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