It was a banner year at SIHH, with many exciting introductions from top brands and an emphasis on unisex watches. We visited the annual show, that took place in Geneva, in early January.
Audemars Piguet: CODE 11.59: An All-new Pillar Collection
Ever-innovative Audemars Piguet not only showed new models, but introduced a new pillar collection dubbed CODE 11.59. The brand is best known for the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore, which have been very popular with our clients, and of course the Millenary collection. The CODE 11.59 watches feature all in-house movements, including an all-new integrated chronograph, and are sophisticated in both design and mechanics. The new collection has 13 watches across six models, all in round cases, which are rare for AP. A subtle octagonal shaping on the mid-case gives a nod to the Royal Oak. The collection offers watches in rose gold and white gold, and despite the varied complications, they all measure 41mm across.
Another AP standout is the new Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-thin in ceramic. The third Royal Oak that Audemars Piguet has produced has a large tourbillon at six o’clock, with a "Tapisserie Evolutive" dial.
Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato Perpetual
Girard-Perregaux added an exceptional perpetual calendar to the Laureato collection. The unusual calendar display has asymmetrical display elements, with the calendar subdial at 2 o’clock and the day display at 9 o’clock. The month display spans from 4 to 7 o’clock, with the leap year centered ad 6 o’clock. The effect almost has the look of a smiling face, and adds a lot of modernity to the look. The Clous-de-Paris dial and integrated bracelet complete the Laureato look.
Greubel Forsey - What You See is What You Get
Greubel Forsey went for transparency this year with the Double Balancier Sapphire. The watch’s clear sapphire crystal case allows a stunning view of the two balances on the same axis. The balance wheels are inclined to maximize timing accuracy that might be compromised by the watch’s position.
This year also saw the introduction of the smallest Greubel Forsey to date. The Balancier Contemporain measures just 39.6 mm across, and displays the power reserve as well as the time.
Richard Mille’s Sweetest Watches Yet
The Richard Mille Bonbon collection is aptly named, the watches all feature sweet treats. Divided into fruits and sweets models, the watches are based on three of the brand’s iconic watches: the RM 07-03, RM 16-01, and RM 037. Whimsical yet highly technical, each of the 10 models will produced in an edition of just 30 pieces.
Le FREAK, C’est Chic at Ulysse Nardin
More FREAK is on the way this year from Ulysse Nardin, which will certainly excite UN’s collectors. The new and improved FREAK X has a user-friendly crown for setting the time, which was previously accomplished by rotating the bezel in the FREAK VISION. The FREAK X’s movement is a combination of two of the manufacture’s calibers, the UN-118 the UN-250 that powers the FREAK VISION. The 3 Hz. flying carrousel movement holds a full 72 hours of power reserve.
As its name implies, the new SKELETON X showcases the watch’s fully openworked movement and its exceptional finishing. It’s cased in a new, smaller size of 42mm, marking another size reduction in the brand’s “downsizing” of the X line. The SKELETON X is made in a choice of four case materials, titanium, titanium with black DLC, rose gold, and the new Carbonium GOLD.
What’s Old is New Again at Christophe Claret
Christophe Claret has achieved a never-before feat in a wristwatch: combining a tourbillon with a long detent escapement with a cable-type fusee transmission system. The Angelico is an excellent example of how Claret has been combining an inventive spirit with traditional watchmaking methods. The Angelico embodies a present-day tribute to the quest for precision in marine chronometers that challenged watchmakers in the 18th century. A true first for wristwatches, the new watch has a dual time instant-jump function with day/night indicator, as well as a power reserve indicator spanning the watch’s 72-hours of stored energy.
Around the World at DeWitt
A rotating globe is the focus point of the new DeWitt Academia Hour Planet. Along with the hour, minute, and seconds display, the GMT is incorporated into the revolving globe. Encircled in the signature DeWitt chain, the globe turns according to the timezone, complete with a day/night indicator. The watch’s black DLC coated titanium case measuring 46mm across is water resistant to 30 meters and deceptively light for its size.
Invisible Time at H. Moser & Cie.
H. Moser & Cie. introduced a watch this year without a time display. The Swiss Alp Watch Concept Black has a solid black dial, with an aperture at six o’clock showing its flying tourbillon the only indication that it’s a timekeeper. So how does it tell time? The (very) old-fashioned way - a minute repeater. The all-black watch chimes the time only, without any visual indicators. The rounded rectangular case and black dial bear a distinct resemblance to a smart watch. But the resemblance is external only - the Concept Black features a movement shaped to fit in the case. Not only is the movement shaped, but the chimes are as well. Shaped chimes are rare, and for good reason, they are far more difficult for a watchmaker to execute. The HMC 901 manually-wound caliber gets the job done, combining a tourbillon and minute repeater with superb results.
Diamonds Are Forever at HYT
HYT, known for its proprietary microfluidic module, has upped the ante this year with an all-diamond version of the iconic HO model. A fully diamond-set dial and subdials are framed by a circular fluid module in bright red. The watch’s red hands and bold red strap offset the diamonds to perfection, making a bold statement on the wrist. It’s set with 1,206 diamonds with an overall carat weight of 7.423ct.
The new ‘Time is Precious’ model features a marquetry dial of 63 individual pieces of monocrystalline silicon. The kaleidoscopic dial’s two apertures allow a view of the bellows, critical to the watch’s movement. A black DLC coated case perfectly complements the satin finished movement components visible through the domed sapphire crystal.
Flying High with the MB&F HM6 Final Edition
This year marks the introduction of MB&F’s HM6 Final Edition. The shape of the brand’s iconic HM6 is well known for resembling a spaceship with four spheres emanating from the center of the watch. This year the watch has a steel case, decorated polished grooves encircling the sides of the the entire watch. A blue winding rotor’s color is echoed in the hour and minute spheres, adding to the spaceship look, and a larger central dome allows an impressive view of the movement’s flying tourbillon.
Going Rogue at URWERK
Maverick is an apt name for the newest version of URWERK wandering-hour UR-105-T watch. The watch is crafted in bronze and titanium, combining one of the oldest metals employed by humans with one of the newest. Bronze gains a rich patina over time from environmental changes in temperature and humidity, so each watch will develop its own distinct look according to the owner’s environs.