A look back at Baselworld 2016
Baselworld 2017 is almost upon us - it starts tomorrow, in fact - so I thought it was appropriate to take a quick look back at some of my favorites from last year's show before the chaos of all the new releases is unleashed. Here are some of my favorites from Baselworld 2016. Moritz Grossmann Atum Pure M
This piece easily makes my list of favorites for a number of reasons. First, I think it was a smart move for this young(ish) Glashütte brand to introduce a line of watches in steel at a relatively accessible price point. You're getting the same movement in the Atum and Tefnut Pure models as you would get in their precious metal counterparts, but for a significantly lower price. Though the finishing on this movement is simple (or pure, in the company's vernacular), and doesn't have Geneva stripes or other embellished decoration, the finishing is impeccably done and there's still that gorgeous big balance wheel to stare at when you flip it over. Second, the mesh dial on the Atum Pure M is just plain cool. You can see the movement through the dial to varying degrees depending on the angle of viewing and the way the light hits it, and I find myself constantly moving my wrist around so I can check it out from different angles. Third, the available DLC dianoir case with its smoky anthracite color is fairly unique and gives it an edge. Lastly, the stop seconds feature is great - instead of restarting the movement with the crown after setting the time, there is a separate pusher to do so, allowing for much greater precision in time setting. Did I mention I'm really into this watch?
Slim d'Hermès with grey dial
I'm going to be straight with you here: I really dig Hermès. Those who follow me on Instagram know that I have a possibly excessive collection of Hermès watch straps, so it's no surprise that I would take notice of their watches. The Slim made an excellent impression when it was first introduced, both because of the movement (ultra-thin, microrotor, nicely decorated) and the design (they got renowned designer Philippe Apeloig to specially design a font for the dial). Once Baselworld 2016 rolled around, the two new dial variations in blue and grey got a lot of attention. Most of the buzz seemed to center around the blue version, and justly so - it is beautiful. But once I saw the grey dial in person, I knew that was the one to get. Bonus: I can swap out straps and it changes the entire character of the watch.
Tudor Black Bay Dark
As soon as I saw this watch last year at Basel I dubbed it the Black Bay Kathleen. It's as if someone with my specific design and fashion tastes designed this piece. Black case? Check. Black dial? Check. Killer distressed black leather strap with the option of a dark grey fabric strap? Double check. It also sports the new in-house Tudor movement, which boasts a COSC certification. There's a lot of bang for your buck here.
You may be noticing a theme here: there's a lot of black and grey going on. That's because I basically dress like this:
Okay, I may be exaggerating a little bit, but hey, I'm a New Yorker. We wear a lot of black.
So, let's move on to some of my other favorites from last year's Baselworld fair that are (probably) not black or dark grey.
Bremont Solo 32 series
Bremont introduced their first women's watches last year, and they did not disappoint. The watches are essentially a smaller version of their existing Solo pilot's line, and the first two models were named after legendary female pilots. These watches aren't jewelry pieces - they are serious mechanical timepieces. All of the Solo 32 range is automatic, and though they are sporty, they do have a couple of design touches that could make them fit in on a more dressy occasion. I saw a lot of brands at Basel 2016 starting to recognize that there are women out there who want a mechanical timepiece, and Bremont really nailed it with their first foray into women's watches.
Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire
What can I say about this watch that hasn't been said far more eloquently by others? Fine, I'll try. It has an eight seconds constant force mechanism, which means that the power and rate doesn't fluctuate whether it's fully wound or about to run out of its power reserve. That's awesome for the wearer because it ensures precision for the entire 36 hour cycle of the power reserve. It's also a very difficult technical achievement, which explains why they have won a number of awards for it, including the GPHG Men's Watch prize for 2016. Plus, just look at the damn thing. It's stunning.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Revolution Special Edition
I know, I know. It's a special edition and it sold out, probably before Basel even happened last year. However, it's a long-desired 38mm version of the beloved Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, and it was so well received that they're now doing a 38mm version in the core collection. The Revolution version was awesome and I really loved it when I saw it last year, but the blue dial version in the core collection has my heart singing. Despite my strong Morticia vibe (see above), I do love a blue dial, especially on a diver, so I'm looking forward to what Blancpain has to show us in the diver department this year.
We're in for some treats at Baselworld 2017, and we will be sharing them with you on Instagram at @redbarcrew and here at the Collectors' Perspective once we've recovered from the horological onslaught that's about to be upon us.