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OUR TOP 10 WATCHES OF SIHH 2019

by Hours and Minutes Australia

Last week, one of the most exciting SIHH’s closed its doors after four highly exhilarating days. With over 23,000 unique visitors, 1400 accredited journalists, 3000 visitors from the public, over 380,000 posts on websites, blogs and webzines, under the hashtag #SIHH2019, reaching almost 260 million people, the Salon delivered on all its missions in making Fine Watchmaking more desirable than ever.

SIHH 2019 heralded an exciting time for the luxury watch industry, with the promise of innovation, creativity, artistry and mechanical excellence scaling new heights. Now that we’ve had some time to recover from all the presentations, interviews, debates and discussions, we thought we’d take a step back, soak up the year’s new styles and put together our top 10 watches of SIHH 2019.

A.Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Calendar

The unique combination of a flyback chronograph, a perpetual calendar with moonphases, a tourbillon with stop seconds, and a power-reserve indicator by A. Lange & Söhne presented itself in white gold for the first time, in this edition with a pink gold dial. Limited to 100 pieces, the new hue enriches the deliberately reduced spectrum of A. Lange & Söhne with a warmer nuance that creates a pleasant contrast to the cool charisma of the 41.5-millimetre white-gold case and the rhodiumed gold hands and appliques. Price: 285.000 €. Click here to find out more.

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Perpetual Calendar

Behold the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Perpetual Calendar… An astronomical watch par excellence, this perpetual calendar model features a dark blue aventurine dial and subdials recalling a star-lit sky. The pink gold case, hands and applied hour-markers enrich the deep blue sparkling constellation of the aventurine dial.

The dial’s starry particles resonate with the moon indication at 6 o’clock. A photographic image of the moon is reproduced through laser engraving and applied on an aventurine disc that subtly matches the design of the dial. The astronomical moon serves to diminish the daily display error. Thanks to this function, adjustment is required once every 122 years and 108 days. In addition to providing the astronomical moon indication at 6 o’clock, the perpetual calendar indicates the day number and week day at 3 and 9 o’clock respectively, the month at 12 o’clock, the week numbers on the lacquered blue inner bezel, as well as the hours and minutes. This model houses 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 adjustment will consist in setting the date manually from February 29th to March 1st.

Cartier Santos Skeleton ADLC “Noctambule” (Night Owl)

The new Cartier Santos Skeleton ADLC “Noctambule” (Night Owl) is by far ‘THE’ most impressive member of the Santos family. Night Owl because the watch automatically glows in the dark. Distinctive in its own right, the watch has been stripped to bare essentials, to the point where there is pretty much no dial and the base plate is in the shape of roman numerals. The bridges are coated with Super-Luminova which makes it light up in the dark. The 42mm stainless steel case is coated with ADLC, a high-quality carbon-based coating characterized by its diamond-like properties… Hence the black sheen. A hand-wound cal. 9612 MC movement beats inside the watch, offering a power reserve of 3 days.

Just like the previous models, the new Cartier Santos Skeleton ADLC “Noctambule”  features a “QuickSwitch” strap removal mechanism and is delivered with a black and grey crocodile strap instead of a metal bracelet.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 – “Earth to Sky Edition”

In 2019, Girard-Perregaux is beginning a symbolic dialogue with the universe, which takes a chromatic turn with the 1966 “Earth to Sky Edition”. Black and blue propel this timeless model into a whole new dimension. The minimal design of the collection is enhanced fourfold, with the 40mm DLC- treated beadblasted steel case and deep blue gradation dial. The baton-type hour markers and leaf-type hands give this watch just the right touch of avant-garde appeal. There is also a date window at 3 o clock.

In keeping with its longstanding tradition, Manufacture Girard-Perregaux has equipped this model with a GP3300 calibre, whose ultimate refinement reveals no less than five different finishes. The plate and bridges are meticulously stretched, bevelled, engraved, circular-grained and adorned with Côtes de Genève. The blued steel screws and gilded engravers are revealed through its sapphire crystal back.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire (Bronze)

IWC has nailed it once again with their new vintage-inspired Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire (ref IW387902).  The watch is presented in a 41mm bronze case which forms a patina over time. This is slightly smaller than the standard 43mm Pilot’s Watch Chronograph. The olive green dial just sealed the deal for us. Other details include, gold plated hands, a day and date indicator at 3 o clock, hours, minutes, small seconds indicators and 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters.

Beating inside the watch is an IWC 69380 in-house column-wheel chronograph movement. IWC has integrated this chronograph movement, from the 69000 calibre family, into its pilot’s watches for the first time. This calibre family, which was presented for the first time in 2016, is one of the most important developments in IWC-manufactured movements in IWC’s early history. The pawl-winding system, which winds up on both sides, boasts a power reserve of 46 hours. An inner cage made from soft iron protects the movement against magnetic fields.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Tourbillon Enamel

Masterfully crafted, this 50 piece limited edition Master Ultra-Thin Tourbillon Enamel proudly expresses its character with its hand-guilloché blue enamel dial and the maison’s emblematic tourbillon at 6 o clock; which showcases its acrobatic dexterity with rare precision on a blue and white gold backdrop, revealing the details of its exceptional finishes. For this release, Jaeger‑LeCoultre has used their Caliber 978 which has been reconceived both technically and aesthetically. In terms of finishing, the sunray-effect sides of the case really stand out, as does the light and graceful gold oscillating weight. The watch is crafted in white gold and measures 40mm in diameter.

