In less than 2 days – Monday 16th January, 9am (Central Europe Time) to be exact – SIHH 2017, the annual High Mass for watches in Geneva, will officially open. While the team here has already been fortunate enough to have a glimpse of what is about to come (don’t bother asking, we won’t tell), on this day you’ll be able to discover for yourself just what the 17 large brands and 12 independent watchmakers exhibiting have prepared for their new collections. Now, we know you watch aficionado and collectors are an impatient lot so to distract you while you wait, here is a quick review of some of the best releases from SIHH 2016.
A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Tourbillon Perpetual
The Datograph Tourbillon Perpetual was without doubt one of the most remarkable introductions of SIHH 2016. The Saxon manufacture created a pure horological marvel with the addition of a perpetual calendar (that already existed, see here) and a tourbillon regulator to its iconic chronograph (this is new); thus combining the best of the brand in a single watch. The look of the Datograph Tourbillon Perpetual is surprisingly clean, considering the number of complications featured in this watch – although this can be partly attributed to the fact that the tourbillon is only visible on the back side and plus the all-black styling is very minimalist. This might just be the ultimate chronograph from Lange…until SIHH 2017. Who knows?
Audemars Piguet Super-Sonnerie
Awarded best “Mechanical exception” watch at GPHG 2016, the Audemars Piguet Supersonnerie is the result of an epic amount of R&D. It brings together all the research done by AP to create a better minute repeater, in every way possible. Among the numerous innovations brought by Audemars Piguet, the gongs are attached to an internal resonating membrane, independent of the case to amplify the sound (working similar to a resonating chamber in a cricket watch), intense work on the moving part to reduce unnecessary noise and improved hammers and gongs that offer greater musicality. An impressive research laboratory for the improvement of one of the most complex complications.
Drive de Cartier
If there’s one thing that can sum up the history of Cartier, it’s the way the Maison has mastered shapes. No other brand has quite the same level of capacity to create watches that are not round but still so pure and elegant. The SIHH 2016 Drive de Cartier is yet another example of this shaped-watches mastery. This watch is perfectly designed, classic and timeless while having at the same time just the right amount of vintage touch and originality. This watch is timeless and will certainly join other Cartier creations in watch-heaven.
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch
What can we say about the new IWC Big Pilot’s Watch…? At SIHH 2016, the brand revamped the entire pilot collection with major improvements coming in the small details. That means nothing will be super-visible at first. Still, when you observe the watch, you quickly spot what has changed and why this watch is now as good as it should be. It’s a matter of details, but details are what make the difference between good and excellent.
Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon
Imagine two icons from Jaeger united in a single watch: on one side the emblematic Reverso watch and on the other side the ultra-complex Gyrotourbillon. Well, to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the Reverso collection (and how well this watch has aged…), the brand came to the SIHH 2016 with the impressive Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon. Dual face, hand-engraved movement, superb technical regulator, slimmer and more elegant design. Quite stunning, don’t you think?
Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim
For those of you that think Montblanc only knows about the pen business, you better take a look at this watch. At SIHH 2016, Montblanc unveiled the ExoTourbillon Slim, an automatic (micro-rotor), gold watch, with a slim profile and a tourbillon movement priced at only 35,000 Euro. And don’t get me wrong, even if it’s one of the most affordable tourbillons on the market, the movement is still technically impressive and greatly decorated. Plus there’s the elegant look, which overall creates a very strong package.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire
If you’re searching for the most impressive movement of SIHH 2016, than you might want to turn your attention to Parmigiani… This Tonda Chronor Anniversaire has everything: an integrated, in-house, split-seconds chronograph movement, entirely made in solid gold, with finishing to die for and an overall splendid conception, both technical and visual. And the rest of the watch isn’t bad either, with an elegant enamel dial and a case in the vein of the brand’s creations. Very, very impressive.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph
Last but not least, the Overseas 2016. This watch is Vacheron Constantin’s response to the growing demand in luxury sports watches. Well, it was necessary for the brand to react, as the old Overseas was clearly not up to the job anymore. But the new one surpassed our expectations, with a superb case, great bracelets and perfectly executed movements with useful complications (automatic, chronograph or world-timer). Vacheron gave itself the right weapons to fight.
From late afternoon Sunday 15th through to early morning Monday 16th , we’ll be publishing multiple articles about the novelties being introduced at SIHH 2017. Make sure to visit Monochrome-Watches.com regularly on these days for in-depth coverage. You can also visit our Instagram and Facebook pages for a faster and more interactive look at the SIHH 2017 novelties.