Walking through the decadent halls of Baselworld, it’s clear to see why this watch show is the playground of horological experts and the candy shop of watch fans. This year’s show was no different with a raft of unique timepieces highlighting the craftsmanship of watchmakers and the design flair of the individual brands.
The hard task of picking out only a select few timepieces comes down to DiscerningGent.com – something we’ve enjoyed and racked our brains about in equal measure. However, we have whittled it down to just a handful of timepieces that are the objects of desire for the discerning gent.
Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS17
Marking the second year of its sponsorship of the Renault Sport Formula One team, French timepiece maker unveils one of the most eye-catching timepieces of the Baselworld show and indeed of any automotive watch available. Inspiration for the BR-X1 RS17 comes from the steering wheel of a F1 car, an array of multi-coloured buttons and switches. With that strong theme running right through the design of this timepiece, it also features a lightweight forged carbon case whilst the watch’s functions are each colour-coded with the design.
RRP £18,700 – Bell & Ross
Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante
Making a chronograph timepiece is no easy feat. Its complexities start with the labyrinthine of engineering genius required to incorporate a split-seconds chronograph – first to create the first chronograph hand and then overlap it with another that can be stopped to record a split time before catching up with the other, all in one small casing. It’s why haute horlogerie is admired and desired by so many. It’s also why this Breitling has to be admired, the first ever in-house split-seconds version of the famed Navitimer that also includes ingenious simplifications (requiring two patents by the way). Sporty in look and feel and also with a 250-piece limited edition gold version to tempt the discerning gent if this one doesn’t.
RRP £9,720 – Breitling
Hublot Techframe Ferrari 70 Years Tourbillon Chronograph
Making the 70th anniversary of Ferrari this year, Hublot has loaned the keys to its design studio over to Ferrari’s design maestro Flavio Manzoni. The result is a watch with a very new look and feel for those familiar with the Hublot trademark design. Taking inspiration from the supercar’s lightweight chassis to create a skeleton-like frame around the dial that has Hublot’s in-house tourbillon engine on full show. Launched at this year’s show, models are available in titanium, forged carbon and Hublot’s scratch-proof alloy, ‘magic gold’ – all limited to just 70 editions of each.
£POA – Hublot
Omega 60th Anniversary Speedmaster, Seamaster & Railmaster
It seems like cheating to include three timepieces into one slot but needs must and these are Omega timepieces – so anything goes (don’t judge us). Whilst timepiece anniversaries can seem trivial due to the sheer volume of anniversary specials, 1957 was a true watershed year for Omega who first launched the Speedmaster, Seamaster and Railmaster timepieces. With the exception of the latter which disappeared as an Omega name since, 2017 reunites it as part of a one-off trilogy of watches that recreate the original 1957 models. The retro look adds to the vintage feel whilst the dials add interest. Available separately or as a trilogy package.
£POA – Omega
Rolex Cellini Moonphase
It’s been a long time coming but Rolex finally has a moonphase complication within the collection. The watchmaker created triple calendars with moonphase back in the 1950s and those limited edition pieces are as rare as they get. The Cellini moonphase features a cycle that is said to be accurate for the next 122 years and even then would only require a day’s worth of correcting. Rolex being Rolex, the automatic movement calibre 3195 is chronometer-certified and the white lacquer dial ups the ante with this dress watch.
RRP £23,000 – Rolex