Each year Switzerland, the home of fine watchmaking, plays host to the Salon International de Haute Horologerie (or SIHH) – one of the crème-de-la-crème of events in the watch industry calendar. For five days in January, Geneva is overrun by luxury watch brands showcasing their latest releases to media, retailers, collectors and celebrity ambassadors from across the globe. We’ve been on the ground for the convention and bring to you part one of our favourite “novelties” (that’s watch-speak for new or updated models) presented at SIHH 2017.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur QuatUor Cobalt MicroMelt indeed dares to be rare
The slogan for Roger Dubuis is “Dare to be rare.” With this particular watch, we would definitely say that rarity is not something that has escaped their product development team. The brand’s theme for 2017 is “disruptive materials and progressive complications” a mantra to which they have effectively lived up to.
This member of the Excalibur range has been dubbed the “Quatuor” in reference to the four sprung balances, visible to the wearer and functionally incorporated into the design to negate timing deviations caused by gravity.
Roger Dubuis is pushing the boundaries with their material selection by premiering the use of performance alloy Cobalt Chrome MicroMelt for the case, crown, bezel and case-back. The case comes in at a sizeable 48mm, 18.38mm thickness, operating on a hand-wound RD101 Quatuor movement with 590 components.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Carbon has a sleek bite to it
With it’s design taking inspiration from motor racing, this skeleton watch has a distinctly automotive aesthetic. After touching this piece hands-on it’s clear that the Excalibur Spider Carbon, is light in weight and strong in presence.
One of the most notable style element of this watch has to be the crisp, honeycomb mesh dial, somewhat reminiscent of a car radiator grille detailing. This provides a nice backdrop for the Astral Skeleton’ flying tourbillon and hand-wound calibre RD509SQ with a 70 hour power reserve.
The Excalibur Spider Carbon is maintains an ultra-light overall weight through the use of carbon for the crown, case-back, container and also features the first carbon movement plate, bridges and tourbillon upper-cage.
Jaeger LeCoultre Atelier Reverso – it’s hip to be rectangle
While many will commonly favour a standard round watch face, the rectangular Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso is a well designed piece with the power to sway opinions.
Firstly, there’s an innate versatility in the fact that the watch’s face is reversible – so you’re given the choice of two styles straight off the bat. Inside the case it runs a a manual winding, Cal 583A movement. Aesthetically, this art-deco throwback is a beautifully understated timepiece with a quite a dressy feel. It wears small on the wrist and despite it’s slightly unusual shape, once you put it on there’s nothing unusual about it.
As a classic model of range, JLC have revealed at SIHH 2017 that they are inviting customer’s to inject their own touch of personal flair into the the reverso, announcing the “Atelier Reverso” collection. The Atelier Reverso allows users to select from a new palette of dials to customise the reverse of the watch. New dials include a carbon fibre effect grey, stone in green marble and tiger’s eye.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time is a statement no matter where you are in the world
While the first Geophysic was created in 1958, we fast forward 59 years and Jaeger-LeCoultre has announced their newest Geophysic Universal Time featuring a flying tourbillon. With a platinum case, guilloché dial with engraved planisphere graphic, world city markings and flying tourbillon positioned at 3:30, this watch is constructed with 375 parts, this measuring in at at 43.5mm in diameter and 11.24mm thickness.
Christophe Claret Maestro is conducting a new wave of innovation
Coming in two versions – either a grade 5 titanium case with or a 5N pink gold case – the unique appearance of this statement piece is not for the faint hearted.
What’s most interesting about this one is its lack of bezel. Instead, it features a large domed crystal (sapphire or ruby depending on which case you’ve opted for) that stretches from one edge to the other, an effect which amplifies the size of the dial itself, for a larger look.
The date complication has been reinvented in a unique way, with the date being shown by two conical aluminium discs with the tens displayed on the top and the ones at the bottom. They’ve also added a MEMO complication – that also uses a conical diamond studded construction that alerts the wearer of their ‘to do list’. This is all powered by a calibre DMC16 movement – a hand-wound movement with 342 components and the equivalent of seven days in power reserve.
MB&F HM7 Aquapod is as mysterious yet beautiful as the ocean itself
Potentially the most unique watch we saw on the first day of SIHH 2017 was the MB&F HM7 Aquapod – this is because we’ve never seen anything like it.
The name sounds like a Star Wars spacecraft, which is appropriate, as much of the design inspiration for the piece draws from sci-fi culture of the late 20th Century. Simultaneously, this three-dimensional beauty also pays its dues to the humble jellyfish in addition to strong styling cues from classic diver watch designs.
Once the light goes out – or you take it to the ocean’s depths – the face glows a stunning azure colour, reminiscent of the jellyfish’s trait of bioluminescence (the ability to make light naturally within its body). This watch, despite how utterly breathtaking it is to look at, is not to be worn lightly and we mean that literally – it measures a massive 53mm in diameter and an insane 21mm in height.
The tourbillon is thrown smack-bang in the centre of the piece, allowing the remaining internal components to be stacked centrally through the vertical axis of the piece. The movement was created to fit the spherical form factor, consists of 303 components and has a power reserve of 72 hours.
Richard Mille 50-03 McLaren F1 will take your look to new speeds
The latest collaboration between Richard Mille and McLaren has resulted in this racing inspired beast – the 50-03 McLaren F1, the world’s lightest split second tourbillon. Alongside the impressive Hand polished Calibre RM50-03 movement, and titanium tourbillon, this bad boy weighs less than 40 grams – strap included – so you know that wearing it isn’t going to weigh you down in the slightest.
In addition to lightweight construction elements such as its extreme skeletonisation, 7 gram movement and grade 5 titanium dial, it is also the first watch ever to use the nano material graphene which is 6 times lighter and 200 times stronger than steel. Simply wearing this wrist will make you feel like you’re going 200 miles an hour.
Parmigiani Bugatti Aérolithe Performance is the perfect balance
We got a chance to gaze upon yet another beautifully crafted racing inspired timepiece – the Parmigiani Bugatti Aerolithe Performance. This timepiece pays tribute to the Bugatti Aerolithe sports car – further accentuated by the inclusion of a double tachymeter scale that measures speeds in both kilometres and miles per hour on the minute chronograph. The titanium case is a modest 42mm in diameter and about 13mm in thickness, proving its lightweight efficiency much like the namesake car.
Flaunting an black, and titanium colour scheme with accents of red and blue, the watch sports a sleek and sporty aesthetic without being too casual nor too dressy. It’s a harmonious marriage of no-nonsense and charming cheek.