It’s the end of Baselworld for us and we’re all watch-ed out. If we’ve learnt anything from the industry this year, it’s that the tide is coming and we need to buckle in. Several brands are using the looming economic struggles to slowly do away with unwanted collections in their portfolios. We strongly approve of the idea – brands shouldn’t have too varied and wide a number of ranges as it takes away from the ethos of a brand. Other brands have adopted competitive pricing strategies, a healthy way to maintain market share.
Bad vibes aside, here are August Man‘s top four picks of the last day.
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Mysterious Seconds Revelation
We’ve always had a soft spot for Maurice Lacroix’s Masterpiece collection. The brand has always developed in-house complications and innovative methods of telling time in the range and has been awarded (rightly so) for its effort.
This year, Maurice Lacroix takes on one of its older Masterpieces, the Mysterious Seconds, and lets the owners in on a little of the secret behind the linear seconds display at six o’clock. A steel mesh disc hides (and reveals, depending on the angle) how the seconds hand rotates on a discs to hit the lines and tell the time.
Take away the whimsical flair of the watch and you’re still left with cool, masculine design that’s bound to get you some stares.
Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Annuel GMT Steel
For a GMT watch, Blancpain’s Quantieme Annuel GMT looks very far from what we’ve come to expect. The GMT function is at eight o’clock on what looks more like a sub-seconds dial but therein lies the beauty of the piece. It is functionality at its best – the GMT hand shouldn’t be on the centre as it conflicts with the hours and minutes (or that’s our interpretation of it at least).
What’s more fun is the layout of the day, date and month functions on the right side of the dial. As Blancpain explained, the windows are structured in such a way that you read it downwards exactly how you’d write it out. So for example, “It’s Monday, the 5th of April.”
Omega Speedmaster Moonphase Chronograph Master Chronometer
When it comes to sports watches, no timepiece deserves a moonphase more than Omega’s Speedmaster, thanks to the watch’s illustrious history higher past the skies. Even better yet, this moonphase happens to be on the front of one of the brand’s new Master Chronometer movements, which means it is both Co-Axial as well as chronometer certified with the added bonus of METAS certification. Introduced last year, the certification has been awarded to more of the brand’s calibres this year, all with different complications.
Calibre aside to be honest, we’d still go gaga over the new Speedmaster Moonphase Chronograph Master Chronometer based on just colour alone. Across the bezel, dial and counters, the distinct blue is a sharp and eye-catching hue. The moonphase indicator also holds a little surprise – a footprint on the moon, paying tribute to the moon landing.
Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture
Thierry Stern, Chairman of Patek Philippe, threw some shade at TAG Heuer recently in regards to the latter’s recent Carrera 02-T, the cheapest Swiss-made tourbillon timepiece. While that was going on, Frederique Constant kept its head down and continued doing what it has successfully done for the past decade – create an in-house complication priced below most and prove that value for money is more than alive in the Swiss watchmaking world.
We’re convinced that the Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture from the independent brand is the actual sleeper hit of this year’s Baselworld. Fuss-free, affordable, well-designed and a perpetual calendar at roughly S$12,000, there really isn’t much else to add.
Twenty timepieces over four days doesn’t do justice to the sheer amount of watches we’ve seen. Pick up the print version of August Man for a more in-depth look at the world of horology this year.
P.S Here are a few teasers for you to keep in mind.
– Patek Philippe will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Nautilus collection this year. At Baselworld, the brand only released a fully 18k rose gold version of the Nautilus but we’re confident something big is coming up soon.
– We were a little let down at the lack of a toy to marvel at during MB&F’s presentation earlier this week but the brand has assured us that a new timepiece (plus a new movement) will be coming out later this year.