The year’s watch releases begin this month with SIHH in Geneva. Here is a preview of some of the exciting masterpieces luxury brands will be delivering
CARTIER SKELETON DUAL TIME ZONE TONNEAU WATCH
When the Cartier Tonneau watch first appeared in 1906, it challenged the notion of the round pocket watch with its unique oval shape. Now the Tonneau model defies convention yet again with the Skeleton Dual Time Zone Tonneau Watch, which elevates the timepiece to a designer object with its eye-catching skeletonised movement. The watch is also a technical masterpiece, employing two separate mechanisms for the home time and second time zone, and adjusting the movement shape and gear train alignment to preserve the case’s original curved shape. The watches are available in limited, numbered editions: 100 in pink gold and platinum, and only 20 in platinum set with baguette-cut diamonds.
VACHERON CONSTANTIN LES CABINOTIERS MINUTE REPEATER TOURBILLON SKY CHART
During the Enlightenment, expert watchmakers practised their craft in workshops perched on top of Geneva’s buildings. These workshops were known as cabinets, and it’s from them that heritage brand Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers department takes its name. Its latest masterpiece exemplifies the hundreds of years of craftsmanship for which the brand is known. A minute repeater, tourbillon and a sky chart are combined in a single watch, which features a stunning whitegold case and a black dial rimmed with diamonds. Powering these functions is a movement developed specifically for the Les Cabinotiers collection.
ROGER DUBUIS EXCALIBUR HURACÀN PERFORMANTE
The result of the latest collaboration between maverick Swiss watchmaker Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse motorsport division is the sporty-sleek Excalibur Huracàn Performante. Taking its cue from the eponymous marque, the watch is inspired by motor racing design, from its aesthetic right down to its inner workings. The hexagonal shape evident in the supercar’s design is present in the openwork dial, while the RD630 movement with 12° inclined balance wheel harks back to Lamborghini’s famed aesthetics. This is the perfect watch for ambitious individuals who treat each day as a new opportunity to push their limits and take on challenging goals.
HERMÈS CAPE COD CHAÎNE D’ANCRE
The Cape Cod’s history is all about experimentation. Its original design was a bold “square in a rectangle” concept sketched by artistic director Henri d’origny in 1991. The double tour strap was added in 1998, followed by stone, lacquer and colourful leather dials in 2016, and a matte-black diamond-like carbon case in 2017. This year sees the watch reinterpreting the iconic anchor chain motif created in 1938, rendering it in black spinels, white mother-of-pearl, and aventurine or diamonds against a black or white lacquered dial. The result is a watch that’s both daring and feminine.
MONTBLANC TIMEWALKER MANUFACTURE CHRONOGRAPH
There’s nothing that evokes the spirit of motor racing quite like the Montblanc Timewalker collection. Created in the brand’s Minerva manufacture in Villeret, known for high-quality pieces that measure brief intervals of time with great precision, the Timewalker boasts both heritage and technical mastery. The chronograph’s “panda” and “reverse panda” dials, so named for their black and white counters and backgrounds, became motor racing icons in the 1960s and ’70s. This year, Montblanc honours the collection’s history by revealing two new “reverse panda” Timewalker Chronographs in 41mm and 43mm, which feature, respectively, satin-finished lugs for a smooth line and a semi-skeletonised look.
PIAGET ALTIPLANO TOURBILLON 41MM
Piaget has historically occupied a unique niche for its combination of equally exquisite watchmaking and jewellery expertise. The brand puts its gem-setting skill on display with the Altiplano Tourbillon 41mm, a vision of pink gold, blue meteorite and diamonds that evokes the dreamlike beauty of outer space. Twenty-three brilliant diamonds encircle the blue meteorite dial, which features the distinctive Widmanstätten patterns typical of iron meteorites. A true love letter to the galaxy right on your wrist. The Altiplano Tourbillon 41mm will be limited to 28 pieces.