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BW Businessworld

Timepieces To Adorn The Wrist

Watch lovers across the globe wait eagerly for the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the first exhibition of the year to set the trend for the watches that will adorn wrists for the coming year

Watch lovers across the globe wait eagerly for the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the first exhibition of the year to set the trend for the watches that will adorn wrists for the coming year. Held in Geneva from January 18-22, the SIHH, one of the most exclusive exhibitions in the world, saw just about two dozen brands showcasing their latest timepieces. Some of the brands on display this year were Montblanc, IWC, Roger Dubuis, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, A. Lange & Sohne, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Baume & Mercier, Piaget, Panerai and Vacheron Constantin.

Since debutting in 1991, SIHH has showcased the extraordinary talents of some of the finest brands in Switzerland that have their roots going back to the 1700s. Many of these brands have pioneered technology inside the watch, as well as outside, changing the look and feel of the wristwear over the decades.

We take a look at some of the watches that were exhibited at the show this year.

Panerai’s Lo Scienziato — Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio
Dedicated to Galileo Galilei, whose inventions and scientific discoveries laid the foundation for the mechanical timepieces of today, the latest offering in the Lo Scienziato collection is a special edition, limited to only 150 pieces. The skeletonised tourbillion collection is for the first time made of titanium, which is not only hypoallergenic and resistant to corrosion but also 40 per cent lighter than steel, making it remarkably light. Using direct laser sintering, a type of 3D printing, 0.02mm titanium layers were welded together to create pieces for the watch’s movement. Due to the new manufacturing process, the watch is 35 per cent lighter than the brand's previous skeletonised pieces. You can admire the hand-wound mechanics and cutting-edge technology through the sapphire crystal backing. The watch comes with the standard wealth of features — hours, minutes, small seconds, GMT with am/pm indication, a power reserve of six days with indication of the power remaining on the back, and a tourbillon escapement. It is water resistant up to a depth of about a 100 metres and is supplied with an alligator strap.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon
To celebrate the 85th anniversary of their iconic Reverso collection, Jaeger-LeCoultre has reimagined the classic timepiece by accommodating the complexity of the gyrotourbillon (the brand’s version of the tourbillon) and the Reverso into a watch which is 30 per cent trimmer in terms of both width and thickness. The movement can be seen from the front of the watch face below the dial where the gyrotourbillon seems to be floating in the air. Pared down to their slimmest possible form, the two carriages of this bi-axial flying tourbillon perform an external rotation in one minute and an internal rotation in 12.6 seconds. The surprising back of the watch demonstrates the art of the company’s engravers. The movement is entirely open and the bridges are hand-decorated by skilled artisans.

The watch features a dual-time display, a day and night indicator, 24-hour mode, and a tourbillon-driven seconds hand. The special edition is limited to only 75 pieces.

Piaget Limelight Gala
According to Piaget, the Limelight Gala is the epitome of absolute femininity. Launched in 18k white gold and pink gold versions, the watches are set with 62 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing approximately 1.75 carats. The dial has Roman numerals, and the mesh bracelet is gold. The watch has a quartz movement.

Rotonde de Cartier Astromystérieux watch Calibre 9462 MC
Cartier’s Rotonde de Astromystérieux is inspired by the brand’s mystery clocks from the early 20th century which seemed to float within their glass casings. Cartier’s latest wristwatch mimics this illusion with a tourbillon movement that is seemingly suspended in the centre of the watch face. Rotating every hour with the minute hand, the mechanics are actually supported by four transparent sapphire discs anchored to the dial’s perimeter. Limited to only a 100 pieces, the watch is also available in baguette-cut gem-set versions. The watch is water resistant up to 30 metres and comes with a black alligator strap with an 18k white gold buckle.

Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas Chronograph — Calibre 5200
At the SIHH, Vacheron Constantin displayed a reinvented version of its iconic collection, Overseas. The collection includes five new models inspired by the spirit of travel. They are fitted with easily interchangeable bracelets/straps and feature simple displays (hours, minutes, seconds, with or without date). The collection also comprises chronographs and ultra-thin timepieces.

The Overseas Chronograph — Calibre 5200 is part of that collection. The 263-component calibre is fitted with a column wheel coordinating the chronograph start, stop and reset functions, as well as a vertical coupling clutch preventing any jerking of the hand when the chronograph starts. The movement is equipped with a twin barrel enhancing its torque and its reliability while ensuring over 50 hours of power reserve. The Overseas Chronograph comes in a stainless steel or 18K pink gold 42.5 mm-diameter case. The new stainless steel models are each delivered with three interchangeable bracelet/straps: a steel bracelet with an easy-fit system, along with rubber and leather straps.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon
ALange & Söhne’s Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is not only technically impressive but also has a well organised face in spite of all the information it provides. The perpetual calendar indicates the days of the week, month and year and is so precise that the next estimated adjustment will have to be made only in March 2100. What’s more, the moon phase display will remain accurate for another 122.6 years. The tourbillon rotates on its own axis once a minute and maintains accuracy throughout the 50-hour power reserve. Only a 100 of these watches will be made.

Compiled by Smita Tripathi