Visiting the booths at the annual watch fairs in Switzerland, you will find your desire slowly chipping away at your trust fund. Here, Audemars Piguet’s $156,100 Millenary with AP escapement and deadbeat seconds, its floating faces suspended inside a pink-gold frame; there, the cleverly titled $563,750 Jackpot by Girard-Perregaux, with a fully functioning slot machine. The annual Baselworld and Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie expos, held each April in Basel and Geneva respectively, are a luxury world’s fair of sorts. Every year Europe’s best watch manufacturers première their most recent innovations and technological achievements. In Basel that included Rolex’s new Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II, the company’s largest model to date, as well as the million-dollar Billionaire Tourbillon by Corum, with its diamond dial frame, bezel, and bracelet. The big news in Geneva was Cartier’s latest collector’s piece, the Rotonde à grande complication, which features a grand tourbillon, a perpetual calender, a single push-button chronograph, and a week’s power reserve. In between all the talk of timepieces, technical movements, and minute repeaters, there was also jewelry—gobstopper-size emerald cabochons, baroque pearl starfish, and rose-cut rubies.
Every spring, Geneva and Basel show the latest in watches and jewelry.