SIHH 2012 Videos
I spent four days looking at watches at the Salon de Haute
Horlogerie in Geneva in January this year. With so many different
styles and approaches on show, the houses here are selling a
lot more than just timekeepers.
First up is Vacheron Constantin whose Metiers d'Art collection
this year focusses on the work of Dutch artist M C Escher. His
mindwarping designs of interlocking shapes are brought to the
diminished proportions of a watch dial but an engraver, an
enamellist, a 'guillocher' and a gem-setter for these very
special collectors' pieces. My favourite is the fish dial with its
wavy, watery deep blue enamel aquatic scene.
Jaeger-LeCoultre dazzle with a new Atmos to honour the 150th
anniversary of the birth of Gustav Klimt in a specially made wooden
marquetry case featuring the 'Lovers'. At the peak of technical
offerings at the SIHH this year is the SpheroTourbillon Dual Wing
with a tourbillon on not one but two axes at a 20% inclination. The
Deep Sea Vintage is one for lovers of the retro look while on a
less technical level, women can choose from new double tour straps
from Milanese leathermaker supreme Valextra.
IWC go to San Diego with the Top Gun pilots for a look that is
all American yet still very much in the style of IWC's pilot
watches. I think the re-style brings this classic watch to a
younger audience who may be looking for a solid, watch from a great
name but with a more up to date look.
Baume & Mercier are still basking in the sun of the Hamptons
and offer variants of the Hamptons range as well as new two tone
leather straps for the Linea collection and some handsome Capelands
with a historical inspiration.
Ralph Lauren is building up his watch collection step by step
and this year sees a new square version of the Art Deco inspired
Classique for women as well as new Bugatti dial for men. The
Stirrup goes from strength to strength with the new versions and in
particular a sportier version on a white strap for those summer
Cartier's Tank is rolling on in its relentlessly successful
journey to fame. This year sees a new Tank Anglaise family with
rounder lines and a crown set into an opening in the side of the
case. I spoke to Carole Forestier-Kasapi who told me how there is
more than meets the eye when it comes to the new diamond Panther
that rotates around the dial.
Van Cleef & Arpels continue with their 'poetic
complications'. Two lovers send a "Poetic Wish" across the rooftops
of Paris in a pair of highly decorated and equally sophisticated
mechanical marvels. Retrograde movements and clever tricks mean
that a star, a balloon and little gold figures of the lovers tell
At Piaget it is all about the rose and the Yves Piaget rose in
full bloom has inspired watches and jewels that shimmer with
diamonds and coloured gem stones.
The style of Princess Grace and her rose, yes there is a rose
named for her, has guided Montblanc to create a range of watches,
jewels and pens that pick up this motif in soft pinks and lustrous