Quill & Pad Baselworld Awards 2015
by Ian Skellern
Welcome to the 2015 Quill & Pad Baselworld “awards,” in which we highlight a few of the watches and ancillary Baselworld je ne sais quoi that caught our eyes at the world’s largest watch exhibition. Please accept these citations in the way they are presented: generally tongue-in-cheek, sometimes serious, always fun!
Please note that this list is based simply on what we saw and photographed; it isn’t exhaustive and we are sure that there are many great (and not-so-great) watches we missed that may have merited inclusion here. To those brands we apologize.
So without further ado and in no particular order, here’s what caught our eyes at Baselworld 2015 .
All That’s Missing Was The Date: updated Ulysse Nardin Freak.
Most Unusual Stand Entertainment: the Edwin Watch barber, which we discovered up in Hall 2.2.
Most Fun Stand Entertainment: the Romain Jerome ball pool, which would have kept us entertained for hours if we weren’t only given 30 seconds each. Popcorn included.
Most Non-Clock-Like-Clock: MB&F/L’Epée Melchoir. (For more information see Melchior: A Mechanical Robot Clock In Honor Of MB&F’s Anniversary.)
Best Simple Solution (Easy Once Found): the Agenhor mechanism for Fabergé‘s Lady Compliquée (see Fabergé Inaugurates Rebirth With Exceptional Lady Compliquée for more).
Best Fluid Technology: HYT H3.
Best Damascus Steel: GoS (Gustafsson & Sjögren) (see Gustafsson and Sjögren GoS: Swedish Independents Forge A Horological Bridge With Bifrost).
Best “Can You Ever Have Too Many Diamonds?”: This fully-iced Hublot Big Bang doesn’t think so.
Most Jewelled Hostesses: Jacob & Co.
Best Yacht-Master: Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yachtmaster 40.
Best Ceramic Case: Hautlence HL Black Ceramic.
Best Disguised Watch: this unassuming ring by Graff discreetly houses a watch − the perfect way to conceal an expensive timepiece.
Best Branded Booth Drink: Lang & Heyne apple juice spritzer.
Craziest Comparison to Panerai: Laurent Ferrier Galet Square.
Swissiest Pen: Caran d’Ache Spirit of Switzerland.
Best Smoked Dial: Moser Endeavor Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue.
Best Crazy Scientist Laboratory: the Louis Moinet booth.
Best-Named Second Model: MCT “Frequential One,” which follows up the Sequential One.
Best Lunch: casual pizza at Armin Strom.
Best Watch Update: Ressence Type 3 with oil temperature gauge and simpler winding and time setting.
Most Desirable Black Watch: Romain Gauthier Logical One Black (see Heartbeat: Logical One By Romain Gauthier and Logical One Secret By Romain Gauthier: But Is It Art?).
Best Shirt: Stepan Sarpaneva, whose shirt was one of the few things in this universe able to make his new luminous watches look understated (see Stepan Sarpaneva’s Man In The Moon and Aurora Borealis: Stepan Sarpaneva Korona K01 Northern Lights And GoS Nordic Seasons).
Best Space-Themed Watch: a watch with a different planet for each day of the week by Schwarz-Etienne.
Best Sommelier: Pascal Dubois of Dubois Dépraz, who we bumped into during a friendly meeting at Rudis Sylva.
Best Engraved Watch: Speake-Marin Kennin-ji Temple Masters Project. A dragon motif inspired by the painting on the ceiling of the Kennin-ji Temple in Japan is intricately engraved on the dial, movement case, and even the leather inside the presentation case.
Most Difficult Mechanical Concept To Mentally Conceive: the three-way differential in the Antoine Preziuso Tourbillon of Tourbillons. Imagining how a normal two-way differential works is hard enough, but three inputs? Crazy!
Best Partnership: Ulysse Nardin and Artemis Racing, bound to feature the excitement of America’s Cup sailing and Bermuda. That’s a win-win in our book! (See Ulysse Nardin’s First Sponsorship: Artemis Racing, Iain Percy, And The America’s Cup).
Best “Bi”-Tourbillon: Speake-Marin Discretion.
Most Colorful Dual-Speed “Bi”-Tourbillon: Manufacture Royal Double Tourbillon.
Most Important Watch For Independent Brand Under New Ownership: Urban Jürgensen Platinum 1140L.
Most Popular (And Shallowest) Demonstration Of Water Resistance: Christophe Claret Allegro.
Biggest Collection Of Independent Watchmakers in One Room: thirtieth anniversary AHCI dinner (see Give Me Five! The AHCI Celebrates 30th Anniversary At Baselworld 2015 for more information).
Best Wristshots: Bremont-wearing fighter pilots publish in-flight wristshots of their Bremonts.
Best Snake: The way this Bulgari Serpenti bracelet watch moves and articulates is incredible.
Best Snake-Themed Watch: De Bethune DB25 Quetzalcoatl, whose head and tail are actually the minute and hour hands.
Best Book Signing: Elizabeth Doerr and Vincent Calabrese signing Bridging Art & Mechanics (“the unabridged story of the Corum Golden Bridge”).
Slowest Beating Escapement: the secondary 15-second escapement for the indications on the Emmanuel Bouchet Complication 1.
Easiest Watches To Photograph: nearly anything by Arnold & Son (thank you, Sébastien).
Best Marine Chronometer: Thomas Mercer Observatory Marine Chronometer.
Best Contrast Between Dial And Movement: Leroy Osmior Chronomètre à Tourbillon (see Give Me Five! Dead Beat Seconds At Baselworld 2015).
Best Harbinger Of Spring: Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Flower (see Jaquet Droz In Bloom: The Astonishing Lady 8 Flower Automat).
Best Side-On Silhouette: Cyrus Kuros.
Wildest Belt Buckle: Roland Iten’s diamond-set R822 buckle. Even the underneath side looks sensational.
Best Miniature Paintings: La Montre Hermès Slim d’Hermès Koma Kurabe pieces with Sèvres porcelain dials hand-painted by a Japanese master artisan and featuring a famous Kyoto horse race.
Best Palace Within A Palace: The Jean Dunand Palace. The brand’s booth was located at Baselworld 2015’s Palace pavilion.
Best Meccano Dial: the Blancpain L-evolution Tourbillon and Carrousel.
Best Looking Repeater Gongs: Breguet 7087 Tradition Répétition Minutes Tourbillon.
Best Homage To Mille Miglia: Chopard Mille Miglia.
Best USB Key: Bremont. Guess which brand signed a partnership with Boeing?
Best Value For Money: the Nomos Tangente Automatik is extremely slim and powered by an in-house movement. All for just $3,780.
Best “Did Somebody Say Gravity?”: The Maurice Lacroix Gravity, now available in a sportier version.
Best Teutonic Dial: The perfectly proportioned Glashütte Original Senator Observer.
Most Harmonious Oscillator: the Rudis Sylva Harmonious Oscillator in black.
Brightest Green Numerals And Hands: De Grisogono Numero Uno Tourbillon.
Best “If The Shoe Fits”: shoe selection at Baselworld is best based on the amount of walking expected. Guess which of these pairs of shoes is worn by a journalist covering 10 kilometers (six miles) a day? (Yes, we actually measured it.)
Cutest Garden Animal: Chopard Animal World Hedgehog.
Most Golden Of Bridges: Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Golden Bridges.
Biggest Storm In A Teacup: Patek Philippe Calatrava Travel Time. Shock and horror, Patek Philippe makes a completely new model based on historical pilot watches found in the Patek Philippe museum rather than derivations of what it has done in the past!
And believe it or not, that’s all folks.