The weird and wonderful timepieces to watch out for at BaselWorld 2013

BaselWorld has something for everyone, from the straight-up, classic three-hand watches to wrist-wear that barely resembles a timekeeper at all. Here are a few weird and wonderful watches to look out for if you happen to have a taste for the bizarre, a couple of hundred thousand pounds to spare and are planning on being in Basel next week.

MB&F is starting to make a name for itself as the go-to brand for über-luxe techno madness known as ‘Horological Machines’ (hence the HM names of each series), as witnessed in the HM 4, which resembles a jet turbine for the wrist. Highly sought after and very limited in production, these could well qualify as the smallest, most expensive boy toy on the market.

The Genie 01 by Breva is, believe it or not, a mechanically powered and operated weather station for the wrist. It is the very first of its kind, developed by Jean-François Mojon and movement maker Chronode. The dial displays barometric pressure, weather forecasts, altitude and, of course, the time. Available in pink or white gold only 55 pieces of each will be made.

And by now we know to expect nothing but the most unusual of ideas turned into watches from ArtyA. We’ve had volcanic ash, rust from the Titanic and fossilised faeces, so a guitar-shaped watch is not the least bit surprising at all. The tuning pegs are pushers to set the hour hand, minute and date disks and wind this musical watch. 

Hautlence presents the HL2.3, a new titanium model in the HL2.0 series with a price tag of 180,000 Chf. Founded by a young team only nine years ago, this micro-brand specialises in devising new ways of displaying the time, often accompanied by dramatic avant-garde designs. All the watches in the HL2.0 collection display hours on a 12-link chain and the minutes are counted on the retrograde arc. The automatic movement is made in-house and visible from the front of the watch, which boasts three patents for the trailing-hours chain, the mobile bridge movement and the two barrels. And in case you were interested, the name Hautlence is an anagram of Neuchâtel, the Swiss town closely associated with watchmaking. 

Peter Speake-Marin, more normally associated with sober, traditional designs, lets rip this year and adorns his dial with a pair of what appear to be co-joined skulls. Beautifully made, this is one for punctual necromancers with deep pockets.

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    Hautlence’s HL2.3, a new titanium model in the HL2.0 series with a price tag of 180,000 Chf.

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    The Génie 01 by Breva, developed exclusively for Breva by Jean-François Mojon/Chronode.

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    The back of the Génie 01 by Breva, showing the movement in all it’s glory.

  • BaselWorld-Weird-Breva-blanc_mushroom_rose_HD

    The Génie 01 by Breva in rose gold. The watch features and anaerobic barometer and altimeter in the Génie 01.

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    The MB&F HM4 limited edition watch.

  • BaselWorld-Weird-HM4-Final-Edition-Front-CMYK

    2013 sees MB&F unveil the HM4 Final Edition, which closes the HM4 series with a limited edition of 8 pieces in blackened titanium and sapphire.

  • ArtyASonofSoundpinkgold

    The ArtyA Son of Sound in pink gold features a chronograph with a unique and patented Active Tuning Pegs System that features four active “tuning peg” pushers for start/stop, reset, hour change and date change.

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    The Speake Marin watch for 2013 with Skull dial.

  • Sparkle-SM-Skull-Slt-Cadran

    A closer look at the dark dial.

  • BaselWorld-Weird-HM4_RT_FRONT

    The Horological Machine No4 (HM4) from MB&F bears it’s aviation inspiration with pride.