BaselWorld 2018 Day 4 highlights: Hublot, Zenith, Bell & Ross, Grand Seiko, and Junghans

BaselWorld 2018 Day 4 highlights: Hublot, Zenith, Bell & Ross, Grand Seiko, and Junghans

2018 BaselWorld news

Text: Celine Yap

On the last day of BaselWorld, Hublot has fun with materials; Zenith defies conventions; Bell & Ross embraces its DNA; Grand Seiko celebrates a milestone; Junghans lets design do the talking

Once again Hublot shows off its expertise with materials innovation. This year's novelties kick off with the Big Bang Sapphire Tourbillon which is fully cased in transparent sapphire crystal, and even its strap is translucent. It's what Hublot proudly calls the Magic of the Invisible. The brand continues with one-of-a-kind creations like the Big Bang MP-11 which is the first MP model made in the Big Bang case. Indeed all earlier MP models have their own distinctive shape. Yet if you turn this watch on its side, you'll see that it's no ordinary case. There is a specially machined sapphire crystal glass that accommodates the seven series-coupled barrels. The case as well has been shaped to accommodate the movement. 

Buro loves: The Classic Fusion Chronograph Berluti Scritto which fuses the beautiful leathers of Berluti with the contemporary designs of Hublot

Did you know: Hublot now has a connected watch, the Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Other hits: Hublot has also released three Big Bang One Click Sapphire models made in sweet pastel hues with diamond-studded sapphire crystal cases


Two main collections defined 2018 for Zenith: The Pilot Type 20 and the Defy. Everyone's favourite Pilot Type 20 Extra Special is now made in bronze with a blue dial while the Cohiba partnership yielded two new smoking hot models with a neo-retro look. There is also a new Pilot Type 20 Chronograph dedicated to the café racer community. Called the Ton Up, it fuses vintage motorcycle racing with pilot's watches. Across the pond, the Defy collection re-emerges with the Elite 670 base calibre. The skeletonised version reveals all the intricacies of the calibre which echoes the design language of the awe-inspiring Defy Zero G.

Star watch: The Defy Zero G offers top notch precision thanks to a gyroscopic gravity control module that keeps the balance wheel and hairspring constantly in the same position

Buro loves: The orange-and-white Defy El Primero 21 and Defy Zero G set that's made for Swizz Beatz

Did you know: Customers who purchase the Swizz Beatz set gets to go party with the rapper in his very own studio


After a motorbike, a concept car, and a bellytanker (a souped-up racing machine from the early days of hot-rodding) Bell & Ross has now come to design its own aircraft. The BR-Bird is an ultramodern single-seat propeller engine plane built entirely out of high-tech materials, just like the watches of Bell & Ross. Naturally the project wouldn't be complete without special edition timepieces and the dynamic watch company definitely brought it with the two new Racing Bird models.

Star watch: Both the BR V1-92 Racing Bird and the BR V2-94 Racing Bird have stolen the show this year for Bell & Ross, combining neo-vintage good looks with a sporty, adventurous spirit 

Unique pieces: The BR-X1 Skeleton Tourbillon Sapphire is in a class of its own. Read all about this watch here

Buro loves: Apart from the Racing Bird series, Bell & Ross also debuted the BR03-94 Horolum which looks spectacular in the dark

Other hits: The BR V2-94 Steel Heritage is a great choice for an everyday watch


It's been 20 years since the Grand Seiko 9S calibre was born so the company is celebrating big time with three limited editions that pay homage to this high-frequency movement. Indeed precision has always been something of an obsession for this Japanese watch company and this commitment to chronometric accuracy started the V.F.A. (Very Finely Adjusted) tradition at Seiko. It's also worth noting that it's not only the movements that are accurate in timekeeping but watchmaking at Grand Seiko is also carried out with ultra-precise steps and processes such as the famous Seiko zaratsu polishing.

 Star watch: The Hi-Beat 36000 V.F.A. in platinum is the perfect blend of classicism, luxury and tradition 

Did you know: The limited edition models come with a dial decorated with a unique engraving that radiates out from the centre and is composed of the Grand Seiko GS logo, along with a special insignia from the 1960s that's no longer in use

Buro loves: We are in love with the Seiko Presage collection because the watches are so Zen and yet have so much to offer 

Did you know: The Seiko Presage comes with unique Shippo enamel dials made by Ando Cloisonne, a specialist manufacture in Nagoya with over 100 years of history


If you're not already acquainted with the minimalist designs of Junghans, then it's high time you did. This traditional German watch company is surprisingly modern in its design approach, combining tasteful dial typography with vintage elements such as a domed crystal. For 2018 it continues with its usual milieu of contemporary art-inspired creations, along with some new touches: Soft gold and a unique stencilled dial for women. 

Star watch: Every year, design junkies look out for watches like the Junghans Max Bill and it's easy to see why. This tasteful watch has the right amount of timelessness and pizzazz — that emerald green date and strap stitching does wonders to play up the black and white minimalist look

Buro loves: The Junghans Meister Chronoscope Terrassenbau marks the centenary of the Junghans historical building, which is an architectural masterpiece by Philipp Jakob Manz. The minute track takes inspiration from the meandering design of the wall decorations in the building

Other hits: Junghans intended the Form Damen for women but we bet men would be just as happy to wear it — just look at that reverse engraved white dial that's oh-so-creative

Check out all BaselWorld coverage here.

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