The annual Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, Switzerland celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Known as the event where prominent luxury watchmakers launch groundbreaking new models, and the place to spot trends in fine watch buying for the year to come, it’s like fashion week for the fine watch industry. This year, 16 ‘Maisons’ will be presenting, including Cartier, IWC, Audemars Piguet and Baume & Mercier. We turned to our fine watch expert, Senior Category Director Michael Groffenberger, for an SIHH 2015 preview, and he’s rounded up six standout timepieces to know about before the event.
1. The Cartier Reversed Tourbillon
“Cartier continues to push the envelope of fine watchmaking with this new piece,” says Groffenberger. “It is exciting to see such a storied jewelry house focusing on innovative watchmaking.”
2. The IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar
“The annual calendar function is one of the more useful complications you can have in a fine watch,” claims Groffenberger. “I like that IWC released it in their classic, best-selling collection, the Portuguese.”
3. The IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Pure Classic
For those who appreciate minimalism and purity of design over complex complications, IWC’s newest offering in its already understated Portofino line “dispenses with any form of embellishment and was designed, purely and simply, to show the time of day.”
4. The Panerai Ceramic 1950 Flyback Chronograph
“Panerai’s continued focus on bringing more of their manufacturing process under their management is exciting,” says Groffenberger. “I think the new chronograph movement is a big step in the right direction. I also like the ceramic case, and the overall aesthetic of the piece, as I think it is something that can be worn and take a beating.”
5. The Jaeger Le-Coultre Master Calendar Meteorite Dial
In addition to the day, date, month and phase of the moon subdial of its predecessors, JLC’s pre-SIHH release features dials which have each been uniquely fashioned from sections of a meteorite which fell to Earth in Sweden.
6. The Piaget Altiplano Chronograph
Piaget has outdone itself again this year, introducing another thinnest-in-its-category watch, the Altiplano Chronograph. Another timepiece notable for its less-is-more approach, its hand-wound flyback chronograph movement clocks in at a mere 4.65mm thick, a feat of design you can see through its clear caseback.