Basel: The Ones We Shouldn’t Forget

Written by: Martin Green
12th March 2012

It happens almost at every edition of Baselworld, the big brands and old maison’s dominate the press with their newest and boldest watches. But quite often just out of the limelight of these watches, these big brands also have other watches that are very interesting. And let’s not try to forget the smaller brands that sometimes truly can surprise you, when you take a closer look at their introductions.

So let’s take a moment to drag some of these watches on to center stage;

Mondaine Vintage You know those marvelous Swiss railway clocks? Well, Mondaine has been making versions for around the wrist for years and now they introduce a limited edition of 400 pieces called “Vintage”. This watch has the familiar lay-out, but the thicker hour markers give the watch so much more depth. This is even magnified by the sapphire glass with AR-coating. The case is a very contemporary 41mm in diameter and, as cherry on top, houses a manual wind movement from ETA, caliber 2801-2 to be exact. Mondaine goes even completely crazy and even puts a second(!) cherry on top of this watch by its price….only 700 Swiss francs and this magnificent watch is yours! (Thats about £520.00 going by current local exchange rates)


Epos Flying Tourbillon Tourbillon’s are still hot and now even the charming brand of Epos is introducing one. An oversized yet elegant 18K rose gold case of 44mm houses a manual wind movement supplied by STT, with flying tourbillon and a small pointer date. But what makes this watch truly special is be back of the movement. Epos has not only engraved the bridges with a floral theme, but the leaves and flowers are also set with diamonds! A sparkling surprise and beautiful contrast with the blued screws. Epos offers this watch in a limited edition of only 10!


Glycine Combat Golden Eye Glycine is of course best known for their Airman-watches, but also the Combat-range offers interesting watches that are worth checking out when you are in the market for a sports watch. With the introduction of the Combat Golden Eye they only made things even more interesting. Not only do they get credit for selecting the perfect name for this watch, but also because every detail is what it should be! A 42mm pvd coated case and black dial proof to be the perfect canvas for the red gold plated crown, bezel and hands! How many watch manufacturers would still put a white date ring in a watch like this? Too many, but fortunately not Glycine, who went for a beautiful black one. Also the ETA 2824-2 that powers this watch will give no complains, and kind of suits a watch that was made for an active lifestyle.


Longines Column-wheel Monopusher Chronograph The Swatch Group is making serious work of upgrading Longines, and positions it as a more high end brand. This was basically only a matter of providing them with the right movements, because Longines has a very rich history which can provide plenty of inspiration for new models. That is exactly what they did for this Column-wheel Monopusher which was mainly based on a watch Longines had made in 1913 and served as its very first wrist chronograph. Despite its very unsexy name, is the watch itself an absolute beauty! 40mm in diameter in a rose gold case, with classical Arabic numerals and bold, blued hands make it a very attractive watch. Modern comforts like an AR coated sapphire crystal and a date function also make it a watch that can easily serve you on everyday affairs. Because of its 180th anniversary will this watch be made in a limited edition of….surprise…180 pieces!


Zeitwinkel 273 degrees Clean and straightforward is most certainly a philosophy that seems to suit the small brand of Zeitwinkel. But this “less is more” principal is not something that they apply on their movements. Here no ETA’s with modules to keep things going, but a solid, bonafide in-house automatic movement made in the Swiss Jura. The mainplate and bridges of the movement are made out of German Silver and the rotor seems to float above the movement. The 273 degrees is their most complicated movement and has a big date at 11 o’clock, an indicator for the 72 hours of power reserve between 1 and 2 o’clock and sub-seconds at the very classical position of 6 o’clock. Zeitwinkel refers to their watches as for people who don’t have to rely on their watch to provide them with extra status and therefore have truly arrived. Granted, very few people will recognize this watch as something truly special but with craftsmanship of this high level (hand-chamfered finish!) it is very hard to believe that it will not make you feel slightly elevated yourself.


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