There's something of a revolution happening in the watch world. With a whole generation of potential customers who can't even wrap their heads around the idea wearing a high-end mechanical timepiece, something has to give. And at this year's most important industry event, important clues to its survival started to emerge.
Unlike the fashion industry—which can reflect the changing times by turning on a dime—the careful watch world works at a slightly slower pace. At Baselworld 2017, it became clear that the industry now has a greater understanding of consumers' shifting priorities and a willingness to look thoughtfully and respond their desires.
This year's winning timepieces showcase the distinguished history of watchmaking while incorporating ingenious modern updates as well as wild advances in materials, manufacturing, and technology. They're also achingly beautiful.
From the "holy grail" pieces featuring major complications that each serve a unique purpose to affordable knock-around weekend watches, here's a roundup of the most memorable timepieces, straight from the fair. Each offers vital proof that while your phone may do a perfectly serviceable job of telling you the time, watches still matter.
Stephen Watson is a freelance stylist and watch editor.