Monochrome Watches
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Xavier Markl’s Top 10 of the SIHH 2017

| By Xavier Markl | 4 min read |

The SIHH 2017 was my 19th attendance to the Geneva-based fair. What a pleasure to tour the inescapable Geneva Haute Horlogerie rendez-vous, which has been great vintage indeed! Here’s my top ten favorite watches, after over 2,000 pictures shot. These are presented without specific order, focusing on gents watches (no mention therefore of the magnificent jeweled watches from Cartier, Piaget or Van Cleef and Arpels). A tough choice but as we had to pick ten, here we go with my personal highlights…

Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie

The grande sonnerie and petite sonnerie hold a special place in the world of Haute Horlogerie. There is only a handful of watchmakers capable of manufacturing such works of arts, often regarded as the ultimate horological complication. Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey are adding a 24-second inclined tourbillon to their impressive Grande Sonnerie. The power-hungry strike-work mechanism is powered by its one barrel wound by a micro-rotor to fulfill its function for longer. The addition of safety features is also a smart/useful feat. All 935 parts (!!!) of the movement are fit in a case measuring 43.5mm in diameter and 16.13mm high. Hats off, for the superb technical and visual execution (and for the magnificent sound).

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Christophe Claret Maestro

Christophe Claret Maestro - SIHH 2017 - review

The Maestro is (to date) the smallest and least expensive watch by Christophe Claret. Furthermore, this stunning piece of horological design boast a futuristic architecture rising from the main plate to create a 3D mechanical sculpture. The organic design of the case, with the glass perfectly extending the curves of the metal body is magnificent. The cone-shaped digital display and the new memo function are indeed cool features. More information here.

Urwerk UR-T8

The UR-T8 was released to celebrate Urwerk’s 20th anniversary – and these 20 years of creative, forward-thinking watchmaking alone deserve a mention. The UR-T8 is a beast (60.23mm x 48.35mm x 20.02mm) continuing the brand’s fascination with satellite time display and disruptive cases. And it is URWERK’s first transformable watch. A series of precise actions unlocks the case from its cradle, flips it over and returns it with a click to protect the watch beneath a titanium shield. Read our article here for additional insight.

A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual Pour Le Mérite

As always, the line-up of the Saxon Manufacture was indeed impressive and I could have easily featured several of their watches within my highlights for SIHH2017. Among these, the Tourbograph Perpetual ‘Pour Le Mérite’ features a tourbillon, a split-seconds chronograph, a fusée and chain and now adds a perpetual calendar, resonating with A. Lange & Sohne perfect craftsmanship. Simply impressive. More details here.

Drive de Cartier Extra-flat

Drive de Cartier Extra Flat 430MC - SIHH 2017

Cartier has drawn from its unique perception of masculine elegance and its rich tradition (jeweler-watchmaker / watchmaker-jeweler) an unrivalled legacy in creating fascinating shaped watches. The unapologetically elegant Drive de Cartier extra-flat retains the design codes of the ‘Drive’ cushion shape sized down to 39mm and 6.6mm thick and is powered by the 430MC caliber with manual winding. The perfect Drive! Review here.

H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds XL Paramagnetic

I have always been a fan of Moser’s dress watches with their minimalist, understated elegance and several of their new creations at SIHH were indeed superb. The Venturer small seconds XL is no exception. Being a watch geek, I also love the fact that it features a new antimagnetic hairspring made by the brand’s sister company (Precision Engineering AG) from a new alloy called PE5000. Beyond the fun and disruptive ‘make Swiss made great again’ campaign from the brand, this is another tangible evidence of what vertical integration means at Moser.

Piaget Altiplano 60th anniversary

Piaget celebrates this year the 60th annivesary of their iconic Altiplano. The 43mm pieces released at SIHH has everything we have come to expect from the brand. It is supremely elegant and comes with sleek dials, thin profile and an extra-flat movement with micro-rotor. Timeless yet modern.

Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2

Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2 - SIHH 2017

The Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2 is nothing like anything you’ve seen before. Every part of this watch boasts an innovation, whether we’re talking about the escapement, the display, the winding system or even the hands and confirms the brand is definitely one of the most innovative ones. For more information about this stunning concept watch, read our in-depth review here.

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronometer

Parmigiani Fleurier has revamped their Toric to present a superb dress watch streamlined with elegant lines (40.8 mm diameter, 9.5mm thick) and powered by the PF331 proprietary calibre with automatic winding (COSC certified). The timeless elegance of the the Toric Chronometer is presented in white or pink gold and enhanced by superb dials – black opaline or grené – and refers to the first watch designed by Michel Parmigiani. Highly desirable.

Vacheron Constantin Celestia Astronomical Grand complication

Although we have get used to expect uber-complicated watches from Vacheron Constantin, their latest astronomical watch is indeed mind-blowing. 23 complications on twin-dial, six barrels for a 3-week power reserve, a caliber made of 514 parts, … all this while presenting a highly legible and pleasant face (which is indeed a feat) and housed in a reasonable diameter of 45mm! Sheer enjoyment.

2 responses

  1. Hi Xavier,
    I agree with most of your choices, based on Monochrome coverage of the fair.
    Top 3 for me are G&F, VC and AL&S in this order.


  2. Thanks for the write-up, the CC Maestro certainly does it for me…!

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