SIHH Watch Fair showcases the finest
The famous industry-only SIHH Watch Fair in Geneva took place in late January offering an opportunity for brands to present their latest watchmaking masterpieces. At the same time, many private watch companies took advantage of the sudden influx into Geneva of watch buyers and specialist journalists from around the world, to hold their own events.
The level of craftsmanship and ingenuity was higher than ever. Interestingly, the recent division of high watchmaking into traditional high complication pieces or watchmaking as works of mechanical art was more noticeable than ever – a division reminiscent of the time in the 1800s when the fashion for automaton pocket watches evolved in tandem to that of multicomplication pocket watches.
“Cam”, “transporters”, “telescopic hands”, “black platinum” – for those already familiar with Urwerk’s über-futuristic creations these words say it all. With even more robotic hour indications, the UR-203’s dial reveals its micromechanics. Pistons are actuated to indicate the hour and wheels turn in their wake.
The micron-precision satellite complication is its nerve centre, revealing the internal clockwork. The telescopic minute hands precisely adjust their length to follow the three vectors marking the minutes. An “Oil Change” indicator (informing the wearer when a service is due) and a “Horological Odometer” spanning 150 years complete the open dial. The innovative automatic double turbine winding system can reach an impressive 16,500 rpm.
By simply moving a slide, this limited edition timepiece evolves from a standard watch to a chronograph in just 15 seconds. The four wings in the lower half of the face open, slide under one another and disappear beneath the dial’s middle bar. A similar sequence takes place with two wings on the hour dial.
After all the wings have opened, a sub-dial rises like an elevator and an aperture “swallows” the date-hand. The newly risen rotating disc is the minute counter of the chronograph.
Each of these two dials act in complete mechanical independence of the other. To achieve this metamorphosis, its creators revisited traditional methods of automaton construction.
Vacheron Constantin Historique Ultra-fine 1955
To celebrate the 55th anniversary of the ultra-thin Calibre 1003 Vacheron Constantin has redesigned a version of the movement which, with its 4.1 mm case, makes it the world’s thinnest mechanical hand-wound watch.
With more refined finishing and bridges and mainplate in 18-carat gold, this re-edition Calibre 1003 is presented in a 36 mm diameter 4N 18-carat pink gold case.
The decoration is the prestigious Côtes de Genève – with hand-bevelling, chamfering, and drawing of the steel parts. This exceptional standard of finishing has earned this new Calibre 1003 version the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva.
Lange & Söhn Homage Collection
A thousand years of precision: the 1815 Moonphase epitomizes Lange & Söhn’s quest for the ultimate in precision. No effort was spared to calculate an extremely accurate moon-phase train for this watch.
Thanks to a suite of wheels with special transmission ratios, its error per lunar month is a nearly infinitesimal 6.61 seconds. It takes 1,058 years for this error to add up to a deviation of one day relative to the actual lunar cycle.
Had such a timepiece existed in the year 952 – during the lifetime of Otto I the Great – and had it run without interruption since then, its moon-phase display would have to be corrected for the first time this year!
Vincent Berard Talisman 2 – Platinum Octale
With a diameter of just 45 mm, this platinum watch fits snugly into your hand or pocket and is available in a limited edition of just eight pieces. Each Octale Version 2 features casing in massive platinum. Beneath the curved sapphire glass, the three-part dial characteristics are revealed. Situated in the middle, slightly raised, is the “trellis” which gives form to the three subdials: day of the week, small second hand and moon phase, as well as the mysterious balance. The “trellis” is created by a radiant guillocharge.
The sapphire glass back cover offers a view of the movement through the two eyelets of the power reserve and small dorsal second hand.
Bovet Amadeo Trilogy
Known not only for its unique identity and exceptional quality but also for its long history of technical mastery and elegant hand-painted timepieces, Bovet is making a new name for itself with its pocket watch-inspired interchangeable wristwatch.
After more than seven years of research and development, the latest innovation makes it possible to transform this wristwatch into an elegant pocket watch for men (or pendent watch for ladies) or a miniature table clock.
In a few simple movements the timepiece can adapt to the whim of its owner. The Amadeo Collection is named after the son of Bovet’s owner and chief designer.
Article by Ita McCobb