Straight from Palexpo, Geneve for Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, we've picked out the pieces that exemplify innovation in horology right now.
A.Lange & Soehne Zeitwerk Date
There's no better way to celebrate the tenth anniversary of one of the most distinctive models in horology with a significant upgrade. That’s what A. Lange & Söhne has done with the Zeitwerk, a decade-old model known for its precisely jumping digital display for SIHH this year. This Zeitwerk Date is endowed with a new manufacture calibre featuring a remarkable extra function, adds a ring around the edge of the case that presents the current day in red, perfectly harmonised with the Zeitwerk design. Much as the hour and minute windows do when they have to present a new time, the date window changes instantaneously at midnight. Due to its highly legible date ring that runs the entire circumference of the watch, Zeitwerk Date clocks in at a hefty 44.2mm white gold case. While the manually wound calibre L043.8 is a workhorse movement that keeps everything moving on schedule.
Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Perpetual Calendar
Love it or hate it, here is the new line of watches from Audemars Piguet dubbed CODE 11.59. Comprised of 13 individual references, the new line marks a departure from the Royal Oak and reflects AP's desire to create something genuinely new in the 21st century. But the most striking reference for sure has to be the Perpetual Calendar with its starry dial and impressive selfwinding Manufacture calibre 5134 optimised with the collection's signature openworked weight in 22-carat gold. A perpetual calendar automatically adjusts short months, and adds a day to February each leap year. If worn permanently, it will require an adjustment in 2100 only. This timepiece is surely made to amaze.
Cartier Santos Dumont
With the ever-growing popularity of the Santos collection, Cartier has revived the Santos-Dumont collection, modelled after the impeccable style of Santos-Dumont himself, yet keeping very close to the original version from 1904. The differences are subtle - the new Santos-Dumont comes with the option of a smaller case and features a beaded crown with a blue cabochon. The pared-down aesthetics continue with slimmer Roman numerals on the dial. Interestingly, Cartier has chosen to fit the collection with a quartz movement, albeit a high efficiency one. Unlike usual quartz movements which last an average of three years, the Santos-Dumont's movement will last approximately six years, courtesy of a new high performance battery and some reworking to reduce energy consumption.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium
The TOP GUN watches, which IWC has been producing since 2007, take their name from the Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program in the U.S. Navy. The TOP GUN watches are therefore specially designed with robust materials, such as ceramic and titanium, to meet the specific requirements of elite jet pilots. The matte black ceramic case ensures that pilots are not distracted by sunlight reflecting off their watches during the flight. The new TOP GUN line sees IWC make use of the innovative new material Ceratanium® for the first time in a Pilot’s Watch; and in the shape of the Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium, the company is bringing to market its first ever pilot's watch to be completely jet black.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétual
One of the most spectacular technical attractions of SIHH 2019, the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétual is, as its name suggests, loaded with beautiful and complex wonders. At its heart is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s famous multiple-axis gyrotourbillon, with its signature round carriage reduced slightly for better wearability. Meantime, a Westminster carillon minute repeater chimes the time on demand. Orchestrating the entire mechanical performance is a constant force mechanism to ensure optimum torque and precision, despite the myriad energy-sapping complications.
Panerai Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry Edition
Inspired by its namesake, French free-diving champion Guillaume Néry, this sexy 47mm dive watch is part of Panerai's Submersible collection, launched for the first time as a standalone series. Featuring a flyback chronograph, the watch employs pushers on the left of the case so as not to interfere with the brand's iconic crown guard on the right. For the first time, this dive ticker features a uni-directional rotating bezel with an applied blue ceramic disc that offers a nice pop of colour to contrast its otherwise muted hues. In a nod to the marine roots of collection, the dial comes in a textured 'shark grey', evocative of the predator's skin.
Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon
This stunning timepiece combines the best of Piaget's know-how: ultra-thin movements, gem-setting, and decorative stone dials. It's hard to say what the watch's standout feature is because the blue meteorite dial is just breathtaking, while the diamonds provide a lovely sparkle on the fringe. But if we really had to choose, we'd pick the flying tourbillon at two o'clock. At just 4.6mm in height, it's one of the thinnest flying tourbillons in the world. Also logging some pretty impressive numbers, the escapement is a mere 0.2g and 2.8mm in height, making it one of the thinnest and lightest in the market. Limited to just 28 pieces.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Huracán Performante
Announcing the birth of their latest love-child, the Excalibur Huracán Performante, Roger Dubuis says that the watch maison and the Lamborghini racing team are both “firmly committed to cutting-edge performance, ferocious groundbreaking technology and super-sleek aesthetics”. It is rare that a watch can transcend to such an extent that it embodies the product of a different brand in a completely different industry. The Excalibur Huracán Performante has a brand new RD630 movement visible through the signature open-worked dial, and the watch is full of car cues, including a new crown inspired by the racing nuts on supercar wheels, and an alcantara strap complete with a rubber inlay featuring the design from a Pirelli racing tyre. Feel the thrill of racing in your wrist!
Ulysse Nardin Freak X Carbonium
One of modern watchmaking’s most unique timepieces just got more accessible. When it premiered in 2001, Ulysse Nardin’s Freak was pioneering in so many ways, chiefly for its avant-garde construction that uses the movement itself to tell the time, and being among the first to feature silicon components. The latest Freak X boasts several models, the most compelling of which is this version in Carbonium, an aeronautic-grade material that is lightweight but robust. In addition to the Carbonium versions, the Freak X is also offered in both a titanium case with DLC and PVD finishes and in a 5N rose gold case. All the models are mounted on calfskin or alligator leather straps with safety clasps.
HYT H0 Diamond Red
Fluids and mechanics are not close friends, but people at HYT have proven it is possible to combine both in a watch. The H0, Like its creator HYT, is born of a question on the nature of time. This watch invites highly precious stones to flow through its design to shine light on time's essential passage. The red coloured liquid tracing the path of elapsed time and a red alligator strap underlines the vibrancy of life. And the red detail on the hands and power reserve display punctuate the diamond ocean. Its counterpart contrasts the sparkling backdrop with black as a further stamp of sophistication. If diamonds are allegedly forever, how long is forever?