This week, the top brands in the watch industry are in Geneva for the 29th edition of Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) to show off their latest offerings to watch enthusiasts from all around the world. Prestige is also right there in the thick of action and we’ll be bringing you some of the high points at SIHH as well as the timepieces to look out for later in the year.
First introduced last year, Cartier’s Révélation d’Une Panthère is quite a spectacle, to put it mildly. When the watch is tilted vertically, a cascade of gold beads tumble down the dial in slow motion to temporarily reveal a panther’s head. Cartier has upped the bling factor on the watch this year with a new version that uses diamonds against a black lacquered background. This change has necessitated a relook at the technical aspect of the dial’s execution – a heavily guarded secret backed by two patent applications – in order to ensure that the material change has no impact on the visual marvel presented on the dial. To keep up, the rest of the watch is largely paved with diamonds, bringing the total number of carats used on the watch to around 19.4.
Among other things, Piaget is best known for its mastery in both watches and jewellery, as well as its expertise in fashioning gold. These elements are all on display in the new Possession cuff watch, which consists of a hand-worked Milanese bracelet mated to a simple time-only watch that’s set with diamonds on its dial, flange, and bezel. The cuff watch isn’t a new creation, and Piaget has consistently offered variations of it. This particular iteration, however, does recall the more opulent zeitgeist of the 1970s, albeit with a design that’s updated.
Limited to only 19 pieces, the boutique exclusive Panerai Submersible Mike Horn Edition offers a unique perk: Buyers will accompany Horn himself on a multi-day training in the Arctic’s ice floes. The watch marks two important firsts for the brand. One, this is Panerai’s first foray into offering experiences to accompany its watches, with Horn, an extreme adventurer, being one of the experts who will conduct these programmes. Novel experience aside, this also marks the Submersible’s debut as a standalone collection within Panerai’s product line up. In keeping with Horn’s message of environmental conservation, the watch’s case is rendered in recycled titanium, which Panerai has dubbed EcoTitanium, while its strap is made of recycled PET bottles.
The disappointment from the dearth of technical marvels at SIHH this year was softened by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s highlight, the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel. There’s much to dissect here. The most obvious is the maison’s multi-axial gyrotourbillon, which has been reduced and lightened to fit the case, and provide space for the rest of the movement. What’s less obvious is the remontoir d’égalité system connected to it further up in the gear train, which provides a constant force for improved chronometry. This iteration is “recharged” every minute, which also creates a jumping minute display. The Westminster melody here, meanwhile, has been modified to play in full when there are no quarters – a twist, and a delightful one at that. The watch’s perpetual calendar is the icing on the cake.
This year is the 25th anniversary of the Lange 1, which was introduced by A. Lange & Söhne after its re-founding following the fall of the Berlin Wall. This is arguably the most popular and iconic creation from the brand, and A. Lange & Söhne has kicked things off with a commemorative edition of the Lange 1. This timepiece recalls the original with a printed dial in lieu of applique indexes found in current offerings, and comes with blue details like that early model. The ties to the collection’s introduction continues on the case back, from the half-hunter cover engraved with an image of the manufactory’s headquarters, to the balance cock’s special “25” engraving. A. Lange & Söhne wouldn’t just stop here, obviously; expect more novelties to be announced over the rest of the year on the 25th of each month until 25 October.
Like many other creations of Parmigiani Fleurier, the Toric Hémisphères Rétrograde is a pedigreed timepiece – it won first prize in the “Travel Time” category at the 2017 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. The watch stands out with its second time zone display, which can be adjusted independently of the main display right down to the minutes. Its retrograde date display is also uncommon. In this new iteration, Parmigiani Fleurier has decorated the dial with guilloche. The textured pattern doesn’t just complement the bezel’s knurling, but also lends an air of sophistication to this complex mechanical marvel.