(Continued from Part 3) deLaCour was tucked away in Hall 2 amidst the glittering jewellery exhibitors with a booth entrance almost hidden from view to passers-by. Hopefully the brand will be more visible next year because they have some eye-catching models just waiting to be discovered.
The first of the deLaCour creations was the Bichrono. Designed by Pierre Koukjian the timepiece had a dual time zone powered by two independent chronograph movements and won several prizes around the world. From there the brand went on to produce a Bitourbillon and by 2007 there was the Birepetition followed later by other innovative watches such as the Bichrono Hommage using wood as the dial, the Bichrono Fidelidad using tobacco leaf and the Bichrono Asphalt using pulverised asphalt. All powerful pieces de-signed to enhance the male of the species.
The ladies haven’t been forgotten though and this year deLaCour offered an abundance of colourful timepieces that underline the creativity of the brand’s designer, Pierre Koukjian. The first collection to catch my eye was the City Leap Garden, watches inspired by the beauty of field flowers: hand-painted mother-of-pearl dials adorned with diamonds, rubies, tsavorites and yellow sapphires. The cases are in either 18-carat rose gold or steel PVD equipped with DC 225 quartz movements.
Another collection, the City Leap Passion, plays with the emotions by contrasting black mother-of-pearl dials with diamonds, pear-shaped peridots, citrines, amethysts and pear-shaped diamonds. The watch cases are in 18-carat rose gold or titanium PVD and they feature a quartz movement. The City Leap Web recreates that enigmatic asymmetrical creation of the spider, the web. Lattice lines forming intertwined rows of diamonds (2.25 carats) adorn a black or white mother-of-pearl dial. The watch is equipped again with the quartz DC 225 movement and like all the ladies’ watches it is water resistant to 50 metres.
For something completely different there was the Promess Glamour. The brand’s first round watch was launched a couple of years ago, but the new model offers an almost three dimensional appearance as the silky lines of the case contrast dramatically with the dials made up from baguette diamonds and rubies enhanced by peridots, iolites, citrines, pink tourmalines and amethysts. The watches are in stainless steel equipped with a DC 221 quartz movement and are water resistant to 30 metres.
If you are looking for a stunning kaleidoscope of precious colour, deLaCour is the answer. The only problem was finding them—a must-look-at problem that the BaselWorld organisers will hopefully rectify with the new halls in 2013.
Once again, the combined Gc and Guess booth was teeming with buyers, would-be buyers, journalists and Basel’s younger generation. Fortunately, the indefatigable CEO of Gc, Cindy Livingston, cleared a space for me in her busy schedule to explain that Gc enjoyed a bigger increase than Guess in 2011, partially due to the brand’s marketing and packaging being just right and partially because Gc now has 5,000 retail outlets around the world including thirty-five Gc boutiques—increasing to fifty by year-end.
Continuing with its Smart Luxury concept of a commitment to providing quality Swiss watches at a genuinely accessible price level, this year sees the creation of the Gc Class Lady 15th Anniversary Limited Edition (115 pieces): a stainless-steel version with rose gold accents on the transparent dial; one in rose gold PVD; and one with 46 finely-cut diamonds set in two crescent shaped curves on the stainless-steel case. The watches are equipped with an ETA 2801 mechanical movement with either a translucent mother-of-pearl dial or transparent dial and sapphire crystals front and back. The watch is water resistant to 50 metres and comes with either a polished steel bracelet or a black croco-embossed leather strap.
Men also have an anniversary model: the Gc-4 15th Anniversary Limited Edition (115 pieces). This 44 mm mechanical watch with a skeleton movement combines what Gc explain as “traditional savoir-faire meets bold and expressive design”. Equipped with an ETA 2801 manual wound movement with a 42-hour power reserve, the watch comes in two versions, either brushed and polished stainless steel or black matte PVD. With a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a screw-down caseback, water-resistance to 50 metres, this powerfully built timepiece is a typical example of Gc keeping its finger—make that wrist—on the pulse of the sporty, elegant market.
For the ladies who want to join in the “black is beautiful” trend in timepieces, Gc offer the 36 mm Sport Class XL-Glam Matte in high-tech black ceramic. The watch is equipped with a Swiss quartz movement with two counters indicating the date at 3 o’clock and the day at 9 o’clock. The bezel design has metallised matte black crystal inserts between the ten-minute markers to give a tone on tone contrast. There is a matte black dial with hand-applied Roman numerals and indices, a screw-down case and crown, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and the watch is water resistant to 100 metres.
Guess watches are all about trend, design, eye-catching marketing and prices that belie belief.
Take for example the 45 mm Daring with its mixture of textures, treatments and finishes. Rose gold combined with a bronze top ring enhanced by a rich brown croco-embossed leather strap. Hours, minutes and central seconds hands, a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a day counter at 9 o’clock, the watch is water resistant to 100 metres.
Now for something ferociously à la mode: Fierce; a gold-toned leopard print watch that is outrageously bold in concept and appearance. Not for the faint-hearted, this timepiece combines a reflective bronze and gold-toned leopard print on a stainless-steel case and bracelet, with a dial made up of animal glitz and gold-toned markers. Other versions are the snow leopard with crystal-set bezels. And if you’re having doubts as a buyer, eat your words, for they are going like the proverbial hot cakes. (Continued... Part 5)
Source: Europa Star June - July 2012 Magazine Issue