Baselworld Hall 1.1 is logically just up the escalator from Hall 1.0. Everything is logical and precise in Switzerland. You can set your watch by the tram service. If it says there are two minutes before the next one arrives you can count it down with a chronograph, and believe me, upstairs in Hall 1.1, there’s any number of fine chronographs to do the job.
Baselworld 2014 Hall 1.1 – U-Boat Phoenix Classico Automatic Chronograph
U-Boat has cornered the market for unashamedly large and chunky watches in terms of both diameter and depth, but because thy have Italo Fontana as their designer, they are more than just big, they are stylish. Designer Italo Fontano sails his own course, and one of the new novelties for Baselworld is the Phoenix. The 48mm watch is passionately crafted from 925 sterling silver. The cracks you see in the casing are then laboriously filled with 180 black diamonds. As for the strap, no one makes them like U-Boat. A fine example of Italian handiwork, it boasts exclusive symbols in silver and precious stones crafted into it. The numerals are big and stencilled. The modified movement features hours, minutes, small seconds, 60 seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours with the date window at 9 o’clock. Meanwhile, a watch from the Unicum range will adorn the wrist of Sylvester Stallone in Expendables 3.
Baselworld 2014 Hall 1.1 – Nomos Glashutte Metro
The Nomos Metro not only looks good, it also has some exceptional dynamics going on under the hood, so to speak. It runs on what is known in the Swiss trade as an assortiment, also known as the Nomos swing system. The movement is the DUW 4401 fully developed in-house. The feather in the cap for this Saxony watchmaker is that very few manufactuies can adjust, classify and calibrate accurately enough to create such an assembly. It took a huge amount of money and research but Nomos Glasshutte claim to be able to deliver, and at reasonable prices too.
Baselworld 2014 Hall 1.1 – Bulova Accu Swiss Kirkwood Chronograph
The Bulova Kirkwood men’s chrono is a new addition to the brand’s Accu Swiss range. It features a skeletonised dial that delicately reveals the automatic movement and the intriguing touch of a date disc rimmed around the dial. This Swiss made watch has scratch resistant sapphire crystal and is secured with a bicoloured stainless steel strap with deployment buckle. The watch is water resistant to 200 metres, and as a mark of its quality it comes with a full 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.
Baselworld 2014 Hall 1.1 – Alpina Startimer ‘Sunstar’
Surprisingly, this is Alpina’s debut attendance at the event. They have unveiled the Alpina Startimer ‘Sunstar’, a new addition to the “Startimer” professional pilot range. It comes with sunray dial finishing, applied numerals and minutes ring, the idea is to offer a luxury dial finish with strict Alpina pilot functionality. In the first 50 years of the past century, Alpina was a renowned manufacturer and official supplier of military aviation watches to continental air forces. Alpina pilot’s watches were usually equipped with an anti-magnetic case, a high-contrast dial with oversized luminous numerals and luminous hands for instant readability. The watch comes in a 44 mm, anti-reflective satin-finished stainless steel case with oversized applied luminous numerals adorning the grey sunray finished dial. The movement is automatic winding with 26 jewels and a 38 hours power reserve.
Baselworld 2014 Hall 1.1 – Grovana Master Commander
You can cover watches every day for years and still find a new brand to surprise you every day. Grovana is celebrating 90 years in business this year, and I had no idea they even existed until I walked the long and labyrinthine corridors of Hall 1.1. They’ve released a watch called the Master Commander, which I thought was a movie starring Russell Crowe. That said, you could time the trams with this handsome chronograph. Designed for functionality, its chronograph display is joined by additional useful indications such as day and date. In black, this quartz powered chrono is dynamic and macho, accentuated by the red seconds hand and day hand.
Baselworld 2014 Hall 1.1 – Mark Maddox
Mark Maddox, another brand of which you may not have heard, but you are probably going to. In just two years the brand has developed a network of over 3000 retailing outlets from Europe to South America. They specialise in bang on tend affordable watches for men and women. The watches change seasonally so that there is something fresh for Spring, Summer, Autumns and Winter. It’s all too easy to laugh these watches off as cheap and beneath serious attention, but Michael Kors is doing very much the same thing with Fossil and it has turned him into a billionaire. There’s a vast groundswell of the watch buying public that love these kind of watches. Part of the Spanish Munreco Group , this brand could become huge.