Tomorrow the 2019 edition of SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlorgerie) will kickoff in Geneva, Switzerland, where some of the watch industry’s top brands will unveil the timepieces that will define their brands throughout the year. Ahead of the big show, companies have already been offering a sneak peek at what’s to come from their lineup. So far, the trend is that most brand’s are finding a way to balance sticking close to home and heritage while branching out to capture the attention of younger audiences—the clientele they will all need to propel themselves forward in an era that no longer needs a watch. Below is just a handful of the new timepieces that will debut this week, some of which are visibly on track to gain the kind of attention and sales they will need to keep up the momentum (others may still have some work to do).
Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Collection
One of the biggest launches just ahead of the show is Audemars Piguet’s announcement of not just an update to existing models or a new novelty, but an entirely new collection of watches called Code 11.59 (Code stands for Challenge, Own, Dare, and Evolve). AP is dropping 13 new references that include five complications, six calibers—three of which are entirely new movements. The watches differ from AP’s iconic Royal Oak collection in cases that, at first, appear round but upon closer inspection from the side feature the same octagonal shape inherent to the brand’s watchmaking DNA. The three new calibers include the caliber 4302, an automatic date and time movement; the caliber 4401, a self-winding flyback chronograph movement with a column wheel and jumping date; and the caliber 2950, an automatic flying tourbillon. More to come on what to expect from this big news at Audemars Piguet as the brand continues to make bold, modern moves forward under the direction of CEO François-Henry Bennahmias.
Price: Self-Winding Automatic Self-winding (cal. 4302) $26,800; Perpetual Calendar $74,500; Self-winding flying tourbillon 129,000 CHF ($131,884); Openworked Skeletonized Tourbillon 175,000 CHF ($177,940); Minute Repeater Supersonnerie 295,000 CHF ($299,956); all Swiss franc to dollar prices at current exchange values.
Case Material: Code 11.59 Automatic Self-winding in 18-karat pink or white gold; Perpetual Calendar in 18-karat pink gold with aventurine dial; Flying tourbillon in 18-karat pink gold; Openworked Skeletonized Tourbillon in 18-karat pink gold; Minute Repeater Supersonnerie in white gold.
Case Size: 41 mm
Strap: Alligator leather
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 25th Anniversary
A quarter of a century ago, A. Lange & Söhne relaunched as a brand under Walter Lang, the great grandson of founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange, and Günter Blümlein. (The German company had ceased to exist in 1948, following the takeover of East Germany by the Soviet Union.) Among its first releases in 1994, was the Lange 1 which has since become a pillar timepiece for the watchmaker. It’s asymmetrical layout and oversize date was an intriguing new design in the ’90s and has since remained timeless.
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the latest iteration sports a white gold case, solid silver dial, and a hunter caseback that, when opened, reveals the immaculately decorated Lange caliber 121.1 movement (introduced in 2015) with an engraving of “25” in blue that mimics the watch’s oversize date seen on the dial. The cuvette, which covers the sapphire crystal caseback, also comes with a special engravement—a rendering of A. Lange & Söhne’s 19th-century headquarters, the name of its modern founders, and the inscription “25 JAHRE LANGE 1” (Jahre is German for “years”). For Lange Collectors, this timepiece will, no doubt, be an essential.
Case Material: White Gold
Case Size: 38.5 mm
Strap: Hand-stitched Alligator Leather
Lange’s latest “Lumen” edition has been given the ultimate Super-Luminova treatment. The glow-in-the-dark material, typically reserved for the hour and minute hand and hour-marker indices, was added to key displays such as the subdials, the date, and the tachymeter scale in addition to the hands. Each are done in varying shades of green. The illuminating finish tops off one of the watchmaker’s prestigious models, the large-date flyback chronograph.
Flip it over and you will find this watch’s immaculate movement with a column-wheel, lateral-clutch chronograph mechanism—but you will need a flashlight to see what’s on the other side of the lume.
Price: $100,500, limited to 100 pieces.
Case Size: 41 mm
Strap: Hand-stitched black alligator leather
Christophe Claret Angelico
Watchmaking maestro Christophe Claret combines a tourbillon with a detent escapement and a cable-type fusee transmission system for the first time in a wristwatch. he pivoted detente escapement, used in 18th century marine chronometers, delivers one impulse per cycle to the balance instead of two, so it is more friction-free and ultra efficient. Aesthetically, the watch is inspired by Renaissance design, and is named for painter Fra Angelico, who painted angels. The Angelico, which also has an instant-jump dual time display, celebrates the 10th anniversary of Claret’s brand and the 30th anniversary of his workshop.
