With “BRILLIANCE MEETS” – BASELWORLD 2013 World Watch and Jewellery Show just around the corner, all the world’s major watch brands will shortly be unveiling their latest innovations and creations. The media will be scrambling to compile edits of the main trends, to be the first to reveal what the latest hot styles and materials are.
In recent years we have seen across the board trends such as oversized watches for women, the use of new materials such as ceramic and the revival of yellow and rose gold watches.
As trends in the fashion industry are closely reflected in the watch and jewellery industry we are expecting to see the current trend for monochrome in full force with black IP treated steel and black and white ceramic watches being launched by many brands.
Colourful watches are also sure to be big news. Whilst bright blocks of colour dominated the Spring/Summer 2013 catwalks, for Autumn/Winter 2013 Navy is the dominant colour (as seen at Salvatore Ferragamo, Miu Miu and Chloe) along with burgundy and pops of purple. We can expect to see these colours reflected in the wristwear of the coming year too.
Other catwalk trends likely to be translated to Baselworld include the trend for masculine-feminine looks with pinstripes, double-breasted jackets and oversized coats as seen at Emporio Armani and the trend for 1940s inspired feminine tailoring as seen at Christian Dior. Expect watches to be big, classic-looking and influenced by nostalgic styles.
However, although trends are fun and undoubtedly keep the watch industry vibrant and innovative, in the current economic climate many traditional watch manufacturers are turning their backs on following fads and trends favouring instead a return to heritage designs. Heritage designs are inspired from watches of past collections which often draw on the technological know-how and expertise of the brand. With budgets more restricted, watches, particularly those over £200 are considered investment purchases.Â Consumers choose to invest in brands that they identify with and trust. Therefore fashion becomes less important compared with values such as technical reliability, integrity and timeless style.
Michel Herbelin, as one of the few remaining truly independent watch manufacturers, has long held the view that good design does not follow every single passing trend and fashion. In a society of over-consumption, a good design must be durable and sustainable.
It was the German Industrial designer Dieter Rams who identified his now celebrated ten principles of good design in the 1970s. These ten principles are as relevant today as ever and reflect the approach taken by the designers at Michel Herbelin.
Rams stipulated that good design is “as little design as possible”. Less, but better because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.
Rams also stated that good design is “unobtrusive” – Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.
Rams also stated that good design is “Aesthetic”- ”The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.
Good Design Is “Honest” It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept
Good Design Is “Thorough Down to the Last Detail” Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer. 
Under the new motto “Brilliance Meets” on 25 April 2013 and for the following 8 days, we will see the result of over two years of preparation in a new “brilliant” setting. Baselworld 2013 will have a new hall complex standing on 95,000 sqm² and will showcase the latest innovations and designs in watchmaking and jewellery to over 100,000 visitors from around the world. We will be there spotting the latest trends and identifying the very best in design. Don’t miss our review of the show next month and be the first to view the latest creations from Michel Herbelin as launched on our own brand new purpose built stand at Baselworld!