The annual watch fair has kicked off in style with Hublot, Tudor, Chopard, and Ferdinand Berthoud.
It has been called the Paris Fashion Week, Detroit Auto Show, even Disneyland, of the horology world. Baselworld 2018 kicked off at Messe Basel on March 22 with a crowd consisting of journalists, purveyors, and enthusiasts pouring in to witness latest innovations in the manufacturing of cutting-edge watches and jewellery.
Day 1 saw an all-star Hublot futsal match and the unveiling of an exciting new face for Tudor. But our focus naturally remained fixed on the bold, beautiful, and brand-new of Baselworld 2018.
Here are our top picks from the first day.
Chopard L.U.C. Full Strike
Chopard's first minute repeater gets a grey makeover, with a touch of Fairmined 18-carat white gold on the 11.55mm-thick case. Crystal-clear sound takes on a literal meaning with the L.U.C. Full Strike, which chimes the hours, quarters and minutes on transparent sapphire-crystal gongs. Its calibre 08.01-L movement is self-protected from poor handling, while the striking mechanism conserves enough energy for 12 strikes - the longest in minute repeater history. You can't miss this mechanism on the dial side, or the two hands indicating power reserve (of up to 60 hours). The double-sided, hand-sewn and plant-dyed alligator strap lends a lovely finishing touch to a dial you could stare at for hours. W chopard.com
Tudor pays tribute to its inception by Rolex Founder Hans Wilsdorf with this classic iteration of four sizes and multiple dials. Seen here is an embossed waffle dial oozing vintage sophistication, contrasting the smooth, muted shine on the minute scale. Arabic numerals and arrow-shaped hour markers in silver, opaline, or black lend a touch of timeless elegance, alongside the signature Tudor bracelet in various finishings. Tudor 1926 comes in steel or gold and steel, in sizes ranging 28mm to 41mm. We must say, it looks mighty fine on new Tudor ambassador Jay Chou. W tudorwatch.com
Chronomètre FB 1R - Edition 1785
The French maison celebrates five interpretations of its FB 1R chronometer, all fashioned out of bronze with unique patina of different oxidisation levels and colours. Hand satin-brushed nickel silver further iterates its rustic naval identity, with a dynamometric crown matching a bead-blasted titanium medallion. Ferdinand Berthoud 1785 honours the Astrolabe and Boussole frigates - the most important expedition of the French navy - when five Marine Chronometers were on board under the Count of Lapérouse. Turn the dial over to witness the magic from an open-worked titanium case-back, including its tourbillon with patented parts. Calibre FB-T.FC.R-2, 53 hours power reserve. W ferdinandberthoud.ch
Hublot Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Russia will host the FIFA World Cup this year, and Hublot has just the smartwatch to celebrate the beautiful game. Big Bang Referee connects you to the pitch so you know to prepare for a match as well as when players gets yellow or red cards, get substituted, or score (the watch vibrates as the word GOAL pops up). Fans can also follow the match in real time as the dial stores all info displayed. In typical Big Bang fashion, it is limited to a significant number - 2018 models, to be exact. Hublot's latest comes in two One-Click straps: lined black rubber, or sponge sport with 2018 FIFA World Cup emblem. It will enter the market next month in variations honouring the 32 participating countries' flags. Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is compatible with Android 4.4/ iOS 9 and above. W hublot.com
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Images: Respective brands
See also: 5 things to know about Baselworld