Class(ic) acts

While complications are a rite of passage in any cheap Breitling replica watchmaker’s quest for horological kudoz, the minimalist approach that strips the dial bare of all but hours, minutes and possibly seconds is an unforgiving art. Certain exhibitors at Baselworld have elevated the time-only watch to the ultimate exercise in style.

When Boucheron unveiled the Épure watch two years ago, it was in dire need of a successor to Reflet, a 1947 design that was beginning to show its age. This was no time for horological flights of fancy; the new watch had to instantly strike the right chord, and so the brand ruled out any venture into complications, turning instead to the classic watch par excellence. “Épure” is the French word for a sketch, the draft of an idea captured in precise pencil strokes, and the Épure watch indeed celebrates the essential. Its eschews the superfluous, focusing on nuance and strong lines to become a symbol of enduring elegance. Building on the success of the first renditions in gold, Boucheron came to Baselworld with a three hands and date model in steel, driven by a Sellita movement and proposed in 38mm and 42mm diameters. A chronograph, also in steel, completes the line-up.

A shared language

Boucheron isn’t alone in extolling the virtues of simplicity. Several other names that have come to watchmaking from other disciplines are taking this same approach and offering their interpretation of classic forms. When Van Cleef & Arpels wanted to extend its range of timepieces, it naturally chose to breathe new life into the Pierre Arpels watch. Launched in 1949, it was named after the founder of the jewellery firm and has since become part of its heritage. It is, says the brand, “the symbol of a discreet and sophisticated elegance. The round dial is still in white lacquer, but its centre has been adorned with a motif depicting both the Van Cleef & Arpels hallmark and the honeycomb pattern of a black-tie shirtfront. The extremely thin, rounded attachment, located at the top and bottom of the dial, is still present. Its Simplicity accentuates the quiet elegance of the Cartier replica watches uk which sits so lightly on the wrist.”

Hermès‘ description of one of its latest creations, also presented at Basel, now has a familiar ring: “Slim d’Hermès captures the essence of pure form. An elementary sobriety dictates each line, underscored by the thinness of the case and the right angle formed by the lugs. A study in harmony and rigor, Slim d’Hermès draws on the visual culture of Hermès, as witnessed by the original typography of the numerals.”

The Pantheon on the wrist

Italian jeweller Bulgari, now an established name in watchmaking, couldn’t let an event such as the 40th anniversary of its Bulgari Roma slip by unnoticed. It reminds us how “for forty years this watch has fascinated, surprised and enchanted. Only a rare few timepieces have such enduring appeal while always appearing to be new and in phase with the times. Bulgari shows how form is a matter of substance and that appearance is the visible manifestation of an essence. This is how, step by step, a classic watch is born.” What more can we add? Bulgari celebrates the virtues of a watch which it compares to a “sliver cut from a marble column at the Pantheon in Rome” with four models: a commemorative Roma Finissimo, a Roma Tourbillon Finissimo, a Bulgari Bulgari Solotempo and a Roma Tubogas. The anniversary design in particular stands out as a Breitling fake watches uk that will run and run. As will the J12 by Chanel. Originally launched in 2003, it now adds pastel shades to its white ceramic for hours-minutes-seconds versions. A true icon requires only the simplest attire.