Top 10 Luxury Watches at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH)

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January 29, 2016
Robb Report
Victoria Gomelsky

Known for its plush setting, exclusive invite list, and top-of-the-line timepieces, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is the high-end watch industry’s annual coming-out party. Held in Geneva from January 18 through 22, this year’s show played host to 24 prestige watchmakers—from power brands Cartier and IWC to independents MB&F and Kari Voutilainen—who took the occasion to woo an adoring community of retailers, collectors, and watch writers. Highlighted were tourbillons, skeletons galore, and a surprising number of entry-priced timepieces, not to mention plenty of avant-garde craziness. Here are RobbReport.com’s 10 favorite novelties from SIHH 2016. (sihh.org)

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Top 10 Watches at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH)

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon

The venerable watchmaker, often described as Germany’s answer to Patek Philippe, burnished its already-stellar reputation with the debut of the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon ($320,514), a combination flyback chronograph, perpetual calendar tourbillon that captures the essence of the brand’s pure Saxon design ethos. Featuring a black solid-silver dial, rhodiumed-gold hands and hour markers, and a 41.5 mm platinum case, the highly sought-after model boasts a staggering 729 parts. Limited to 100 pieces. (alange-soehne.com)

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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked

Gear heads will appreciate the technical achievement that distinguishes this gorgeously skeletonized edition of the renowned Royal Oak: the Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked, shown here in rose gold ($76,800). The movement boasts not one but two balance wheels. As the regulating organ of the timepiece, the balance wheel and its key component, the balance spring, release energy at a steady pulse, bringing precision and stability to the timekeeping mechanism—now times two. Top 10 Watches at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). Also available in stainless steel ($44,100), the 41 mm model was one of the fair’s most successful introductions—if the lavish praise it received on Instagram is any indication. (audemarspiguet.com)

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Greubel Forsey Double Balancier à Différential

 Another notable timepiece featuring two balance wheels made news at SIHH: the Double Balancier à Différential ($390,000) from boutique watchmaker Greubel Forsey. Lauded by collectors for its “striking aesthetics and inventive new differential,” the white-gold model—an edition limited to 33 pieces—features a dramatic cutaway that reveals two inclined balance wheels amidst a dizzying three-dimensional array of mechanics. (greubelforsey.com)
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IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph

 World-time watches are a popular subset of timepieces designed for travelers, but they’re often difficult to operate—until now. As part of a larger reboot of its Pilot’s Watch collection, IWC Schaffhausen has added a unique world timer to its repertoire. Its functionality allows wearers to set a new time zone, together with the date and 24-hour hand, by simply turning the city ring (the bezel). Powering the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph ($11,900) is the company’s new in-house 89760 calibre. (iwc.com)
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon

For the 85th anniversary of its legendary Reverso model, Jaeger-LeCoultre streamlined the collection, added a host of personalization features, and touted the novelties at a splashy event in Buenos Aires in December. But the brand saved the best for last: The Reverso Tribute Gyrotourbillon ($293,000) unveiled at SIHH—powered by the manually wound Calibre 179 and developed entirely in house—offers a mesmerizing view of a biaxial flying tourbillon whose two carriages rotate externally in one minute and internally in 12.6 seconds. Top 10 Watches at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) What’s more, this new edition is considerably more svelte—the case is 30 percent trimmer in width and thickness. The edition is limited to 75 pieces. (jaeger-lecoultre.com)
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MB&F HM No. 6 SV

The mad wizards at MB&F are back, wielding the latest iteration of their Horological Machine series, the HM No. 6 SV (SV for “Sapphire Vision”). Available in either sapphire-crystal and red gold ($344,115) or sapphire-crystal and platinum ($375,000)—each limited to 10 pieces—the model takes its inspiration from a late art deco style known as Streamline Moderne. The distinctive spherical domes, which lend a three-dimensional layer to the “biomorphic beauty,” reveal both the time display and a 60-second flying tourbillon that comes with a retractable, titanium protective shield. Little wonder the piece required more than three years to develop. (mbandf.com)
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Panerai Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio

From Officine Panerai’s Laboratorio di Idee (the brand’s Neuchâtel-based R & D division) comes the 47 mm Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio, or PAM578 ($143,000). Like all the skeletonized tourbillons in the brand’s well-received Lo Scienziato collection, this piece is dedicated to the Tuscan astronomer, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician Galileo Galilei. The special-edition watch is limited to 150 pieces. (panerai.com)
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Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P

The Swiss watch industry might like to forget its quartz crisis of the 1970s, when 60,000 mechanical-watch makers were rendered obsolete. But now Piaget is celebrating the era with its striking new hybrid quartz mechanical timepiece, the Emperador Coussin XL 700P ($70,000). A tribute to the 40th anniversary of the brand’s first in-house quartz movement—the ultrathin 7P calibre—the new mechanical movement houses a quartz crystal that controls the speed of the generator at 5.33 turns per second. Top 10 Watches at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) Available in a limited edition of 118 pieces, the 46.5 mm model is encased in white gold and features a black ADLC-coated gold bezel. (piaget.com)
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Richard Mille RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph

If the new RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph from Richard Mille ($1,050,000) evokes the feeling of flying the friendly skies, you’re on the right track. The product of a unique collaboration between the watchmaker and Airbus Corporate Jets, the model boasts a distinctive airplane-window-shaped case crafted from a titanium-aluminum alloy (used in Airbus jet turbine blades); a skeletonized design aimed at weight reduction; and a split-seconds chronograph movement designed with energy efficiency as its guiding principle. Limited to 30 pieces, the model is available at the brand’s boutiques worldwide. (richardmille.com)
richard-mille-rm50-02

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar

While typically associated with genteel dress pieces and high complications, Vacheron Constantin knows a thing or two about making the perfect sports watch too. Take the revamped Overseas collection: Now featuring three new in-house Hallmark of Geneva calibers, the line underwent a series of subtle yet all-encompassing design updates in time for SIHH (the case silhouette was softened, for example). The technically impressive Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar ($91,400)—housed in an 18-karat white-gold, 41.5 mm case and powered by the legendary 1120 calibre—is the collection’s pièce de résistance. (vacheron-constantin.com)
vacheron-constantin-overseas-5500v-110a-b148-sdt-le-tr-2-copy

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