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          BASELWORLD 2009
          By Ekaterina Helwig

          Classical
          vs. Futuristic
               Amidst the crisis for this season
          many leading brands have placed
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          stakes on the classical collections.
          The shock and the challenge,
          accepted as a norm in the watch
          design even by the oldest and most
          respected brands in recent years,
          have given way to now the increas-
          ingly dominant moderation and per-
          fectionism. This change is reflected
          both in the watch size averaging


                                                          At the same time the hi-tech and
                                                     luxury-sport design trends, after the
                                                     unprecedented boom during the pre-
                                                     crisis era hard to imagine now, which
                                                     helped them to win and firmly hold
                                                     the status of nearly classical trends in
                                                     the watchmakers’ trade, yet continue
                                                     to develop rather actively. It should
                                                     be however admitted that only few
                                                     manufacturers have taken risks to
                                                     release ‘extraordinary’ models and
                                                     besides even futuristic collections
                                                     demonstrate not too expressive
                                                     forms.
                                                                                                Form-Factor
                                                                                                     The ultra-trend is associated with
                                                                                                sophisticated cases made of numer-
                                                                                                ous parts. Contemporary material
          42mm and in the selection of materi-                                                  treatment technologies and finishing
          al (rose-coloured gold, diamonds)                                                     operations’ techniques encourage
          and, of course, in the classical pro-                                                 designers to experiment with the
          portions and noble contours of                                                        modular multilayered constructions
          watches.                                                                              where the complexity of external
               The Form follows the Function:                                                   design detail may compete in sophis-
          this postulate of the German mod-                                                     tication with the watch mechanics.
          ernism, which shaped the look of the                                                  While this detail sophistication can
          functional Military-style watches back                                                be easily traced through most futuris-
          in the 20s of the last century, has                                                   tic collections, the method is also
          become very actual these days when                                                    applicable, in a less ostentatious
          people often intuitively reject luxuries                                              manner though, to some classical
          of decoration and sophisticated form                                                  models.
          and prefer to pay only for the indis-                                                      This trend also provides for the
          pensible .                                                                            visual integrity of internal mechanics


          56                    RUSSIAN DIAMONDS & JEWE L L E R Y          2 / JUNE, 2 0 0 9
                                                                                                 POINT OF V I EW




                                           Colour.
                                           Grey Domination
                                                The traditional colour for wrist-   sculptor. Having been in fashion for a




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                                           watches is the colour of the metal       number of years already this black
                                           they are made of. However, recently      trend has been logically, though less
                                           the colour has been increasingly win-    massively supplemented with the
                                           ning more space in so small an           white. The 2009 season’s favourite
                                           object as a wristwatch. Moreover,        among the men’s watch colours is
                                           this applies to both ladies’ and men’s   the grey. The grey fully complies with
                                           jeweller collections. The black colour   the modern trend of reserve and
                                           is of course the major competitor        moderation; compared with the black
                                           against the gold and the steel. The      it allows even more experiments with
                                           total black appeared in contemporary     the textures of the materials as it is
                                           men’s collections along with the         the natural colour of many uncoated
                                           materials: ceramics, carbon, PVD.        or plated metals; yielding more gra-
                                           Last year a number of premium            dations the grey allows a favourable
                                           brands already presented their col-      solution to the colour composition in
                                           lections conceived and implemented       the “total” style.
                                           in the total black, wherein design             In terms of popularity in men’s
                                           details and even time indications        collections the orange (again) is run-
                                           were distinguishable and readable        ning next but just as an accent.
                                           merely through difiirent finish and            Ladies’ jeweller collections
                                           shape or size of the components.         impress with the tropical rave of
                                           This method of approach to the           colour: white, plum and chocolate
                                           design helps create the integrity and    combined with rose-coloured gold
                                           wholeness of an object whereby the       and diamonds; shades of red cobalt
                                           designer just shapes its form as a       and herbaceous green.




and exterior design details, which is
effected through uniformity of the
material, multiple transparent inserts
in the case, and skeletal composite
dial plate. It is the combination of the
latter with the partially exposed
skeletal calibres that create the
“mechanical well” effect revealing
more and more levels of mechanical
parts so magically oriented deeper
and deeper into the works.
     Unobtrusive and inconspicuous
time indication requires an effort to
read and thus only accentuates the
need to regard a modern wristwatch
as a self-sufficient artistic object.


                                           2 / JUNE, 2 0 0 9    RUSSIAN DIAMONDS & JEWE L L E R Y                     57
            P O IN T O F VIEW




          Focus on Details
          Shock resistance. Many brands
          have presented for this season
          models with extra shock protection
          based on different techniques. TAG
          Heuer offers MONACO Twenty
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          Four Concept Chronograph model
          with calibre 36 placed inside the
          case where it is supported with
          steel tubes like the cockpit cage of
          a racing car. Pierre DeRoche TNT
          Royal      Retro      demonstrates
          improved shock resistance based
          on the mechanism with six retro-
          grade second hands. Glashutte                                                     High technologies to protect high
          Original exhibited their model with                                               watch-making art. WISekey, one
          the mechanism enclosed within a                                                   of the leading providers of smart-
          shock-absorbing frame.                  Combination of materials. The use         card technology, announced their
                                                  of a great variety and number of          joint effort with Hublot to create an
          Screws. These are used in a more        materials in one model has recently       authenticity protection system.
          and more sophisticated manner.          become a very strong trend in the         System will undoubtedly help
          Decorative and graphically treated      trade. Moreover, it is perhaps possi-     reduce the level and number of
          screw head have come to serve as        ble only in the watch-making busi-        fakes in the watch-making industry,
          alternative trademarks or logotypes     ness that traditions are so boldly bro-   but the very fact of such a system
          as each brand is trying to create its   ken: e.g. combination of precious         becoming a reality proves that the
          unique graphic pattern. The work of     metals and stones, a time-honoured        watch-making trade is becoming
          Gerald Genta, who created Royal         classicsl for the jewellers’ and watch-   increasingly integrated in the
          Oak for Audemars Piguet, has never      makers’ trade, with the modern hi-        process of advanced technologies
          stopped to inspire designers’ minds,    tech compound materials.                  development. the watchmakers
          the more so as the “active” screw                                                 thereby address the younger seg-
          connection visually fully complies      Prominent relief grooves and guil-        ment of their well-to-do audience
          with the now fashionable concept of     loche cover parts of the case and the     living in the digital world, for whom
          multilayered cases. Sapphire glass,     dial plate and these can completely       such system should provide addi-
          gold and steel – all can be tran-       change the impression produced by         tional motivation for the watches
          spierced by screws now.                 the model.                                choice.




          58                  RUSSIAN DIAMONDS & JEWE L L E R Y        2 / JUNE, 2 0 0 9

				
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