We began today’s SIHH with sombre news. Walter Lange, the modern founder of A. Lange & Söhne, passed away the night before at the age of 93. His determination to revive his family’s watchmaking history will forever go down as a horological landmark. Without Walter Lange, it is arguable that German watchmaking would not have found the same breath that it did. That said, this year’s selection of novelties from A. Lange & Söhne would have made him undoubtedly proud.
A. Lange & Söhne
The mood at the A. Lange & Söhne booth was grim. While the brand’s biggest (quite literally) novelty of the year played centrepiece of the booth, the staff were quite obviously affected by the news of Walter Lange’s passing. We know it would’ve done him proud however, to hear the rave reviews of the manufacture’s new Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite. The watch represents the current most complicated watch in Lange’s offerings (with the exception of the Grand Complication from four years back) with four different complications. The “Tour” part of the name of course refers to the tourbillon at six o’clock. Because of the number of complications that add to the thickness of the watch, the bridges of the tourbillon actually dip slightly down – a first for Lange and a nightmare to finish according to the brand. Add on a split second chronograph and perpetual calendar and you’re close to getting the big picture of the piece.
Being the fifth Pour le Mérite piece (the first was presented in 1994), the last complication to round off the watch is the fusee and chain constant force escapement that drives the power. Limited to just 50 pieces, we’re pretty confident that most watch lovers are dethroning their current watch grail for this masterpiece.
MB & F
Maximilian Büsser has covered space, the skies and the roads in his Horological Machines. The seventh installment of this innovative collection sees him take on the water in a mighty odd way. While most brands would be keen to create a dive watch, Büsser makes it very clear that his new HM7 Aquapod is NOT a diver. What it is, is a jellyfish. Well, inspired by one at least. The watch showcases a curved sapphire glass (like the top of a jellyfish), a vertically stacked movement (we’re not too sure about marine biology but close to a jellyfish) and a circle of titanium teeth around the rotor on the caseback (scarily enough, like jellyfish).
Thin is in. Well, if it’s the 60th anniversary of the coveted Altiplano range, there really isn’t much of a choice. On top of the gorgeous blue Pre-SIHH models that we covered here (https://augustman.com/sg/Watches/A-Look-Ahead-part-2), the manufacture has now introduced both a green and brownish-red variant that will be limited to just 260 pieces each. In a day and age where the classic dress watch has become rather standardised, Piaget has managed to find a way to hype up the traditional look. Of course, it helps that the sunray finishing on each dial is sublimely executed and gives off a unique sheen to each colour. We’re going to have to go with the green look in this case however. Fingers crossed that Piaget releases a version in the future with a classic yellow gold case for the perfect contrast.
The pioneers of silicium presented at SIHH this year and we have to congratulate them. The brand’s showing knocked it out of the park with a new Innovision timepiece as well as several new patents for exciting timepieces. What we loved however (and call us boring if you want) was the Classico Manufacture Blue Grand Feu. The guilloched radial pattern across the blue enamel is not something you see everyday and for a fully in-house made timepiece (that boasts Ulysse Nardin’s movements and parts), the price is extremely attractive. A representative from the brand quoted us 8,800chf for the piece which is a steal if you’re into the decorative arts and well, the colour blue.
There are still two more days of the fair so stay tuned for more of our coverage from SIHH on our various social media feeds – Instagram and Facebook. Drop us a comment on Facebook to let us know what you think of this year’s novelties.