In the following week, the watch industry will kick-start one of the major horological events of the year: Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève, or SIHH for short.
This year’s SIHH will be a much more significant event. The pull-out of Baselworld from some brands – predominantly the Swatch Group – had certainly cast a greater spotlight on this particular exhibition. The fair, which was previously dominated by brands in the Richemont Group, had also seen its fair share of new exhibitors in recent years as well.
The main highlights of the fair is no doubt the novelties that are launched. Every year, we will be keeping our eyes peeled on the various publications and press releases. There are often hits and misses, but thankfully the more of the former. Hence, before the press releases from the various brands come hard and fast, let us take some time to recap some of our favourite pieces from SIHH 2018. What have we selected? Let’s find out!
Cartier Tank Cintrée
Cartier is a brand that is often synonymous with stunning design, and the Tank collection had seen its fair share of interesting and elegant pieces over the years. The Cartier Tank Cintrée is one of them.
The new Tank Cintrée is a remake of the original version, this time with a larger case dimension. The watch measures 46.3mm by 23mm, which is seemingly large on paper. However, it fits nicely on the wrist – both in terms of looks and comfort. This is all thanks to its curved case, which also adds a nice touch to an otherwise clean and simple design.
The watch is powered by the Calibre 8971MC, which is a derivation of the Jaeger LeCoultre’s Calibre 846. It is a manual-winding movement, which says true to the traditional Tank Cintrée watches. The watch is simple without any accompanying functions, and it has a power reserve of around 38 hours.
Prices begins at S$28,300 for the gold versions (pink and yellow), and S$32,600 for the platinum piece. It is a classy piece, and certainly a good addition to any proper watch collection.
Singer Reimagined Track1 Geneva Edition
For car collectors, Singer is certainly a brand that is instantly recognised by many. The California-based car restoration workshop is known for its works on classic air-cooled Porsches, and it has now teamed up with others to bring its philosophy into timepieces.
The Track1 is Singer’s first attempt at creating a timepiece. The theme of the watch seems to draw its inspiration from the 70s, in which its tonneau-shaped 43mm case reminding us of both the Omega Speedmaster Mark II and the Heuer Autavia. The Geneva Edition – a gold version launched in SIHH 2018 – further exudes the classic vibes.
But the watch is not just a pretty face either. The Track 1 is fitted with the AgenGraphe – a 67-jewel, 477-part movement that has a minimum power reserve of 60 hours and operates at a traditional 3 Hz beat rate. It is a well-crafted movement, with an equally attractive level of finishing.
Priced at CHF 72,000 (approximately S$99,960), the Singer Reimagined Track 1 Geneva Edition is slightly pricey for a newcomer into the game. However, it seems to offer an interesting proposition, and we will keep our eyes peeled on their subsequent offerings in the future.
Ferdinand Berthoud Chronometre FB-1R.6-1
The Ferdinand Berthoud is an intriguing collection/brand, created by the great Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. The collection aims to recreate watches by Ferdinand Berthoud – but re-imagined it with access to modern technology and materials.
The FB1R.6-1 is one of the latest pieces from the brand itself. The design dialect is an entirely mind-boggling concept – in which it is unlike any usual regulators (the main central hand indicates the seconds, which is vastly different from the usual), and the dial is predominantly a large negative space. It also features a digital hour display, as well as a patented power reserve indicator.
The movement is certainly a treat, with brilliant finishing and different technical bits incorporated into a magnificent engine. It also features some of the most sought-after complications, such as the tourbillion and fusée and chain system.
The stainless steel version was launched in SIHH, while the bronze version (pictured above) was showcased later in the year during Baselworld. The 44mm watch is priced at CHF 230,000 (approximately S$316,922), and we dare say that this is one of the most well thought timepieces that we have seen in the fair (or even the whole of 2018, for that matter).
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar
The Royal Oak has been a staple in the high-end watch category, and it was the timepiece that had kickstarted the “luxury sports watch” genre more than four decades ago.
In last year’s SIHH, Audemars Piguet continued its pursuit of breaking new grounds with the RD#2 Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar. The timepiece is a culmination of half a decade of R&D – resulting in an incredible Calibre 5133 that is considered as the world’s thinnest self-winding perpetual calendar on the market. Audemars Piguet had managed to achieve this feat by re-engineering a three-level movement into a single layer – which is undoubtedly challenging.
The 41mm timepiece is cased in 950 platinum, and it is fitted with its
signature tapisserie pattern dial. It is however not available to end-users at the moment, but we are sure that this will be an interesting option for serious collectors who wants a stylish but elegant perpetual calendar.
Greubel Forsey Différentiel d’Égalité
In the higher echelons of haute horlogerie, Greubel Forsey is a brand that is widely regarded as the crème de la crème of the watchmaking scene. The
Différentiel d’Égalité is a testament to that.
The concept of using a constant force (the remontoir) and the inclined balance system was first showcased in a demonstrator back in 2010. It was only this year, however, that Greubel Forsey decided to incorporate the mechanism into a timepiece. This had resulted in the brand’s first
seconds morte watch.
As usual, the Différentiel d’Égalité is a visual treat as well. The movement is visible on the cut-out of the dial, and the finishing is simply immaculate – and probably the best in the business as well. We highly recommend you to take a look at the full review of the article, with the accompanying macro shots to immerse yourself into this beautiful work of art.
Priced at CHF 265,000 (approximately S$365,149), this is certainly out of reach for most of us. However, if your fortunes do allow, we reckon this Greubel Forsey might just be the piece that rules them all in this mad world of timepieces.
A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split Chronograph
We round off the article with one of the most incredible timepiece from last year’s SIHH: A. Lange & Söhne’s Triple Split Chronograph.
As its name suggests, the watch is a remarkable technical feat. The Double Split – its sibling – is the only chronograph that allows a comparative measurement of duration of up to 30 minutes by a split minute totaliser on one of the sub-dials. The new watch takes it up a notch further, with a third totaliser counter for measures of up to 12 hours. This certainly blows any rattrapantes out of the water.
Besides the technical ingenuity, the watch is a looker as well. The watch is stunning to look at, and the movement is definitely a sight to behold. The 43.2mm watch is priced at €139,000 (approximately S$215,310), and we dare say that this is a masterpiece in its own right.
The last SIHH had certainly brought about many wonderful pieces. Who says that the watch industry is boring?
There were certainly many technically innovative watches that were launched during the fair last year. The Royal Oak and Triple Split, for instance, challenged the status quo to create something that is rather amazing. Sure, nobody is going to use the triple split function or care particularly about the thinness of the movement, but the principle of improving one’s product is something admirable. The F. Berthoud is another fascinating piece, and its story is certainly one that will get people excited.
So, what will SIHH 2019 bring? What are some of the things that you are hoping to see in the upcoming watch fair? Let us know in the comments section below!