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The 2016 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) took place recently, from January 18-22 in Geneva. A premier event for the fine watch community, SIHH is a platform for the world’s leading luxury watch brands from the Richemont Group to showcase their newest timepieces. Whitewall was there, and this week we’ll be showcasing some of the standout watches we saw.
Montblanc honored trans-Atlantic innovation with its newest timepiece: the Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Pocket Watch 110 Years Edition. The Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique incorporates mechanisms taken from traditional nautical chronometers to ensure reliability and precision, and sacrifices no aesthetic extravagance in doing so. A pair of three-dimensional hemispheres, depicting the continents with a combination of engraving and lacquering done by hand, combine to create the watch’s triple time zone indication, allowing the user to determine the time anywhere in the world. Embellished with rubies and aventurine, black enamel edging and backing, a three-dimensional compass rose, and hand-engraved wave patterning, this 60mm white gold watch is impossible to ignore. Montblanc has crafted only eight of these hand-wound pocket watches, along with a unique Pocket Watch & Navigator edition.
Trimmed down to an incredible degree, the Piaget Altiplano 38 mm 900D measures just 5.60mm in width, claiming the title of world’s thinnest Haute Joaillerie watch as its own. To attain this remarkable slimness, Piaget took the typical interior and exterior elements of a watch and combined them into one sleek 38mm white gold case. The Altiplano features 304 “snow-set” diamonds, embedded side-by-side to completely blanket the mainplate and bridges of the wristwatch, with diamonds also encrusting the dial, crown, screws, and gear wheels of the piece. Designed over the course of three years, the hand-wound watch has a 48-hour power reserve and sits atop a black alligator leather strap, which contrasts stunningly with its brilliantly studded face.
After declaring 2016 to be the Year of the Velvet Diva, Geneva-based company Roger Dubuis has introduced the newest addition to its aptly named Velvet line. Velvet by Massaro, a trio of designs created in collaboration with the Parisian shoemaker, seeks to “reveal the visionary facet of femininity” with the innovative translation of shoe couture into a wrist-borne statement. The centerpiece of the first limited-edition design, inspired by golden age Hollywood icon Rita Hayworth, is the pleated gold leather strap; the watch draws further attention with bold numerals and diamonds encircling its 36mm white gold tonneau case, and echoes the strap with its diamond-studded gold heart. The self-winding watch, which will be produced in a set of only 88 pieces, was designed alongside a pair of stilettos with matching torques down the backs, to be released by Massaro in the near future.