Earlier this week, we brought you a little insight into what goes on at BaselWorld — complete with three top trends that will be making their way into the watch world this year. In fact, most of the watches seen in BaselWorld start to appear in retail stores beginning in the summer — so some will be right on trend for summer and fall. Today, we bring you three more top watch trends in Part 2 of our report.
It is definitely the year of the strap. Brands have gone above and beyond when it comes to materials and colors this year. For men, the NATO strap continues to be important in sport watches, while rugged, thick leather straps also make a strong appearance on bold watches. Bracelets — especially two-tones — make a strong showing, and rubber-backed alligator and crocodile do the same. For women, metallic finishes and patent leather straps come to the forefront. For those with a little love of the exotic, snake skin straps, lizard, feathers and fur make an interesting play for wrist time.
Art continues to be a strong point on watches at the high end of the scale, with enamel and gem setting taking center stage. This year we witness a host of other artistic techniques applied to the watch dial, as well, as watch brands toss limits to the wind. Enamel and hand painting continue to take be in the limelight, but mosaic work and sculptural three-dimensional designs also transform watch dials into a masterful canvas for art. A few notable materials being used this year to create artistic dials: quail eggshells and beetle wings.
Slim Is In:
After so many years of big, bold watches, many brands are seeking a slimmer path. At the haute horology level, the quest for an ultra-slim watch has many brands vying for positions as the thinnest mechanical, the thinnest chronograph, the thinnest self-winding watch, and so on. These conquests filter down the ranks into the affordable watch world, where many brands are offering thinner watch cases, more ergonomically curved lugs for a smoother fit, and classic bracelets in Milanese mesh or thin links.
In addition to these main trends, haute horology watches offered grand diversity this year, as many brands create space-age-looking timepieces that are visionary works of technology and creativity. Conversely, some of the legendary brands unveiled super-complex movements — including multi-tourbillon pieces, minute repeaters, astronomical watches and dead-beat seconds watches — that pay homage to traditional watchmaking.