Read Day 2 highlights here.
You know that the year in watches has finally kicked into full motion when your Instagram feed is nothing but watches. We’re here at the annual Salon Internationale de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, Switzerland and at the end of the first day, have decided to pick out our favourite pieces from each brand we’ve seen today.
Last year, Ulysse Nardin presented the InnoVision II, a concept watch with several new innovations from the brand. Perhaps the most interesting was the Grinder automatic winding system that looked nothing like anything we’ve ever seen. That system has now made its way into the Freak Vision, making it the first automatic Freak.
On top of that, the Freak Vision borrows (and evolves) the full silicium constant force escapement. Two blade springs support the pallet fork and are both subjected to bending and flexing that keeps them in “a bi-stable state” – basically maintaining a constant rate of oscillations for the balance wheel.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak #RD2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra Thin
We love concept watches and just as the Freak Vision above was borne out of a concept, so was AP’s latest. The brand’s long and storied history of perpetual calendars probably offers it the best right to push boundaries for the complication. As it always says, “To break the rules, you must first master them.”
So here’s the skinny: 6.3mm thick, making it the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar, and it’s almost 2mm off the Royal Oak Extra-Thin Jumbo. Built entirely in platinum, the piece (that’s limited to just five pieces for now) was substantially heavier than we’d imagine. We’re confident that we’re going to see more of the piece soon. Audemars Piguet is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore (a few novelties here) and introduced several variations with different colour combinations, including one with a camo strap. Stay tuned for that.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chronograph
Last year, the watch world and its consumers proved that it wanted the past – vintage re-editions were the name of the game and it seemed like every brand had its piece. Ever ones to please, Montblanc’s updated 1858 collection was a great example of how the past could fit into the present and this year’s additions are no different.
Our favourite? The handsome automatic chronograph above. The dimensions of the counters, the way the numerals are blocked and the fit on the wrist are just some reasons why we think this one’s going to do very well with men across the world.
Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs
While the complication isn’t quite new, Van Cleef & Arpels’ new interpretation of the Agenhor movement in this stunning black and pink gold combination more than sold us. What makes the dual time zone (with dual jumping hours, mind you) and retrograde minutes better is really, the new look. The radial outward finishing makes a compelling reason for a closer peek at the piece.
It’s a simple piece and one that shows VCA’s ability to craft a masculine watch that can keep subtle too.
H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Flying Hours
Leaving behind the rather provocative Swiss Icons watch that made the news just last week, H. Moser & Cie unveiled the Endeavour Flying Hours at SIHH this year. A joint collaboration with its sister brand Hautlence, the watch sees a central seconds disc that rotates once an hour, with three hour discs around it. These hour discs rotate in a fixed position and has its hours highlighted by a white disc underneath it.
It’s a novel watch and another example (as we’ve seen with previous pieces between the two brands) of how H. Moser & Cie easily moves between a classic aesthetic and one that’s more futuristic.