After a week at Baselworld studying the 2017 collections of 100 watch brands, WatchPro managing editor Rob Corder shares his thoughts on what the market has learned with a roundup of the top trends we think retailers could profit from that we saw at the fair.
Here we feature the second set of three including Shades of Grey; Multicoloured Collections; and Mesh Bracelets.
SHADES OF GREY
Grey was everywhere at Baselworld, not just in the steel and titanium cases and bracelets, but all over dials and bezels.
Bell & Ross demonstrates the trend perfectly with its Horolum line, which picks up familiar design elements from previous collections but brings them up-to-date with a grey makeover.
A new Rado Ceramica in all grey was another noteable example.
Movado also picked up the grey batton, as did Oris with its Big Crown 1917 Limited Edition, a faithful recreation of a 100 year old timepiece from the archive that is perfectly reproduced in a 40mm case limited to a run of 1917 pieces priced at CHF 2400 (£1942).
Colour is king this year across straps, cases and dials.
In fact, most customers will not settle for one colour for their watch, they will want customisable straps and bezels so that they can match their timepiece to any outfit.
Graham, Calvin Klein, Emporio Armani and many more took the approach of launching key collections in multiple colourways.
But Rado arguably nailed the trend best with its True Thinline Colours range, which is presented in ceramic in four colours this year, described by the brand as inky blue, forest green, lunar grey, or chocolate brown.
There is nothing new about mesh, or Milanese bracelets, but they were seen within more collections than WatchPro recalls seeing in any previous year.
Milanese bracelets hail from an old watch strap tradition that dates back to 19th century Italy but the style finds itself in vogue once again, mostly due to the success of Scandi design watchmakers like Daniel Wellington, which built its empire on Nato fabric straps, but is now adopting mesh.
Pictured here is the Kronaby Carat, a connected watch that will appeal to millennials due to its technology and style. More and more brands offer straps that can be swapped without using specialist tools, so one watch can generate multiple sales for people that want leather, rubber and steel fastenings.
Mesh is both comfortable to wear, straddles a sporty and professional aesthetic, and lasts for years without ageing.