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Ethically mined gold and skinny silhouettes defined Baselworld, the most important watch fair of the year

Every spring, the world’s foremost watch manufacturers and their agents gather in Basel for the international fair that brings everyone together. Buyers and sellers alike pore over the latest intricate details in fine watchmaking. Each new launch is accompanied by a press flurry of course, but the magic lies in the fine detailing which, no matter how huge the company, always comes from the watchmaker him or herself.

 SKINNY  BEATS CHUNKY 

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-plat Automatique 5377PT

Breguet Classique Tourbillon Platinum ($163,800)

For quite some time, chunky man-size watches have been fashion favorites, particularly with women. This year the excess is being reined in and slim is in. The Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-plat Automatique (rose gold $149,500; platinum $163,800, breguet.com, see above) and the Graff MasterGraff Ultraflat Icon Skeleton (price on demand, graffsdiamonds.com) are excellent examples of this trend.

COMPLICATIONS AND DETAILS FOR WOMEN

Tissot Pocket Mechanical Skeleton 2

Tissot Pocket Mechanical Skeleton 2 ($1,100.00)

Mechanical watches for women are on the upswing, as are complications—the intricate, inner workings of a watch visible through a stylized window on the watch face. Tissot has recognized a trend of women attaching pocket watches to their purses as an accessory, and this year has introduced a new skeleton pocket watch perfect for this look ($1,100, tissot.com).

DIVERS TOOLS

SEA-DWELLER 4000 - 904L STEEL

Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000-904L ($10,400)

2014 has turned out to be a great year for dive watches, with new offerings from Citizen, Seiko, Carl F. Bucherer, Breguet, U-Boat, Rolex, Ulysse Nardin and Victorinox Swiss Army. These watches range in water resistance from 200 meters (the Seiko Prospex Kinetic GMT Diver, $450-$695, seiko.com), 500 meters (the Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec, $6,400, carl-f-bucherer.com and the Victorinox Swiss Army Divemaster 500, $3,295, swissarmy.com) to 1,220 meters (Rolex Sea Dweller, $10,400, rolex.com). Great looking watches and also true divers’ tools.

NEW MATERIALS

Chopard L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined side 161929-5006

Chopard L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined ($149,500)

Each year, watchmakers work to find the next great material or way of manipulating existing core components to maximum effect. Chopard’s L.U.C Tourbillon QF Fairmined (limited edition of 25 pieces, $144,570, chopard.com) is made from ‘Fairmined’ gold, a certification that guarantees the gold was mined in a responsible manner, with miners receiving fair pay. After a previously successful collaboration, Bell & Ross have teamed up again with Harley Davidson and Shaw motorcycles’  to base designs on their new model the B-Rocket motorcycle. Meet the Rocket chronograph (at 46mm, $7,200, bellross.com) and the BR03 B-Rocket (42mm, $5,800, bellross.com). 

Bell  Ross BR03-B-ROCKET-folded-2

Bell Ross BR03-B-ROCKET ($7,200)

 

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