On the road to BaselWorld 2014 I decided to make a list of my absolute top favorites from the recent SIHH 2014 exposition in Geneva. As I was going from booth to booth, from a meeting to a meeting it was really hard to gather thoughts and choose the best watches on the spot; however as time went by I reviewed (literally) all of the novelties from the fair and came up with a small list of mine to show you what really stood out for me. And while some pieces appealed immediately others took their time to get used to.
Best Watches from SIHH 2014 – So let’s begin!
First of all I will be splitting this into a two-part article, so that you are not overwhelmed with information and can take it in properly. I would like to stat with a brand known to probably all of you reading this – Audemars Piguet. And while most have reviewed and talked about the new white ceramic concept I really want to underline another watch – the Tourbillon Chronograph.
Many have complained that the pieces AP has come up with have already been introduced, and these aren’t novelties but rather additions to the already existing collections. I don’t disagree with that statement, but (I think) neither does Audemars Piguet, as their slogan for the past couple of years has been ‘To break the rules You must first master them.” – and that is precisely what they do, even though we’ve already seen the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph in rose gold and carbon (bezel) I really don’t mind them ‘mastering’ the rules by coming out with an even cooler version of it in Platinum and light blue tones. Even though it is the exact same watch it has a completely different feel and look to it. The rubber strap, the color scheme and the feel of the material make it more sporty and ‘Offshore-ish’ than the more conceptual and classy Rose Gold original.
So for the ones who don’t know what the watch is about it features a 2 pusher chronograph (with a 30 minute counter at 3 o’clock) as well as a one-minute tourbillon located at 9 o’clock. While the model isn’t a limited edition there will be a very few of them made (around 2 per country, per year), and the price tag is going to be somewhere in the 300’000 $.
Another great and very known brand Vacheron Constantin shows us yet another great tourbillon, but unlike the sporty AP it’s one of the classiest watches I’ve ever seen – the new Malte Tourbillon Openworked. Many have seen Vacheron’s Malte tourbillons; personally (even though I love the brand) I’ve always found that model to be a little bit boring… No More! With the new vision for VC this year they’ve decided to open their watches and expose the movements for everyone to see what really stands behind the classy white dials. And I urge you to check out their other openworked novelties as they all have that new awesome look to them – there really is something about traditional skeletonized watches that makes me go crazy ? I want to specifically accent the Malte Tourbillon as to me it’s the ultimate skeletonized watch – there is absolutely nothing unnecessary as the master has cut out any unneeded part of the metal used in the movement and only left the useful bridges and wheels (which took him over 70 hours to do). At 1 o’clock you can still see the date wheel, even with the dial being ‘invsible’ and at 11 o’clock you can see the power reserve indicator. The tourbillon itself, located at 6 o’clock also has a seconds hand, and the dial overall is very easily readable.
And finally, to sum up this first part of my top picks are the 2 novelties from De Bethune. I did not want to, and nor am I able to select one of the two presented new watches over the other one as they are very different and both interesting for different reasons. You should probably know – DeBethune officially was not a part of the SIHH 2014, yet as most of the independent brands it was located at the Four Seasons hotel, in a very nice and spacious room that actually looked much better than some of the SIHH booths! That being said let’s get to the watches:
First one is the DB28 Digitale, which is a different take on everyone’s favorite DB28 model, with adjustable lugs system and a round casing made of titanium. The watch is very interesting as it features 3 completely different ways of showing time: the jumping hours are displayed in a little window at 12 o’clock, just beneath a retrograde disk of minutes that takes half of the dial space from 9 to 3 o’clock, and right in the middle there’s a 3D moon phase ball, that is made of 2 materials and is said to be accurate for a thousand years! Apart from that the dial is very beautifully decorated with the guilloche pattern and a blue-sky representation around the minutes disk.
And the second timepiece from the brand – the Dream Watch 5, looks as a radically different model from the DB28 (and of course it is, with its own movement and casing) but in its core it is just the same thing! Just like the Digitale it has the minute disk, the jumping hours and a 3D moonphase, but constructed in a completely different fashion. As well as that the weird at first shape of the watch case is actually inspired by the movements of the DeBethune watches (if you take a look at their case-backs you’ll see the similarity). That being said I think the Dream Watch 5 (DW5) is really not a timepiece for everyone, it is for the admirers of haute-horologerie and hi-tech, who also WANT to spend a couple of hundred thousand dollars on a futuristic watch and not care what others think about their wristwear, because if you want everyone to look at your writst and recognize the brand or see how much money you have this one is not going to seal the deal; otherwise put – this is for the ‘Secret Billionaire’ type ?
Hope you’ve enjoyed my picks from the SIHH 2014, and next time I’ll show you some more of the watches I remembered and loved from the passed exposition. Credits © Photo Watch-Anish.