Come 16 January 2017 the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, or SIHH, will open its doors. The Geneva-based watch fair is the start of the horological season, a showcase for a diversity of long-awaited new launches. Here are five -presented watches presented as sneak peeks that you shouldn’t miss at SIHH 2017.
Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon
Let’s get serious from the start. Here are some impressive watchmaking skills employed by the ancient French maison. The Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon, as indicated by its name, contains three mechanical masterpieces: a chiming complication, a twin-tourbillon and Cartier’s signature display.
This is a highly technical watch, both in terms of watchmaking and style. The minute repeater’s hammers are visible at six o’clock and the sound of the chimes are maximized by a specially hollowed out titanium case.
Then there is the double tourbillon, which seems to float in a sapphire aperture hence the “mysterious” appellation. Here, Cartier revives something familiar, a double tourbillon, which makes a one-minute revolution on its own axis, and another five-minute revolution around the aperture.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold
At SIHH next year Audemars Piguet will unveil a version of its iconic Royal Oak that will please both genders as well as lovers of artistic skills. Working off the 37mm automatic Royal Oak, commonly known as the mid-size model but suitable for all, AP finishes the watch with gold hammering or frosting.
This technique was originally used in jewellery – also known as the Florentine technique having originated in the Italian city – is here applied on all the flat surfaces of the watch (namely case, bezel, bracelet), giving it a surface that sparkles in the light. It’ll be available soon in white and pink gold.
Richard Mille RM 11-03 Flyback Chronograph
Richard Mille will introduce the new version of its iconic chronograph, the RM 11. Equipped with the same movement featuring a with flyback chronograph, large date, annual calendar and the usual hyper-technical styling of the brand, Richard Mille reworks the case for an even bolder and more masculine look.
The distinctive watch has been facelifted with notches on the outline of the bezel, a more structured strap, while the crown and pushers are even more functional. Even the movement has been redesigned to better suit the new case and dial design. It’s a watch that’s remarkably complex and highly technical, both visually and mechanically.
IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
Next year marks the return of the round Da Vinci watch case, a collection that has long been associated exclusively with tonneau, or barrel-shaped, cases. IWC will revamp the entire Da Vinci collection, adding to the line-up new chronographs, automatic time-only models, as well as ladies’ watches, while the flagship will be the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. Based on the familiar and complex in-house movement boasting twin complications, the new design returns to the roots of the collection – the landmark Da Vinci of 1985 – with bold shapes and a unique semi-baroque look.
Panerai Radiomir 3 Days Acciaio Brevettato
Last but not least, Panerai has put together a watch made to please the lovers of vintage watches. While the overall watch recalls earlier Radiomir models, having the same 47mm case, wire lugs, and sandwich dials, the main attraction here is the Brevettato (translating as “patented” in English) bezel with its characteristic 12-sided shape. While this feature was usually used for the screw-down case backs on vintage watches, Panerai chooses to expose it on the front in homage to a vintage prototype with the same feature. It will be available in two versions: a classical model with gilt hands and a black dial, as well as retro-look edition with gradient brown dial that’s reminiscent of the discoloured “tropical” dials on vintage watches.
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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.