Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
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.
Vacheron Constantin has created four stunning limited-edition pieces for its two-year-old Métiers d’Art Fabuleux Ornements collection, drawing from the ornamental traditions of cultures from across the globe with these newest additions. Each 37mm watch, available in white or pink gold, features a concentric circular design, born from the collaborative efforts of 10 devoted artisans. Over its white mother-of-pearl base, the Ottoman architecture model showcases golden arches embedded with half-pearls, while the Indian manuscripts model displays delicate hand-engraved vinework combined with bright splashes of enamel flowers. The Chinese embroidery model echoes the deep reds and golds of traditional fabrics with incredibly detailed leaf textures, and the French lacework model wraps 194 diamonds into a dance of white hand-guilloché enameled swirls. The manually-wound watches all feature sapphire glass casebacks, 31-hour power reserves, water resistance in depths of up to 30 meters, and colored alligator straps. Only 20 of each model will be manufactured.
Panerai maximized toughness with its new, surprisingly lightweight wristwatch, dubbed the Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio. Its gears rest in clear view under sapphire crystal, giving the hand-wound watch a modern, industrial look. The company crafted the watch’s 47mm case in titanium, a hypoallergenic metal about 40% lighter than steel, further lightened with an internal hollowing technique without compromising any of the piece’s durability. The Titanio’s performance matches its tough appearance, with water resistance at up to 100 meters in depth and a 144-hour power reserve. Panerai will release 150 of these tenacious special edition watches, part of the company’s Lo Scienziato series.
Drawing from aeronautic technology, Richard Mille has engineered its stellar new wristwatch, the RM 50-02 ACJ Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph, with the aim to optimize endurance and attain pinpoint accuracy. The limited edition watch, designed in collaboration with Airbus, employs new “split seconds” components that help to eliminate inaccuracies and half energy consumption in the watch’s chronograph function, all of which can be seen through the watch’s completely transparent anti-glare sapphire face. The titanium-aluminum case, designed to mirror a plane’s window, is made from the same alloy that Airbus uses for its turbine blades, and the watch enjoys further protection from its scratch-resistant front made of bezel, a material hard enough to require diamond instruments for its manufacture. Further equipped with a torque indicator, shock protection, water resistance at up to 50 meters in depth, and a 70-hour power reserve, the RM 50-02 is ready for any adventure—land, sea, or sky.
Inspired by a late 18th-century pocket watch from Parmigiani‘s Sandoz collection, the Toric Kaleidoscope Prestige combines sound and motion into a contemplative, unique piece. Parmigiani designed this hand-wound wristwatch with acoustics in mind, choosing a 45mm rose gold case to best amplify the sound of the watch’s pair of internal cathedral gongs, which chime every hour, quarter-hour, and minute with four original melodies. The watch also features a gold hand-engraved dial, which rotates in a crisscrossed spiral against a mother-of-pearl inlay to create the kaleidoscopic illusion for which the piece is named. This novelty watch, set on a black alligator bracelet, is encased in anti-reflective sapphire glass and has a 40-hour power reserve.