SIHH 2016: Time transformed forever

By egor Thursday, 31 March 2016 11:30 AM

The Swiss watch industry held the 26th edition of the prestigious Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) In Geneva, from 18 to 22 Jan 2016.

Add new comment

The Swiss watch industry held the 26th edition of the prestigious Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) In Geneva, from 18 to 22 Jan 2016. It witnessed strong attendance with 14,500 visitors from around the markets 1,200 of whom were journalists (same as 2015). Rita Boustany the Editor in Chief of Aviamost, was present at the invitation-only event and reveals details on the outstanding novelties launched at it  

The 2016 SIHH opened in completely new surroundings as the Cité de l'Horlogerie took on a fresh appearance with a new decor of warm colours and sleek, contemporary lines. Showcasing their novelties were 15 leading Richemont watch brands: Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Greubel Forsey, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai, Parmigiani Fleurier, Piaget, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin and Van Cleef & Arpels.  

The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported that exports for 2015 declined 3.3 percent year-over-year to 21.5 billion Swiss francs ($21.1 billion). This coincided with Richemont ’s third quarter earnings statement earlier reporting that sales fell by 4 percent year-over-year at constant exchange rate to 2.92 billion Swiss francs ($2.86 billion).

SIHH 2016 also presented Carré des Horlogers, dedicated to nine artisan or independent watchmakers such as: Christophe Claret, De Bethune, H. Moser & Cie, Hautlence, HYT, Kari Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, MB&F and Urwerk

This more emphatic presence was a firm response from the profession to the wider context. The stronger Swiss franc and the decline in the pace of certain markets, sometimes radically, as in Hong Kong and Russia, represent new challenges for Swiss watchmaking after years of growth.

The exhibiting Maison’s creativity was in full display especially in watches that make horological technique a showcase for high jewellery, artistic crafts and others whose complications are of daily use with chronographs or complete calendars. Classicism prevailed, witnessed by round forms, neutral colours and precision movements; attributes beautifully expressed in iconic collections.

The next SIHH will take place from Jan 16 to 20, 2017 at Palexpo. Aviamost selects the most outstanding watches from the 15 exhibiting Maisons.  

Time trackers at SIHH

Cartier launched six new models - skeletonized, jewelled and high-complication watches for haute horlogerie lovers, notable among them being the Clé de Cartier Automatic Skeleton, Cartier’s first-ever skeleton movement with automatic winding (Caliber 9612 MC) while the high jewelry piece Panthères Et Colibri has an interesting complication and features a panther mother, her cub and a hummingbird as well.

IWC took its guests back to the 30’s while celebrating the launch of its new Pilot’s Watches collection in the 80th anniversary celebrations of the iconic collection. Present at the celebration were Russian brand ambassadors, Konstantin Khabensky and Alexei Nemov. Numerous other famous faces such Oscar winners Hillary Swank, Bond villain Christophe Waltz, Captain America, Chris Evans could be seen too. Powered by IWC’s automatic Caliber 89760 the IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph has an all-new, easy-to-use time zone function, in which you can set a new zone simply by using the bezel.

A Lange & Sohne’s adds seven new timepieces including two perpetual calendars, each with a tourbillion. Its Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is the flagship model which combines the Datograph chronograph with a flyback function and Up/Down power reserve indicator and outsize date. It has a perpetual calendar with a moon-phase display; and a one-minute tourbillon discreetly located in a window between 9 and 10 and exposed on the sapphire-crystal caseback.

Baume & Mercier expands its collection of limited-edition chronograph watches inspired by the famed Shelby Cobra race cars, taking their design codes from one of the most successful roadsters, the Shelby Cobra CSX2128 powered by the self-winding ETA Valjoux 7753.

Among the biggest developments was the Parmigiani Senfine concept watch movement, which boasts a remarkable 45-day power reserve. The brand marks its 20th anniversary this year. Its unique piece Bugatti Super Sport Sapphire made in rose gold. It has a case made entirely of translucent sapphire crystal.

In 2016, an interesting suite of horological developments highlights the savoir-faire that sets Audemars Piguet apart. Its unveils the new Diamond Fury, a Haute Joaillerie masterpiece bristling with attitude and a rebellious spirit while the super-light titanium Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie is a minute repeater of superior acoustic intensity.

Piaget‘s astonishing concept watch Emperador Coussin XL 700P marks the 40th anniversary of its first in-house quartz movement while the Limelight Stella is the first complication watch for  women, entirely designed and developed by its Manufactures in La Côte-aux-Fées and Geneva. The watch’s Calibre 584P is equipped with a moon phase and requires a one-day correction only after 122 years!

Embodying Jaeger-LeCoultre’s quest for the unexpected its Reverso marks its 85th anniversary this year. The Reverso Tribute watch stands out with colourful, lightly textured fine-grained dials, Dauphine-type hands, hand-applied hour-markers, and is driven by mechanical manually-wound movements, with two independent faces complete with a day/night indicator.

Luxury Maison Montblanc hosted a 110th anniversary event inspired by the great Atlantic crossings of the early 20th century. Present at it were brand ambassadors Guey Lun Mei and Hugh Jackman. Two of its most outstanding watch were the Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum Pocket Watch Limited Edition, its first pocket watch featuring a world timer function and the Montblanc 4810 ExoTourbillon Slim showcasing a new in-house movement combining the Maison’s patented ExoTourbillon complication with a quick stop-second function.

The young brand Greubel Forsey continues to surprise us. Its Double Balancier has two inclined balance wheels to optimise performance in stable positions, while the Differentiel Spherique Constant provides more steady amplitude.

Following the expansion of their Luminor collection in 2015, Officine Panerai presents their new Radiomir 1940 Collection this year with 4 new models that provide not only a larger selection of dial designs, but also a wider choice of technical features. The brand’s technical masterpiece is easily the ultra-light titanium Panerai Luminor “Lo Scienziato” Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titani boasting a skeletonized movement, GMT complication and unconventional tourbillon.

A two-­year collaborative design process with the Airbus construction facilities in France, the RM 50-02 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph AJC from Richard Mille has bright orange, yellow, and green indicators and accents criss-crossing its dial based on cockpit colors of AJC jets.

Roger Dubuis declared 2016 to be the “Year of the Velvet Diva” by focusing on a collection of ladies watches called, Velvet. Celebrating femininity and glamour, the five-watch collection combines high jewels powered by robust automatic movements.

Vacheron Constantin is reinventing one of its iconic collections, Overseas. Created in a spirit of casual elegance and practicality, five new models (12 references) equipped with Manufacture movements – including three new calibres – embody the new generation of self-winding timepieces inspired by the spirit of travel.

Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Nuit Lumineuse watch has diamonds that light up like stars using a mechanical power source. The numbered edition Jour Nuit Fée Ondine 38 mm watch has a 24-hour movement animates an enchanting scene. Thanks to the dial’s rotating disc turning a full circle in 24 hours – the sun looks down on the scene from dawn to dusk, before dipping beneath the horizon to make way for a spellbinding full moon.