While most of you were taking a last chance to scope out Art Basel over the weekend, we’ve been keeping ourselves occupied at Baselworld in Switzerland.
See also: Baselworld 2017 Highlights From Day 1
So far, we’ve seen an amazing mix of artistic pieces, high complications and cutting-edge designs, as well as interesting (and maybe contentious) twists to much-loved classics. This has left us with the difficult job of having to select only a few to highlight, but here are the ones you cannot miss.
Rolex Yacht-Master 40
Baselworld is full of surprises, but a bejewelled Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master Rolex was definitely not what we were expecting. This latest iteration of Yacht-Master has its bezel set with sapphires, tsavorites and a diamond.
Its 40mm case is made from a special rose gold alloy, Everose, which is exclusive to Rolex and produced right at their foundry. But make no mistake—this gem-set piece, fitted with the patented Oysterflex rubber strap, is still every bit a sports watch.
Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’heure Impatiente
Hermès appears to have mastered the art of creating timepieces that are emotive, but not necessarily because of its aesthetics.
No metiers d’art artistic crafts are applied on the dial of the Slim d’Hermès L’heure Impatiente, but Hermès have incorporated whimsical fantasy through a complication that allows a countdown to an event happening in less than 12 hours. The countdown is triggered an hour beforehand in an aperture at 6 o’clock, and ends with a pleasant chime.
Dior Grand Soir Botanic 36mm
Dior continues to assert itself as a serious jeweller and watchmaker with its new Dior Grand Soir Botanic timepieces. With stunning, diorama-like dials featuring flowers set with various precious gemstones and framed by a diamond-covered bezel, Dior boasts exceptional jewellery savoir-faire.
Although this piece is every bit a jewellery watch, Dior remains steadfast to its fashion roots, matching the strap with a fabric used in their sneakers. Can’t decide between high-end and high street fashion? With this timepiece you can have both.
Harry Winston Project Z11
Harry Winston is synonymous with exquisite, delicate jewellery dripping in diamonds, so this chunky, high-tech timepiece is pretty surprising. Unknown to many, the jeweller has, in recent years, created incredible technical pieces sought out by watch collectors, and the Project Z11 is just one of them.
What makes this piece special is the case material—a proprietary grey alloy called Zalium exclusive to Harry Winston. With its ultra-modern design, technical superiority and use of cutting-edge materials, the Project Z11 once more proves that the jewellery maison is also a watchmaking extraordinaire.
Chanel Mademoiselle J12
Chanel’s new J12 ceramic timepiece pays homage to the beloved Coco with a super-chic cartoon version of her on a lacquer dial, using her arms as the hour and minutes hands. This playful piece measures 38mm—perfect on a smaller wrist—and is equipped with an automatic movement that guarantees 42 hours of power reserve.
Graff MasterGraff Floral Tourbillon
The MasterGraff Floral Tourbillon by Graff is a piece of art on the wrist. Its ultra-feminine dial is covered with hand-crafted gold petals coloured using an ancient and extremely complicated process called high fire enamelling—a technique mastered by but a handful of artisans today.
To keep with the theme, its flying tourbillon is also shaped like a flower, and the hands are formed like petals.
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