Global newswire Bloomberg has published a list of the six watches that left it most impressed at this year’s Baselworld exhibition.
In its rundown of ‘Watches that were genuinely surprising at Baselworld 2016’, it overlooked some of the biggest brands in the industry in favour of a series of designs that it believes really made a statement at the show.
Bloomberg said that while most of the thousands and thousands of new timepieces exhibited at Basel were “not that exciting”, there were a few watches that stood out for their impressive engineering, their ambitious design, and their efforts to move their brands forward.
“They weren’t all incredibly expensive or even flashy, they were just good, and represented where the industry should be going,” it said.
Here are its top six:
1. Ulysse Nardin Grand Deck Marine Tourbillon (main picture)
Labelled by Bloomberg as the “most unique” watch at Baselworld, this timepiece is designed to look like the deck of a wooden schooner and “is the kind of watch that your friends would immediately ask you about—and beg to play with”. Ultra-thin fiber nanowires control the boom, while the hour is displayed in numerals at the 12 o’clock, and a tourbillon sits at 6 o’clock.
Price: $280,000 (£196,000).
2. Bulgari Octo Finnissimo Minute Repeater
Bloomberg says the Octo Finnissimo Minute Repeater is a “huge achievement” for a jewellery brand that, 10 years ago, was not considered a competitor in the world of watches. The Octo Finnissimo is the world’s thinnest minute repeater and at 6.85mm it is slimmer than an iPhone 6, while its titanium construction means it weighs just 43 grams.
Price: $155,000 (£109,000).
3. Bulova CURV
The world’s first curved chronograph movement is described as a “handsome watch that was cleverly designed” — all of the pieces in the movement have to be built curved, too, not just the base plate. Bloomberg noted that with a sub-$1,000 (£700) price point, the range is very accessible.
Price $799 (£560) in stainless steel$899 (£630) in ultra-light titanium.
4. Jacob & Co. Astronomia Sky
With a twin-turbo tourbillon on a double-axis movement, Jacob & Co’s “space-age” watch impresses for all the right reasons. Bloomberg notes that opposite the tourbillon is the hours and minutes indicator, and then on the other axis is the seconds indicator. At the centre of the movement is a globe which tells you whether it’s day or night, and then on the baseplate there is a ring that tells you the sidereal time, which is the time relative to the stars (instead of the sun). It says that fewer than 25 a year will be made.
Price: From $540,000 to $800,000 (£378,000 to £560,000).
5. Citizen Eco-Drive One
Citizen is an established maker of solar-powered quartz movements but over the years its designs have become more ambitious, culminating in the Eco-Drive One, the world’s thinnest light-powered watch. At just 2.98mm thick and with a 1mm movement, Bloomberg goes as far as saying that when it’s on the user’s wrist it looks like an optical illusion. Additionally, the solar mechanism will hold a charge for eight months in the dark.
Price: $6,000 (£4,000).
6. Hublot MP-07
The MP-07 boasts a verticalised movement (if you peer into a round convex lens on the side, you can see the tourbillon at work, notes Bloomberg) and has been designed to be easily read while driving a car. The minutes and hours are at the bottom left, while the seconds are on the upper right, and the power reserve is at bottom right. The watch boasts an impressive 42-day power reserve.
Price: $276,000 (£193,000).