BASELWORLD 2016 – Reportagé

Baselworld 2016

Uniform Wares Design Director Michael Carr comments on his top watches from this years international watch show in Basel

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Words: Michael Carr
Photography: Rolex, Hermes, Bvlgari, Tudor

This time last month we had just returned from Switzerland after another inspiring visit to the biggest annual event of the watch industry calendar, Baselworld. As trade shows go, this has to be one of the most impressive and as years pass and the press attention has grown, the focus of the show has become not just as a place to do business but also as a spectacle in itself, with the brands using it as an opportunity to present their latest ideas to the world. So, after a few days of meetings, we set aside some time to look around at some of the highlights of the show and visit the stands of some of our favourite brands. With competition as fierce as always, it’s hard to pick a favourite but here are a few of our personal stand out pieces for the year.

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HERMES SLIM d’HERMES:
One of our favourite new releases from Baselworld 2015 returned this year in a number of new dial finishes, including a warm, mid grey as well as a very impressive, three-layer grand feu white enamel dial.  Our favourite however, purely for aesthetic reasons, was this stunning blue dial option with polished case.  The outstanding finishing paired with the sophisticated detailing of the case architecture makes a seriously elegant, but very wearable timepiece.

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BVLGARI OCTO FINISSIMO MINUTE REPEATER:
With it’s art deco styling this piece may be a strong look for many of you but we’ve always enjoyed watches that deliberately contrast the complexity of construction with contemporary styling; there’s also an association to Gerald Genta that makes this piece all-the-more appealing.  Following in the footsteps of the Octo Finissimo Ultra Thin Tourbillon from 2014, the case has now been re-appropriated to house an ultra thin minute repeater.  A complex and confident move from Bulgari that measures in at a record breaking 6.85mm thick. For us, the combination of impressively high tolerance engineering, confident styling, titanium case and laser out dial, results in one seriously impressive timepiece.

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TUDOR BLACK BAY 36mm:
Tudor’s return to form in recent years has allowed them to regain their rightful place in the spotlight. Never pushing things too far, their subtle approach to making simple, high quality, considered timepieces for a very reasonable price tag means that they rightfully deserve their new-found attention. This year’s Baselworld saw a number of new iterations being presented and our pick is the reduced-size Tudor Black Bay 36.  Not only does this fall in line with our appreciation for slightly more conservatively sized watches but it is representative of a wider shift across the watch industry to more traditional sizing.

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ROLEX COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA:

This pick was difficult because the piece we’ve chosen was amongst many new novelties from Rolex this year. The new Explorer was as beautiful as it was impressive but ultimately, we couldn’t sign off a round up of this year’s Baselworld without mentioning the new Rolex Daytona; a watch that some feel is the cherry on the cake of the Daytona family and it’s hard to argue otherwise.  It’s not been messed with too much, simply the case we all know and love at 40mm, in Rolex’s patented 904L steel, with black monobloc Cerachrom bezel, here our favourite choice is the white-dial version with black sub dial rings. The Panda is back!



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