#mybaselworld 2016: Exquisitely Emotional Baselworld Wristshots Shot With A Leica Q
by Simon Cudd
Baselworld can well be likened to the Holy Grail for watch lovers, providing a chance to see what the giants of the watch industry have created over the last 12 months.
The top picks of my eighth consecutive visit to the show were purely emotional, down to the design and aesthetics. These would be watches that I would want to wear and own.
So armed with a bottle of water, my trusty Leica Q and tones of enthusiasm, these are my findings in no particular order. Oh, and according to my iPhone data I walked more than 50 miles during my stay.
MB&F HMX Black Badger
My friend James Thompson, aka Black Badger, has achieved a third lume collaboration in the watch world, this time with MB&F and that brand’s HMX Black Badger model. It was developed in three distinctive luminous colors: blue, purple, and, my favorite, green. Thompson’s solid lume material has created a distinct for the Canadian engineer living in Sweden, and this collaboration – and its well-deserved attention – proves the success of it beyond the shadow of a doubt.
For more on the HMX model, please see my previous post, The Independent Genius Of MB&F’s HMX.
Quick Facts MB&F HMX Black Badger
Case: 46.8 x 44.3 x 20.7 mm, titanium and stainless steel
Movement: automatic Sellita caliber with jump hour and training minutes module developed in-house
Functions: bi-directional jumping hours and trailing minutes displayed by dual reflective sapphire crystal prisms
Limitation: 18 pieces in each color (Phantom Blue, Purple Reign, and Radar Green)
Price: 48,000 Swiss francs
Oris Divers Sixty-Five
Oris expanded the Divers Sixty-Five line with a 42 mm steel case topped off by a beautiful blue dial. As a major fan (and owner) of last year’s offering, it is great to see the expansion of this beautiful model. If I were to wear this cool diver, I would choose to wear it on the stunning brown vintage-style leather strap as shown in the photo.
Quick Facts Oris Divers Sixty-Five
Case: 42 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Oris Caliber 733 (based on Sellita SW200)
Dial: blue with Super-LumiNova on indices and hands
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Price: $2,300 on bracelet, $1,990 / €1,700 on strap
HYT H2 Tradition
This evolution of the HYT model takes the slightly bonkers modern creation of liquid-filled capillaries, combines them with old-style lacquered dials and blued hands and throws them in a large titanium-and-white-gold case that, although a bit large on the wrist, exhibits great presence. With the H2 Tradition, HYT has perfected liquid-fuelled time-telling.
For much more on this timepiece, please see The HYT H2 Tradition: Timeless In A Surprisingly Steampunk Way.
Quick Facts HYT H2 Tradition
Case: 48.8 x 17.9 mm, white gold and titanium
Movement: manually winding HYT Caliber 210 with micro fluidics
Dial: lacquered and varnished minute and second dials with blued hands
Functions: fluid hours, conventional minutes and seconds (regulator style)
Fiona Krüger Petit Skull
Those who perhaps thought that Fiona Krüger’s skulls up to now were too large will be pleased to know that she has introduced “small skull” limited editions in blue, black, and grey that contain all the coolness of the larger siblings, but now in a perhaps more wearable size.
Quick Facts Fiona Krüger Petit Skull
Case: 48 x 34.5 x 9.8 mm, stainless steel
Dial: guilloche pattern with galvanized finish
Movement: automatic Soprod A10 fully skeletonized and with custom components including the rotor, which has the same guilloché pattern and color treatment as the dial
Functions: hours, minutes
Limitation: 18 pieces in blue, black, and silver color schemes
Price: 13,000 Swiss francs (excluding VAT)
Tudor Black Bay Dark
As a massive Black Bay fan and owner, and as a fan of black-encased watches altogether, the PVD Black Bay Dark version of this modern classic is great news. Outfitted with the brand’s own in-house movement, which is not only C.O.S.C.-certified but also contains a silicon balance spring, it further strengthens the range – and also likely allows the ETA-powered versions to gain even more in coolness, desirability, and value. This model represents the very first PVD-coated timepiece ever at Tudor.
Quick Facts Tudor Black Bay Dark
Case: 41 mm, PVD-treated stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber MT5621 with silicon balance spring and official C.O.S.C. certification
Dial: black with luminescent markers and snowflake hands
Functions: hours, minutes, sweep seconds
Romain Jerome Tattoo-DNA by Xoil
Romain Jerome teamed up with another tattooist, this time French artist Loïc Lavenu, aka Xoil, to create the steampunk style Tattoo-DNA. What should by rights be a traditional fired enamel dial receives a twist by being cut off just under the hand arbor in the middle to showcase the skeletonized movement. The blued hands are reminiscent of tattoo needles, while a tattooed strap tops off the creation. Each strap is individual.
Quick Facts Romain Jerome Tattoo-DNA by Xoil
Case: 44 mm, black PVD-coated stainless steel
Movement: manually wound Caliber RJ004-M, skeletonized, coated with black chrome
Dial: grand feu enamel with roman numerals, blued hands shaped like tattoo needles, cutaway in lower half to reveal movement
Functions: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds
Limitation: 25 pieces
Price: €21,950 / $24,500 / 19,950 Swiss francs
Bulgari Finissimo Répétition Minutes
Bulgari’s Octo range just gets better and better – see Bulgari Octo Ultranero Line Cuts Stylish Path In Contemporary Horology With World Record Tourbillon – and the super cool Finissimo Répétition Minutes is possibly the coolest in the range yet. Sleek and stealthy with its bead-blasted finish, grey has never been so sexy. The hour markers not only reveal the skeletal movement beneath the dial, but also help the sound travel better when the chimes do their job of ringing the time. And it sets a world record for the thinnest striking watch.
Quick Facts Bulgari Finissimo Répétition Minutes
Case: 40 x 6.85 mm, titanium
Movement: manually wound Caliber BVL 362
Dial: titanium with cut-out hour markers (to help the sound travel better), subsidiary seconds
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; minute repeater
Limitation: 50 pieces
Price: 160,000 Swiss francs
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
I’ve never really risen to the Daytona hype; I guess I never really “got it”! However, the release of the 2016 version with Rolex’s own Cerachrom ceramic bezel has perhaps awoken that inner Daytona lover in me. It looks great: with the chronograph totalizers highlighted, its clean white dial harks back to vintage days. Though there is a second version with black dial, that one is less my cup of tea.
Quick Facts Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
Case: 40 mm, stainless steel with black ceramic bezel
Movement: automatic Rolex Caliber 4130 with C.O.S.C. and Rolex Superlative Chronometer certification
Dial: white with black encircled chronograph totalizers
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; chronograph
Price: £8,250 / $12,400
Chronoswiss Sirius Flying Regulateur Jumping Hour
This is not a brand that I’m massively familiar with, however the resurgence of its Regulator series is fantastic with bold-colored dials including blue, orange, and splashes of yellow paired with black cases. I was particularly drawn to the mix of finishes and color; orange accents against a blue dial popped, while the black DLC-coated case highlighted rather than distracted.
Quick Facts Chronoswiss Sirius Flying Regulateur Jumping Hour
Case: 40 x 11.85 mm, DLC-coated stainless steel
Movement: automatic Chronoswiss Caliber C.283
Functions: jumping hour, regulator-style minutes and seconds
Price: 7,810 Swiss francs
Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Square Tourbillon Double Spiral Cadran Secteur
Laurent Ferrier’s new Baselworld offering this year was the Galet Classic Square Tourbillon Double Spiral Cadran Secteur, and as the name already reveals, it contains a double balance spring tourbillon. I love this classic shape, which prompted me to fall in love with this brand last year at Baselworld. This 41.5 mm white gold case is just perfect, so wearable in any situation or circumstance, particularly as the tourbillon is sweetly hidden away on the back.
Quick Facts Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Square Tourbillon
Case: 41.5 x 41.5 mm, white gold
Movement: manually wound Caliber LF 619.01 with one-minute tourbillon with double balance spring, chronometer-certified, 80-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds
Price: 180,000 Swiss francs
H. Moser & Cie Venturer Big Date
This brand had fun just before Baselworld by releasing the double-entendre “size matters” campaign. The reason is because the Venturer’s large double-disk date display is apparently one of the largest on the market. The watch is stunning on the wrist; the clean white dial sings loudly with its black Roman numerals and blued hands.
Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie Venturer Big Date
Case: 41.5 x 14.5 mm, white gold
Movement: manually wound Caliber HMC 100 with twin spring barrels and 7-day power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; large date
Price: 29,900 Swiss francs
Romain Gauthier Logical One BTG
I have been mesmerized by Romain Gauthier’s work since a photo shoot I staged at William & Son in London one summer afternoon in 2015 (see William & Son, London: A Destination For The Unique, The Unusual, And The Fantastic), where I was introduced properly to Logical One. With its black case and blue dial, the new version of Logical One takes on great stealth cool whilst remaining an award-winning horological masterpiece.
