Vacheron Constantin raised lots of eyebrows this year with its bold and unexpected (at least by those of us in the watch press) decision to focus its 2013 SIHH novelties entirely on ladies. That’s correct: not a single new release from Vacheron this year is a men’s watch. Fortunately for the fairer sex, the women’s pieces that the brand introduced have a little something for just about every taste, with novelties from the Patrimony, Overseas, and Malte collections as well as an entirely new trio of Métiers d’Art watches.
The theme of the Métiers d’Art group this year is “Florilège,” whose dials are amazingly intricate miniature paintings of exotic flowers. All of the watches are in 37-mm white-gold cases with diamond bezels to complement the breathtaking dials, which combine guilloché, grand feu enameling and diamond-setting. They’re all powered by Vacheron’s mechanical, manual-wind Caliber 4400 and have been awarded the Geneva Hallmark. Pictured below are the three pieces: White Lily, Queen, and China Limodoron. Only 20 of each will be made. The euro price is 93,500.
The most eye-catching of the Patrimony offerings is this Patrimony Contemporaine with a full-paveé diamond setting on the dial as well as on the case bezel and lugs. The movement in this one is Vacheron’s automatic Caliber 2450.
Besides Vacheron’s ladies-only product releases, the other SIHH introduction that had guests buzzing in the halls of Geneva’s Palexpo convention center was the first tourbillon timepiece from a brand that few would have expected to release one, at least so early in its relatively young existence: Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry. I finally got to see the watch yesterday (it’s pictured below in its presentation case). The case has the sleek gunmetal finish that Ralph Lauren introduced last year in its Sporting collection. The strap is a handsome brown leather used by Ralph Lauren in its fashion accessories. The movement (whose origins were at first a topic of speculation among the watch cognoscenti at the show) is a microrotor tourbillon movement by Fabrique du Temps, a Swiss company that specializes in high complications. The price of the watch also will raise eyebrows: a relative pittance at $55,000.
Ralph Lauren also introduced several new pieces in its Sporting collection, including its first COSC-certified chronometer, with a new, very masculine dial and a 45-mm case with a new “aged steel” finish. The price on this one will be $3,250. The movement comes from Sellita.
The other notable Sporting piece is an extension of Ralph Lauren’s popular 67 Automotive watch from last year, now in a resin-coated titanium case and a sharp, military green dial. The dial color is inspired by the look of an antique vehicle from Lauren’s extensive collection of automobiles, namely a vintage Land Rover, which was actually on display (see below) at the Ralph Lauren SIHH booth. Like its predecessor, the watch has elm burlwood (of the type used in classic dashboards) incorporated into the dial.
Stay tuned for a wrap-up of the SIHH and a look at some other new luxury watches that were exhibited elsewhere in Geneva during SIHH week. And for even more news and photos of SIHH watches, including new models from A. Lange & Söhne, Piaget, and Greubel Forsey, head on over to WatchTime contributor Alexander Linz’s blog, Watch-Insider.com.