Every year, over 2,000 of the finest watch and jewelry companies come to unveil their newest “gems” for the upcoming year in Basel, Switzerland. Although thousands of watches were released and previewed at the show, I wanted to take the time to post the initial entry of what we saw out of Basel from the brands that we carry in the store:
Bell & Ross:
There were several new releases this year for the ever growing French brand. With the continuing success of their “Military-Inspired” timepieces we saw lots of the expansion of materials/colors that they will be using for case construction (Welcome ceramic cases into the BR01 and BR03 line) Paying tribute to the concepts that made the brand famous, B&R introduced a WWI style pocket watch and wristwatch. My favorite addition to the Bell & Ross line for this year was the new color way of the Vintage Officer Carbon. They took the 41mm stainless steel case with PVD coating, and added a matching black dial, and black calfskin leather strap for a sleek, edgy look.
Bell & Ross WW1 Watch and PW1 Pocketwatch, as explained by B&R President Carlos Rosillo
The second oldest watch company in the world (1775) showed that you certainly can teach an old dog new tricks! With several new introductions for 2011, there were two models in particular that surprised and “WOW’ed” me. The first was introducing the very popular Type XXI chronograph in titanium. The Type XXI features an automatic flyback chronograph, with matte black dial and luminescent hands and hours markers, and a black lacquered rotating bezel with numerals in relief.
The next watch was one of my Top 5 in show this year. It is the Breguet Classique 5715 Hora Mundi. World Timer watches have definitely continued to take over mid-level complicated watches and this is one of the finest executions we have seen yet. The difference between this wolrd timer and others? It is the first mechanical watch with an instant time-zone display and a memory featuring synchronized date, with day/night and city indications.
New in the Breitling for Bentley line, we saw a new Bentley Barnato and Bentley Barnato Racing release, a watch paying tribute to the “Bentley Boys”. There are elements in these watches both from Bentley past, and the current cars in the line-up as well.
It seems like in the past few years, we have seen an EXPLOSION of ceramic watches. Always leading the way in technology and style has been Chanel, who introduced the first J12 ceramic watch over 10 years ago. It seems fitting that this year Chanel make headlines again with their new technologies and fashion forward timepieces. Chanel is introducing a new take on their classic white and black high impact ceramic watches, this year they unveiled the Chanel J12 Chromatic line. The watch takes the classic size and movement options for the J12 (41mm, 38mm, 33mm in quartz and automatic versions) but is now made in a proprietary new material, ceramic titanium. This new ceramic titanium is even more scratch resistant than before, with hardness similar to synthetic sapphire; best of all is the unique “gun metal gray” color it provides.