By Michelle Graff
michelle.graff@nationaljeweler.com
From left, the Breitling Avenger Hurricane, Waltham’s XA Purse S and Tissot’s Quickster for the Miami Heat
Basel--Here are a few highlights from our editor’s first day appointments at Baselworld 2016.

Breitling lightens up.
In addition to a smartwatch and a new timepiece with a 100-hour power reserve, Breitling debuted the Avenger Hurricane, a 50 mm watch made using Breitlight, a new trademarked polymer composite reinforced with an undisclosed fiber. (Breitling is so intent on keeping its new formula a secret, in fact, that it didn’t apply for a patent for Breitlight.)

The material is 3.3 times lighter than titanium and nearly six times lighter than steel and, by all accounts, does not feel like a 50 mm watch.

It is powered by the self-winding Breitling Caliber B12, which is officially chronometer certified by COSC. The watch has a power reserve of more than 70 hours.

The Avenger Hurricane retails for $8,390 on a rubber strap.

Tissot and the NBA.
The Swatch Group-owned brand announced earlier this year that it is now the official timekeeper for the NBA and has created a Quickster in the colors of 11 NBA teams so far as well as a special edition T-Touch Expert Solar to mark the partnership.

Tissot has five official NBA partner teams: the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks and Miami Heat and has watches in six other teams’ colors as well, including the Brooklyn Nets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors.

The brand also will be launching a smartwatch version of its T-Touch Solar that most likely won’t come out in the United States until early 2017. Called the Smart-Touch, the watch is still in development at this time so prototypes were not available at the show.


Tissot, however, does have a touch-screen display in its booth designed to look like a (much-scaled-down) version of the Swiss Alps that demonstrates some of the Smart-Touch’s functions, including its ability to provide a weather forecast and help the wearer find their way. 

Waltham likes Instagram.
Waltham Watches is a brand with an interesting history. It originated in 1850 in Waltham, Mass. and was in operation in the United States until 1957, selling watches to notables including Abraham Lincoln and polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

One of the company’s clocks was in the cockpit of the Spirit of St. Louis when Charles Lindbergh guided the single-engine plane over the Atlantic and Waltham made controls for bombers during World War II.

In the late 1950s, the company disappeared from the U.S. retail landscape, changed hands a couple times overseas and now is back, getting its name out there again in a very modern way--via Instagram.

The brand has gotten, and shared socially, photos of rapper and actor Curtis Jackson (a/k/a 50 Cent), Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and comedians D.L. Hughley and George Lopez wearing Walthams.

The brand’s 47 mm timepieces retail for $5,500 to $9,400 though it is coming out with 43 mm models that will start at $2,900. Waltham also plans to incorporate more color in its designs.

Pictured here is one of the brand’s new XA Pure S models with blue accents ($5,500 retail). The watch is powered by automatic caliber W.DB-001 Dubois-Dépraz 14060 and has a power reserve of 40 to 44 hours.

The case is titanium with a ceramic bezel and the bracelet is Vulcanised VulCarboné genuine rubber.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect the fact that it is the New York Knicks that are one of Tissot's five NBA partner teams, not the New York Nets as previously stated.


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