Baselworld 2019: The Heros and Rising Stars
Year in, year out, we traipse these halls of luxury in search of new and exciting products and brands to share with our dedicated cool-hunters. In a year full of uncertainty following the sudden (and complete) departure of the Swatch Group, Baselworld 2019 was primed to be overrun by eager independents, salivating at the chance to take the center stage that they’d deserved for so long.
Thankfully, the finest and most inventive minds in our industry went into overdrive to ensure the independent trailblazers did not disappoint. Here are our top five horological heroes, and a couple of brands to watch for the near future.
Patek Philippe – Reference 5168G
It seems that luxury watchmaking has finally embraced the colour green. We’d been waiting for this for some time, and must say we have not been disappointed with the verdant deluge this past year or so. Perhaps the most visible independent of them all has taken the trend to heart and produced this awesome, khaki green Aquanaut ‘Jumbo’ in a white gold case. Supposedly, this is a sports watch, a fact underpinned by that fetching rubber strap. You’d have to be worth a fair bit to rock this down the gym, but if you’re lucky enough to get one on our wrist, we can see why you’d want to show it off at any opportunity.
Czapek & Cie – Faubourg de Cracovie Tao
Czapek have gone panda crazy, and it’s worked. The popular dial format is taken to the next level of luxury here with the use of a white grand feu enamel base, set against seamlessly-welded black sundials. A flash of red at twelve adds to the sportiness of this otherwise dressy chronograph and is the cherry on top of a show-stopping sundae.
Manufacture Royale – Bespoke Services
One of the most interesting developments to come out of the fair was the announcement by Manufacture Royale – one of our longest-tenured partner brands – that they would start producing ‘bespoke’ timepieces for their discerning clients. Now, this is not your run-of-the-mill bespoke, rather a series of extravagant unique pieces designed with clients in mind. This allows each client to get something truly special and off the beaten track, while enabling MR to retain creative control of their brand identity. Smart, cool, and an innovative solution to the frustration high-net worth individuals experience when shopping for something exclusive.
Ferdinand Berthoud – Chronomètrie Ferdinand Berthoud 1L.
The hands-down winner of the fair in our book! We have been a huge fan of those unusual, instantly recognisable cases (based, in fact, on the marine chronometers of Ferdinand Berthoud from the 1760s) since they debuted. What more is blowing our mind? One of the most compelling complications we’ve ever encountered. This wristwatch is able to track not only the moon’s phase, but also its age. And while it’s relaying this information, it’s doing so in one of the most aesthetically pleasing ways we’ve ever seen.
And just in case your heart rate’s already started to rise, please sit down and take a deep breath before you check this thing out from behind: The sapphire display back reveals one of the most heavenly mechanisms you’re likely to see in your lifetime. A tourbillon, discretely located behind the dial at 6 o’clock, and a neat little constant force mechanism ensuring a consistent power transfer from mainspring to escapement for the duration of the power reserve:
Ones to watch…
We have had our eye on this one brand since their inception, and meeting them every year in London or Basel. Seeing Mauron Musy take to the stage at BaselWorld where they rightfully belong within barely a few years is a real treat and joy.
They have something special. The technology is progressive and the individuals powering that independent outfit passionate. We see nothing but a bright future for them.
Waltzing into our consciousness right from the start of Skolorr was Austrian brand Carl Suchy. A reborn powerhouse that once served emperors and luminaries in the days of the Astro-Hungarian empire has an instantly identifiable design and a great history behind this chapter of production. Driven by a team with a diverse background in the arts and sciences, the character of this brand is charmingly distinct, and we look forward to seeing more of them in the months to come after a successful Baselworld 2019.
FB1L image credit to Watch Collecting Lifestyle
Mauron Musy image credit to Fratello Watches
Carl Suchy image credit to Monochrome Watches