Earlier this month the watch industry flocked to Geneva for the annual SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) trade show to take in the year’s new timepieces. Models were all over the board this season—Richard Mille debuted out-of-the-box candy-themed timepieces, Panerai unveiled Submersibles that come with full-blown adventure packages, and IWC’s Timezoner Spitfire will be part of an around-the-world flight in a vintage Spitfire plane. Audemars Piguet dropped an entirely new (and much discussed) collection, in addition to its handsome new Royal Oak releases.
Accessibility was an ongoing theme carrying on from some of last year’s releases—that meant more steel introductions, including the first-ever Vacheron Constantin tourbillon in a steel case. Ulysse Nardin, meanwhile, found new ways to make its Freak and Skeleton watches at lower price points.
Vacheron Constantin took the crown with one of the most technically innovative watches of the show with its dual-frequency Twin Beat.
It was old guard and new guard mixed with entirely new approaches both to watchmaking and marketing. It’s going to be an interesting year. Below are all the key watch releases of SIHH 2019.
A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon
First unveiled in 2016, the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is a flyback-chronograph, perpetual-calendar timepiece with moon phases, a power reserve indicator, and a tourbillon with stop seconds all rolled into one. Its latest iteration is now in white gold with an 18-karat pink gold dial—not to be mistaken for a salmon dial, although similar in appearance. The first edition came in a platinum case with a black dial and, like the newest Datograph, was limited to just 100 pieces.
Other than its striking appearance due to its new dial, this timepiece (like all of Lange’s watches) is immediately recognizable as a cut above the rest when you flip it over to take in the Caliber L952.2. All of its 729 parts have been manually finished to such pristine perfection that even a novice to watchmaking would immediately recognize its quality.
Price: $287,000, limited to 100 and available in May
Case Material: White gold
Case Size: 41.5 mm x 14.6 mm thick
Strap: Dark brown hand-stitched alligator leather with deployment buckle in white gold
A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Date
In celebration of 10 years of its first mechanical wristwatch with a jumping digital display, A. Lange & Söhne outfitted its anniversary model with a new movement and a new date ring. The glass date ring comes with the standard numbers of 1 to 31—the current date is indicated when the numerals appear in red. The new feature is a nice way of incorporating a date without using a date window. Date windows have been known to turn some collectors off, but the real reason for the new date-ring design is that the large numeral discs and time bridge at the center of the digital display make it impossible to create a conventional date display.
The easily legible hours and minutes are controlled by the new manually wound Caliber L043.8. Its patented constant-force escapement powers the balance with a consistent amount of force and delivers a one-per-minute impulse required for switching the discs on the digital numeral display. Like the Datograph, the new Zeitwerk comes with an impeccable level of craftsmanship on the movement, seen on its 516 parts visible through the caseback.
Case Material: White gold
Case Size: 44.2 mm
Strap: Brown alligator leather
Armin Strom Dual Time Resonance
The goal of this elegant rendition of the Dual Time Resonance is complete transparency. The all-sapphire case exposes Armin Strom’s proprietary resonance clutch spring, along with the dual regulators, one for each movement, above the two guilloched dials. The movements, both caliber ARF17, are linked together and synchronized, which makes them 15 percent to 20 percent more accurate. The four barrels—two for each movement—are also linked, which means you can wind them all simultaneously. Armin Strom technical director Claude Greisler attests to the technical difficulty of this movement: “Developing a perpetual calendar or tourbillon would have been far easier than the years we spent developing the resonance clutch spring; it was uncharted territory.”
Price: 280,000 CHF ($281,548 at current exchange)
Case Material: Sapphire crystal
Case Size: 59 mm
Strap: Blue alligator
Audemars Piguet CODE 11.59 Collection
Audemars Piguet unveiled an entirely new collection of watches called CODE 11.59 (Code stands for Challenge, Own, Dare, Evolve). AP dropped 13 new references that include five complications and six calibers—three of which are entirely new movements. The watches differ from AP’s iconic Royal Oak collection in that the cases, 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.
Price: Automatic self-winding (cal. 4302), 25,000 CHF ($26,800); perpetual calendar, 69,500 CHF ($74,500); self-winding flying tourbillon, 129,000 CHF ($131,884); openworked skeletonized tourbillon, 175,000 CHF ($177,940); Supersonnerie minute repeater, 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; Supersonnerie minute repeater in white gold
Case Size: 41 mm
Strap: Alligator leather
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin
Sometimes the classics will always remain the top choice. The Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin (the one that everyone was after in 2018, with a blue dial and a platinum and titanium case and bracelet), was introduced for 2019 in white gold with a pink gold “Tapisserie” dial. This is one of those cases where the dial makes all the difference.
