Best of Baselworld 2018: Day 4Written by Melissa Kong
Corum – Admiral 45 Squelette
Although the new Admiral 45 Squelette has docked quite a distance away from its nautical-inspired aesthetics, the flamboyant garb – or lack of, considering that it is a skeleton watch – works really well. The watch still boasts the Admiral’s famous 12-sided bezel and nautical pennants. But here, they frame an eye-catching skeleton dial, available in popping shades of yellow, red or blue, and matched with a black PVD-coated titanium case.
The contrast of colours and chic industrial-style design may suggest a fashion-forward approach, but mechanical buffs can rest assured that the Admiral 45 Squelette delievers the appropriate horological gravitas. The automatic Calibre CO 082 with 42-hour power reserve is a legit workhorse, conceived and constructed in-house by Corum and its proprietary manufacturing entity, EMC. Certainly, the new-gen Admiral 45 Squelette is more nightclub than yacht club, but we are sure the younger set of Corum fans won’t be complaining.
Oris - Crown Pointer Date Bronze
While bronze may be a very trendy, highly popular case material, it’s not often we come across a bronze watch that’s skewed in favour of smaller wrists. With most being large, sporty options, it’s refreshing to find something that women can rock with ease.
The 36mm case has been redesigned to be slimmer and smoother for a more tailored fit on the wrist, while the domed sapphire crystal gives the watch that injection of vintage vibe that collectors find so desirable. Complementing the bronze is a slim, tapered tan leather strap that will, like the bronze case, develop a beautiful patina over time.
Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the watch is its mint green dial, said to be inspired by a colour keyboard in Le Corbusier’s Polychromie architecturale. While it may not be the most versatile of hues, it’s certainly one that will stand out (in a good way).
Hamilton – Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm
Modelled after its 1940s predecessor, the Khaki Field Mechanical is a handsome military watch that goes beyond functionality, appealing to a broad range of collectors and aficionados. Featuring a super on-trend matte steel sandblasted case, the watch offers a rugged vibe while maintaining a retro appeal.
With the original version known as the ‘hack’ watch (for its hacking seconds function), the new model follows in its footsteps, upholding this military requirement for perfect synchronisation when setting the time.
This year, two new versions are available—a matte black dial with khaki NATO strap and a matte brown dial with sand-coloured NATO strap. But the biggest draw of this watch is perhaps its price. At S$630 for a manual-winding movement with a serious throwback vibe, this is one of the most value-for-money watches we’ve seen so far.
Citizen – Eco-Drive One
The brand’s signature Eco-Drive collection sees new models this year with three in Citizen’s proprietary Super Titanium and one limited edition version with a bezel in Altic—a combination of aluminium, titanium and carbon—offering both strength and lightness.
Both versions use an incredibly thin movement that’s just 1mm in height and 2.98mm when cased. Our preferred model is the limited edition piece—the first time Altic has been employed in watchmaking. It also comes in a croc leather strap and Cermet case—a combination of ceramic and titanium for scratch-resistance, toughness and a very lightweight wear.
Running on the Calibre 8826 with an accuracy of +/-15 seconds a month and a running time of 12 months, the Eco-Drive One packs a lot of punch in a small package. Limited to just 1,000 pieces worldwide.
Tissot – Antimagnetique Heritage 2018
Never mind what detractors say about vintage re-issues: we love throwbacks and don’t mind it a single bit that the retro trend for watches is on the upswing. Joining the chorus this year is Tissot’s Antimagnetique Heritage 2018. The watch borrows its looks from a vintage wristwatch that harks back to 1943, and its spirit from Tissot’s early batch of anti-magnetic watches from the 1930s.
A classic three-hand offering with seconds sub-dial, the watch loads up on tiny details to make it a true trip down memory lane. The domed sapphire crystal, vertically brushed silvered dial, and retro Tissot logo accentuate the watch’s nostalgic vibe. Meanwhile, on the inside, a large hand-wound movement – the famed Unitas 6498 – powers the ticker, a nod to a time when pocket watch movements were used in the pioneering generation of wristwatches.
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".