“With so many brands out there try­ing to be ‘mil­len­nial,’ it’s nice to see how some stick to their DNA”

DA MAN - Caliber - - FAIR -

part­ner­ship with Hublot. “For many years, I have been an en­thu­si­as­tic sup­porter of char­ity: wa­ter,” said Depeche Mode front­man Martin Gore, “and I am de­lighted that with Hublot, we can con­tinue to sup­port their mis­sion of pro­vid­ing clean and safe drink­ing wa­ter for all.”

Jean-Claude Biver, head of watch­mak­ing at LVMH, ap­peared in most of th­ese oc­ca­sions. Un­sur­pris­ingly, it’s said that he’s the man be­hind all of this, es­pe­cially for Zenith, after hav­ing gone miss­ing from the head­lines in pre­vi­ous years. It’s cer­tainly im­pres­sive to see how the 60-year-old jug­gled all th­ese brands.

new Game Ver­SuS old Game

If there’s one par­tic­u­lar watch that re­ally set the tone for Basel­world 2017, it would per­haps be TAG Heuer’s Con­nected Mod­u­lar 45. Not only is it a gen­uinely

con­nected watch, it also al­lows for easy and quick per­son­al­iza­tion—the lugs and strap/bracelet can be plugged in and out like Lego pieces. The con­nected mod­ule can even be ex­changed for a high-end me­chan­i­cal one. There were plenty of brands that pushed to­ward the same di­rec­tion, but more of­ten than not, they fo­cused merely pro­vid­ing in­ter­change­able strap op­tions for par­tic­u­lar mod­els.

Tu­dor drew much at­ten­tion with hand­some Her­itage Black Bay nov­el­ties, es­pe­cially the S&G (steel and gold) model. It also an­nounced a new cam­paign and sur­pris­ing news about its col­lab­o­ra­tion in man­u­fac­ture move­ment with Breitling, which was ru­mored to be on sale. (The lat­ter was even­tu­ally ac­quired by CVC Cap­i­tal Part­ners in late April.) This kind part­ner­ship was par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing as in-house move­ments have been an im­per­a­tive tech­ni­cal and mar­ket­ing fea­ture that could el­e­vate a brand’s value.

The ma­jor brands from the Swatch Group, mean­while, seem to cap­i­tal­ize on retro looks and sen­ti­men­tal val­ues. Omega was fet­ing the Speed­mas­ter’s 60th an­niver­sary and also brought back three his­toric time­pieces in the classy Omega 1957 Tril­ogy Lim­ited Edi­tions—a pack­age that’s bound to be the talk among avid col­lec­tors for years to come. With so many brands out there try­ing to be “mil­len­nial,” it’s nice to see how some of the more es­tab­lished names are stick­ing to their DNA and mak­ing sure that real time­pieces garner the honor and ap­pre­ci­a­tion they de­serve.

A lit­tle bit of sur­prise, though, came from Rado, which struck out with new de­signs from some of the most cre­ative heads around the world. Take the True Phos­pho, done with the Big-Game de­sign stu­dio, and the True Stra­tum, co-de­vel­oped with Aus­trian de­signer Rainer Mutsch. For the lat­ter, Mutsch shared: “I was try­ing to re-ques­tion, in a sub­tle way, how time is dis­played by in­tro­duc­ing an el­e­ment of three-di­men­sion­al­ity on the dial. The ap­pear­ance of the dial changes con­stantly de­pend­ing on the light, al­ways creat­ing new re­flec­tions and gra­di­ents.” The di­als are thus ir­rev­er­ently fresh, and to have them paired with qual­ity ETA move­ments seems to be a promis­ing move.

Yet an­other sur­prise was how Sam­sung man­aged to snag a place on the first floor of Hall 1. Be­sides ex­hibit­ing its ex­ten­sive Sam­sung Gear col­lec­tion, the brand also of­fered a vir­tual re­al­ity “ride” which came as a wel­come break for tired jour­nal­ists at the busy fair. No less fas­ci­nat­ing is how Chanel also had a vir­tual re­al­ity ex­pe­ri­ence on of­fer. A booth called #LeTemp­sChanel al­lowed visi­tors to im­merse them­selves in a 3D pre­sen­ta­tion of the new­est in-house move­ment Cal­iber 2, which is used in the Première Camel­lia Skeleton.

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