The Tapisserie dial was first introduced in 1992 (to celebrate the Royal Oak’s 20th anniversary; in just a few years the Royal Oak will be 50) and has been an instantly recognizable design feature at the watchmaking house ever since. Small updates to time-tested classics have proven to be a gold mine, literally, for top watchmakers from Audemars Piguet to Rolex and Patek Philippe, and this is a perfect example of how to do it right. It’s not limited, but you should probably reserve your place in line.
Case Material: White gold
Case Size: 39 mm
Strap: White gold bracelet
Bovet Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter One
Bovet is known for exquisite finishes and high complications, which are associated with traditional fine watchmaking. But they are often combined with avant-garde designs and openworked movements. One such innovation from Bovet is its “grand piano”-style, slope-sided case design, inspired by a writing desk once owned by brand owner Pascal Raffy’s grandfather. First introduced in gold in the Shooting Star tourbillon, this year the case is made of sapphire crystal, a lightweight material that may seem fragile but is actually extremely hard. The movement, a flying tourbillon, was built from scratch to fit the inclined case.
Case Material: Sapphire with titanium lugs and caseback
Case Size: 48 mm
Strap: Full skin alligator
Bovet Virtuoso IX
This is an extremely decorative watch yet somehow subtle in design, with its matte silver and rose gold details amidst an extraordinary deep blue dial. The flinqué guilloche is a traditional finish, yet the slightly Gothic date display font and serpentine center minutes hand add an interesting edge to this design. The large case can be converted to a table clock or worn as a pocket watch. The hand-wound caliber 17BM04-DFR is new, with a GMT time function and a flying tourbillon escapement with a spherical deferential winding system that requires half the number of turns to wind the mainspring.
Price: $270,000 in white gold; $259,200 in red gold
Case Material: 18-karat red gold, white gold, or platinum
Case Size: 46.30 mm x 16 mm
Strap: Black alligator leather with an 18-karat red or white gold buckle
Chain: 18-karat red or white gold
Cartier Santos Dumont Collection
Cartier’s men’s releases this year focused on its first wristwatch—the Santos Dumont, made famous by aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont, who placed the first order for Cartier’s original wristwatch in 1904. The classic time-only version of the original comes with a quartz movement in 2019, which had true watch enthusiasts grumbling. Its quartz movement has a new high-performance battery and an autonomy of approximately six years, which, for those just wanting a stylish Cartier on their wrist, will be a sufficient sell.
Collectors looking for a little more depth may opt for the chronograph version, which comes with a single start/stop push button at 9 o’clock to activate its subdials, with a rest function integrated into the crown. This timepiece comes equipped with Cartier’s 1904-CH MC manufacture movement. But if you’re looking for a piece to properly show off, the Skeleton Noctambule version should do the trick. Its oversize Roman numerals and hands glow a vivid green in the dark, thanks to their Super-LumiNova coating.
Price (from left to right): Cartier Santos Dumont in steel with leather bracelet, $3,650 for the small model (38.5 mm x 27.5 mm x 7.3 mm) and $3,900 for the large model (43.5 mm x 31.4 mm x 7.3 mm); Cartier Santos Dumont Chronograph extra-large model (43.3 x 51.3 mm x 12.5 mm) in steel and ADLC, interchangeable leather and rubber straps with interchangeable steel buckle, $8,950; Santos de Cartier Skeleton Noctambule, large model (39.8 x 47.5 mm x 9.08 mm), steel and ADLC, skeletonized bridges covered with Super-LumiNova, interchangeable leather straps, $26,800
Case Materials: Yellow gold, pink gold, yellow gold/steel, steel
Straps: Available in alligator leather, steel, or rubber
Ferdinand Berthoud Oeuvre d’Or
As the name suggests, this is a work of art in gold. The case, dial, bridges, lugs, and fastening screws are made of 18-karat gold and finished by hand. The dial is hand engraved to create a frosted moire effect that resembles the naturally patinated dial of an astronomical pocket watch created by Ferdinand Berthoud in 1806; each takes two months to create. The bridges on the caseback are hand engraved in a pyramid pattern. The case side and crown are set with baguette diamonds totaling 1.99 carats. It is a constant-force tourbillon with a fusée-and-chain transmission.
