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SIHH 2019: Our top picks from this year’s timepieces


ANOTHER year, another fair. We’re fresh off the return flight from Geneva with a bevy of reviews, but these 7 watches stood out from the competition.

01: Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar

Vacheron Constantin had something fun this SIHH. Imagine this: a perpetual calendar watch that comes with a 65-day long power reserve, so you can set it down and not worry about having to adjust its indications, weeks after not wearing it. That’s the idea behind the Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, which has two balance wheels that beat at different frequencies.

The larger wheel oscillates at a leisurely 1.2Hz, and with it, the watch can tick for 65 days, as mentioned. The smaller one is much faster – 5Hz – and with it, the watch can run for just four days, albeit with greater chronometry. So, its wearer should wear the watch at 5Hz during “active” hours, and keep the watch running at the slower beat rate when not wearing it. The kicker? This frequency is user-selectable.

02: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel

Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel

Jaeger-LeCoultre presented one of the few technical highlights at SIHH this year, with its Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel ranking among the most complicated watches on show.

The timepiece’s highlights include its eponymous gyrotourbillon, now reduced in size and weight to fit a smaller and more wearable case, as well as the Westminster minute repeater, and the perpetual calendar. What’s less obvious is the remontoir d’égalité system here, which “recharges” once a minute to, incidentally, create a jumping minute hand.

03: Cartier Santos de Cartier Skeleton Noctambule

Santos de Cartier Skeleton Noctambule

Cartier’s return to its roots continue this year with its various shaped watches, including historic models, being reinterpreted for a modern audience. The Santos collection has been bolstered with several new models, including the Santos de Cartier Skeleton Noctambule shown here.

The watch features a skeletonised movement, sans dial, with what remains of the mainplate being fashioned into Roman numerals to function as hour indexes. This isn’t new, but in a brilliant twist (no pun intended), the “indexes” and hands have been coated with Super-Luminova to glow in the dark. Cartier was ostensibly inspired by its eponymous aviator, who envisioned the usage of floodlights to light his way during nighttime navigation in the air.

04: Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition 100

Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition 100

Davide Cerrato’s revamp of Montblanc’s product line is complete with the unveiling of the Heritage collection, which subsumes all the previous Heritage sub-lines into one. Along the way, he’s also given the new collection a redesign, taking inspiration from vintage Minerva watches. The domed dial and dot hour markers are just some examples of this.

Among the highlights from the new line this year is the Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition 100, which has blue details set against a salmon pink dial. You may notice the demarcations on the chronograph minute totaliser – it’s yet another nod to the past, when payphones required another coin every three minutes.

05: Richard Mille Bonbon Collection

Richard Mille Bonbon Myrtille Blueberry

Richard Mille’s last SIHH sees the brand unveiling a line of 10 watches, with a limited run of just 30 pieces each. The new Bonbon collection uses existing models, but sweetens them up in candy- and fruit-themed decorations executed in various metiers d’art, including enamelling, lacquering, and acrylic painting.

Expect a host of saccharine treats, from lollipops to gumballs to lemon and strawberry, but don’t be mistaken: these are hypertechnical Richard Mille timepiees through and through, just in a different guise.

06: IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight”

IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition The Longest Flight

IWC’s added several new models and line extensions to its Pilot’s Watch collection, and for good reason: this is, after all, the most popular sports watch line-up within the brand’s stable. Compared to the previous major revamp, which included tweaked designs across the entire Pilot’s Watch family, this year’s changes are more to strengthen what’s already a well-developed collection.

The Timezoner has, notably, made its return this year without the additional chronograph complication. Instead, it’s a straightforward worldtimer this time, and operated just like its previous iteration: simply press the bezel down and rotate to select the city, whose time will then be shown in the aperture at 12 o’clock. In case you’ve forgotten, the date display will jump accordingly to reflect the city’s date too, whichever side of the International Date Line it lies on.

07: A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 “25th Anniversary”

A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 25th Anniversary

It’s the 25th anniversary of the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1, and the brand has hinted that many more novelties are to come in the next few months to commemorate the occasion. For now, we have the Lange 1 “25th Anniversary”, which comes in a limited run of just 250 pieces worldwide, and only in white gold. The timepiece harks back to the original Lange 1 with its printed dial, accented in blue, in lieu of contemporary versions with applique indexes.

Flip the watch around, and you’ll find that this limited edition actually has a half hunter case, with an engraved case cover. Other details abound; the balance cock has a “25” motif to mark the occasion.

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