There we have it – SIHH 2018 has finally wrapped up and come to a close. However, that shouldn’t suggest that the final day wasn’t erupting with technological marvel, classic style and completely innovative and revolutionary watchmaking.
Entering 2018 with perhaps a bigger bang than any other watchmaker present at SIHH, Ulysse Nardin are making it their business to grab attention. Between technological marvels, record-breaking capabilities and a foray into erotic horology, Ulysse Nardin have completely conquered this year’s convention.
Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision
When naming a watch something as bold as ‘Freak Vision’, the pressure is immediately on to ensure the product delivers. True to form, Ulysse Nardin has more than delivered with this marvel – in which the carousel tourbillon is essentially the entire movement. With an escape wheel – the Ulysse Nardin Anchor Escapement – that’s made entirely of silicon and solid nickel elements and a balance wheel that makes full use of air resistance to deliver consistent amplitude, the Freak Vision is all about advancing and progression.
The automatic calibre UN-250 movement has a power reserve of 50 hours and is encased in platinum 45mm case.
Ulysse Nardin Diver Deep Dive
As the title suggests, this sturdy timepiece was built to withstand immense pressure. With a 46mm titanium case and every last surface being angled and notched, the Ulysse Nardin Diver Deep Love has a water resistance of 1,000m. To put that in perspective, the furthest anyone has dived in the ocean is around 332m.
The crown, positioned at 2 o’clock, is shielded under an adjustable titanium guard and the helium release – installed for prolonged periods underwater – is at 9 o’clock. Large hands and dials upon the dial, including the seconds counter at 5 o’clock, are all filled with luminous paint, providing extreme light in the depths. Running on an in-house, self-winding UN-320 movement with a 48-hour power reserve, Ulysse Nardin are proving that their willingness to explore and innovate knows no limit.
Ulysse Nardin Classic Voyeur
Ulysse Nardin has a history of erotic watchmaking, and the Classic Voyeur might just be their most titillating creation to date. With a dial that features one couple peering through a curtain to not only reveal the time, but also another couple making love, it’s a watch that features one of the boldest complications we’ve seen at this year’s SIHH.
The Jacquemart minute repeater is aligned with the two couples, as they rhythmically move back and forth with each press of the button. On top of that, the watch also chimes the hours and minutes – high pitch and low pitch respectively – adding to the overall seduction of the piece. This 42mm audacious timepiece is available in rose gold and platinum, and operates on a manual, in-house calibre UN-73 movement.
With a particularly rough and reckless sport in mind when creating, Richard Mille have ensured that their 2018 showcase emphasised just how tough a timepiece can be. In fact, one watch in particular demonstrated strength and resistance seldom seen on a timepiece before.
Richard Mille RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough
One of the more unusual looking watches displayed at SIHH, this bad boy is ready for battle. Designed to endure any roughness encountered while playing the sport of polo, this is one of the sturdiest tourbillon timepieces available. This is due to the innovative suspension of the tourbillon movement with braided steel cables, held tight with 10 pulleys and four tensioners.
This requires two baseplates, with the outermost plate holding down the cables’ tensioner, and the central plate holding the movement itself. This thorough approach means the watch has a shock resistance up to 5,000g. On top of that, the watch’s glass also contributes to its sturdiness. Composed of two sheets of sapphire crystal that hold a thin polyvinyl sheet in between, the watch’s glass has perfect transparency but still maintains impressive shock resistance.
Even if the glass itself shatters, it won’t fall apart thanks to the polyvinyl sheet. Running on an impressive calibre RM 53-01 movement and cased in Carbon TPT, this watch is, to put it frankly, war ready.
‘Capturing The Spirit Of Mountain Exploration’ is the ethos Montblanc entered 2018 with, and their adventurous and natural-themed timepieces have more than delivered. Perfect for any globetrotter, these watches immediately instil a sense of wanderlust and itchy feet and ignite that innate want inside all of us to get out and explore.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere
Aligning with Montblanc’s 2018 theme of ‘capturing the Spirit of Mountain Exploration’ perfectly, there’s something instantly classic and overtly adventurous about the 1858 Geosphere. At 9 o’clock, you’ll find an extra 12-hour display function that lets you simultaneously keep track of another timezone.
There are two hemispheres at 12 and 6 o’clock respectively that also allow you to see local times all across the globe at once. The bezel, bidirectional with ceramic insert, is finished with the four cardinal points, only adding to that adventurous feel. Available in stainless steel or bronze, this 42mm watch operates on an in-house automatic MB 29.25 movement and is purposely built for the passionate globetrotter.
Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition 100
While the 1858 Geosphere featured indications that are bound to blow the mind of any keen traveller, the 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition 100 is all about the flawless and smooth execution. Donning a bold, smoked green dial colour, this chronograph is an attention grabber. Turn the watch around, and you can see the stunning and high-end MB M13.21 movement at work.
Usually reserved for larger watches, this movement has been applied to this relatively small watch coming in at 40mm in diameter. The stainless steel case is fully brushed on top, and the platers and bridges are all rhodium-plated.
Van Cleef & Arpels
White Van Cleef & Arpels have always taken a poetic yet unorthodox approach to horology, they may have outdone themselves this year. Their approach is understated yet unbelievable, proving that a watch doesn’t have to make the most noise to make the most impact.
Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Heure D’LCI & Heure D’ailleurs
Quite simply one of, if not the most, poetic timepieces on display at SIHH 2018, the Midnight Heure D’LCI & Heure D’ailleurs is simply stunning. Encased in a rose gold 42mm case, this watch features revolutionary dual-time technology. At the top of the dial lies the reference hour, and at the bottom of the black galvanic brass dial lays the second time zone.
A single sector means that both indications jump simultaneously and synchronises both of them with the minutes’ retrograde hand. A self-winding, mechanical movement that was developed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels operates this thing of beauty, so in case it wasn’t already glaringly obvious, this watch is truly one of a kind.
2018 only cemented Roger Dubuis’ affinity for aligning the watchmaking and supercar worlds, but their offerings are more exhilarating than ever. With one watch in particular marking the first ever entirely skeletonised timepiece – case to movement and everything between, RD’s transparency as a brand easily shows us just how meticulous they are with their craft, and just how powerful their products can be.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S
Available in the previously displayed pink gold and the newly-showcased blue, this 45mm ferocity is created using the same C-SMC carbon used in Lamborghini cars helping to further connect Roger Dubuis to motorsport giants. In order to emphasise the ultimate precision this watch provides, Roger Dubuis developed a jumping second indication.
The automatic movement – calibre RD103SQ – works at a 2 x 4 Hz frequency which gives it better resistance to gravity effects and ultimately makes it far more precise. Furthermore, the skeleton double spring balances in the calibre are a direct homage to the supercar world helping to tie the theme back together.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic Pirelli
While Roger Dubuis are consistent in collating their timepieces with inspiration from the supercar world, that doesn’t mean they’re slowing down on revolutionising the industry. In fact, the Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic Pirelli is the first of its kind. It is the only timepiece on the market that is 100% skeletonised – from movement to case.
This 45mm beast is a thing of marvel to behold, as the skeletonised case, in titanium black DLC, only highlights the impressive automatic RD820SQ calibre movement. It’s a movement so complex that it took 530 hours of manufacturing to creating it, but its transparency and its intricacy is more than worth it.
H. Moser & Cie
H. Moser entered new territory in 2018, devoting themselves to new pieces as opposed to working from old classics. The result: beautiful, unique and instantly eye-catching timepieces that truly sets themselves apart from the pack.
H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Flying Hours
Being an entirely new venture for H. Moser, this wandering hours indication is mystical and beautiful to behold. Displaying the hours and minutes via rotating discs atop the bright blue dial, H. Moser have set themselves apart from the pack as their minutes track actually moves where most watches with wandering hours have it stay stagnant.
The minute track takes up a 240-degree arc along a central rotating disc and the hour disc solely rotates on their own individual axes. Operated by an automatic calibre C806 movement, developed in partnership with Hautlence, this 42mm white gold timepiece is completely in a league of its own.