Basel World Watches

April 8, 2003

Basel World Watches

Several high-profile debuts incorporate a high-tech spin on a formerly low-end standby – the digital display – at Basel World 2003. Automatics and manual-wind watches are the focus of many new collections and introductions.

Digital Comes Back
Some digital introductions use creative displays for varied effects. Ventura enhanced its already well known expertise with its V-Tech Alpha, a refined digital display that needs no buttons, instead featuring a unique scroll wheel at the top of its movie-screen-shaped face.

TAG-Heuer introduced a digital display that flips to reveal an analog dial. Chanel, in its first Basel appearance, showed a chic digital display, as did Nina Ricci.

Auto Show
H. Stern, also showing for the first time in Basel, introduced its premier automatic watch in its Caliber 262, a limited-edition annual calendar. Swiss Army displayed its new line of automatic aviation-style timepieces with an additional highlight – a limited-edition mechanical model.

Pocketwatch maker Aero Watch introduced a collection of automatic and manual-wind pieces echoing the pocket models. Movado also added several automatics to its signature Museum line.

With the growing consumer awareness of mechanicals of all types, these and many other manufacturers are sure to offer and often feature the watch's movement. Most introductions allow the movement to be seen through a clear caseback. Also evident is a clear surge in automatics and complications the female wrist. At least one women's tourbillion, Breguet's, and scores of midsize chronographs aimed at female buyers are entering the market. Diamonds have been added to many complications to appeal to women.

by Michael Thompson

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