Earlier in January, the watch industry was in Geneva, Switzerland, for the annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) trade where new watches for 2019 were unveiled.
Many new models were showcased with brands like Richard Mille releasing out-of-the-box candy-themed timepieces. It a combination of old and new brands who displayed entirely new approaches to watchmaking and marketing.
Here are a few of the major watch releases at the show:
Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Collection
Audemars Piguet has unveiled a new collection of watches called Code 11.59, Code stands for Challenge, Own, Dare, and Evolve. The collection includes 13 new orientations that include five complications and six calibres, three of which are new movements. The watches differ from AP’s iconic Royal Oak collection in that the cases, 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 calibres 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.
Cartier Santos Dumont Collection
Cartier’s new releases for men in 2019 is focused on its first wristwatch, the Santos Dumont, made famous by aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont, who placed the first order for Cartier’s original wristwatch in 1904. The classic time-only version of the original comes with a quartz movement in 2019, which had true watch enthusiasts grumbling. Its quartz movement has a new high-performance battery and an autonomy of approximately 6 years, which, for those just wanting a stylish Cartier on their wrist, will be a sufficient sell.
Collectors looking for a little more depth may opt for the chronograph version, which comes with a single start or stop push button at 9 o’clock to activate its subdials, with a rest function integrated into the crown. This timepiece comes equipped with Cartier’s 1904-CH MC manufacture movement. But if you’re looking for a piece to properly show off, the Skeleton Noctambule version should do the trick. Its oversize Roman numerals and hands glow a vivid green in the dark, thanks to their Super-LumiNova coating.
Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune Meteorite
At SIHH this year, Hermès takes the cake for one of the most magnificent dial designs of the year with its pumped-up version of a moon phase. Instead of the traditional function where the moon, typically at 6 o’clock, rotates to show the time of day, Hermès has turned the tide on the complication by keeping the mother-of-pearl lunar replicas of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere moons stationary at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock while the hour and minute dials revolve around the circumference of the meteorite or aventurine dial.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel
Jaeger-LeCoultre showcases an extremely complicated example of haute horology. It’s the brand’s fifth multiaxis tourbillon and it comes with a minute repeater with patented crystal gongs that play the Westminster melody known to those who have witnessed London’s Big Ben clock tower in action at Westminster Palace. On top of that, it’s also a perpetual calendar that can be adjusted in both directions. All of that, incredibly, comes in 43 mm for a wearable timepiece that has a lot of watchmaking to offer its wearer without weighing down the wrist. The tourbillon is viewable on both sides of the case, as are some of the movement parts. These high-end complications coupled with a well-thought-out design make for the ultimate collector’s piece.
Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph
This vintage-inspired watch contains one of three new movements from Montblanc. It is a hand-wound split-seconds chronograph, calibre MB M16.31, made at Minerva, the brand’s elite movement maker that specializes in chronographs made by hand. Like several other new pieces in the 858 collection, it has a bronze case, which will acquire a unique patina. In an unusual dial layout, the chronograph counters at 3 and 9 o’clock are subtle, while the snail-shaped tachymeter scale takes center stage. The watch is a monopusher, so the case side is as uncluttered as the dial. It is limited to 100 pieces.