Baselworld 2013, Day One: Blancpain, Hublot, Graham, Alpina

Blancpain_Brassus_150 The first day of the 2013 Baselworld watch fair is in the books, and I’ve already seen a number of interesting new timepieces. Yesterday’s highlights included a clever yacht-timer watch from Alpina, a world horological  first from Blancpain, and some quality time with one of this year’s most talked-about pieces, Hublot’s La Ferrari.

Sports-watch maker Alpina, like its more elegant sister brand Frédérique Constant, is a company that takes pride in producing horological value for reasonable prices. This year’s new releases include the Heritage Pilot, a model inspired by a 1930s aviators’ watch from the brand’s history. It’s got an old-fashioned “escargot” tachymeter scale on the dial and a telemetry scale around it. Another historical Alpina watch has been reborn as the Vintage Start Timer, a military-aviator-style chronograph with a quartz movement. The model with the beige dial and beige canvas strap was a perfect match for the suit I was wearing, so I was inspired to try it on (below).

Alpina_Vintage_StartTimer_560

The most interesting new Alpina is the Extreme Sailing Yacht Timer, a new take on the brand’s existing Yacht-Timer model. As its countdown function reaches the last five minutes before the start of a regatta, the numerals recede to reveal the five letters of the word “START.” This innovative sailing watch will retail for 3,150 euros.

Alpina_YachtTimer_560

Blancpain has produced yet another tribute piece for the 60th anniversary of its famed Fifty Fathoms divers’ watch. The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe (below) is a three-hand model based on a vintage watch, in a titanium or steel case, with the decidedly modern touch of a bezel made of the Swatch Group’s proprietary “Liquidmetal.” Men’s and ladies sizes will be available.

Blancpain_50Fathoms_Bathyscaphe_560

From Blancpain’s elegant Le Brassus collection comes the Tourbillon Carrousel (front and back, below), an ultra-complicated timepiece that is the first to feature both a tourbillon and a carrousel, two horological inventions that are often confused for each other. This piece, with a breathtakingly detailed manufacture movement, will retail for nearly 300,000 euros.

Blancpain_Brassus_TourbillonCarrousel_560

Blancpain_Brassus_Tourbillon_Carrousel_movement_560

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    About Mark Bernardo

    Mark Bernardo is the digital media editor of WatchTime magazine, responsible for developing and overseeing the editorial content on WatchTime.com as well as for WatchTime's tablet editions for the iPad, Nook, and Kindle. As WatchTime's managing editor, from 2006 through 2011, he has written about numerous watch companies from major brands like Omega, TAG Heuer and Piaget, to exclusive artisan lines such as Jean Dunand, De Bethune and DeWitt. Prior to joining WatchTime, he was the editor of Smoke, a lifestyle magazine for cigar enthusiasts, whose beats included cigars, watches, cars, wines and spirits, celebrities, men's fashion, and other subjects, and has written about luxury items for a variety of men's-interest publications, including Robb Report, Robb Report Motorcycling, Stratos, Worth, and Bloomberg Markets.

    Comments

    1. Pat Rondilla says:

      Thank you for providing us updates and info for people like us who were not able to attend..

    2. Debashish says:

      Thanks for providing us with a fine Report of the 1st Day of Baselworld 2013! Blancpain is one of favourite watches and its Tourbillon Carrousel looks fantastic! Trust Hublot to introduce something unique all the time. The pictures are also lovely!

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