A guide to Baselworld’s top 12 timepiece launches

Companies bring their best, most complicated and most expensive new timepieces

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Around 300 watch brands will exhibit at this year’s Baselworld trade fair, encompassing the gamut of horology.

One watch recognisable to anyone who has visited a Swiss railway station is the Mondaine SBB Classic (1), based on the Swiss Federal Railways’ platform clock, and is now available on a “loden” woollen strap.

Two straps are supplied with Tudor’s latest take on its bestselling Heritage Black Bay (2), which has a new bezel in plain steel and an in-house movement, while Hamilton draws on its longstanding association with the movie world to launch the ODC X-03 (3), co-designed by Nathan Crowley, production designer for the sci-fi film Interstellar.

TAG Heuer’s anticipated launch is a version of its 1960s Autavia (4), which has been voted back into its range by enthusiasts in an online poll. Another driver’s chronograph is the Breitling for Bentley Supersports (5), a “connected” smartwatch which monitors driving performance through a link to a mobile phone app.

Also built for performance is Omega’s Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer (6) which combines the brand’s latest, ultra-accurate mechanical movement and a high-tech ceramic bezel with a dial inspired by a model from 1968. Zenith’s celebrated El Primero — which launched the year after — gets its first significant update in the Defy El Primero 21 (7), which has a central chronograph hand that performs an entire sweep of the dial in just one second.

Hublot has gone for style over mechanical substance with its tweed-clad Classic Fusion models (8); these are made in conjunction with design house Italia Independent and tailor Rubinacci. The platinum-cased Slim d’Hermès (9) uses a perpetual calendar movement that automatically accounts for leap years and short months.

Female watch-lovers can travel the globe with Patek Philippe’s Reference 7130G World Time (10), featuring a blue dial and a white gold case, and Bulgari demonstrates that less can be more with the unveiling of its Octo Finissimo Skeleton Tourbillon (11) in platinum — the smallest tourbillon watch on the market.

The most expensive is from Dior, which has made eight one-off watches in a collection dubbed Grand Soir Botanic (12). Despite being powered by unremarkable quartz movements, each unique piece is expensive because of its dial encrusted with precious stones arranged to depict blossoming flowers. Prices start at €220,000.

Details and prices

1 Mondaine Classic SBB 40mm with felt strap (£175)

2 Tudor Heritage Black Bay Steel (£2,370)

3 Hamilton ODC X-03 (£3,145)

4 TAG Heuer Autavia (£3,900)

5 Bretling for Bentley Supersports (£6,725)

6 Omega Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer (£7,995)

7 Zenith Defy El Primero 21 (£10,000, anticipated price)

8 Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent (£13,300)

9 Hermès QP Platinum (£30,500)

10 Patek Philippe Reference 7130G World Time (£37,040)

11 Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton Tourbillon (£114,000)

12 Dior Grand Soir Botanic (from €220,000)

Research by Tatjana Mitevska

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