Price: Rose gold, $271,000; white gold gem-set, $297,000
Case Material: 18-karat white or red gold
Case Size: 44 mm
Strap: Alligator leather
F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain Vertical
A very different new take on the Tourbillon Souverain was introduced by F.P. Journe to celebrate that timepiece’s 20th anniversary—it also heralds the discontinuation of the original. The first Tourbillon Suverains were officially launched in 1999 and sold by subscription to top watch collectors in limited runs of just 20 examples. Here the tourbillon is turned on its head in a vertical cage instead of a horizontal layout. The complication and amplitude remain constant no matter the position of the timepiece (positions of watches when not on the wrist can also vary by the type of buckle; whether it’s a pin buckle or a deployment buckle, this complication accounts for both).
Fans of the original Tourbillon Souverain may lament its new iteration (which could drive prices up in the secondary market), but for those who appreciate a modern master watchmaker spreading his wings, this will be a welcome new step forward in time.
Price: 244,500 CHF in red gold ($225,094 at current exchange); 248,400 CHF in platinum ($249,054 at current exchange)
Case Material: 18-karat 6N red gold, platinum PT 950
Case Size: 42 mm x 13.60 mm thick
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with pin buckle or deploying buckle
Girard-Perregaux Bridges Cosmos
Girard-Perregaux ambitiously depicts all 12 constellations and the entire earth as well as a tourbillon and the time on a canvas less than 2 inches wide. Two globes represent the view from Earth to space and vice versa. Since the sky globe rotates every 23 hours, 58 minutes, and 4 seconds, it also represents celestial time. As it rotates, the constellations light up via luminescent hydroceramic particles. The Earth globe serves as a day/night indicator and GMT second time zone. Offset hours and minutes at 12 o’clock and a tourbillon escapement at 6 o’clock balance the composition. The in-house, manual-wound caliber GP09320-1098 is new.
Case Material: Bead-blasted titanium
Case Size: 48 mm
Strap: Blue alligator leather with titanium folding clasp
Girard-Perregaux 1966 Earth to Sky
This minimalist three-hander with date is a companion piece to the maximalist Bridges Cosmo. The blue dial—the hot color of the moment—is meant to represent Earth, and the black case represents outer space. The limited-edition number of 149 pieces is a reference to the 149-million-kilometer (93-million-mile) distance through space from Earth to the sun. It contains the manufacture Caliber GP03300 with beveled, engraved, and circular-grained plate and bridges, visible through a sapphire crystal back.
Case Material: Stainless steel with black DLC coating
Case Size: 40 mm
Strap: Rubber-patterned alligator
Greubel Forsey Art Piece Edition Historique
Back in 2006, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey invented Harry Winston’s Opus 6—a complicated design with disc displays for the hours, minutes, and power reserve in an unusual architecture and three-dimensional movement with a unique open dial. Playing on that design and previous Art Piece creations, the duo has created a new movement that is a variation of the original, with a 475-part hand-wound movement with 72 hours of power reserve (indicated between 4 and 5 o’clock) and a mechanism that enables the balance wheel to oscillate in all planes for ultimate precision. A sub-seconds display is located between 10 and 11 o’clock, while the hours and minutes are offset to the upper right side of the brilliant blue dial.
Adding an insane level of detail and artisanal craftsmanship to the timepiece are 1,045 engraved words to illustrate Greubel Forsey’s idea of the “spirit of time,” as they call it. Through the caseback is a view of the movement along with relief-engraved signatures of the two watchmakers.
Price: 555,000 CHF ($556,375 at current exchange)
Case Material: 11 numbered models in platinum, the remaining 22 will be in varying case materials
Case Size: 44 mm
Strap: Blue alligator leather strap
Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain
First and foremost, this is a Greubel Forsey under 40 mm. That’s rather small for this brand and it means that it’s opening up the watchmaker to a new client base (including women, who can easily wear this piece). Greubel Forsey rose to the challenge of maintaining its inventive and visually arresting watchmaking in a reduced size by finding a way to house the large balance wheel in a smaller space—a feat that has taken several years of development. The large 12.6 mm balance wheel was first introduced in 2017 and was originally contained in a 43.5 mm white gold case measuring 13.94 mm high. The new case is reduced to 12.21 mm in thickness.
The watch is made up of 255 components and comes with 72 hours of power reserve. The movement also comes with a stop-balance system, activated by the ground, allowing time to be set to the nearest second.
Its titanium movement along with its reduced size, housed in a white gold case, makes for a lighter, but still substantial, feel on the wrist.
