During the 2014 Basel Watch Show, in addition to the massive new product information reports, the Watch House also interviewed many veterans in the industry, including the famous watch culture scholar Bai Yingze and the teacher Bai It will give us an in-depth analysis of the three major phenomena in this exhibition in his eyes.
Watch House: Can Teacher Bai simply summarize your feelings for the next edition of the watch exhibition?
Bai Yingze: This Basel watch exhibition can be briefly summarized in three words. The first is ‘problems’, the second is ‘decorative trends’, and the last is ‘unclear future.’ Although there are many watches worth watching every year for the exhibition, this year there is not so much in the number of this category. This is a problem in the exhibition, which also echoes the current SIHH On a phenomenon.
Also talk about the ‘decorative trend’ just mentioned. In the 2014 SIHH, which was recently concluded, major brands including Cartier and Piaget boldly combined various artistic styles and forms to present multi-directional decorative watches including sculpture, mosaic, and silk. At this year’s Basel Clock & Watch Fair, we can also see the shadow of carving art everywhere, like Blancpain’s art articles on the pendulum, and 6002 known as the watch king, all of which are covered with Up carving. From this we also see a trend of decoration in this year’s watch exhibition, but to say that from the technical aspect, or if a watch has undergone a huge innovation or change this year, I don’t think it is so outstanding.
Watch House: Do you think that watchmaking technology has reached an era of bottlenecks? Do we still need to improve our technology?
Bai Yingze: As far as I am concerned, technology is like poetry and poetry in Chinese culture. After hundreds of years or even thousands of years, there is not much room for improvement in technology. But why is anyone crazy about it? This is the charm of creativity. For watches and clocks, its movement may not be too numerous and gorgeous, and even some independent watchmakers’ movements are formed after grinding on the basis of other movements, but it is the extraordinary use of the square surface Creativity. Someone may always trace the movement to the source when looking at the watch, to see what structure it is, whether it is self-produced, but as myself. I have always been the representative of the Appearance Association. An attractive timepiece. The first thing to do is to design the surface, and then to dig deeper into it.
In summary, I think the concentrated creativity of watches is reflected on the dial, but compared to previous years, I have seen fewer such watches at Baselworld this year. As far as I know, the most attractive and greatest watch in the world must have two genes, one is the heritage of tradition, and the other is the innovation based on tradition.
Watch House: The high-frequency watch like TAG Heuer is also a subversion of the chronograph function. What do you think?
Bai Yingze: For this I just express my personal point of view, this high-frequency chronograph watch can only be said to be a concept watch. I personally pay more attention to some styles suitable for daily wear. If we, as a watchmaker, recommend it to everyone, we must first consider those watches that everyone can wear.
Watch House: Which watch do you think can meet the impressive and subversive requirements you mentioned earlier?
Bai Yingze: I haven’t encountered such a style yet, but before thinking of a brand like MBF, they can definitely use the word crazy. In addition, some brands will directly put sesame seeds on the surface of the disk, or the reverse of the movement, which has impressed me in recent years.
Watch House: Then your overall feeling is that this year, in the decorative arts of watches, the brand’s performance is still good?
Bai Yingze: Like some mid-end brands, they may not have tried many designs before, but in recent years they have also found their own feelings and have done well. For example, Amy’s brand is positioned as a mid-end brand, and it will have a bright feeling on new products this year. Including the previous years, the square gear watch has also been completely reinterpreted this year.
In addition, the example of a high-end brand is like Girard Perregaux. This brand has disappointed everyone in the past few years. Although it is a very beefy brand, it seems that there is no outbreak. But at this year’s Basel Watch Show I saw the return of the brand. For example, this year’s three-axis tourbillon and constant escapement watches are foreshadowing a return of brand strength. Although many Chinese are not particularly interested in this watch, those who really understand it will like it more and more. From the time Girard Perregaux released this watch to winning the GPHG, I was really convinced by its mechanical charm again and again. In addition, Girard Perregaux’s women’s watch this year is also very outstanding. If we can better integrate products and publicity, we will definitely welcome a wave belonging to Girard Perregaux in China.
Watch House: Can you finally explain what you just said ‘the future is uncertain’?
Bai Yingze: There must have been a lot of people at big brands like in previous years, but this year there are indeed fewer, and the number of brands concerned by independent watchmaking brands has continued to increase. There is also a topic that everyone is paying attention to recently, which is the contest between mechanical watchmaking and current high-tech watches. Many people used to believe that mechanical watchmaking would not be replaced, but in the current form, I think anything can happen.
The above is the 2014 Basel watch related information carefully prepared by the staff in front of the Watch House. In the future, we will continue to provide more and more intuitive exhibition reports for everyone, please pay attention to it.
2014 Basel Watch Show Special Website: