It may be exclusive - limited to just 16 of the biggest and best watch brands - but that hasn't made it any easier for me to pick some of the most interesting pieces so far at this year's Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. For a taster of some of the horological highlights so far, I've chosen some of the men's watches that have intrigued me over the past few days, with more to come once I've seen all the new designs on show at the SIHH.
Men's timepieces tend to fall into three categories: slim and refined, big and bold, or simply out of this world. At a show such as the SIHH you will see all three, especially the bolder pieces, with stocky builds and intrepid ideals behind them. Audemars Piguet has added to its legendary Royal Oak line with this year's Offshore Grande Complication,with its signature octagonal case, this year for the first time ever housing a grand complication. Meanwhile, Panerai's Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Power Reserve Automatic Bronzo - a new special edition - is bronzed and brawny, with a contrasting green dial.
IWC has always excelled at producing watches for men who like a little danger in their lives, with bold, beefy builds that seem built for combat. However, this year the brand has chosen to shake things up with their focus on the Ingenieur family, taking inspiration from IWC's new partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team. Similarly, Montblanc's TimeWalker TwinFly chronograph has an aesthetic purity that belies its complicated interior. It's a men's watch steeped in masculinity but without the need to shout about it.
Then there's the classic, more refined approach of Jaeger-LeCoultre's timeless Master Ultra Thin 41. So refined, in fact, that it feels like a second skin. At just 3.3mm thick (or thin depending on your point of view), the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 898C boasts a 43-hour power reserve and fits inside a 41mm case measuring just 7.48mm in depth.
This is just a handful of what I've seen, but take a look for yourself below and you'll get an idea of just how broad a horological spectrum is on show at the SIHH each year.