Back for its ninth consecutive year in early November and where trends often begin to take shape, the UK’s largest luxury watch fair featured some of the most-awaited watches of the year. While Fine Watchmakers of the likes of Montblanc, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Tudor declined to take part in this year’s event, independent brands used the platform to launch their latest creations. Despite being a smaller event, Salon QP is always seen as a great precursor for SIHH and an event in which trends usually begin to take formation at.
As the hashtag has been used over 5,700 times and each image must be reviewed individually we will be taking a sample size of 2,500 images calculating the percentage from this, to decide which watch is the most popular across the whole hashtag.
So, without further ado, in ascending order, here are the most popular watches from #salonqp on Instagram.
MB&F LM Split Escapement
Percentage of total: 9.03
History: In 2014, MB&F surprised everyone by releasing a traditional, classical-looking watch, the Legacy Machine 1, very different from their usual non-traditional designs. Although complications and functions vary in the LM series, one thing remains constant: the suspended balance wheel. It was raised to a higher level with the LM Split Escapement, released on October 10, where the hands seem to be oscillating on their own without any impulse.
Why: The discontinuation of the LM 1 announced by the brand earlier this year increased the hype around the next Legacy Machine to be released, this LM SE, which watch aficionados got the chance to see in person for one of the first times at SalonQP.
Konstantin Chaykin Joker
Percentage of total: 8.39
History: Earlier this year, Moscow-based watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin revealed a 99-piece limited edition collection of the Joker, an homage to Batman. With eyes representing time and the Joker’s manic smile displaying the moon phase, as time changes, so does the Joker’s expression (with up to 20,000 different facial expressions).
Why: The Joker had been one of the stars of Baselworld 2017, the show’s surprise design. This reinterpretation of classic complications, using the moon phase to represent the Joker’s smile for instance, is unprecedented, which made this watch a must-see at SalonQP. It also fits within a wider trend of Batman watches, after Romain Jerome’s Batman watch featuring the bat signal on the dial, or their Spacecraft Batman watch, and the Rebellion T-1000 Gotham.
Voutilainen Vingt-8 R12
Percentage of total: 8.39
History: Like a lot of Kari Voutilainen’s watches, the Vingt-8 R12 was designed, built, assembled and finished in his Swiss workshop. Using a rare balance system, in which the exterior uses a traditional Phillips overcoil while the internal curve uses a much lesser-known Grossman curve, the watch’s movement is the first to employ two escapement wheels in this configuration.
Why: The Salon gave visitors the opportunity to view Kari Voutilainen’s latest creation for the first time in Europe. With its unique escapement, it is no surprise the Vingt-8 R12 was one of the highlights of this year’s SalonQP.
Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36
Percentage of total: 5.80
History: Revealed in time for this year’s Baselworld, the new Tourbillon is based on one of the brand’s 1778 designs, the John Arnold pocket chronometer No. 1/36. The tourbillon and its mechanism make the watch, replacing the dial as such. Bearing a resemblance with the Breguet La Tradition, this may in fact be a product of history. Breguet and John Arnold were close friends and one of the earliest tourbillons was actually designed by Breguet and dedicated to Arnold.
Why: The Tourbillon Chronometer No. 36 is a limited edition watch, with only 56 pieces (28 in gold, 28 in steel). It is a relatively rare example of a chronometer-certified tourbillon watch – not something you see every day.
Percentage of total: 5.16
History: The Fears Brunswick watch is the brand’s first mechanical watch in 60 years. Named after the Brunswick Square in Bristol, where Fears established its export business in 1920, it is inspired by a 1924 design and its popular cushion case.
Why: Established in 1846, Fears closed its doors in the late 1950s. It reopened last year under the management of Nicholas Bowman-Scargill, and SalonQP marked one year since it was brought back to life.