SIHH 2017: Tatler's favourite day 1 debuts

Watches & Jewellery

January 18, 2017 | BY Charlene Co

Hong Kong Tatler's resident watch expert reports on the latest creations and innovations straight from the halls of the Salon de La Haute Horlogerie in Geneva.

Even after our first day of watch-ogling at this year's SIHH in Geneva,  it’s already clear to see that the exhibiting fine watch brands worked overtime in the last year to present their exquisite wares. We’re seeing an impressive balance of technical and aesthetic masterpieces, and a more conscious effort on the watch brands’ part to offer beautifully crafted timepieces at more accessible price points. Over the next few days, we will be bringing you a few highlights—and favourites—but just enough to tide you over until we present a more comprehensive review. Without further ado, here they are!

Panthere de Cartier

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This year, Cartier relaunches an imposing 1980s icon: Panthere de Cartier. While Cartier keeps the original shape of the case—and why would you change that beauty anyway —Cartier this time around gives it an edgier appearance. A full collection will be launched this year, and will offer a wide selection of metals, including yellow, pink and white gold, and steel, in 2 sizes. This Panthere suite will also include a diamond-set version with enamel spots and our favourite, a limited edition made in pink gold with spots of black lacquer.

Why we love it: It’s a stunning vintage-looking timepiece that sits beautifully on the wrist. It’s a svelte, silky timepiece that wears like a second skin, and looks just as great with jeans as with evening wear. 

Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Rally Timer Counter

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Montblanc’s new Timewalker pieces harks back to the golden days of motor racing. While much attention is given to its aesthetics, which beautifully capture this era, it’s important to note that these are not merely tribute pieces but in fact genuinely practical racing instruments. The TimeWalker Chronograph Rally Timer Counter, in particular, caught our eye. Inspired by the actual Minerva Rally Timer made to record road racing, it’s a piece that can be worn as a wristwatch, a pocketwatch or a dashboard clock.

Why we love it: This piece proves that combining vintage and modern aesthetics, when done right, works. This watch will have both fans of vintage timepieces and of the Montblanc Timewalker series swooning.

A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite”

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It’s true, even among serious watch collectors, owning an A. Lange & Söhne timepiece remains an aspiration. Apart from its most-times dizzying price tag, the German watchmaker—because of the complexity of its pieces—can produce only a few pieces of each model. This year, it outdoes itself once more with the Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite". A true masterpiece, it combines five complications: a fusée-and-chain transmission, tourbillon, chronograph, a rattrapante function and a perpetual calendar. Its movement is comprised of 684 parts, one of which is made of 636 parts.

Why we love it: Very few will have the privilege to see and more so own a mechanical tour de force like this one. It’s a gleaming testament to Lange’s technical superiority and incomparable craftsmanship. Just as with all its timepieces, every single part of the watch— even those we don’t see—is hand-engraved and finished.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu

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The Marine Tourbillon Grand Feu timepiece makes a stunning addition to Ulysse Nardin’s long line of seafaring pieces. The watch houses a completely new manufacture movement, a self-winding UN-128 calibre, which boasts an impressive 60-hour power reserve and a magnificent flying tourbillon that’s given pride of place at 6 o’clock. The piece is presented with a grand Feu white enamel dial, crafted by the watchmaker’s very own enamel specialists, Donzé Cadrans

Why we love it: This piece will be offered at a very attractive price point of just over HK$22,000, which is a steal - for this price, you get an in-house made movement, a great power reserve, and a flying tourbillon!

Here are the highlights from day 2.

Keep up with us at SIHH 2017 as we take a closer look at these 20 timepieces we've got our eyes on.