The standouts on my list.
Last year, we talked about Blue is the New Black. Notably, the trend continues at this year’s SIHH with several brands presenting novelties in brilliant, boyish and bashful blues. If you are looking to add one in your collection, you want to check out the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel, Vacheron Constantin Fifty-Six petrol blue dial, ocean blue and shark grey combination of the Panerai Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry edition, and of course, the subtle deep blue printed numerals and hands of the 25th anniversary Lange 1.
Taking a step from the blues, the following are my personal top picks of SIHH 2019 that have made a visceral impact on me, not in order of favour nor merit.
Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat
Vacheron Constantin has developed the world’s first voluntarily adjustable beat frequency based on the wearer’s needs. It can be adjusted between the Active (5Hz) and Standby (1.2Hz) frequency mode (with an impressive 65 days power reserve). This in-house developed calibre 3610 QP is inspired by the variation of the seasons, from the Japanese Edo Period (1603 – 1868), which divided the day and night, of which the length of daylight varied from one season to another.
As if this innovation was not complex enough, Vacheron Constantin decided to add on the challenge and included a perpetual calendar to this masterpiece. With this perpetual calendar, energy requirements became an issue, some in-house innovations had to be made, to include a new in-house (patent pending) redesigned jumping mechanism using a sprung dual gear compound system that requires four times less torque than the conventional jumping mechanism. In addition, due to the highly sensitive Standby balance, similar to the finest human hair, the cross sectional area (0.0774mm by 0.0159mm) is four times smaller than the hair spring of the Active balance. There are two balance wheels and power sources, hence, the reading of time would require that both gears are able to transmit the power to the hours and minutes hands (using two differential gears). Yet despite these technological micro-engineering feats, the calibre is only kept to 6mm thick and 32mm in diameter.
This one-of-a-kind timepiece is aesthetically pleasing and outstanding: The upper half is a hand guilloche slate coloured dial, while the lower half reveals the fully exposed date and month dials, with the leap year counter in the lower middle. The black oxidised gold frequency mode indicator (5Hz and 1.2Hz, colour coded with the complimentary power reserve indicator) located at the 9 and 10 o’clock position; the power reserve indicator sits triumphantly at the 12 o’clock position indicating the 65 days power reserve.
Langematik Perpetual Calendar in Honey Gold
Since 2010, A. Lange & Söhne has introduced 8 models with their exclusive honey-gold case material. This romantic and subtle honey gold colour that lies between pink and white gold, this 18-carat alloy is composed of 75 per cent fine gold. It is harder than any other gold alloys due to its mineral additives and a special heat treatment.
First introduced in 2001, the Langematik Perpetual is the world’s first self-winding wristwatch that had an outsize-date display and a perpetual calendar. It also possessed the Lange’s patented ZERO-RESET mechanism within it, that silent all their critics.
This amazing SIHH 2019 honey gold timepiece is limited to 100 pieces, and is insanely attractive, playful and yet romantic in its aesthetic appearance. As a watch collector, this is a must for the watch collection.
Hermes Arceau L’heure de la lune
La Montre Hermès takes us to the sky with their novelties this SIHH.
The core dream team (or theme for 2019) comprise the Galop d’Hermès , Arceau L’Heure de la Lune, Arceau A-wooo-o and Slim D-Hermès collections.
We are familiar with the hugely successful Arceau collection, and the different renditions over the years. This year’s unique creation – Arceau L’Heure de la Lune – features a pair of mother-of-pearl moons (each referencing the Northern and Southern hemisphere respectively) with two rotating lacquer satellites (as sub-dials), set on the Hermès 43mm sky-dial composed of aventurine and meteorite. The sub-dial rotating around the Northern Moon (at 12 o’clock) displays the date, while the southern moon (at 6 o’clock) displays the hours and minutes, all of which produced in-house Hermes movement. Carefully etched on the Northern moon, is the mystical Hermès pegasus by artist Dimitri Rybaltchenko. The Arceau case has attractive asymmetrical lugs designed in 1978 by Henri d’Origny. Produced in a limited quantity of 100 pieces, it is a dream come true if you are fast enough to place an order.
Panerai Submersible – 42mm
Panerai has always been about time and tide, the one watch maker that has devoted 90 years of their history enhancing the safety and the lives of the divers. This leaves little wonder why Panerai makes one of the most rugged and reliable diver’s watches in the world. Due to the extreme needs of their divers, the watches initial wire welded lugs had to be reinforced and was replaced by a block of hard steel. The straps naturally had to be water resistant long enough for their long dives. The winding crown changed from a conical shape to a flatter and more tubular shaped crown. Due to the underwater extreme tension needs, the bridge device with the clamping lever to protect the winding crown was introduced in 1950 and has since been iconic for their timepieces (patent filed by Panerai). Moreover, for better underwater visualization, the dial had 4 large radium-based paste (later replaced with Tritium) Arabic numerals at the cardinal points with a series of indices, hour and minute.
This black dial stainless steel Submersible 42mm with an applied ceramic disc on a rotating bezel, coupled with the attractive sky blue second hand dial and blue print is gorgeous eye candy. Consistent with the Panerai DNA is the iconic crown protecting device, unidirectional rotating bezel, 300 meters water resistant, in-house automatic movement with 3 days power reserve.
Piaget Polo S Green Dial
Being bold as always, unlike the other brands, Piaget has gone green. Unveiling their SIHH elegant and subtly sedate forest green squarish cushioned-shaped dial, with a brushed finished bezel, 42mm diameter and only 9.4mm thickness. This luxury sporty timepiece comes with an attractive matching verdant green dial with horizontal pattern, self-winding mechanism, and a power reserve of 50 hours. Limited to only 500 pieces, this brilliant timepiece comes with green alligator strap with a folding buckle steel clasp.