In a time where emphasis is being increasingly placed on wearable technology like the Apple iWatch, the Salon International de la Haute Horologerie (SIHH) kicked off 2016 in a big way, reminding the world that you don’t need to download an app to be in possession of a technical masterpiece. This year’s show included 24 brands, instead of the usual 16, who set the bar high with the introduction of impressive new complications, standout designs, and, for many brands, at lower price points (yes, you read that right). Here are a few of the standout trends you can expect to see in the new timepieces donning the wrists of dapper gentleman like yourself this 2016.
When your watch interior houses such impressively constructed mechanisms, why keep it hidden? Several brands this year, including Audemars Piguet with their openworked Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel, manage to disclose the inner beauty of the movement without compromising its structural integrity. Panerai also impressed with their Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio, masterfully crafted through a process called Direct Laser Sintering that consists of 3D printing .02mm layers of titanium that are then welded together, allowing the watch to be amazingly light on the wrist in addition to its impressive in-house P.2005 movement viewable from the sapphire case back.
Sporty Meets Elegant
From the boardroom to beers with the boys, every man needs that watch that shines in every social context. This year, Cartier got it right with the introduction of the Cartier Drive, targeted specifically at men. This piece is automotive inspired with its guilloché on the dial resembling old radiator grills and the crown mirroring the bolts used to hold the car together. Vacheron Constantin also addressed this need with the introduction of their revamped Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar that includes easily exchangeable 18K white gold, rubber, and leather straps. And did we mention it doesn’t need to be wound until 2100? Instant effortless class.
Nostalgia For The Classics
In a nod to the past, many major brands demonstrated the importance of remembering your roots. Perhaps most notably was the Panerai revealing of the special chocolate dial editions of the Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Acciaio and the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio made to resemble a vintage Panerai watch that has undergone a discoloring effect caused by the dial’s luminous material. Other notable timepieces include the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duo Face which celebrates the timepiece’s 85th anniversary, as well as the Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim 110 Years, in which each piece features a unique, hand-painted dial reminiscent of old pocket watch enameling with either the North American, European or Asian continents and celebrating the brand’s 110th anniversary.