Basel Blog - Part 2

Part one of the ‘Basel Blog’ gave an insight into our Basel event and also into new releases from both Tudor and Breitling. Part two will focus on a few more of our incredible brands, including: Tag Heuer, Chopard and Omega

Tag Heuer brought a real element of fun to our Basel event by challenging anyone who dared to test their reaction times, with the highest score in the time limit winning. I quietly backed away to avoid embarrassing myself, but many were far braver and took to the challenge. When it came to watches, all eyes were firmly on the new Tag Heuer Connected(s), which were one of the most talked about releases this year.

The connected watch is truly where tradition meets innovation, by combining Tag Heuer’s 150 years of watchmaking craftsmanship and technical knowhow, with wearable technology. By allowing the wearer to access a multitude of applications, face options and also a variety of strap options, the Connected watch can be customized to reflect your own style and passions.

Breitling were another brand to release a connected watch with their new B55 exospace. Breitling’s take on the connected watch differs to that of Tag Heuer’s with a mobile app being used to work in harmony with the watch. The watch movement is equipped with a variety of functions which are tailor-made for pilots, and can be activated via the mobile app.

The results from some of the measurements taken can be then downloaded to the connected smartphone, as well as it receiving notifications. The B55 exospace combines innovation, functionality and performance perfectly to meet the needs of the most demanding of situations.

Omega never fail to impress at Baselworld, and this year was no exception. The Planet Ocean was a collection that was largely focused on, with new case sizes and bezels updating the aesthetic. The bezels on a selection of new models are now made from ceramic, which is fused with bold coloured rubber (orange, red and blue). The cases on the other hand have been decreased in size with 39.5mm, 43.5mm and 45.5mm (chronographs) being the new size for the models.

The biggest change to the Planet Ocean can be found on the inside with the addition of Omega’s new Master Chronometer movements. For the movements to be classed as Master Chronometers they have to go through a barrage of tests designed to replicate real life wearing conditions.

One of the most fascinating things about this new certification is that the results for each individual watch is available to view online. There have also plenty more additions to the Omega range which can be seen on the omega website.

A slightly off-piste release in June led to the addition of the Planet Ocean Deep Black; the first model in the family with a case made of ceramic. Ceramic is an incredibly hard wearing, UV and scratch-resistant material, that Omega have truly mastered. These properties make it an ideal material for handling the harsh conditions of deep sea diving, but also the stresses of everyday wear.

The Deep Black also features a patented system called ‘Naiad lock’, which allows the engraved wording on the caseback to line up perfectly, making it easier to admire. There are plenty more additions to other collections, including - Speedmaster, Globemaster and Constellation (which can be found on the Omega website).

Chopard announced a new addition to the Mille Miglia family during Baselworld; the new 2016 XL Race Edition (100 pieces in Rose gold and 1000 in steel). This timepiece continues the relationship between Chopard and the Mille Miglia – An annual 1000-mile race from Brescia to Rome and back.

As always, the Mille Miglia collection is an embodiment of one of Carl-Friedrich Scheufele’s (Co-President of Chopard) main passions in life – Motorsport. The motorsport inspiration can be seen immediately, with the subdials reminiscent of vintage car dashboards.

The large 46mm case size and Arabic numerals allow for drivers to check the time in the quickest of glances, so they can avoid taking their eyes off the road. Mr Scheufele’s other main passion in life is fine watchmaking, which Chopard’s L.U.C collection personifies. The next watch blog will focus on this collection as we welcome it to our Harrogate store later this month.

On behalf of the Hugh Rice team I’d like to say a huge Thankyou to Sir Ranulph for making our Basel event so memorable. I sincerely hope that everyone who attended the evening enjoyed it as much as we did. We look forward to seeing you soon at the next event!