Baselworld 2015, photo by organiser Baselworld 2015, photo by organiser

Must-have watches for autumn 2015

Our top picks from this year's best new watch collections and improved classics pieces

by

Editor

04 September 2015

Amidst global economic change which has been reducing demand in the area of haute horlogerie, Switzerland’s watch exports to Asia have decreased since 2014, so major brands have been cautious with new launches this year, presenting variations on existing iconic pieces. After our explorations at Baselworld 2015 we present you these unique pieces for autumn 2015.

baselworld2015Breguet's La Tradition exhibition in Cité du Temps, Geneva during Baselworld 2015

Anniversary editions

Watch enthusiasts will love the combination of history and value in this year’s limited-edition anniversary collections. Individually-numbered pieces are particularly appreciated by Asian collectors looking for their lucky digits.

Hublot Big Bang’s 10th

Hublot celebrates a decade of Big Bang with the 250-piece Full Magic Gold watch, in which 18K gold has been specially treated to create ‘the world’s hardest gold.’ The 45-mm case houses Hublot’s own researched and developed flyback chronograph movement, with the column wheel and double clutch visible on the dial side. 72 hours of power reserve make this a winner. www.hublot.com

hublot big bang full magic goldHublot Big Bang Full Magic Gold is limited to 250 pieces

Bulgari Roma's 40th

Bulgari Roma has just turned 40 and it has never looked so good, now with in-house movements. It was the first watch to have a logo engraved on its bezel, and its iconic design features, including the hour markers, two hands and a timeless round case, have remained unchanged over the years. This year’s commemorative models include the 100-piece edition Finissimo in gold, pink gold and steel case, housing the mechanical hand-wound extra-thin Calibre BVL128; the Finissimo Tourbillon with BVL268 manufacture movement that is just 1.95 mm thick; Solotempo, powered by the in-house Calibre BVL191, and the pink gold and steel Tubogas limited to 1975 pieces. www.bulgari.com

bulgari roma finissimoThe 100-piece commemorative Bulgari Roma Finissimo

Breguet Marine's 200th

1815: King Louis XVIII commissioned Abraham-Louis Breguet to create a marine chronograph for the French Navy. Today, celebrating its 200th anniversary, Breguet has debuted the Marine Chronographe ‘200 ans de Marine’ 5823 with a 950 platinum case. Combining traditional features and a sports aesthetic, this chronograph has a matt black dial featuring Breguet’s famous hand-made guilloché pattern, and a 48-hour power reserve. As the maison does not usually present limited editions, the commemorative 200-piece novelty in exclusive materials is particularly collectable. www.breguet.com

Breguet Marine 5823PTBreguet Marine Chronographe '200 ans de Marine' 5823 boasts a 950 platinum case

breguet 1881 heritage flagshipBreguet flagship store in 1881 Heritage, Hong Kong

Daring innovations

Patented movement features can become a real selling point. A brand that has the ability to invest both time and money into its own inventions can flex some serious R&D muscle.

Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Flower

Jaquet Droz transposes its long history of automatons into the 21st century with the Lady 8 Flower. Composed of two superimposed circles, the watch displays a beautiful lotus under the top sapphire dome. Just push the button and the lotus will open and turn for a few seconds before closing. With six enamelled petals around a diamond heart, the mechanism captures the lotus’ beauty in the Lady 8’s original 35-mm case. Two references, each limited to eight pieces, are available: one with a butterfly with translucent red enamel wings on a guilloché dial, and the other with blue sapphire-set wings against a snow-set diamond dial. www.jaquet-droz.com

jaquet droz lady 8 flowerjaquet droz lady 8 flower closedJaquet Droz Lady 8 Flower revives the brand's automaton tradition

Breguet Tradition Chronographe Indépendant 7077

The Breguet Tradition Chronographe Indépendant 7077 celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Tradition collection. The movement boasts two independently-powered trains, one which has a patented blade spring that provides 20 minutes of chronograph operation to a precision of 1/20 of a second. This ensures that the chronograph function does not affect the accuracy of the going train for time functions. The hand-wound movement gives the watch up to 50 hours’ power reserve. Available with 18K white and rose gold cases. www.breguet.com

Breguet Tradition 7077BBBreguet Tradition Chronographe Indépendant 7077 boasts two individually-powered trains

breguet engine turn guillocheEvery Tradition watch is decorated with engine-turned guilloché pattern on the dial by Breguet craftsmen

Rolex Calibre 3255

Rolex debuts Calibre 3255, a new generation of movements designed and made entirely in-house. The research comprises 14 patents with improved power reserve, durability, ease of use, and above all precision. While Rolex continues to certify all its movements to COSC chronometric standards, it also runs its own tests on the assembled watches, with precision criteria twice as exacting. The new watches are thus rated at -2/+2 seconds per day, twice as accurate as the COSC parameters. This applies both to watches for men, such as the iconic Day-Date 40, and for women, for example the archetypal Lady-Datejust 28. www.rolex.com

rolex day date 40 newRolex Day Date 40, powered by the in-house Calibre 3255
 

Artisanal watchmaking

Today, many brands incorporate alternative craftsmanship into their designs. Besides the more traditional approach of precious gemstones and enamelling, unusual materials like specially crafted feathers and egg shells can be featured on watch dials. Admiring beautiful artisanal work while checking the time might just give you one more reason to start collecting watches.

Chanel Mademoiselle Privé collection

Inspired by Coco Chanel’s own boudoir filled with her prized items and objets d’art, Mademoiselle Privé watches spotlight the maison’s most iconic motifs – the camelia, star, birds and oriental landscapes – with different artisanal techniques featured on the dial. The Camélia watch features mother-of-pearl flower marquetry on the 18K white gold snow-set diamond dial. The bezel, set with diamonds, highlights the pearly white blossom. Powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, the hour and minute hands are clean and crisp with just an outline of two leaves. www.chanel.com

Chanel Mademoiselle Prive Camelia Dial Mother of PearlChanel Mademoiselle Privé Camelia watch features mother-of-pearl flower marquetry on the dial

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute The Butterfly Journey

Imagine a series of eight timepieces depicting a butterfly’s flight, each one immortalising a moment in its journey. This is Jaquet Droz’ vision, in which the ivory Grand Feu enamelled dial is used like a blank page, so that the romantic butterfly drifts over a bed of blossoms. Exquisitely champlevée enamel wings and the delicately coloured flowerscape bring the whole scene to life. Two series – one with a 22K 43-mm diameter red gold case, another with an 18K diamond-set white gold case – are available. Powered by the Jaquet Droz 2653 self-winding mechanical movement. www.jaquet-droz.com

jaquet droz petite heure minute the butterfly journeyJaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute The Butterfly Journey depicts the romantic butterfly in flight on a Grand Feu dial

jaquet droz the butterfly journeyThe Butterfly Journey is two series of eight watches each, capturing its motion

Hermès Cape Cod Zebra Pegasus

What happens when two high watchmaking arts meet on the same dial? Montres Hermès presents engraving and Grand Feu enamelling in the forms of a pegasus and zebra, respectively. The new Cape Cod watch’s intricacy invites a closer look. On a three-layer 22K gold plate, the zebra is miniature-painted with a prancing motion that emphasises the wings. The feathers are created by delicate engraving, tiny gold wire placements and cloisonné enamelling for a rich texture. Finally, numerous firings at 800°C bring out incredible tints and shades. Housed in the 750 white gold case, Hermès’ own H1837 movement powers four limited edition pieces. www.hermes.com

Hermes Cape Cod Zebra PegasusHermès Cape Cod Zebra Pegasus blends the best of artisanal watchmaking techniques