SIHH Preview: Top Watch Brands Ring in 2019 with a Slew of Promising New Releases

SIHH Preview: Top Watch Brands Ring in 2019 with a Slew of Promising New Releases

Tomorrow the 2019 edition of SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlorgerie) will kickoff in Geneva, Switzerland, where some of the watch industry’s top brands will unveil the timepieces that will define their brands throughout the year. Ahead of the big show, companies have already been offering a sneak peek at what’s to come from their lineup. So far, the trend is that most brand’s are finding a way to balance sticking close to home and heritage while branching out to capture the attention of younger audiences—the clientele they will all need to propel themselves forward in an era that no longer needs a watch. Below is just a handful of the new timepieces that will debut this week, some of which are visibly on track to gain the kind of attention and sales they will need to keep up the momentum (others may still have some work to do).

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Collection

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 
Courtesy of Audemars Piguet

One of the biggest launches just ahead of the show is Audemars Piguet’s announcement of not just an update to existing models or a new novelty, but an entirely new collection of watches called Code 11.59 (Code stands for Challenge, Own, Dare, and Evolve). AP is dropping 13 new references that include five complications, six calibers—three of which are entirely new movements. The watches differ from AP’s iconic Royal Oak collection in cases that, at first, appear round but upon closer inspection from the side feature the same octagonal shape inherent to the brand’s watchmaking DNA. The three new calibers include the caliber 4302, an automatic date and time movement; the caliber 4401, a self-winding flyback chronograph movement with a column wheel and jumping date; and the caliber 2950, an automatic flying tourbillon. More to come on what to expect from this big news at Audemars Piguet as the brand continues to make bold, modern moves forward under the direction of CEO François-Henry Bennahmias.

Price: Self-Winding Automatic Self-winding (cal. 4302) $26,800; Perpetual Calendar $74,500;  Self-winding flying tourbillon 129,000 CHF ($131,884); Openworked Skeletonized Tourbillon 175,000 CHF ($177,940); Minute Repeater Supersonnerie 295,000 CHF ($299,956); all Swiss franc to dollar prices at current exchange values.
Case Material: Code 11.59 Automatic Self-winding in 18-karat pink or white gold; Perpetual Calendar in 18-karat pink gold with aventurine dial; Flying tourbillon in 18-karat pink gold; Openworked Skeletonized Tourbillon in 18-karat pink gold; Minute Repeater Supersonnerie in white gold.
Case Size: 41 mm
Strap: Alligator leather

A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 25th Anniversary 

A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 25th Anniversary

A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 25th Anniversary 
Courtesy of A. Lange & Sohne

A quarter of a century ago, A. Lange & Söhne relaunched as a brand under Walter Lang, the great grandson of founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange, and Günter Blümlein. (The German company had ceased to exist in 1948, following the takeover of East Germany by the Soviet Union.) Among its first releases in 1994, was the Lange 1 which has since become a pillar timepiece for the watchmaker. It’s asymmetrical layout and oversize date was an intriguing new design in the ’90s and has since remained timeless.

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the latest iteration sports a white gold case, solid silver dial, and a hunter caseback that, when opened, reveals the immaculately decorated Lange caliber 121.1 movement (introduced in 2015) with an engraving of “25” in blue that mimics the watch’s oversize date seen on the dial. The cuvette, which covers the sapphire crystal caseback, also comes with a special engravement—a rendering of A. Lange & Söhne’s 19th-century headquarters, the name of its modern founders, and the inscription “25 JAHRE LANGE 1” (Jahre is German for “years”). For Lange Collectors, this timepiece will, no doubt, be an essential.

Price: €43,700 (approximately $50,109 at current exchange, but USD price still pending), limited to 250
Case Material: White Gold
Case Size: 38.5 mm
Strap: Hand-stitched Alligator Leather

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down “Lumen

A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Lumen

A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Lumen 
Courtesy of A. Lange & Sohne

Lange’s latest “Lumen” edition has been given the ultimate Super-Luminova treatment. The glow-in-the-dark material, typically reserved for the hour and minute hand and hour-marker indices, was added to key displays such as the subdials, the date, and the tachymeter scale in addition to the hands. Each are done in varying shades of green. The illuminating finish  tops off one of the watchmaker’s prestigious models, the large-date flyback chronograph.

