The SIHH stands for "Salon international de la Haute Horlogerie" which is an annual watch and jewellery exhibition held in Geneva, Switzerland. It started in 1991 with just 5 brands and ever since grew in importance. Today it is the second largest exhibition of watch brands in the world, after the BaselWorld. Amongst the illustre watch manufacturers exhibiting there are A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Officine Panerei, Piaget, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels and various more! We handpicked our 5 most favourite new watch launches of the SIHH 2018 for you:
1. The Cartier Rélévation d'Une Panthère
Like many of the exceptional timepieces showcased on the SIHH 2018, the Cartier Rélévation d'Une Panther has a 37mm 18K pink gold case and an impressive 1.64 carat diamond set bezel. However, neither this nor the three different dial colours (green, red and black) or the manually wound caliber 430 MC movement are the most exciting feature of this watch. This timepiece real magic lies within its dial!
The dial seems to be filled with 900 tiny pink gold beads. While these balls tumble across the dial they create Cartier's iconic Panthère face. This panther motif appears and disappears by the wrist movements and the gold beads which accordingly roll over the dial.
This unique effect was never been used before in a Haute Horlogerie watch and is only possible because of two patents Cartier developed over the last 5 years. Firstly, they developed a especially thin glass to protect the watch hands from gold beads. Secondly, they created a unique liquid which is containing the gold beads and gives them the optimal resistance for their elegant tumbling and rolling over the dial.
This is definitely not only a watch making masterpiece, but also a statement piece of a unique magic!
Cartier Rélévation d'Une Panthère, price $106,000.
2. The Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium
VC&A already developed The Planétarium as a men's watch back in 2014. You might know from this article that we admire the timepiece very much. Therefore we are quite excited that they finally launched this piece of Haute Horlogerie for women too. This watch is not a usual timepiece. In fact it's movement is far more complicated, the exact movement of the planets of our solar-system! Each planet is circling the sun (the center of the dial) in their exact astronomical orbit time. So the Earth for example will take exactly 365 days to orbit the sun once on your dial. Very remarkable are the meticulous details of this movement. While the earth is orbiting the sun, the moon is correctly orbiting the earth... a master piece developed by Christiaan van der Klaauw who is a leading Astronomical watchmaker.
After all, you can still see the time of the day which is indicated by a shooting star moving along the very outer ring of the dial. On the backside of the timepiece you can even see the exact date and the year displayed. The latter is important as the planet constellations vary from year to year.
This new Ladies version of the Planétarium, might not only be interesting for women. This smaller sized version of the older men's Planétarium, is just way more suitable to actually wear and not just using it as a collector's piece. We certainly could imagine it well as a timepiece to wear for black and white tie evenings!
Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium, price starting at $245,000.
3. The Vacheron Constantin Métier D'art, Les Aérostiers
Like VC&A's Planétarium and Cartier's Panthère watch, the most recent Métier D'Art watch of Vacheron Constantin also displays an extraordinary dial. The main motif of this watch collection is focussed on the glamorous first hot air balloons of the 18th century in France.
Vacheron created 5 versions of this timepiece remembering the 5 first test flights of the Montgolfier brothers in the years 1783 to 1785. The five watches come in five different colours and each are displaying the different looking balloon of the Montgolfier brothers. The balloons are relief engraved in gold and the background is made out of half-transparently enamel coloured glass.
As only 5 sets of these 5 timepieces are produced, it goes without saying that these are to be considered being pieces of art than simple time-tellers. Although the dial is indeed lacking any watch hands, the timepieces still show hours, minutes, date and weekdays. Each through one of four separated wheels powered by a caliber 2460 G4/1 automatic movement.
We love these watches for three reasons: The rich historic heritage behind each of them, their confidence of colour and their exclusiveness. Owning one of these will mean that there are only 4 other people in the world who are delighted by the same beautiful timepiece every day.
Vacheron Constantin Métier D'art, Les Aérostiers, price $135,000.
4. The A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin in Copper Blue
The Saxonia Thin Copper Blue, in comparison to the previously described watches, is a very classic timepiece. Timeless watch hands, minimalistic design and the thin design make it a perfect watch to wear. Fascinating, however, is the new dial of the Saxonia Thin, which was unveiled on the SIHH 2018. A. Lange & Söhne is applying an extremely thin layer of goldstone to a silver dial and applies microscopic blue copper oxide crystals into it. This Venetian technique of the 17th century creates a shimmering midnight sky effect.
It's beautiful how this exciting dial is emphasised by the minimalistic and calm design of the watch case. The Saxonia Thin Blue Copper is launched with 39mm and is not specified as a female or male watch. It's great to see that more and more watch makers defy gender stereotypes. This leaves complete freedom to the future wearer of this timepiece of choosing it solely because of its movement and unique appearance, regardless of gender.
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin in Copper Blue, price $22,000.
5. The Richard Mille RM 07-01 In Gem-Set Black Ceramic
Richard Mille is known for his weight-less, tonneau-formed watches with fascinating movements. The newly launched RM 07-01 timepiece, however, stands out for two reasons. First of all it is made out of a hand finished, exceedingly fine grain black ceramic. Secondly, Richard Mille did something, which was never done before: He settled gemstones directly into the black ceramic bezel.
The unique and fascinating contrast between diamonds and black in jewellery is very rare. One can try to use black Rhodium or Ruthenium (platinum-metals with a blackish appearance), but it won't result in a pitch black finish achieved by using black ceramic. This said, it comes apparent why the RM 07-01 is both a masterpiece of Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joallerie.
The rest of the timepiece is emphasising this unique aesthetic. The automatic caliber CRMA2 movement is partially visible through the black Onyx dial and fully visible from the back. The onyx of the dial blends in with the black ceramic while creating a dramatic contrast to the in red-gold placed diamonds. We admire that the whole colour and design concept of this watch showcases how a diamond-featured watch can look very masculine - because diamonds are for men, too!
Richard Mille RM 07-01 In Gem-Set Black Ceramic, price probably around $170,000
Which one is your favourite?
Do you already know about the KHAMAMA timepiece collection?
Comments will be approved before showing up.