Monday, January 19, 2015

SIHH 2015 Begins today and Marks its 25th year!

SIHH is off to a flying start, where 16 exhibiting maisons are showcasing new models for 2015. Unlike Baselworld, this convention is all about watches. Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie Geneve is run by Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie established in Geneva as a result of a rapid increase in watch making brands and resulting products.   Countless brands are releasing fine watch creations and thus FHH has taken on the role of providing information and guidance to the public from watch making specialists.  The FHH is a modern Foundation which for the most part utilizes the Internet for the release of information.
In addition the FHH recognizes that Luxury Watches has evolved from a "social aspiration" into a "cultural aspiration"  The FHH focuses its primary attention on information and training in Horology.
Even after 25 years, there still is a remarkably few exhibitors.  These exhibitors, however, have quite the advantage in being part of an exhibition held so close to the beginning of the year.  Since the holiday season, and now for a couple more weeks, blog sites, and other social networking arenas are flooded with the information about new watches and novelties  unveiled at SIHH.  These 16 brands are now commanding their position in the world of horology - this year 2015.  The press kits are being sent in a flurry of Emails and watch write ups are entering a state of frenzy.

That said, who are the brands - even if you know next to nothing about watches - you are likely to have heard these names around:
A Lange & Sohne Saxonia Dual Time SIHH 2015

A Lange & Sohne - click here for their colorful 2015 debut especially a clever Datograph Perpetual Watch, a Saxonia Dual Time, Zeidwerk Minute Repeater
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research Episode 1 Watch SIHH 2015

Audemars Piguet - This year Audemars Piguet reveals the  perfect chime thanks to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Acoustic Research Episode 1 Watch

Baume & Mercier Clifton Big Date and Power Reserve SIHH 2015
Baume & Mercier - Releases some really elegant timepieces, which is suited at any boardroom anywhere including a really handsome Clifton Model featuring a Big Date and Power Reserve.  In addition its Hampton Collection is 20 years.  Time does speed along - does it not? 

Cartier Crash Skeleton SIHH 2015
Cartier - has crashed the party - not in anyway I or you imagine, but rather with its signature women's Cartier Skeleton Crash Watch.  Although the original inspiration for the idea is up for grabs - the resulting timepiece has always been quite a hit. 
Greubel Forsey QP à Equation Computeur Mécanique SIHH 2015

Greubel Forsey -  Writing about this rather young brand sends me reeling with inferiority  in the shadow of scientific geniuses. 
Now as they say the genre of steampunk is a mechanical alternate world - a place where mechanical accomplishments continued to evolve if the invention of electricity had never occured.  This ,my friends, is Greubel Forsey - who unveiled today the “Computeur Mécanique,”or a mechanical computer.  To all my steampunk friends out there - this is it! This is what happened if electricity was never invented and computers had never come to pass. A mind like Greubel and Forsey spearheading a mechanical revolution. Now enough of my excited caffeine frenzied rant.  Geubel Forsey's 7th invention has a bunch of patents and is a brilliant assembly of 25 sub movements with a  rotating, co-axial coded elements or its "brain" if you like which are arranged in programmable moveable sections.  The complexity of this timepiece goes beyond the usual complication and reaches a realm which has barely been touched by other watch brands.
IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar SIHH 2015

IWC Shaffhausen- heralding its "Year of the Portugieser" releases the IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar boasting two firsts: an in-house movement equipped with an annual calender and a two barrel enabling a seven day power reserve.

Jaeger-LeCoultre - A brand which has risen and risen in mechanical complexity and  reached a pinnacle of horological perfection (one of my favorite brands as you can very well tell)... and to prove my "mechanical complexity point"  the curtain opens - or should I say the heavens open onto the Duometre Spherotourbillon sporting a brand new moon-phase indicator. 
Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum SIHH 2015

Mont Blanc - of fine pens and even finer watches ,pens which are a useful tool when needed and a rather coveted tool in the post office, holds no fascination for me; however, Mont Blanc watches including a new model to their new 2014 line, holds the world on a wrist and that, my friend is fascination for me.
The Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum, holds the worlds view from the North Pole as Peary would have seen it - if he in fact reached that cold cold place and was able to view beyond the snowy covered emptiness. Mont Blanc's new collection depicts 24 cities beyond the bezel, displaying a 24 hour time zone.
Panerai Luminor Chrono Flyback Ceramica PAM00580 SIHH 2015

