Baselworld returns in just over a week. The world’s largest watch and jewellery fair is an unmissable event – and for the first time we’ll be at the heart of the action. Here’s what lies in store.
The wait is over. From 23-30 March, all jewellery and watch industry eyes will turn to Baselworld. Every spring, it becomes the epicentre of the jewellery and watch world as the top brands unveil the latest launches they hope everyone will be talking about for the next 12 months.
And this year is extra significant as it marks 100 years since the show’s inaugural edition. On April 15, 1917, the show as we know it today opened under the name Schweizer Mustermesse Basel (MUBA). This inaugural trade fair saw a total of 831 companies in Basel’s key industries of banking, insurance, transport and, of course, watches exhibit in a 6,000m2 space. By 1931, it was simply known as the Swiss Watch Show, and a tradition was born.
Fast forward to 2017, and the show’s scale and scope is astounding. Last year, it welcomed an estimated 150,000 visitors from around the world during its eight-day run, who filled the 141,000m2 exhibition space and admired the latest launches from 1,500 brands, including the likes of Rolex, Omega and TAG Heuer.
This year, for the first time, we’ll be sending out our expert team to the show where we’ll have unrivalled access to many of the top brands. Between 23-24 March, we will be bringing you the latest news and our verdict on all the new watch and jewellery launches. Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where we will be posting our coverage in real time, as well as sharing the latest updates on our blog.
But what do we know so far? While some brands are keeping quiet before the big reveal, many other brands have teased news of their latest launches. Here we round up a few…
TAG Carrera Heuer-01 43mm
Two years ago, TAG Heuer caused a stir with the Carrera Heuer-01. At 45mm, it was a sporty and chunky racing chronograph with a skeletonised dial. This year, the brand will unveil an evolution of that watch with a slightly toned down case size (it’s still a sizeable 43mm).
The new models retain TAG Heuer’s distinctive 12-part case, polished ceramic tachymeter bezels and the brand’s in-house Heuer-01 movement ticking away inside. But the marginally smaller 43mm cases will open the Carrera Heuer-01 line up to a wider spectrum of wrist sizes. There’ll be 6 variations in three colours: the intense blue dial (pictured) and deep cognac brown dial versions each come with a steel bracelet or matching leather strap, while the black dial comes with a steel bracelet or a matching rubber strap. All three colours have matching ceramic bezels, the Heuer-01’s trademark skeletonised dials, and striking red dial accents. This is one to look out for.
Longines Flagship Heritage
Another model marking its 60th anniversary this year is the Longines Flagship Heritage. When it launched in 1957, the Flagship was widely hailed as a quintessential gents’ dress watch thanks to its open white dials and elegant leather straps.
This year, Longines is launching an anniversary collection comprised of three different versions in steel, yellow gold and rose gold. The most noticeable design update is the slightly larger case size, which comes in at a modest 38.5mm. The brand has also kept the original font of the Flagship logo on the dial. Inside ticks calibre L609, which has a 42-hour power reserve and powers a small seconds dial at 6 o’clock. The fact there’s no date window to clutter the dial is a deft touch – it keeps things clean and simple. Each of the gold models will be produced in a run of just 60 watches each, while the steel version will come in a limited series of 1,957 pieces (pictured). A caravel – a small Portuguese or Spanish sailing ship – will be engraved on the watch’s caseback.
Over in the jewellery world, FOPE will launch ‘Prima’, a gold collection which debuts a brand new Flex’it mesh chain.
Prima is fine and light, and yet incredibly resistant and able to conceal dozens of 18 carat gold springs which make both the bracelets and the rings flexible. There are many variants available with gold and diamond detail, while the price point will make this new collection attractive to a wider and younger audience. Not only does Prima feature beautiful sets of jewellery, it is also a token of the technological excellence introduced by the FOPE R&D team in the company’s production facilities in Vicenza, Italy.