The best watches from Baselworld 2015
by Zoe Dickens
For the past six days the world’s leading fine watchmakers have gathered in Switzerland for Baselworld 2015 - the most important event in the horology calendar - to exhibit a new generation of beautiful and utterly covetable timepieces. From high-tech updates on diving classics to jewel encrusted works of art, here is our pick of the watches to note from this year’s show…
Blancpain Ocean Commitment Bathyscape Chronographe Flyback
Part of a series of limited editions announced by Blancpain in 2014, €1,000 from the sale of each Ocean Commitment watch will be donated to aid oceanic environmental causes and support marine conservation. The watch, which is strictly limited to 250 pieces, is based on the classic Fifty Fathoms diving watch, features the house’s new F385 movement and is waterproof up to 300m. In addition to their donation, each owner will also be enrolled into the Ocean Commitment Circle, granting them access to documentary film premieres, scientific presentations and opportunities to meet Blancpain partners.
€19,000, visit blancpain.com
Breguet Marine Chronographe “200 Ans de Marine”
To mark the 200th anniversary of Abraham-Louis Breguet’s appointment as the official chronometer maker of the French royal navy in 1815, Breguet has created a 200-piece limited edition run of its signature Marine chronograph watch. Crafted with an 18 carat gold self-winding movement, platinum case and waterproof capability up to 100m, this understated black and gold timepiece is a true classic.
POA, visit breguet.com
Graff Floral Tourbillon
One of four new women’s designs added to Graff’s fine watch offering in 2015, the Floral Tourbillon is the house’s first ladies timepiece to be powered by a tourbillon calibre. Featuring three individually rotating marquise diamond flowers set into the watch’s intricate floral tourbillon cage and two delicate petal-shaped hands, this is a complex timepiece with looks to match.
POA, visit graffdiamonds.com
Les Éternelles de Chanel Comète Secret
The perfect fusion of fine jewellery and haute horologie, the new three-piece Les Éternelles capsule collection from Chanel was one of Baselworld’s most dazzling new additions. The collection will be added to year by year but we recommend investing in one of the originals inspired by camellias, comets and feathers – the blue accents and chic sliding star on the Comète Secret make it our top pick.
From €680,000, visit chanel.com
Louis Vuitton Escale Worldtime
An obvious choice for the frequent traveller, the stunning hand-painted dial on Louis Vuitton’s new Escale Worldtime watch was inspired by vintage trunk monograms and boasts the slimmest case of any worldtimer. It may look complicated but, by virtue of a simple three-hand mechanism, the wearer is able to tell the time in 24 different zones simultaneously and with relative ease. Even if that is superfluous to your needs, there is no denying that this is one good-looking watch.
£41,500, visit louisvuitton.com
Omega De Ville Prestige Dewdrop
As timeless ladies watches go, they don’t come much prettier than Omega’s new De Ville Prestige Dewdrop. So named for the unique 18 carat pink or yellow gold dewdrop-shaped beads which form the bracelet, this feminine watch also features a diamond-set bezel and mother-of-pearl dial overlaid with fluttering gold butterflies. For those with something a little more bling in mind, Omega also unveiled a new Seamaster Ploprof scuba diving watch set with 40 carats of white diamonds.
From November 2015, visit omegawatches.com
Richard Mille RM19-02 Swirl Flower
A perfect example of the way in which fine watchmakers are finding ways to turn their instrument’s complex inner workings into beautiful details, the new RM 19-02 sees a flying tourbillon escapement turned into a kinetic floral centrepiece. The movement is surrounded by five stunning purple Magnolia petals which open and close in time with the mechanism. Finished with a diamond studded bezel and dial and black leather strap, the RM 19-02 has been produced as a limited edition of 30 so you’ll have to be quick to get your hands on one.
POA, visit richardmille.com