Continuing where we left off alphabetically, here are more men’s watches from the pre-SIHH releases we’ve pored through.
Panerai’s historic role as supplier of timepieces to the Royal Italian Navy in World War II is the inspiration for the manufacture’s new Radiomir 3 Days Acciaio 47mm collection. As the story goes, Panerai developed a limited number of pieces in the 1930s with a unique 12-sided bezel, with the words “Officine Panerai – Brevettato” engraved on. While the watches weren’t quite the ones that ended up being used by the navy, they were the watches that were sent over by Panerai to the navy for evaluation.
Paying tribute to that little chapter, the brand has developed two models – one in a black dial and one in shaded brown – in a 47mm Radiomir case. The in-house P.3000 hand-wound mechanical movement that powers the timepieces is also equipped with a quick change system that enables the hour hand to be moved backwards or forwards in jumps of one hour, without interfering with the movement of the minute hand or the running of the watch.
The Altiplano celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and Piaget has already piqued our interest. What we’ve seen in pre-SIHH viewings so far has been the ultra-thin and über-blue 38mm and 43mm Altiplano 60th Anniversary pieces. Taking inspiration from Piaget’s Altiplano pieces from the ’50s and ’60s, the watches are as classic as they get – from the cross-hair design on the dial to the absence of any numbers – for an exceptionally clean cut look. We’re expecting several more Altiplano pieces from Piaget over the coming year. The manufacture’s standing as the quintessential ultra-thin movement makers will certainly be a highlight come mid-January and a great time to market its history.
Yes, things have got mighty colourful at Roger Dubuis, and 2017 will see the manufacture revisit the Excalibur Spider Skeleton Automatic (pictured, left) with a new colour scheme in blue and red that makes the signature star-motifed movement stand out even more. What’s more interesting is the new cobalt chrome alloy used in the case of its Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt (right). This new alloy from the brand is put through a rigorous process dubbed MicroMelt, an exclusive technology that atomises the material into fine powder. The result is an alloy that is 100 per cent dense, with no air bubbles or inclusions. Such a precious material naturally finds its home on one of Roger Dubuis’ more impressive timepieces. The four sprung balances of the Excalibur Quatuor Cobalt MicroMelt are just about as rare as the case they’re in after all.
We’re certain that Ulysse Nardin’s partnership with professional sailing team Artemis Racing for the America’s Cup this year is going to be reflected on its products. Given its history with ships and clocks meant for seafarers, the affiliation makes sense. The brand has announced the new LE Diver Chronograph Artemis Racing just in time for SIHH. The high performance chronograph will boast a rubberised screw crown and a unidirectional bezel to help divers keep a grip on time while underwater. The construction of the stainless steel case is improved with a full rubber coating that presents the watch as more than just your average dive piece. We’re keeping an eye on Ulysse Nardin. The fact that it is exhibiting at SIHH rather than at Baselworld as it always has tells us something is going on there. And we think you can probably expect some fine surprises from the brand this year.
In presenting its new Patrimony Moon Phase and Retrograde Date ahead of SIHH 2017, Vacheron Constantin once again proves it is the flag bearer when it comes to classic design. While it isn’t the first time the maison has put the two complications together, it has certainly made them easier to read. Without a sub-seconds or central seconds, the watch isn’t cluttered. Your eyes cannot miss the retrograde date that sprawls across the top portion of the watch, standing out on the clean dial. Further down, the moonphase indicator precisely counts down the cycle, rather unique in the world of watches. It may not be an all-important display (we can only imagine some might be confused as to what it counts down) but it does add a symmetrical touch to the display while showing off the accuracy of the in-house Calibre 2460. The watch’s crown also allows you to adjust all the indications.
Keep a close watch on augustman for the next week when we will bring you daily updates from the SIHH fairgrounds.