Quick Facts Romain Gauthier Logical One BTG
Case: 43 x 15 mm, black ADLC-coated grade 5 titanium
Movement: in-house manually wound manufacture caliber, 60-hour power reserve, push-button winding, chain-and-snail-cam (“fusee”) constant force system
Dial: blue enamel with 18-karat white gold hands and silvered numerals
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds; power reserve indicator
Limitation: 5 pieces
Price: 115,000 Swiss francs
Armin Strom Tourbillon Skeleton Water
Armin Strom, the master of off-center skeleton dials, mesmerizes me every time; I could sits for hours staring at this brand’s products. The Tourbillon Skeleton Water had me at Baselworld with its cool steel case and visible blue PVD-coated main plate, which added just enough of a distraction so as not to detract from the beautiful skeleton dial.
Quick Facts Tourbillon Skeleton Water
Case: 43.4 x 13 mm, stainless steel
Movement: manually wound Caliber ATC11-S with one-minute tourbillon and twin spring barrels providing 10 days’ power reserve
Dial: skeletonized with visible blue PVD-coated main plate
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Price: 88,000 Swiss francs
Graham Chronofighter 1695 Vintage
It’s been fifteen years since the Chronofighter was unveiled, Graham’s reinterpretation of the chronograph. The Chronofighter Vintage range pays tribute to these first watches, and indeed with the smaller 42 mm case and the re-visit of the Fortress model style (one I fell in love with during Baselworld 2011), I’m happy with this particular release, which features a browned dial and red accents in a polished steel case.
Quick Facts Chronofighter 1695 Vintage
Case: 42 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber G1747
Dial: black with cream-colored markers and hands
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; day, date, trigger-operated chronograph
Limitation: limited annual production
Andreas Strehler Lune Exacte
Andreas Strehler is the master of the most accurate moon phase is a man of precision! His new Lune Exacte is, in fact, precise to one day’s deviation every two million years. I love the blue and yellow moon age indication amongst the beauty of the case and dial.
For more information on that crazy moon phase precise to two million years, please see The 8 Most Accurate Moon Phase Wristwatches Today.
Quick Facts Lune Exacte
Case: 41 mm, platinum or red gold
Movement: manually wound manufacture caliber outfitted with remontoir d’égalité for constant force
Dial: silver with grey coating and rotating vernier scale in blue and yellow
Functions: hours, minutes, perpetual moon phase, which needs adjustment by one day only every
Limitation: made to order
Price: 125,000 Swiss francs
Stepan Sarpaneva Korona KO Seasons Spring
A king of cool, I can’t help but admire Stepan Sarpaneva for his outlandish Finnishness (is that even a word?!). His Spring version of the Korona KO Seasons outfitted with luminous substance from our mutual friend Black Badger (see MB&F HMX Black Badger above) is a great mix of DLC and lume in a very distinctive case with extreme presence on the wrist.
For more information on this watch, please see Stepan Sarpaneva’s Sensational Seasons Watches Thank Black Badger For Their Intense Light.
Quick Facts Korona KO Seasons Spring
Case: 46 x 11.2 mm, DLC coated stainless steel
Dial: two-part stainless steel with luminous Black Badger advanced composite color
Movement: modified automatic Soprod A10
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Limitation: 20 pieces of each season (luminous teal, green, violet, blue), only made to order
Price: €12,000 including tax
Though not officially exhibiting at Baselworld, the Klokers Klok-01 caught my eye on social media last year: its Kickstarter campaign was incredibly successful (see Kickstarter At Its Best: The Success Of An Ultra-Cool Fashion Timepiece Called Klok-01 By Klokers).
The Klok-01 is a modern interpretation of a slide rule utilizing rotating discs to represent the seconds, minutes, and hours. However what’s really cool isn’t necessarily the watch itself, but the patented strap-changing system. Simply slide the instrument off the clip attached to every strap, and, voilà, you have a quick and easy solution to matching your outfit.
Quick Facts Klokers Klok-01
Case: 44 x 11.5 mm, metal-polymer composite with patented clip system for quick strap changing
Dial: three rotary discs with printed indices and markers, time is read through the magnifier at 12 o’clock
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds