16 Most Exciting Watch Launches At SIHH 2017
Here are the timepieces that took the spotlight at the watch fair in Geneva.
Published on 23 January 2017
The year’s first big watch fair, SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève) 2017, saw major watch brands unveil their new offerings and showcase their horological expertise. In this adaptation from BLLNR, we bring you the key watch trends set to make waves in the year ahead and lay out the 16 most exciting watch launches in 2017.
A. Lange & Söhne — Tourbograph Perpetual ‘Pour le Mérite’
The fifth watch from A. Lange & Söhne’s acclaimed and highly technical ‘Pour le Mérite’ series, the new Tourbograph Perpetual ‘Pour le Mérite’ (pictured, top), is a complex work of art. This stunner packs some considerable heft: five complications — a perpetual calendar, fusée-and-chain, chronograph, rattrapante function and tourbillon — are fitted into a 43mm case with a height of 16.6mm.
Richard Mille — RM50-30 Tourbillon Split-Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1
What we have here is the world’s lightest split-seconds chronograph ever. Weighing just 40 grams, strap included, the RM50-30 is so light, it feels like next to nothing on the wrist. The RM50-30 is a hardcore performer both inside and out. The hand-wound movement has been engineered to withstand shocks of up to 5000Gs, while promising top-notch chronograph precision with its automobile-inspired drive transmission going train, and impressive 70-hour power reserve.
Jaeger-LeCoultre — Reverso Classic Medium Duoface Small Second
Fans now have six new dials to choose from to customise their own Reverso Classic Medium Duoface Small Second watch. The front dial flaunts a silvered guilloche and brushed finish, while on the reverse with the second time zone, one can choose from a Clous de Paris guilloche pattern (pictured); carbon fibre pattern; shades of red or blue; or stone dial options like grey meteorite, green marble and tiger’s eye.
Piaget — Altiplano Tourbillon High Jewellery
The maison’s renowned ultra-thin Altiplano collection celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with a roll-out of super svelte beauties. The most technically enticing of which is the Altiplano Tourbillon High Jewellery — the first Altiplano wristwatch to feature a tourbillon, powered by the 4.6mm-thin 670P hand-wound movement. Fronted by an enamel dial and framed by a diamond-set gold case, with the three-bridge tourbillon cage taking spotlight, the Altiplano Tourbillon High Jewellery looks delicate but is powerfully built with a new barrel construction to endow the movement with a 48-hour power reserve.
IWC — Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph
The Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph is exactly what its name implies. A flying tourbillon sits at six o’clock while a retrograde date display curves in an arc from ‘8’ to ‘11’, meeting the chronograph function at ‘12’. Clearly, the most obvious feature on the dial is the flying tourbillon with a complex hacking function that guarantees accuracy down to the second. Upon retraction of the winding crown, two levers halt the balance, wheel train and hands so you can set the time precisely.
Audemars Piguet — Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
The Royal Oak collection continues to dominate Audemars Piguet’s output this year and fans are definitely spoilt for choice, pampered by an array of men’s and women’s options spanning yellow gold pieces, extra-thin models, chronographs and tourbillons. The piece that grabbed our attention most, however, is this dashing all-black, all-ceramic number. The iconic octagonal case (measuring 41mm across) and bracelet links gleam under the light, thanks to the watch’s signature alternate satin and brushed finishes. Powered by the automatic-winding Calibre 5134 with 40-hour power reserve, which made its 2015 debut in the steel-cased version, the ticker acquires a tool watch vibe, thanks to its hefty profile and sexy raven hue.
Ulysse Nardin — Regatta
Comprising a staggering 650 components, the watch has a two-way count-up or down feature with the regatta display in the middle and a hand that moves in an anti-clockwise direction when the countdown begins. Simultaneously, the chronograph’s two-way seconds hand ticks in the same direction until the end of the countdown when it will then move in a clockwise direction to time the race.
Roger Dubuis — Excalibur Spider Carbon
There are many carbon-clad watches in the market, but this one takes the cake by having a carbon case, skeletonised movement and tourbillon cage. All of which is not just for show. Thanks to the material, the entire watch is ultra-light, weighing in at just 40 grams, and is super energy efficient to boot with power reserve up by 30 per cent to clock in at 70 hours on a full wind.
Cartier — Ronde Louis Cartier XL ’Flamed Gold Watch’
The Ronde Louis Cartier XL ’Flamed Gold Watch’ is a fine example of its prowess in artisanal watchmaking featuring a dial that combines the techniques of fine engraving and gold flaming that is simply stunning to look at. As far as decorative dials go, this beauty sets the bar high for 2017.
Van Cleef & Arpels — Lady Arpels Papillon Automate
Hard as it is to believe, the gorgeous display of diamonds, mother-of-pearl sculpting, champlevé enamelling and pilque-à-jour enamelling (what you see on the stained glass-like effect on the sculpted gold foliage) merely provide the backdrop to the main complication — a butterfly at ‘9’, which flaps its wings randomly when one winds the watch or puts it on. Even more captivating is the fact that the butterfly’s movement can interact with its owner: it flaps its wings more often and rigourously on a full wind, and when the owner’s wrist movements are more animated.
Montblanc — TimeWalker Chronograph 1000 Limited Edition 18
The watch is powered by one movement with two cores — the first indicates the time, while the second powers the chronograph function. Boasting two patents and 22 auxiliary patents, the high-frequency movement features a small balance wheel equipped with two hairsprings, one on top of the other, to allow for more precise adjustment. Like the sport it’s inspired by, the watch features elements that reference the golden age of motor racing.
Parmigiani Fleurier — Ovale Pantographe
The highlight of the watch is its iconic hands, which extend and retract as they move along the oval shape of the case. This innovative design was inspired by an oval pocket watch from 1780, which had two pawls in a cam, allowing the hands to both extend and retract. The hands in the Ovale Pantographe are made with an aluminium alloy with a magnesium base for maximum flexibility, and comprises over 30 elements in constant motion, seen most clearly when setting the time. Set against a ‘barley grain’ dial, this timekeeper is not just a pretty face. It also comes with an eight-day power reserve and is limited to just 50 pieces.
Panerai — LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days — 49mm
In a first for the Swiss-based Italian marque, the famous sandwich dial is cloaked in a coating of carbon nanotubes, developed to absorb light and minimise reflection. In stark contrast, blue Super-LumiNova pierces through the dial openings to ensure a high degree of visibility in the dark — a feature that’s both stunning and practical.
Vacheron Constantin — Les Cabinotier Celestial Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
You tend to sit up and take notice when the world’s oldest running watch manufacture announces its most complicated wristwatch ever. The Les Cabinotier Celestial Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 boasts 23 complications, all pertaining to astronomical displays, and costs almost a cool US$1 million. The complications are broadly divided into three categories of time-telling: civil (or normal) time; solar time; and sidereal time — each driven by its own gear train, with power derived from six barrels so that the watch can run for an astounding three weeks on a full wind.
Girard-Perregaux — Tri-Axial Planetarium
An evolved take on the Tri-Axial Tourbillon unveiled two years ago, the Tri-Axial Planetarium is a theatrical timepiece that astounds on many fronts. The trademark high-speed tourbillon that rotates inside three cages at different speeds on three axes is a definite draw. The visual drama is heightened by two astronomical complications: a micro-hand-painted moonphase in evocative and realistic shades of blue and a globular, true-to-life depiction of the earth, which serves as a day/night indicator. The 13mm aluminium rotating ’earth’ is also hand-painted with cartography that depicts the planet as it was in 1791, the year of Girard-Perregaux’s birth, and it is positioned to show where it’s day on the dial side.
Greubel Forsey — Grande Sonnerie
Eleven years in the making, this epic chiming watch from Greubel Forsey – the first of its kind from the brand – spares no expense showcasing the full range of its technical chops. As with most Greubel Forsey watches, an inclined tourbillon joins the mechanical proceedings, but the focus here, though, is aimed at delivering maximum aural pleasure. Housed in a titanium case (kept thin as it also acts as a resonance chamber), the Grande Sonnerie effectively propels Greubel Forsey among the horological bigwigs such as Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, as among the few esteemed brands that can boast of having a grand sonnerie complication in its repertoire.
Read the full review of the launches here.
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