The association between fine watches and the sporting world has been in place for a long time. Each and every year at Baselworld, something new and exciting comes to the forefront that reinforces the value, to all concerned, of this association. This year was no different.
Robert Pires, soccer star of Arsenal FC, was on hand in Basel to announce the launch of the JeanRichard Arsenal watches for 2014. The Swiss watchmaker has been a dedicated supporter of football for some time now, and this year, a bold launch. The Arsenal Terrascope Special Edition features a vertically satin-finished grey dial illuminated by touches of red, housed in a steel case—a tribute to the Gunner’s strike power, while the Arsenal Aeroscope Limited Edition, a numbered run of only 250 worldwide, showcases a sharp red dial encased in a sandblasted black titanium casing.
Omega, official timekeeper of the Olympics, is in constant search of the next innovation to make their watch lines even more successful. This year, in a limited edition of only eight, comes the Seamaster Planet Ocean Orange Ceramic. A brushed and polished 43.50 mm case crafted from 950-grade platinum, with a bi-directional 24-hour GMT rotating bezel whose polished ring is made from orange ceramic is a world premiere for the watchmaker. (And Omega’s line of anti-magnetic watches are all basically, in their DNA, sport watches, capable of enduring all kinds of activity.)
Hublot is making much of its association with FIFA, with good reason. The watchmaker is the official timekeeper of the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup, and has produced the official watch. That watch’s official name is the “Hublot Big Bang Unico Bi-Retrograde Chrono: Official Watch of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil”, but many just call it “Soccer Bang”. It is available in two versions: an 18-karat King Gold version with carbon fibre bezel limited to just 100 pieces, and a black ceramic version, also with a carbon fibre bezel, limited to 200 numbered pieces. The UNICO Manufacture calibre—with its wheel and dual coupling on the dial side—serves as the basis for the development of this watch. The new automatic HUB1260 manufacture movement is a bi-retrograde movement with central chrono, comprising 385 components. It is also the first time Hublot has unveiled a watch with a bi-retrograde display. The soccer-themed timekeeping is set in 45-minute segments, with 15 minutes of “added time” as well. The hands of this can also be instantly reset. A nice way to stay in the game.