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The Craft of Watchmaking at Baselworld 2016

Articles

The Craft of Watchmaking at Baselworld 2016

Kate Missine

With technology’s advances ruthlessly careening forward, we may wonder whether the future will at some point replace the past — whether, for example, the antique craft of watchmaking, with its history of artisans meticulously perfecting each detail and mechanism by hand, may fall into oblivion, replaced by phone apps and smartwatch screens. But in Basel, Switzerland, a look around the Baselworld 2016 World Watch and Jewellery Show reassures us: the legacy of fine horlogerie is here to stay; added to, rather than detracted from, by technological progress. A fusion of modern engineering and time-honoured practices, the latest crop of timepiece treasures elevates the accessory to a refined art, iconic visions reinterpreted for an all-new age. Here are our six favourite offerings for 2016.

 

Breguet

Classique Phase de Lune Dame 9088

Celestial poetry shines in this Classique timepiece imbued with the sophisticated moon phase mechanism, a testament to Breguet’s 240 years of watchmaking expertise. The “grand feu” enamel dial marked with Arabic numerals is a study in clarity, while the blue steel hands are a nod to Breguet’s 1783 classic open-tipped design. Bezel and lugs set with 66 brilliant-cut diamonds; navy blue crocodile leather strap. 45-hour power reserve. 30-metre water resistance.

At Montecristo Jewellers, (604) 263-3611, breguet.com

 

Blancpain

 

Ladybird Women Watch

Blancpain marks the “year of the Ladybird,” celebrating 60 years of its exquisite Ladybird collection with a commemorative anniversary model. At the time of its launch in 1956, the Ladybird was equipped with the smallest round movement on the market, for a dainty look that’s still its signature today. Graced with luminous contrasts, the dial showcases an elaborate foliage motif and a bezel studded with 32 diamonds, all on a femme violet crocodile strap. Limited edition of 60 pieces.

At Montecristo Jewellers, (604) 263-3611, blancpain.com

 

Jaquet Droz

Grande Seconde Off-Centered Onyx Watch

The Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Off-Centered Onyx Watch series shines in unforgettable simplicity. The 2 sub-dials, designed by Pierre Jaquet-Droz in the 18th century, depict the lucky number 8, symbolizing balance and harmony. Black onyx infuses the dial with a modern sensibility, and the off-center sub-dial and crown work to create a uniquely dynamic feel.

At Montecristo Jewellers, (604) 263-3611, jaquet-droz.com

 

Ulysse Nardin

Hourstriker “Horse” Watch

Automatons and repeaters are two of the watchmaking industry’s most complex technologies. One of the few high horology brands to use Jaquemarts, Ulysse Nardin is also one of the earliest watchmakers to fuel the rebirth of the striking mechanism. Its new “Horse” edition features hand-carved Jaquemarts on a genuine black onyx dial. With a rare automatic movement, the Hourstriker Horse plays at the hour and half-hour marks. Each time the hammer hits the gong, the horse Jaquemarts perform in concert. Case of 18k rose gold or platinum. 42-hour power reserve. 30-metre water resistance. Limited edition of 28 pieces. 

At Lugaro Jewellers, (604) 430-2040, ulysse-nardin.com

 

Chanel

J12 Collector Mirror Watch, 38MM

在2000年甫一上市,香奈兒J12便以獨特的高科技精密陶瓷材質和時尚運動的外觀引起了廣泛關注,並成為香奈兒腕錶的代表系列。在此後15年中,該系列在材質和細節設計上一次次實現了突破。2016年,香奈兒推出了這款J12鏡面腕錶,錶盤上的數字刻度彷彿懸浮於鏡面之上,隨手腕的律動而光影變幻,更添J12的科技感和時代氣息。動力存儲42小時,防水200米,限量發行1,200枚。

At Chanel Boutique, (604) 682-0522, chanel.com

 

Girard-Perregaux

Laureato Watch, Ref. 81000-11-431-11A

In celebration of its 225th anniversary, Girard-Perregaux returns to its design roots with the original Laureato premise. Over 40 years after the first steel Laureato was introduced, showcasing the brand’s micromechanics expertise, the model shows off its octagonal bezel embedded in a satin-brushed case. The baton-shaped hands have been embellished with a hint of luminescent material, while the dial, lilting from a pale gray to navy blue, is stamped with a Clous de Paris checkerboard pattern. The date appears at 3 o’clock. 46-hour power reserve. 30-metre water resistance. Limited edition of 225 pieces. 

At Palladio, (604) 685-3885, girard-perregaux.com

Produced and Chinese Text by Rui Chen  English Text by Kate Missine