It was hump day at SIHH 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland, but the convention was showing no signs of slowing down just yet. After the timepieces we’d marvelled at over the previous two days, Day 3 stepped it up again with some classic-style watches, including a few timepieces that sound as good as they look with one in particular going down as down as one of the most technically astounding watches on the planet.
Gruebel Forsey Grand Sonnerie rings true of the luxury established by this historic company
This marks Gruebel Forsey’s first ever, chiming watch. With three chiming options – grand strike, small strike or silent mode – this bad boy really made some noise during this year’s convention. It also sports a minute repeater, which chimes the time on demand to the nearest minute when activated. With all the work that’s been put into this piece (11 years in development to be exact) and its extreme rarity (only 3 – 5 to be produced), it seemed fitting that Stephen Forsey himself spoke briefly during the press announcement about his dedication to preserving the art of fine watchmaking, and that definitely comes across in the design of this spectacular watch.
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Symphonia Grande Sonnerie 1860 speaks – or chimes – for itself
Vacheron Constantin are another brand who surprisingly have never delved into the world of chiming watches until now. Its barely-there design (a simple white-gold 45mm case) does not expose anything about it being a grande sonnerie from the front, however the clear case-back beautifully reveals the full chiming mechanism from the rear. It also features a grand strike, small strike and silent mode options, which can be activated by a small switch on the bezel. The movement is a caliber 1860, with a 70 hour power reserve when used for timekeeping, but a shortened, 20 hour power reserve when the grand strike mode is activated. That’s impressive enough – but even more so when you understand that a single watchmaker created and regulated this watch with 500 hours of expert labour.
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia is astonishing. No other way to put it.
Even the mere sight of this watch might send people into anxiety, something that should come as no surprise once you’ve take into account that this is the most complicated watch Vacheron has ever produced. As the name suggests, this watch centres around astronomy and is rife with astronomical complications – a moonphase, a sunrise/sunset complication, an indicator of the length of day and night, a sector showing the current Sun sign in the zodiac AND a sector that displays the Solstices and the Equinoxes. Turn the watch around, and you’ll see a star map that shows the stars above the horizon, a celestial equator and plane of the ecliptic and relative position of the Milky Way. Despite all of these complications, the movement is still relatively small (36mm in diameter housed by a 45mm case) yet still packs a massive three-week power reserve. Truly out of this world.
Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter Limited Edition – Bronze
In 2015, Montblanc introduced their 1858 collection, which was a stunning hark back to vintage timepiece design. Fast forward two years, and they’ve introduced a new material to the collection – bronze, which is the first time Mont Blanc have done this on any watch.
Our top pick from the 1858 bronze collection is the Chronograph Tachymeter. Sitting neatly in a 44mm bronze case, its clear case-back allows you to peer directly into its soul – a calibre MB M16.29 movement – a piece of art unto itself, beating at a frequency of 18,000 v/ph. It features an impressive 50-hour power reserve, not to mention a hand wound mono-pusher chronograph.
Girard Perregaux Laureato inspired by “architectural feats”
Girard Perregaux’s icon 1970’s design classic – the Laureato has been a focus for the brand at this year’s SIHH, with the announcement of a full new Laureato collection. With a unisex design, available in 34mm diameter quartz movement, 38 and 42mm automatic, and 45mm for the tourbillion, there’s options for everyone. Pieces in the collection are said to be of an “intelligent price position”, so we’re expecting to see these on plenty of wrists as the year goes on.
Girard Perregaux Neo Bridge leaves nothing to hide
Girard Perregaux have gone for a contemporary aesthetic in the latest addition to Bridges collection, with the announcement of the Neo bridges. Inside this mesmerising, skeletal beauty is a GP08400 self-winding movement with micro-rotor, which sits on the same axis as the barrel drum, facilitating a solid 48-hour power reserve for this ultra-modern timepiece . The bridges are delicately curved and coated with PVD, which only adds to nearly futuristic feel of the entire piece. There are 29 jewels dispersed around this watch, and it houses a relatively small amount of components – 208 to be exact.
Girard Perregaux Triaxal Planetarium is something of intergalactic proportions
This gem features one of the more dynamic complications we’ve seen yet. The three dimensional watch possesses a combination of a triaxal tourbillon, a globe that makes one full rotation within a 24 hour time period and an astronomical moon phase. The triaxal tourbillon, as the name implies, operates on three rotation axes as opposed to the standard singular. It is a little hefty – the rose-gold case almost reaches 50mm in diameter – but with all those complications we wouldn’t expect anything less.