Three watchmaking trends for 2015

The innovations revealed at Baselworld and at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie at the beginning of the year provide an opportunity to see three watchmaking trends in 2015: more reasonably sized diameters, finely crafted dials and the use of unexpected materials.

Take a regular look at during and after Baselworld and see if these trends are holding.

More reasonably sized diameters
HermèsHublotJaquet Droz

First trend: a return to normal for watch cases. Have watchmakers now given up on huge watches that are barely wearable? Diameters of 46, 47, 48 and up to 50 millimetre… realistically, who can wear them, aside from divers, pilots or mutants? The trend towards shrinking began in 2014 and appears to be continuing this year. At Baselworld, most of the watches presented have a diameter of between 39 and 43 millimetres starting with the Slim d’Hermès (39.5 mm), Hublot Big Bang Broderie (41 mm), Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Morte (43 mm), and Tudor North Flag (40 mm). 

Finely crafted or even openworked dials
Christophe ClaretArmin StromPerrelet

While certain brands like Breguet were already in the habit of finely crafting – or even openworking – their dials, we have been seeing a distinct spread of this trend in recent years. Witness the work of brands such as Arnold & Son with its Instrument Collection DSTB, Armin Strom with its Skeleton Pure Earth, Zenith with the Academy Georges Favre-Jacot, Christophe Claret and its Allegro, Perrelet and its First Class Double Rotor Skeleton 20th Anniversary or even TAG Heuer and its Monaco V4 Phantom. 

Unexpected materials
BvlgariBreitlingFendi Timepieces

Whether they are ornamental like Fendi’s feathers or bring a technical aspect to watches, notably increased resistance to the most extreme conditions, certain materials are springing surprises at Baselworld. Such is the case of the stainless steel on the I.N.O.X. Red from Victorinox Swiss Army, magnesium on Bulgari’s Diagono Magnesium or tungsten on the Breitling Galactic Unitime SleekT watch.

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