Impressions from the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie.
Day 4 – 21 January.
This playful, colourful Hautlence creation, crafted in collaboration with French ex-footballer Éric Cantona, goes by the name of Vortex Primary, though it would perhaps be more appropriate to call it "art piece“. Not only for its Mondrian-esque looks, but also because Cantona’s strong passion for art is the driver behind its creation. Limited to 18 pieces.
Independent watchmaker H. Moser & Cie launches the Swiss Alp Watch as a provocative retort to the Apple Watch. The rounded, rectangular shape of its case imitates the one of the smart watch and is an absolute novelty for the brand whose timepieces have always featured a round case. Unlike the Apple Watch though this new creation measures only the time.
A collaboration between Swiss manufactory Jaeger-LeCoultre and French shoe designer Christian Louboutin has been unveiled, which will result in special interpretations of the iconic Reverso watch, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year.
Part of the Atelier Reverso programme – which allows clients to customise the dial and strap of their Reverso – Louboutin’s designs will complement the existing range for only for one year.
One of A. Lange & Söhne’s SIHH highlights is the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon which unites 3 significant complications: a flyback chronograph with a precisely jumping minute counter, a perpetual calendar with jumping display and a tourbillon with a patented stop-seconds mechanism. A limited edition of 100 pieces.
Piaget launches its first automatic complication for ladies - Limelight Stella.
An elegant design that merges round and an oval dial openings with a feminine moon phase movement with detailing such as diamond-set opening over the moon, star at the end of the seconds and the customised coloured oscillating weight.
Day 3 – 20 January.
One of the highlights at Audemars Piguet this year: The Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie, a minute repeater of superior acoustic intensity with a supremely clear tone. Its case construction of super-light titanium prevents sound absorption, boosting amplification.
Vacheron Constantin’s biggest novelty this year is the reinvention of its iconic Overseas Collection.
Paying homage to the brand’s global presence in history and focus on world travellers, the new calibres are driven by an oscillating weight inspired by the wind rose symbol.
Another exceptional piece presented by Cartier, this time for the gentleman: the Rotonde de Cartier Astromystérieux. This watch features a movement suspended between three transparent sapphire crystal discs at the centre of the case, making a full rotation within the dial each hour.
A stunning creation presented today by Cartier is the Ballon Bleu de Cartier Enamel Granulation. A limited edition of 30 pieces, this Metier des Artes masterpiece features a dial engraved by hand and decorated with 800 enamel beads – an incredibly difficult and precise technique, of which only 2 people in the world have mastered.
Day 2 – 19 January.
Roger Dubuis adds 5 new models to its Velvet collection. Presented within the brand’s overarching theme of glamour and femininity, each timepiece is displayed on mannequins, designed by Ralph Pucci and dressed in haute couture creations from designers such as Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela and Chloé.
From these 5 new models, the Blossom Velvet. Characterised by a Grand Feu Enamel dial and available itself in 5 different variations.
The Velvet by Massaro, with a distinctive leather strap. Designed in collaboration with exclusive Parisian shoemaker Massaro.
Baume & Mercier show its new Petite Promesse collection – 3 ladies watches featuring a 22mm case, diamond bezel and wrap-around leather or polished steel strap.
Christophe Claret demonstrated its horological ode to love, the Marguerite, for us. Activating the button at the 2 o'clock position reveals the sentence "he loves me passionately”, in French, on the dial. Seen here in gold with diamonds.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Parmigiani Fleurier showed off the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire. It features an integrated chronograph – a brand first – split second function and a large date. The movement is manually wound.
Parmigiani are also exhibiting the Senfine, a concept movement still in the works – the end goal being exceptional power-reserve, this movement is characterised by a new regulator replacing the traditional Swiss lever escapement. Through flexible guides and articulations derived from aerospace technologies and the exclusive use of silicon, a power reserve that will be counted in months rather than days will be possible.
This impressive one-off piece was created for Montblanc’s 110th anniversary. It features the Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Navigator and Pocket Watch, at a cost of around 400,000 EUR.
Drawing our attention among the novelties presented by Richard Mille, the movement-touting mechanical fountain pen RMS05. A masterfully complex mechanism with retractable nib, the result of four years research and development.
Day 1 – 18 January.
Van Cleef & Arpels lifted the lid on both time telling jewellery creations and new pieces from the Poetic Complications collection that draw inspiration from the natural world.
In the Lady Jour des Fleurs watch (pictured, right) time flows by in harmony with the colours of the vegetation. The delicate foliage on the dial is brought to life by changing hues according to the season. The Lady Nuit des Papillons watch (pictured, left) instead depicts a procession of butterflies glittering in the moonlight.
The Lady Arpels Jour Nuit Fée Ondine features a 24-hour movement, animating an enchanting scene inspired by the 2005 High Jewellery clip Fée Ondine.
The Lady Arpels Ronde Papillons instead brings together three colored butterflies dancing between the clouds to indicate the minutes and a swallow which moves to indicate the hours.
Hublot present its show-stealing MP-05 “LaFerrari” - with a case carved out of sapphire, the movement within takes on a greater beauty.
Also present, the fruits of Hublot's latest collaboration with embroidery specialists Bischoff – 6 new models in the Big Bang Broderie collection, boasting vibrant intricate stitching on organza silk.
MB&F presented the new HM6 - SV Edition, in red gold with brown leather strap, sapphire glass and a streamlined modern finish.
Another novelty is Sherman. Named after the WW2-era U.S. army tank, this robot is the result of a collaboration with company L'Epee 1839. Available in palladium as well as gold plated versions, it tells the time, holds items in its hands, and, most importantly, puts a smile in your face.
Among the novelties presented by Panerai this year there are four Radiomir 1940 models featuring two new calibres (p4001 and p4002), GMT as well as power reserve indication.
IWC Schaffhausen revisits its Pilot’s watches collection. Above, the Big Pilot's Watch Annual Calendar Le Petit Prince
Pilot's Watch Automatic 36
Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Antoine de Saint Exupery