Please join our traditional Quill & Pad round table discussion on Baselworld 2017, where we discuss what we did and didn’t like at at the world’s largest annual watch exhibition.
The year 2017 wasn’t just good for both interesting and exciting new wristwatches at Baselworld: I’d go so far to rate it as a vintage year. This article started as a pure Top 5 rundown, but the sheer number of superb watches soon had us reaching for our “Special Mention” over spill. And that’s all without the really big surprises. So without further ado, welcome to our team’s top picks of Baselworld 2017.
Social media has experienced quite the discussion of a Chinese phone “by Kari Voutilainen,” a Swiss-based Finnish independent watchmaker, which turned out to be not a phone but a SIM card cover. If not a social media storm in a teacup, then a brisk zephyr in a thimble, which also involved another Finnish independent watchmaker, Stepan Sarpaneva.
Independent Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva has horologically personified the moon. Sarpaneva’s moonface is a stylized version of his own face. The colorfully bejeweled Moonshine highlights the dial like few, if any, watches I’ve ever seen. But the obvious question I’m asking here, is: what is this face thinking or what does he/she/it want to say?
Stepan Sarpaneva’s new Seasons models created with the help of Black Badger Advanced Composites pay artistic homage to the strongly differing seasons that take place in Finland. The dials comprise two parts: a stainless steel grid coated with either DLC or TiN placed above the solid block of lume in teal, green, violet, or blue. To find out what makes them glow so brightly, please read on.
The Saatchi Gallery on Kings Road in trendy Chelsea has played host to SalonQP in London for the past four years. It is a fantastic venue and a great place for the brands attending to showcase their wares.
What an eclectic mix of brands and watches on show this year, too! Come with me on a virtual tour.
One of the most intriguing sets of watches I had the pleasure to see at Baselworld 2015 was Stepan Sarpaneva’s Korona K0 Northern Lights. The vivid colors (blue, violet, green) really capture the essence of Sarpaneva creations, and does so in the designer’s typically understated manner. And it’s not Sarpaneva’s iconic moon that takes center stage here; what really captured my attention was the extreme lume.
There are few brands, boutique brands, or even well-known watchmakers hailing from Scandinavia. However, during Baselworld, two of them launching new timepieces: GoS (Gustafsson and Sjögren) and Finnish watchmaker Stepan Sarpaneva.
Most of Stepan Sarpaneva’s timepieces involve the moon in some way. And of one thing I am certain: it is surely Sarpaneva’s stylized rendition of the earth’s satellite that has drawn me to his work in such a powerfully magnetic way.
The moon seems to draw Sarpaneva himself in, but this trademark element came about in a bit of a surprising way, with much less advance planning as one might think. And, surely this is how the best things come about.