Price: 195,000 CHF ($195,495 at current exchange), limited to 33
Case Material: White gold
Case Size: 39.6 mm x 12.21 mm thick
Strap: Black alligator leather
Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune Meteorite
Let’s not forget that in addition to being mechanical marvels, watches are beautiful objects and heirlooms meant to be appreciated for their exterior as much as their interior. Hermès takes the cake for one of the most magnificent dial designs of the year (so far) with its pumped-up version of a moon phase. Instead of the traditional function where the moon, typically at 6 o’clock, rotates to show the time of day, Hermès has turned the tide on the complication by keeping the mother-of-pearl lunar replicas of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere moons stationary at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock while the hour and minute dials revolve around the circumference of the meteorite or aventurine dial.
Case Material: White gold
Case Size: 43 mm
Strap: Gray alligator for the meteorite dial or blue alligator for the aventurine dial
H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Concept Watch
A minute repeater tourbillon with no visible way of telling time—H. Moser & Cie certainly has a brilliant sense of humor. Their new Swiss Alp Concept watch looks like your Apple Watch, except beneath it all are two of the most elite high complications in watchmaking history. All that is visible on its black “screen” is an aperture for the tourbillon at 6 o’clock. As for the actual time, you will have to determine the hour and minutes the old-fashioned way—via the chime of its minute repeater built by MHC Manufactures Hautes Complications SA, a minute repeater manufacturer for top watchmakers. Flip over this timepiece and you can see its mechanics through the sapphire crystal caseback, revealing the serious watchmaking within. Further proof H. Moser & Cie means straight-faced business? Its six-figure price tag.
Price: 350,000 CHF (or $352,380 at current exchange), one-of-a-kind
Case Material: Platinum
Case Size: 45.8 mm x 39.8 mm x 11 mm
Strap: Black alligator leather
HYT H2O Time Is Fluid
The H2O is one of this brand’s more traditional models, if such a thing can be said about a watch based on the futuristic concept of “hydromechanical” timekeeping. The signature element of HYT watches is a liquid-filled glass tube along the periphery of the dial, which marks the hours, characterized by an openworked dial that shows the bellows used to feed the liquid into the tube. The H2O series covers the works slightly with two subdials, one for minutes and the other for seconds, and in traditional fine watchmaking style, both are guilloched. Subdials, movement, and bellows are displayed, curio-cabinet-style, under a massive domed crystal, resulting in a watch that is a whopping 51 mm wide and nearly 20 mm thick.
Price: $125,000 in 18-karat gold and $115,000 in steel, limited to 20 pieces each
Case Material: 18-karat red gold or stainless steel
Case Size: 51 mm x 20 mm
Strap: Translucent gray rubber with titanium folding buckle
IWC Big Pilot’s Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince”
The elite pilot of IWC’s new releases is Le Petit Prince Big Pilot’s Watch, a continuation of timepiece tributes to French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. 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 five 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. Every second it re-tensions a balance spring, which serves as temporary energy storage and then transfers even force pulses to the escapement wheel. What does that mean, you ask? Simply put, it eliminates gravity on the oscillating system, which results in a new level of precision timekeeping, ensuring the watch is more accurate.
The watch also is equipped with a moon phase that won’t need to be adjusted for another 577.5 years and a power reserve of 96 days.
For collectors of pilot’s watches and IWC fans alike, this will be the premium piece to own—if you can get your hands on one of the 10 models worldwide.
Strap: Brown leather
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium
The claim to fame of the new Top Gun watch from IWC is that it comes in a never-before-used material in the collection—Ceratanium. IWC boasts another patent for the material, which combines the technical advantages of titanium and ceramic (known for being durable and lightweight) and was developed in-house. The material is also said to be corrosion-resistant, and its black color makes for a handsome new all-black edition of the Big Pilot Top Gun. It is the first completely black design from the brand that doesn’t involve using a coating—this also includes its push buttons and pin buckles.
The watch comes with a double chronograph with an integrated split-seconds hand and is powered by the 79230 caliber with 44 hours of power reserve.
Case Material: Ceratanium
Case Size: 44 mm x 16.8 mm
Strap: Black rubber
IWC Timezoner Spitfire
Here’s another first: IWC’s patented Timezoner mechanism has been combined with an entirely new automatic in-house 82760 caliber that has a Pellaton winding system with water-resistant ceramic parts and a power reserve of 60 hours. The Timezoner mechanism, originally launched in 2016, allows for the setting of two different time zones by a rotation of the bezel with an hour hand, a 24-hour display (just under the 12 o’clock marker), and a date that rotate at the same time. The steel-encased black dial is relatively clean and, combined with the cream lume accents along with the army green textile strap, which imitate the cockpit of a Spitfire, makes for a great style piece on top of its functionality and historical reference. The red “Spitfire” pictured on the dial has been eliminated.
