The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH 2015) happened from 19 to 23 of January, and the fine watchmaking’s first fair of the year responded positively to the challenge of wearable gadgets but the real story is more subdued.
Here are top five world’s latest releases highlighted in the SIHH 2015…
IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar
IWC Schaffhausen has gone and renamed the Portuguese collection for the revamp. Now called the Portugieser, this watch introduces a small wonder into the IWC constellation of complications, the annual calendar. Given how famous IWC is for its perpetual calendars, it is easy to think one might have overlooked a more humble calendar piece. Well, rest easy because the Schaffhausen manufacture has seen fit to grace the new Portugieser collection with an in-house mechanical movement for the new annual calendar watch. To be clear, the Portugieser is the new name for the Portuguese so you may already own one!
A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater
The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater has been a long time coming and is in fact the first stand-alone proper minute repeater from the Glashutte firm. Details are scarce at present but we do know that it is a decimal style minute repeater, meaning that it sounds hours, ten-minute intervals and minutes rather than hours, quarters and minutes. What we have here is a low-pitched tone for elapsed hours, a double tone elapsed ten-minute intervals and a high-pitched tone for elapsed minutes. A special treat here is that the black-polished steel hammers are visible dial-side.
Vacheron Constantin Harmony Tourbillon Chronograph
Vacheron Constantin’s highlighted with the Harmony Tourbillon Chronograph (pictured above, second from top). This is also a shaped watch, marking a permanent return of the cushion shape to the Vacheron Constantin family. The Geneva manufacture currently features round and tonneau watches so Harmony will add diversity to the offering at least. We are a little perplexed as to why round movements were chosen to power the collection though, especially since it is called Harmony.
Closeup of the Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Geospheres Vasco da Gama
One of the most attractive and distinctive technical advancements of the year belongs to the Neuchatel and Villeret based watchmaker. It is a mouthful of a name to be sure and is certainly impressive on the wrist (at 47mm it is certainly should be). Connoisseurs will be pleased to note that this will be first the time a cylindrical tourbillon is paired with a world time complication. It is actually a triple time zone watch, just to be clear. Current CEO Jerome Lambert’s former cohorts at Jaeger-LeCoultre will certainly be taking note (they have the only other significant cylindrical hairspring tourbillon).
Van Cleef & Arpels Cadenas
In the example of Van Cleef & Arpels, the case for the Art Deco renaissance is fully realized. The so-called padlock watch, which is really a bracelet that tells time, won hearts and minds across the fair. The cleverly designed Cadenas watch lacks for nothing in the visual department, but the fact that it is an update of a 1930s classic makes us miss the presence of a mechanical heartbeat here; the nine new models all have quartz engines.