You’d think, from walking in through the main entrance of Baselworld, that this is only a show about luxury – vast, teaming rivers of it. However, that’s where you’d be wrong. Although the major brands dominate Hall 1.0, venture a little further into the fair and you’ll find brands that don’t cost more than your house to invest in and that offer something cool, quirky and wallet-friendly.
Here’s a little taster of some of those brands exhibiting at this year’s Baselworld that fit this particular bill.
This is a brand that has become famous for its beautifully simple, elegant watches and it brings this simplicity to its latest chronograph design. One of the things Bering wanted to maintain when creating this collection was that minimalism that has been its calling card.
As Michael Witt Johansen, the Danish designer behind the Chronograph collection says: “One of the major challenges consisted in retaining the simplicity, while communicating a range of different information with the clustered chronograph ‘eyes’, without creating a visual overload. I strongly believe that we have achieved this.” We couldn’t agree more.
Guess as a brand, thanks to its denim history, is synonymous with the colour blue; something that it has definitely capitalised on and rightly so.
This year, it has combined its signature blue with yellow gold (very ahead of the curve) in its “Power Couple” designs.
As the name suggests both iterations come in “his and hers” pairs. There is a dressier gold-bracelet version, which we feel might be a little bit 1980s rapper, however the sporty version, on the blue rubber strap, is infinitely more wearable outside of downtown LA. Which is a good thing, we promise.
Like many watch and jewellery brand origin stories, this one starts in a market – Portabello Road Market to be precise, where a fashion designer was searching for inspiration. She came across a Swiss watch, its caseback engraved with the three words “Henry August 1965”.
When she took to show her partner, they both liked it so much they decided to see how they could reinterpret this design for the 21st century. The result is the Wilson collection, which references its original inspiration but updates it using cutting edge technology and high-quality materials.
Henry, who ever he is, would surely have approved.
The Apple Watch has certainly got the Swiss sitting up, paying attention and reacting (the exact opposite of what they did when quartz watches were first launched…). Some brands have entered the fray with something that that is unmistakably a smartwatch, which is why we’re giving a thumbs up and a pat on the back to Mondaine, who, along with Frederique Constant and Alpina, has launched a watch with smart technology that doesn’t have an LED or LCD screen.
This Helvetica still looks like a proper watch with the only indication of its technological bent being the sub dial at six o’clock, which provides an analogue reading of the data the watch has captured.
You may not be able to read email, but at least this watch still looks good with a suit. Which is more than you can say for most smartwatches.
We’ve been rather obsessed with the Runwell recently but there’s also room in our heart for the Gomelsky. The rounded-off square case really makes it stand out, while the leather straps are butter soft and come in some really lovely colours. This update has additional numbers and wider lugs meaning that the look has femininity without being too girly.
It’s a very stylish watch and we just wish we had enough money for the whole collection.