Price: $12,400, limited to 250
Case Material: Steel
Case Size: 46 mm
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “Mojave Desert”
Oh what a difference a case can make. IWC’s Top Gun “Mojave Desert” was a buzzy watch release this year thanks to its sand-colored ceramic case, hands, indices, and numerals along with a matching textile strap. The color is the result of a combination of zirconium oxide with other metallic oxides and takes its inspiration from, like its name suggests, the Mojave Desert, which is home to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake—the largest land area held by the U.S. Navy. It also happens to match the uniforms worn by the navy’s pilots, but it looks very nice here on Earth with a field jacket and jeans. The watch is powered by the 69380 chronograph movement and comes with a pawl-winding system that has 46 hours of power reserve.
Price: $8,200, limited to 500
Case Size: 44.5 mm x 15.7 mm
Case Material: Ceramic
Strap: Sand-colored textile
IWC Spitfire Collection
If a the Timezoner isn’t quite your thing, two of the most desirable Spitfire timepieces are the bronze Chronograph and the bronze Perpetual Calendar versions. Priced at a reasonable $6,250, with an automatic winding caliber 69380 and a power reserve of 46 hours, the Chronograph also sports a smaller 41 mm size for those who previously felt IWC’s Pilot’s watches were too big for their wrists. The Perpetual Calendar naturally comes in a bit larger size, at 46.2 mm, but packs in displays for the date, day, and month, and moon phases for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, in four symmetrical subdials along with a year indicator located between 7 o’clock and 8 o’clock.
Price: Spitfire Chronograph, $5,700 (steel) and $6,250 (bronze); Spitfire Perpetual Calendar, $28,200 (bronze), limited to 250 watches
Case Material: Spitfire Chronograph in steel and bronze; Spitfire Pertpetual Calendar in bronze
Case Size: Spitfire Chronograph, 41 mm x 15.3 mm; Spitfire Perpetual Calendar, 46.2 mm x 15.3 mm
Straps: Brown calf leather
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel
Here we have an extremely complicated example of haute horology from Jaeger-LeCoultre—and it’d better be, at close to a million dollars. It’s the brand’s fifth multiaxis tourbillon and it comes with a minute repeater with patented crystal gongs that play the melody known to those who have witnessed London’s Big Ben clock tower in action at Westminster Palace. On top of that, it’s also a perpetual calendar that can be adjusted in both directions. All of that, incredibly, comes in 43 mm for a wearable timepiece that has a lot of watchmaking to offer its wearer without weighing down the wrist.
The tourbillon is viewable on both sides of the case, as are some of the movement parts. These high-end complications coupled with a well-thought-out design make for the ultimate collector’s piece.
Price: 800,000 euros (or $909,476 at current exchange, limited to 18)
Case Material: White gold
Case Size: 43 mm x 14.08 mm thick
Strap: Blue alligator
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra 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 guilloche 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
Laurent Ferrier Bridge One
Laurent Ferrier is known for its rigorously traditional, minimalist, round watch designs, which makes this new case shape one of the most radical introductions at the SIHH. Ferrier has applied his interest in architectural design to this case, with its long curved flanks and flared lugs. His inspiration was industrial architecture of the late 1800s, specifically the Passerelle de l’Ile bridge in Geneva. The watch contains a new rectangular movement. The dial is white grand feu enamel with black enamel Roman numerals.
Price: Steel with enamel dial, $42,000; steel with slate dial, $37,000; red gold with enamel dial, $57,000
Case Material: Stainless steel or red gold
Strap: Honey alligator leather with Alcantara lining or honey timberland leather
Case Size: 22.2 x 30 mm
MB&F + L’Epée Medusa
MB&F and clockmaker L’Epée have another imaginative timekeeping device on their hands. Meet Medusa, the 10th collaboration between the two companies, a table clock in the shape of a jellyfish. The clock comes encapsulated in handblown green, blue, or pink Italian Murano glass and can either rest on your desk or be mounted from the ceiling. Two rotating rings displaying the hours and minutes, visible through the glass, keep the time with a fixed indicator that extends over the rings. And just like a jellyfish, the Medusa glows in the dark, thanks to its Super-LumiNova numerals.
