Last weekend guests of the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) made their journey home after an exciting week admiring watches, meeting industry experts and mingling with fellow horologists. I think I speak for everyone when I say 2018 has already been an incredible year for watchmaking (and we’re only 29 days in!).
Last week some of the top luxury watch brands, including Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille and A. Lange & Söhne introduced a selection of new stunning, unique and expertly engineered timepieces to the world. And it’s fair to say that the general public and horological industry welcomed the new models with open arms. Now, without anymore delay, I introduce to you some of SIHH’s most desirable pieces.
Everybody loves a classic wristwatch and Cartier’s traditional square bezel Santos is no exception. This year the model has undergone some rather modern adjustments, including a new unique “quickswitch” feature. The intelligent design allows Cartier wearers to change straps and bracelets with little effort; all that is required is a simple press of a button to release the old bracelet, and a sliding and slotting motion to insert a new one, and voila! This particular feature isn’t unique to Cartier, but it’s a huge step into modernity for a watch that is often described as being ‘outdated’.
Last year Audemars Piguet introduced one of the most extreme and daring wristwatches ever made, the ‘Diamond Outrage’. And this year, although not as bold as the Outrage, the new 2018 collection has blown us away. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore, Audemars Piguet issued a remake of their Baselworld 1993 Royal Oak Offshore timepiece, appropriately nicknamed ‘the beast’.
The newer model ref. 25721, No. 32 features all the qualities of the older model, a chunky 42mm stainless steel case, steel bracelet, blue dial and pushers and chronograph functions. A perfect combination of athletic style and sophistication merged together to create an attractive-looking timepiece.
Piaget is renowned for producing slim traditional-looking watches, proving minimalism is not always dull. And this year, the Swiss brand has certainly triumphed with their newest addition, the Altiplano Ultimate 910P, an incredibly revealing wristwatch that merges dial simplicity with mechanism complexity. The Altiplano Ultimate currently holds the record for the slimmest watch in the world, a title they previously held back in 2014. The reverse movement is probably my favourite feature of this watch as it reveals just how complex and dense watchmaking is and how much skill is required.
This has been a quick introduction to the watches of SIHH, however if you’re interested in learning more, simply click on the model names above.