SIHH 2017: a 'magical mystery tour' for luxury watches connoisseurs


SIHH 2017: a 'magical mystery tour' for luxury watches connoisseurs

From January 16 to January 20, 2017, the eyes of all watches enthusiasts were pointed at Geneva where the 27th edition of SIHH (Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie) took place.  
SIHH is the year’s first gathering of professionals in the watchmaking segment. Held in January, it sets the tone for the twelve months to come as it rolls out the latest trends. Here are some of the highlights that characterized - brand by brand - the last edition of the world-renowned show.

[nextpage title="Van Cleef & Arpels" ]

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
Highlighting the Enchanting Nature™ identified with Van Cleef & Arpels, butterflies and fairies this year offer a new experience of the passage of time, unveiled with dreamlike wonder and harmony. Across an array of new pieces, these emblematic figures appear in volume, in movement or at the center of subtle tableaux, creating a sense of marvel. Technical innovation and imperious craftsmanship come together within each creation. The resulting masterpieces set the heart beating to the unique rhythm of the Poetry of Time™.

LADY ARPELS PAPILLON AUTOMATE WATCH

SIHH2017 VO+

To mark the SIHH 2017, Enchanting Nature comes to life as never before on the new Lady Arpels™ Papillon Automate watch. Equipped with a particularly advanced automaton module, it depicts the random fluttering of a butterfly, moving in accompaniment to the movements of the watch’s wearer. A mutual relationship comes into being, as the hours slip by against a pastoral backdrop. The entire scene is brightened by a wide range of traditional crafts, gathered together at Van Cleef & Arpels’ watchmaking workshops in Meyrin, Switzerland.

CHARMS EXTRAORDINAIRE FÉE ROSE DE NUIT WATCH

An ode to nature and womanliness, this creation portrays a fairy in white gold and diamond, admiring a flower of sculpted mother-of-pearl. These relief elements give depth to the dial, embellished with midnight blue miniature painting. The intricacies of the starry sky, punctuated with diamonds, continue on the bezel in the form of a gradation of sapphires and diamonds. A floral charm, recalling the decoration of the dial, elegantly accompanies the movements of the wrist. The same attention to detail can be seen on the rear of the case, which is decorated with a rosebud and fairy in bas-relief.

CHARMS EXTRAORDINAIRE FÉE SAKURA WATCH

SIHH2017 VO+

First revealed at the inauguration of the Ginza boutique, this watch – inspired by cherry trees in bloom – is now on display at SIHH 2017. Against a deep pink backdrop, the dial employs several traditional skills to depict Enchanting Nature: mother-of-pearl – sculpted and painted by hand – traces subtle flowers, while the corollas in the foreground are embellished with cabochonné enamel, which gives the petals an opalescent relief feeling.

AUTOMATE FÉE ONDINE

On the occasion of the SIHH 2017, Van Cleef & Arpels is pleased to reveal its first Extraordinary Object: the Automate Fée Ondine. The fruit of long years’ work and an rigorous collaboration with automaton maker François Junod, the project also owes its existence to the savoir-faire of the numerous craftsmen who have taken part in its creation. Bringing together the jewelry and watchmaking traditions, this unique piece symbolizes a new chapter for the Maison, in keeping with precious objects such as carriage and table clocks. The highly complex mechanism – which animates various elements and also tells the time – gives pride of place to an ephemeral poetry: movement and lightness, the elegance of nature, the sophistication of a fairy waking from sleep and the nuances of precious stones and enamel. This bejeweled tableau comes to life with infinite finesse. The Maison’s imagination, creativity and attachment to ancestral crafts have come together in this Extraordinary Object to instill a dreamlike sense of marvel.

JEWELS THAT TELL TIME
At the crossroads of Watchmaking and High Jewelry, Van Cleef & Arpels continues to discover its creative universe with the collections jewels that tell the time. Whether graphic or figurative, they show a wealth of savoir-faire and lend a sparkle to time – revealing it in glimpses or even cloaking it in secret. Mystery watches – created by the Maison since the 1930s – surprise with their hidden treasures. They have all the luxury of jewelry, with dials that remain invisible before being discretely uncovered. Sliding a precious bow, opening a diamond chest or glancing at a mirror are so many ways of playing with time.

