The best new watches from BaselWorld 2012


May 6, 2012

Bulgari Papillon Voyageur - 99 piece limited edition in rose gold launched at Baselworld 2012

Bulgari Papillon Voyageur - 99 piece limited edition in rose gold launched at Baselworld 2012

Image Gallery (162 images)

BASELWORLD, held in Basel Switzerland, is an annual watchmakers and jewelers exhibition where over 100,000 buyers from all over the world descend to check out the coming year's new product. Literally hundreds of new watches are launched at the fair from dozens of manufacturers including big-hitters Rolex, Hublot, Breitling, Patek Phillipe, Tissot and Glashutte. We've assembled a gallery of the most notable releases in 2012, which includes the most innovative, most beautiful, most expensive and most ugly ... and the last two categories are embodied by the same watch!

The most obvious design trend was the rise of the two or three sub-dial chronograph - often in the context of a very classic and traditional face. There were also signs of the resurrection of yellow gold as a finish as opposed to the all-conquering rose gold coloration of recent years. Expect to see more of this as nostalgia for the 70s and 80s increases. In contrast there were several examples of the "steampunk" faux-retro style which shows no sign of disappearing. Enjoy the pictures.

Glashutte Original Senator Observer - 44 mm diameter. Steel

Louis Erard Excellence Moonphase Chronograph - 42 mm diameter. Steel

Breitling Chronomat 44 GMT - 44 mm diameter. Steel

Longines Column-Wheel MonoPusher Chronograph - Limited edition of 180 pieces. 40 mm diameter. Rose gold

Breguet Marine GM - 42 mm diameter in rose gold

Hublot "$5 MILLION" Watch - 44 mm diameter in white gold and 1282 diamonds. Ugly as hell!

About the Author
Vincent Rice Vincent Rice has been an audio-visual design consultant for almost 30 years including six years with Warner Brothers Cinemas. He has designed several large retail installations in London and a dozen major nightclubs across the world from Belfast to Brno to Beruit. An accomplished musician and 3D computer graphics artist, Vince also writes for AV Magazine in the U.K. and the Loudscreen digital signage blog. All articles by Vincent Rice

..... Neither shall you desire your neighbour's wife, your neighbour's watch ....

Smit Nols

You're right about that $5m watch, but you missed off the fact you can't read the time off it either with all that mess going on...

Chris Beach

I flew down to Baselworld a few years ago and spent two days browsing. I learned that any watch manufacturer that places a non running watch in their exhibition is just a industrial marketing company with no true heart and not worthy of my money. What really got me going were the small boutique brands that took pride in their exhibitions and where every watch shown was running.


Its all a bit sad rather ,we seek to make clocks even more presise with atomic clocks and watch that can dive to depths that will mostlikly kill us,who really cares if were of by a few seconds


Just give me a watch where the second hand actually tick exactly on the marks... that is a of craftsmanship... I despise thousand dollar watches that can't even get that right.

Matt Rings

Although these watches are beautiful (with the exception of the 5 million dollar watch, which is gaudy beyond bellief) and I would love to own one, if I could afford it,, were there any watches there that are affordable to the masses? $100-$300. I'd like to see a write up on those. Thanks!

Joe Sobotka
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