Expensive watches from Baselworld

Wired has a gallery of 20 of the most interesting watches from this year's Baselworld -- and most of just aren't that interesting. Modern watch design basically sucks. Of course, there are exceptions.

Times Are a-Changing: Watches From Baselworld 2009


  1. Seriously, I would enjoy so much smashing all those stupid devices with a Judge hummer… Fuck Time!

  2. Sorry, I don’t consider any of these either good design or good value for money. Did any of them do anything useful other than tell the time? Maybe a couple. Were the user interfaces well-designed? Hell no.

    Thousands of dollars for what? A brand name.

    For that money I would expect a full-blown wrist-computer, thanks.

  3. Forgive me, I’m a watch nut.

    Yes, there are PLENTY of idiotic designs. But a lot of drool inducing more traditional looking stuff too. If you want lots of pretty pictures & explanations, google “PuristS Pro”. That site is the meccha for this stuff- your jaw will drop at what exists.

    And for the record, my favorite watch from Basel 2009 is one that doesn’t even have pictures on the net yet- Gerald Genta has a new 4 hammer repeater watch that sounds incredible- it’s like listening to a desk clock. It’s called the Area Meta Sonic- look for the sound file. If you know what normal repeater watches sound like, it will blow your mind!

  4. Mr. Doctorow apparently overlooked the “Victor Unwindable” steam powered watch. Powered by ‘clean coal’, in acknowlegement of our ‘eco-aware’ time, this beauty features hand craftmanship and quality materials. Mounted on a thick slab of top grain leather and featuring hammered brass and iron fittings, the Victor is accurate to 10 minutes a day. Hours announced by distinctive whistle. Very limited production run; prospective owners should gradually build up the strength in their arm before strapping one on.

  5. Me, I’d make the faces on the 2001: A Space Odyssey (see above) watch much smaller, ‘cuz you can still read ’em.

  6. “Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”

  7. I have been chuckling at the expensive watch ads I have seen in magazines lately. Who wears watches anymore? Old rich people I suppose. Everyone I know uses their cellphone to tell time.

  8. Most of these are pretty crass; they more or less scream “HEY LOOK AT ME I’M REALLY EXPENSIVE”. I just got a Casio G-Shock for less than $100, and it is solar-powered and resets itself to the atomic time signal every day. I’m guessing that most of these are like Nigel Tufnel’s guitar: they’re not meant to be worn, ever, and the collector doesn’t even want you looking at it.

  9. Personally, I’m just tired of the standard, round case with a bazillion little tick marks encircling the standard three hands… it’s just so boring. Nearly every watch looks like a “dive” watch these days and once you step about 5 feet away from them they all blend together into an entirely forgettable soup of little round faces. How about a little variety? Is it really that hard?

  10. Dive watches are highly practical. The dial is very readable. They’re rugged. No extraneous features. They have a turning bezel for timing short term things like parking meters, cooking, etc. Try timing a boiled egg with your cell phone. How many menus and how many keyclicks? Not worth the trouble.
    I’ve been a collector for 25 years. Both of the daily wearers I’ve settled on by default are descended from 1950s dive designs.

  11. It’s true that nobody wears a watch for diving any more. Specialized instruments do the job better. The traditional style of dive watch is still a highly useful and popular overall timepiece for everyday wear.

  12. Modern watch design basically sucks

    That’s an interesting declaration, which I disagree with. Could you please elaborate?

    Also, I’m a functionality nut- I buy the simplest waterproof casio digital that I can get, and have been doing it for years. Yes, I need to buy a new one every 4-5 years, but the rugged clocks are either so big they feel bad on my wrist or cost the world.

  13. Ooh that watch in the photo looks like something you’d use to beam down from the Liberator.

  14. Whenever there’s a watch post, there’s the inevitable “I have a cellphone, watches are the suck”. OK. We get it. You don’t want a watch. Fine, good for you.

    I’d rather have a watch than a cellphone, but then I guess I’m an antisocial luddite, which is fine by me.

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