Case Material: Titanium or red gold, 10 pieces each
Case Size: 45.50 mm
Strap: Black alligator leather
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince” (ref. IW590303)
The elite pilot of the new collection is IWC’s Le Petit Prince Big Pilot Watch, a continuation of timepiece tributes to French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which is limited to just 10 pieces. The new timepiece is IWC’s first pilot watch to come with a constant-force tourbillon and is being offered in a hard gold case for the first time. In fact, it is the first time IWC has ever used hard gold, a new version of red gold that is modified in the manufacturing process to be harder and 5 to 10 times more wear-resistant.
The constant-force tourbillon comes with a patent for a technical innovation that separates the escapement from the flow of force from the dial train. The watch is also equipped with a moon phase that won’t need to be adjusted for another 577.5 years and a power reserve of 96 days.
Price: $235,000, limited to 10
Case Material: Hard Gold
Case Size: 46.2 mm
Strap: Brown calf leather with gold buckle
Big Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium (ref. IW371815)
Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph
At last year’s SIHH, Montblanc unveiled a Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph in steel with a silver-white dial with its MB R200 movement. Just ahead of 2019’s big show, Montblanc is giving the model another update. This time around the watch is being offered in a red gold model with a striking anthracite dial and another steel introduction, also with an anthracite dial and silvery-white accents. The watch houses the same movement as last year’s model, which in addition to the time has a second time zone, a day/night indicator, and a date. The chronograph pushers sit horizontally just below 6 o’clock balancing out the layout of this timepiece, completing the look of this sharp dress watch.
Price: $22,650 in red gold; €7,450 in steel (or approximately $8,545 at current exchange)
Case Material: Red Gold
Case Size: 44.8 mm
Strap: Alligator leather
Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece
Fresh off his Grand Prix D’Horlogerie De Genève win in the Complication category for the Galet Annual Calendar Montre Ecole, Laurent Ferrier has extended the line with two new pieces. The black and white opaline dials are a tribute to the contrast and purity of the chess board says Ferrier, whose watches are known for their purity of design. The original model was gray and black. The functions are easy to read and easy to use, with date and month adjusted by turning the crown forward or backward and a peripheral date index. The movement is the manual caliber LF126.01.
Price: $63,000 in gold; $58,000 in steel.
Case Material: Red gold with white dial; yellow gold or stainless steel with black dial
Case Size: 40 mm
Strap: Honey or gray alligator with Alcantara lining
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Thin Moon Enamel
There is blue and then there is the unmistakable deep, intense midnight blue of an enamel dial. Here it is made even more spectacular with a guilloché finish on a dial created by hand in Jaeger’s Métiers Rare (Rare Handcrafts) workshop. Even the date ring is hand-finished, with raised numerals on a sandblasted background. The long, thin hour markers are new to the Master Ultra Thin line, and doubled up at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. The movement, automatic caliber 925/2 is an upgraded version of the 925, with a power reserve of 70 hours. It is a limited-edition of 100 pieces.
Case Material: White gold
Case Size: 39 mm
Strap: Blue alligator
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Huracán Performance
In Roger Dubuis’ latest watch with Lamborghini even the smallest details show how deeply intertwined the two companies collaborated on their latest product. The crown mimics racing nuts on a wheel, the winding rotor takes cues from the rims, and the strap is made from Pirelli tire rubber. Yellow accents on the strap, seconds hand, hour and minute markers, bezel, and crown, naturally, mimic Lambo colors. But the shot-blasted and coated finishing along with straight graining on the surface is the kind of nuanced elevation that, for watch aficionados takes this timepiece to full throttle.
Case Material: Grade 5 Titanium
Case Size: 45 mm
Strap: Rubber base with grey Alcantara inlay, yellow stitching and Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R pattern on the inside
Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Orlinski Red Magic
Hublot debuted its can’t-miss bright red ceramic as a case material last year in the Big Bang Unico Red Magic. This year, the patented material is making a follow-up appearance in a watch co-designed by sculptor Richard Orlinski. The artist is known for his “Born Wild” series of animal sculptures, including bright red sculpted crocodiles. His signature angular style, with sharp, faceted edges and polished surfaces, is interpreted in the case design. Orlinski previously collaborated with Hublot on a chronograph with a similar case desgn. The Orlinski Red Magic is a limited edition of 200 pieces. Hublot’s red ceramic is brighter and stronger than others.
