SIHH Standouts & Showstoppers

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Tradition Grand Complication

Jaeger-LeCoultre-Master-Grande-Tradition-Grande-ComplicationFrom A Blog to Watch – The watch so grand they named it twice? For what Jaeger-LeCoultre lacks in clever product naming they make up for in sheer horological excellence. The Master Grand Tradition Grand Complication for 2015 doesn’t offer a new movement, but it does offer a highly refined, fresh way of enjoying this existing Jaeger-LeCoultre collection model that contains the extremely admirable in-house made Caliber 945 which, like the Duometre family, contains a movement with German Silver plates. Want an exotic mix of high-end complications? How about a sidereal orbital tourbillon that, in addition to oscillating like a normal tourbillon, makes a full rotation around the dial once each day – according to sidereal time (which varies from “civil” time just a little bit). In addition to the tourbillon and astronomical complications, that Grand Master Tradition Grand Complication also just happens to have a rather impressive minute repeater that uses Jaeger-LeCoultre’s crystal gong system that help gives the chimes the best sound possible. Price is north of $200,000.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore with Full Pave Diamond

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Full Pave DiamondIf you’re looking for the ultimate expression of horological bling, then we are pleased to inform you your quest is now over. SIHH was treated to (or perhaps blinded by) three versions of the iconic Royal Oak Offshore with full-throttle ICE. We’re not kidding about the bling: each watch in the series boasts up to five dozen karats of baguette-cut diamonds, the largest being the 44mm Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph (with a 42mm model, as well as smaller, ladies’ models, too). An 18k white gold case and either a full diamond-set bracelet or an alligator strap, makes this series the obvious last word in displays of status and wealth.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Full Pave DiamondInside this showstopper, you’ll find the Audemars Piguet caliber 3126/3840 automatic chronograph movements operating at 3Hz with a 50 hour power reserve. The sapphire crystal caseback reveals the movement. While not technically listed as a “limited edition,” the Full Pave diamond royal Oak Offshore is in strictly limited production and sold on order only, primarily via AP’s own boutiques.

Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur

Richard Mille RM 1902 Tourbillon FleurFrom Quill and Pad – The RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur represents the highlight of Richard Mille’s 2015 SIHH offerings. This not-just-for-women mechanical bouquet does something extraordinary as it mimics nature: the exquisitely painted Magnolia envelops a flying tourbillon. Every five minutes it opens to reveal the mechanical delicacy, and as it does, it rises above the movement by about one millimeter. This motion echoes the natural upward arch of the flower, which in nature increases its chance of pollination. The “flower” stays open for five minutes, then closes. It does this ad infinitum. The flower can also be opened or closed on demand using a pusher on the case band.

Price: Approximately $1,300,000

Parmigiani Tonda 1950 Squelette

Parmigiani Tonda 1950 SqueletteAs on-trend as it is elegant, this limited edition is a striking example of skeletonized splendor, reflecting the ongoing lust for exposure seen across the field of watch design—as well as that for waifish thinness—the mere 2.6mm Calibre PF705 is trumped only by Piaget’s P1208’s wafer-thin profile.

The clear sapphire crystal dial above a grooved peripheral band allows for maximum exposure of the in-house manufacture movement, making it the working parts and constant play of the escapement and balance the clear focal point of the watch. The display of fine detail continues in the sapphire caseback, which affords an even better view of the complex arrangement and metalworking inside.

Price: $43,450

Vacheron Constantin Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph Caliber 3500

Vacheron-Constantin-Harmony-Split-Second-Chronograph-Grand-ComplicationFrom A Blog to Watch – It is limited to only 10 pieces (for now, at least, in this execution) and it is priced north of $350,000, but the brand new Vacheron Constantin Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph Caliber 3500 watch is a timepiece pretty much everyone agrees is both lovely and desirable in the most classic of means. Set as the flagship for Vacheron Constantin’s new Harmony collection, this new watch collector’s dream sits thin and bold on the wrist, with a dial that tells no one but the most knowledgeable of aficionados it is something special.

A few years, ago the notion of “stealth wealth” was pretty popular – meaning a very high-end piece that only a select group of people could recognize as being special. Today, bling is back in a big way, but that doesn’t need to apply everywhere. In platinum, this new ultra-thin self-winding (with a peripheral rotor) chronograph features just the time and power reserve with a split-second monopusher controlled chronograph. Those in the know are aware that split-second chronographs are among the most difficult to assemble mechanical complications around – which, coming from Vacheron Constantin, helps explain the intense asking price. The caliber 3500 movement is beautiful, with a new element we find in a series of novel Vacheron Constantin calibers – a hand-engraved 18k gold balance cock. At $369,200 the limited edition of 10 Vacheron Constantin Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph Caliber 3500 is sublime, and destined for the very few.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept RD#1

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept RD1From Bloomberg – It’s hard to consider this a real “release” since it’s a concept watch not for sale. That said, Audemars Piguet has created a minute repeater that sounds better than any I’ve ever heard before. It’s loud, crisp, and sounds like a musical instrument not a broken alarm clock. When this technology finds its way into actual production pieces, AP is going to blow everyone away. If you’re ever lucky enough to get a chance to see the RD#1 in person, don’t pass it up. And invite me along.

Panerai Radiomir 47mm 3 Days Firenze Acciaio

Panerai-Firenze-Limited-EditionFrom A Blog to Watch – We all agree that this new limited edition – exclusive to Florence – Panerai PAM00604 watch is a great way to enjoy the core design aesthetic of the historically Italian dive watch brand with a new artistic angle. Panerai has taken its most seminal Radiomir case and dial design and combined it with a reliable Panerai P.3000 manually wound hours and minutes only movement, as well as a case which has been totally hand-engraved.

At 47mm wide on the wrist, it wears boldly but comfortably in the Radiomir case, and the black-filled engravings are tasteful yet something most people would not expect from the typically simple Panerai wearing experience. It isn’t cheap at 17,000 Euros, or easy to buy, given that only 99 will be made for the Panerai flagship store in Firenze, Italy (Florence) – but this is a piece we think Panerai collectors will fawn over with ease.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph PerpetualRounding out our list with an updated classic, we were delighted to behold the dashing Datograph Perpetual by A Lange & Söhne, an understaded refresh on one of the most handsome numbers in all or horology. The white gold case, simple bezel, and silver dial (which ranges in appearance from light grey to deep gunmetal, depending on the light) dress the L952.1 movement, made entirely in-house with hand-finished components. The unexpected dial color, while not radical in and of itself, adds a slightly sporty, modernist feel to this ultra-classic design, along with the elimination of the previous generation’s much-maligned Roman numerals.

For a man secure enough to sport a modestly-sized face (41mm) in this age of wrist-borne giants, the Datograph Perpetual represents a fine display of sophistication, elegance, and timelessness.

Price: Approximately $138,400

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