SIHH 2016 is right around the corner, which means we’re about to find out what the fair’s regulars, as well as its newcomers, have been working on for the past few years. As usual, there will be a flurry of anniversary and commemorative pieces. But we should also witness the release of new designs, groundbreaking movements, and perhaps, if we are lucky, some record-breakers. While most models remain a secret well hidden, we already know of a few timepieces that we be present at the fair. Without further ado, here’s our top 5 from that list:
1 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Medium 85th Anniversary
2016 marks the 85th anniversary of the iconic Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch. The most well-know reversible wristwatch is one of the most versatile designs from Jaeger-LeCoultre. A sports watch when it was made, in 1931, at the request of British army officers who wanted to protect their watch in order to play elephant polo, it has since become the definition of sophistication and elegance. As a dress watch, it has housed every complication imaginable. But for its return, 85 years later, the Reverso will put on its most classical attire. Jaeger-LeCoultre will introduce three commemorative models which do away with the sub-seconds counter at 6 o’clock for a cleaner dial. A Small model with Quartz movement will be complemented with Medium and Large models powered by a new movement, the self-winding calibre 965.
2 Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P
Like Jaeger-LeCoultre, and certainly many other brands, Piaget will be celebrating historical milestones when it unveils its 2016 collection during SIHH. However, unlike their competitors, they will be honouring the company's first in-house quartz movement. A taboo since mechanical watches returned to the fore, Quartz movements will be at the centre of conversation at the Piaget booth. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Piaget's in-house quartz calibre 7P, the brand has indeed decided to release a hybrid quartz/mechanical calibre. The controversial (and highly exclusive) movement will be part of a limited edition Emperador offered in white gold. Only 118 pieces will be available, priced at $70,800. For more, please click here.
3 Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Chronograph Quantième Annuel
A new line set within the Heritage range, the Heritage Chronométrie is Montblanc’s declaration of love to precision watchmaking. Traditional, yet surprisingly affordable, the collection already boasts a dual time, a perpetual calendar and a tourbillon. As of January 2016, it will also feature a combination of chronograph and perpetual calendar. If each conventionally requires three sundials, the Heritage Chronométrie Chronograph Quantième Annuel manages to spare our eyes by packaging it’s new duo into four neatly designed subdials. For ease of use, the hands of the chronograph functions have been blued, while the hands of the calendar indications have been gilded.
4 Vacheron Constantin Métiers D'art Fabuleux Ornements French Lace
We’ve said it before, no one does skeleton watches quite like Vacheron Constantin. The brand recently boasted one of the best defences for this statement when it presented a one-of-kind Métiers d’Art Mécaniques Ajourées for the Only Watch 2015 charity auction. For SIHH 2016, Vacheron Constantin will attempt to make that another clear statement, this time in a commercial model meant for the ladies market. Dubbed the 'French Lace', this sophisticated open-worked wristwatch is set with sapphires and diamonds, and features hand-guilloché and translucent Grand Feu enamelling. It is powered by calibre 1003 SQRH2, a modified version of its groundbreaking calibre 1003 launched in 1955.
5 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar In 18K Yellow Gold
It’s no surprise launch, but that doesn’t make the upcoming yellow gold Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar any less exciting. Audemars Piguet unveiled a stainless steel version of its latest generation perpetual calendar during the second part of 2015. Already we knew the brand would be launching an 18K Yellow Gold addition during SIHH 2016. The specs are the same. Housed in a 41mm case, it will display day, date, moon, month and leap year in an updated dial with an outer chapter ring to indicate the 52 weeks of the year. Inside, the watch will again feature calibre 5134, the case and bracelet this time matching the stunning 22-carat gold oscillating weigh visible at the back. The only difference then? The price. While the stainless steel version retailed for $60,900, the new yellow gold model will be priced at $95,700.