Modern Meets Vintage at SIHH

Luke Rottman is the editor and founder of The Watch Adviser and has sent us this dispatch from the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, an annual gathering of the world’s preeminent watch makers in Geneva, Switzerland.


Vintage watches are certainly my forte. Over the years, I have developed an immense passion for vintage timepieces; thus, I perpetually strive to learn everything about these decades-old time machines. The realm of modern horology has never quite appealed to me. I am fond of this industry’s scarce independent watchmaking houses along with Patek Philippe, Rolex, and other “historically-significant” manufacturers. As per the rest of the current brands, I appreciate what they do; however, I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard fan.

Despite my outlook on contemporary watches, I was pleasantly surprised by Richemont’s most recent releases at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2015.

IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition "75th Anniversary"For once, I have fallen in love with an IWC. The Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary” is a modernized take on the original, oversized, and extraordinarily sought-after Portuguese. In contrast to IWC’s focal concepts, this piece is more refined—purpose merged with elegance and simplicity. The Calatrava-style case and sector dial are primarily the reasons I find this watch to be so enticing. If a friend—or any watch enthusiast, for that matter—was in the market for a dress watch that would fare just fine under relatively tough conditions, I’d recommend IWC’s Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary” any day.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Two-Tone 15400Panerai did a fantastic job with their Mare Nostrum Titanio (pictured at top). More or less is this cool, rugged, hand-wound chronograph, a vintage reproduction. Why? It closely resembles Panerai’s 1940’s Mare Nostrum prototype; yet, the case is composed entirely of titanium, a fairly new material to be utilized in watchmaking. To be honest, the case size is a bit extreme for me (52 millimeters in diameter), but to each his own.

Although Audemars Piguet is not a Richemont company, they still participate in SIHH. I must direct your attention towards their newest rendition of the ever so classic Royal Oak.

Two-tone watches were never my “thing” until just last week when I received a note from AP regarding this unbelievably awesome two-tone Royal Oak reference 15400. It is borderline-identical to Audemars Piguet’s two-tone, quartz Royal Oaks from the 1980’s. Only difference: No quartz movement, but instead an automatic.

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