Now the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) has ended, it’s time for a recap of this year’s most impressive new timepieces. The general feeling of the 2017 edition of the SIHH was that many brands introduced more competitively priced collections. Baume & Mercier with the Clifton Club, Montblanc with the very strong and good looking redesigned Timewalker and Jaeger-LeCoultre with three new Master Control models that look great and are priced very pleasantly. However, now we’re going to look at the watches that impressed most.
A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Decimal Strike
Since the German brand introduced the Zeitwerk in 2009, it has been a talking piece, being such a novel design, such novel way to indicate time. It was and is a rather unexpected design coming from a classic brand like A. Lange & Söhne. After several chiming variations, like the Decimal Repeater and Striking Time, the brand now introduced what could well be the best CEO’s wristwatch you can imagine. The Zeitwerk Decimal Strike strikes once every ten minutes, which gives you a very good feeling of how fast (or slow) your daily meetings pass by without looking at the clock.
It comes in a lovely 18k honey gold case, and with hand-engraved tremblage finishing on the steel hammers and hammer-bridges, to add a touch of handswerkskunst, or craftsmanship, to this already mighty wristwatch.
Cartier Drive de Cartier Extra Flat
The luxury maison Cartier introduced the Drive de Cartier at last year’s SIHH, and this year they extend the collection with a moon phase and an extra flat edition. The latter is slightly smaller than the rest of the Drive de Cartier collection and, as the name indicates, extremely thin. It makes a lovely dress watch that is just a bit different from the average round dress watches out there, and therefore perfectly befits the brand that is known for their beautifully shaped watches. Inside ticks the ultra-flat Piaget 430P hand-wound calibre.
Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon
Starting a few years ago Ulysse Nardin seems to have been completely re-energized, introducing superb new timepieces at a very competitive pricing every year. Last year the marine inspired brand added an annual calendar function to the Marine Chronograph, and they did that with no price increase versus the ordinary model. This year they proposed the same Annual Calendar for the Marine Manufacture Chronometer.
And to top it off they introduced the beautiful Marine Tourbillon, which comes in at a price of well below US$30,000 and features a brand new in-house movement with a silicon escapement that means no more problems with magnetism that can affect your beloved wristwatch. And it has a 60-hour power reserve to boot, plus a magnificent flying tourbillon that is visible through an aperture in the fired enamel dial.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Metrographe
Parmigiani is well equipped with its own case and dial manufacturing facilities, and of course its own movement manufacture, Vaucher. With strong designs like the Tonda 1950 that show that the brand has a certain joy-de-vivre that well befits the brand. The new and improved Tonda Metrographe now features an additional tachymeter scale around the dial and a big date, resulting in a sporty look.
Sporty-chic that is, as that’s the style of the brand, and the quality of finishing remains top class. If you’re in the market for a good looking, high-end sports chronograph, than you should certainly have a look at the new Tonda Metrographe!
Last year Girard-Perregaux re-introduced the sporty Laureato as a limited edition, stirring up emotions among fans of the brand. After a slight redesign and refining some details, Girard-Perregaux now introduces a full Laureato line-up and it has never looked better.
The new Laureato collection looks great, wears great and comes at a rather pleasant price point. As a purist I’m pleased to see that the new Laureato has been equipped with a larger movement (calibre GP1800) that perfectly fits into the enlarged case. At its price point the new Laureato makes a great alternative to the Piaget Polo S and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 15400.
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Frank Geelen – The Netherlands
Frank Geelen is an expert on Haute Horlogerie and beautiful hand-finished mechanical movements make his horological heart beats faster. He loves to explain all technical details of complications like tourbillons, minute repeaters, constant force escapements and column-wheel chronographs and he has been doing that for nine years.