One to watch— Basel


The BaselWorld watch fair is ticking over nicely. With watchmakers posting healthy profits, everything from jewel-encrusted timepieces to golden age classics are on display. And the trade chatter? Chinese and Brazilian markets.

BaselWorld, Bell & Ross, Chanel, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Watch fair, Watches

Taking place just over a week after the devastating earthquake in Japan, and little more than a month after political revolution swept eastwards across North Africa and the Middle East – crucial markets for the horological industry – many expected this year’s BaselWorld watch fair to be a lacklustre one. But initial fears were proved wrong with around 100,000 visitors descending on the Swiss town and 627 watchmakers attending the week-long event. The outlook of the luxury sector looked largely positive.

“Obviously we have constraints because of the…

BaselWorld picks

  1. Rolex Yacht-master II, 44mm
    In 18 carat everose gold – Rolex’s own compound – with distinctive blue Cerachrom bezel
  2. Chanel
    J12 Chromatic
    Set in scratch-resistant titanium ceramic
  3. Patek Philippe
    Ref 5208, 42mm
    The brand’s first “triple complication”
  4. Bell & Ross
    Vintage WW1, 45mm
    The pocketwatch style sums up the nostalgic mood at Basel this year.

Cometh the hour


The Hour Glass, Singapore’s leading watch retailer, stands firm behind stalwarts such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Hublot but never stops innovating its shopping experience. This spring, the firm launched Malmaison, a two-floor space in Singapore’s Knightsbridge, where customers can browse the best timepieces and a selection of brands such as menswear by Charvet, Cire Trudon candles and Taschen books.

“We’ve noticed a global mushrooming of luxury brand boutiques. Whether you go to Pudong, Singapore, Paris, Hong Kong, London or New York, every luxury store essentially replicates the retail experience wherever you are around the world. For the global traveller, that’s pretty dull. We wanted to create a project that decried that,” says Michael Tay, executive director of The Hour Glass, who took over the reins of the business from his parents six years ago.

Having opened the first Hour Glass shop in 1979, the Tays today operate 24 boutiques across six countries in the Asia-Pacific region.


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