Immeasurable karats of diamonds, gold, platinum and more precious metals made their debut in the form of exquisite haute joaillerie and horlogerie at Baselworld 2016. Here are our top seven picks from the horological wonders of the season.
By Aishwarya Tyagi
Chanel, BOY.FRIEND Tweed
Leaving its boyish silhouette behind, Chanel’s BOY.FRIEND watch for this season favours a more delicate appearance in the French fashion house’s signature fabric. In all over foil-grey, the timepiece has been revamped for the first time using the iconic tweed that has been the house’s emblem since it was first used in 1954 for Chanel’s stunning suits.
Chopard, Happy Diamonds
Marking the brand’s 40th anniversary, Chopard revisited their most significant creation: the Happy Diamonds watch that was first introduced in 1976. The “dance of the diamonds” created by the free movement of the precious rocks between the dial, bezel and sapphire crystal, makes for one the brand’s most innovative timepieces.
Hermès, Slim d’Hermès Mille Fleur du Mexique
This miniature piece of art bears an uncanny resemblance to the silk Hermès scarf designed by graphic artist Laetitia Bianchi, depicting the lusciousness of spring’s flowers and foliage. To bring the design to life, watchmakers add 20 layers of colours onto the mother of pearl dial before treating with fire baking techniques. The cultural feel-good folksy spirit of the watch stays true to the brand’s colourful art illustrations.
Boucheron, Khepri à Secret
A secret watch hidden in a shell of white gold, mother-of-pearl, diamonds and colourful sapphires exposes itself when the gemstone messenger triggers the spreading of the wings, intricately designed in gadroon shaped mother-of-pearl, set with diamonds and red rubies. The sparkling wonder comes with “Je ne Sonne que les Heures Heureuses” engraved on its back, that refers to the celebration of the precious joyous moments in life.
Bvlgari, Serpenti Incantati
The sensual curves of the brand’s favourite reptile are revised and redesigned for this season’s Baselworld. For the very first time, the serpent actually coils around the dial, creating a softer and more contemporary silhouette. The wrist is surrounded by shimmering sparkle in pink or white gold, paved with diamonds and rubellites.
Fendi, The Policromia
The couture watch collection designed by jewellery designer Delfina Delettrez Fendi was inspired by the geometric layout of the iconic Palazzo Della Civilità Italiana, which now plays home to Fendi’s newest headquarters. The daughter of Silvia Venturini Fendi designed the exquisite collection in the Fendi workshops, using 18-karat-gold buckles with brilliant-cut white diamonds set alongside malachite around a green mother of pearl, lapis lazuli and blue mother of pearl set dial teamed with alligator straps.
Dior, VIII Grand Bal Cancan
Resembling the swirling of a Dior ball gown, the dial set with diamonds and decorated with peacock yellow, white and black feathers features the iconic ‘Dior Inversé’ calibre where the functional rose gold hand oscillates on the high tech ceramic structure. With only 88 pieces available across the world, the exclusive masterpiece is one of Basel’s most wanted horological wonders.