Every spring, the watch world gathers in Basel, Switzerland, to showcase and view the latest in horological creations at BaselWorld. This year, BaselWorld is being held in a new facility where over 100,000 visitors from around the globe and 1,815 exhibitors are expected to attend. This week, Team iW buckled up and headed for Basel to bring you exclusive coverage from your favorite brands, technologies and people.
In addition to up-to-date coverage of new releases and happenings, stay tuned daily for installments from the dedicated team behind International Watch Magazine. Be sure to stop by the iW Facebook page for even more exclusive footage and images.
5/1/13 From the desk of Michael Thompson High Tech Amid the Heritage at BaselWorld
While vintage watch styles are being displayed in many booths this year during the final few days of BaselWorld 2013 (the event closes May 2), several prominent brands are placing new or atypical technology into their familiar, heritage-linked cases. Decades ago, when many of the military or aviation styles favored by manufacturers (and their clients) were first in vogue, complications or technically advanced escapements would likely have never been considered for the functional timepieces favored in cockpits.
Zenith, for example, displayed a tourbillon on one of its new 48 mm pilot models while Breguet’s new Type XXII, the descendant of the firm’s Type XX pilot models, is fitted with a high-frequency (72,000 vph) caliber operating with a silicon escapement. Flight watch expert Breitling has presented Emergency II, the first wristwatch equipped with an authentic dual-frequency distress beacon. Bell & Ross showed its impressive WW2 Tourbillon, a titanium limited edition to be in stores toward the end of this year.
Outside the pilot watch arena several debuts at BaselWorld created buzz among the public and among the assembled retailers and press.
Which technically astute watches from the major brands had BaselWorld’s assembled hordes talking? TAG Heuer’s MikroPendulum and MikroPendulumS, the 11-barreled Hublot LaFerrari, Louis Vuitton’s Tambour Twin Chrono, Ulysse Nardin’s Stranger and its stunning Skeleton Manufacture, the aforementioned Breitling Emergency II, the Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement were among the most discussed technical models among the major brand releases.
For less purely technical reasons, watches from the new soon-to-enter-the-U.S. Tudor collection, along with the new platinum Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, were subjected to great scrutiny among U.S visitors, while Zenith’s pilot models, Patek Philippe’s new Gondolo 8-Days Ref. 5200 and the continued strong showing of automatic watches for women were subjects for many discussions here.
International Watch will show you these and many other new releases online and in print as we continue to cover the latest from BaselWorld 2013.