A few months ago, after SIHH, we brought the three top world records set for timepieces during that Fair. Now, post-Basel, we bring you the three record-setting watches from this year’s BaselWorld 2014. From ultra thins to ultra shimmer, it was a strong year for world premieres and records. We know you are chomping at the bit for this, so we will just get right to it. But please note– more photos of each watch are at the end of this write up. Don’t miss them.
1) The World’s Thinnest Tourbillon Movement. Breaking the record here is Bulgari – with the new OCTO Finissimo Tourbillon – the incredibly ultra-thin watch features a tourbillon movement that measures just 1.95mm thin. What’s more, the entire watch measures just 5mm in height – a staggering accomplishment for any brand. Achieving this milestone was no easy feat, and Bulgari’s top watchmakers and engineers worked for nearly five years to develop the one-minute flying tourbillon case in an ultra-slim format. The movement consists of two bridges (one each for the minute wheel and the tourbillon cage gear train), uses ball bearings instead of jewels, and offers timing adjusted directly on the balance wheel to eliminate the need for a regulator assembly. In total, the incredibly thin caliber consists of a whopping 249 components. IT is naturally finished with superb hand decoration and housed in the brand’s signature Octo case – a 40mm platinum version. It is estimated that it will sell for approximately $138,000.
2) The World’s Most Valuable Colored Diamond Watch. Breaking records for creating the world’s most expensive – not to mention alluring– colored diamond watch is the British brand, Graff Diamonds with its new Hallucination. The timepiece is created using 110 carats of rare, fancy-colored, fancy-cut diamonds. It is valued at $55 million. Conceived of as a show-stopper to celebrate Graff’s first official year exhibiting at the fair, the Hallucination is the brainchild of Laurence Graff, who says he wanted to create a remarkable piece that illustrate the brand’s passion for diamonds. The watch required thousands of hours of work on the part of Graff’s designers, gemologists, setters and other master craftsmen to bring to fruition.
3) The World’s First Tourbillon Watch Driven by Belts. The record-breaker here is, of course, TAG Heuer with the Monaco V4 Tourbillon. The watch was years in the development and incorporates technology from the Monaco V4 Concept watch that was first introduced in 2004 and five years later become a production reality. That watch uses belt drives and ball bearings instead of typical gears and wheels. Now, TAG Heuer brings the complexity of a belt-driven tourbillon to the forefront. The TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Tourbillon required the creation of a micro-belt — thinner than a single human hair — to drive the tourbillon cage. The titanium-cased watch is also equipped with an automatic linear rewinding system instead of the traditional rotor. The Monaco V4 Tourbillon will be available for sale in late fall, at a retail price of approximately $175,000.