Make time for these 5 watches from Baselworld 2017

It’s that time of year again. When anyone who’s anyone in the world of watches heads to northwest Switzerland to launch, laud and lust over the latest timepieces at Baselworld. From Swiss classics to a future-focused South Korean throwback, I’ve taken a look at five of the most interesting items from 2017’s event.  See it all below…

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Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph

They couldn’t have planned it better. While Sebastian Vettel clinched victory for Ferrari down in Melbourne, Hublot unveiled its simply stunning Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph, with the case being the first non-car item to ever come out of Maranello. The near-skeleton design is a technical marvel; the eyes are naturally drawn to an impressive manual-wound caliber HUB6311, a monopusher chronograph with a tourbillon escapement. Another nice touch, (well, for $127,000 (titanium) or $158,000 (gold)) is the crown at 4 o’clock, positioned to create a feeling of speed. Forza Ferrari, indeed.

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Omega 60th Speedmaster 60th Anniversary Edition

It’s been 60 years since one of the most recognisable pieces of wristwear first hit the market. I’m of course talking about the iconic Omega Speedmaster. To commemorate this milestone, the Biel-Bienne-based manufacturer has released an ode to the original ’57 model, complete with a 38mm case, straight lugs, etched tachymeter and a faux-tropicalised dial (to up the nostalgic feel). It costs $6,740 and is limited to a run of 3,557, mirroring the release structure of the recent Seamaster and Railmaster – you can even buy all three for $20,185.

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Nomos Club Campus

Now, I’m a BIG fan of this new line from Nomos (though it does scream fixie bike and Vice fanatic). The German brand’s new Club Campus collection, “tailor-made for the next generation”, is made up of three watches: a 36mm, 38 and 38.5mm, and an additional 38.5mm called the Club Campus Nacht. The latter is the standout item, with Arabic and Roman numerals for even hours, ticks for odd and a simple subdial at 6 o’clock to indicate seconds. The 43-hour power reserve from Nomos Calibre Alpha is great value for money, too. They start at a very reasonable $1,500 – ideal if you’re making your first foray into mechanical watches.

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Samsung Gear G3 Pocketwatch

Concept. That’s the key word. The cynic in me thinks this is just a whole lot of peacocking from Samsung and watch designer Yvan Arpa. Nonetheless, the Samsung Gear S3 Pocketwatch (yep, pocketwatch) has piqued the interest of the watch world and beyond. Initially, the idea was to replace the mechanical movement with G3 tech, but the electronics giant went not one, but two steps further by having traditional innards and a compass (yep, compass) in the lid. Though these aren’t going to hit the market anytime soon, or ever, it’s certainly one of the most interesting fusions of classic watchmaking and futuristic designs on show at Baselworld.

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IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur 40mm Automatic

I love it. It’s clean, classic and is the revamped version of a racing-inspired icon from the ’50s. I have to confess, I’m getting one in September. Prices start at a shade under $5k for the three-part collection.

If you’d like to read more, head here.

IWC Ingenieur at Goodwood 2017

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Shooting, sports cars and Swiss watches. What’s not to love? I was lucky enough to head down to Goodwood for the 75th Members’ Meeting, courtesy of IWC Schaffhausen.

Creative Director Christian Knoop kicked off the day at the hotel, alongside Lord March, unveiling the expanded Ingenieur 2017 line, building on the updated three-piece range from Goodwood 2016. The new collection covers the bases with three automatic models, four IWC-manufactured chronographs and a limited-edition reference with perpetual calendar.

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Starting at a shade under £4,000, the Automatic 40mm occupies the entry-level spot and draws most heavily on the original ’55, with a classic silver dial and black leather strap. However, a 18-carat red gold case is beautifully understated, complemented by a stylish black alligator leather strap.

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The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph starts at over 5k and comes in three 42mm styles: a 18-carat red gold and two stainless steel dials, with a hefty 120m depth rating on an all-new movement called the IWC Caliber 69375.

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Finally, the top-of-the-range model is the £34k IWC Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month. Based on the IWC Caliber 89800 movement, this limited-edition version of just 100 pieces, features a perpetual calendar and digital indicators for the month and date.

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My personal favourite was the Automatic 40mm, though. Clean, classy and sat rather nicely on my relatively small wrist. Sadly, I was unable to sneak it out of there, despite my best efforts.

It reminded me in many ways of the Bremont Solo – a watch I was planning to get this summer. But, the iconic racing heritage tied up in the Ingenieur may have tipped the scales in favour of the Swiss offering. Only downsides being the £1,200 difference and mooted September release for the revamped 40mm, we’ll see…

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Anyway, individual preference aside, this trip wasn’t just about watches.

IWC brand ambassador and former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard took an exquisite Mercedes-Benz 300 SL – Gullwing for a spin, once the herd of photographers had cleared, that is.

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Following the pit walk and Coulthard’s hot lap, I ventured out on the hunt for some original ’80 BMW M3s, luckily they didn’t take too long to find….

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Unsurprisingly – it was Goodwood, after all – there were a bevy of beauties I could wax lyrical about, including a stunning Jaguar XJ220, but clay pigeon shooting at the far end of the estate was calling.

I’ve never done it before, but if you’re even slightly competitive, this is the sport for you! Who knew taking aim at flying objects was so enjoyable?

And, though I’m no gun expert, legendary manufacturer Purdey was in town and had brought along a selection of its wares, with one pretty special 120k model taking centrestage. (I’m having a go on that below…)

9/12 hit rate – but who’s counting?

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Perhaps even more impressive is the fact Purdey, the only British manufacturer to be awarded three royal charters, handbuilds all its shotguns to order from the ‘Fort Knox of West London’ in Hammersmith. Which goes some way to explaining the monumental outlay.

So with that, and a final glass/bottle of Perrier-Jouët, we were back off to London. Thanks again to IWC and Mercedes Benz.

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