Nomos Tetra Neomatik
Nomos proves it's hip to be square by rolling-out its ultra thin, inhouse automatic Neomatik movement to the German brand's solitary square watch, the Tetra. The case of the Tetra has been increased by 1.5mm in either direction for a more substantial feel, however the overall case depth has decreased because of the new slimmer movement. The deep blue (not black) dial is bolstered by text and markers in beige, silver and green along with a bright red small seconds hand. The in-house Neomatik movement offers 42 hours of power reserve and features a traditional Glashütte three-quarter plate, proprietary escapement and bi-directional rotor. Just a few years ago if you wanted a watch with an inhouse movement you would have to spend many thousands of pounds, now you need spend little more than two.
Hublot Big Bang Meca-10
The Big Bang Meca-10 features the all-new HUB1201 movement, an industrial-looking skeletonised manual movement with 10-days of power reserve that took the team at Nyon two years to develop. It’s certainly one of the most distinct movement designs of the year taking a modern, logical approach to open-working its various components. The result is a bold, almost military look which has nothing in common with the more flamboyant approach usually taken with skeleton watches. Hublot has achieved 10 days of power reserve using two barrels fitted in parallel. The power remaining within these barrels is illustrated using three different, yet linked power reserve indicators, each taking a different visual approach.
TAG Heuer Monza
Black watches are something of a Marmite proposition. They are invariably paired with red detailing - as is the case with the Heuer Monza Chronograph 40th anniversary special edition - a colour combination which screams of the 1980s, the decade that style forgot. But that really doesn't matter with this watch, perhaps because the original was designed by Jack Heuer himself. Heuer knew a thing or two about designing sports chronographs that had their own innate, perennial style as evidenced by the fact that this design has been reissued on several previous occasions. However this 40th Anniversary model is perhaps the most authentic so far, using the original fonts and featuring the tachymeter and pulsometer. But in a nod to modernity this model see the original 39mm steel case replaced with 42mm titanium example.
Zenith Pilot Cafe Racer
One of Zenith's big sales success stories at Baselworld, the Pilot Cafe Racer utilised one of the show's few noticeable colour trends with its vaguely green distressed nubuck strap. The El Primero chronograph's grained metallic dial is neutral enough to suggest that the colour scheme carries on throughout the watch. There's no apparent link between Zenith's authentic pilot's watch and the 60's motorcycling subculture from which it takes its name, but it does make for a seriously laid-back weekend wearer and despite its gargantuan proportions it wears light because of the aged-chrome treatment of the stainless steel case. It also has a pleasing chronograph configuration with central chronograph seconds, 30-minute chronograph counter at the 3 o'clock and small seconds at the 9 o'clock.
Bremont Regatta OTUSA
Once Bremont inked those high profile sponsorship deals with both America's Cup and defending champions, Oracle Team USA, it was only a matter of time before we saw a regatta watch from them. The often colourful complication is designed to provide a countdown of several minutes to the start of a race, helping crews to better judge their running start. Bremont now produces two distinct watches to mark each partnership, the dressier AC series and the sportier OTUSA models. This Regatta OTUSA features not only 15-min regatta timer and 5-minute countdown functions but chronograph, small seconds and date. Black and white dial variations will be produced in runs of 235 pieces each. In a nod to Bremont's previous watches the crowns will contain carbon fibre taken from the foils of the winning 2013 Oracle Team USA AC72 yacht.
Not only did Bulova launch a spectacular quartz chronograph reissue of the only moonwatch not held by NASA - one that they cannot produce fast enough to meet demand - but the brand also found time to design the world's first curved chronograph movement. With a curved movement Bulova has been able to create an equally curved watch, one that fits the contours of the wrist perfectly. The design has also proved flexible enough to support a lightweight titanium sports watch on a rubber strap - a watch that might just be the most comfortable we've ever worn - and equally more formal, dressier models with slinky multi-link steel bracelets. The CURV is typical of Bulova at its best, putting revolutionary ideas inside commercial watches.
Corum Bubble Dani Olivier
Corum went a little crazy at Baselworld with more than 30 new variations of its equally crazy Bubble. When it reintroduced the Bubble last year, it was clearly a toe-dipping exercise to gauge the opinion of buyers. Consumers were reintroduced to Bubble's astonishing convex crystal but the three models shown lacked much of Bubble's turn-of-the-century personality. This year's launch of an entire collection around those first Bubble designs shows just how well the market reacted to that relaunch. It also serves to bring back Bubble's eccentric nature with optical art variations, gaming themes, musical limited editions and these Dani Olivier nudes, which would look right at home during a Bond film introduction.
Faberge Visionnaire DTZ
Created with Faberge's 'surprise and delight' mission briefing in mind, its DTZ or Dual Timezone takes a unique approach to the GMT complication. With one timezone indicated using hands and a traditional 12-hour scale, the other is presented as an instantaneous jumping hour numeral at the centre which is magnified through a reflective tube and only visible when viewed head-on. With such an unhindered view of the beautiful Agenhor-designed movement through the sapphire caseback you might be forgiven for thinking that the DTZ uses a manually wound movement, but not so. The guilloched rotor can be found hiding beneath the smoked sapphire crystal dial.
Henry London Piccadilly
Henry London was little more than a twinkle in Peers Hardy's eye at Baselworld 2015, a single display in the company's stand. How things have changed in the space of just one year. At this year's show the stand was dedicated to Henry London, such has been the success of the brand both nationally and abroad. Peers Hardy have also kept things easy to digest, not swamping retailers and consumers with a baffling barrage of new designs, instead introducing just three new lines. While we were impressed with the soft feminine charms of the Shoreditch and the vintage appeal of the triple calendar Moonphase line but it was the linen dial of the Piccadilly that really grabbed our attention. Henry has its roots in the watch design of the 1950s and you rarely find a design feature more synonymous with a particular decade than the crosshatching of linen dials.