SIHH 2018: Day Two
These are the three things you need to know about each of the brands and their new releases in 2018.
- It's maison Hermès' first time showing at SIHH—it had always previously shown its annual novelties at the Baselworld watch fair in March. This year is the maison's year of the game—all of their new releases are whimsical and playful, true to the brand's identity.
- Hermès constantly reminds us of its multi-pronged heritage, which encompasses everything from watches and jewellery, to their much-beloved leather goods and fragrances. It is most evident in the Hermès Arceau Pocket Millefiori pocket watch, which has a crocodile leather caseback. The crocodile scale pattern is poetically reflected in the design of the dial, which uses the millefiori glasswork technique to create a dial that looks much like a crocodile's scales.
- This year also represents the maison's 40th anniversary in watchmaking—the brand created its manufacture in Bienne, Switzerland with the express intention of going into serious Swiss-made watches.
(Related: SIHH 2018: Day One)
2/5 Baume & Mercier
- Baume & Mercier has always had a more conservative showing, but they surprised us this year by debuting its first ever in-house made movement, in the form of the Baumatic BM12-1975A, which is also certified by the COSC.
- The main technical points of interest are the silicon balance-spring and the high-performance escapement, which combine to form a movement that is more accurate, anti-magnetic to 1500 gauss, and allows for longer service intervals.
- The Baumatic also has a whopping 5 days' power reserve.
3/5 Roger Dubuis
- Roger Dubuis is living life on the fast track this year, creating and strengthening partnerships with motorsport giants Pirelli and Lamborghini.
- The brand's new Pirelli Medium White watch incorporates one of Pirelli's proprietary race-winning tyres into the watch. Each strap will be certified and stamped with the same number of the tyre that will be made into the straps. No small feat considering the intense security surrounding the formula of Pirelli's tyres. The watch itself also has an "expiry date"—it will only be available for purchase between 1st March and 30th April of this year. After that, they will disappear from the retail market forever.
- In the attempt to create stronger synergies with the world of racing, Roger Dubuis intends to debut a whole new timepiece at 4pm on the 27th of May 2018—when the first cars in the Monaco Grand Prix will cross the finishing line.
- 2018 marks the 185th anniversary of the marque's manufacture, and the brand has chosen to celebrate by reviving its iconic 1968 Memovox Polaris diving watch by creating an entirely new collection—the Polaris.
- The sporty elegant collection comprises a three-hand automatic, a chronograph, chronograph worldtimer, as well as the Polaris Date and Polaris Memovox. All movements in the collection are, like all Jaeger Le-Coultre watches, made in-house.
- The star piece of the collection is by far the Polaris Memovox, which contains the same ringing and vibrating alarm function that made the original 1968 such an icon. The three-crown system of the original has been kept, and the movement Calibre 956 is a direct descendant of the first automatic alarm watch created by the brand in the 1950s. The movement is one of the rare few that has been in production for over 60 years, and is a testament to the robustness of its original design.
5/5 Vacheron Constantin
- Vacheron Constantin has outdone itself this year in the creation of its Métiers d'Art les Aerostiers collection. The stunning collection pays tribute to five pionnering air ballonists who conquered the skies with ground-(or should we say air-)breaking flights beginning in the 18th century. The collection's watches use the rarely-seen and extremely difficult plique à jour enamel technique and three-dimensional engraving to create stunning dials that impressed even the most jaded of journalists. The four-disc indications of the hour, minutes, day, and date, are also an incredibly clever way to make use of the dial's delicate translucency. We're salivating.
- For those less inclined towards the ornate, however, Vacheron Constantin presents the FIFTYSIX, an entry-level collection whose retro-contemporary style we're sure will appeal to connoisseurs across the age spectrum. It was inspired by the iconic reference 6073, which had been launched in 1956, and was inspired by Vacheron Constantin's Maltese cross.
- Vacheron Constantin has also upped the ante in terms of strap offerings. Its Traditionnel Collection Excellence Platine tourbillon and complete calendar with moonphase features straps with stitching made with braided threads of platinum—a first for any watch anywhere.
(Related: Vacheron Constantin Celebrates The Year Of The Dog)