Flip it over and you will find this watch’s immaculate movement with a column-wheel, lateral-clutch chronograph mechanism—but you will need a flashlight to see what’s on the other side of the lume.

Price: $100,500, limited to 100 pieces.
Case: Platinum
Case Size: 41 mm
Strap: Hand-stitched black alligator leather

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince” (ref. IW590303)

IW590303_Big Pilot

IW590303_Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon 
Courtesy of IWC

The elite pilot of the new collection is IWC’s Le Petit Prince Big Pilot Watch, a continuation of timepiece tributes to French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which is limited to just 10 pieces. The new timepiece is IWC’s first pilot watch to come with a constant-force tourbillon and is being offered in a hard gold case for the first time. In fact, it is the first time IWC has ever used hard gold, a new version of red gold that is modified in the manufacturing process to be harder and 5 to 10 times more wear-resistant.

The constant-force tourbillon comes with a patent for a technical innovation that separates the escapement from the flow of force from the dial train. The watch is also equipped with a moon phase that won’t need to be adjusted for another 577.5 years and a power reserve of 96 days.

Price: $235,000, limited to 10
Case Material: Hard Gold
Case Size: 46.2 mm
Strap: Brown calf leather with gold buckle

Big Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium (ref. IW371815)

Top Gun Ceratanium

Top Gun Ceratanium 
Courtesy of IWC

The claim to fame of the new Top Gun watch from IWC is that it also comes in a never-before-used material in the collection—Certatanium. The material combines the technical advantages of titanium and ceramic (known for being durable and lightweight). IWC boasts another patent for the material, which it developed in-house. The material is also said to be corrosion-resistant and its black color makes for a handsome new all-black edition of the Big Pilot Top Gun. It is the first completely black design from the brand that doesn’t involve using a coating—this also includes its push-buttons and pin buckles.

The watch comes with a double chronograph with an integrated split-seconds hand and is powered by the 79230 caliber with 44 hours of power reserve.

Price: $15,000
Case Material: Ceratatanium
Case size: 44 mm
Strap: Rubber with textile inlay

Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition “The Longest Flight” (Ref. IW395501)

Timezoner Spitfire

Timezoner Spitfire 
Courtesy of IWC

Here’s another first: IWC’s patented Timezoner mechanism has been combined with an entirely new automatic in-house 82760 caliber that has a Pellaton winding system with water-resistant ceramic parts and a power reserve of 60 hours. The Timezoner mechanism, originally launched in 2016, is a function which allows for the setting of two different time zones by a rotation of the bezel with an hour hand, 24-hour display (just under the 12 o’clock marker), and a date that rotate at the same time. The steel encased black dial is relatively clean and combined with the cream lume accents along with the army green textile strap, which imitate the cockpit of a Spitfire, makes for a great style piece on top of its functionality and historical reference.

Price: $12,400, limited to 250
Case Material: Steel
Case Size: 46 mm
Strap: Textile

Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire (ref. IW387902)

Chronograph Spitfire 
Courtesy of IWC

This new 41 mm by 15.3 mm chronograph will be IWC’s bread and butter introduction. Priced at $6,250 and in a smaller size than the other pilot’s watches, it is the most accessible timepiece of the new releases. It is the first time the watch is being offered in a 41 mm size.

But for those who care more about what’s in the guts, this watch is the first Pilot’s Chronograph to use a movement from the 6900 family (which was first introduced in 2016). The in-house 69380 caliber has a classic column wheel design and has two subdials at 9 o’clock and 12 o’clock, along with a date and day display. It has a power reserve of 46 hours.

The ref. IW387902 also got an update to its face, with a bronze case that will develop a rugged patina over time. It’s not a limited-edition, but it’s casing will ensure that each piece will always be unique to its owner.

Price: $6,250

Case Material: Bronze

Case Size: 41 mm

Strap: Brown calf leather with bronze buckle

Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph

Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec

Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec 
Courtesy of Montblanc

At last year’s SIHH, Montblanc unveiled a Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph in steel with a silver-white dial with its MB R200 movement. Just ahead of 2019’s big show, Montblanc is giving the model another update. This time around the watch is being offered in a red gold model with a striking anthracite dial and another steel introduction, also with an anthracite dial and silvery-white accents. The watch houses the same movement as last year’s model, which in addition to the time has a second time zone, a day/night indicator, and a date. The chronograph pushers sit horizontally just below 6 o’clock balancing out the layout of this timepiece, completing the look of this sharp dress watch.

