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Mar 28, 2016
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Men's watches keep it simple and sophisticated for Baselworld 2016

Mar 28, 2016

With few large complications, dials with plain, simple designs, and classic case sizes, the trend was definitely for minimalist, pared-down style at this year's Baselworld watch and jewelry show, which closed March 24 in Basel, Switzerland. While watch design has been big on bling for the last few years, the industry seems to have switched track in 2016, focusing on chic, understated designs.

Some brands and watchmakers did use large complications in 2016 models, while others presented dials loaded with complications or adorned with detail of all shapes and sizes. However, there was a general trend towards discretion at this year's Baselworld, with simple, stylish and refined designs taking the lead.

Although complications like quick-date-set features, tourbillons, moon phases and date subdials are still present, they aren't necessarily taking center stage in watch design for 2016. This year's watches have a much less flashy feel, getting a few choice functions that don't overload dials.

With generally round cases, often around 40mm in size, the watches presented at this year's event momentarily stepped back from full-on bling, with simpler, chic looks, sometimes with a vaguely retro feel.

From Chopard to Frédérique Constant, and from Hermès to Omega, all the big names in the business showed their own breed of sophisticated, pared-down watches, featuring dials designed with surprising simplicity. The Jaquet Droz "Grande Seconde Décentrée Onyx" is a good example, with off-center subdials for hours/minutes and seconds, set against a deep, black onyx dial with no other detail.

Similarly, the Hermès "Slim Manufacture 39.5mm" has a minimalist slate dial with a small, discreet subdial counting seconds at six o'clock.


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