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Rolex, Patek Philippe and Others to Leave Baselworld and Start New Watch Trade Show



Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard and Tudor are among several prominent watch brands that have chosen to cancel their attendance at the rescheduled Baselworld 2021 in favor of creating their own event.

This year the COVID-19 pandemic has already led to many cancellations and postponements of prominent luxury-focused events around the world and organizers have been holding out hope to have things back on track by 2021 by working hard to reschedule events where possible.

Baselworld Watch & Jewelry Show Cancelled in 2020 Due to COVID-19
Previous years of Baselworld has included brands like Rolex, Hublot and Bvlgari. Credit: Baselworld

One such event that has been dealt an extra blow is the Baseworld Watch Show which has caught organizers MCH Group by surprise after it was announced that Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard, and Tudor would no longer be exhibiting at the newly scheduled Baselworld 2021 in January and would instead be creating their own watch show to be held at the same time as Watches & Wonder in Geneva.

In a statement released the same day as plans for the new show were revealed, Baselworld organizers MCH Group spoke of their surprise and regret at the actions of Rolex and accompanying brands given that they had supported the postponement to January 2021 and had made no prior mention of a desire to move to Geneva, concluding that these plans must have been well underway previously.

There were however financial issues already brewing as confusion surrounding the payments/refunds began to emerge from April 3 as it appeared that MCH Group would be withholding 85% of exhibitors fees for the 2020 Show on the grounds of those fees being applied to the 2021 event (with the remaining 15% being forfeited) or exhibitors given a second option to receive a 30% cash refund, have 40% applied to the 2021 event and forfeit 30% fees as part of the “out of pocket costs” costs associated with the canceled 2020 event.

Baselworld 2019
Forum with prominent watch brands at Baselworld 2019. Credit: Baselworld

In a previous letter addressed to Baselworld organizers MCH Group regarding the postponement of this years show, Rolex executive and Baselworld President of the Exhibitors Committee Hubert du Plessix asks for full refunds to be issued to the brands saying it would be an “elegant solution [that] would be the best way to encourage exhibitors to participate in a future edition of Baselworld…Otherwise, we fear that this will be the end, pure and simple, of Baselworld, especially since the dates chosen in January 2021 are not suitable for the jewelry, gemstones and pearls sector, and that coordination with Watches & Wonders (SIHH) no longer exists.”

With brands like Breitling and Grand Seiko having already left Baselworld and the LVMH family of watch brands holding their own Dubai based trade show, Baselworld is no doubt in an unenviable position and having previously committed to a substantial investment in the development of the event and additional digital platforms, MCH Group have said they will now be looking to make a decision in the coming weeks regarding the continuation of Baselworld and further development investments to ensure their long term future.

The new proposed show that Rolex, Patek Philippe, Chanel, Chopard, and Tudor have all agreed to be a part of will be held April 2021 in Geneva at the same time as Watches & Wonder (previously known as SIHH) and created in collaboration with Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), who are also the organizers behind Watches & Wonder watch show.

Watches & Wonder (previously SIHH) held in Geneva
Watches & Wonder (previously SIHH) will be held in April 2021. Credit: Watches & Wonder

To complement the consumer-focused Watches & Wonder watch show, the new trade show will be a professional event primarily focused on retailers, the press and VIP customers.

Speaking on their decision to withdraw from Baselworld, Jean-Frédéric Dufour, Chief Executive Officer, Rolex SA, and Board Member, Montres Tudor SA, said: “We have taken part in Baselworld since 1939. Unfortunately, given the way the event has evolved and the recent decisions made by MCH Group, and in spite of the great attachment we had to this watch show, we have decided to withdraw. Following discussions initiated by Rolex, it seemed only natural to create a new event with partners that share our vision and our endless, unwavering support for the Swiss watchmaking sector. This will allow us to present our new watches in line with our needs and expectations, to join forces and better defend the interests of the industry.”

