The SIHH is always a place where you can count on your senses being tantalized by the most extraordinary watches. The 2016 edition did not disappoint, showing a vast array of everything from Grande Complications to ultra-thin time only watches, and all things in between. At Haute Time we selected the ten most captivating watches introduced at this years SIHH.
A. LANGE & SÖHNE: DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON
A. Lange & Söhne combines a columnwheel chronograph with flyback function, a perpetual calendar with jumping displays, and a tourbillon with a patented stop-seconds mechanism in one of its most celebrated models: the Datograph. While the first two sit elegantly on a distinguished black silver dial, the third hides on the other side of the case. The balance of the 729-part manufacture caliber L952.2 is calibrated to 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour, meaning stop times are displayed with an accuracy of one-fifth of a second. A first for A. Lange & Söhne, who continues to improve the patented mechanism introduced in 2008. The Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is available in a limited edition of 100 watches in platinum.
PIAGET: EMPERADOR COUSSIN XL 700P
This year, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its first in-house quartz movement – the 7P ultra-thin model launched in 1976 – Piaget presents another “first”: the Emperador Cushion-Shaped XL 700P, a concept watch that combines for the first time an ultra-thin selfwinding mechanical movement with a quartz regulator for a very high degree of accuracy. Controlling the rotation speed of the regulator and the gear train, the high frequency of the quartz vibrating at 32.768 Hz also provides excellent resistance to magnetic fields and the negative effects of gravity. Housed in a 46.5 mm white gold cushion-shaped case, with rounded black ADLC coated bezel to match the black treated caliber, the also cushion-shaped movement’s main functional features are visible on the display side, thanks to its inverted structure and the absence of a dial, revealing the superior quality of Piaget finishing. With its stunning aesthetics, the Emperador Cushion-Shaped XL 700P is linked to the Black Tie collection. Limited series of 118 pieces.
PANERAI: LO SCIENZIATO LUMINOR 1950 TOURBILLON GMT TITANIO
The Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio 47mm from the “Lo Scienziato” collection dedicated to Galileo Galilei is now enhanced by a special new edition. The P.2005 mechanical caliber with tourbillon regulator is skeletonized and for the first time, made of titanium. Features include hours, minutes, small seconds, GMT with am/pm indication, a power reserve of six days with indicator on the back, and a tourbillon escapement. The ultimate lightness of the watch is both the result of the fine skeletonising of the bridges, plates and spring barrels, and of the absence of a traditional dial, since all the elements which normally comprise it are attached directly to the movement or the flange of the watch.
JAEGER-LECOULTRE: REVERSO TRIBUTE GYROTOURBILLON
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s whirlwind Gyrotourbillon is back, just in time to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the Reverso. And it’s 30% lighter than its predecessor. The brand presented their new in-house manual winding Calibre 179 inside a limited edition Reverso made in platinum. The bi-axial flying tourbillon, displayed inside a window at 6 o’clock, performs external rotation in one minute and an internal rotation in 12.6 seconds. Hours and minutes are indicated in an off-centre dial at 12.
VACHERON CONSTANTIN: PATRIMONY PERPETUAL CALENDAR COLLECTION EXCELLENCE PLATINE
In the Patrimony collection, Vacheron Constantin adds a new limited edition to its all-platinum Perpetual Calendar watch. Everything from the 41mm case and dial, down to the stitching on the alligator Mississippiensis leather strap is made from PT950 platinum. The watch once again features hours, minutes, day, date, month, moon phase, and a 48-month counter with leap year indication. The Patrimony Perpetual Calendar from the Collection Excellence Platine is a limited edition of 100 pieces.
RICHARD MILLE: RM 50-02 ACJ TOURBILLON SPLIT SECONDS CHRONOGRAPH
Richard Mile and Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) join forces to create the RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph, an aviator watch like no other. The watch houses a new tourbillon calibre, featuring a power reserve indicator (70 hours) between 11 and 12 o’clock, a torque indicator that supplies information about the tension of the mainspring allowing the optimisation of the chronometer function and a function indicator to show the watch’s state in each of the positions for winding, neutral and Hand setting.
IWC: PILOT’S TIMEZONER CHRONOGRAPH
Being a pilot’s watch these IWC chronographs are going places, and often don’t stay local. The new Pilot’s Timezoner Chronograph combines a handy array of complications in a single watch. Based on IWC’s famed 89000-caliber family, it features the familiar chronograph minute and hour counter combined on a sub-dial at twelve o’clock, with center second counter, and the running seconds on a sub-dial at six o’clock. What sets this watch apart, is the world time bezel. Press it, turn it in either direction to the desired timezone and the red hand for the second timezone is set automatically. Like all the latest Pilot watches by IWC is also the Timezoner chronograph fitted with a sapphire that had an antireflective coating both sides for superb legibility under all circumstances, while it is also secured should a sudden drop in air pressure occur.
AUDEMARS PIGUET: ROYAL OAK CONCEPT SUPERSONNERIE
Although looking like a showcase prototype, the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is in fact a production model. Audemars Piguet created what just might be the ultimate minute repeater! Of course the addition of a tourbillon and chronograph are impressive, but what will really blow you away is the clarity and volume of the sound, when the minute repeater is chiming the correct time. With the gongs connected to a copper alloy disc, and the back of the watch slightly raised to act as an amplifying chamber, a crips and loud sound comes from the watch when the minute repeater is activated. Traditionally the chiming of the correct time is regulated by something called a governor, which doesn’t do its work in silence. Audemars Piguet developed a silent regulator so what was a duet, is now a passionate solo of perfection.
ROGER DUBUIS: EXCALIBUR AUTOMATIC SKELETON CARBON
If there is one brand that loves pushing the limits, it is Roger Dubuis. At SIHH 2015 they introduced the Excalibur Automatic Skeleton in gold, but this year with a carbon. Same movement but a whole different animal! The case is created by molding and compressing carbon fibers, resin and steel, at extremely high temperatures. The result is a tantalizing case with a monochrome finish that is with each case unique. Manufacture caliber RD820SQ was designed as a skeleton movement, and this is why the star-shaped bridges can be so thin that the gear train seems to float underneath it. A skeletonized micro-rotor winds up the watch.
CARTIER: DRIVE DE CARTIER TOURBILLON
The ultimate version of Cartier’s latest collection is fitted with a flying tourbillon. This manufacture movement is crafted in Cartier’s high-tech facility in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, and carries the prestigious Geneva Seal. This guarantee’s an incredible high finish which can be admired from the back. Neat detail is the bridge that holds the bottom of the tourbillon, which is shaped like Cartier’s fames double C. The front of the Drive de Cartier Tourbillon shows a skeleton frame of Roman numerals and the railroad track, on top of a luscious guilloché. The cushion shape case is topped off with a domed sapphire crystal, which gives the watch an even more classical feel, and making it the perfect match when you take your Aston Martin DB4 Zagato or Ferrari 275 GTB/4 for a spin.