HEURE MARINE WATCH

SIHH2017 VO+

To mark the SIHH, the Maison is highlighting its High Jewelry savoir-faire with unique watches recently completed at its workshops. Inspired by the wonder of the sea, the Heure Marine piece combines the technical prowess of a secret watch with the discretion of a womanly jewel.

CERF-VOLANT LONG NECKLACE WATCH

All Van Cleef & Arpels’ inspiration and High Jewelry expertise come together in this long necklace watch and its uncommon way of telling the time. At first glance, a long necklace deploys fluid rows of onyx beads while retaining a precious case. The tones of the necklace – the dark gleam of spinels and onyx, the white of diamonds and cultured pearls and the red of rubies – are echoed on the case adorned with onyx, mother-of-pearl and a kite in Traditional Mystery Set. The latter attracts the attention: by pressing the cabochon-cut ruby, the lid lowers to reveal a mirror that reflects the watch’s dial. Delicate and stylish, this presentation of time is made possible by an anticlockwise quartz movement that enables the hour to be read in an astounding play of reflections.

RUBAN SECRET DIAMONDS WATCH

Secret watches – a much-loved tradition at Van Cleef & Arpels – here encounter the world of couture that the Maison has interpreted since the 1920s. Two new, highly flexible creations reinterpret the fluidity of a ribbon, gracefully circling the wrist. Crowned with a shining bow – which opens to show the dial – they disguise or expose the time in keeping with their wearer’s mood. While one, in white gold, is adorned with round diamonds from its dial to the bracelet, the other – in pink gold – is embellished with a harmonious gradation of pink sapphires and diamonds. The Maison’s jewelry expertise can also be seen in the bracelet’s articulation, which maintains the continuity between the links when worn on the wrist. A high standard of comfort is thus combined with visual appeal, creating stunning plays of light.

RUBAN SECRET SAPPHIRES WATCH

Secret watches – a much-loved tradition at Van Cleef & Arpels – here encounter the world of couture that the Maison has interpreted since the 1920s. Two new, highly flexible creations reinterpret the fluidity of a ribbon, gracefully circling the wrist. Crowned with a glittering bow – which opens to show the dial – they hide or reveal the time in keeping with their wearer’s mood. While one, in white gold, is adorned with round diamonds from its dial to the bracelet, the other – in pink gold – is embellished with a harmonious gradation of pink sapphires and diamonds. The Maison’s jewelry savoir-faire can also be seen in the bracelet’s articulation, which maintains the continuity between the links when worn on the wrist. A high standard of comfort is thus combined with aesthetic appeal, creating dazzling plays of light.

BOUTON D’OR WATCH

Launched in 2016, the jewelry collection Bouton d’or™ is inspired by a motif known as the paillette, created in the late 1930s. To mark the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2017, Van Cleef & Arpels is unveiling a watch with round lines that echoes its joyful and graphic style. Yellow gold sets the tone for this new creation, which combines the paillettes’ sunny glow with the brilliance of diamond. Continuing the collection’s unique interplays of volume and reflections, the bracelet is made up of three rows of concave or convex elements with a round diamond nestling at their center. Fully set with stones, the concave dial accentuates this effect of sparkling surfaces.

RUBY CADENAS WATCH

The Cadenas™ collection, whose bold and distinctive aesthetic has stood the test of time, is this year enhanced with two jewelry models. Faithful to the watch’s original aesthetic, they adorn the wrist with a double snake chain and are embellished with precious stones. The pink gold version is enlivened with princess-cut rubies on the upper part of the case and the clasp. Their flamboyant color contrasts with the mother-of-pearl dial, whose 12 hour-markers make telling the time easy. On the dazzling second model, white gold combines with diamonds in serti neige style setting to bring brilliance and life to the case, dial and clasp. This piece is further enhanced by the deep green hue of princess-cut emeralds, highlighting the graphic lines of the watch.

