Beyond the ÜberWatches: 5 (Possibly) Overlooked Watches from SIHH 2014

Cartier Ballon Bleu Extra-Flat At this year’s SIHH, as per usual, the lion’s share of buzz and attention went to a handful of “headliner watches,” or, as we at WatchTime have dubbed them, “überwatches,” even though most of the watch brands each released a dozen or more new products for 2014. And even when a brand doesn’t have what we’d call an überwatch, it sometimes releases one piece so unexpected, off-the-wall, or controversial that it overshadows the rest of its new releases (Exhibit A: Last year’s debut of the first Ralph Lauren tourbillon). Here are some of the interesting watches from SIHH 2014 that may have flown under your radar while you were paying attention to the headliners.


What you’ve probably heard about: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica 11 Master Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon, one of the most techologically advanced timepieces at the show, which nabbed the title of world’s thinnest minute repeater. We reported on it here.)

What you may have missed: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic, a sporty, masculine watch with a matte-black dial and high-tech, scratch-resistant 46-mm ceramic case. The in-house Jaeger-LeCoultre movement inside, automatic Caliber 757, powers not only the chronograph — with hour and minute counters at 9 and 3 o’clock, respectively, and a bold red central seconds counter hand — but also a date indication (at 4 o’clock) and a GMT function with a day/night indicator, which is positioned below the JLC logo at 12 o’clock. The movement also provides a power reserve of 65 hours. Like all in the Master Compressor series, the watch’s crown features JLC’s patented compression key, which locks in the high degree of water resistance. The Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic is a limited edition of 500 pieces.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic (above) and its movement, Caliber 757 (below)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic Calibre 757

What you’ve probably heard about: The highlights include the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astrocalendaire and Earth and Moon Tourbillon, both of which we covered here, and the brand’s new divers’ watch, the Calibre de Cartier Diver, which we gave you the scoop on before SIHH.

What you may have missed: Cartier’s popular Ballon Bleu has graduated to becoming its own collection, called Ballon de Cartier, this year, with four new models making their debut. The Cartier Ballon Bleu Extra-Flat is an elegant men’s watch in a white- or rose-gold case measuring a contemporary 40 mm in diameter but a mere 6.9 mm thick. The dial (in gray or white flinqué) features an eye-catching guilloché pattern, applied Roman numerals, a railtrack minute circle, and sword-shaped hands. It retains the blue sapphire cabochon crown, protected by a curved arch, that gave the original Ballon Bleu watch its name. The watch contains an automatic Cartier manufacture movement.

Cartier Ballon Bleu Extra-Flat - front
Cartier Ballon Bleu Extra-Flat, front (above), side view (below) and in close-up (bottom)
Cartier Ballon Bleu Extra-Flat - Profile
Cartier Ballon Bleu Extra-Flat - dial cu - angle


What you’ve probably heard about: Undoubtedly, the Baume & Mercier Clifton 1892 Flying Tourbillon (which we featured here) a high-horology first for the otherwise “affordable luxury” brand.

What you may have missed: The Baume & Mercier Clifton Retrograde Date, which embodies what Baume & Mercier calls its expertise in “small complications.” The 43-mm steel case takes its design cues from a 1950s Baume & Mercier watch and contains an automatic winding movement from Soprod, which is visible through a sapphire caseback. The dial has a sun satin finish and features an elegant arrangement of central hours, minutes and seconds; a day-indicator subdial at 9 o’clock; a retrograde date pointer at 3 o’clock; and a power-reserve indicator at 6 o’clock. The Clifton Retrograde Date comes on a brown alligator strap with a triple-folding security clasp. The retail price, according to Baume & Mercier, will be about 1/10 that of the tourbillon: around $5,700.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Retrograde Date - frontBaume & Mercier Clifton Retrograde Date - side

What you’ve probably heard about: Montblanc’s rollout of its new Meisterstuck Heritage collection (covered in detail here), and perhaps the brand’s high-tech chronographic achievement of the year, the Timewalker Chronograph 100.

What you may have missed: The latest addition to Montblanc’s distinctive Nicolas Rieussec chronograph collection, the Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec.” This is the Rieussec watch that bears the most direct aesthetic influence of the first “time-writer” invented by the model’s namesake in 1821. The color scheme of the dial and the forms of the hands are both the same as those on the original, a device used for timing horse races. The chronograph counters, made of blued steel, are shaped like the ink carriers from the earlier device, and point to the calibrated scales on the white lacquer rotating disks (one for 60 elapsed seconds and the other for 30 elapsed minutes) to record time intervals. The watch’s other notable feature is its hour circle, which features embedded Arabic numerals that are coated with a white Super-LumiNova that is invisible in the daylight, and only begin to glow when darkness falls. The watch’s case is 43 mm in diameter, and its movement is Montblanc’s automatic Caliber MB R200, which incorporates a monopusher chronograph function as well as a second time zone and day-night indicator. The rose-gold version of the watch is limited to 193 pieces.

Montblanc Homage to Nicolas Rieussec - front
Montblanc “Homage to Nicolas Rieussec” (above; with hour numerals illuminated, below)
Montblanc Homage to Nicolas Rieussec - night

What you’ve probably heard about: The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna, which we covered here and which was indisputably among the top “buzz watches” among the watch cognoscenti at the SIHH.

What you may have missed: The A. Lange & Söhne Grand Lange 1 Moon-Phase, which features a moon-phase display that is both the German brand’s largest and also designed to remain accurate for 122.6 years. Because the moon-phase disk is connected to the hour wheel continuum, it is in constant motion, just like the actual moon, and moves in increments so small they cannot be detected by the naked eye. The solid gold moon disk, with a patented coating process, boasts a brilliant blue sky with 300 laser-cut stars. The watch’s movement, manufacture Caliber L095.3, holds a 72-hour power reserve in only one mainspring barrel, and is only 4.7 mm thick. The case measures 41 mm in diameter and is available in yellow gold, rose gold, or platinum.

A. Lange & Sohne Grand Lange 1 Moon-Phase
A. Lange & Sohne Grand Lange 1 Moon-Phase (above) and its movement, Caliber L095.3 (below)
A. Lange & Sohne Grand Lange 1 Moon-Phase Caliber L095.3
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  1. Giorgio Osti

    46 mm too small?!
    I can’t help myself, but today’s huge watches look quite vulgar to me…
    Giorgio Osti

  2. Colin Agar-Rea

    Now that Jeager leCoultre is an astonishing looking watch, would have liked it a couple of mm bigger but when you try one on they do look bigger than the 46mm build. Lovely watch.

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