With the Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel, fine watchmaking has taken a step forward in terms of refinement. The arrow of the small seconds hand indicates 60 numerals as it makes its way around the dial, The slender hour markers have been specially redesigned for this limited edition, like a natural extension of timeless and understated Dauphine hands. The circular date indicator at 12 o clock is a new design code for the brand. After having a substantial amount of wrist time with this beauty, you’ll know exactly why they’re referred to as the ‘GRANDE MAISON’.

In terms of both function and form, the watch is characterized by the attention paid to every last detail, with the extreme precision of its movement complementing the extreme precision of its design.

Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition with a Salmon Dial

Limited to just 100 pieces, the new Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph is a real collectors delight. Exuding a subtle, refined simplicity, this 40mm timepiece crafted in stainless steel is the highlight of the Heritage line. It features a gorgeous Salmon dial which is extremely warm and satisfying. There is an outer minute track and Pulsometer scale (graduated for 30 pulsations) on the dial… a very well thought out complication; used by doctors to measure a patient’s heart rate.

Two different colour schemes have been used on the dial: Anthracite (for the applied Arabic numerals and indexes) and Blue (for the Pulsometer scale and baton hands in the chronograph registers). The dauphine hour and minute hands are coated with Super-Luminova. At the heart of the timepiece lies the traditional manual monopusher chronograph, developed in the 1920s, the MB 13.20, with a column wheel mechanism, horizontal coupling, chronograph bridge in a V shape, a large screwed balance wheel with a frequency of 18,000 vph and a power reserve of 55 hours.  The movement is visible through the exhibition caseback. Other design details include the original Montblanc logo from the 1930s era with its historical font and emblem of the Mont Blanc Mountain in the centre, along with a sfumato alligator strap that was made by the artisans at the Montblanc Pelletteria in Florence.

Panerai Submersible Mike Horn Edition 47mm (PAM00985 – Blue Lume)

Mike Horn, the South African-born Swiss professional explorer and adventurer has been the face of Panerai for quite some time now. In two decades, he’s seen more of the Earth than possibly any other human. From swimming the Amazon River solo to an unmotorized circumnavigation of the globe at the equator, to walking the Arctic circle solo,  Mike’s list of accomplishments as a solo explorer is unparalleled. Created by Panerai for Mike Horn, the new Submersible Mike Horn Edition 47mm (PAM00985) timepiece is something truly special. Constructed in EcoTitanium, a world premiere new material introduced by the Panerai ‘Laboratorio di Idee’, the watch is offered in a limited edition of 19 pieces. EcoTitanium, which is obtained from recycled titanium, is used for the case, the crown’s protection device and the bezel, as well as the case-back. The strap is also made from recycled plastic in order to preserve the environment.

Paneristi’s would agree that the dial of the new PAM00985, has been slightly tweaked giving it a more modern touch, but again… done extremely strategically so that the brands’ design codes are not compromised. The words, “PANERAI SUBMERSIBLE” and “AUTOMATIC 300M/1000FT” are actually printed on the underside of the crystal.

Just like the Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech PAM00961 timepiece, this one too has something special up its sleeve. 19 lucky owners will be given an opportunity to live a spectacular experience with Mike Horn in the arctic; to discover the importance of preserving the environment and saving the oceans.

Piaget Polo S with Green Dial

Green is the one colour we saw a lot of at SIHH 2019. Associated often with life, balance, renewal, energy, growth, harmony, nature…  it makes an interesting choice for a luxury watch. The new Piaget Polo S with Green Dial puts an interesting spin on the already successful Polo S line of timepieces. It features a cushion shaped steel case with a diameter of 42 mm and thickness of 9.4 mm. The timepiece is fitted with a scratch resistant sapphire crystal on both sides and is water resistant to a depth of 100 metres.

One of the most distinguishing features of the watch is the horizontal pattern on the green dial; made in honor of the construction of the original Piaget bracelet.  There is a date window at 6 o’clock. The dauphine-shaped hour and minute hands and silver indexes treated with Super-Luminova, give a definitive look to the elegantly designed dial.

Beating inside the watch is a 1110P Calibre, which delivers a power reserve of 50 hours. Limited to 500 pieces, the watch is presented on a Green alligator leather strap with folding buckle in steel.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date

Vacheron Constantin was the first watchmaker, back in the 1930s, to use a retrograde complication in a wristwatch…and boy have they mastered it.  At 42.5 mm in diameter and just 9.7mm thick, this horological wonder bears the imprint of the talented watchmakers within the Manufacture who have so skilfully preserved the pleasing proportions of the Patrimony collection.

The beautiful midnight blue dial with sunburst satin-finishing is the perfect canvas to showcase the retrograde day of the week and date display. The external minute-circle is composed of fine diamond-polished gold pearls and 18K 5N pink gold applied hour-markers. Vacheron Constantin is all about the finer details. By entrusting the single crown with controlling all functions, Vacheron Constantin have eliminated any protuberance and thus maintained the smooth lines of this historical case.

The undeniably complex self-winding Calibre 2460 R31R7/2 is visible through the transparent sapphire crystal case-back. Its 276 components operate within a thickness of just 5.4 mm, while ensuring optimal reliability and a power reserve of approximately 40 hours. Crafted of the finest raw materials, the watch features a dark blue Mississippiensis alligator leather strap with an 18K 5N pink gold folding clasp.

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