The latest trends in timepieces were presented last week at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie watch fair in Geneva. We showcase the highlights of technical innovation and high design of our time.
At the 24th edition of the the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) – which took place in Geneva from January 20 to 24 – the latest trends in timepieces were presented by sixteen of the world’s most important watchmakers (all owned at least in part by luxury conglomerate Richemont). We showcase some of the newly unveiled watches that showcase the technical innovations and high design of our time.
Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon
The latest in a series of Royal Oak Concepts that began in 2002, this model features a titanium case, integrated rubber strap and ceramic bezel. New for 2014 is the fact that Audemars is now able to include ceramic in the movement itself – the upper bridge of white ceramic represents the results of advances in Audemars’ continuing research into materials.
Baume & Mercier
Clifton 1892 Flying Tourbillon
A traditional watch in red gold and featuring a flying tourbillon carriage rotating once a minute, this timepiece by Baume & Mercier revives the brand’s tradition for using tourbillions which dates back to 1892. Driven by an exclusive mechanism (P591), the tourbillon has been produced by the Val Fleurier manufacturer, and the watch is available in a limited edition of 30.
Panthère Ajourée de Cartier
The iconic Cartier panther looks poised to pounce from the oval face of this jewelry timepiece which of rhodium-plated 18-carat white gold set with brilliant-cut diamonds.
Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendar
What is extraordinary about this watch is that it takes the notoriously complicated perpetual calendar feature and transforms the movement to create a three-dimensional display of concentric levels: the day is indicated on the first, followed by the month on the second, which is itself surmounted by the date. Thin windows move along these tiers. The perpetual calendar's final function is indicated by a hand located on the back of the watch and shows what type of year it is: a leap year or a normal year.
A. Lange & Söhne
Designed for extreme precision, this timepiece for the first time unites the stop-seconds mechanism of the tourbillon with the zero-reset function, which makes it possible to stop this watch with one-second accuracy.
Collection Villeret 1858 ExoTourbillon Rattrapante
A trio of grande complications are what make this watch so impressive: a split-second chronograph (an extraordinarily complex mechanism that requires 70% more components than a conventional chronograph), Montblanc’s patented ExoTourbillon (tourbillons are the specialty of the Montblanc Manufacture in Villeret), and a three-dimensional regulator dial made of gold and decorated with grand feu enamel.
Well known for its prowess in creating ultra slender watches, Piaget’s latest timepiece is officially the world’s thinnest mechanical watch at just 3.65mm thick. To achieve such proportions, the watchmaker has pioneered a fusion of the hand-wound calibre with the case, creating a single entity – something that is unique to this watch.
RM 35-01 Rafael Nadal
Building on the spirit of a series of watches inspired by Rafael Nadal, Richard Mille debuts its new NTPT carbon technology in this timepiece – a process of carbon manufacturing that uses several layers to provide exceptional rigidity to the housing and also gives each piece a unique identity through the organic-looking shapes to the finish.
RM 61-01 Yohan Blake
Inspired by the Olympic medallist and 2nd fastest man over 100m and 200m from which it takes its name, the extraordinarily looking RM 61 is constructed using several innovative materials: the bezel and the back are created from TZP-N, an ultra-tough black ceramic material has a low density and extreme resistance to scratches, while the highly skeletonised titanium movement is treated with PVD and Titalyt to provide maximum performance.
Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon
Gregory Bruttin and the R&D Director at master watchmaker Roger Dubuis, opted for a relatively simple case to hold the RD100, a new movement composed of 452 individually hand-finished parts, endowed with a 50-hour power reserve and which called for 1,200 hours of manufacturing. But looks can be deceiving and this timepiece includes a face of handcrafted guilloche – a very technique of enamel decoration that carves the pattern into a metal base.
It was in 1912 that Vacheron Constantin became one of the first watch manufacturers to offer barrel-shaped or ‘tonneau’ cases. At SIHH it added four models to its tonneau-shaped Malte line, including a spectacular women’s watch with a face entirely paved with 370 round-cut diamonds totalling approximately 1.20 carats.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Midnight Planétarium Poetic Complication
It’s the talk of the show: Van Cleef & Arpels’ extraordinary timepiece which it says has “achieved its dream of reducing the scale of the heavens to the dimensions of a wristwatch.” Using a 396-part mechanism developed in partnership with the Maison Christiaan van der Klaauw, the watch features a miniature representation of the movement of six planets around the sun. The movement of each planet is true to its genuine length of orbit: it will take Saturn over 29 years to make a complete circuit of the dial, while Jupiter will take almost 12 years, Mars 687 days, Earth 365 days, Venus 224 days and Mercury 88 days. How to tell the time? The shooting star on the outer edge of the dial completes its circuit every 24 hours.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Pierre Arpels Heure d’ici & Heure d’ailleurs
This elegant timepiece manages to display two time zones using a technically brilliant movement developed in partnership with Agenhor (Atelier Genevois d’Horlogerie) which is distinguished by its double jumping hour and minute retrograde display. While both the hours displayed in the dial jump at the same time, the retrograde minute hand returns to its starting position at the exact same moment.