At the luxury watch industry’s first major Swiss fair of the year, January’s Salon International de Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), attendees braced themselves for a conservative scene shaped by challenging economic conditions around the world. Well, we were all pleasantly surprised to see the Salon’s watch manufacturers dig deep and step up to create truly creative, exciting and covetable new watches. From major players to independent watchmakers, here are nine exciting novelties straight from Geneva. All are available at Westime boutiques in Southern California and Miami.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in Black Ceramic
Audemars Piguet enriches its line of Royal Oak Perpetual Calendars with a full black version, made of hand-finished black ceramic. Its sophisticated and multitasking tone- on-tone dial indicates the day, date and month, the number of the week in the year, and even the position of the moon. Lastly, the automatic movement is visible through a sapphire crystal on the back of the 41mm case.
Girard-Perregaux marked its 225th anniversary last year by reissuing this limited edition from its archives circa 1975: the Laureato. This year, the historic manufacturer brings the full Laureato line to life with 30 different variations, including self-winding and quartz movements, with the choice of four different diameters and either steel, two-tone steel, gold or gold- plus-titanium materials.
Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon
The Marine Tourbillon possesses the design characteristics of Ulysse Nardin’s earliest marine chronometers, created in the 1880s as navigational instruments. But the 43mm stainless steel timepiece with a Grand Feu dial features a new self-winding movement made in-house, a 60-hour power reserve and flying tourbillon for an unprecedented price of $28,000.
Greubel Forsey Grande Sonnerie
Master watchmakers Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey, unrivaled masters of the tourbillon, devoted 11 years of research and development to create their brand’s first Grande Sonnerie. The chiming timepiece, which is also a tourbillon, is comprised of 935 parts and 11 security functions—making it the company’s most complex timepiece ever. And while the movement is manually wound, the striking mechanism features a self-winding system.
On its 20th birthday, Urwerk takes us for a turn with its new UR- T8. A true transformer, this unique timepiece lets you physically remove, maneuver and click the case back in upside down to conceal it under the chic titanium. At this point, you may not even know it’s a watch! Rotate it 180 degrees about its axis and the time is displayed again via Urwerk’s trademark wandering hour indication.
HYT H4 NEO
The surprising movement of fluid serves as the time indicator on HYT’s innovative timepieces. In the new H4 Neo, a charcoal grey titanium case measuring 51 mm surrounds a hand-wound movement that is positively vibrant with green retrograde fluid and a purple light mechanical module operated by a crown at 4:30.
MB&F Horological Machine No.7 Aquapod
The organic, jellyfish-inspired design of MB&F’s HM7 Aquapod is counter-balanced by the very mechanical horology within: a central flying tourbillon tops the concentric vertical movement, with indications radiating out from the center like ripples in a pond. Perhaps even cooler, the ceramic bezel floats unattached from the watch’s 53.8 mm titanium case.
Richard Mille RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1
Richard Mille, the leader in bringing new materials to haute horlogerie, does it again with the RM 50-03 McLaren F1. By incorporating graphene—a material discovered a mere 13 years ago and recognized with the prestigious 2010 Nobel Prize in physics—this new timepiece weighs just 40 grams, making it the lightest split seconds chronograph in the world. The hand-wound tourbillon timepiece is designed in collaboration with the Formula 1 race car manufacturer, who also happens to seek the ultimate in light- weights and strong materials.
MCT Sequential Two S220 Bronze
For 5,000 years, bronze has proven to be an attractive and useful alloy known for its exceptional resistance. And that’s why MCT issued
a ten-piece limited edition Sequential Two S220 this year in a bronze case that measures 44.6 mm, with a calfskin strap that completes the vintage look. The heart of the watch is MCT’s signature revolving prisms that indicate the hours and minutes.