The Toric Chronometre features a redesigned case, hand knurled bezel and beautiful dials in either black opaline or white grained. These dials reflect a unique texture that is obtained by a precise technique of brushing the dial with a mixture of salt and silver powder. Powered by the COSC certified self winding PF 331 calibre, the watch shows the hours, minutes, seconds and date.
Les Cabinotiers Symphonia Grande Sonnerie 1860
Where do we even begin? Vacheron Constantin’s focus this year on astronomical indications and striking mechanisms inadvertently means an impressive collection that is the talk of watch town. Setting tongues wagging is the Les Cabinotiers Symphonia Grande Sonnerie 1860, the brand’s first grande sonnerie wristwatch. Bearing a deceptively pared down dial design, it has a movement composed of some 727 movement components assembled and regulated by a single watchmaker who spent around 500 hours on it. It is protected by six innovative security feature including the blocking of the striking mechanism when there isn’t enough power to fully finish sounding the time, and a system to prevent setting the time when the chiming mode is activated. The watchmaker has also eliminated the “phantom” quarters so there is no lag time between the hours and minutes chime in the absence of the quarter chime. A slider located at the side of the case allows the user to toggle between grande sonnerie, petite sonnerie or silent mode; a button on the crown activates the minute repeater.
Lab-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days
Further developing on its use of Carbotech, a composite material based on carbon fibre that had previously never been used in the world of watchmaking before, Panerai’s star piece this year is an even more impressive display of material innovation. Aside from the case made of Carbotech, it features a dial coated with carbon nanotubes, allowing light to be absorbed almost entirely and thus exuding an ultra-black look. Most impressively, the new P.3001/C calibre features a silicon escapement, bridges and main plates made of a tantalum-based ceramic, dry lubricated barrels and only four DLC-coated jewels, giving rise to a movement that requires no lubrication at all. This impressive feat has led to the brand giving this watch its first ever, 50-years guarantee.
Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36
Taking a leaf from the iconic Da Vinci of the 1980s, the new Da Vinci models feature round case shapes, movable lugs, applied Arabic numerals and lancet shaped hands. Offered with new manufacture movements and across different price categories, from regular self-winding models to a perpetual calendar chronographs, there are among them, some feminine executions that help strengthen the brand’s position within the female segment. One such example is the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36, offered in red gold and stainless steel (with or without diamonds) and featuring the time and moon phases. They are powered by the 35800-calibre automatic movement and bear solid case backs engraved with the “Flower of Life”, a geometrical symbol closely linked to mathematical properties and Leonardo Da Vinci.
The third and final number from the Diamond series (following Diamond Punk in 2015 and Diamond Fury in 2016) is an extravagant creation christened the Diamond Outrage. Adorned with gem-studded cones resembling icicles, it is inspired by the wintry landscape of the Vallée de Joux, the birthplace of Audemars Piguet. Offered in two iterations (one in snow-set and invisibly set baguette diamonds, the other in snow-set sapphires), the Diamond Outrage required the most man hours and gemstones: Some 2,500 hours were needed to produce the watch while it took twice the number of gemstones when compared to its predecessors. Powered by a quartz movement, time is concealed underneath one of the spikes.
Timewalker Rally Timer 100
Fancy a wristwatch that can also be turned into a pocket watch? Montblanc’s latest offering does more: The timepiece can also be used as a stop watch, table clock and a dashboard-mounted rally timer. The ingenious construction aside, the watch is powered by the MB M16.29 calibre, a manually wound monopusher chronograph featuring a column wheel, horizontal coupling, and power reserve of 50 hours. The architecturally stunning movement, which is inspired by the Minerva calibre 17.29 from the 1930s, shows off a large balance wheel that oscillates at a leisurely cadence of 18,000 vph. Measuring a generous 50mm, its weight is still manageable thanks to its grade 2 titanium casing.
The consecration of a 10-year partnership forged between Richard Mille and McLaren since 2016 has led to a world first in the world of watchmaking. The RM 50-03 is currently the lightest mechanical chronograph in the market, weighing in at a mere 40 grams inclusive of its rubber strap. It features a super light (7 grams) tourbillon calibre made of titanium and TPT carbon, a new chronograph split-seconds system, a torque indicator and a function indicator. Most remarkably, it has a case and strap made of Graph TPT, a TPT carbon that includes a nanomaterial called graphene, an extremely tough and light composite material reputed to be six times lighter than steel and 200 times more resistant. Graphene was developed by researchers at the University of Manchester, validated and tested by the engineers at McLaren Applied Technologies and used by Richard Mille for the first time, in a wristwatch.
Making its return to the SIHH is Girard-Perregaux, who introduced a new representation of its lauded triple-axis tourbillon. The striking Planetarium Tri-Axial combines the high speed tri-axial tourbillon (with three cages rotating at speeds of one-minute, 30 seconds and two-minutes per revolution) with two intricately hand-painted complications: A rotating terrestrial globe that serves as a poetic day/night indicator; and a precision moon-phase display. The tourbillon and globe is each encased within a sapphire bubble while a sapphire crystal opening at the side of the case provides a peerless look at the gyrating escapement.