Though the world's economy hasn’t made a full recovery, Switzerland’s watch export still increased by a double digit in 2010. Hong Kong’s Swiss watch import remains the world’s largest, making the Greater China market a significant one for Switzerland. At Baselworld 2011, many brands came up with ultra slim timepieces catering to the mainland Chinese customer. On the other hand, brands such as Breguet, Patek Philippe and Blancpain remain steadfast in their aim to produce innovative and complicated watches.
Breguet – Hora Mundi Ref. 5717
This is the world’s first watch to display the times in two cities and day/night display with just the press of one button. After three years of research and development, Breguet has obtained three world time function patents. With three vivid depictions of the Americas, Europe and Asia to choose from, the dial has stunning craftsmanship and is a perfect reflection of Breguet’s unrelenting pursuit of fine aesthetics. Beautiful inside and out, the Hora Mundi contains the Breguet silicon escapement and balance spring and is equipped with a self-winding mechanical movement that provides 55 hours of power reserve.
Retail price: CHF 92000 in platinum, CHF 77000 in red gold
Self-winding, numbered and signed Breguet. Instant time-zone jump with synchronised date, day/night and city indications. Cal. 77F0 composed of base Calibre 777 with additional plate. 12 lignes. 43 jewels. 55-hour power reserve. Oscillating weight in 18-carat gold, hand-engraved on a rose engine. Flat balance-spring and Swiss straight-line lever escapement in silicon. Breguet balance-wheel with 4 adjusting screws. 4 Hz frequency. Adjusted in 6 positions.
Patek Philippe – 5208P
This year, Patek Philippe’s new 5208 reference builds upon the minute repeater and has combined it with a perpetual calendar and a single-pusher chronograph function. The 5208 not only has beautiful watchmaking details, but also innovative Silinvar® components. This automatic platinum watch provides 48 hours of power reserve and since production of grand complication watches is exclusive, the new 5208 watch will first be available exclusively at the Patek Philippe boutique in Geneva.
Caliber R CH 27 PS QI. Self-winding mechanical movement, minute repeater and subsidiary seconds. Monopusher chronograph with column wheel, chronograph hand, 60-minute and 12-hour counters. Instantaneous perpetual calendar. Day, date, month, and leap-year cycle in apertures, day/night indicator, moon phases.
Rolex – Cosmograph Daytona
Rolex launched an automatic chronograph collection in 1963 called Daytona for race car drivers. Since then, the Daytona has become a bestseller amongst Rolex’s complicated watches. This year’s new Everose gold, 40-millimetre Daytona has a black scratch-proof Cerachrom bezel and is powered by the Rolex in-house 4130 movement. Its patented Parachrom® Breguet overcoil hairspring is non-magnetic, which assures the Daytona’s accuracy.
UK retail price: £19,670
4130, Manufacture Rolex Chronograph movement with column wheel and vertical clutch. Officially certified Swiss chronometer. Chronograph with accuracy to 1⁄8th of a second, 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers. Tachymetric scale on the bezel to measure speed. 28,800 beats/hour (4 Hz) Non-magnetic blue PARACHROM hairspring Breguet overcoil. Large balance wheel with variable inertia. High-precision regulating via four gold microstella nuts. Traversing balance bridge.
Zenith – El Primero Stratos Flyback
In 1969, Zenith developed and manufactured an automatic chronograph movement with 36,000 vibrations per hour, setting a new benchmark for chronograph function in the watch industry. This year’s new reference has the 36,000-vibration El Primero 4057B automatic movment that indicates 1/10th of a second. The 45.5-millimetre case is made of Alchron, a high-tech alloy whose magnetic permeability is 1/50 of steel, which makes the watch more accurate.
El Primero 4057B, Automatic Caliber: 13 1/4"" (Diameter: 30 mm) Depth: 6.60 mm Parts: 326 Jewels: 31 Frequency: 36,000 V/h – (5 Hz) Power reserve: over 50 hours Finish: oscillating weight with “CoÌ‚tes de GeneÌ€ve” pattern
Chanel – J12 Chromatic
The J12 is representative of Chanel’s watch collections with new references every year that become instant classics. The new 38-millimetre J12 Chromatic quartz watch, made of an innovative material that combines titanium and ceramic, is light and extremely durable at the same time. 36 diamonds are set in the bezel for a total of 25 carats in this contemporary and elegant timepiece.
Retail prices in Euro: €4410 - 48060
Self-winding mechanical movement. Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date. 42-hour power reserve. Unidirectional rotating bezel. Screw-down crown, water-resistance 200 meters.
Tiffany & Co. – Gemea
Like a little black dress, the Gemea collection by Tiffany & Co. is classic and contemporary. The case, which might look like two at first glance, has a streamlined silhouette which is the Gemea’s appeal to those who love fashionable timepieces. The 18-carat white gold reference is powered by a quartz movement. Its elegant case is embellished with 106 Top Wesselton diamonds that add up to 0.93 carats.
Swiss quartz movement and water-resistant to 3 bar (30 metres)
Louis Vuitton - Tambour Chronographe Automatic Voyagez
Tambour is Louis Vuitton’s most well-known watch collection. Its new functions and details each year make it one of the brand's bestsellers. The new Voyagez Tambour Tachometre houses the LV 172 automatic movement with 55 hours of power reserve. At the six o’clock position, a clear, fan-shaped window displays the date. As a rule for the French maison, all Louis Vuitton timepieces are exclusively sold in their boutiques around the world.
Calibre LV 172 with 55 hours of power research, date display at the 6 o'clock position