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Watch trends 2016 - Watchmaking in all its forms

Watch trends 2016 Watchmaking in all its forms

Tonneau (barrel) shapes, softened squares, cushions, rectangles, elongated or regular octagons: Baselworld 2016 was all about ‘form’ watches, a term encompassing all models that are not round. We take a thorough look at them from every angle.

The 2016 watch collections are undeniably focused on classic, timeless models and ‘form’ watches clearly fall into this category. The new releases presented at Baselworld give pride of place to angles, whether sharp or rounded. This year’s crop of non-round watches has indeed rarely been so rich and interesting.

Bell&Ross continues to work on its large square with soft angles, while exploring new textures. Its BR-X1 tones down the radically technical side of its nature by adopting a titanium case featuring a Macassar ebony veneer. This deeply veined precious wood lends an undeniably chic touch to this sports watch.

The design of the new generation of Octo models continues to showcase its stunning versatility. The latest star from Bulgari now welcomes an ultra-thin minute repeater movement. Above and beyond its stats and the performance they reveal, the octagonal shape with its distinctive slim yet sophisticated multi-level construction continues to display striking relevance in every context, appearing here in a high-tech version clothed in shotblasted titanium.

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While it may be a rectangle, its vertical sides are delightfully curved and voluminous. The New Retro shows up in a new size, since de Grisogono has created a 38 mm version to complement the rest of this collection. The subtly dipping curves of the sapphire crystal are as aesthetically appealing as ever.

To celebrate the opening of its first Parisian boutique, in the Ritz Hotel, Graff has created a brand-new collection simply named Graff Vendôme. Available in men’s and ladies’ sizes, it picks up the shape of the famous Parisian square, while instilling an unmistakably 1980s-style mood.

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Longines continues to explore the past with its Heritage line, drawing upon its proud history to produce watches named after a given year. The Heritage 1969 brings a blast from the past in the form of a tonneau-shaped case surrounding a square dial with softened corners. The combination of a steel case and gold hands conveys a pleasing but not excessive retro touch.

MCT has built its design on an almost square cushion shape whose thickness varies according to the case profile. After equipping it with its founding horological complication, a jumping hour display on rotating prisms, it uses this shape to house its second movement. The Frequential One is dominated by its central balance and its bridges, while the case reveals its full complexity when viewed from the back.

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Although strongly rounded, this is unmistakably a tonneau (barrel) shape. The Aquanaut by Patek Philippe features a distinctive appearance matched by a wide variety of functions in various models. In 2016, the brand offers a new interpretation of the Travel Time version, clothed in pink gold framing a chocolate brown dial and fitted as usual with a rubber strap.

It is 40 years young and as up to date as ever. The Monza is back on the TAG Heuer catalogue after several years’ absence. With its cushion-type case, sporty chronograph function and resolutely vintage look, this anniversary model bears a stronger than ever resemblance to the original, which had caused a sensation with its all-black case at the time of its launch. It is now larger and made of titanium that is blackened and hardened by a carbide coating.

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For Bell & Ross, each detail has a specific meaning and function: functionality is key, and minimalism – dispensing with superfluous ornamental details in favour of essential aspects – is vital.

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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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Keen to develop technical timepieces with a refined and distinctive aesthetic appearance, in less than twenty years de Grisogono has successfully carved out a niche in the world of watchmaking. Its...

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Graff watches capture all the finesse of the firm’s jewellery heritage.

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Today Longines is the oldest brand still in business, unchanged, in the international registers held by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The firm has a long tradition,...

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MCT watches combine audacious design with an avant-garde technical approach. Using movements developed and manufactured entirely in-house, MCT has a contemporary vision of time and a respect for...

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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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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...

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