the forbidding gaze of the Matterhorn.

Fur, feathers and scales

Fur, feathers and scales

Bulgari calls upon aventurine, cloisonné enamel and diamond to bring a peacock to life. Its stylised tail feathers dominate a sumptuous interpretation of the Diva. Given that peacocks don’t fly, we need another creature to bring a bit of altitude to our Basel bestiary. Cvstos comes to the rescue, with its Re-Belle Papillon. Patek Philippe joins the throng with a new series of one-off pieces in miniature-painted enamel, one of which depicts a bird perched on a branch. It’s no doubt waiting patiently for the fauna of the watchmaking world to repopulate the aisles of the trade shows.

Fur, feathers and scales

Fur, feathers and scales

Fur, feathers and scales

Brands

Blancpain is the archetypal Manufacture: with a watchmaking heritage dating back several centuries, it has successfully preserved its watchmaking tradition, whilst welcoming a spirit of innovation.

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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...

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Since its launch in 2005, Cvstos has been following its own contemporary, aesthetic path, producing imposing, technical timepieces.

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“La Montre Hermès” has adopted an epicurean philosophy that values the creation of sober, contemporary timepieces.

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An elegant, outward-looking philosophy that dates back to the Age of Enlightenment is still at the heart of Jaquet Droz's identity. The fine and rare handcrafts practiced at the company’s workshops...

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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.

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