We already suspected it from the quality of the pre-releases this year, but all our doubts where further taken away at the first day of the 2019 edition of SIHH: the watch industry is thriving! It showed this not only by many new creations but also by the beautiful different interpretation of familiar models.
HYT dived into the fine print of their DNA and offered stunning varieties of their famous watches with their unique liquid technology. The brand paid this year even more attention than they normally already do to the finishing of their pieces. The result is an expansion of the collection with watches that are intensely captivating.
IWC focussed this year on their collection of Pilot’s watches. The brand has a very rich history with this and showed that to the visitors of SIHH 2019 by turning their booth into an airplane hanger, complete with a real Spitfire. One of the stars of the show, next to the models we showed you yesterday, is the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert” with eyecatching sand colored ceramic case. Priced at $8.200,- it shows the sensibility and strength that IWC put into their new collection. Especially since this model is fitted with an automatic manufacture movement.
Things got really sweet at Richard Mille, literally, because the brand focussed this SIHH on their ladies collection with as theme fruit and candy. The way that Mille incorporated these topics into his creations is by a mixture of old-school craftsmanship combined with high-tech materials in the sweetest colors available. The result is nothing less than mouth-watering! Each piece is crafted with an incredible eye for detail, and really embody the fun element without taking away from the fact that they are truly Haute Horlogerie creations. Another testimony that the industry in general, and Richard Mille especially, is thriving!
SIHH 2019 Day 2: To The Moon And Back
At any watch fair, there is always the risk that you start at a high and then it is all downwards from there. With the balanced additions to the Pilot-collection of IWC, the super sweet Richard Mille’s and Jaeger-LeCoultre who showed once again their prowess when it comes to highly complicated watches with a fine finish, that danger is very real. However, this edition of SIHH that fear is misplaced as on the second day, things continued at a very high level.
Vacheron Constantin dazzled this year with the complex and refined Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, but also expanded their current collection with a wide range of blue dial varieties. The beauty of them is that each hue is tailored to the watch that they are fitted in. With the FiftySix this gives the watch another dimension, while Vacheron Constantin also used a blue dial to introduce the very first tourbillon in the steel Overseas. This was not the only news regarding this collection, as the Perpetual Calendar is now also available with a pink gold bracelet, making it even more precious than it already was.
With a name like Arceau L’Heure De La Lune, a watch has to be beautiful, and this Hermès does not disappoint in that matter. The brand once again shows that beauty and technical complexity can go hand in hand. The dial shows two realistic, and large, moons, over which two subdials travel. These subdials indicate both the time as well as the date while at the same time doing their part in displaying the current moon phase on both the Northern as well as the Southern hemisphere. There are two choices in dials; aventurine with white subdials, or meteorite with black subdials, both equally stunning, yet with subtle differences in character.
Ulysse Nardin also had something big in store, or actually, something smaller. With the new Freak X, one of their signature models shrinks from 45mm to 43mm. Thanks to a revised movement it now features a crown. This makes the watch more accessible in every way, also because as a result of these changes the titanium model is now available for US$ 21.000,-. Next, to this material, they also offer the newly designed case in Carbonium and rose gold. These changes allow a whole new customer group to enjoy one of Ulysse Nardin’s landmark pieces and was the perfect ending of our second day at SIHH 2019.
SIHH Day 3: Passion Is What Drives The Industry
From every aspect, the mechanical watch is an obsolete instrument, yet we continue to have a love affair with it. It is, therefore, a passion that drives the industry and that is also clear when you look at the creations of many of the exhibitors at de SIHH. Because of that passion, they went above and beyond to create movements, complications, finishes and decorations that were not possible before, or continue a tradition that is often almost forgotten.
This passion becomes especially clear when you are looking at the creations of Bovet. The Tourbillon Amadeo Fleurier Virtuoso IX not only combines some of the most exquisite complications but also stunningly unites them. It almost seems like this watch is sculpted and not crafted. The beautiful dial forms a backdrop to a double time zone, big date and flying tourbillon, while Bovet also was able to give the movement that makes this all possible a ten-day power reserve.
Parmigiani Fleurier is another brand that shares that same passion. With the Kalpagraphe Chronomètre Titanium, they add another sportive watch to their collection and the very first one in the Kalpa case. The brand paid a lot of attention to detail, which resulted in a rich and legible watch with a lot of character. While the watch by itself is rather large, the titanium keeps the weight down and also increases the technical look of the watch.
The Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel is nothing but a showcase of the capabilities of Jaeger-LeCoultre. It features a stunning petrol blue enamel dial, while the dial is perfectly balanced with the date in a subdial at twelve o’clock and the tourbillon placed at six. At the back, we find a beautiful gold rotor which is visible through the see-through caseback of this watch. This also allows you to admire the fine finish of the different components.
Passion also fuels the creativity at Urwerk. This becomes especially clear when you look at the UR-105 CT “Maverick.” As many of the brand’s watches do also this model feature the satellite disk time indication, but the case is now crafted from bronze, which gives it a completely new look. Urwerk also reworked the decorations giving this watch a distinct character of its own. The brand has also announced that this will be the last version of the UR-105 that they will launch, so we can expect a new model replacing it soon.
SIHH Day 4: A World Of Wonders Comes To An End
With the fourth day, the SIHH is slowly winding down, but goes out with a bang! This is the only day that the fair is open to the public and a lot of people joined journalists and retailers from around the world to admire all the great watches. For us, it is the time to have our last appointments and do the final photoshoots, and once again we were delighted by what we got to see!
Montblanc is expanding their 1858 collection with a few new models and among them is the 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition. This watch, of which Montblanc will only make 1858 pieces, now features a bronze case and bezel and combines this with a handsome green dial. While the features haven’t changed, it is a very welcome addition and shows that this model continues to captivate attention. While it has a lot to offer in terms of complications the case is only 42mm in diameter and 12.8mm thick, making it very wearable. It is a perfect timepiece for an explorer, also because it has a water resistance of 100 meters!
This year also starts very strong for Cartier. They introduced numerous new models of which one is the Tonneau Skeleton Dual Time. This very handsome watch displays two time zones with only one movement. Thanks to two crowns each timezone can easily be set and adjusted. The case is slightly curved which ensures a perfect fit on the wrist. While the watch itself is among the very first that Cartier ever made, and dates back more than a century, with this movement it looks very modern without taking it too far.
For Panerai SIHH 2019 was all about the Submersible. This model is now its own collection within the Panerai family, and many new models joined the line-up. Among them this limited edition which is created in collaboration with their ambassador, Mike Horn, who is dedicated to preserving natures beauty on earth for the next generations. That’s why the case is made out of recycled titanium and also the strap is made of recycled materials. Another new aspect is that Panerai now offers certain limited editions with an experience. This means in this case, for example, that the 19 people who buy this Submersible will join Mike Horn in an expedition, in which you can first-hand experience what he does.
This edition of SIHH was also the last one in its current form, as next year Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille will have left the fair. Their place will probably be taken by other brands who will join the event, which in 2020 will also take place later in the year.