The close of 2014 Baselworld ended on a positive note last week with eight days of 1,500 exhibitors unveiling timepieces, jewelry and related products to over 150,000 attendees including journalists, buyers and visitors. The annual event held each year in the city of Basel, Switzerland, is the leading tradeshow in international luxury watches and jewelry. Marking the beginning of the business year for many Swiss retailers, the first quarter of 2014 has seen an increase in business from around the world, with numbers growing steadily from most international markets. With a larger selection of timepieces than in previous years, consumer demand is clearly driving the trends, including aesthetics, quality and luxury price points.
Photo Courtesy of 10 Past Ten
For the first time in its 35 years of putting forth the best in classic men’s clothing, bastion of British style Hackett London, is offering a selection of classic and rare luxury watches at its new London flagship store on Regent Street. Hackett, a favorite of England’s Princes Harry and William, has partnered with renowned vintage watch expert Tim Bolt, (aka the Watch Guru), on the curated collection of gentleman’s timepieces ranging in price from about $3,000–$65,000. The handpicked selection, which will also include a few modern watches that fit into the Hackett aesthetic, will change constantly and is situated in the store’s dedicated Accessories Room next to the brand’s high-end Mayfair collection of tailored menswear.
The initial selection ranges from a 1940s Rolex Precision to a Heuer Dato Compax and one of the first Rolex Comex 5514 diving watches with original tritium dial, highly prized by collectors. Bolt, who not only knows everything about vintage timepieces, but also designed a line of watches for Dunhill, personally supplies and guarantees every piece. Should you desire to acquire a timepiece which is not on display in the collection, Hackett and Bolt will source it for you. The 8,394-sq.-ft. store is designed to resemble a modern gentleman’s club, with vintage leather chairs, sporting antiques, motoring accessories and even a wood-paneled Beefeater Gin bar.
Photo Courtesy of Rolex
In case you just cannot get enough Karl Lagerfeld between the numerous runway shows, photo shoots and Instagram snaps with A-list celebrities, you’re in luck. The fashion icon has inspired a Rolex to be designed after him and it’s coming out just in time to make your Christmas wish list. Customized by Bamford Watch Department and specialized to feature the signature of Lagerfeld across the bottom of the face and his profile at the seven spot, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss is an ultra-exclusive limited edition.
As a classic piece for watch collectors and connoisseurs alike, the Milgauss was first produced in 1956 as an antimagnetic watch for those working in power plants and laboratories. Since then the watch has grown in popularity among Rolex fans. The Lagerfeld version comes in a matte black and went on sale last week at the Karl Lagerfeld flagships in Paris and Munich. The timepieces are priced at €19,000 (approx. $26,197).
Photo Courtesy of Eleven James
Most men would love to have an impressive collection of luxury watches with a range of sports and dress styles suitable for every occasion. The cost of anything approaching a comprehensive assemblage can be prohibitive however, with some models running into the tens of thousands of dollars. Eleven James, a new annual private membership program for would-be watch collectors, offers access to an impressive array of luxury timepieces for a fraction of the cost of ownership. The elite service features programs starting at $249 per month, wherein members can experience watches worth an average of $10,000 or more for two months at a time. Annual memberships enable you to wear either three or six different watches per year from Eleven James’ three collections – Aficionado, Connoisseur, and Virtuoso – including examples from the likes of Rolex, Breitling, Hublot, Patek Philippe, Panerai and more.
By borrowing instead of buying the watches, Eleven James members avoid the complications of depreciation, maintenance, insurance and resale. The program is also ideal for collectors who want to test drive a timepiece prior to purchasing it; all of Eleven James’ watches are also available for sale to members at a competitive price. In addition, members also benefit from private events and opportunities curated by the Eleven James Concierge, dedicated to enhancing the luxury watch experience. Members can also earn equity via membership activities that can be applied towards renewals, upgrades, purchases, gifting, and more. Eleven James was founded by Randy Brandoff, a dapper former executive at Marquis Jet and NetJets.
Photo Courtesy of Stampd’ LA
The latest creation by L.A.-based
Stampd’ LA is a limited-edition Datejust Rolex watch that features a minimalist design and sleek stainless steel case. The clean inner bezel sports an American flag motif with subtle stars and stripes, and a quote by Baltasar Gracian that reads, “TIME AND I AGAINST ANY TWO.” One of the brand’s underlying themes, “MADE TO MAKE IT,” is also present. Only 10 of these 18k white gold watches will be available for purchase on November 9 for $15,000.