JCK 5: Big News at Basel

1 News Bites

Leonardo Lanaro, the new president of Rebecca

  • Attendance at Baselworld rose 7 percent from last year; the number of ­exhibitors, however, dropped 2 percent.
  • The Testi Group appointed Leonardo Lenaro president of Rebecca USA.
  • After a five-year hiatus, Italian brand Damiani returned to the fair after floor space issues were rectified.

2 Have a Heart

Major brands trumpeted their charitable works: Damiani Group’s project to bring water to Africa’s parched regions; Hublot’s financial contributions to the African Wildlife Foundation; and Guess and Gc Watches’ support of Cidade dos Meninos São Vicente de Paulo, which helps thousands of poor Brazilian children.

3 Anniversary Specials

Milestones were marked by a ­number of important watch­makers and jewelers. Among them: Blancpain (275?years), Masriera (170), Chopard (150), TAG Heuer (150), St. ­Honore’ (125), Victorinox Swiss Army (125), AeroWatch (100), Bulova (50, first electronic watch), Corum (50, Admiral’s Cup), and Seiko (40, quartz watch). To celebrate their anniversaries, Cho­pard unveiled a limited-edition­ collection of 150 animal-themed creations, while Masriera introduced 15 numbered Eternity pieces in homage to the brand’s ­original designs.

IceLink’s Bicycle Chain; $99–$10,000; IceLink, Los Angeles;
213-622-7707; icelinkwatch.com

4 Time’s Jewels

The gap between watches and jewelry continued to narrow as more watch brands are now offering stylish accessories for the under-40 set. Standouts included Elle’s fashion watch and jewelry lines, IceLink’s Bicycle Chain bracelets for men and women, Omega’s Aqua bridal jewelry, and Glam Rock’s Monogram collection.

Huge Australian South Seas pearls dubbed “the
biggest in the world” by
the brand. Yvel, New York City; 212-755-0688; yvel.com

5 Raring To Go

Rare gems are just that—hard to find. But several were on display at the show, like a 6 ct. natural-color blue diamond from Pluczenik, an Australian baroque pearl necklace of Wilma Flintstone proportions from Yvel, and a pair of museum-quality 10 ct. t.w. Demantoid garnets from Ekkehard Schneider.