3 Great Watches from Baselworld 2017
Each year about this time, watch manufacturers and fans from around the world gather in Basel, Switzerland for the annual Baselworld convention. Here, new makers try to get their wares noticed and older manufacturers try to turn heads by introducing new features, outrageous designs and ultra-limited edition timepieces.
If you’re looking to see which watches will next be on the shelf at Wal-Mart, you won’t find them at Baselworld.
No, here you’ll find the most insane designs, the oddest features, and the highest prices, as there seems to be no limit to how much money one can charge for a limited edition gold or platinum watch that’s limited to a half a dozen piece and which includes features it would never occur to you to use.
Still, some modesty prevails and a few manufacturers will introduce models that are a bit more laid back in order to appeal to somewhat different tastes.
Here we’ll talk about three different watches from Baselworld that are interesting but not off-the-wall insane.
The Movado Connect Smart Watch
For years, Movado kept their designs relatively simple…and black. In recent years, they’ve added some color and a few more bells and whistles to their line. Their new Movado Connect series, which reportedly starts at less than $500, gives you a smartwatch that looks more or less like a traditional model, while still including the sorts of features that one expects in a smartwatch. They’re both IOS and Android compatible and include traditional hands so that the model looks like a watch.
You won’t get gold or platinum in this price range, but the Connect looks terrific in stainless steel, and in black, which is still our preferred color for Movado. Despite having the look of an analog watch, the Movado Connect will display incoming calls, email and text messages, and will show you when you have an appointment. Simple and classy. We like it.
The Grand Seiko Recreation
Seiko introduced a watch they called the Grand Seiko way back in 1960. It had classic, elegant looks for the time and was quite well made back in the day when “made in Japan” was not a compliment. The Grand Seiko has been reintroduced, and enhanced a bit. You can buy it with a gold, platinum or stainless steel case. Sapphire crystal protects the watch face, and the movement is a mechanical one.
Seiko has increased the size of the watch face to 38mm, in order to accommodate modern buyers, who, at least this week, seem to prefer watches with larger cases.
While the Recreation attempts to create a virtual clone of the original watch, the company has also introduced a “reinterpretation” of the Grand Seiko. This one features a larger case made from titanium and includes a date feature. All of the Grand Seiko Recreation and Reinterpretation models are strictly limited editions; some are available in quantities of under 150, so act now.
The Rolex Cellini Moonphase
The Rolex Cellini Moonphase is a watch that, well, shows the phases of the moon in addition to offering the time. Offering the time is the main point, and the Moonphase is a certified chronometer, so it’s going to be accurate to within +/- two seconds per day. That’s good enough for most of us. The moonphase indicator appears at the bottom of the face, and the indicator is actually manufactured from a piece of meteorite.
The case of the Rolex Cellini Moonphase is 39mm in diameter and is made from 18ct gold.
It’s a different look for Rolex and the first time they’ve offered a watch with phases of the moon in decades. The model is accompanied by a leather strap.
That’s all good news; the bad news is that the Rolex Cellini Moonphase is expensive, even by Rolex standards. Prices are north of $25,000, so this one isn’t going to be for everyone.
Bonus: The Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon
We debated whether or not to write about this one; the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon isn’t going to be for everyone’s taste. Actually, we find it a rather grotesque-looking watch, but that may have been the point. Still, there’s no point in having a watch with a tourbillon if you can’t see it, so they’ve made it highly visible. Of course, that doesn’t leave much room for the hands, which are shoved into the upper right portion of the watch face.
The whole think has a rather industrial look and feel to it, so it’s not going to be for everybody. Then again, it wasn’t intended to be, as the price for the Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon is a wee bit more than $200,000. If you’ve got one, and you wear it, it will definitely draw attention.
Numerous other models were displayed at Baselworld and most of them are a bit more consumer-friendly. Still, the entire point of attending this annual event, which is now in it’s 100th year, is to attract attention, and watches that simply display the time and run around the $100 price point aren’t going to do that. That’s why makers pull out all the stops to introduce the most eye-catching and outlandish models they can make.
That gets the press, and getting the press is what setting up shop at Baselworld is all about.