Rolex to join Watch & Wonder organisers new event in Geneva
Rolex’s exhibit at a previous Baselworld event. Credit: Baselworld

Likewise Thierry Stern, President, Patek Philippe commented, “The decision to leave Baselworld was not an easy one to take for me, being the fourth generation of the Stern family to participate to this traditional yearly event. But life evolves constantly, things change and people change as well, whether it is at the level of those responsible for the watch fair organization, the brands or the clients. We constantly have to adapt ourselves, question what we do, since what was right yesterday may not necessarily be valid today!

Today Patek Philippe is not in line with Baselworld’s vision anymore, there have been too many discussions and unsolved problems, trust is no longer present. We need to answer the legitimate needs of our retailers, the clients and the press from around the world. They have to be able to discover the new models from Swiss watchmakers each year, at one time, in one place, and this in the most professional manner possible. That is why, following several discussions with Rolex and in agreement with other participating brands, we have decided to create, all together, a unique event in Geneva, representative of our savoir-faire.“

Co-President of Chopard, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele also gave support to the new event saying, “Chopard first exhibited at the Basel fair in 1964 with a stand of some 25 square metres. After careful consideration, our family decided to support the Rolex initiative and retire from Baselworld – a painful decision. The creation of this new watch show in Geneva, in parallel to Watches & Wonders, will allow us to better serve our watchmaking partners and our customers. Through the alliance, these grandes maisons will also be able to collaborate in promoting the values and best interests of Swiss watchmaking.”

With several brands having delayed all new 2020 releases until next year, horological aficionado’s will be sure to eagerly descend on Geneva next April to view the latest pieces on offer from all the brands exhibiting at Watches & Wonder and the new show.


Jacob & Co Releases Four New Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon Watch Editions



Jacob & Co have released four new editions of the Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon watch featuring sapphire crystal, 18ct Rose Gold, 18ct White Gold, and baguette-cut diamonds.
Updated Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon New Collection
New Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon watch releases. Credit: Jacob & Co/Bugatti

Earlier this year, New York-based jeweler Jacob & Co collaborated with the French car manufacturer Bugatti to create a Chiron supercar inspired watch. Now to coincide with the holiday season, four new editions of the Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon watch designs have been created using entirely new materials.

Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon – Sapphire Crystal

The new sapphire crystal edition is created from a solid block of sapphire crystal and is secured on a blue or white rubber strap with a titanium buckle. The case back is also sapphire crystal, along with sapphire crystal crowns and pushers.

Sapphire crystal edition with white strap. Credit: Jacob & Co/Bugatti
Sapphire crystal edition with white strap. Credit: Jacob & Co/Bugatti
Sapphire crystal edition with blue strap. Credit: Jacob & Co/Bugatti
Sapphire crystal edition with blue strap. Credit: Jacob & Co/Bugatti
Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon – 18ct Rose Gold

Limited to 72 pieces, the new Rose Gold edition features an 18ct Rose Gold case on a black rubber strap. It also features a special anti-reflective sapphire crystal and an 18ct Rose Gold open case back with black DLC titanium crowns and pushers embossed with the Bugatti logo.

The 18ct Rose Gold edition. Credit: Jacob & Co/Bugatti
The 18ct Rose Gold edition. Credit: Jacob & Co/Bugatti
Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon – 18ct Rose Gold & White Baguette-Cut White Diamonds

Limited to 52 pieces, the 18ct Rose Gold & Baguette-Cut White Diamond edition is an option that features sparkling white diamonds and is secured on a rubber strap with an 18ct rose gold buckle clasp. The case back, crowns and pushers are also made of 18ct rose gold and set with baguette-cut white diamonds – embellished with an embossed Bugatti logo.

