More previews from the upcoming SIHH
In January, when most of the world is actualising (or attempting to actualise) New Year resolutions or hibernating from the winter, the world of watches is gearing up for SIHH. The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2016 will start January 18, running to January 22 in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s SIHH promises to be the biggest and the best, with the number of exhibitors increasing to 24, including the Carré de Horlogers space which will showcase nine artisan-creators and independent horology workshops. What does this year’s SIHH have in store? We previewed eight timepieces in ‘In Time, Part I’, and here are eight more to keep a watch on.
A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst
The German word Handwerkskunst literally means ‘handwork art’, or less clumsily, craftsmanship. In A. Lange & Söhne terms, it refers to ne plus ultra of the German watchmaker’s craft and technique; a line introduced in 2011 with the Richard Lange Pour Le Mérite Handwerkskunst. This fifth Handwerkskunst is an evolved edition of the 1815 tourbillon, with its stop-seconds and reset-to-zero function. What elevates this limited edition of 30 timepieces is the kunst, the art. Of particular note is the dial, black-rhodium pink gold engraved using the tremblage technique where a burin (a fine-tipped steel engrave tool) is used to make thousands of minute incisions in the metal, appearing random but done with finesse to build to a beautifully textured whole.
A. Lange & Söhne
Cartier Panthère Mystérieuse
The enduring Cartier Panther makes another appearance in the French house’s sextet of Pre-SIHH watches. Dubbed the Panthère Mystérieuse, it features a panther of 533 diamonds, black lacquer and 2 emerald eyes curled sinuously around a mystery dial propelled by components sequestered at the rim of the Calibre 9981MC movement. The case is a rhodium-finished 18k white gold. A perfect blend of Cartier’s expertise in jewellery and clockmaking, this enthralling piece lives up to its enigmatic name.
H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Concept
Exhibiting for the first time at SIHH in 2016 is the Swiss boutique watchmaker H. Moser & Cie. A grand debut deserves a grand introduction, and the family-run firm obliges with a white gold version of its award-winning perpetual calendar watch. Refining the original Endeavour Perpetual Calendar into its simplest fundamentals – hands and a date window against the signature fume dial – this über minimalist edition is limited to only 10 pieces. Not all improvements come from addition; subtraction is a valid form of design as well, as H. Moser & Cie proves so declaratively here.
H. Moser & Cie
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Skeleton Automatic
With the new Blossom Velvet Pink and Velvet Secret Heart, Roger Dubuis caters to the ladies of SIHH 2016. But there’s a little something for male fans as well. The skeletonised watch is a rather Roger Dubuis riff and it continues for the Excalibur Skeleton Automatic. Unusually, this watch is made from an industrial material – carbon fibre sheet moulding compound, consisting of chopped carbon fibre in polyester resin – that gives it a light and incredibly strong body, holding together the characteristic openworking of a Roger Dubuis skeleton watch.
IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000
The origins of this timepiece go all the way back to 1982, when Ferdinand A Porsche designed a watch for mine clearance divers. Plumbing such depths requires extraordinary resistance and that is fully evident in this eye-catching black-and-yellow dive watch that is water resistant to a depth of 2,000 metres. That’s two kilometres below sea level. Powered by IWC’s automatic calibre 9110 movement with 44-hour power reserve, this is a watch for professional divers and amateur divers who want to be professional one day. Watch out below.
Cartier Crash Skeleton
One of the most distinctive and original watch designs returns this SIHH. Supposedly inspired by a watch ‘damaged in a fire accident’, the melted Dali-esque shape might have an (apocryphal) origin, but the success of its relaunch as a women’s watch in 2012 is undeniable. It was introduced in platinum at last year’s SIHH, and in 2016 will now be available in pink gold. The movement is Cartier Calibre 9618 MC, a shaped calibre running in 21 jewels and is large enough to be pulled off by a daring man, as well as fashionable ladies worldwide.
Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Chronograph Quantiéme Annuel
New to Montblanc’s Heritage Chronométrie collection is this model, a chronograph with an annual calendar function that is a first for the line. Maintaining clarity and legibility on a watch that tells so much is a challenge. This is met with the inclusion of four sub-dials, which display the date, day, month and moon phases, demarcated by having all chronograph-related hands in blue and all other time and calendar functions in plated red gold. The case comes in a choice of 18k red gold or stainless steel, held together by an alligator leather strap crafted by Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence, Italy.
Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P
Piaget’s first offering for 2016 is a little surprising. It is a mechanical/quartz hybrid that pays tribute to the first quartz watch movement (Calibre 7P) developed by Piaget in 1976, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Quartz calibres like the new 700P in this one are common in women’s watches, but a little more unusual in high-end men’s watches. Using a conventional mechanical going train, with a micro rotor that winds the mainspring and a quartz timing package powering the rotation, this is reminiscent of Seiko’s luxury offerings, but given an Swiss twist. The design is borrowed from the Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon, a challenging visual that is not so much futuristic as it is experimental.