Once again, Baselworld 2017 has set the luxury watch world alight. Undeniably, this is the watch industry’s most elaborate and impressive event, where leading brands vie for the attention of 120,000 guests – all keen to explore the most inspiring innovations in luxury watches.
Fresh from his time at the show and laden with notes on this year’s offerings, renowned luxury watch specialist David Duggan shares his experience of this year’s Baselworld with Luxurious Magazine.
How did you enjoy Baselworld 2017?
It has been an exceptional year, steeped in vintage heritage, with a very different feel to last year. I travel to Baselworld with my second in command, David Hagon, and it’s always fascinating to see the exhibitors and what they have chosen to showcase. What really struck me at this year’s show is that all the brands have a very heavy emphasis on revisiting their own heritage.
Brands such as Omega offered their best-looking hero models as revamped, souped-up vintage models. As specialists in Patek Philippe, Rolex and Tudor, we always have preferential appointments booked in to admire the new models – it’s a very special experience.
How did Patek Philippe and Rolex’s offerings compare with last year?
Last year, it was all about the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in steel, with black monobloc ceramic bezel – that’s a stunning watch. We tend to go during the last two days of the fair, but in 2016, even during those last two days, the crowds to see that model were two people deep, packed with fans taking photos and videos in the exhibition stand window.
Contrast that with this year and the addition of no less than three new Daytonas with Oysterflex strap had people crowding around the Rolex stand four or five people deep! That’s a good indication of the level of hype around this iconic brand.
As for Patek Philippe, they introduced a whole cohort of new models. Their Advanced Research program announced several new mechanical innovations. One involves the creation of a system able to activate a complication without traditional pivots. That, combined with their improved rate of stability, the incorporation of silicon into traditional watchmaking methods, and the Spiromax balance spring, are all indications of an innovative year to come for these Swiss masters
The new Aquanaut 5168 commemorates the 20th anniversary of Patek Philippe’ original Aquanaut in 1997, but this new iteration comes in in 42.2mm ‘Jumbo’ format and white gold, which I loved. The night blue colouring on it is fantastic, and they’ve even graduated it into black for a decidedly dramatic look. This is very much in keeping with the watch industry’s affinity for blue at the minute – once again it seems to be the colour of the year.