EMERALD CADENAS WATCH

The Cadenas™ collection, whose daring and unique aesthetic has stood the test of time, is this year improved with two jewelry models. Faithful to the watch’s original aesthetic, they adorn the wrist with a double snake chain and are adorned with precious stones. The pink gold version is enlivened with princess-cut rubies on the upper part of the case and the clasp. Their flamboyant color contrasts with the mother-of-pearl dial, whose 12 hour-markers make telling the time easy. On the stunning second model, white gold combines with diamonds in serti neige style setting to bring magnificence and life to the case, dial and clasp. This piece is further boosted by the deep green hue of princess-cut emeralds, showcasing the graphic lines of the watch.[/nextpage]

[nextpage title="IWC Schaffhausen" ]

IWC Schaffhausen
Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen revisits the legendary design of the 1980s and presents the 2017 Da Vinci collection, once again with its classic round case. The Da Vinci Automatic 36 and the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 are tailored to women, while the Da Vinci Automatic is a unisex model. Two Da Vinci timepieces feature newly developed IWC-manufactured calibres that innovatively combine and integrate complications.

 

THE 2017 DA VINCI COLLECTION: AN OVERVIEW

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The Da Vinci Automatic 36 (Ref. IW458307/IW458308/ IW458310/IW458312) and the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 (Ref. IW459306/IW459307/IW459308) are not only smallerand slimmer, but also have a more feminine design: with rounded crowns and a recessed inner circle on the dial, as previously found in the Portofino 37 mm collection. Gold cases, diamond-set bezels and alligator leather straps by Santoni in the colours raspberry, bronze, dark brown and dark blue specially developed for IWC underscore the watch’s aesthetic appeal. To achieve the nuanced gradations of colour on the strap, the surface of the leather is polished with a variety of different pastes until it has the desired shading and a perfect sheen. As a result, every strap has an exclusive patina-like shimmer with its own individual nuances of colour. The moon phase display, which has been part of the Da Vinci family since 1985, is now the visual centre of the silver-plated dial in the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36. The gold- or silver-coloured moon moves clockwise against the dark blue night sky. The so-called “Flower of Life” is engraved on the case backs of all Da Vinci Automatic 36 and Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 models. This geometrical figure features several regularly overlapping circles and was the object of intensive study and numerous drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. It represents his unflagging search for mathematical rules for beauty and proportions, and thus symbolizes the new design approach of the watch collection.

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The Da Vinci Automatic (Ref. IW356601/IW356602) with its 40-millimetre diameter was designed for both men and women as a classic watch with three hands and features a subtle, stylish design. This reference essentially reflects the watch family’s design signature – a round case with unique horns. Moreover, the minimalist dial with its large Arabic figures and lancet-shaped hands nicely matches the purist design of the Da Vinci Automatic. One model comes with a silver-plated dial and a black Santoni leather strap, the other with a slate-coloured dial and stainless-steel bracelet.

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The Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (Ref. IW392101/IW392103) is the first watch from IWC to combine the popular mechanical chronograph with a perpetual moon phase display on a subdial in a new complication module. The moon phase is displayed by a disc, partly silver- or gold-plated, partly dark blue, which rotates to show the shadow of the earth and the waxing or waning moon below an aperture in the dial. In order to achieve this, IWC’s watchmakers had to design the in-house 89630 calibre that powers the perpetual calendar’s other functions: the date, month, day and four-digit year display.

The name of the Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph (Ref. IW393101) in 18-carat red gold alone reflects its unique status: an unusual combination of a classic tourbillon with a retrograde date and a sporty chronograph on a single dial. The further-developed 89360 chronograph calibre, the new IWC-manufactured 89900 calibre, permits down-to-the-second setting of what is known as the “hacking tourbillon” via a newly designed system of levers. The result is a technically sophisticated and optically balancedcomplication with a clear, uncluttered design. The wearer reads stopped hours and minutes off from a totalizer at the top of the dial, while a central seconds hand shows elapsed seconds. The flying tourbillon is positioned below at “6 o’clock” and, on the left-hand side, the gently curved arc of the retrograde date display almost visually connects one complication with the other. Apart from this, the pallet lever and escape wheel were manufactured with the use of diamond shell technology for the first time. This involves a diamond coating that reduces friction, thus generating a higher output of energy.[/nextpage]

 

[nextpage title="Vacheron Constantin" ]

