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FHH Journal’s pick of SIHH 2018
SIHH

FHH Journal’s pick of SIHH 2018

Friday, 16 February 2018
By The FHH Journal editors
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The FHH Journal editors

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6 min read

Now that the excitement of January’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie has died down, now that we’ve had time to soak up the year’s new styles, here’s our choice of the ten most inspirational and desirable of them all. Take your pick!

A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split

With its Triple Split, A. Lange & Söhne gives us the ultimate split-seconds chronograph, capable of measuring time splits not of one minute, as is usually the case, but 12 hours! In this instance, however, form more than function is the deal-maker. The superb movement and exceptional finishing lead the eye away from the dial to the back of the watch. When you’re a fan of Glashütte watches, there’s no getting away from their mechanical beauty. (Grégory Gardinetti)

Triple Split © A. Lange & Söhne
Triple Split © A. Lange & Söhne
Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic

We’ve waited a long time for Baume & Mercier, a brand that holds a special place in many hearts, to make a move. And what a move it is! The Baumatic is the brand’s first in-house calibre. While it isn’t “in-house” in the strict sense of the term – Baume & Mercier doesn’t have its own production capacity and so made use of Richemont competencies – it is no less of a game-changer that raises the bar in a highly competitive segment: silicon balance spring, longer service intervals, chronometer precision, magnetic resistance and… five days of power reserve for under CHF 3,000! Making its debut in a classic Clifton case, we can expect to see a lot more of this movement from a brand that could be about to win new hearts, thanks to this major step-up in terms of quality and customer expectations. (Pascal Ravessoud)

Clifton Baumatic © Baume & Mercier
Clifton Baumatic © Baume & Mercier
Cartier Tank Cintrée Watch

SIHH 2018 saw several horological icons step back into the limelight, although the one taking the curtain call to my mind has to be the Tank Cintrée by Cartier. Having been long overlooked by the brand, it returns with a design that is almost identical to that of the 1921 original: a slender, curved shape that hugs the wrist of any twenty-first-century dandy who likes to linger in the past. This Tank Cintrée is a resounding success for the brand, which intends to concentrate more on its historic pieces. (Alex Ballmer)

Tank cintrée © Cartier
Girard-Perregaux Neo Tourbillon with Three Bridges

A robust titanium case alongside the elegance of Girard-Perregaux’s three bridges under a scratchproof sapphire crystal make for a convincing start. The relative complexity of the skeleton movement, held by the arched bridges, in no way detracts from the ethereality of the whole. This Neo Tourbillon is a picture of balance and harmony. Girard-Perregaux has given its signature timepiece a completely novel architecture that exudes strength yet remains astonishingly transparent. A 45mm diameter makes a statement but is designed to “float” on the wrist. (Mehdi Fazlija)

Neo Tourbillon Sous Trois Ponts Squelette © Girard-Perregaux
Neo Tourbillon Sous Trois Ponts Squelette © Girard-Perregaux
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere

Should bronze be your metal of choice for its warm, vibrant hue. Should retro designs strike a chord in your heart. Should robust watches made for adventure catch your eye, then wait not a minute more as this Montblanc 1858 Geosphere with bronze case is a limited edition. The more zealous will already have spotted the two hemispheres for tracking world times – a useful and frankly irresistible complication. Paired with a Bund-style strap, it’s a joy to behold. The slowest off the mark can always fall back on the steel version… (Christophe Roulet)

1858 Geosphere © Montblanc
1858 Geosphere © Montblanc
Officine Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 38mm

The smaller case could have been an unwelcome sign that Panerai had lost its essence in a too-obvious attempt to expand its commercial horizons. Fear not: the Italian brand has succeeded in adapting its iconic design, unveiled in 1950, without losing an ounce of what has underpinned its success ever since. The steel cushion-shaped case, the imposing crown protection, the sandwich dial, the proprietary automatic movement delivering three days of power reserve, the date display… Nothing is lacking in this 38mm package – the smallest ever diameter from Panerai and one for the ladies without being advertised as such. My favourite by a long chalk from SIHH 2018! (Marie de Pimodan)

Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 38mm © Panerai
Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 38mm © Panerai
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Automatic 910P

Elegant, contemporary, refined, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Automatic 910P is to die for. With its barely-there 4.30mm, Piaget confirms its superiority in extra-thin watches with yet another world’s-thinnest record, and demonstrates its extraordinary command of micromechanics at the same time. What should we make of the choice of name? Has Piaget reached the ultimate limit of thinness in an automatic watch? Watch this space and, in the meantime, why not try it for size! (Isabelle Zakher)

Altiplano Ultimate Automatic © Piaget
Altiplano Ultimate Automatic © Piaget
Ressence e-Crown

In an ideal world, a mechanical watch would be as precise as an atomic clock. In an ideal world, the best product and interface designers would sit down with traditional watchmakers. In an ideal world, smartwatches would no longer be seen as mere extensions of the phone in your pocket. The Type 2, Ressence and Tony Farrell, inventor of the iPod, have made that world possible with a product that has all the attributes of a future icon. In an ideal world, need we be reminded, timepieces would be made for the end customer and their connected cousins would no longer be simply an ersatz phone. What if the Type 2 were the beginning of that world? (Raphaël Ly)

Type 2 e-Crown Concept © Ressence
Type 2 e-Crown Concept © Ressence
Richard Mille RM 53-01

It was the talk of SIHH 2018. Nothing new there, you might say. Still, you have to hand it to Richard Mille… Designed for the Argentinean polo player Pablo Mac Donough, the RM 53-01 lines up a bevy of features that make it (virtually) indestructible. First, what you don’t see: the sapphire crystal is in fact laminated glass intercalated with a polyvinyl film. Like a car windshield, it will never shatter. Then there is the braided steel cable, something you might see on a ski lift were it not 0.27mm in diameter. Anchored by ten pullies and four tensioners, it suspends the movement inside the case for unrivalled shock resistance. Bravo, Mr Mille! (Fabrice Eschmann)

RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Donough © Richard Mille
RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Donough © Richard Mille
Voutilainen 217 QRS

I never tire of Kari Voutilainen’s Nordic interpretation of watchmaking, and the 217 QRS is no exception. This latest timepiece from the Finnish master reveals itself little by little (not unlike its maker). Only once you have taken time to admire it, to examine its many details, can you truly appreciate the full extent of its subtle harmony. Beneath the splendid blue guilloché dial sits an efficient mechanism that displays time by traditional means together with a retrograde date so smooth the end of the month can’t come soon enough! (Emmanuel Schneider)

217 QRS © Kari Voutilainen
217 QRS © Kari Voutilainen
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