It’s our last day here at SIHH 2019, and what a time it has been. The industry’s best, as well as some up-and-comers, have unveiled their latest innovations and in the process have set the tone for watchmaking in the year to come. We’ve seen bold statements in design (Richard Mille, we’re looking at you) along with updated classics. Timepieces for professional divers, astrology lovers, and those simply looking to make a personal statement are but a fraction of what we’ve seen this year. As we sadly bid adieu, we take solace in the fact that there will always be next year. Here are our Favourite Luxury Watches at SIHH 2019 – Part 4.
Antiplano Meteorite Dial is a cosmic force in design
We couldn’t be more literal. While the 40mm self-winding Altiplano does not stray far from the same classic minimalist Antiplano design, its dial made from an ultra-thin sheet of real meteorite makes for an utterly special timepiece. Each watch features a unique grain, mirroring the unique pattern found on the meteorite used to form the dial. Known as a Widmanstätten pattern, these lines are said to have formed as early as – and as a result of – the birth of the solar system.
Polo 42mm Steel will make passers-by green with envy
SIHH 2019 is the year of green it seems with many titans of time bringing the colour to the forefront – but few have mastered its use in the way Piaget have with the new Polo 42mm Steel watch. Less revolutionary and more timeless, the Piaget self-winding calibre 1110P movement and 50-hour power reserve is not a surprise per se. It’s the harmonious coupling of the green dial and alligator strap with a folding buckle that maketh the watch in this case. With 25 jewels and a modest 280 components, the Polo 42mm is sure to make passersby green with envy.
The New Cartier Santos Dumont is both versatile and thoughtfully conservative
The New Cartier Santos Dumont is conservative in its looks and sleek on the wrist. Just 7mm thick and with the option of a 27.5mm wide or 31.4mm wide version, this is a watch for most occasions—it will sit comfortably both at the opera and brunch. The standout feature for this piece is the Quartz movement; it has an autonomous timeline of six years, three more than the standard. Truly versatile, the Cartier Santos Dumont comes in options of steel two-tone, and full 18k rose gold, depending on how opulent you are feeling.
The SANTOS DE CARTIER SKELETON NOCTAMBULE is a creature of the night
Who says glow-in-the-dark fun isn’t for adults? The Santos De Cartier Skeleton Noctambule – noctambule meaning “night owl” – is a supremely serious piece by day and creature of the dark by night thanks to its night-glow feature. Made tough, the stainless steel case is coated with amorphous diamond-like carbon for unparalleled scratch resistance. Within the hand-wound cal. 9612 MC movement boasts double barrels; making for a 72-hour power reserve. And then there is the symphony of clean lines, making for time-told Cartier’s way.
The Cartier Prive Skeleton Dual Time is a conversation piece
Cartier takes a step to the left and away from its usual understated elegance with the Cartier Prive Skeleton Dual Time. With a skeletonized dial colour, and hours, minutes functions for two time zones, this timepiece is something for the watchmakers at Cartier to be proud of. Inside this conversation piece is powered by an in-house Caliber 9919 MC and bolstered by a 70-hour power reserve. The watch is manually wound and consists of 197 components, despite its complex aesthetic. Overall, Cartier has succeeded in blending cutting, rigid lines with a curved casing that makes for a compelling piece of wrist-wear.
11.59 collection – A deviation from Audemar Piguet’s previous designs
Despite being the oldest watchmaking manufacturer that is still in the hands of its founding families, Audemars Piguet is unafraid to mix it up. Departing from their beloved signature geometric AP Royal Oak case shape, the brand has endeavoured to push its own boundaries. As one of the more polarising collections of SIHH 2019, the “11.59” is said to represent “one minute ‘till midnight” and “living on the brink of tomorrow.”
Some of the collection’s criticisms include the unconventional positioning of the date window, the plain dial and the redesigned numeral fonts. On the other side of the fence, admirers of the piece point to its optical double curved glass and the clever design of the openworked lugs – the upper part of the lugs are welded to the ultra-thin bezel, while the lower part is set delicately against the case back for a perfect alignment. The middle of the case sees an octagonal shape sandwiched between the two round outer layers, as a clever nod to AP’s usual schtick.
It also has six in-house calibres available in the collection, including the Openworked Tourbillon, the Minute Repeater Supersonnerie, the Flying Tourbillon and the Perpetual Calendar. Love it or hate it, there’s no doubt Audemars Piguet has remained faithful to their long history of shaking things up with original designs.
The Urwerk 111C belongs in the sci-fi fantasies of your dreams
The Urwerk 111C is a rare example of a watchmaker completely forgetting all convention and designing a timekeeping implement anew. Forgetting the traditional face and dial, minutes are shown in two different ways, digitally for precision and linearly for eyes’ pleasure. With a self-winding calibre featuring stop seconds, a Swiss lever and a 48-hour power reserve, the makers have ensured reliability and accuracy are not lost in the radical design of the piece.
Urwerk AMC Project – a hybrid of atomic and mechanical systems
In a world-first, the Urwerk AMC successfully bridges the existential chasm that has divided horology since the creation of the first piezoelectric oscillator. The AMC clock and watch each represent the pinnacle of a particular method of timekeeping. The Atomolith – the fixed base unit – boasts a 35 kg aluminium-housed atomic clock with roughly the same dimensions as a mid-sized computer tower.
Contrasting this, the mechanical watch can be worn on the wrist or be securely docked within the base unit. This will synchronise it to the atomic clock – enabling the watch to have access to the superior accuracy of an atomic clock, with an error margin of a mere one second in a flabbergasting 317 years.
H.Moser & Cie
The Swiss Alp Concept Black takes minimalism to a new extreme
Unlike other watches, what makes the Swiss Alp Concept Black stand out is what it lacks. In a daring move, H.Moser & Cie removed the logo, hands and indices from the dial entirely. The glossy black face features a one-minute flying tourbillon at six o’clock coupled with a skeletonised bridge. And that’s it; there’s nothing else. To tell the time, its wearer must rely on their ears to use the minute repeater – a bold nod to the watches before the advent of electricity when one couldn’t rely on light to tell the time.
Pioneer Tourbillon – An everyday watch with a touch of luxury
The Pioneer Tourbillon’s strong design and spirit can be incorporated effortlessly into everyday wear. The model is equipped with a flying tourbillon with a double hairspring and 3-day power reserve. In a modern reinterpretation of the unusual non-geometric shapes which H.Moser & Cie are renowned for, the piece features structured sections on the sides.
The self-winding HMC 804 Manufacture calibre features a double flat hairspring and is visible behind the skeletonised bridge of the minute tourbillon. This elegant piece is finished off with a midnight blue dial and alligator strap, ensuring it’s a piece that will transcend the fads of the passing years.
The Bridges Cosmos – a dialogue between earth and sky, matter and space
13.8 billion years after the expansion of the universe, Girard-Perregaux raises a timepiece to a dedication to infinity. Featuring two complete globes – the celestial above and the planet earth – this piece mirrors the passing of time in the context of the eternity. The earth, positioned at 3 o’clock, allows you to know if the local time’s area is basking in the sun or if it has plunged into darkness. The sky chart, positioned at 9 o’clock, rotates every 23 hours, 58 minutes and 4 seconds, the exact duration of a sidereal day.
Laureato Absolute are a sophisticated and uncompromising trio
Girard-Perregaux’s trio of Laureato Absolute watches feature a case of black PVD-treated titanium, water resistance of 300 metres and a fully integrated blue-stitched, black rubber strap. All of this makes for one secure timepiece. Increasing the face from the 42 mm of previous models to a luxe 44 mm, its ultra strong and lighter than previous models. Of the three models, our favourite is the Chronograph, boasting two superimposed, hollowed plates – the one on top in gradated shades of blue with a sunburst finish.
The base model boasts elegance and simplicity, also, and the World Time offers something unique and is a great point of difference to some of their other models.