SIHH: Day Three
By Nicolette Wong January 18, 2018
We give you the rundown on the year's most prominent pieces from Richard Mille, Panerai, Cartier, Piaget, A. Lange & Söhne, and Parmigiani. We bring you three things you need to know about each of the brands and their new releases in 2018.
1/6 Richard Mille
- Richard Mille is the only brand bold enough to debut only one watch at SIHH. And we've already reported on it.
- The RM 53-01 Pablo Mac Donough has two impressive patents that allow the watch to withstand the immense shocks that accompany the sport of polo—laminated sapphire glass (which stays watertight even when cracked), and a cable-suspended movement.
- Pablo Mac Donough's watch woes inspired both the RM 053 from 2012, which had a closed case made of grade 5 titanium that has great shock resistance. This time, years on, Richard Mille insisted that the brand push the envelope with regards to a watch's ability to survive a game of polo, and so decided that the new watch should have a a clear glass front and suspended movement, so that it can withstand even the strongest direct hits from the wooden polo mallet.
(Related: SIHH 2018: Day Two)
- Panerai might finally be cottoning onto its appeal to female collectors, launching two Luminor Due watches that measure a mere 38mm, a much more palatable version for the ladies than the brand's usual large offerings.
- The brand has also made strides in the creation of the L'Astronomo and Lo Scienzato watches. The Lo Scienzato uses a special sintering process (not unlike 3D printing) to create a hollow titanium case, allowing for a 30 per cent weight reduction. Add the fact that the movement is also in titanium and you have a very lightweight watch indeed.
- L'Astronomo is a watch only made to order. It has a tourbillon, sunrise and sunset indications, and an equation of time complication. Most interesting, however, is the transparent polarised date disc that runs along the outside of the dial. Numbers are printed on it at each point, but remain invisible until the disc reaches the date window at 3 o'clock.
- Cartier's Revelation d'Une Panthère is one of the most stunning talking pieces at the fair. Beads of gold encased in the dial drip down it in slow motion, forming the head of a panther as it flows down the dial. The effect is thoroughly stunning in real life, and involves two patents—one for the fluid involved, and one for the creation of the sapphire glass.
- The iconic Santos de Cartier is also getting a facelift this year, becoming more streamlined and ergonomic. Special attention was paid to the bracelet, which has an ingenius one-click link removal mechanism.
- Our final favourite from Cartier is the Mysterious Day & Night watch, which has a transparent upper dial and sun and moon hands that indicate the hours, as well as a retrograde minute hand on the bottom half. The watch perfectly reinterprets the maison's famous mysterious hours complication.
- Piaget definitely won our vote for best booth at the fair—their tropical island themed decorations featured real lush greenery, an indoor pool, and even a simulated skylight.
- The brand also had one of the talking pieces of the fair, their Altiplano Ultimate Concept, which is the thinnest watch in the world. At only 2mm thin, it's an incredibly svelte piece of arm candy. Unfortunately, it remains a concept piece, not intended for production.
- You might also be familiar with Piaget's signature palace decoration watch bracelets, which competely disguises the look of the bracelet links and makes it seem like one seamless metal strap—Jackie O's watch famously had one of them. This year, artisans at the Piaget manufacture came up with three new versions of the bracelet, using a similar engraving technique. The new versions are called frost, wood, and fur, after the patterns that they mimic.
5/6 A. Lange & Söhne
- Tragedy struck last year at SIHH, when it was announced that the beloved Walter Lange had passed away on the second day of the fair. This year, the brand pays tribute to him with—what else—a watch, named the 1815 "Tribute to Walter Lange". The watch features a patent that the man himself held close to his heart, a jumping seconds chronograph function that was the first ever patent made by his grandfather, Ferdinand Adolph Lange.
- The main innovation at this fair for Lange is the Triple Split, the first ever mechanica watch in the world that allows for multi-hour comparative time measurements. It makes it possible to measure events as long as 12 hours. The beautiful new movement distinguishes itself significantly from the previous Double Split, but even despite the added complexity, engineers were able to fit it into the same case size as the Double Split.
- Finally comes a watch that A. Lange & Söhne had intended for women, but which several male journalists loved too. The Little Lange 1 this year comes with a gorgeous 18k gold guilloche dial in three different colours—including a plummy purple that is thoroughly unexpected from the brand.
- 2018 is the year of the Kalpa for Parmigiani. The brand revamps the watches first introduced in 2001, and introduces impressive new movements that makes for some beautiful watches.
- The most interesting of the three new pieces is the Kalpa Chronor, which features the world's first self-winding integrated chronograph. Founder Michel Parmigiani was particularly proud of the innovation, which he called a milestone for the brand.
- Michel Parmigiani also emphasises the importance of the harmony between content and container, which is why all of the new movements are tonneau-shaped to match the tonneau case of the Kalpa.