After the excitement and anticipation of its opening, Baselworld, the watch and jewellery industry’s premier trade event has just closed it doors to the 2013 show. Bigger and better than ever before, the new 1.5 million sq ft building designed by Herzog & de Meuron took three years to complete and accommodated a massive 1,460 exhibitors. As a result of the sleek newly designed halls, approximately 1,000 exhibitors invested in new stands to showcase their brands – and Michel Herbelin were no exception.
The team from Michel Herbelin UK arrived on the Saturday and we headed straight for our new “home”. Having heard so much over the last few months about the architecture of the stand, the choice of materials and the extra space we would be afforded, we were very keen to see the end result. We were not disappointed! Set over two floors, the stand has a central showcase area with eye level display cabinets around the outside walls to showcase all the latest Michel Herbelin creations.
Internally, with ten beautifully designed offices, comfortable seating areas, a dining room and two bar areas I was hoping to move in permanently. However, there was no time to relax as we settled down to a presentation of the new collection so that we could begin the difficult process of selecting watches for our UK range. Over the last 12 months we had seen drawings and prototypes of these watches but this was the first time we had seen the finished articles. The highlights of the new collection are outlined below.
Sunday was spent meeting some of our key retail customers who had travelled out to Basel. We had the pleasure of meeting with the watch buyers from Finnies of Aberdeen, Weirs of Dublin, Keanes of Cork, Ray & Scott of Guernsey, Angelo Smith of Sudbury and Essardas, our customer in Gibraltar. Reactions to the new collection were very positive and we took the opportunity to fine tune our initial selection for our UK range, based on the feedback we received from our retail partners.
Our last day at Baselworld, we took the opportunity to walk the new halls, identify some of the key trends and latest innovations and just take in the atmosphere. Creative florists had been working overtime around the watch halls. There were huge displays of Calla Lillies in every walkway and even suspended high up from the ceiling! After lunch we met with our friends from WatchPro Magazine and then it was off back to the airport for our trip home. Exhausted but happy and with loads of work to do back in the office tomorrow!
Highlights of the new 2013/14 collection include:-
The Odyssey series €“ completely new to the Inspiration collection, Odyssey signifies a new direction for Michel Herbelin styling. With an unprecedented octagonal-shaped case, the Odyssey chronograph is distinctly masculine and is coated in black, copper and champagne tones. Coated with DLC (Diamond Like Carbon €“ similar composition to diamond) it is resistant to shocks and scratches.
The octagonal shaped case carries through into the mens and womens timepiece versions in the Odyssey series.
Available in both stainless steel and two tone executions and with a stunning diamond set dial available for women.
New additions to the Epsilon range: womens timepieces with stunning diamond set cases and dials available in both white and black Mother of Pearl. New silk strap versions in creamy white and black.
Inspiration City Chronograph
Ignored for many years, rose gold has enjoyed a well-documented renaissance in recent years. Michel Herbelin have embraced the trend with the addition of this striking rose gold City Chronograph to the Inspiration range, teaming the warm rose hue with a tonal heritage brown dial and vintage style padded strap.
The Heritage collection also sees the launch of a fantastic second generation of Ambassador watches.
Available in both mens and womens bracelet models as well as mens strap models, its combination of unusual cut-out date window and undulations of the case make for a really refined and stylish design.
Look out for the launch of all these new designs and many more on our site over the coming months!