From outrageous styles to outrageous prices, the crazier corners of Baselworld 2019 (which takes place annually in Switzerland) are where the real gems are found. Unlikely to be sported casually around town, these are wrist-worn pieces of art, and are often as technically astounding as they are beautiful.
Take a look at our favorite attention-grabbing watches we tried on (and would have sold a body part to own) from Baselworld 2019.
Hublot Ferrari GT
Hublot and Ferrari have been partners since 2011 and the latest model in their line up is the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT, and it’s a everything we want from a Hublot Ferrari watch — modern, beautiful, and daringly styled — yet suitably different from the Ferrari watches that have gone before it. The 45mm case has a Unico automatic movement inside and comes in a choice of titanium, King Gold, or the 3D carbon seen here. Only 500 of these will be made and it’s the first time the material has been used in watchmaking. It’s slimmer than many Hublot watches too, making it easier to wear. Prices start at a mere $127,000.
MW & Co. Asset
Hand-made in France, this is the MW & Co. Asset, a watch that has dampers attaching the strap to the body to increase comfort, almost like a car. Surprisingly, the big watch was very comfortable to wear, so we’d say the innovation works, but it’s definitely helped by the super-light titanium body and clever design. This highly technical watch is a limited edition — just 50 of the most recent model have been made — and costs around $18,000, depending on your choice of finish and style.
H. Moser Endeavour Concept Tourbillon Minute Repeater
Audacious, visually exciting, incredibly intricate, and stunningly made, the Endeavour Concept Tourbillon Minute Repeater has visible chimes and hammers on the dial side, rather than through the back of the case. This also means you can listen to the watch strike the hour. It’s joined by a one-minute flying tourbillon, set in a black dial with no markings at all. Sapphire covers the front and the back of the white gold case, matched to a black alligator leather strap with a red lining. Utterly glorious in every way. The price is to be confirmed, but don’t expect it to be less than $300,000.
Hautlence HL Sphere
Here’s how the HL Sphere works — the blue sphere shows the hours, and the retrograde minute display is on the right. The sphere rotates to show the hour, while the minute hand returns to zero, in a technically fascinating, intricately beautiful, and most of all, fun way of telling the time. Made from titanium, white gold, and sapphire crystal — take a look at the dome over the sphere, an incredibly challenging shape to make — there are only 10 HL Sphere’s being made, and the price is around $130,000.
A watch from the minds of a watch fanatic and a car designer, French luxury brand Phenomen says the Axiom is the ultimate driver’s watch, right down to the design and the face being set at 100-degrees for optimum visibility on the wrist. Take a look at the nods to car design, from the shape of the watch viewed from the top-down, to the twin-cam motor style layout though the back, and the motor-like inertia wheel spinning away to ensure the watch keeps perfect time, whatever its angle. Made from titanium and sapphire, the Axiom costs around $80,000.
Diesel Big Daddy 2.0
Our final entry doesn’t cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Best known for its fashion lines, Diesel also makes striking, reasonably priced watches. Last year it introduced a series of transparent blue watches, which were perfect for summer, and this year it has gone one step further with these insane, but wonderful, transparent rainbow models. The iridescent face is pure-Diesel style, and the transparent cases really make them stand out. The Big Daddy 2.0, with its 57mm face, is the winner, if you’ve got the confidence to wear one. Prices will vary, and the range will be available from the end of April.
Yes, you’re going to have to splash out on most of these, but if they’re a little out of reach for your budget, maybe one on this list of our favorites under $500 will suffice.
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