One To Watch : A Big, Bubbly & Sophisticated Start to 2017

06 Jan 2017 | Corum Bell & Ross Chopard New Year Watches INTime

Although the Swiss watch world experiences a slight down turn leading into 2017, there is reason for consumers to rally as a number of solid brands release models that are optimistic in design and large in impact. 

Corum, continues to build excitement around its nautical-themed Admiral’s Cup collection with the release of the Admiral’s Cup Legend 47 Chronograph Squelette. Squelette is a marvelous way to say Skeleton, in French and indeed, at the focus of the watches’ design is a skeletonised centre dial: a sophisticated yet impactful statement for a sports watch known for a more patrician-sporty look.

Corum Admiral's Cup Legend 47 Chronograph Squelette

The effect is kind of like a Hublot Big Bang crossed with an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. Audaciousness tempered by sophistication. Except that this watch is unmistakably Corum with its singular multi-sided case and dial encircled by colorful nautical flags (maritime signal flags used to communicate between ships.)

Some are making the case for a return to smaller cases for men. Personally, I think you should wear whatever size case you feel suits your personality and wrist size best. Having said that, I believe that tastefully designed large men’s watches aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

This timepiece at 47mm creates impact. A CO 404 automatic movement powers the inner workings of the watch, most visible through the delicate skeleton dial. It’s all in the details with this piece; it wears masculine and impactful, but upon closer inspection you notice details like the Corum key logo that graces the black vulcanized rubber strap and elegant, tapered hands with the key logo on the seconds hand.

And then there is the other side of Corum: fun, bubbly and inventive. The Bubble watch, first introduced at the turn of the millennium, is back and Corum is reveling in the novel design: translating it into unique themes like the Bubble Art XL in a red and black python snakeskin motif.

Corum Bubble Art

A domed sapphire crystal dial face gives the watch it’s distinctive “bubble” look. The domed crystal exaggerates the dial design; in this case the python motif seems to run straight through from the strap into the bubble in one seamless piece. On this model, the the stainless steel case, at 47mm is hugged by black PVD, including the crown push piece. It’s a bold variation on a collection that includes many more fun motifs.

Moving from Corum, we go to one of my favorite brands, the all-things-aviation Bell & Ross. If you want to go big this year, go BR 03 Aero GT. With this watch, Bell & Ross keeps its famed square instrument panel dial. The inspiration for this particular model comes from both the world of aviation and the automotive world.

Bell & Ross Creative Director Bruno Belamich (the man who brought us the Bell and Ross B-Rocket concept motorbike a few years ago), developed the Bell & Ross concept car with a streamlined design drawing on inspiration from the gran turismo racing cars like the Ferrari GTO as well as the sleek and sleek fighter jets.

Bell and Ross BR 03 Aero GT

The BR 03 Aero GT is a reflection of the concept car, driven by a Calibre BR-Calibre 319 automatic mechanical movement with large date, hours, minutes and small seconds. It has a 42mm case in satin-polished steel with metal-applique indices. A black perforated calfskin strap is most striking surrounded with red piping.

Bold and big are great, but there’s nothing better than starting a New Year with a little happiness and joy as well. To bring a little sparkle into your everyday life, there is nothing like a Chopard Happy Sport watch. This is a watch that melds femininity, fun, decadence and refinement.

Chopard - Happy Sport 30 mm Automatic

One of my favourites to kick 2017 off is the Happy Sport 30mm Automatic. I love this piece because it’s relatively understated and current, with intricate details seen on only the finest of timepieces. It has a stainless steel, diamond-set bezel, a delicate case with a leather strap, refined Roman numerals on the dial and a beautifully finished oscillating weight visible from the back. And of course the five free-moving diamonds that give the piece its signature look. It’s happiness on a dial.

Swiss watch lovers, keep your heads up and your dreams big. This is an industry full of creativity. Now is the time to refine your taste and focus on the watches that are right for you, whether large and sporty, delicate and graceful or quirky iconic. There is a right watch waiting for you. 

By Christine Terrisse. Christine is a contributing writer for The Time Place Magazine

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