Top Baselworld Highlights From 5 Years Of Quill & Pad
On January 1, 2019 Quill & Pad celebrates its five-year anniversary. And in honor of this milestone, we take a look at some of the great stories and photos from the last 1,825 days that have helped make this publication a fun, informative, and visually interesting one.
Over these last five years – and indeed since I have been writing about watches! – the large fairs and exhibitions have played central roles in seeing the year’s new pieces. At the moment, the position of the fairs seems to be in some jeopardy, but for now it’s business as usual.
And, really, what a shame it would be for the media if the fairs were to die out, then as you can see below, they provide wonderful opportunities for educated opinionating and solid comparisons between timepieces and brands.
We continued the round table tradition begun at the SIHH in Unexpected Answers: A Round Table Discussion Of SIHH 2014 with an extended round table following Baselworld that included such luminaries as Michael Thompson, editor-in-chief of iW International Watch, and wristshooter extraodinaire Miguel Seabra, editor of Portugal’s Espiral do Tempo.
As you can see in A Round Table Discussion Of Baselworld 2014, we talked about much more than just the schnitzel – including the first Basel Fair in 14 years without an annual Harry Winston Opus reveal, the introduction of Ulysse Nardin’s Ulysse Anchor Escapement shown in a non-definitive working movement, and Nomos’ in-house “Swing System.”
Ian took a humorous look back at the fair after sifting through all his photos in Quill & Pad Baselworld 2014 Awards, a type of post I always found particularly entertaining. The post involving inaugural tongue-in-cheek citations was accompanied by one entitled Snapshots From Baselworld 2014, a collection of Ian’s random photographic impressions (including our now-famous team sneakers), and Splashes Of Color That Brightened Baselworld 2014.
There was, of course, other news at this fair, including Patek Philippe’s new Baselworld booth, which the Geneva-based brand presented one year after Baselworld’s big renovations and all the other brands’ ensuing new booths.
In terms of new timepieces, we covered a lot of ground as the following list shows:
- Hermès Presents Seriously Playful Springtime Watches At Baselworld 2014
- Give Me Five! German Watches From Baselworld 2014
- Christophe Claret In Bloom: Introducing Margot, His First Ladies Watch
- Girard-Perregaux Presents Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges
- Two Very Different Chronographs Launch At Baselworld: Glashütte Original And De Bethune
- Bremont Introduces Much-Awaited Third Martin-Baker Watch
And the 2014 edition of Baselworld was Joshua Munchow’s first as part of the Quill & Pad team. Please see his impressions of that – and what he discovered, which may be surprising – in Seeing Baselworld Through New Eyes: Connecting People.
Naturally, our annual round table reflections were published just days after Baselworld 2015 closed: see this at Round Table: Reflections On Baselworld 2015. This time we welcomed guest commentators Ben Clymer, executive editor of Hodinkee, and Louis Nardin, at that time editor-in-chief of of The Watches TV, to our collection of comments.
Ian gifted us with yet another Quill & Pad Baselworld Awards and then put together five watches he found that radiate fun in Lighting Up With Lume At Baselworld 2015. Warning: Sunglasses Advised!
But the big technical topic at this fair was the myriad watches featuring dead-beat seconds, which I summed up in Give Me Five! 5 Watches With Dead Beat Seconds At Baselworld 2015. I also had a lot of fun with the fill of colorful Rolex models introduced that year, which you can see in Give Me Five! A Radiant Rolex Rainbow At Baselworld 2015.
Hermès captured the essence of day-to-day wear without losing its signature playfulness with a new backbone collection (see Introducing Slim d’Hermès: The Elegant New Backbone Of The Hermès Collection); Jaquet Droz continued its playful streak of cool complications with the flirtatious Lady 8 Flower (see Jaquet Droz In Bloom: The Astonishing Lady 8 Flower Automat); and Corum re-issued its impish Bubble (see The Corum Bubble Is Back!).
And a highlight of the week for all of us was the A.H.C.I.’s 30-year celebration, which Ian summed up in Give Me Five! The AHCI Celebrates 30th Anniversary At Baselworld 2015.
The 2016 edition of Baselworld turned out to be a vintage one with everything and anything the watch lover could ask for. I earmarked three astonishing elements I saw there in 3 Big Baselworld 2016 Surprises: Seiko Tourbillon, De Grisogono Samsung Smartwatch And Monsieur De Chanel.
Yes, you read that right: Chanel introduced a watch powered by an in-house movement for men at the 2016 edition of the fair. And the company also revealed that it had captured 20 percent of Romain Gauthier a few years before that (which is important to know to understand the Monsieur de Chanel). Catch the whole story in Surprising Ties That Bind: Chanel And Romain Gauthier.
And there was a veritable cornucopia of interesting new watches by independents like Arnold & Son (see A New Astral Body Is Born: The Arnold & Son Nebula); at least five bronze-encased new watches; five timepieces encased in impossible-to-work sapphire crystal; and five watches featuring skulls.
Color was long from over (see Give Me Five! A Righteous Rainbow From Kari Voutilainen, De Grisogono, Chopard, Ulysse Nardin, And Fabergé At Baselworld 2016), and mechanical watches just for women were no longer a trend, but rather encapsulated elements of full collections (see Best of Baselworld 2016: The Top 5 Ladies’ Watches and Fiona Krüger’s Unusual Petit Skull Watches Have Made Me A Fan).
Summing up what we saw, the team commented on the whole fair in Baselworld 2016 Round Table: What We Liked And What We Didn’t Like, while GaryG also told us more about Objects Of Desire: Independent Watches At Baselworld 2016.
In 2017, Baselworld celebrated a full century of existence, which I summed up in a historically inclined post called 1917-2017: A Brief Retrospective Of 100 Years Of Baselworld. And it was in this year that the fair announced a shortening of its length to six days, down from eight, for the 2018 edition. Also announced during this year’s fair was the departure of several mainstay brands: the 2017 fair represented the swansong for La Montre Hermès, Ulysse Nardin, and Girard-Perregaux, who exhibited at SIHH as of 2018.
But not before Hermès had the chance to introduce the playful Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente alongside Jaquet Droz’s Awesome Aphidae: Jaquet Droz’s Loving Butterfly Returns As An Exquisite Automaton. Both of these mechanical delights occupied a special place in my heart during this fair.
Other favorite introductions of mine included the incredible Tutima Tempostopp, a reverse-engineered chronograph based on the original UROFA Caliber 59 in honor of Tutima’s 90-year anniversary; the Lang & Heyne Georg, which is without doubt the most beautiful rectangular watch I’ve ever seen; and Beat Haldimann’s H11 & H12, His First Stainless Steel (Relatively Affordable) Wristwatches.
I also found 5 Fantastic Manufacture Chronographs From Baselworld 2017 By Patek Philippe, Fabergé, Louis Moinet, Tutima And Glashütte Original as well as 5 Skeletonized Watches That Came Out Of The Closet At Baselworld 2017 From Patek Philippe, Chanel, Graff, Manufacture Royale And Glashütte Original.
And we managed to have quite a bit of fun at the fair, too, which Gary visibly demonstrated in Watches And Art: At Baselworld 2017 With Artist Alexa Meade And Maurice Lacroix. I went to rock-and-roll heaven when I talked with Kiss drummer Eric Singer to get his top 10 picks from the fair.
But what would a big event be without the Quill & Pad peanut gallery’s round table? Not much of an event, I’d wager. So we opinionated in Baselworld 2017 Round Table: What We Liked And What We Didn’t Like as well as Quill & Pad Team Members Each Pick Top 5 Watches From Baselworld 2017 Plus Special Mentions And Biggest Surprises. Warning: Modem Burning Photo Fest!
The year 2018 began with the news that Baselworld was undergoing some big changes. This became very evident once we got a look at some of the numbers of the upcoming fair, which I summed up in Breaking News: Baselworld 2018 Will Be Up To 50% Smaller! Up To Half The Exhibitors Gone And 3+ Halls Closed.
As for trends at the fair, color remained a big topic, which Ian tackled in Blue Vs. Green At Baselworld 2018: Green Isn‘t The New Blue (Hint: It’s Green). We all quite liked the green-dialed Glashütte Original Sixties . . .
And Patek Philippe went a bit rogue with its Aquanaut Chronograph Reference 5968A, seeming to state that orange is the new black with its color choice.
Sabine Zwettler found 5 Professional Diver’s Watches Surfacing At Baselworld 2018 From Rolex, Omega, Breitling, Seiko And Longines, while the The Watches TV illustrated fine German watchmaking in video with a number of Saxon Watchmakers At Baselworld 2018.
And summing up the extensive offerings at the world’s largest watch fair, I once again talked to my favorite rock musician to bring Kiss Drummer And Passionate Watch Collector Eric Singer’s Baselworld 2018 Top 10 and penned my own Parting Thoughts (22 Of Them) From Baselworld 2018.
But after all was said and done, the round table remained our most important summary of the fair; find it at Baselworld 2018 Round Table: What We Liked And What We Didn’t Like At The World’s Largest Watch Fair.
You may also enjoy:
- Give Me Five! 5 Blue Dials: A New Blue Period Has Begun With These Watches From Panerai, IWC, Chopard, Andersen Genève, And Ulysse Nardin
- 5 Green Watches Likely To Become Evergreens From Rolex, Chopard, Glashütte Original, Breitling And Hermès
- Stepan Sarpaneva’s Striking Korona K0 Northern Lights
- HM3 Megawind Final Edition By MB&F: Let There Be Light!
Also published on Medium.