WATCHES

The lat­est trends from SIHH, the pin­na­cle event of the haute hor­logerie cal­en­dar.

Signature Travel & Lifestyle - - Contents - 128

Each brand’s ex­hibit is an artis­tic in­stal­la­tion, us­ing in­trigue and dra­matic light­ing to lure the eyes of passersby to­wards the wrist-ready stars of the show. Cock­tail fundrais­ers, a grand open­ing cer­e­mony and a sleek and in­ti­mate in­ter­view­ing area all cre­ate a buzz of ex­clu­siv­ity, see­ing CEOs of the most revered watch man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies min­gle with re­tail­ers, jour­nal­ists and buy­ers.

Wel­come to the Sa­lon In­ter­na­tional de la Haute Hor­logerie; a trade event un­like any other. In this, its 25th an­niver­sary year, it drew 12,500 es­teemed guests to Geneva, rep­re­sent­ing 1500 points of sale and show­cas­ing 16 of the most lauded maisons of the in­dus­try, from A (A. Lange & Sohne) to V (Vacheron Con­stantin).

Skele­tonised magic

A watch that car­ries the Poinçon de Genève, the most cov­eted qual­ity seal, is of such high cal­i­bre that it gen­er­ally re­quires 30 to 40 per cent more man­u­fac­tur­ing time than most. To wear this seal is an hon­our, and Roger Dubuis is the only brand to en­sure that 100 per cent of its pieces are marked as such. This means that when they deem this to be the Year of the As­tral Skele­ton, you’ll be in­clined agree. This year they dis­played an en­tire range of Ex­cal­ibur mod­els, each with in­ner func­tions brought to the fore­front of the design. Among the range is the spe­cial design Ex­cal­ibur Cre­ative Skele­ton Brocéliande, a ladies’ time­piece with a 42mm skele­tonised fly­ing tourbillon in pink gold con­trol­ling its move­ment. In­ter­twined like vines upon the dial is an ivy mo­tif, set with 349 daz­zling di­a­monds. It con­sol­i­dates the in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar no­tion that or­nate gems need not be to the detri­ment of func­tion.

Clas­sic is al­ways in style

A clean watch face and leather strap never goes out of vogue, but the me­chan­ics be­hind them are ever ad­vanc­ing. In 2015 nu­mer­ous brands paid homage to clas­si­cal styles, stray­ing from the ‘ex­u­ber­ant is best’ ethos of previous years. Pi­aget un­veiled its Alti­plano Chrono­graph ahead of the Septem­ber de­but. At 4.65mm, its ul­tra-thin move­ments make it the world’s thinnest hand-wound fly­back chrono­graph; its gear fin­ger only .06mm.

Also ac­co­lad­ing tra­di­tion was Baume & Mercier’s re­design of its iconic Clas­sima range. In line with the brand’s aes­thetic, the range en­com­passes sim­ple watch faces, al­li­ga­tor straps and clean-cut steel bracelets. The Clas­sima Men Steel Au­to­matic, for in­stance, is im­me­di­ately time­lesss, with its self-wind­ing move­ment vis­i­ble through its sap­phire crys­tal back.

Unique man­u­fac­ture

To stay ahead of the ball, watch­mak­ers painstak­ingly test the en­durance of new ma­te­ri­als and as­sem­bly meth­ods, and a watch that man­ages to be both tough and pleas­antly light­weight will al­ways go far. For Pan­erai, the ma­te­rial of the mo­ment is car­botech, made via a process of com­press­ing thin sheets of car­bon fi­bre with polyether ether ke­tone. It has been used to de­velop the brand’s lat­est in its pop­u­lar range of divers’ watches, with the matte-black fin­ish of the men’s Lu­mi­nor Sub­mersible 1950 slightly unique in each piece. In­side it hums along on a P.9000 cal­i­bre, rounded off with a three-day power re­serve.

Rise of the fem­i­nine

Roger Dubuis’ Skele­ton Brocéliande was not the only one to de­note a flour­ish­ing era for ladies’ watches. Aude­mars Piguet has leant its off-side Millenary oval shape to a women’s model, and Jaeger-LeCoul­tre – fre­quently praised for its del­i­cate styles – dis­played pieces from its ex­clu­sively-fem­i­nine Ren­dez-Vous line. The Ren­dez-Vous Moon, a unique creation upon a satin strap, in­cor­po­rates a moon phase in­di­ca­tor that is ac­cu­rate to one day ev­ery 972 years.

Jaeger-LeCoul­tre Ren­dez-Vous Moon Price $67,000

Pan­erai

Lu­mi­nor Sub­mersible 1950 Car­botech™ 3 Days Au­to­matic

POA

Baume & Mercier Clas­sima 10215 Price $3150

Roger Dubuis

Ex­cal­ibur Cre­ative Skele­ton Brocéliande

Price $390,000

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