VACHERON CONSTANTIN
Les Cabinotiers

For more than 260 years, Vacheron Constantin has been creating exclusive and unusual models developed by master-watchmakers continuously pushing the limits of superiority, or commissioned by demanding collectors. This horological tradition is more vibrantly alive than ever thanks to its Les Cabinotiers department which, while ensuring esteem for the values of the Maison and of Fine Watchmaking as a whole, dreams up exemplary timepieces. In the 18th century, exclusive clients were accustomed to placing orders with the cabinotiers, the watchmaking artisans who forged Geneva’s reputation. This tradition has been pursued without interruption by Vacheron Constantin. From Tsar Alexander II to the New York banker Henry Graves Jr and from car manufacturer James Ward Packard to crowned heads such as Fouad I and Farouk of Egypt, all were fervent collectors of one-of-a-kind models created by the Maison.[/nextpage]

[nextpage title="Roger Dubuis" ]

ROGER DUBUIS
QUATOR

RDDBEX0571 Quatuor Blue Cobalt

Excalibur, the iconic and deliberately opulent Roger Dubuis collection – with its signature blend of technical brilliance and compelling design – rocked the watchmaking world as never before at the SIHH 2017. And like any upcoming quake, premonitory tremors are rippling across the landscape. A sneak peek at three of them… When it comes to progressive complications, the hand-wound 590-part RD101 Quatuor movement – beating at a frequency of 16 Hz (115,200 vph) with its four sprung balances and five differentials – is as progressive as they get… Not to mention outstandingly fast and efficient, since it achieves instantaneously what the tourbillon takes a full minute to accomplish – namely compensating for the rate variations caused by the effects of gravity on a watch. 2017 will see it welcome its very own disruptive material: cobalt chrome. Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt® This high-performance cobalt chrome alloy clothing the 48 mm-diameter case, bezel, case-back and crown is produced using the extremely exclusive MicroMelt® technology that represents just 0.1% of worldwide metallurgy. Widely associated with aeronautics and astronomy, this process involves melting and atomizing the alloy into a fine powder by introducing the molten metal to a highpressure stream of gas using a dedicated vacuum induction melting gas atomization unit.

SPIDER SKELETON

RDDBEX0576

Synonymous with the current outdoor, automobile-inspired vibe embodied in the Roger Dubuis ‘Technical Skeletons’, the Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic is a fresh blue/black/red expression of the talent and ingenuity deployed by the ‘pioneer of contemporary skeletons’, exhibiting its ability to raise this workmanship to the rank of a contemporary art form. Leveraging the knowledge acquired over the years through its avant-garde movements revealing its own unique vision of this principle, the ample 45 mm titanium case is interpreted according to the Spider concept that extends skeletonisation beyond the movement to include the case, flange and hands. Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic Enhancing visibility and promoting transparency, this principle forms powerful architectural and sculptural effects that highlight the unique beauty of these sophisticated mechanisms. The original case construction and the use of ‘disruptive materials’ such as titanium also serve to ensure a super-light and pleasing feel on the wrist. In this new Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic version, cool colour contrasts are the keynote, achieved by DLC treatment of the case, and crown, vulcanised rubber details on the bezel, crown and container, along with red accents provided by the ring, crown, hand tips and strap stitching. The theme of contrasts is also expressed through finishing textures, notably including polished chamfers and satin-brushed sides. To ensure optimal readability by night and day, the applied screws on the flange as well as the tips of the hands sweeping across the dial are enhanced with Superluminova.

EXCALIBUR 36

RDDBEX0595 Excalibur 36 830

Like the electric blue lava bursting from certain volcanoes, the Excalibur Essential 36 Automatic appears with an arrestingly beautiful black DLC-treated titanium case topped by a bezel set with 48 blue sapphires. Simultaneously evoking fire and ice, the sparkling gems reflect and accentuate the cool gleam of the blue PVD-coated dial with its shimmering sun-brushed finish. This elegant smaller-sized interpretation of the Excalibur carries the collection’s trademark fluted bezel and triple lugs, together with the radiating Roman numerals. The latter are deliciously “interrupted” by an ever-useful small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock, complete with a discreet yet legible date display. The versatile 36 mm diameter makes it suitable for both masculine and feminine wrists, and there is sure to be a gender mix among the lucky few who will grab their piece of this 28-piece limited edition. It is equipped with the RD830 calibre featuring a 22K pink gold rotor that may be admired in action through the transparent sapphire crystal case-back and ensures a 48-hour power reserve. Setting a perfectly elegant finishing touch, the matching blue alligator leather strap is fitted with DLCtreated titanium folding buckle.[/nextpage]


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