Ceramic watches Ceramic watches at Baselworld
Over the last few years ceramic has become an increasingly familiar material in the watchmaker’s arsenal. Here are some of the must-see ceramic watches of 2016.
Ceramic offers many advantages: it is non-allergenic because it contains no metal, it retains its shine and is extremely resistant to scratching and wear. Ceramic is the must-have new material, and is often given pride of place in the latest watch collections. WorldTempus has chosen four standout models.
Chanel – J12
When it was launched in 2000, the J12 was the first watch that dared to transform high-tech ceramic into a precious material. The first model, striking in black, was followed up in 2003 by an immaculate white version, and the number 12 became another Chanel icon. In the fifteen years since its launch, the mother house has continued to pay tribute to its iconic watch, issuing multiple variations that run the gamut of finishes, gem-setting and haute horlogerie. This year at Baselworld the company introduced a number of new variants. The J12 Collector Mirror, in a limited run of 1200, sets up a play of reflections between printed numerals under a sapphire crystal, which are mirrored in the chapter ring underneath. Also new for 2016 is the J12-G10. Available in black or white ceramic, this timepiece brings the NATO strap, a common feature of military-style watches, to a woman’s wrist. In case you were wondering, the G10 in the name comes from the order number for the legendary military watch strap.
TAG Heuer – Aquaracer Lady 300m
TAG Heuer’s sports watch the Aquaracer Lady appears for the first time this year in full ceramic. Boasting water resistance down to 300 metres, the timepiece is available in three versions: white, black and rose gold, and black and diamond. The generous 35 mm case, which is slightly larger than on previous models, encloses a quartz movement. The twelve-sided unidirectional rotating bezel, screw-down crown, large luminescent index markers and hands for greater visibility and screw-down case back engraved with a diver’s helmet are features of a true sports watch that combines elegance and charm.
Seiko – Spring Drive Collection
Spring Drive, Seiko’s new sports watch collection, features four models in ceramic and titanium – two of the strongest materials – including two chronographs. The inner case is made of high intensity titanium, while the outer case and bezel are in zirconia ceramic, which is stronger than any other ceramic and seven times harder than steel on the Vickers scale. While the black colour is new to the Grand Seiko collection, the clear ridges on the facets of the case and the diamond-cut hands and index markers are characteristic of the collection. These four limited-edition timepieces are driven by the automatic Spring Drive manual mechanism.
Blancpain – Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe 3-hands
The newest model of Blancpain’s dive watch, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, appears this year for the first time clad in a case made of grey plasma ceramic, a technique that gives the colour a subtle metallic sheen. Adding to its allure, the plasma grey ceramic bezel has been equipped with a blue ceramic insert featuring Liquidmetal® hour markers. The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe is driven by the in-house calibre 1315, with silicon balance spring and a glucydur balance wheel. Its three series-coupled mainspring barrels give the automatic mechanical movement a generous power reserve of five days. The watch comes with a choice of two straps: sail canvas or a three-ring NATO version.
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.Find out more
Through her life, Gabrielle Chanel embodied strength, character and a fierce desire for independence. Maison CHANEL, avant-garde and constantly innovative, has come down through the decades to...Find out more
The history of Seiko is a more than 130 year story of innovation. From the very start, Kintaro Hattori was determined to be at the forefront of the industry and his oft-repeated credo was that...Find out more
Over 150 years of watchmaking savoir-faire and technical innovation have made TAG Heuer a global reference in avant-garde sports watches. As it tracked the rise of sports demanding increasingly...Find out more