Bulgari Octo finissimo Minute repeater

Baselworld 2016: Passion for all

Baselworld has been on for just a few hours, and already the novelties are flooding the web with each new discovery made by the journalists. Which of the great wave of timepieces can one actually retain at the close of this first day?

By Vincent Daveau
Managing Editor France

In the batch of watches seen on this first day, there are those that resemble the models from last year, those that can be set aside because they are simply extensions of existing collections, those we could talk about, but for lack of a real attractiveness, they are bound to end up sitting in the display windows of the retailers. And then there are the genuine nuggets, references that we once wished would exist some day and that have suddenly become reality and deserve more than any other to make the headlines.

Patek Philippe reference 5930G Patek Philippe reference 5930G

Hit the road

First love:The magnificent and awaited Chronographe à Heures Universelles, ref. No. 5930, from Patek Philippe. This year, this timepiece is an invitation to globetrotters to prove that the sun never sets on the world of this Genevan manufacture.It’s comes in an 18-karat grey gold case and has a diameter of 39.5 millimeters, which allows its owner not only to position it the way an informed connoisseur might do, but also to spontaneously measure short periods of time. At the same time, this watch gives the time anywhere in the world instantaneously with, to top it all off, the rare opportunity for its owner to efficiently change local time on the dial while conserving time of departure by pressing on the pusher to the left of the barrel.  It's hard to be more efficient.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5396G Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5396G

An annual calendar celebrates a birthday

Another emblematic product of the watchmaker’s art: The Annual Calendar reference No. 5396 launched by the same Genevan manufacture to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of this highly popular complication.It’s a very balanced piece, a watch whose design is both timeless and contemporary. Even sitting in the display cases on the outside of the booth, it manages to attract attention.

It runs on an automatic caliber,  number 324S QA LU 24H, and comes with a sober and fine case of grey gold with a diameter of just 38.5 millimeters, a very reasonable diameter that will surely draw the kind of collector who seeks to discreetly wear this instrument that can adjust the calendar functions without error throughout the year.  

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater

Fine musical moments

Aware of the visual power of its Octo collection, Bvlgari chose to present a timepiece destined to enrich the segment of ultra-thin watches, namely the Octo Finissimo Répétition Minutes. It’s a magnificent timepiece, with a titanium case and dial of the same metal with open-worked sections around the indices to let sound come through. This wonderful piece of watchmaking craft, with a manually wound movement, will delight those who love music, because beyond being a visual delight, it manages to have a powerful voice while maintaining a slim waistline (height: 6.85 millimeters).

Tudor Heritage Black Bay 36 Tudor Heritage Black Bay 36

Affordable by wish

Keeping an ear out for one's customers is also a major asset in a tense market. Many companies have become aware of how important it is to offer affordable timekeepers. Tudor is committed to finding the right balance, and, in addition to launching the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze, it also came up with the Black Bay 36, which is designed to meet the needs of a woman in search of an affordable watch that is esthetically well rounded. Rolex,  another company that also knows its clientele well, has also relaunched its famous Oyster Perpetual Air King, which vanished in 2014. It's an effective strategy, because the watch was part of a professional line. It is accurate (COSC), robust, and amagnetic (the case is the same as the Milgauss). And at under 6,000 euros, it meets all the criteria that anyone looking for a timekeeper made for durability could ever hope for.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze

In-house GMT, a delight

If looking for something a little different, there is always the novelty from the house of Oris. Esthetically well-designed and featuring the manually wound Caliber 112, this watch has already started producing a bit of a buzz, because besides being charismatic, it does offer a functionality that is really useful for heavy-duty travelers. In the past two years, it has become a classic, thanks to its 10-day power reserve, and now comes the second time zone, which will surely appeal to the fans of the complication. Indeed, on the Oris Artelier Calibre 112, the second time zone is displayed as hours and minutes in a subsidiary dial at 12 o'clock, where the day/night indication appears in two apertures, The one round like the sun, the other shaped like a crescent. This particular reference, which is genuinely a must within this collection, is available in steel, or with a gold bezel. All the functions are governed from the winding crown.

Oris Artelier Calibre 112 Oris Artelier Calibre 112

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