Frank’s Top 3 From SIHH 2018
Just like that, the most important watch fair of the year is over. Is there any point for us watch lovers to go on living? Fortunately, there is, as I’m sure plenty of surprises await us in the months to come. But while the memories of SIHH 2018 remain fresh, now is the perfect time to reflect on and evaluate the novelties that were presented by the many manufactures that participated. This is a great exercise that will help explore your taste and values as a watch collector/enthusiast. Here are my 3 favourite timepieces from SIHH 2018:
The Lange Triple Split is a no-brainer. At first glance, it may seem like Lange just stacked a new function on top of an existing watch, the Double Split. But when you realise that the Double Split holds the record of being the only split-seconds AND split-minutes chronograph watch in existence and that Lange has just superseded that previously unchallenged record with a watch that additionally splits the hours, you can’t not be impressed. With the Triple Split, I now also have a new favourite movement, an honour that belonged to the Double Split prior to SIHH 2018. The Triple Split movement sits even higher up on the complexity scale compared to regular chronographs and even the Double Split – definitely more than just inserting a few extra parts into an old movement. Its gorgeous layered architecture makes my knees weak and eyes glisten. Many will say that it is too thick but as a watch geek, I love nothing more than to gaze at the ridiculous depth of the movement and the ordered chaos that it is comprised of.
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Les Aérostiers
Those who know me personally also know that I have a soft spot for artistic timepieces. I have always adored the Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art collection. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that Vacheron Constantin are the best in the field of watchmaking artistic crafts, at least in my opinion. There are many design aspects of the Les Aérostiers that I like: the nuanced case with a double-gadrooned bezel, the sheer depth of the dial, the absolutely masterful application of engraving and enamelling techniques and the satisfying interplay between the opaque and see-through dial elements. The watch is a stunning tribute to early aviation and serves as a striking reminder for its wearer to always dare to dream. The Les Aérostiers is the brand’s most impressive Métiers d’Art piece to date.
What drew me towards the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 ‘Homage To Walter Lange’ initially was its odd complication: a stoppable jumping central seconds hand. My curiosity then turned to awe as I saw what was inside the case back. Put simply, the Calibre L1924 that powers the watch is unique, even when compared to the brand’s other movements. The watch is also a fitting tribute to the venerable Mr. Walter Lange who revived the A. Lange & Söhne brand in 1990 but sadly passed away on the second day of SIHH last year. The jumping seconds complication was a personal favourite of Mr. Lange; its incorporation into the 1815 collection is also a respectful nod to the birth year of his great-grandfather, Ferdinand Adolph Lange. The stainless steel version of the timepiece will no doubt be everyone’s favourite – including mine – given that it is crafted from a metal that hasn’t been used by the manufacture since 2000, and has a luscious black enamel dial. It is, however, a piece unique destined for the auction room, with all proceeds going to charity.