Basel 2002: New Faces and Useful Features


April 3, 2002

Basel 2002: New Faces and Useful Features

The Basel World Watch and Jewellery Show opens April 4. For the next week, it's the focus of the global watch and jewelry industry. There are a few notable new watch models on display among the thousands being debuted here.

A quick preview shows artistic license takes precendence over strictly technical advancement.

The methods to show more than one time zone are varied, useful and growing in interest with consumers. One model (St. Honore) offers two bracelets and dials in one piece – just turn the watch on the wrist for a new jeweled appearance.

Other useful features, from compasses to easy-to-detach bracelets, are gaining in popularity. Also, there are many new hand shapes formerly only used on novelty pieces – wide, skeleton, heart-shaped or colorful hands. Many firms are livening up their looks with such simple yet imaginative gestures.

As in the past two years, diamonds are highly visible in new releases. Look for them on many previously austere brands. Further, watch manufacturers are looking to the past with many more tank shapes, cushion shapes and square cases. Elongated Roman numerals, a revived look in recent years at the high end, are now seen on many affordable models.

Here's a preview:
•St. Honore shows two dials and bracelets on the same watch.
•Ikepod adds diamonds and rose gold to its Isopode.
•Concord's new steel La Scala Chronograph square.
•cK uses a Plexiglas bracelet on its Discretion Translucent model.
•August Reymond Rumba is an alarm watch with movable bracelet.
•Tissot's Classic Prince is inspired by a Tissot model from 1917.
•Alfex adds a timepiece to a steel pendant in its Smartime model.
•Movado adds diamonds to its new Elliptica.
•Oakley's titanium Bullet turns heads.
•Longines' newest automatic chronograph called Flagship.
•Frederique Constant places calendar, moon-phase, day, date and weekly calendar on its Persuasion Business Timer.
•Fortis increases the size of its automatic alarm chronograph.
•Corum adds a Bubble Joker to its collector series.
•Chopard's Ice Cube Manchette is all polished steel, including the dial.
•Zenith shows dual time zones in its latest model.
•Wengers new timepiece adds a useful compass.

by Michael Thompson

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