Baselworld 2016: The Future of Reflective Faces

Six watches that shine in uncommon ways

In a world of limited wrist accessories for men, sometimes one wants their watch to shine brightly. This doesn’t necessarily mean a 61mm powerhouse piece distributing lighthouse rays, but it can definitely extend beyond the traditional and understated bracelet. At this year’s Baselworld watch and jewelry fair, we saw plenty of timepieces that offer up a bit of flair. Some are statement-makers and others are more subtle, but all of them have brighter-than-average faces that shimmer, reflect or refract light in a way that catches the eye.

Shinola’s The Canfield

With a reflective gray dial, Shinola‘s new 38mm watch, The Canfield, doesn’t need to take up a lot of space to make a point. It’s elegant, unisex and features a Shinola Argonite movement. The gunmetal alligator strap and PVD gold case unify the timepiece—and, of course, it’s made in the USA.

Nixon’s Time-Teller Crystal in Black Crystal-Rose Gold

From Nixon‘s forthcoming The Black Rose with Crystals by Swarvoski collection, comes the Time-Teller Crystal. The gunmetal dials feature rose gold and graphite-colored Swarovski crystal accents. On a black stainless steel band, the piece feels uniform and graceful—and while it’s been designed as a piece in the women’s collection, the watch definitely holds its own on the wrist of men. Inside, there’s a three-hand Japanese Miyota movement (highly accurate, but keeping the price down). Altogether, it’s clearly a Nixon piece to pursue.

Andersen Geneve Heures du Monde

Independent Swiss watchmakers Andersen Geneve know how to make a world-timer like no other—and it’s more than the uncommon use of gold that sets them apart. That said, it is the glowing blue-gold dial that launched the Heures du Monde into our want list. Made through a proprietary firing method, involving 21K gold and an iron additive, the hue is subtle, but the watch shines. This is now the fifth edition of their world-timer model and it’s the most advanced technically, thus far.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic

A solid series from Hamilton, the Jazzmaster Viewmatic watches we spied this year carried a nice blend of signature stylings and sheen. The well-priced automatic pieces also feature an exhibition caseback, allowing for the movement and accompanying jewels to be visible from behind. There’s nothing gaudy about these watches, in fact, they’re a rather punchier take on one of the brand’s most popular classic ranges.

Omega Speedmaster Moonphase Chronograph

Limited to only 57 pieces, this stunning Omega sports a sand-blasted 950 platinum dial with diamond-polished blackened indexes. For a little extra sparkle, there’s also a polished aluminum bezel ring. With a dial that’s frosted more than reflective, it plays with light in a less ostentatious way, while still giving off quite a bit. Inside, one will find a Master Chronometer Moonphase Chronograph caliber 9905 movement. But the luscious red bezel and alligator strap make it visually extraordinary.

Corum Disco Ball Bubble

A striking addition to Corum’s iconic Bubble Collection (now known for being customizable), this disco ball piece certainly plays with light more than most, and its placement on a lime green strap is bold choice. Among the Bubble watches released this year, a collection with Parisian photographer Dani Olivier and a series of card-playing dog timepieces also offered plenty of sparkle from their domed sapphire crystal. The disco ball, however, marked a playful, well-considered product from the Swiss brand.

Lead image courtesy of Andersen Geneve, all other images by David Graver