The new watches to know from SIHH 2019
by Zoe Dickens
A new year means a whole host of exciting new releases for watch lovers as January brings around the annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva. SIHH, along with its host of satellite events, is one of the most important occasions in the watch calendar with a whole host of fine watchmaking houses using the event to unveil their latest designs. Here are the ones to have on your radar for 2019…
Richard Mille Bonbon
Something of a departure for Richard Mille, which is known for its complicated, oversized and highly masculine timepieces, the 10-piece Bonbon collection is inspired by sweets for a playful and vibrant spin on some of the house’s most popular movements. Designed by artistic director Cecile Guenat, the Bonbon collection takes the existing RM 16-01, RM 07-03 and RM 37-01 models as its base, reimagining each one with tiny hand lacquered fruits, powdered enamel ‘sugar coated’ candy and grand feu marshmallows.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar
The perfect event to announce new strides in mechanical watchmaking, at SIHH 2019 Vacheron Constantin revealed its new in-house calibre 3610 QP movement which allows its owner to slow the frequency and extend the power reserve when the watch is not being worn. A pusher at 8 o’clock changes the movement from Active mode – a 5Hz balance with four day power reserve – to Standby mode which reduces the frequency to 1.2Hz and allows up to a 65 day power reserve. More impressive still is the instantaneous jumping indication of the perpetual calendar which stays up-to-date regardless of which mode the watch is in.
Panerai Submersible Luna Rossa
At SIHH 2019 Panerai offered a whole host of aquatic-inspired designs in its Submersible collection. Among these are models created for ocean explorer Mike Horn, a professional diving watch made for the Italian Navy and a piece for champion freediver Guillaume Néry. Of greatest interest for yachting enthusiasts, however, is the Submersible Luna Rossa, a titanium sailing watch which will be worn by the Luna Rossa team during its challenge for the 36th America’s Cup.
Franck Muller Vanguard Yachting Anchor Skeleton
Exhibiting at a satellite event known as the World Presentation of Haute Horlogerie (WPHH), 2019 saw Frank Muller add a series of yachting timepieces to its popular Vanguard collection. Available in a number of case materials, and with or without diamonds, the deep blue skeleton movement is offered in classic (pictured), power reserve and Emblem designs each featuring the iconic nautical wind rose.
Ulysse Nardin Freak Skeleton X
Another skeleton watch range making a splash at SIHH came courtesy of Ulysse Nardin. Featuring a new openworked UN-371 calibre movement, this redesign of the UN-171 movement has been created with both aesthetics and functionality in mind resulting in a beautiful but highly powerful timepiece. The Skeleton X features an angular 42mm case available in blue titanium, black titanium, rose gold or Carbonium gold and boasts a 96-hour power reserve. Prices start at $17,500.
Fine jewellery watches by Backes & Strauss
A number of fine jewellery timepieces were presented in Geneva this year with those from diamond specialist Backes & Strauss undoubtedly among the best. Highlights included the Piccadilly 45 King Tourbillon (left), which blends the beauty of diamonds, emeralds and mother-of-pearl with a technical automatic tourbillon movement, the playfully statement Piccadilly Renaissance Ballerina Rainbow (centre) boasting more than 1,300 gemstone and the Berkeley 43 King Tourbillon (right). Joining the Piccadilly 45 King Tourbillon as one of the house’s third generation tourbillons, its more masculine case is home to 136 baguette cut diamonds, 184 ideal cut diamonds and seven baguette cut sapphires.