A week has passed since SIHH, we’ve endured the 24-hour commute back to the office and the jetlag has finally receded. With the help of space, time and some icy cold locally brewed beverages (this list is brought to you by Furphy Refreshing Ale) the hundreds of watches we saw are beginning to come into clearer focus.
But not in the usual ‘best and worst’ fashion, we’re challenging ourselves to ask deeper, more curious questions, like, just why did they release that? How long to save until we can buy that? And why do we feel so much love for that one? Read on for our off-the-cuff overview of SIHH 2016.
AM: Cartier Drive collection
What? The Clé de Cartier just dropped, we were waiting for it on steel (which also happened at this SIHH to almost no fanfare) and then the Drive arrives, a completely new shape and idea for Cartier. A very handsome shape and a very good idea I suspect; a sports watch that expertly balances elegance and masculinity with a sleek (not epically large) case profile.
FS: Parmagiani Fleurier Chronor Anniversaire
Parmagiani are an oddball of the industry, and not everyone takes to their quirky designs. But I was floored at how good looking their integrated split-second chronograph with big date executed in solid gold was. Not bad for their first chronograph movement.
AM: IWC Pilot’s Collection
Not necessarily expected in a predictable, negative way, but expected nonetheless – the pillar story of IWC will strongly support the brand in 2016.
FS: Panerai’s Collection
New dial finishes and Vendome-era re-issues are all well and good, but OP are playing it safe this year.
AM: A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moonphase
The dream of owning a Lange became a little bit more real with the release of this watch (priced at $40kAUD), and the relative value of perhaps owning one with a complication – for an almost negligible premium over their previous entry level price – is a heady vision indeed. The ergonomics and design of the piece are unimpeachable, and the 40mm case size is perfection. Nuances like the laser etched moonphase disc only reiterate that you’re getting something very special, at any price point, with this extraordinary brand.
FS: Sherman by MB&F
A desk clock that looks like the robot from Lost in Space and is named after a WWII tank – what’s not to love? Classic MB&F
AM: Piaget Emperador Coussin XL 700P
I get that it’s a cool concept, but it’s largely owned by Seiko Spring Drive and it had the watch community crying for a direct comparison – the aesthetics are also lovely, but strange, as the module is proudly revealed on the dial side.
FS: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore divers
Do we really need more AP ROO’s?
What everyone was talking about
AM: A. Lange Söhne
Lange, Lange, Lange. Everywhere, all the time, talking about Lange.
FS: IWC Pilot’s Collection
IWC are the masters at building buzz, and this year’s Pilot’s collection was no exception.
Most likely impulse buy
AM: Montblanc Twin Counter
The master watchmaker at Montblanc (ex Minerva) Julien Miribel was talking up the relative value of this piece (at $2845 USD) on day one. After an inspection, the strip on my credit card was warming of its own accord – lovely dial symmetry, tasteful combo of Arabics and simple indices, let me count the ways. And not count out too much cash to own it.
FS: IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII
It’s got classic looks, great quality and a very reasonable price – what’s not to like?
AM: Vacheron Constantin Overseas
Yes, it’s absolutely a worthy new contender to the ultra rarefied pantheon of the super-luxe-steel-sports-watch (next to the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Royal Oak) and the strap inclusions and easy-change strap system is BRILLIANT. But, and there is a big ol’ but, it’s definitely at a super-luxe-steel-sports-watch price point of circa 30k.
FS: IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”
Sure, it’s a very pretty watch, and that rotor is adorable, but the annual calendar is unbalanced in the Big Pilot’s big dial.
Our office manager Katie wasn’t on the ground in the halls – but her pick from afar is the new IWC Pilot’s Automatic 36, a perfect everyday piece with a touch of glam thanks to the starburst anthracite dial.
Our videographer spent most of his time at SIHH looking through a viewfinder, and has developed a pretty serious crush on Germany’s finest. And by finest we mean the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon.