Every year, some of the biggest names in Swiss watchmaking gather in Geneva to preview their big releases for the coming year. Now that this year’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève (SIHH) has come to a close, we are delighted to fill you in on some of the action you might have missed. As usual, “standing out” is the name of the game. But with each competitor coming in at a different angle, with a different goal in mind… there is plenty for everyone to be excited about this coming year. Here are the top ten impressions that stuck with us from this year’s event:
Worn by the likes of Zac Efron, Angelina Jolie, and Natalie Portman… Cartier’s timeless, elegant design consistently distinguishes itself from from other brands. While its women’s collections are clearly dominant, the male counterpart collections are nothing to sneeze at. The Santos and Calibre collections have become fan favorites over the past five years, and these new Drive models are looking to become a mainstay as well. The familiar roman numeral hour markers and sword shaped hands are accompanied by a fresh, subtly-rounded new case design. The small seconds add an extra touch of sophistication. For leading, mature men that are driven to achieve greatness, the Drive de Cartier collection is a perfect fit.
Although Omega, Breitling, and Oris are prolific in their diver’s collections, many would argue that IWC‘s Aquatimer collection is a notch above the rest. We are pleased to see some variety added to this fine collection. Mind you, there aren’t any notable updates to the movement or features. Essentially, this year’s models are no more than new color schemes for an already near-perfect design. But we are okay with that. As the saying goes: if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
MontBlanc’s reputation has steadily grown in the world of watchmaking, and the new 4810 Orbis Terrarum is a perfect example of why. As the sequel to their first ever worldtimer watch from last year (the Heritage Spirit Obris Terrarum), this piece is already making waves. It feature’s MontBlanc’s in-house MB 29.20 movement, which is based on the now Swatch Group exclusive movement Sellita SW300. This release is has been timed perfectly for the brand’s 110th anniversary. The convenience of being able to check 24 different time zones at a moment’s notice is sure to impress if the globe print doesn’t do so already. And the best part: this piece is only going to dent your wallet about $6500 USD. It’s hard to say no to that.
AP is glorious; it’s as simple as that. But in all its glory, we rarely see the brand delve into the world of sports watches. That’s why the new Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph collection is a refreshing change in pace. Bright, playful color schemes, 30 bar water resistance, and the classic octagonal case that we know and love combine to make this collection an instant hit for trendsetters, athletes and AP fans alike. Who says you can’t dive fashionably?
Coming up on its 85 year anniversary, Jaeger LeCoultre’s Reverso collection has received a stylish rennovation. The French-Swiss watchmaker teamed up with legendary shoe designer Christian Louboutin to spice up their most iconic collection to-date. While the case design remains familiar, Louboutin has added his own flair to the dials and straps. You can expect to see colorful, vibrant nods never before seen in this collection. They will also come in a variety of strap materials, ranging from calfskin, alligator and leather to ostrich, vinyl and satin. Anyone looking to keep a sharp edge in their fashion game will be sure to pick up at least one of these as quickly as possible.
IWC and Breitling are often competing to be the number one pilot’s timepiece. But with Breitling steering towards electronic and ocean-oriented models as of late, IWC has the opportunity to fully spread its pilot wings. The brand is certainly taking advantage of this opportunity with their new Pilot’s Timezoner Chronograph model, which features an in-house 89760 movement, connected bezel system, and an intriguing alternative to the standard GMT chronograph design. Quite unconventionally, the bezel is used to adjust both the local and 24 hour hands, which in turn determines which time zone is being measured. It might take some getting used to, but we appreciate IWC’s innovative attitude.
Panerai has a brilliant way of sticking to their classic formula while making the most subtle, oh-so-sweet changes. Smaller models have been a big request for Panerai recently, and they have now kindly responded. With a 42mm stainless steel case, classic design and the in-house P.4000 movement, this watch is a crowd-pleaser. Grab this one while you can, as it is likely to vanish as quickly as it is released.
Aside from the Nicolas Riussec and Villeret collections, MontBlanc has a tendency to manufacture minimalist movements. This has allowed them to sell top-quality watches prolifically at more affordable price points. This new release is a testament to this objective. Retailing at $10,450, the new Heritage Chronometer Annual Calendar Chronograph is one of MontBlanc’s finest pieces in recent time that doesn’t require you to refinance your home. The chronometer certification, annual calendar and pointer moonphase features combine to make a perfectly elegant, complicated, affordable watch that many have been waiting a long time for.
You might ask: why is Baume so high on this list? It’s because the sequel to Baume et Mercier’s hottest piece of 2015 has arrived. The Shelby Cobra collection is Baume’s new appeal to the younger crowd, and the limited edition status has everyone climbing over each another to get their hands on one of these bad boys. As the title suggests, only 1963 of these pieces are set to be produced. Although the retail has not been released yet, you shouldn’t expect it to jump up too much higher than it’s predecessor’s retail of $4450. With a relatively simplistic movement design and no chronometer certification, this watch is no milestone in horology… But it’s the perfect companion for cruising the city on a Friday night in your convertible ‘vette.