Expert’s Picks – The Top 5 of SIHH 2016

Expert’s Picks – The Top 5 of SIHH 2016

Collector’s Guides • 25 Feb 2016

Expert’s Picks – The Top 5 of SIHH 2016

by Frank Geelen


Now that the 2016 watch fair in Geneva known as the SIHH is over, our mind is full of impressions of all the new watches. Luckily it isn’t very difficult to name the most desirable watches of the show. Here is my top five from SIHH 2016.

Cartier Drive de Cartier
If there’s one thing Cartier does well, it’s the way that the maison masters shapes. When most brands rely on classical, round cases for their dress watches, Cartier has created elegant, unusual shapes over the years, with squared, oval or even asymmetric cases. At SIHH 2016 Cartier introduced a new men’s watch that can be seen as the essence of the brand. Its discreet vintage inspiration, a combination of dress and casual design, a simple display and an in-house movement are added to the mix that creates a this strong design. The Drive de Cartier is clean, refined and original enough to be regarded as a future classic.

The Cartier Drive de Cartier appeals with its in-house movement, cushion-shaped dial and clean refined looks.
The Cartier Drive de Cartier appeals with its in-house movement, cushion-shaped dial and clean refined looks.

 

IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch
With this new sub-collection, IWC had only one goal in mind: pleasing the hard-core IWC collectors with a truly vintage-inspired watch that revamps all the attributes of the antique beobachtunguhr, timepieces worn by navigators during the Second World War. The IWC Pilot’s Watch collection is inspired by watches those watch, but is not just a remake, it reinterprets the concept. It does this with a highly legible dial, with the same hands and markers, the same military straps and ultra-large cases (available in 48mm and 55mm), just like the WWII aviator’s watches. They are a combination of historical horology with the advantage of modern technical conveniences.

The IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage watch is vintage-inspired with a highly legible dial and ultra-large cases of 48mm and 55mm.
The IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage watch is vintage-inspired with a highly legible dial and ultra-large cases of 48mm and 55mm.

 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked
Audemars Piguet impressed us with a new iteration of the iconic Royal Oak, featuring a skeleton movement and a new double balance wheel. This watch is an interesting mix of history with the iconic Royal Oak design, haute horlogerie with the superbly finished, open-worked movement, and innovation in the form of the double balance wheel, essentially a twin oscillator for the movement. According to Audemars Piguet the double balance wheel will achieve a more stable timekeeping in any position, thanks to a second balance wheel and balance-spring assembly on the same axis. The result is an improved precision and stability, while preserving the iconic look of the most famous Audemars Piguet timepiece.

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked features a skeleton movement and a new double balance wheel.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked features a skeleton movement and a new double balance wheel.

 

This edition of the SIHH was kind of special, as for the first time, nine independent watchmakers were invited to display their creations at the show. In order to demonstrate the creativity behind these brands, here are two of the most impressive watches made by independent watchmakers showed during the SIHH 2016.

 

Urwerk UR-105 T-Rex
Urwerk is not just technically impressive with its complicated movement; but also in terms of creative display of the time, they still manage to create awe-inspiring designs. The new UR-105 T-Rex features their signature satellite hour complication, and it comes with a rather polarizing design. You either love it, or hate it! The UR-105 T-Rex is an organic iteration of their UR-105, with a bronze bezel engraved like the skin of a dinosaur. Whether you like it or not, everyone has to admit the creativity and the audaciousness of such small brand – and the T-Rex is one of the most striking representation of this spirit.

The Urwerk UR-105 T-Rex is striking with its bronze bezel engraved like the skin of a dinosaur.
The Urwerk UR-105 T-Rex is striking with its bronze bezel engraved like the skin of a dinosaur.

 

MB&F HM6 SV
One thing to note with watches made by MB&F: they all find the inspiration in Max Busser’s childhood memory and the HM6 doesn’t break this tradition. It features a case that is inspired by 1970s cartoons and spaceships. For the SIHH 2016, the brand reworked the with the “streamliner” sides of the case inspired by the 1950s, with the top and bottom of the case entirely executed in sapphire crystal. The result reveals the highly complicated and sculptural movement of the HM6, with central tourbillon and time displayed via rotating domes. The MB&F HM6 SV is bold, almost outrageous, full of emotions and technically very impressive.

The sapphire crystal case of the MB&F HM6 SV reveals the highly complicated and sculptural movement within and displays time via rotating domes.
The sapphire crystal case of the MB&F HM6 SV reveals the highly complicated and sculptural movement within and displays time via rotating domes.
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