Price: 25,500 CHF ($25,672 at current exchange), limited to 50
Material: Murano glass with steel tentacle legs
MB&F HM6 Final Edition
MB&F’s HM6 has been around since 2014 and this latest iteration of the horological machine will be its last. Limited to just eight pieces, this final HM6 brings the total of HM6 examples to a mere 100. The other iterations include the inaugural “Space Pirate” version in titanium, followed by a red gold version, then a sapphire crystal edition, and the “Alien Nation,” which came in sapphire crystal as well, but with the addition of six micro alien sculptures. The hour and minute spheres on the final HM6 are in blue, with numerals and markings applied with a light blue Super-LumiNova. The HM6’s futuristic case actually has its roots in retro Japanese anime. The ’70s and ’80s series Capitaine Flam‘s spaceship was the inspiration behind the bulbous structure of this far-out timepiece.
Price: 210,000 CHF ($211,420 at current exchange), limited to 8
Case Material: Stainless steel
Case Size: 49.5 mm x 52.3 mm x 20.4 mm
Strap: Hand-stitched calfskin with a custom-designed steel folding buckle
Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph
This vintage-inspired watch contains one of three new movements from Montblanc. It is a hand-wound split-seconds chronograph, caliber MB M16.31, made at Minerva, the brand’s elite movement maker that specializes in chronographs made by hand. Like several other new pieces in the 1858 collection, it has a bronze case, which will acquire a unique patina. In an unusual dial layout, the chronograph counters at 3 and 9 o’clock are subtle, while the snail-shaped tachymeter scale takes center stage. The watch is a monopusher, so the case side is as uncluttered as the dial. It is limited to 100 pieces.
Case size: 44 mm
Strap: Black alligator
Montblanc Star Legacy Metamorphosis
The latest Metamorphosis timepiece from Montblanc combines the watchmaker’s patented Exo Tourbillon with a sapphire crystal bridge, with a three-dimensional moon display of the Northern Hemisphere on an aventurine disc. Like Montblanc’s other Metamorphosis timepieces, this watch is two-faced. By activating a living lever on the side of the case, the wearer can flip between display modes via movable shutters. One view shows Montblanc’s patented tourbillon at 12 o’clock; at 6 o’clock, a moon revolves around Earth against a backdrop of a shimmery aventurine night sky—the astronomical moonphase complication only needs to be adjusted by one day every 122 years. The other view shows a small seconds indicator at 12 o’clock and the globe surrounded by a 24-hour scale with a day/night indication at 6 o’clock.
Price: $223,500, limited to 8
Case Material: 18-karat white gold
Case Size: 50 mm x 18.9 mm thick
Strap: Gray sfumato alligator-skin strap with 18-karat white gold triple-folding clasp
Panerai Submersible Experience Watches: Guillaume Néry, Mike Horn, Marina Militare
Looking for a little more adventure? If so, you might want to consider buying a Panerai watch. The brand has built exotic trips into the prices of three new watches as a way to convey its spirit of adventure and endurance. Fifteen buyers of the Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry will go diving in Mo’orea, French Polynesia. Marina Militare Carbotech customers will spend two days training with commandos of the Italian navy, and 19 buyers of the Mike Horn special edition will be off to Svalbard, Norway, on an Arctic adventure. All three watches are from the Submersible collection.
Prices: PAM983 Guillaume Néry, $40,000; PAM961 Marina Militare, $41,000; PAM985 Mike Horn, $41,000
Case Material: Guillaume Néry, bead-blasted titanium; Marina Militare, carbotech; Mike Horn, Eco-titanium
Case Size: All editions 47 mm
Strap: Guillaume Néry, black rubber; Marina Militare, green rubber; Mike Horn, blue recycled PET
Parmigiani Fleurier Toric QP Slate
The Toric case, with its hand-engraved bezel, has been in the Parmigiani collection since the brand was founded in 1996, but this is the first perpetual calendar version with retrograde date and moon phase. The hand-engraved guilloche pattern on the slate-colored dial spirals out in a pattern called the called Fibonacci spiral, named for the 11th-century mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci. The pattern he identified, found in nature, appears in the branching in trees, the flowering of an artichoke, and the arrangement of a pinecone’s bracts, which this dial is meant to evoke.
Case Material: 18-karat red gold
Case Size: 42.5 mm
Strap: Tan alligator leather
Piaget Polo Collection
The Polo, launched as a solid gold collection in 1979, was refreshed in 2016 with a larger steel case and oblong bezel but with the signature dauphine hands, horizontal godroons, and integrated bracelet. In 2018 Piaget introduced gold back into the new collection, and this year steps things up another notch by adding diamonds—1.53 carats on the bezel-set version and 3.39 carats on the fully set model. Both contain the same in-house automatic caliber 1110P introduced with the redesign in 2016. A stainless steel version with a green face and matching green alligator strap is also available for a pop of color on the wrist.
Case Material: 18-karat red gold; stainless steel
Case Size: 42 mm
Strap: Blue alligator delivered with a second brown mahogany alligator strap; green alligator leather
Piaget Altiplano Meteorite
Some watchmakers have been over the moon for space references this year. Piaget’s interpretation was to update its ultrathin Altiplano models with three different meteorite dials—a traditional meteorite treatment in gray, a gold brushed version, and a blue meteorite dial encircled by diamonds with a tourbillon at 2 o’clock and an off-centered hours and minutes at 8 o’clock. Each dial highlights the natural crystalized lines formed in the meteorite, known as Widmanstätten patterns.
Price: Gray meteorite, $24,600, limited to 300; gold meteorite and tourbillon, prices to be confirmed
Case Material: 18-karat pink gold
Case Size: Blue meteorite tourbillon, 41 mm; gray and gold meteorite, 40 mm
Strap: Blue meteorite tourbillon, blue alligator leather; gray and gold meteorite, gray alligator leather
Richard Mille Bonbon Collection
Willy Wonka, eat your heart out. Richard Mille’s wild new Bonbon Collection was one of the most talked-about collections of SIHH. Mille’s watches have never been for wallflowers, but these new candy-inspired models took his brand DNA to an entirely new level. A swirly pastel marshmallow, black licorice, and lollipops decorated the dials—even Mille’s macho carbon TPT came, in some cases, as multilayered colors like an Italian rainbow cookie cake. Beneath their saccharine exterior, these watches still came with all of the technical expertise one expects when buying a six-figure Richard Mille.
Believe it or not, these watches are meant to be unisex, but they come in mostly large cases. Word on the street is that each model, limited to 30 pieces each, has nearly, if not entirely, sold out.
Price: Marshmallow RM 07-03, $153,000; Reglisse RM 16-01, $138,000; Myrtille RM 07-03 $122,500
Case Material: Marshmallow, ceramic; Reglisse, ceramic; Myrtille, carbon and quartz TPT
Case Size: Marshmallow, 45.32 mm x 32.30 mm x 11.93 mm ; Reglisse, 50.20 mm x 38 mm x 9.88 mm; Myrtille 45.32 mm x 32.30 mm x 11.93 mm
Strap: Marshmallow and Reglisse, patent leather; Myrtille, rubber
Roger Dubuis Excalibur One-Off
Like the one-off Lamborghini SC18 Alston supercar that inspired it, this watch is not for introverts. Roger Dubuis sets its dual flying tourbillon movement into a one-of-a-kind watch that honors some of the Lamborghini design codes. The case, like the body of the car, is carbon fiber. The bezel and minute markers are ceramic, which is used on the car’s brakes, and the strap has a mesh inner lining made of the same nylon fibers that are embedded in Pirelli tires made for Lamborghini. Like all Roger Dubuis watches, it is made to Geneva Seal standards.
This million-dollar unique timepiece has already been sold to a Chinese collector, who reportedly purchased it by phone during the fair.
Case Material: C-SMC carbon with red varnish
Case Size: 47 mm
Strap: Rubber and nylon mesh
Ulysse Nardin Freak X
The latest version of Ulysse Nardin’s Freak, a cutting-edge watch with a groundbreaking silicon escapement, is the Freak X. The new iterations now come in a smaller 43 mm size instead of 45 mm and have been made easier to read and operate. The watchmaker added a crown to make it easier to adjust, but the movement remains a carousel that runs once on itself every hour to indicate the time with a 3 Hz silicium balance wheel, but it has been simplified with fewer wheels. The new UN-230 movement is a fusion of the manufacture calibers UN-118 and the Freak Vision UN-250.
The Freak X comes in at a much lower price point than the Freak Vision—the Freak Vision Coral Bay retailed for $108,000. The new watches are priced between $21,000 for titanium and $40,000 for rose gold. A new carbonium case, a material two times lighter than aluminum that’s used in high-performance aeronautics, has also been introduced for $24,000. Those are still hefty prices, but far more accessible than its six-figure counterparts. Now go get your freak on.