Price: $22,650 in red gold; €7,450 in steel (or approximately $8,545 at current exchange)
Case Material: Red Gold
Case Size: 44.8 mm
Strap: Alligator leather

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece

Laurent Ferrier Galet School Piece Watches

Laurent Ferrier Galet School Piece Watches 
Courtesy of Laurent Ferrier

Fresh off his Grand Prix D’Horlogerie De Genève win in the Complication category for the Galet Annual Calendar Montre Ecole, Laurent Ferrier has extended the line with two new pieces. The black and white opaline dials are a tribute to the contrast and purity of the chess board says Ferrier, whose watches are known for their purity of design. The original model was gray and black. The functions are easy to read and easy to use, with date and month adjusted by turning the crown forward or backward and a peripheral date index. The movement is the manual caliber LF126.01.

Price: $63,000 in gold; $58,000 in steel.
Case Material: Red gold with white dial; yellow gold or stainless steel with black dial
Case Size: 40 mm
Strap: Honey or gray alligator with Alcantara lining

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Thin Moon Enamel

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Moon Enamel

Master Ultra-Thin Moon Enamel 
Courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre

There is blue and then there is the unmistakable deep, intense midnight blue of an enamel dial. Here it is made even more spectacular with a guilloché finish on a dial created by hand in Jaeger’s Métiers Rare (Rare Handcrafts) workshop. Even the date ring is hand-finished, with raised numerals on a sandblasted background. The long, thin hour markers are new to the Master Ultra Thin line, and doubled up at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. The movement, automatic caliber 925/2 is an upgraded version of the 925, with a power reserve of 70 hours. It is a limited-edition of 100 pieces.

Price: $35,800
Case Material: White gold
Case Size: 39 mm
Strap: Blue alligator

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Huracán Performance

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Huracan

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Huracan 
Courtesy of Roger Dubuis

In Roger Dubuis’ latest watch with Lamborghini even the smallest details show how deeply intertwined the two companies collaborated on their latest product. The crown mimics racing nuts on a wheel, the winding rotor takes cues from the rims, and the strap is made from Pirelli tire rubber. Yellow accents on the strap, seconds hand, hour and minute markers, bezel, and crown, naturally, mimic Lambo colors. But the shot-blasted and coated finishing along with straight graining on the surface is the kind of nuanced elevation that, for watch aficionados takes this timepiece to full throttle.

Price: $52,500
Case Material: Grade 5 Titanium
Case Size: 45 mm
Strap: Rubber base with grey Alcantara inlay, yellow stitching and Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R pattern on the inside

Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Orlinski Red Magic

Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph

Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph 
Courtesy of Hublot

Hublot debuted its can’t-miss bright red ceramic as a case material last year in the Big Bang Unico Red Magic. This year, the patented material is making a follow-up appearance in a watch co-designed by sculptor Richard Orlinski. The artist is known for his “Born Wild” series of animal sculptures, including bright red sculpted crocodiles. His signature angular style, with sharp, faceted edges and polished surfaces, is interpreted in the case design. Orlinski previously collaborated with Hublot on a chronograph with a similar case desgn. The Orlinski Red Magic is a limited edition of 200 pieces. Hublot’s red ceramic is brighter and stronger than others.

Price: $24,100
Case Material: Polished red ceramic
Strap: Red rubber
Case Size: 45 MM

Cartier Libre Collection

Cartier Libre Collection

Cartier Libre Collection 
Courtesy of Cartier

What happens when Cartier throws out its signature design codes? Cartier’s Libre collection is all about design freedom. The limited-edition collection, which falls somewhere between high jewelry pieces and classic collections, plays with different shapes and colors, in a broad interpretation of the Cartier aesthetic. Four new Libres will be introduced next week at the SIHH. The rectangular Tank Chinoise Red, inspired by a Cartier watch from 1921, is set with rubies and diamonds. The Diagonale is freeform geometric, with red and black enamel lines and rows of pavé diamonds. Two renditions of the Baignoire Allongée include the Céladon, set with emeralds and paraiba tourmalines, and the Black, set with black spinel and yellow sapphires.

Prices: On Request

Case Materials: 18k gold

Strap: Tank Chinoise-black alligator; Diagonale-burgundy alligator; Baignoire Allongée-green or black alligator.

Number of pieces: Tank Chinoise-100; Diagonale-50; Baignoire Allongée-50 each version.

