Baselworld is of course a spectacle of fine watches, as much about invention and human endeavour as it is about keeping time. While the exhibition itself is manifestly about marketing and the sale of watches up and down the luxury and quality scales, one of the most impressive aspects is seeing so many amazing timepieces in such a compact amount of space and time. This in turn means you can compile a list of great watches for virtually any theme you may care to contrive. In this case, we dared to dream about a Cinderella scenario, but one in which the stroke of midnight only means you have another three hours for cocktails. In this story, the watch remains.
So, to trip the light fandango, or dazzle the dining room, some suggestions.
From the Mademoiselle Privé collection by Chanel, a diamond and sculpted mother-of-pearl dream from a set called Coromandel, with a female Japanese lyre player on the dial. Equally sublime is the version in Grand Feu enamel dial.
The Harry Winston Avenue Collection, designed as an homage to the historic boutique Winston opened in New York all those decades ago. The Avenue C timepiece is an extravaganza of diamonds and design, and will make an impression anywhere, anytime. But in the evening, if the light is just right, it scintillates.
The Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement L.M. is a truly new complication in a world that values such things partially because they are so historically rare to find. In this case, the conversation at your table will likely revolve around this pink gold piece, with its constant force escapement, announced in 2013, the first to ever be placed in a wristwatch. This model, introduced in 2014, makes a real statement with its pink gold nuances.
From Breguet, a venerable watch company that also excels in fine jewellery, comes model GJ24BB8548DDCJ99. But that prosaic descriptor doesn’t begin to touch the heart of this piece with its floral cameo carved by hand and bow decoration in 18-karat white gold paved with 432 brilliant-cut diamonds. The timepiece’s dial flange is set with 48 brilliant-cut diamonds and the dial itself, in silvered gold, is paved with 116 brilliant-cut diamonds in a traditional setting. It also features a Breguet medallion in white mother-of-pearl inset at 12 o’clock and Breguet open-tipped hands. To say you would make an impression while wearing this timepiece is the consummate understatement.
Louis Vuitton has released the hand-painted Escale Worldtime, a dazzling display of colour and imagination, and the ideal accompaniment to nearly any fairy-tale ending you can think of.
With any of these pieces, the mice and the pumpkin are strictly optional.