Price: Titanium, $21,000; carbonium, $24,000; rose gold, $30,000
Case Materials: Carbonium, titanium, rose gold, steel
Case Size: 43 mm
Straps: Openworked veal or alligator strap with “point de bride” stitches
Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X
As with the Freak X, an effort has been made to downsize the Skeleton X’s case from 45 mm to 42 mm so it can be accessed and worn by a broader range of clients. Ulysse Nardin also did away with the tourbillon that came with the Executive Skeleton launched in 2016, originally priced at $38,000, to cut the price in half (for the titanium model) for a more “accessible” timepiece that ranges between $17,500 and $29,000. Housed within the new skeleton model is a superlight silicium balance wheel with nickel flyweights and stabilizing microblades. The UN-371 caliber is based on the UN-171 movement, but redesigned to adjust to the loss of the tourbillon complication. The watch comes in titanium, titanium DLC, carbonium gold (a fusion of carbon and gold), and rose gold.
Price: Titanium and titanium DLC, $17,500; carbonium gold, $21,000; rose gold $29,000
Case Materials: Titanium, titanium DLC, carbonium gold, rose gold
Case Size: Titanium and rose gold, 42 mm; carbonium, 43 mm
Straps: Titanium and rose gold, rubber or alligator leather; carbonium, rubber or grained calf-leather
Urwerk UR-105 CT Maverick
Following up on the UR-105 CT Streamliner and the UR-105 CT Kryptonite comes the new UR-105 CT Maverick, with a new bronze and titanium case. The Maverick comes with Urwerk’s signature wandering-hours complication, in which time is told via four satellites, each holding three hour numerals that rotate on an openworked carousel. Minutes are indicated on a track beneath the satellite hours. A simple push of the watch’s sliding tab lifts the bronze hood of the watch to revealing its mechanics at work underneath.
In addition to its updated material, which will develop a unique patina over time, this version of the UR-105 CT has been modified so the rotation of the satellites is soundless—the satellites of previous models created a clicking sound as they rotated.
Price: 67,000 CHF (approximately $67,452 at current exchange)
Case Material: Titanium and bronze
Case Size: 53 mm x 39.5 mm x 17.8 mm
Strap: Black alligator leather with pin buckle
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon
Even Vacheron is getting in on steel, but don’t expect the watchmaking at this level to come steeply discounted. The watchmaker has announced its $103,00 first-ever tourbillon in its Overseas collection, also marking the first time the brand has offered a tourbillon complication in a steel case. The introduction follows last year’s approachable, everyday releases in Vacheron Constantin’s Fiftysix collection.
The Overseas watch features Vacheron Constantin’s ultrathin Caliber 2160, which debuted last year in its Traditionnelle Tourbillon, and it beats at a slower 2.5 Hz frequency so that the wearer can enjoy the movement of the tourbillon. More than 12 hours of finishing are required to hand-bevel just the bar of the tourbillon cage. The tourbillon is set within a blue-lacquered, sunburst, satin-finished dial with Super-LumiNova hands and hour markers.
Case Material: Steel
Case Size: 42.5 mm x 10.39 mm
Straps: Comes with an interchangeable steel bracelet, a Mississippiensis alligator leather strap, and a blue rubber strap that can be changed without the use of tools via a patented interchangeable system
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat
One of the top highlights of the SIHH was Vacheron Constantin’s premiere Twin Beat timepiece, which was displayed (most of the time) behind a giant glass vitrine in the center of the watchmaker’s boutique surrounded by swarms of photographers and admirers. The new timepiece is not only visually appealing in design, but it comes with a revolutionary new user-controlled dual frequency that allows the wearer to switch between an active frequency of 5 Hz and standby frequency of 1.2 Hz. Normally, timepieces (such as Vacheron Constantin’s new Overseas Tourbillon) operate at 2.5 Hz on average.
This function, controlled very easily by a simple pusher and indicated by a small arrow on the left-hand side of the watch, allows for the wearer to switch to a lower frequency when they know they won’t be wearing the watch, in order to keep the watch running for a longer period of time. The big news is that if you were to keep this watch running at a slower 1.2 Hz it will run for 65 days—that’s a whopping two months, which is a singular amount of power reserve in the world of mechanical watchmaking. It’s a lot of watch boiled down into just 42 mm.
This is particularly appealing in a perpetual calendar, which typically has to be reset by a watchmaker after it has run down its power reserve, due to the complexity of rebooting this particular movement. Due to its difficulty to create, only a handful of these will be made each year. It already had a years-long waiting list on the day of its debut.
Case Material: Platinum
Case Size: 42 mm x 12.3 mm thick
Strap: Gray hand-stitched Mississippiensis alligator leather strap with Maltese cross–shaped platinum pin buckle