It was a busy week in Las Vegas, with the annual jewelry and watch shows in town. The Couture show at the Wynn Las Vegas (June 2 – 6) and the JCK show at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino (June 3 – 6) were augmented by a couple of new shows to add to the mix (and to the cab fares). These included the JIS Exchange in partnership with JCK at the newly renovated Tropicana, and the World Watch Market at the Trump International. The JIS Exchange was a trade-only jewelry buying and selling event held for the first time in Las Vegas, June 3 through yesterday, while the World Watch Market was a brand-new effort at a consumer watch show, held Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5.
While most brands introduce their new products for the year at the winter and spring European watch trade shows (SIHH and Baselworld), there were a few notable releases concurrent with the Las Vegas shows. These included Chopard’s latest limited edition timepiece devoted to Italy’s Mille Miglia classic car rally, which was on display at Couture. As official timekeeper for the race since 1988, the Mille Miglia range of Chopard timepieces has grown beautifully and considerably throughout the years. The Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition, a stainless steel chronograph limited to 1,000 pieces, features the Chopard Caliber 03.05-C, a chronograph movement with COSC certification. The dial is inspired by vintage auto dashboards, and it insures maximum readability thanks to its large numerals and luminescent hands. Recalling leather car bonnet tie-down straps, the leather watchstrap echoes the spirit of the Mille Miglia race.
Baume & Mercier
In keeping with the car theme, Baume & Mercier’s Capeland Shelby Cobra 1963 “Tribute Edition” was on display along with the racecar that inspired it: the Shelby Cobra 289 "Tribute Edition." The watch will be offered exclusively to buyers of the car, and only fifteen watches and fifteen cars will be produced, with each watch featuring the chassis number engraved on the caseback. Baume & Mercier Global CEO, Alain Zimmerman and President of Baume & Mercier North America, Fred Martel, hosted a cocktail event during Couture to honor the partnership and recognize legendary Shelby Cobra driver, Allen Grant, who was in attendance. According to Zimmerman, cars and watches appeal to a similar demographic, and Baume & Mercier’s association with motorsports is one more opportunity to surprise and delight the brand’s loyal fans.
Zenith introduced two new models in its Pilot Type 20 collection at the Couture show, and both will be available exclusively at the brand’s authorized retailers in the U.S. and Canada. Full story on the models here.
Vintage styles, evident at the European trade shows earlier in the year, remain strong. As an example, the new Alpina KM-710, shown at JCK, is a contemporary take on the naval service wristwatches that Alpina produced in the 1930s for the German military. As early as 1934, the massive military armament in Germany called for very different kinds of timepieces, and Alpina was one of the suppliers for the German Kriegsmarine, alongside other brands. The KM-710 features a stainless steel case and the in-house AL-710 automatic caliber.
Ball Watch is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year and concurrently introducing its first in-house mechanical movement, Caliber RRM1101, which made its U.S. debut in the Ball Trainmaster Manufacture on display at JCK. The 40mm, 18-karat rose gold watch is limited to just 125 pieces, each with a classic two-hand dial with date window at 3 o’clock. H3 micro-gas tubes in the hour and minute hands insure readability in low-light conditions.