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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, this is my first post on the site, great to be here! Below is a review of Baselworld I am hoping to get published - thoughts/comments welcome!



Baselworld 2012 had a lot on offer this year. I have been covering the luxury watch industry for a number of years, so I know as well as anyone that Baselworld always has a lot on offer. But what really matters for the luxury watch industry is whether what’s on offer is worth anyone’s time.

If you haven’t been to Baselworld, it’s important to understand how it is laid out. The largest section, Hall 1, houses the large global brands, while the Palace is the area of the fair reserved for independent watch makers.

As always I began my day perusing the mainstream offerings from the big players like Omega and Rolex in Hall 1. And as usual, after a day or so being seduced by their expensive stands, I began to feel that their offerings were increasingly predictable and more often than not, a bit gaudy.

The Palace provided a welcome reprieve. I was impressed by the offerings from the independent producers, for example Christophe Claret with the new X-TREM-1 Tourbillon. The stand where I spent the most time was that of Genevan Tourbillon producer Cecil Purnell. The company used Baselworld to launch a whole new collection, so there was plenty to examine. It proved a very enjoyable experience as they have launched a truly exquisite assortment of highly exclusive watches, all designed for connoisseurs looking for a personal touch.

By way of some background, Cecil Purnell was founded in 2006 by Jonathan Purnell (the company is named after his grandfather, Cecil Purnell) and Stephane Valsamides. Cecil Purnell is 100% transparent about the Swiss origin of its components and is a micro-manufacturer. Its previous calibres were very well received, but their newest, the V12 and V13, are something to behold.

Notable executions include the Pit Lane, a confident and intricate piece, the La Croix, and Rendez-Vous. The pride of the new collection is the Passage De L’Heure, a stunning movement that chimes with each passing hour. The mechanism is unique in that its hammer and resonance rod are placed on the dial to exemplify the beauty inherent in its functionality. It contains 51 jewels and 351 components, is transparent and strikingly modern, all while maintaining all the finesse of a traditional Tourbillon.

Looking through the Palace reminded me why I love to visit Baselworld. While the larger companies in Hall 1 often rely purely on glitz and glamour, independents like Cecil Purnell and Christophe Claret stick to core values; exclusivity, independence and dedication to Haute Horlogerie. Thanks to these independents, the watch industry keeps its integrity for another year.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I gathered that from Googling them - it seems most of the controversy was around their first collection a couple of years go. I can't really speak for that as I only saw their newer calibres, but from what I saw at Baselworld they had some of the best Tourbillon on offer, along with Speake-Marin and Claret. If you want to take look, Montre24 and Manfesto posted some Baselworld videos recently - Speake-Marin here Cecil Purnell here. In any case, I hope you enjoyed the article!

Xav
 
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