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Best of Baselworld 2017: New Watches From Blancpain, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Bulgari and more

Baselworld 2017 opening day.

New introductions at Baselworld this year tended to fit one of two categories. 1. Trends that reflect the times – and by “times” I mean an industry that is entering its third straight year of decline (see my story on that here) – with watches that are smaller, less complicated and more realistically designed and priced. And 2. Watches that reflect the fact that Baselworld is also about showmanship and haute horology, with high complications (like the Breguet Equation of Time) and metiers masterpieces (like the Dior VIII Grand Bal). Here are my top five men’s and top five ladies’ introductions for Baselworld 2017. Click on each link to find more pictures and detailed descriptions.

Top Ladies’

  1. Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase. The moon phase complication, now the most popular complication for women, is increasingly described as “poetic,” but perhaps we can now add “coquettish” to the description. This one has eyelashes and a beauty mark.

    Blancpain Villeret Date Moonphase

  2. Bulgari Serpenti Twist Your Time. Women like options, and Bulgari gets that. There are 312 possible strap/dial/case/gemsetting combinations. Click the link to see how it works.

    There are 312 possible variations.

  3. Chopard ladies’ Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph. This watch proves there is more to Chopard than high jewelry watches and Happy Diamonds – not that there is anything wrong with those things.

    Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph Ladies’

  4. Patek Calatrava Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G. The world’s top watch company assembles some flawless diamonds and sapphires, combines it with natural pink mother-of-pearl in a Calatrava case. Throw in a legendary caliber and you’ve got perfection.

    Patek Philippe Haute Joaillerie Ref. 4899-900G Calatrava.

  5. Dior VIII Grand Bal. Dior timepieces are often referred to as fashion watches because the name “Dior” is also associated with ball gowns. However, it does not fit the definition of a fashion watch, which is fun, cheap and trendy. Dior takes an haute couture approach to watchmaking, and the result is haute horology.


Top Men’s

  1. Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5320 G. Inspired by models from the 1940s and ’50s, this classic Patek nevertheless has a contemporary feel and a state-of-the-art movement.

    Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5320 G.

  2. Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph. The movement, created by revered watchmaker Jean-Marc Weiderrecht, revolutionizes the chronograph timepiece, inside and out.

    Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph.

    Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph

  3. Rolex Sea-Dweller. The Sea-Dweller has been given four major updates: a larger case, a cyclops window, a new movement and a redesigned bracelet. The most notable of these is the cyclops window.

    Rolex Sea-Dweller.

  4. Blancpain Semainier Grande Date 8 Jours Ref.6637. This beautiful watch gives some face time to a rare unit of measurement: week of the year. This is one of three new editions in the Villeret collection.

    Blancpain Semainier Grande Date 8 Jours Ref.6637.

  5. Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887. As a running equation of time, it shows actual solar time rather than just the variation of -16 to +14 minutes compared to civil time. And it’s beautifully engraved.

    Breguet Marine Équation Marchante 5887.

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