Panerai - a trendy Italian  brand who has perfected the black and brown look, releases Panerai Luminor Chrono Flyback Ceramica PAM00580.  The case is highly resilient being of a zirconium oxide base.  It apparently is five times harder than steel and resistant to scratches, corrosion and high temperatures.  Come to think of it, the Italian WWII frogmen would have loved this material for their Panerai watches, luckily for them Panerai was quite advanced with the use of Luminescence enabling them to make out the time while they dived in  murky and turbulent waters.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Squellete SIHH 2015

Parmigiani Fleurier- how I love this brand. Parmigiani solidified my infatuation with watches and its strong ties to its history.  Although Parmigiani is current in their trends, the ties to vintage versions of itself ,to me, is so much more than a marketing ploy of other brands.  Possibly because the founder, Micheal Parmigiani spent so much time restoring mechanical watches from the much loved Sandoz family collection, and in this formed the bond that became Parmigiani.  Parmigiani's reveals a Squellete version to its 1950 Tonda Collection. a sapphire crystaled dial - The Squellete is exceptionally thin and quite complex and all can be seen via the transparent dial and case back including a micro rotor - small but visible on both sides.
Piaget Altiplano Chronograph

Piaget - A brand firmly fixed into haute -holorgerie has gone quite slender for the party while breaking two records in its wake. Read my blog on the Slim Piaget Altiplano Chronograph

Ralph Lauren Automotive Chronograph SIHH 2015

Ralph Lauren - quite new to the world of SIHH and quite new to the watch world has become an excepted watch brand. Being the only fashion watch brand at the SIHH, I think it does quite well for itself beyond the initial "fashion brand entering the real brand world" skeptism.  Of course it is a joint venture between Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry Co, and Richmont Group  - and since this is a mostly Richmont affair, Ralph Lauren is quite welcome.  On the other hand the venture could have gone the way of Tiffany and Swatch - but it did not and Ralph Lauren is doing quite well for itself and Richmont. So what's in store for 2015? A sporty, woodsy and seriously trendy Automotive Chronograph which gleans its inspiration from the dashboard of a 1938 Buggati.  Personally I love the elm burl, steel and black combination. Hat's off and awhistle blow to Ralph Lauren. 

Richard MIlle RM-33-01 SIHH 2015

Richard Mille - If slimmness is a Piaget Quality - What is Richard Milles Quality? ..... Got it? Got it? Give Up?   Lightness.  Richard Milles manufactures the lightest watches in the world without compromising the resilience or the precision of the timepiece.  How does the company achieve this remarkable feat?  - well in part by being at the forefront of metallurgy and innovation in watch making materials as well as not worrying about the resulting sales price of the end product.  So in light of this - What is at Richard Milles SIHH exhibition today?  RM-33-01.  A round watch! Richard Mille who is famous for their tonneau case shape has opted for quite a traditional setting.

Roger Dubuis - What does the  first brand to adhere to the new stringent requirements of the Geneva Seal reveal on this first day of the SIHH? One of the most beautiful watches in the world.  The Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Watch - somehow made more beautiful without the tourbillon.

Van Cleef & Arpels -For the SIHH 2015, Van Cleef & Arpels presents a timepiece without the artistic enameling so prolific among most of its timepieces, but rather nine new models from the iconic Cadenas Collection - Read more about the lock shaped watch in my recent Cadenas Blog.
Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac Year Of  The Goat SIHH 2015
Vacheron Constantin - also fight the "whose the slimmest fight", but what always catches my attention is the new additions to their Métiers d’Art.  This year Vacheron Constantin  dedicates Métiers d’Art models to The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac the Year Of The Goat in 2015. Suffice to say, the Chinese market is huge and still largely untapped - although China has been quite instrumental in mechanical timekeeping. (How could one forget Sun-Song Heavenly Clockwork tower) and a collection dedicated to the Chinese New Year is a clever marketing strategy.  The watch is beautiful with quite a nice caliber 2460 G4 jumping hours movement featuring only four windows displaying the hours, minutes, date and days.  

So there you have it, an oh so brief run down displayed as we speak across 30,000 sq/m in Geneve - the original watchmaking capital of the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment