THE BIG WATCH BOOK
NEVER A DULL MOMENT. I am talking about the SIHH in Geneva and the Baselworld Watch & Jewellery Fair in Basel. Even when the market spirit is slow and low, the fair seems to always buzz with life and vitality. There is always something new and exciting; something unsuspected and surprising to entertain not just the journalists and retailers but even the public, who turned up in their thousands.
This year is definitely the year of austerity—after previous years of prepping themselves for the economic worst, most of the watchmakers presented simpler, pared down timepieces both aesthetically and technically. But that doesn’t mean that they are devoid of excitement. The watchmakers have instead looked for other avenues and forms to make even the simple designs exciting. All in all it was still a very exciting year for the watches.
A couple of important announcements to make: Patek Philippe, Bulgari and Oris are all celebrating big anniversaries this year. Patek Philippe celebrated their 175th anniversary with a brand new futuristic pavilion at Baselworld 2014 and an exciting new collection, and Oris is celebrating their 110th anniversary with an in-house movement Calibre 110. Last but not least, Bulgari celebrates its 130th anniversary this year with the best collection of 2014. They have put their Octo through a thorough exercise programme in their atelier under the watchful eyes of their engineers and watchmakers. The result: The stellar Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, the thinnest Tourbillon watch by far, simple and elegant yet complicated.
Regardless of the return to austerity, the watchmakers are now heading back to making real watches with simple and accessible designs. That’s made putting together this watch guide even more difficult, but we have still managed to narrow down the most outstanding timepieces. They’re highlighted in the Best Watches of the Year and Innovations of the Year, and are the most special and unique watches we’ve seen this year. I hope you the watch guide will give you a clue as to what lies ahead for the year.