In the final part of his round-up of trends to watch from Baselworld, WatchPro managing editor Rob Corder picks out examples of historic re-issues in classic styles (Vintage Cream & Brown); the continuing love of bronze as both a colour and a material (Healthy Bronze); and the importance of watches that connect to mobile phones, satellites and wi-fi (Connected Watches).
VINTAGE CREAM & BROWN
The watch industry adores an anniversary, and is always looking for references in its archives that can be brought up-to-date with modern production methods.
The vintage look that many brands seemed to have discovered simultaneously was the cream and brown combination. We saw it at Nomos, Omega and Longines.
We are featuring here the Patek Philippe 5320G Perpetual Calendar because the company was making perpetual calendars in the 1950s when the brown and cream combination was at its height (Patek started making perpetual calendars in 1941).
The 2017 model has a dual day/month aperture at 12 o’clock, a subdial for the analog date and the moon phases at 6 o’clock, now completed with the small round windows for day/night and the leap-year cycle.
The white-gold case echoes design elements from legendary 1950s watches. It accommodates a self-winding caliber 324 S Q movement with a new calendar cadrature and a sweep seconds hand.
Breitling picked up the batton for adopting the colour bronze, which was used frequently by many brands as both a colour and a material.
Panerai was an early adopter of bronze for its cases, and celebrates the way it instantly ages and changes colour in the air.
Breitling is adopting the colour, not the material, in its anniversary edition of the Superocean Heritage diver’s watch.
More than a trend, connected watches is a direction of travel that transcends seasonal fashion.
We saw myriad touchscreen smartwatches and hybrids that combine traditional displays with communication technology that talks to smartphones via Bluetooth.
Andriod Wear 2.0 was the big leap forward from a software platform and application point of view.
Watches from Fossil, Guess, Gc, TAG Heuer and many more adopt the latest operating system.
Citizen group brands Frederique Constant and Alpina use their own software and firmware in timepieces that put the emphasis on the quality of their Swiss-made pieces.
Swarovski said it would unveil a smartwatch at Baselworld, but didn’t have models ready in time.
The most talked about piece was TAG Heuer’s Connected, but my money is on the Michael Kors Sofie (pictured) shifting the most units this year.