The Fifth Element, Petit Fours, And Other Highlights From Baselworld Day 4
German-based watchmakers Nomos was our last appointment at Baselworld 2018, and their watches were a sweet treat indeed. We liked the new timepieces housing their latest in-house caliber DUW 6101, and our eyes were repeatedly drawn to their new Tetra Petit Four collection. The collection comprises the brand's square-shaped Tetra watches rendered in four pastel hues, appropriately named Azure, Grenadine, Pearl, and Matcha (in clockwise order from top right).
Rolex has finally introduced a steel version of its much-beloved version of its GMT-Master II 'Pepsi' watch. It has the characteristic red-blue 'Pepsi' bezel so coveted by collectors, and is equipped with a five-link jubilee bracelet instead of the usual three-link presidential bracelet on the gold models. It also has the Oysterclasp usually only found on Rolex's sports watches.
Rolex also surprised this year with the colourful gem-set Cosmograph Daytona in the brand's proprietary everrose gold, which has a bezel set with sapphires in a rainbow of colours. The hour markers are similarly set with sapphires. The chronograph counters are in pink gold crystals, a material with a sciltillating shimmer effect that was created during the crystallization of a pink gold alloy, using a special process developed by Rolex.
MB&F has long been known for creating playful mechanical machines, and its new Baselworld release is no exception. The Fifth Element is the brand's latest toy, taking taking the form of an intergalactic weather station comprising of four different elements—a barometer, a thermometer, hygrometer (to measure humidity), and a clock. The entire setup is accompanied by an alient pilot named Ross (after Roswell). The reason it's called The Fifth Element is because the whole of this spacefaring weather station should hopefully be more than the sum of its parts. And also, Maximilian Büsser enjoys a good joke.
The Golden Bridge movement is Corum's most famous, and for good reason—the linear construction is elegant, visually pleasing, and impressively compact. In 2018, Corum turns the Golden Bridge Round 39 into a high jewellery watch. The watch's dial, bezel, and lugs are set with diamonds (or sapphires, rubies, tsavorites, or amethysts), in a gold latticework that allows light to bring out the best in the gems.
Urwerk co-founder Felix Baumgartner was inspired by historical sympathique clocks, which acted as the 'master', controlling the rate and setting the time on a number of specially designed 'slave' clocks. Abraham Louis Breguet was supposedly the one who thought of the idea, centuries ago. Today, almost all digital time-telling items are such 'slave' clocks, getting the time from the master atomic clocks that govern timekeeping in the modern era. The craft of creating a master mechanical clock that could control the time on the subordinate clock, however, had been lost. Urwerk is attempting to create just that, with it's new AMC project. The project remains as yet unfinished, but a working prototype has been created.
Zenith's El Primero 21 movement made waves when it was launched last year, as it is the only high-frequency automatic chronograph designed to measure hundredths of a second. This year, Zenith has added to it a new, miniaturised version of its also-famous "gravity control" gyroscopic module, which cancels the effects of gravity on the running rate of the watch by maintaining the regulating organ and the balance wheel in a horizontal position, no matter the position of the watch. The gyroscopic module was fine-tuned to become 30 per cent smaller than the original. The result is Zenith's Defy Zero G, which combines two impressive technical aspects of Zenith's watchmaking.