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Armchair Picks: Chester’s Top 5 from Baselworld 2017

by Chester Lau on April 1, 2017

My choices are simple. Classical timepieces with a twist. Complications are a plus, but the watch has to look beautiful and has a design that sings longevity.

 

1. Hajime Asaoka Chronograph

The open worked dial side of Hajime Asaoka’s new chronograph

 

Hajime Asaoka’s new chronograph is the latest in his series of 5 watches. The watchmaker not only built, but also designed the new chronograph calibre from ground up. Apart from the artisanal finishing and fascinating movement, the watch captures our attention with the display of the column wheel movement entirely on the dial side.

 

2. Grönefeld Bespoke 1941 Remontoire

 

 

In collaboration with Kari Voutilainen, the Grönefeld brothers put together the latest update to their award winning 1941. The 1941 Remontoire shot to fame with its complicated eight seconds remontoire display. It had won the prestigious Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève award in the “Mens Watch” category.

 

The G-05, with the stainless steel bridges is magnificent.

 

The updated series, known as the Bespoke 1941 now comes with a vast choice of coloured and patterned dials. The dials are engine-turned, sometimes referred to as guilloché dials. This process confers each dial with its own unique appearance. To augment the allure of the engine-turned patterns, another even more exclusive technique can be applied, enamelling. The colourful and transparent enamel is applied to the dial surface to bestow a profound depth and lustre to the guilloché patterns.

 

3. Kari Voutilainen Vingt-8 ISO

 

The Vingt-8 ISO watch is a unique complication and possibly the most subtle complication on a time only watch. With a rotating inner disc at the periphery which displays a moving minutes indicator, the timekeeping is designed to reprogram the readers understanding of analog time display. The minutes hand overlaps the hour hand at every full hour.

Read also:   New Release, Hands-on Review and Giveaway: TACS Limited Edition Automatic Vintage Lens Watch

This video will help you understand the complication better.

 

 

Apart from the fun complication, the watch represents watchmaking tradition, with a robust movement famed for its balance and escapement superiority, as well as artisanal finishing on the dial and the movement. All of these combined makes the watch a top pick for me.

 

4. Rolex Cellini Moonphase

 

 

The reasons for choosing this timepiece are very straightforward. Collectibility, aesthetics, and a whole lot of x-factor. This watch is a new Rolex complication since modern times. The latest movement that Rolex came up with was in the Sky Dweller, which had mixed reactions. But it was another sports model anyway so… not that big of a deal. But this Rolex Cellini. It’s like the underdog of Rolex, the black horse, the series that no one knows exist. Pardon my hyperbole, but this model is significant in its reference to Rolex’s vintage pre-bracelet models, and a new classic piece from the brand that only makes submariners.

 

5. Hermes Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente

 

 

The Slim d’Hermès L’Heure Impatiente is a personal favorite. I love alarm watches. And this reinterpretation of an already mesmerizing classic is a real hit. The 40.5mm rose gold watch is the epitome to more than meets the eye. Well-designed, beautiful case and dial, and a complication that is such fun to play with. Developed in collaboration with Agenhor, it is a special type of alarm that Hermès prefers to refer to as a reminder. Think of it as a 12-hour timer which you can set an alarm to any time in the next 12 hours, and then one hour before that time the 60-minute countdown starts.  Like an clock, or a snooze button on your phone, you can turn it on and off with the pusher at nine o’clock.

Read also:   Pre Baselworld 2016: Angelus U30 Tourbillon Rattrapante
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