Since the 1990s, luxury conglomerates like the Swatch Group, Richemont and LVMH have dominated the haute horlogerie industry. However, there are still a handful of independent watchmakers operating in Switzerland, many of them producing highly unique timepieces. This year at Basel we saw several examples of this independent spirit, so we’ve rounded up our favorites!
HYT H2 Titanium & White Gold Blue This 20-piece limited edition model features a 48.8mm titanium case with a white gold bezel, an openworked dial and blue numerals. Functions include fluid blue retrograde hours, a transparent sapphire crystal chapter ring for the minutes, a crown position indicator (H-N-R) at 3 o’clock and a thermal indicator at 9 o’clock. It is completed by a black rubber alligator strap with a silver titanium folding clasp. Ref: 248-TW-OO-BF-RA
MB&F Starfleet Machine L’Epée 1839 This unique table clock was created in collaboration with L’Epée 1839, Switzerland’s only high-end clock manufacture. Styled to look like an intergalactic spaceship, this piece features a central black dome with hours and minutes, double retrograde seconds and power reserve indicator. Behind that, a smaller rotating dome, accompanied by a revolving radar dish, showcases the 40-day power reserve via ‘energy level’ bars. Reference 50.6801/101
Christophe Claret Poker This piece is an exceptional automaton watch that allows the wearer to play a real three-person game of Texas Hold’em poker. The Poker follows the rules of this 52-card game and allows for a large number of gameplay possibilities thanks to its mechanical movement. Two pushers activate the deals at each round of betting, including the flop, the turn and the river. On the dial, three windows present each player’s cards, invisible to the other players thanks to a special blinds system that conceal each hand from other players. It also features a cathedral gong, which sounds each time a pusher is activated. Reference MTR.PCK05.021-040
Arnold & Son DSTB Housed in a 43.5mm 18K red gold case, the DSTB is a tribute to Arnold & Son’s 250th anniversary. Part of the manufacture’s Instrument Collection, the DSTB features an off-centered white lacquer subdial with hours and minutes at 4 o’clock. The subdial features a ’250th Anniversary’ engraving. The dial plate, which is finished with Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, also features a seconds chronograph with visible mechanism (comprised of a lever, wheels and three rose-gold treated bridges) at 11 o’clock. In a nod to the manufacture’s maritime heritage, the seconds lever is shaped like an anchor. Only 50 pieces of this limited edition will be produced. Reference 1ATAR.L01A.C120A
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Green This 44mm x 46mm x 15mm timepiece timepiece features a forged carbon case with a black ceramic bezel and a titanium crown with DLC coating. The openworked 3D dial features hours and minutes, a central chronograph hand, and sub-dials for hours, minutes and seconds. Only 99 numbered pieces of the SpidoSpeed Green will be produced, and it will retail for CHF 21,000 (approximately US$23,704).
Photo credit: Haute Time.