The world's most talented watchmakers looked to the future to present groundbreaking innovations at this year’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the annual Geneva watch fair which took place in January.
A. Lange & Söhne
Always elegant, the latest timepiece from A. Lange & Söhne is the classically styled 1815 Up/Down, which features a three-day movement paired with a power reserve mechanism. New for this model is an additional blued-steel hand at 8 o’clock that indicates how long the watch will continue to run before having to be rewound. In a feat of engineering, the Up/Down model with its extra complication has exactly the same dimensions as that of the 1815 without the UP/DOWN indicator: a height of 4.6 millimetres and a diameter of 30.6 millimetres.
A. Lange & Söhne
In a radical departure from their usually conservative styling, the Grand Lange 1 “Lumen” limited edition features a semi-transparent dial that exposes the ingenious mechanism of the first luminescent outsize date display by A Lange & Söhne. Revealing the powerful mechanism within, only 200 will be made with platinum cases.
Master watchmakers Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey are presenting a red gold version of their spectacular GMT model which was first revealed in 2011. Most extradordianry about this timepiece is the titanium globe at 8 o’clock that indicates universal time and makes one complete revolution in 24 hours, anti‐clockwise – the natural direction of the earth's rotation.
Premiering at SIHH 2013, the Duomètre Unique Travel Time watch by Jaeger-LeCoultre for the first time ever on a worldtime watch enables the user to adjust the time in the travel time zone to the nearest minute – thus allowing travellers to adjust their time-zone display to all continents and countries, whatever the time-zone difference. The special Dual-Wing movement created by Jaeger-LeCoultre is divided into two distinct mechanisms: the first is devoted to displaying the local time, and the second to show that in a second time zone.
The first pocket watch from Officine Panerai takes the historic aesthetic and updates it with a Radimir case in ceramic made from zirconium oxide, inside which is the P.2005/S hand-wound movement with tourbillon regulator. Twelve rods link the case to the movement, which looks as if it is suspended in the centre, with its skeletonised dial and the sapphire crystal which is fitted in the ceramic back. The same supports, covered in ecru Super-LumiNova®, act as linear hour markers.
Cartier is renowned for quest for innovation in horological mechanics as its latest timepiece, the 9454 MC Double Mystery Tourbillon attests. Seemingly suspended in space with no visible connection to any gear train, the flying tourbillon turns once on its own axis every 60 seconds. The illusion is complete when the same tourbillon cage starts to perform a second rotation at a rate of one turn every five minutes.
The new Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication is titled as such because of its three advanced functions that form the basis of what the watch industry terms a Grande Complication movement: a minute repeater, which is a rare complication enabling it to sound the hours, quarters and minutes on demand; a perpetual calendar complication with lunar cycles; and a split-second chronograph that allows readings of “split” times. Pictured here in a titanium case with black ceramic bezel, it is also available in pink gold.
Unusual for SIHH is Vacheron Constantin’s collection which this year was dedicated entirely to women. In the brand’s signature métiers d’art collection – which fuses haute mechanics with artistic crafts – is the White Lily watch featuring a plant taken from Robert John
Thornton’s The Temple of Flora, published in 1799 which is reproduced enamel by Vacheron Constantin’s craftsmen and by Anita Porchet, an independent artist specialising in miniatures in fired enamels, Geneva style.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Another ladies only collection was presented by Van Cleef & Arpels, which also showcased the skills of its artisan watchmakers and jewlers. The Lady Arpels Papillon Orange Solaire timepiece comprises of a pair of butterflies colored using the plique-à-jour enameling technique, which are set against a mother-of-pearl background. The sun’s half-circle was created from paillonné enamel while the butterflies bodies are represented by marquise cut diamonds.
Unveiled at SIHH 2013 was Piaget’s Caliber 1200D, the first ever automatic gem-set skeleton movement which was housed in its signature Altiplano model. Equally impressive as its entirely gem set mainplate and functional parts is its double ultra-thin record: 3mm for the movement and 6.10mm for the case.
Two years after the debut of the first Bugatti Super Sport in white gold, Parmigiani Fleurier presented at SIHH 2013 a new model in rose gold. What gives this watch its unusual shape is the manually wound Calibre Parmigiani 372 (power reserve of 10 days) movment which was designed in two planes and is presented on the watch at a 90° angle. Coupled with the balance and escape wheel bridges that form an arc, and the train wheels that are once again cut in the form of car wheels, and this watch is pure Bugatti.
The RM 11-01 was created in close collaboration with Roberto Mancini, the legendary manager of Manchester City, who was looking for a an ultra-technical instrument to assist him not only during matches, but especially during extra time, when the remaining minutes are no longer displayed to the players or their manager. Responding to this brief, Richard Mille created the the caliber RMAC1, which unusually features a flyback chronograph with central minutes counter and a dial divided into periods of play. If extra time is awarded,
the flyback function can be reactuated so that the watch shows the 15 minutes of extra match time and up to 5 minutes of stoppage time – perfect for Roberto Mancini.
The new flagship of IWC Ingenieur range, the Constant Force Tourbillon features a patented constant-force mechanism integrated within the tourbillon that guarantees extreme precision. As well as the tourbillon (exposed at 9 o’clock), the dial is also home to a moon phase display in the top right and a power reserve on the bottom right, all housed within the platinum and ceramic case.
The latest in the series of Montblanc’s Nicolas Rieussec chronographs, the Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours uses two discs, one on top of the other, to replace the hands on the chronograph’s counters and show not only the twelve hours, but to also indicate whether each of the dozen is a daytime or night-time hour – a revolutionary time display.
Contemporary design is what informs the fine watchmaking house of Roger Dubuis which for SIHH has added to its signature Excalibur line with a series of innovations including the Excalibur Quatuor, which is the world’s first silicon watch incorporating four sprung balances, and the Excalibur Round Table and the Excalibur Double Skeleton Tourbillon, which showcase major complications in a unique presentation.