Day Three at the Baselworld watch fair was packed, as my WatchTime editorial colleagues and I visited a slew of big-name watch brands and had the opportunity to check out their latest offerings for 2013, including horological milestones from Breguet and Girard-Perregaux.
Montres Breguet often tantalizes watch aficionados with new complicated models and bold technological innovations at Baselworld and this year was no exception, After leading off with another look at last year’s headliner — the Classic Chronometrie 10 HZ, now ready for serial production — Breguet unveiled the new Ref. 5287 Classic Chronograph with a new, manual-wind movement, which replaces the existing Ref. 5247; an amazing musical timepiece (I did not catch the reference number) that chimes a piece by Johan Sebastian Bach as the swirling “8” motif on its dial rotates; a watch with an astonishing 96-hour power reserve from only one barrel; and a new iteration of one of my favorite Breguet models, the Type XXII 10 Hz pilots’ watch, in a handsome rose-gold/brown dial combo.
Jaquet Droz commemorates the 275th anniversary of the first watch made by its namesake, legendary watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz, this year. For the occasion, it is releasing a number of new timepieces, including larger version of its popular Grande Seconde model, in a 43-mm case and a côtes de Genève pattern on the dial. The new models, pictured below, are available in blue (definitely a theme this year) and brown.
Also launched as anniversary specials are Jaquet Droz’s “Seasons” collection, which use the imagery of birds (like the brand’s amazing Bird Repeater watch) on decorative enamel dials. The first two to be launched are “Winter” and “Fall,” with “Spring’ and “Summer” to follow next year. Other artistic dials also feature various animal motifs. Rounding out the anniversary series is Jaquet Droz’s first wristwatch in a yellow-gold case.
(For more on the other luxury brands of the Swatch Group — Omega, Longines, and Glashütte Original — check out our sister blog, Watch-Insider.com. You can also check out Watch-Insider’s report on the other “power brand” we visited yesterday, Breitling.)
Girard-Perregaux, which made its return to Baselworld after several years as a fixture of the SIHH watch fair in Geneva, displayed the new, more focused approach that has defined its collection since its acquisition by Gucci parent company PPR (now called Kering). The brand has already added two new models to its sporty Hawk collection, introduced just last December — both the Sea Hawk and Chrono Hawk are now available in black ceramic cases. G-P also showed us a redesigned version of its well-known world-timer, the Traveller ww.tc. But what really had tongues wagging was its haute horlogerie piece, the Constant Escapement (front and back, below), which uses a dynamic system with a slim, moving silicon blade to apply constant force to the escapement. It has a patented barrel system — with three full meters of hairspring — to create a power reserve of one week. And it’s not a concept watch: G-P says it will start delivering the watch, priced at 115,000 Swiss francs, this fall.
Fashion house Hermès has gotten serious about its watchmaking in recent years, and it continued the pattern in 2013. While many of its new releases were ladies’ models or men’s mechanicals with outsourced movements, it did follow up on last year’s Dressage — the first watch with a proprietary movement made exclusively for Hermès — with the Dressage Chronograph, which contains Caliber H1925, Hermès’s first proprietary chronograph movement. The number refers to the year that the first Hermès chronograph watch debuted.
Onward to Day Four! Keep visiting WatchTime.com for more on-site news and photos from the world’s biggest watch fair.