Case Material: Polished red ceramic
Strap: Red rubber
Case Size: 45 MM
Cartier Libre Collection
What happens when Cartier throws out its signature design codes? Cartier’s Libre collection is all about design freedom. The limited-edition collection, which falls somewhere between high jewelry pieces and classic collections, plays with different shapes and colors, in a broad interpretation of the Cartier aesthetic. Four new Libres will be introduced next week at the SIHH. The rectangular Tank Chinoise Red, inspired by a Cartier watch from 1921, is set with rubies and diamonds. The Diagonale is freeform geometric, with red and black enamel lines and rows of pavé diamonds. Two renditions of the Baignoire Allongée include the Céladon, set with emeralds and paraiba tourmalines, and the Black, set with black spinel and yellow sapphires.
Prices: On Request
Case Materials: 18k gold
Strap: Tank Chinoise-black alligator; Diagonale-burgundy alligator; Baignoire Allongée-green or black alligator.
Number of pieces: Tank Chinoise-100; Diagonale-50; Baignoire Allongée-50 each version.
Case size: Tank Chinoise-41×16 MM; Diagonale-33×19 MM; Baignoire-53×23 MM
Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Watches
The sparkle of aventurine glass is the signature starting point of three new Cat’s Eye models to be introduced at the SIHH: a tourbillon, a moon phase and a time-only with a new case shape. The Tourbillon makes a traditional complication and makes it gracefully feminine with a bridge designed as a bow, set with tapered baguette diamonds; it is a one-of-a-kind piece is set with a total of 6.20 carats of diamonds. The Majestic, with hours and minutes, reverses the oval shaped case to a vertical position; new teardrop shaped markers are brought to life with diamonds. The Celestial adds a mother-of-pearl moon phase indicator to the composition. Overall, these are beautiful watches that most women who appreciate classic luxury will find appealing.
Price: Majestic-$27,000; Celestial-31,900; Tourbillon-$238,000
Case Material: Majestic and Celestial-rose gold; Tourbillon-white gold
Case Size: Celestial-35 mm; Majestic-40 mm; Tourbillon-32 mm
Strap: Midnight blue alligator
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Perpetual Calendar
Girard-Perregaux is taking its flagship model up a notch with a perpetual calendar version and a new movement with an unconventional layout. Instead of lining up windows or subdials side by side, the date display is read on an off-centered display between 2 and 3 o’clock, while the day of the week hovers on a smaller, off-centered subdial at 9 o’clock. The month appears in a semi-circular display at 6 o’clock, with leap years tracked above. The blue dial bears the model’s signature Clous de Paris hobnail pattern. The in-house movement is the automatic GP01800-0033, with a 54-hour power reserve.
Case Material: Stainless steel
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Case Size: 42 MM
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Mécaniques Sauvages
Vacheron Constantin has been creating its Les Cabinotiers timepieces, targeted to its top collectors, for three centuries. It’s a concept that’s hard to grasp when you consider the intricate enameling and painstaking engraving required to create each piece—all of which was once done by candlelight. The latest creations, Les Cabinotiers Mécaniques Sauvages (French for “savage mechanics”), bring the animal kingdom roaring to life through engraving and enameling through those same techniques honed over the course of nearly 300 years.
Price: Price Upon Request, Limited to 20
Case Material, Case Size: Varies, each piece is one-of-a-kind
Strap: Alligator leather
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène
Following up on the 2016 introduction of its Métropolitaine Sélène model, Parmigiani has raised the bar with a new rose gold version with a mother-of-pear dial featuring a subtle lotus flower is rose gold with a bezel adorned with 76 brilliant-cut diamonds. The date set within the seconds subdial at 6 o’clock balances its moon phase subdial at 6 o’clock. Hand-applied successive layers create the carter-like surface or “lunar seas” of each moon. But the watch is more than skin deep, it’s PF318 movement with a moon phase module is the 33rd movement created in-house at Parmgiani’s Vaucher manufacture. The caliber is accented with a Côtes de Genève circular grained decoration. For women who consider the guts as important as the face, this watch delivers, but Parmigiani should consider offering these sans floral decor in the future.
Price: Rose gold strap $32,000; Rose gold bracelet $47,000
Case Material: Rose gold
Case Size: 33.72
Strap: Leather calfskin or 18-karat rose gold