It’s a new year, which means that the who’s who of the industry are gathering in Geneva once again for the Salon International de Haute Hologerie (SIHH). In 2017, we were on the ground and got to experience technological timepiece marvels that you normally wouldn’t be able to conceive in your wildest dreams, and this year is no different. Trends and styles that you’ll be seeing on wrists everywhere throughout the year have made their debut, and watchmaking companies have ensured that the sky truly is the limit.
Jaeger LeCoultre Rebirth the Everyman’s Watch
Jaeger LeCoultre entered 2018 with one, direct focus – their new Polaris collection. The adventure-inspired collection is aimed at the 2018’s everyman – where, to exist now, you must be prepared and ready for everything. In that essence, these sports watches are made with the intent of equipping one with all they need to tackle the everyday and beyond without compromising on style.
Jaeger LeCoultre Polaris Automatic
Out of the Polaris collection, the Polaris Automatic is the simplest but it’s also the most classic. With the iconic two-crown complication, one for setting the time and one for rotating the inner crown bezel. The dial, available in black or ocean blue is actually tri-textured – with sunrayed, grained and opaline finishes. With a water resistance of 100m and an automatic Jaeger LeCoultre Calibre 898/1 movement with a 40 hour power reserve, this watch is classic and straightforward.
Jaeger LeCoultre Polaris Chronograph World Time
The 44mm, titanium case that encapsulates the Polaris Chronograph World Time is only the surface of what makes this watch perfect for a world traveller. With two chronograph pushers, and another crown at the 10 o’clock mark that controls the rotating city disc. That city disc allows you to set the time to the city you are in, as well as being able to see the time in 23 other cities across the globe.
The large size of this watch means the world time readability is far easier than other WT watch available. It sports an automatic mechanical movement, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 752, and has a 65 hour power reserve. Finally, it also features that same tri-textured dial as the Polaris Automatic, linking the collection all together.
Jaeger LeCoultre Polaris Memovox
The 1968 Polaris Memovox watch is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, so Jaeger LeCoultre has issued a special, limited edition timepiece celebrating the momentous occasion. This 42mm, 200m water resistant watch as a three crown design – one for setting the special alarm feature, one for inner rotating bezel and one for setting the time – and has a triangle in the centre of the dial to serve as the alarm indicator.
The Jaeger LeCoultre Calibre 956 movement features a gong mechanism, along with central seconds and an instant-jump date-change system. This movement is actually the same base as was used in by Jaeger LeCoultre in the 1950s, but has been consistently modernised and updated. This watch shows both reliability and commitment, while still looking very sleek and elegant.
IWC Are Celebrating a Massive Milestone
Timepiece giants IWC have hit a monumental milestone, with 2018 marking their 150th year in the business. To celebrate, they’ve released a special jubilee collection comprising of 27 limited-edition models, that are all aesthetically connected with an imprinted white or blue dial, achieved by applying several layers of lacquer that harks back to heritage enameled finishes.
IWC Tribute To Pallweber Edition ‘150 Years’
To mark the monumental occasion, IWC has crafted the perfect tribute – representing the company’s illustrious and fruitful past while also keeping focus on their bright future. Being the flagship model in this year’s IWC release and coming in three references, the digital display pocket watch, known as The Pallweber, is now being offered as a wristwatch.
It uses a jumping disc method to display the time, adding to the watch’s white minimalist aesthetic, and took five years of engineering to get just right. With an in-house movement of calibre 94200 and a mighty 60-hour power reserve, IWC have really pulled out all the stops for this iconic timepiece that doesn’t compromise style, functionality or innovation.
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Edition ‘150 Years’
Out of all three limited edition Pilot watches that IWC displayed this year, the most stunning is that of the Date edition. It’s the first Big Pilot’s Watch released by IWC to feature a date display under the 12 o’clock mark. Featuring a movement operated by an in-house calibre 59210, this watch is sporting an absolutely monstrous eight day power reserve. The power reserve display has been moved to the caseback in a successful effort to keep the dial as minimalist as possible.
IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon
With an 18ct rose-gold casing in the lacquered white and blue dial, the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon is the epitome of luxury. The tourbillon itself sits at the 12 o’clock point, while the moon phase can be found at 6 o’clock. Operating on a newly developed IWC calibre 51950 movement, this watch has an impressive seven day power reserve thanks to its solid gold rotor and its automatic winding system.
On top of that, the movement itself is made up of 82 individual components and only weighs a diminutive 0.635 grams. This timepiece is opulence and luxury at its most meticulous.
Piaget are Lighter and Brighter than Ever
After 2017, a year the Western world has defined as particularly bleak, people everywhere are looking to make their 2018 bigger and brighter. Championing that movement in watchmaking is Piaget, whose theme this year is ‘the sunny side of life.’ While still spearheading their campaign to keep producing mind-blowingly thin timepieces, Piaget have endeavoured to make their 2018 lighter and brighter than they’ve ever been before.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Automatic
Four years ago Piaget launched the Altiplano 38 mm 900P Ref. G0A39111, which at the time held the record for being the slimmest manual winding watch in the world. Ones for consistency, Piaget have now launched the Altiplano Ultimate Automatic which currently holds the record for being the slimmest self-winding watch in the world. With a thickness of 4.30 mm, this could be the be-all and end-all of slim timepieces.
This watch is so slim, in fact, that there really is no measurable movement – the gears and pivots of the movement are simply mounted directly on the case back which renders the need for a conventional main plate obsolete. The off-centre dial, which has been recessed slightly under the visible bridges, is completely encompassed by the entire gear train – meaning that every component of this watch is visible. Couple that with a 50 hour power reserve, and it’s clear that Piaget haven’t spared functionality in this remarkably thin watch.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept
While this is still only a concept and not available to the public yet, Piaget’s Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch is something one has to see to believe. Coming in at a near microscopic 2mm in height, this is quite simply the slimmest mechanical watch ever made. Four years in development, it required a new cobalt-based alloy for the movement base plate, which is actually built into the case back.
The deconstructed aesthetic of this masterpiece was only achievable due to the resizing of other components of the watch. For example, the wheels were miniaturised to 0.12mm from the more conventional 0.2mm and the sapphire crystal is only 0.2mm deep and is integrated in the case with a specially-made cement.
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