Classically Contemporary!

For new watches in 2004, the accent is on classic functions clothed in contemporary designs. New models and collections unveiled in April at BaselWorld 2004 and at the SIHH luxury watch fair in Geneva were stylish, chic, and unexpected—easily encompassing a thesaurus of fashionably trendy descriptions. (Note: A full report on the Swiss shows will appear in next month’s issue.) Among notable trends were an increased use of curved and angular cases—horizontal, rectangular, geometric—and of exotic strap materials, especially stingray, plus new uses of rubber, once considered avant-garde but now often found in mid-priced and fine watch design. Use of sparkling diamonds and soft colors, noted at recent U.S. and European shows, continues to grow, as does the popularity of big watches designed for both women and men.

Here are a few examples of watch trends on display last month and debuting this year in the American market, starting with The JCK Show in Las Vegas next month.