It’s Day Three of the SIHH watch fair in Geneva, and despite a late dinner with our friends from A. Lange & Söhne and the Lange Owners Club, not to mention even later cocktails on the SIHH party boat on Lake Geneva, your intrepid WatchTime reporter is back at it to chronicle more headliners and highlights from the show. (To get a first look at Lange’s new models from the show, visit Watch-Insider.com.)
We’ve already shown you Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore Grand Complication, the brand’s headliner release for this year, of which, we’ve now learned, only three will be made. At the AP presentation yesterday, new CEO Francois Bennhamias and his team revealed a few more new watches making their debut at SIHH.
One was the Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater, a 10-piece limited edition in a white-gold/titanium case (there will also be a rose gold/white gold version), with AP’s manufacture manual-wound caliber 2874. Front and back of the watch are shown below.
This year is the Royal Oak Offshore’s 20th anniversary, and as expected, several new Royal Oak Offshore models made their debut, including two new pieces with black ceramic cases and bezels. The standout was the new ceramic Royal Oak Offshore Diver, which answers the question of how one can create a functional divers’ watch (i.e., one with a unidirectional rotating bezel) in this collection without sacrificing the fixed, octagonal, screwed-down bezel that makes it iconic. AP’s solution was installing a rotating inner bezel, beneath the crystal and underneath the outer bezel, operated by a crown at 11 o’clock.
Audemars Piguet, regarded largely as a men’s brand, also set its sights on the ladies this year, releasing a number of pieces targeted squarely at women, including smaller-diameter models of the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore as well as some Jules Audemars models. This 33-mm ladies’ Royal Oak has a quartz movement and its bracelet and case are coated in no less than 648 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Jaeger-LeCoultre rarely fails to impress with its annual SIHH offerings, particularly those that scale the highest peaks air of haute horlogerie, and this year was no exception. It led off with a trio of models collectively called the Jubilee Collection, highlighted by what JLC calls the world’s most accurate perpetual calendar with tourbillon. The watch’s moniker is a mouthful: Grand Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique Perpetual Calendar with Tourbillon. As you’d expect from the name, the watch incorporates a cylindrical balance spring in its manufacture movement and also has a gorgeously decorative solid gold rotor, engraved with a replica of a gold medal won by JLC (presumably for chronometry) in 1889 at the Paris Expo.
Among the new models in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master collection is its new Master Tourbillon Dualtime, which has been re-engineered with a slightly altered tourbillon carriage and a slightly thinner case. The watch and its manufacture movement, JLC Caliber 978, are below.
On the sports watch side, JLC unveiled a new divers’ chronograph watch called the Deep-Sea Chronograph Cermet. “Cermet,” as you may have surmised, is a material that blends ceramic and metal to achieve a high level of hardness and scratch resistance. The watch will be available widely in the predominantly black version shown below and also in a boutique-only “vintage” version.
Panerai released its first pocket watch this year (pictured below in its presentation case), an incredible piece with a skeletonized tourbillon movement. The Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica is in a 59-mm Radiomir case made of zirconium oxide ceramic and is powered by Panerai’s hand-wound Caliber P.2005/S. According to Panerai, only 50 will be made. To see the rest of the new Panerai watches, including its all-new model with Regatta countdown feature, check out Watch-Insider.com. And visit WatchTime.com tomorrow for more from Geneva’s winter watchfest!