The 26th annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) kicks off tomorrow at Geneva’s Palexpo center. While we at WatchTime eagerly await the unveiling of new watches at the fair — which this year includes more exhibiting brands than ever before — we offer here a glimpse of some of timepieces that we’ve seen in advance. Click on the links to learn more about them.
Audemars Piguet goes for what many would consider old-school horological luxury with this new version of its Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in classical yellow gold. The watch, powered by in-house Caliber 2120 and boasting a deep blue Grande Tapisserie-patterned dial, joins its predecessors in rose gold and steel.
Baume & Mercier expands its recently introduced Clifton gents’ collection — inspired by a historical 1950s model — with that family’s most complicated watch to date, the Baume & Mercier Clifton Chronograph Complete Calendar, which combines two functions from previous models.
The Cartier Clé de Cartier Automatic Skeleton is among several new Cartier watches for men and ladies set to launch at SIHH 2016. It the first skeletonized watch in the Cle de Cartier collection, which Cartier introduced to great fanfare at last year’s SIHH, and features Cartier’s first-ever skeletonized automatic movement made in-house.
Schaffhausen-based H. Moser & Cie., one of eight small, independent high-horology brands exhibiting at SIHH for the first time, offered a preview of its Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Concept watch, an even more minimalist version of its Geneva Grand Prix-award-winning perpetual calendar watch, which features a white-gold case and smoke-gray “fumé” dial and is limited to just 10 pieces worldwide.
As per SIHH tradition, IWC will focus on just one of its collections in 2016: this year, it’s the brand’s popular Big Pilot’s family. Among the many new high-flying timepieces debuting at Geneva is IWC’s latest ticking tribute to the storied poet/author/aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” — the first IWC Pilot’s Watch equipped with the annual calendar complication.
Jaeger-LeCoultre marks the 85th birthday of the original Reverso watch, which launched in 1931 with three new anniversary collections: the Reverso Classic, Reverso Tribute, and a new ladies’ collection called Reverso One. Among the highlights from the pieces we’ve seen so far is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Calendar (pictured), with in-house Caliber 853 and featuring a silver-toned opaline dial in front and an anthracite guilloché-patterned dial on the reverse.
Last year, Montblanc launched its Heritage Chronométrie collection, with designs inspired by the 1948-era Pythagore timepieces created by the storied Minerva manufacture in Villeret, Switzerland (now known as Montblanc Manufacture). This year, the brand adds two new complications to the collection, the Heritage Chronométrie Date by Hand, with its unusual date indication, and the Heritage Chronograph Quantième Annuel (pictured), incorporating a chronograph with an annual calendar.
Panerai gave us a preview of one of its new timepieces, the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic Acciaio – 42mm. Loyal Paneristi will note that the new watch is the first in that collection to feature a white dial — a rarity in the Panerai portfolio overall. Its also got an uncommonly slim case for a Radiomir, owing to its in-house movement, which is only 3.95 mm thick and equipped with a microrotor.
The Parmigiani Tonda Métrographe Abyss Blue features a distinctive, blue-colored dial, whose distinctive shade requires the careful skill of the brand’s master dial maker to create. Inside the watch is a 4-Hz automatic movement (Caliber PF315, above) developed and produced in-house at the brand’s atelier in Fleurier, which includes a 1/4-second chronograph function.
Educated watch enthusiasts know that Piaget makes its mechanical movements in-house. What is less known is that Piaget is one of the very few Swiss watch brands that also makes its own quartz movements in-house as well. The brand pays tribute to this dual technical heritage with the Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P, a concept watch that combines a mechanical caliber with a quartz-driven regulator.
Richard Mille is including among its 2016 offerings the new RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat watch, a thinner version of its iconic RM 010 timepiece that doesn’t sacrifice the original’s aesthetics or performance. The brand created an all-new, automatic movement (Caliber CRMA6), only 3.6 mm thick, to fit inside the new case, which is crafted in titanium and measures 38.7 mm x 47.52 mm x 7.75 mm.
Roger Dubuis’s theme at SIHH 2016 will be “The Year of the Diva,” with new products almost solely restricted to its Velvet collection of haute horlogerie ladies’ watches. Male fans of the brand, however, will find at least one new hyper-masculine timepiece, the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Carbon, which features a case made of a high-tech composite called carbon fiber sheet moulding compound (SMC).
Keep following WatchTime.com and our social media channels for live coverage of new watches, trends, and industry news from SIHH 2016 all week long.