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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

In this series we showcase mechanical and artistic wonders that were especially designed for women and others originally for men that come alive on spirited ladies’ wrists. Baselworld always brings new options for women, we collected some from the latest exhibition that might interest you too.

 

Breitling – Navitimer 1

The Breitling Navitimer has always been a cool watch to me and occasionally I borrowed a piece or two… but in spite of the love I had to admit that it seemed a bit too big for my wrist. Therefore, I was looking forward to experiencing the all-new 38mm Navitimer 1 Automatic, which finally sits and feels perfect. It comes in three versions: one with a bi-metal (steel and red gold) case with silver dial and brown leather straps and two in steel with black or blue dial options and matching straps.

I particularly like the fact that the rotating inclined logarithmic inner scale continues to negotiate depth for itself, but the dial is not broken up by chronograph sectors. It is one pure unified surface. It’s mostly conspicuous in the black and the silver dial versions, where even the scale is printed on the same background colour. The watch is available in blue too, but in that case the scale is on a silver background. As Breitling describes it is ‘the ideal accessory for the adventurous Breitling woman and man’.

You can discover other novelties of Breitling with us here.


 

Czapek & Cie – Quai des Bergues No.33bis

François Czapek (earlier Francziszek) was a Czech-born (1811) Polish watchmaker who arrived in Switzerland in 1832. He was quite an entrepreneur; with a local Swiss man from Versoix he created his first company Czapek & Moreau. He met another Polish emigrant Antoine Norbert de Patek in 1836 and in 1839 they formed their partnership as Patek, Czapek & Cie. François Czapek founded Czapek & Cie in 1845 with a new partner, Juliusz Gruzewski and he had the honour of being a purveyor to the Imperial Court of Emperor Napoleon III and other high profile, aristocrat customers. Czapek’s date of death is unknown but it was in the first half of the 1870s. His company continued for a little while and eventually disappeared…

His entrepreneur spirit was revived by the partnership between Xavier de Roquemaurel, Harry Guhl and Sébastien Follonier, who re-established a watchmaking manufacture under the Czapek name in 2012. They chose an interesting way to finance the development: find investors through an equity crowd-funding campaign. The campaign successfully raised over CHF 2 million by watch connoisseurs. In 2016, the company won the Public Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève with the ’33 bis Quai des Bergues’. It owes its design to one of Czapek’s stellar creations, the 3430 pocket watch dating from 1850 and its name refers to the location where Mr Czapek founded the company in Geneva.

Although not a novelty, but let me include the Quai des Bergues No.33bis, this astonishing elegant piece that recalls the generous round shape of pocket watches with its classic gold case. It has a Grand Feu white enamel dial made by the master artisan of the manufacturing partner Donze Cadrans in Le Locle. Upon request, Czapek can include a little secret signature on the enamel visible only from a certain angle. The «Fleur de lys» hands elevate the sophisticated look even further. A mechanical hand-wound movement conceived in cooperation with Jean-François Mojon (founder and owner of Chronode) is within.

czapek_dsc0208-Czapek & Cie - Quai des Bergues No.33bis
Czapek & Cie - Quai des Bergues No.33bis
Czapek & Cie - Quai des Bergues No.33bis
Czapek & Cie - Quai des Bergues No.33bis

de GRISOGONO – New Retro Double Jeu

The de GRISOGONO New Retro collection arrived in 2015, evoking the dandy spirit of the fifties. The shape was inspired by a cigarette case of Fawaz Gruosi. Last year de GRISOGONO updated the model with a gorgeous blue and brown dial, in two sizes: one for ladies and one for gentlemen.

At this Baselworld, the brand introduced the New Retro Double Jeu, a new piece for ladies. The quartz calibre is topped by an automatic mechanical animation module for those not taking themselves too seriously. The module has an oscillating weight, which makes the big 3 and 9 numerals rotate and show their other side. These are set with 62 diamonds of different colours on the front and back: brown and white diamonds for the pink gold model; and white and black diamonds for the white gold edition. I opted for the pink gold one, matching my skin tone a bit more…

If you’re into jewellery, I highly recommend to check out de GRISOGONO new pieces here.


 

NOMOS Glashütte – Tetra Four

At NOMOS Glashütte’s Baselworld opening party we received a little box with four bites of cakes in colourful sugar icing. They shared the colour and the sweetness with one of NOMOS’ novelties. Every springtime as the sunshine returns, baby blues and pinks, lavenders, soft yellows and peaches seem to be popping up everywhere. These landed on four new versions of their classic Tetra model, called the Petit Four series. The clean square shape of the Tetra is the perfect canvas to experiment with colours.

The Tetra Matcha, the Tetra Azure, the Tetra Pearl and the Tetra Grenadine are driven by the reliable hand-wound NOMOS Alpha calibre, handcrafted in Glashütte. It is visible through the back of two of the four watches, while the other half have stainless steel back covers leaving space for engraving. As you expect from NOMOS every detail is in harmony. The designers dedicated time to matching the colours of the hands and the numerals to the dial. The Grenadine has a dash of gold for instance, while the Azure received turquoise-green hands.

Being a sweet-tooth, I would like to have all of them…

NOMOS Glashütte Tetra
NOMOS Glashütte Tetra Grenadine
NOMOS Glashütte Tetra
NOMOS Glashütte Tetra Azure


 

Zenith – Defy Classic

There has been a lot of movement at Zenith recently. The ultra-precise Zenith Defy Lab was among the most interesting novelties in 2018. They also took the brand to an edgy new territory by unveiling the Defy El Primero 21 and the Defy Lab together with Swizz Beatz (American hip-hop recording artist and record producer) last autumn in NYC.

A few months later, the Defy line received novelties in Basel. One of them was the Defy Classic, which has an open-worked and a closed version too. The blue-toned sunray-pattern shines on the latter with applied hour-markers and a date window at 3 o’clock. The diameter is 41mm, but the watch feels sleek and light due to its shape and the brushed titanium case.

A Manufacture Zenith movement, a reinterpreted version of the automatic Elite 670 beats inside. The balance wheel of the Elite 670 SK oscillates at 4 Hz with over 50 hours of autonomy.

There are various bracelet and strap options including a titanium bracelet and blue rubber and my favourite is the black rubber with blue alligator leather coating.

The watch is a chic, easy-going and slightly even sporty option for both women and men.

Zenith Defy Classic
Zenith Defy Classic
Zenith Defy Classic
Zenith Defy Classic

 

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