The 18ct Rose Gold with baguette-cut white diamonds edition. Credit: Jacob & Co/Bugatti
The 18ct Rose Gold with baguette-cut white diamonds edition. Credit: Jacob & Co/Bugatti
Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon – 18ct White Gold & White/Black Baguette-Cut Diamonds

The final version has been created using 18ct White Gold, and the case is set with 291 black and white diamonds (approximately 20 carats in total). The 18ct White Gold version also features another 18 white diamonds (approximately 1.76 carats) on the crowns, pushers, and white gold buckle clasp.

Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon with 18ct White Gold and White/Black Diamonds. Credit: Jacob & Co/Bugatti
Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon with 18ct White Gold and baguette-cut white/black diamonds. Credit: Jacob & Co/Bugatti

Carrying on with the same case shape and tiny animated replica of Bugatti’s iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine beating at the heart of the Tourbillon, the timepiece features a stunning movement in all versions of the watch, comprised of 578 components and is powered by a flying tourbillon movement, inclined at 30 degrees.

The miniature Bugatti “engine” comes to life once the right-hand crown of the timepiece is pushed. Just like the engine in the hyper sports car would come to life, the ‘crankshaft’ in the watch – one of the smallest and most complicated watch parts ever manufactured, made out of solid steel – turns and the ‘pistons’ pump up and down, mounted at varying angles to add to the complexity.

The movement is held in place in four places by miniature Chiron-style shock absorbers, appearing as though floating inside the case and can be observed moving slightly up and down. This suspension detail created an additional challenge for the watch designers, who had to develop and patent a unique automotive-inspired transverse system to ensure the movement in the case doesn’t damage the crown posts.

The crowns are found at the bottom of the case. The left crown sets the time, the middle crown winds the movement and animation for 60 hours of power reserve, while the push of the right-hand crown starts the animation. The power reserve for the animation and timekeeping are separate, yet both are wound through the winding crown – clockwise for the movement (60 hours), counterclockwise for the engine animation (approximately three activations). The power reserve for the movement even features the universal gas pump symbol on the side of the gauge.

Although no prices were announced as part of the release, if the previous release was anything to go by, it will be well above the $280,000 asking price of the previous non-diamond encrusted versions.

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The $348,000 Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold Rainbow Edition Revealed



Hublot’s latest rainbow watch is the Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold edition, featuring 290 baguette-cut gemstones set in Hublot’s 18ct “King Gold”.
The US$348,000 Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold Rainbow Edition. Credit: Hublot
The US$348,000 Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold Rainbow Edition. Credit: Hublot

Hublot has revealed their new $348,000 Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold edition and it’s an even more colorful upgrade of last years model, made possible by the full use of baguette-cut gemstones across the entire case and dial.

Featuring 290 precious gemstones invisibly set into a Hublot’s “King Gold” (a pink gold alloy created using 18ct gold and platinum), the rainbow shades of the latest edition are achieved through the careful selection of rubies, pink sapphires, amethysts, blue sapphires, blue topazes, tsavorites and orange and yellow sapphires. The brilliant rainbow colors also extend to the alligator and rubber strap, finished with an equally dazzling embellished gemstone buckle.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold Rainbow Watch Closeup
Created with 290 baguette-cut gemstones. Credit: Hublot

“It requires meticulousness, expertise and dexterity to obtain this harmonious gradation of the gemstones and create a perfect connection between the emotion they arouse and the watchmaking technique,” shared Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe. “Draughtsmen, gemologists, and setters worked together to achieve this setting in which pink gold is present only to gently emphasize the contours. The Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold Rainbow condenses the purity and precision of these incredible professions.”

Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold Rainbow Watch Black

For the curious that don’t have the time (or inclination) to count the gemstones themselves, the 290 baguette-cut jewels are distributed across the watch in the following way:

  • 100 gemstones are set into the 45mm case.
  • 112 gems surround the bezel.
  • 48 gems are used to create the dial and indexes 
  • 30 jewels are found on the buckle clasp.
Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold Rainbow Watch Buckle
The gem-encrusted buckle clasp of the Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold watch. Credit: Hublot

Powered by the UNICO HUB1242 caliber, Hublot’s own automatic flyback chronograph mechanism developed and manufactured in-house, the Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold watch has a frequency of 4hz/28,800 vibrations per hour and a power reserve of approximately 72 hours.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Baguette King Gold Rainbow Watch Side Bezel
Featuring Hublot’s “King Gold” made from 18K gold and platinum. Credit: Hublot

Priced at USD$348,000, the Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold edition is considerably more expensive than the average Big Bang Unico watch. Although it has not been launched as a limited edition, it’s safe to say the colorful timepiece will still be a rarity in anyone’s collection. 

For more information, visit www.hublot.com

Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Baguette King Gold Rainbow Watch Vertical

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Special Pendry Residences West Hollywood Penthouse Comes With a Limited Edition McLaren 765LT



Pendry Residences West Hollywood has partnered with McLaren North America to offer one new homeowner a unique supercar garage with a one-year lease on the limited-edition McLaren 765LT.
Pendry Residences West Hollywood McLaren North America Super Garage
The Show Room Supercar Garage at of Pendry Terrace Estate 608. Credit: Pendry Residences

Construction is well underway on the new $500 million hotel/condo complex project known as the Pendry Hotel & Residences West Hollywood, and now to entice buyers, McLaren North America have partnered with the development to offer a supercar garage complete with a one year lease on the limited 1-of-765 McLaren 765LT vehicle.

Pendry Residences West Hollywood McLaren North America Super Garage Street
Luxury terrace homes on Sunset Boulevard. Credit: Pendry Residences

Situated on the former site of the House of Blues nightclub at Sunset Boulevard and Olive Drive, the Pendry Residences West Hollywood consist of 40 residences set out across the multiple terraces.

The two-story penthouse “Terrace Estate 608” has received a specially designed 1,719-square-foot private gated garage known as “The Show Room,” which has more than ample room to include the McLaren 765LT offered on-lease for one year as part as the $16 million price tag.

Pendry Residences West Hollywood McLaren North America Super Garage Aerial View
Owner of Pendry Residences Terrace Estate 608 has own private elevator access to the garage. Credit: Pendry

Designed by EYRC Architecture, “The Show Room” also includes a kids-sized electric-powered McLaren Senna as part of the deal, which junior drivers will be able to park alongside the garage spaces for five other supercars.

Pendry Residences West Hollywood McLaren North America Super Garage Rooftop
Elevated living in West Hollywood. Credit: Pendry Residences

“We are excited to partner with McLaren Automotive North America as they share our dedication to an unparalleled luxury experience. Through our collaboration with McLaren, Pendry Residences West Hollywood further elevates the residential living experience in Los Angeles,” shared Tina Necrason, Executive Vice President, Residential, Montage International. “Los Angeles residents are passionate about their cars, and our Super Garage offers one discerning owner the opportunity to house their most prized vehicles in a space that is as luxurious as the Residence itself.”

Pendry Residences West Hollywood McLaren North America Super Garage Vertical

With only 765 models of the limited edition car available worldwide, the McLaren 756LT is one of the most sought-after vehicles on the market. As this year’s allocation already completely sold out, access to the McLaren 765LT is hard to come by, making this quite an attractive offer to the right buyer.

One year lease of the limited edition McLaren 765LT included as part of Terrace Estate 608. Credit: McLaren

“We are delighted to be working with Pendry Residences West Hollywood to help create the ultimate auto enthusiast’s dream garage,” says Tony Joseph, President, McLaren North America. “The 765LT is the most dynamically advanced and engaging McLaren LT model to date. With allocations for the US market already filled, this is a unique chance to experience this incredible supercar.”

The McLaren Super Garage concept rendering and floor plan and Residence renderings and floor plan are linked here. For more information about Pendry Residences West Hollywood and the McLaren Supercar Garage by Montage Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.pendryresidencesweho.com.

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