Sports timing is one of the challenges through which modern-day watchmaking has made giant leaps in developing first mechanical then electronic instruments, capable of jaw-dropping precision. Combine this with today’s almost religious devotion to fitness and sports, and it’s easy to see why chronographs are among the most popular watches there are. Fortunately, the 2019 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie has plenty to keep fans happy. We share our selection of ten chronographs from the fair.
Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet Chronographe Automatique
The Le Brassus firm has got everyone talking with its 11.59 collection, issued off-the-bat in six versions, driven by new-generation movements and covering every level of complexity from time and date to a perpetual calendar, a minute repeater, two tourbillons (one flying and one skeleton) and, naturally, a chronograph. Every detail has been fine-tuned, from the double curved sapphire crystal to the clever case architecture.
Santos de Cartier Chronographe
After last year’s revisit, the Santos de Cartier returns to SIHH, including as a chronograph. Start/stop is by a pusher at 9 o’clock, while the reset function is via the crown. Powered by the in-house 1904-CH MC calibre with a column wheel and vertical clutch, it benefits from Cartier’s innovative interchangeable strap system, including the deployant buckle, and from the SmartLink system which adjusts the metal bracelet to fit, without special tools.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph
Since making its comeback in 2016, the Laureato has become one of Girard-Perregaux’s flagship designs, and has grown into a collection in its own right. This year’s Laureato Absolute is a more modern, more assertive take on the original that works especially well with the chronograph. Its diameter has been upped to 44mm while the black PVD-treated titanium case is guaranteed water-resistant to 300 metres. An integrated rubber strap completes the picture.
IWC Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium
IWC introduces Ceratanium into its Top Gun line of pilot’s watches, which the brand has been producing since 2007 for the U.S. Navy’s best pilots. This mat black material, developed by IWC, combines the advantages of titanium and ceramic. The Double Chronograph has an integrated split-seconds mechanism for simultaneously measuring two short intervals and is powered by the 79420 calibre.
Montblanc 1858 Automatic Chrongraph
Accurate, legible and robust: Minerva professional watches from the 1920s and 1930s were destined for military use or exploration. Montblanc embraces this legacy in the proudly vintage 1858 line, which this year adopts a completely new khaki green colour scheme – a reminder that these are watches for outdoor use – with a bronze case, as shown on the Automatic Chronograph with bi-compax counters.
Panerai Submersible BMG-Tech
For the first time ever, two innovations from Panerai’s Laboratorio di Idee are combined into one watch, matching the strength and resistance of BMG-Tech bulk metallic glass for the case with the lightness of Carbotech, a material based on carbon fibre, for the bezel. This professional dive watch is water-resistant to 300 metres and, as well as greater strength, delivers exceptional resistance to shocks, corrosion and magnetic fields.
Parmigiani Kalpagraphe Chronomètre Titanium
Since its creation in 2001, the Kalpa has been one of Parmigiani’s most recognisable styles. This year it lends its signature form to a sports watch in titanium. The Kalpagraphe Chronomètre is fitted with an integrated, not modular, shaped chronograph movement. Parmigiani is one of the few manufacturers to have mastered this complication on an industrial scale. The high-frequency (5 Hz) PF362 calibre is COSC-certified and precise to one-tenth of a second.
We loved it in blue in 2016 when it debuted its new sportier look, combining the slender proportions of the 1979 original with a larger steel case and a bezel that fits an oval into a round shape to highlight Piaget’s signature aesthetic. Coming after last year’s introduction of gold, this year the brand is focusing on colour and sparkling gems. This 42-mm diameter Polo is casually dressed in a green dial that changes in tone, depending how the light hits its guilloché surface.
RJ Arraw The Joker Black
Of all Batman’s arch enemies, the Joker is the one we remember, with his lurid clown make-up and wild grin. Right on cue, RJ is bringing DC Comics’ villains to life in a series of watches that includes this The Joker chronograph. The 45-mm Arraw case in titanium is as recognisable as the Joker himself, thanks to its four bumpers. The titanium bezel is laser-engraved with deliberately chaotic Joker faces.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur One-Off
The third movement to come out of Roger Dubuis’ partnership with Lamborghini Squadra Corse, the RD106SQ inside the Excalibur One-Off features a double flying tourbillon inclined at 90° which emulates the V-shaped cylinder block on a Lamborghini engine. Sharing the same design philosophy as the Italian automaker, Roger Dubuis has given this watch an aggressive style and unmistakable aesthetic cues. Pirelli worked with Roger Dubuis to develop the nylon mesh strap.