Well, that about wraps it up for another year. As the shutters come down on Baselworld 2012, the biggest watch fair in the world, it's a time to reflect on the highs and the lows of the past week. Mainly the lows.
More than thirty years after its release, Das Boot remains one of the most gripping war movies ever made. We're on the edge of our seat just thinking about it. But is it really the best candidate to launch a new line of watches? That's exactly what's happened at Baselworld, with press releases excitably describing them as "Diver's watches for real men!"
With so much attention lavished on luxury watches at Baselworld in Switzerland, another important timekeeping device is woefullly neglected -- the cuckoo clock. Contrary to popular belief, it's not actually a Swiss invention (that honour belongs to the Black Forest in Germany), but scattered around the exhibition halls are some spectacular examples of the craft.
So what's a "Baselworld" when it's at home? This trade show for the watch and jewellery industry is organised annually in the city of Basel, Switzerland, featuring 2,100 exhibitors from over 45 countries. The place is stuffed to bursting with movers and shakers in the world of timekeeping, all of them touting their wares. Here's a rundown of the best watches we've seen.
Giz UK got its grubby mitts on the G-Shock GB-6900 at Baselworld 2012 watch fair, the super-tough digital watch that features a low-power Bluetooth 4.0 chip for two-way communication with a smartphone. It hasn't been released in Europe yet, and according to the G-Shock Research and Development team, I was the first person from the UK to try it on.
The Celsius LeDIX Eternal is strange hybrid of clamshell mobile phone and pocket watch. The outside of the titanium and carbon fiber body houses an elaborate mechanism of 600 moving parts, visible through sapphire crystal glass. Launched at Baselworld with an eye-watering $327,000 dollar price-tag, it's the most flagrantly ostentatious gadget of 2012.
The Last Action Hero made a guest appearance on the opening day of Baselworld 2012, the biggest watch fair on Earth, looking fully recovered from his recent shoulder surgery (and bed-in with Sylvester Stallone). Guess he fancied doing a bit of shopping.
If a racing game is defiantly old school, can it still work in the era of intense visuals and hi-def realism? That's a question Retro Racing sets out to answer, with 16-bit graphics, responsive controls, and fiendish AI opponents. Coded by veteran Amiga developer Mr. Qwak (Nitro, ATR), it's a zippy little number and no mistake.
We're about to deploy a loaded word. The word is "whimsical". That means Sir Benfro's Brilliant Balloon isn't your standard gaming fare. Rather, it's a delicate journey through an imaginary world, spotting fantastical creatures from afar. Delightful music and graphics, yes. Pumping adrenaline, no.
Romantic composer Frederic Chopin is the star of this remarkable app, a hybrid of rhythm action and motion-comic, where the 18th century "poet of the piano" literally confronts modern music in all its guises. Tinkle the ivories on some of Chopin's most famous compositions, whilst also duelling against the physical embodiments of hip-hop, electronica and reggae.
Ah, pizza. Verily, 'tis the breakfast of champions. But what happens when that doughy disc of carb-laden goodies grows 25 feet tall and becomes sentient? According to Pizza Vs. Skeletons, it dedicates its life to rescuing puppies from the evil dead. Saucy.
Rhythm action games have a particular form and shape; tap buttons in time to the music, rack up scores depending on your accuracy. Those fundamentals are in place with Beat Sneak Bandit, and yet they're deployed in an unusual way. A stealth concept overlaid with sixties papier-mache visuals and a jazzy soundtrack, it's a minor masterpiece.
This is the reason we've been living off noodles for the past week. Priced at a whopping £7.49 on the App Store, Dariusburst SP is considerably more expensive than the average. That said, it's also a side-scrolling shooter with interstellar production values and a brilliant soundtrack.
Vrooom vrooom! Choose from a selection of 18 cars, whether they're dune buggies or gleaming supercars, and fling them through 24 tracks of mud, gravel and tarmac. It's reckless, it's racing, it's Reckless Racing 2.