In the third edition of our bi-weekly news roundup, it's all about Basel, Basel, Basel. Baselworld 2013 has just concluded and while many are understandably quite disappointed that we didn't get a brand new Daytona, there's still a lot of other interesting watches on show. And here are some of my favorite articles of Baselworld 2013 from aBlogtoWatch and around the Internet.
But that's not all, we also checkout an interesting interview with Laurent Picciotto and also an interesting article of how you can share your love of watches and watch collecting with your partner.
1. Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari Watch With Power For 50 Days
In late November 2011, Hublot and Ferrari entered into an exclusive partnership which saw the Swiss watchmaker become the official watch and timekeeper for Ferrari. At Basel, Hublot unveiled the MP-05 LaFerrari watch, which incorporates design elements from Ferrari’s latest LaFerrari hypercar. Like the car, the watch is quite stunning to behold. This is mainly due to the movement's 11 barrels! This gives it a whopping 50 days of power reserve. With this many barrels, Hublot has thoughtfully provided a winding drill to help users wind the watch. Time is read off cylinders to the right of the 11 barrels, while a power reserve indicator on the left tells you if you need to bring out that Hublot winding drill.
The MP-05 LaFerrari watch is really a great complement to the LaFerrari car, but there’s one problem. The name. Didn’t anyone tell Hublot that the MP-05 LaFerrari watch sounds remarkably similar to McLaren’s MP4-12C supercar?
2. Rolex GMT Master II Day/Night Watch For 2013 Hands-On
One of the most iconic Rolex watches in recent history is the “Pepsi” GMT II Master, which has a red and blue bezel (hence the Pepsi name) to denote day and night. When Rolex introduced the new GMT Master II with its Cerachrom bezel, we were led to believe that making a two-tone ceramic bezel was impossible. However, the impossible has been achieved!
aBlogtoWatch was one of the first to show photos of this new watch and now, we have updated our coverage of the watch with an in-depth hands-on article by our Editor-in-Chief Ariel Adams. As he notes, the watch is built with fantastic attention to detail - the transition from blue to black on the bezel is perfect. To add, this new Rolex is, in my opinion, the most noteworthy piece to come out from the Swiss powerhouse this year.
3. Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Watch Hands-On
Earlier, we wrote about Arnold & Son’s record-breaking Ultra Thin Tourbillon Escapement (UTTE) watch which debuted at Baselworld 2013. But apart from the UTTE watch, another stunning piece from the Swiss manufacture is the Time Pyramid watch.
Inspired by ornate clocks, the Time Pyramid has a symmetrical pyramid shape movement with the escapement positioned at the zenith of the “pyramid”, and is simply breathtaking to behold. The watch also has a unique system of managing torque to the escapement. When one of the mainspring barrels is running out of power and torque goes down, the other kicks in to help maintain sufficient torque. Finally, at nearly 45mm wide, it is a watch that will command lots of presence and is certain to be a conversation starter at parties.
4. Jaquet Droz The Charming Bird Automaton Watch Sings And Dances
Pierre Jaquet Droz was a Swiss watchmaker in the 18th century who was also famous for making automatons. His three creations, The Musician, The Draughtsman and The Writer, which were constructed in the late 18th century still work and function today.
Borrowing on this theme, Jaquet Droz has introduced the aptly named Charming Bird watch. The highlight of this piece is that it features a miniaturized automaton bird on the dial that not only sings and chirps, but also flaps its wings and snaps its beak. Ariel had a hands-on experience with this interesting timepiece and has also a video showing how the automaton bird works.
5. TAG Heuer MikroPendulumS Watch: First Magnetic Double Tourbillon Hands-On
Tag Heuer, to me, has always been a curious brand. On one hand, it has many entry level watches that are not to my tastes; but then it also makes truly stunning pieces like the Monaco V4. And at Basel, they showed off their new MikroPendulumS.
This watch is still a concept, but it is a working one that could probably go into production soon (just don't expect it to come cheap). The unique thing about the MikroPendulumS is that it does away with hairsprings and instead uses magnetic pendulums to drive the watch's twin tourbillons. The movement is stunning to behold and it looks like an invisible force is powering the tourbillons.
