Having gone to Baselworld three years in a row now as a member of the worn&wound team, I can safely say that one of my favorite things about the fair is meeting with the people behind brands that are doing something off the beaten path. Though I’d be lying if I said that I don’t enjoy sampling the latest releases from the likes of Omega and Tudor, there’s something to be said about the passion and, to be perfectly frank, intimacy of our encounters with smaller independents. The rigid formality is stripped away. There are no talking points. No PR spiels. Just watches. And because of the market segment in which worn&wound generally operates, we often meet with brands that are doing exciting—and sometimes, even bespoke—things at jaw-dropping price points. One such brand this year was Itay Noy.
This was not Itay Noy’s first rodeo. The brand, named after its founder, has been in operation since 2000, and is based out of a small studio in Old Jaffa, Israel. Working with a couple of assistants, Mr. Noy—an award-winning designer with a family history of watchmaking—produces thought-provoking, hand-finished timepieces that are unlike most other watches on the market. Each piece is made to order, and prices range from about $2,400 to $5,800. I have been interested in the brand for many years, but for one reason or another the stars never aligned for me to get a closer look at his collection in the metal. We made sure to remedy that this year.