Chronographs are very difficult movements to master in a reliable, interesting, and original way, even if these wrist timers constitute what is most likely the most popular complication in wearable horology.
And this makes the variety of in-house chronographs introduced at Baselworld 2017 a real treat.
Here are five of the most interesting specimens we found at the world’s largest watch fair.
Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph
After Ian spent a day with the AgenGraphe by Agenhor, a movement he calls the most significant chronograph ever in The AgenGraphe By Agenhor: The Most Significant Chronograph Since . . . Since The Invention Of The Chronograph, our team was chomping at the bit to discover the new Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph at Baselworld 2017, the first timepiece to house this groundbreaking movement.
And we were in no way disappointed. Joshua and I even called this very wearable watch out as our best of show in Baselworld 2017 Round Table: What We Liked And What We Didn’t Like.
“At its heart the Visionnaire Chronograph is powered by the best new movement to come out this year, perhaps this decade,” Joshua wrote, echoing many sentiments from our team and I dare say the watch world as a whole.
For more information, please visit www.faberge.com/products/faberge-visionnaire-chronograph-rose-gold.
Quick Facts Fabergé Visionnaire Chronograph
Case: 43 mm, pink gold/titanium or ceramic/titanium
Movement: automatic Caliber AGH 6361 with dial-side rotor, twin spring barrels, 3 Hertz/21,600 vph, patented regulator
Functions: hours and minutes displayed by disks around dial perimeter; chronograph with elapsed hours, minutes, and seconds displayed on inner dial
Price: 39,500 Swiss francs (pink gold/titanium), 34,500 Swiss francs (ceramic/titanium)
The Tutima Tempostopp was one of my biggest Baselworld surprises, and had I not been in polite company I may have shed a few tears of joy at learning of its existence.
Its movement is based on that of the lovely Hommage minute repeater of 2011, which was introduced the same day that Tutima announced it had returned to its home city, Glashütte. The Hommage represents the first minute repeater fully conceived, manufactured, and assembled on German soil.
Like the Hommage, the Tempostopp boasts eye-catching traditional matte frosted pink-gold-plated movement finish. But while the Hommage also identifies with its home through the use of a traditional three-quarter plate, the Tempostopp chooses to do that differently, proudly displaying the chronograph mechanism through the transparent case back without the use of a concealing top plate.
And this is at least partially to show off the gorgeous chronograph components that took three years to develop in order to engineer them as closely to the 1940s pilot watch classic that served as its “blueprints” as humanly possible. This was quite a feat as no more plans exist for Urofa Caliber 59, which remain lost to the sands of time and war-ravaged Saxony.
For more information, please visit www.tutimausa.com/news/baselworld-2017-a-brilliant-achievement-from-glashutte-tutima-celebrates-its-90th-anniversary-with-the-debut-of-the-tutima-tempostopp.
Quick Facts Tutima Tempostopp
Case: 43 x 12.95, pink gold
Movement: manually wound Caliber T659, reverse-engineered and improved homage to Urofa Caliber 59, integrated chronograph with column wheel, free-sprung screw balance, hand-engraved balance cock
Functions: hours, minutes; flyback chronograph with jumping minute counter
Limitation: 90 pieces
Louis Moinet Memoris Red Eclipse
Louis Moinet announced a discovery in 2013 soundly proving that the boutique brand’s namesake was the actual inventor of the chronograph (see History Rebooted: The Chronograph’s Inventor Is . . . Louis Moinet!), and Joshua does a great job of explaining the first chronograph, now more than 200 years old, in Discovery, Firsts, And the Louis Moinet Compteur De Tierces.
Two years after the announcement, Louis Moinet introduced a new take on the modern chronograph that puts the 147 components of the stop mechanism squarely in focus on the front: this timepiece is called the Memoris.
Over the last two years, the brand has introduced a variety of limited-edition versions that represent fitting tributes to the importance of this original chronograph. The Red Eclipse name of the one introduced at Baselworld 2017 refers to its lunar eclipse theme, which is continued on the back.
For more information, please visit www.louismoinet.com/collection-memoris.
Quick Facts Louis Moinet Memoris Red Eclipse
Case: 46 x 15.75 mm, red gold, fully engraved case
Dial: micro painting
Movement: automatic Caliber LM54, with integrated chronograph with column wheel visible from the front
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; monopusher chronograph
Limitation: 12 pieces
Price: 110,000 Swiss francs
Patek Philippe Reference 5170P-001
The ultra-classic Patek Philippe Ref. 5170P bicompax chronograph now arrives in a platinum case with a dark blue sunburst-pattern dial that graduates to black around the edges. But that is not what collectors have been focusing on since it was shown at Baselworld 2017: that honor belongs to the baguette-cut diamonds that function as hour markers, an element first seen in the brand’s anniversary Nautilus models 5711/1P and 5976/1G from October 2016.
While observers were for the most part negatively influenced by the photos of the anniversary Nautiluses with the diamond hour markers, which were released before press could see them in the metal, many realized after handling it that the hours markers are hardly recognizable as diamonds and are much more of a positive element than the first photos might have indicated. In fact, the markers really look much like diamond-cut metal until you look at them under a loupe.
And we are all in agreement here: the diamonds make for a stunning addition to this dial.
When you turn the watch over, you also realize that Caliber CH 29-535 PS with its six technical patents aimed at improving reliability is equally as beautiful. This caliber, by the way, was first introduced in the lovely Ladies First chronograph (see Two Exceptional Cushion-Case Chronographs For Women: Patek Philippe Ladies First And Vacheron Constantin Harmony Chronograph Small Model).
A split-seconds version introduced at Baselworld 2015 powers Reference 5370, which GaryG recently wrote about in Why I Bought It: Patek Philippe Reference 5370P.
For more information, please visit www.patek.com/en/mens-watches/complications/5170P-001.
Quick Facts Patek Philippe Reference 5170P-001
Case: 39.4 mm, platinum with one diamond between the lugs at 6 o’clock
Dial: sunburst pattern, deep blue graduating to black, baguette-cut diamond hour markers (0.23 ct)
Movement: manually wound Caliber CH 29-535 PS with column wheel and horizontal clutch; Patek Philippe Seal
Functions: hours, minutes, (hacking) seconds; chronograph
Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date
As the name indicates, Swatch Group-owned Glashütte Original comes right from the heart of Glashütte. And it boasts a long history in mechanical chronograph mechanisms, having developed six since its first one appeared in 1955.
The declared goal of the new Senator Chronograph Panorama Date is to be a contemporary chronograph with balanced functions that are reliable, legible, and luxurious. To achieve this, the company’s experienced team took the best elements of its previous chronographs, added the company’s signature panorama date, and created automatic flyback Caliber 37-01, an integrated, column-wheel chronograph with distinct Glashütte styling.
Originally, introduced at the 2014 edition of Baselworld (see Two Very Different Chronographs Launch At Baselworld 2014: Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date And De Bethune DB29 Maxi Chrono Tourbillon), this chronograph reappears in 2017 in a sportier version oozing with gorgeous blue lume.
For more information, please visit www.glashuette-original.com/collection/senator/senator-chronograph-panorama-date/1-37-01-03-02-35.
Quick Facts Glashütte Original Senator Chronograph Panorama Date
Case: 42 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber 37-01 with 70-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; panorama date, flyback chronograph