Case size: Tank Chinoise-41×16 MM; Diagonale-33×19 MM; Baignoire-53×23 MM

Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Watches

Girard-Perregaux Cat

Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Majestic, Celestial, and Tourbillon 
Courtesy of Girard-Perregaux

The sparkle of aventurine glass is the signature starting point of three new Cat’s Eye models to be introduced at the SIHH: a tourbillon, a moon phase and a time-only with a new case shape. The Tourbillon makes a traditional complication and makes it gracefully feminine with a bridge designed as a bow, set with tapered baguette diamonds; it is a one-of-a-kind piece is set with a total of 6.20 carats of diamonds. The Majestic, with hours and minutes, reverses the oval shaped case to a vertical position; new teardrop shaped markers are brought to life with diamonds. The Celestial adds a mother-of-pearl moon phase indicator to the composition. Overall, these are beautiful watches that most women who appreciate classic luxury will find appealing.

Price: Majestic-$27,000; Celestial-31,900; Tourbillon-$238,000
Case Material: Majestic and Celestial-rose gold; Tourbillon-white gold
Case Size: Celestial-35 mm; Majestic-40 mm; Tourbillon-32 mm
Strap: Midnight blue alligator

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Perpetual Calendar

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Perpetual Calendar

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Perpetual Calendar 
Courtesy of Girard-Perregaux

Girard-Perregaux is taking its flagship model up a notch with a perpetual calendar version and a new movement with an unconventional layout. Instead of lining up windows or subdials side by side, the date display is read on an off-centered display between 2 and 3 o’clock, while the day of the week hovers on a smaller, off-centered subdial at 9 o’clock. The month appears in a semi-circular display at 6 o’clock, with leap years tracked above. The blue dial bears the model’s signature Clous de Paris hobnail pattern. The in-house movement is the automatic GP01800-0033, with a 54-hour power reserve.

Price: $34,400
Case Material: Stainless steel
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Case Size: 42 MM

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Mécaniques Sauvages

Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon Lion

Les Cabinotiers Tourbillon Lion 

Vacheron Constantin has been creating its Les Cabinotiers timepieces, targeted to its top collectors, for three centuries. It’s a concept that’s hard to grasp when you consider the intricate enameling and painstaking engraving required to create each piece—all of which was once done by candlelight. The latest creations, Les Cabinotiers Mécaniques Sauvages (French for “savage mechanics”), bring the animal kingdom roaring to life through engraving and enameling through those same techniques honed over the course of nearly 300 years.

While Vacheron Constantin’s modern-day masters use electricity, computer screens, and magnifying tools as visual aids, each piece is still created by hundreds of hours of handwork by a watchmaker, who spent up to 10 years learning the craft. Each Les Cabinotiers watch is one of a kind, and as a result, the prices for the new animal-inspired pieces are upon request. You can expect the price tag, however, to be astronomical enough that one might require a bodyguard to wear it. Last year’s Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 was reportedly around $1 million.

All of the watches in the 20-piece collection, which also features other animals such as a rhino, monkey, and falcon, come with the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva certification and are presented in a Makassar ebony wood box.

Price: Price Upon Request, Limited to 20
Case Material, Case Size: Varies, each piece is one-of-a-kind
Strap: Alligator leather

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène

Parmigiani Fleurier Métropolitaine Selene

Parmigiani Fleurier Métropolitaine Sélène

 
Courtesy of Parmigiani Fleurier

Following up on the 2016 introduction of its Métropolitaine Sélène model, Parmigiani has raised the bar with a new rose gold version with a mother-of-pear dial featuring a subtle lotus flower is rose gold with a bezel adorned with 76 brilliant-cut diamonds. The date set within the seconds subdial at 6 o’clock balances its moon phase subdial at 6 o’clock. Hand-applied successive layers create the carter-like surface or “lunar seas” of each moon. But the watch is more than skin deep, it’s PF318 movement with a moon phase module is the 33rd movement created in-house at Parmgiani’s Vaucher manufacture. The caliber is accented with a Côtes de Genève circular grained decoration. For women who consider the guts as important as the face, this watch delivers, but Parmigiani should consider offering these sans floral decor in the future.

Price: Rose gold strap $32,000; Rose gold bracelet $47,000
Case Material: Rose gold
Case Size: 33.72
Strap: Leather calfskin or 18-karat rose gold

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