SIHH 2017: Highlights from day 4
January 24, 2017 | BY Charlene Co
Hong Kong Tatler's resident watch expert gives us the lowdown of the final day of Salon de La Haute Horlogerie in Geneva.
And just like that, another edition of SIHH has come to a close. It was definitely an interesting and at times overwhelming four days of seeing, scrutinising and trying on hundreds of timepieces, as well as a privilege conversing with brilliant people in the watchmaking world whose passion is infectious, and knowledge inspiring.
The fair might be over but our work has just begun. Over the next few months, we will be bringing you more of the fascinating and beautiful timepieces presented exclusively to us here in Geneva. But first, here are today’s top picks.
Richard Mille RM McLaren
Picture this: a timepiece with a split-second chronograph, tourbillon, power reserve indicator and torque sensor packed in a sizeable 44.50mm x 49.65mm tonneau case that weighs a mere 40 grams—and yes, that’s the entire watch, strap included. The RM 50-03 McLaren F1 by Richard Mille is officially the world’s lightest split-seconds tourbillon chronograph. The key ingredient to this lightweight marvel? A newly developed nanomaterial called Graphene, said to be 200 times stronger than steel but six times lighter, which McLaren is working to integrate into its Formula 1 cars. The cost cannot be taken lightly however at over HK$7 million (RM4 million).
Why we love it: Ever the trailblazer, Richard Mille astounds us once again with this phenomenal piece which was surely one of show’s biggest talking pieces. While you’ll likely ponder over purchasing it 7 million times over, considering the incredible engineering that went into making this, as well its exclusivity—only 75 pieces will be made—it just might be well worth it. And a bonus, each watch will come with a 1:5 scale model of the McLaren-Honda racing car that will be driven by Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne this year. (swipe left for next page)
MB&F HM7 Aquapod
Glad to know that Max Büsser, the genius behind MB&F, is nuttier and more brilliant than ever. The previous pieces he’s created for MB&F’s Horological Machines series has brought us around the race track, up in the skies and further out in outer space. This time, he finds inspiration in the ocean. Enter the HM7 Aquapod, which we’re told is not a diver’s watch, but a mechanical jellyfish which resembles one and lights up like one. And what’s more, it has a 60-second flying tourbillon!
Why we love it: What’s not to love? Büsser’s creations are the ultimate big boy’s toys. It's wildly imaginative, there’s a lot to tinker with, and you’re literally attached to it all day so when you want to take a break from being a grown-up, you have this to play with. (swipe left for next page)
Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time
Jaeger-LeCoultre introduces a flying tourbillon to the Geophysic Universal Time, a timepiece it first introduced in 2015. Set against a blue guilloché pattern resembling waves is an image of the map, which is also present in its earlier version. On the peripheral of the dial is a 24-hour indicator, on a secondary conical ring the 24 cities, and the flying tourbillon—the star of the piece—at 5 o’clock.
Why we love it: This piece is quite stunning with the dial’s three-dimensional quality. Its 43.5mm-diameter platinum case makes it a rather big watch to carry but as in other complicated pieces produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre, it’s still completely wearable. (swipe left for next page)
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold
To mark the 40th anniversary of the women’s Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet unveiled the new Royal Oak Frosted Gold. A shining reinvention of an iconic design, the piece is available in both white and pink gold, and was created in collaboration with Florentine jewellery designer, Carolina Bucci. The Royal Oak Frosted Gold is defined by its shimmering sparkle, made possible by a surface treatment process rooted in an ancient gold hammering process called the Florentine technique. The result is a stunning and glimmering piece without the bling.
Why we love it: Royal Oak’s bold, structural design was always beautiful enough to stand on its own, and now it can really shine without the overwhelming diamonds. Strong and delicate at the same time, the Royal Oak Frost is just gorgeous on the wrist.
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