Baselworld 2018 came through with many new and exciting time pieces. Time being precious, I am diving straight into my top picks (not in order of favour nor merit) from this year’s novelties.
- Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Volant Heure Sautante Minute Rétrograde
Blancpain’s flying tourbillion was first introduced to a wrist watch in 1989, this year Blancpain has ingeniously incorporated the jumping hour and retrograde minute into this breath-taking flying tourbillion. This timepiece is an architectural phenomenon, the tourbillon cage, its balance wheel and its escapement seem to be floating in space, above the tourbillon’s fixed wheel attached to the clear disk. Staring at its movements, will remind you of poetry in motion.
As always, the movements are all in-house and at the Blancpain Le Brassus Métiers d’Art studio, they have devoted its technical expertise to the development of this classic grand feu enamel dial using the traditional champlevé technique (which are layers of hand painted enamel dial fired at temperatures of 800 degrees Celsius). Just watching the retrograde minute jump, with its refinement and uniqueness of this timepiece makes it one of my favourites.
- Patek Phillippe Aquanaut Chronograph
Since its introduction in 1997, the Aquanaut range has been the epitome of high performance luxury sports watches that combines sportiness and elegance. From the sweeping second, travel time, and self-winding timepieces, Patek introduces the Chronograph in this range.
This chronograph features a self-winding flyback chronograph movement that combines tradition and innovation. It has a classic column wheel as well as a modern vertical disk clutch that prevents a rebound of the hand in either direction when the chronograph is started; and because this clutch is virtually friction-free, the chronograph hand can also be used as a continuously running second hand.
It is water resistant to 120 metres, for added comfort, Patek Philippe has fitted this water-resistant and extremely rugged strap with the new Aquanaut fold-over clasp with four independent catches. The brilliant combination of black with orange has made this chronograph an intuitive choice for the sporty, classic and modern watch lover.
- Omega Seamaster Diver 300m
Omega launched its first Seamaster in 1993, ever since its first model, the Seamaster has evolved in design, durability and technology. Every detail of the design has also been rethought, including the iconic diving bezel, which is now made from ceramic with the diving scale in Ceragold™ or white enamel (for longer-lasting whiteness and durability).
The dials are also made from polished ceramic and are available in black, blue or chrome colour. The laser engraved wavy pattern on the dial is uniquely attractive. All indexes have been raised and filled with Super-LumiNova and, to keep track of the days, the date window has been moved to 6 o’clock. The skeleton hands are rhodium-plated, and comes in 18K gold, or blue. Much less frequently used, the Omega helium escape valve is included.
- Breguet Classique Tourbillion Extra Plat Automatique
This very elegant and classic minimalistic, simple and understated timepiece represents the era during in which Abraham Louis Breguet revolutionized the aesthetic conventions of timepieces by designing an off-centred face on the dial.
The symmetry is preserved with the chapter ring displaced to the 11 o’clock positon, while on the polar end, the hand-bevelled tourbillon bar, topped by a spinel. This beautiful timepiece measures a mere 7.45mm thick and its movement is only 3mm.
The in-house calibre powering this timepiece comprises a balance oscillating at a frequency of 4 Hz while maintaining an impressive 80-hour power reserve. This watch is a true collectors must have and a perennial conversation piece.