When Swatch and its subsidiaries announced that they would be pulling out of the Baselworld back in 2018, horologists around the world had believed that the long and illustrious legacy of the one of the largest watch convention would now come to an end. 2019, however, proved many of these expert timekeepers wrong. Watchmakers from around the world still consider it to be the quintessential place for showcasing their latest and best offerings, what would be the trends to look out for and where the industry is headed. We take a look at a few trends that caught our eye.
Ignoring the enthusiasm and felicity with which vintage and classic watches are being re-released is becoming difficult to ignore by the day. Often inspired by the retro design of the straps and the smaller case sizes of the past eras, these ‘resurrected’ watches have managed to stay faithful to the originals, and become classical masterpieces in their own right. One style that is often reproduced by many watchmakers is the faux-aged effects, which include yellow lume, speckled dials and sometimes, just to add to that vintage, worn out look, some scrapes and scratches on the cases.
Blue dials present a very unique predicament. On the one hand, we really love them for their vintage feel, especially if the face comes with a texture. On the other hand, they have been used and abused to such an extent that the excitement around a really well-crafted face and dial just isn’t there anymore. Nevertheless, blue dials are here to stay if Baselworld 2019 was an indication. This year, however, the one difference that we could make out was the manner in which the dials were treated. Different shades of green too came to the forefront. Although they were not as prominent as silver, black or blue, some really great iterations and versions can be expected. Other colours, which really worked well, were lighter shades of red and pink.
Those materials such as bronze, titanium, carbon, and ceramic continue to be popular among watchmakers is widely known. What was relatively unknown is the fact that several watchmakers, in search of something exotic, have developed materials that are frankly unheard of. Combining the demand of high-durability and aesthete materials some of the materials that they have come up include IWC’s Ceratanium a kind of a titanium and ceramic alloy, Panerai’s Carbotech or compressed carbon fibre, or Girard-Perregaux's vitreous carbon.
Watchmakers will always have exotic timepieces that can empty your bank account in one go. And although we fall in love with these Horlogerie pieces, rarely can mere mortals actually afford them. This year, however, there were a number of pieces which weren’t priced astronomically, watches that we could actually buy. This, in turn, increases the actual, usable value of the timepieces. One way that manufacturers have been able to do this, was by using steel in their basic, entry-level watches. It is interesting to see manufacturers with in-house movements and complications, following the same route. what could be better news for the general watch-consuming public?