Rolex. Gucci. Seiko. These are just three of the designer watch brands that will be showing at Baselworld 2017, the largest annual trade show for the watch and jewelry industry. Every spring, the industry gets together and makes its mark in Basel, Switzerland. What can we expect from the show, only a few short months away?
1. Inside out
At last year’s show, a huge trend (and we’ve only just seen the tip of the iceberg) was inside-out, mechanical and “skeletonizing” designs like Hublot’s Big Bang Meca (pictured below) and Tag Heuer’s Carrera Calibre Heuer-02T, certified automatic chronograph combined with a titanium and carbon flying tourbillon, that stole the show (going for $15,000)!
Another interesting skeleton design is Zenith’s El Primero: Lightweight. The El Primero model is the first ever automatic chronograph and the Lightweight version is an updated take on the classic version.
2. Classic + sporty
Swiss-made watches are famous for their craftsmanship, classic design and their adaptability. It’s no surprise then, that the classic and the sporty design are newly married and should make a big splash at this year’s show.
Seculus’ Royal Marine Collection (pictured below) highlights this match made in heaven by their classic Swiss-made design paired with the wearability factor — this watch is powered by the everyday movement of your arm.
The new Fall 2016 Luminox collection includes watches that are literally designed for US Navy SEALs while maintaining the brand’s fine craftsmanship. The collection also has watches with unique leather bands and a cool mechanical design like the XCOR Automatic Valjoux Chronograph 5260 Series.
3. Smart and beyond
The smartwatch industry is now in full swing — and will be throwing its weight around at Baselworld 2017. There were a variety of smart watches at Baselworld last year, and many due to debut shortly. An anticipated release is Michael Kors Access (priced at $395) for both men and women at the end of the year.
We’re still obsessed with the Mondaine PayChip that was released earlier this year, and the brand is incorporating this cutting-edge technology into more watches that we’ll see next year. For those not familiar with this technology, the PayChip is a tiny chip secured in the watch strap and can be swiped at a pay station for “contactless payment.” Talk about fashion forward!
Nixon’s The Mission (pictured below) was just released on Amazon for $400, is an Android Wear watch that surfers, skiers and snowboarders will love as it is equipped with pre-loaded apps and real-time surf and snow shred alerts right on your wrist. The watch is water resistant up to 100 meters (just over 300 feet). While the design makes a huge fashion statement, it is practical for daily wear.
4. Simply beautiful
Classic design is always in style. Brands like Frederique Constant’s Classics Collection exemplify this brilliantly. Their designers constantly strive to create timepieces that are visually stunning, unfailingly reliable and technically superior. The latest addition to their best-selling moonphase collection is a slimline version which retains the classic look but with this modern of twists.
Uniform Ware’s simplicity paired with luxury is especially popular with female consumers (pictured below). Deemed as “original and beautiful” and also “cost[ing] a bundle” this brand is minimalist and doesn’t market in the traditional way — back in 2015, the brand was doing “guerilla Basel” by having meetings at restaurants and bars. Another extremely unique thing about UW is their non-branding, branding strategy, which seems to work very well — notice there is no logo on the watch face.
The ying to the smartwatch yang, classic watches will never go out of style, and we expect to see a strong showing of the ‘classics’ at Baseworld 2017.
Only a matter of time
With roughly 1,500 brands and over 4,000 expected attendees, Baselworld 2017 is going to be bigger than ever. We can expect the biggest watch and jewelry brands to shine with the latest trends.