Now that the dust has settled over Baselworld, let’s begin this round-up with a recap of the year’s biggest watch exhibition and a list of our top 10 watches from the show. Following that, let’s take a closer look at some of the standout pieces from this year, which includes the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Big Blue Ceramic GMT watch as well as the very unusual Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis watch.
Elsewhere, we also feature a very rare and important Rolex that is about to go on sale soon. According to experts, this particular Rolex could very well become the most expensive Rolex ever when it goes under the hammer later this May. Find out which Rolex we are talking about and more in this month’s round-up.
1. Top 10 Watches Of Baselworld 2017: A Trade Show At A Crossroads
Baselworld is arguably the most important show of the year for the watch industry and for watch lovers. And this year’s Baselworld is even more important because of the difficulties that the watch industry is facing. How will brands cope, and more importantly, what watches will they release to combat this challenge? Baselworld will provide us with answers to these questions. And to help readers keep up to date with the latest happenings from Baselworld, here is our summary of the event as well as our top 10 watches from the show.
2. MB&F HM6 SV ‘Sapphire Vision’ Watch Hands-On
When I first saw the MB&F HM6 Space Pirate in 2014, I was left stunned by the watch’s unusual yet attractive design. The attractive spherical domes that house the turbines and indicate the hours and minutes were only surpassed by the stunning flying tourbillon in the center of the case. Even today, I still think that it is one of the most impressive watches that I have ever handled. I thought it would be hard for MB&F to top the HM6, but they did it with the HM6 SV “Sapphire Vision.” The HM6 SV is essentially an HM6 watch but with the top and bottom parts of the case made entirely out of sapphire. Take a closer look at this breath-taking watch here.
This is just one incredible caliber, that is for certain. Rolex hardly ever reinforces the fact that this is one of the lowest component count automatic chronograph calibers on the market nowadays — using only 201 parts in total, you will find 3-hand automatic movements available with more components than this. Rolex achieved this by designing a chronograph mechanism that needs about 60% fewer components than regular column wheel chronographs. In comparison to the El Primero-based 4030, the 4130 has just 12 different screws and not over 40. Its mainspring can be substituted without taking the movement from this case, and the automatic winding mechanism is almost 70 percent more effective when compared with the previous caliber.Beyond all these achievements, the high-tech goodies are all also present. A vertical clutch guarantees a jump-free initiation of the chronograph minutes, whereas the column wheel ensures that the pusher comments gives you not a hint regarding the ingeniously low amount of elements that respond to a input.We have discussed vertical clutches many, many occasions but for the sake of the review we will provide a brief run-down on it again. The vertical clutch is located in the dead center of the motion and its role is to couple and de-couple the chronograph mechanism in the driveway that comes in the movement. Its descriptively called a vertical clutch because it depends upon friction created and disrupted between vertically organized components. In conventional chronographs, two collectively arranged wheels are combined and de-coupled and since the teeth of a single constantly rotating and a single static wheel are meeting for the push to be transmitted, so you have a less precise interaction between parts and hence a less noise start to the chronograph.
3. Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Big Blue Ceramic GMT Watch Hands-On
Omega has been pushing the boundaries of ceramic in the past couple of years. Ceramic bezels were just the beginning, and in 2013, Omega took things further with the Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon” which was made almost entirely out of ceramic – the case, dial, crown, pushers, and buckle are all ceramic. This fascination with ceramic was soon extended to the Seamaster collection. For 2017, one of Omega’s most important pieces is the Seamaster Planet Ocean Big Blue Ceramic GMT watch which, as you can probably tell from the name and photo above, is made almost entirely out of blue ceramic. How does blue ceramic look in the real world? Let us show you.
4. Mr. Jones Watches Last Laugh Tattoo, Sun & Moon, Timewise Timepieces Review
As longtime watch enthusiasts, it is sometimes easy to get jaded and assume that all unusual, quirky, and interesting watches will naturally come with inflated price tags. Fortunately, there are a couple of watch brands that buck this trend and Mr. Jones Watches in one of them. And proof of this can be found in these three new watches – the Last Laugh Tattoo, Sun & Moon, and Timewise. Of the trio, the Last Laugh Tattoo is my favorite as it combines a vibrant dial design with an unusual way of displaying the time. Interesting dial aside, what makes these watches an even more compelling proposition is that they are all accessibly priced. Who says interesting watches need to come with high price tags?
5. Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Watch Hands-On
I can think of few brands that elicit emotions as strong as Hublot. You might not be a fan of their watches, but it is hard not to be impressed by what they do. One of the most talked-about watches at Baselworld 2017 has to be the new Hublot MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis watch which has been specially designed to show off its tourbillon movement. To do that, the MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis watch has an unusual case that arches sharply at six o-clock and also a curved sapphire crystal that is unlike any I have ever seen before on any watch. Love or hate this watch, you can’t deny that it is pretty spectacular in design.
6. Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chronograph Watch Hands-On
We all know that the Heritage Black Bay is possibly Tudor’s most popular model. And we have seen iterations of it over the past year. First came the Black Bay Blue, and then we had the Black Bay Black. Last year, Tudor even made a smaller version called the Black Bay 36. This year, they did the unexpected (to me, at least) and came out with a chronograph version called the Heritage Black Bay chronograph which features a movement developed with Breitling. It has also become one of the most talked about and controversial watches that was announced at the show. Find out why here.
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