Basel Up Close & Personal

My buddy who was in Switzerland for Baselworld has finally returned and was nice enough to show me some pictures yesterday.  I figured people would be interested in seeing them as well so here goes…

He told me the overall ambiance of the show was amazing.  There were people everywhere and watches galore.  His exact words were, “It would blow your mind.”

Apparently the talk of the show was the Harry Winston Opus Eleven.  He told me everyone could not stop talking about it.  The limited edition watch is outrageously innovative and complex to say the least, consisting of 566 components and 155 jewels.  The center of the dial is where the current hour is showcased.  Meanwhile, every 60 minutes, a war of the worlds takes place under the sapphire crystal until the new hour is assembled.  It then remains until the chaos unfolds again.

Under the sapphire crystal of the Opus are three overlapping cylinders on three different levels.  The main circle is for the hours, while the two flanking pavilions show the minutes.  One shows the minutes in tens on a jumping disk while the other has a running disk for the units.

The watch features an epicycloidal gear-train with 24 placards.  There are four satellites mounted on a rotating platform that have three pairs of placards a piece, for a total of 24.  There are then eight intermediate wheels, a triangular wheel, six conical pinions and three elliptical gears.  The bevel gears are what transition and position the placards, while the triangular wheel and elliptical gears vary the gear ratio and prevent the placards from hitting each other.  Now that is some serious engineering!  I hope to be able to see one in person one day.

Two other watches he provided me pictures of are a funky looking MB&F watch and the new Breitling Navitimer 1461.  The MB&F is a cool looking piece, but I think I would be peacocking a little too much if I rocked it.  The Navitimer 1461, however, is a watch I would unquestionably wear.

The 1461 movement could be my favorite movement that Breitling uses.  It only needs to be set once every 1461 days, and I am a ridiculously big fan of the moonphase complication on a watch.  I really want to have a watch with the moonphase on it one day as I think it is extremely aesthetically pleasing and incredible that a watch is capable of monitoring the moon.

Anyway, my friend was definitely successful in convincing me that I must get to Basel for the show one year.  It is clearly an incredible experience.


2 thoughts on “Basel Up Close & Personal

  1. I am unable to even imagine the cost for routine service on the Harry Winston piece!

    Like you, the 1461 Navitimer would be my first choice. The absence of the hour numbers makes this complex dial clean. Hmmm, they even have the strap of my choice on this watch!

  2. Yes, the Navitimer 1461 is wonderful. Black on black dial/subs! Put it on a black rubber strap and it could be my watch. Unfortunately, the 46mm diameter exceeds my limit of 44mm for any watch I would wear. My present “main” watch is a black on black Montbrillant on a black (Diver II) rubber strap on deployant.

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