3. Czapek & Cie Antarctique Rattrapante
Geneva based independent watchmaker Czapek & Cie is a brand I highly cherish and I had the immense pleasure to have a little Baselworld kick off breakfast with the amazing people behind the brand over the last couple of years. This allowed me to see their novelties right before the fair started and was a very relaxing start after my trip to Basel. This year it is a little different and I only got to see the watch in Kristians fantastic photos, but it nonetheless made this watch the no. 3 of my favorite releases.
So, what is this piece all about? Well, the Antarctique is Czapek's high-end sports watch with integrated bracelet, that so far was only available as a time only watch. Not being shy of adding some serious complications to their watches, the brand decided to add the ultimate sports watch complication to their ultimate sports watch. The rattrapante is in my opinion the complication of choice when it comes to timing sports events, as it allows you to compare two different times against each other. Being a proper sports watch, it is water resistant to 120m and comes on a sturdy yet elegant integrated stainless steel bracelet. The movement has a power reserve of 60 hours and winds automatically. A sapphire crystal on both sides of the watch allows the wearer to observe the intricately finished movement, as well as the complex split seconds mechanism on the dial side of the watch. As the watch lacks a dial, it exhibits the working mechanism behind the complication while it is in use - I couldn't think of a better way to execute this complication! Being limited to just 77 pieces, the Antarctique Rattrapante is surely going to sell out fast.
Price: USD 51,900
2. H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Perpetual Calendar
In the days before the fair started, master of fumé dials and incredible announcements H. Moser & Cie started to tease their latest release. While they made it a little obvious on what it will be, nobody expected how the final result will look like. With the Streamliner being the brand's second stainless steel sports watch, this one with an integrated steel bracelet, it was yet to feature a grande complication. And while there is already an outstanding chronograph available in the Streamliner collection, a perpetual calendar was still missing. By adding the perpetual calendar, which is by far the most iconic complication for the brand (though they have several other incredible complications in their collection), as it is probably the most understated perpetual calendar ever made. As you can see in the pictures, the watch exhibits only a date which prominently sits at four o'clock, while the month indicator is the barely visible red hand in the center of the dial.
Further exemplifying the brand's understated design approach, the logo is only visible when the light hits the dial in the right manner, as it is not printed but engraved into the gorgeous grey fumé dial. The red accents on the minute track and power reserve indicator at ten o'clock contrast beautifully against the monochromatic look of the watch, while adding a lot of sporty character to it. With the crown being placed at four o'clock, wearability is further enhanced and you'll only need to use the crown every 168 hours when the movement requires some winding. Obviously the caliber HMC 812 is made in H.Moser?s own workshop and shows a modern, but very fitting dark grey finish (when they choose a design, they do it right). Visible through the exhibition caseback the movement features a leap year indicator that is a significant feature for correctly setting the perpetual calendar.
As with the rest of the Streamliner collection, the new perpetual calendar can be worn on any occasion, as its stainless steel case is water resistant to 120m and its 42mm case size should fit most of us really well.
Price: USD 54,900
1. Bulgari Octo Roma Worldtimer
If you know me, you know that my favorite complication is the worldtimer. It is a complication I never use and currently I don't even own a single worldtimer (I sold my Nomos Zurich Worldtimer a few years ago), still it is the most beautiful complication to me, as well as the most romantic. To me this is a complication which I see on the worldtraveller, who can tell the time all over the world at a single glance on his wrist and will always if it is time to call his loved ones back at home. Being a very frequent traveller, both in private and for business, I chose to buy a worldtimer in the first place, although it only left the country with me one time, but that's another story.
The Octo Roma is a slightly different model than the standard Octo or the record breaking Octo Finissimo, which holds several titles for its different ultra thin complications, as its design is actually closer to a round watch. Nonetheless, it is true to the Bulgari design DNA and easily distinguishable as a part of the Octo collection. Available as either a stainless steel model with a fitting bracelet, or a steel DLC coated model with black cordura strap, it is water resistant to 100m, features an automatic in-house caliber that can be completely adjusted via the crown and is visible through the sapphire exhibition caseback. When taking a look at Bulgari's available complications, it becomes clear that a worldtime complication was still missing among their incredible offerings. Placing it in the Roma and not the Finissimo, allowed the movement developers to create a more affordable version, as ultra thin watches tend to be more expensive due to more extreme tolerances and shorter service intervals. The Bulgari Octo Roma Worldtimer is my overall favorite of the show, as it features my favorite complication in a more affordable and everyday wearable package!
Price: USD 8,350
All photos by Kristian Haagen.