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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.
The one-of-a-kind bracelet unveiled by Van Cleef & Arpels can only be described as absolutely stunning. Inspired by the stylishly discreet “secret watches” dating back to the 1930s, the Rubis Secret High Jewelry Watch features three rows of 115 Mozambique rubies, set between lines of diamonds, with a hidden quartz timepiece that slides out when pushed. The dazzling bracelet took 1,500 hours of work to complete, designed with an original hinge to protect the gems when the bracelet is opened, alongside an openwork white gold interior crafted to illuminate the rubies from within the cuff. Van Cleef & Arpels strove for perfection with this bracelet, and the company’s dedication has resulted in a truly brilliant piece.
In a nod to their 1912 “mystery clock” designs, Cartier showcased the latest addition to its intriguing Mystery Watch line: the Rotonde de Cartier Astromystérieux. The 43.5mm palladium case frames the rotating gear train of the watch, suspended in sapphire crystal, which orbits the face of the watch to replace the minute hand. The Astromystérieux sacrifices no durability in this feat, offering a new shock-absorption system, a 50-hour power reserve, and water resistance in depths of up to 30 feet. Set on a black alligator skin strap, this fascinating hand-wound watch is limited to only 100 pieces; its rarity only adds to the sense of subtle wonder surrounding this enigmatic watch.
In keeping with its mission to “push the limits of creativity and craftsmanship,” Greubel Forsey introduced its latest eye-catcher, the Double Balancier à Différentiel Constant. Offering a daring window into the heart of the watch, the Double Balancier peels back the mask on its detailed architecture, balanced with the simplicity of its striking half-face. Luminescent hand tips ensure readability, while a 72-hour power reserve, two angled balance wheels, and a new time differential corrector, all lock down this wristwatch’s impressive precision. An exclusive 33 pieces will be available with a 43mm white-gold frame, with non-limited releases set for the future. Set on a hand-sewn black alligator strap, this hand-wound watch offers professionality with a steampunk twist.