6. Top 10 Watches of Baselworld
Baselworld 2013 is one hell of an exhibition and there was over a thousand brands on show this year. With this many brands, it was physically impossible for us to visit all of them and this year, by Ariel’s count, the team managed to meet 65 or so brands and managed to see a great deal of watches. As Ariel puts it so correctly, Top 10 lists are great, but many are written by people who didn’t ever see the watches in person. Our Top 10 list is different because the watches in the list are those that we had managed to see, feel and touch in person. Naturally, this meant missing out on some watches, but out of the many, many watches the team has seen this year, these are our top 10.
From Around the Internet
1. The Basel 2013 report...............
If you spend any amount of time on the Internet looking for high-res photos of watches, chances are you will be familiar with the name “Jocke”. The man takes fantastic photos of watches and is a regular on PuristSPro where he shares his reviews of watches and other informative articles. In his latest post, he shares with us his trip to Baselworld, As usual, the post is filled with well-taken photographs and offers a glimpse into what goes on at Basel. Well worth a read if you are interested in finding out what goes on behind the scenes at Baselworld.
2. Exclusive Hands-On Look At The Swatch Sistem51, A Revolutionary Mechanical Watch (Exclusive Live Pics)
One of the most important watches of Baselworld 2013 is a Swatch. Called the Sistem51, it is the world’s first mechanical watch that is assembled entirely by robots. The movement is using a material called ARCAP, an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc, and consists of just 51 components. The movement is anti-magnetic and is hermetically sealed. This protects the movement from environmental conditions and means it does not need adjustments in the future. Additionally, the movement has a 90 hour power reserve, which far exceeds that of your standard ETA-2824. This could very well be the future of mechanical watches.
3. Basel 2013: Redefining a Classic, Introducing the New Grand Seiko (44GS)
I feel that Seiko is a brand that does not get the recognition it deserves. The general misconception is that Seiko only makes affordable watches, while that is true - the company does have a massive catalog of affordable Seiko 5 watches and divers - Seiko also has its high-end Grand Seiko line of watches.
For 2013, Seiko has introduced a limited edition re-issue of the legendary Grand Seiko 44GS. The 44GS is noteworthy because it was the first Grand Seiko to have a completely reworked design that embodies the Grand Seiko aims of engineering excellence and art. The story behind this is that a young graduate who joined Seiko thought that the Grand Seiko watches of that time did not have the looks to complement its engineering credentials. He then set out a new style for the brand which became the bedrock for future Grand Seiko designs, which led to the original Grand Seiko 44GS of 1967.
4. Baselworld 2013 … The NOMOS novelties
NOMOS is a brand that I’m particularly fond of because of their distinctive Bauhaus-inspired designs, and also because they make their own movements, which is impressive for a brand that is just 22 years old. This year at Basel, NOMOS introduced the Ahoi, which borrows design cues from the much-loved Tangomat, and is perhaps the classiest and most elegant-looking dive watch that I have ever seen. The Ahoi is water resistant to 200m and has a 40mm wide case, making it one of NOMOS’ larger watches. This is one watch that is equally at home in the sea and in the office.
5. Watch Anish x Laurent Picciotto Interview
Laurent Picciotto is one of the most influential people in horology. As the owner of the famous Chronopassion watch store, Picciotto also believed in investing in promising watch brands. Some of these brands have gone on to find much success. He was one of the earliest investors in brands like Hublot, MB&F and URWERK. In this special two part interview with Watch Anish, Laurent talks about his work and experience with working with some of these brands that he invested in, and also about the mentality of watch collectors. Well worth watching!
6. What Have You Done to Raise Your Partner’s Appreciation of Watches?
The article begins by saying that watch collecting can be a lonely interest at times, and I have to agree. Collecting watches and being a watch enthusiast is generally misunderstood by the public. At best, they think of us as elitists; and at worse, they believe us to be mad, spending thousands of dollars on what is arguably, antiquated technology. In this article, the writer shares tips and stories on how one could get his or her partner/spouse excited, or at least interested, about watches. Definitely worth reading if your partner cannot understand your obsession with watches.