Watch heaven: the most striking timepieces from SIHH 2015

Imaginations have been running wild in Geneva this week, as the 25th edition of Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie takes place.

Neil Churchill January 21, 2015

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon (above)
We can't say no to a skeleton watch here at EDGAR, and this updated iteration of the Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon has immediately become one of our favourites. Taking five years to develop, without a dial the movement is held in place by three supports, two of which are shaped as Roman numerals to mark 6 and 12 o'clock.

The result is a perfect view of the movement, balance wheel and spring as they oscillate within the toubillon housing. What we really like is the balance bridge - shaped like an arrow - cleverly points to the chapter ring as it rotates to indicate the seconds. Genius.

Limited to 100 pieces in white gold, 20 in platinum, and five with a diamond studded bracelet.

SIHH Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Spherotourbillon Moon Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Spherotourbillon Moon
After unveiling its Master Calendar Meteorite Dial, most would think Jaeger-LeCoultre would be done for SIHH this year. But they then went and unveiled this: the stunning Duometre Spherotourbillon Moon.

Based on two main innovations - the duometre and the spherotoubillon - the watch's dual wing concept means that one spring drives the hours, minutes and second while another drives the moon-phase indicator. Both are linked to their own power reserve, and when fully wound will run for 50 hours. When the moon-phase is properly adjusted it will remain accurate for 3,887 years - we can't even do the maths of how many grandchildren this watch could be owned by before it goes out of sync.

If you've got the wallet to snap up this incredible piece, then be quick - only 75 will be made.

SIHH Panerai watch. Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic 47mm PAM00616
It might not be a name that rolls off the tongue, but boy oh boy, is Panerai’s latest watch easy on the eye. The Luminor Submersible is the subject of the Italian brand’s latest bid for originality with the creation of ‘carbotech’– a carbon-fibre-based material that is ultra-strong, anticorrosive and hypoallergenic.

Because Carbotech is made by compressing thin layers of carbon fibre together, each piece is unique thanks to the uneven matt black finish it gives to the casing. Under the hood, the timepiece houses Panerai’s P. 9000 calibre movement, an automatic with a 72-hour power reserve.

IWC at SIHH 2015. IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Annual Calendar
Carrying on the IWC tradition of dedicating its vast resources developing and marketing one of its collections, it has nicknamed this year ‘the year of the Portugieser’. The new timepiece is the watchmaker’s first annual calendar and after five years in development, it displays the month, date and day in separate, semicircular windows at 12 o’clock.

Its twin-barrelled in-house movement is new — Calibre 52850 is an automatic with a formidable seven-day power reserve, as indicated on the dial. 

Montblanc Timewalker Urban Speed
After a year of lofty declarations – mainly from the Apple and Samsung offices – about the impending rise of Smartwatch, the timepiece industry has been given a seismic jolt with regards to future proofing their products.

Taking heed, and the lead, of this warning from Palo Alto is the unlikely form of uber-traditionalists Montblanc, with the introduction of its TimeWalker Urban Speed e-Strap. However, the watchmaker has been careful to not simply create a knockoff iWatch competitor, but instead develop the e-Strap, a smartwatch strap that can be attached to different watches, which Montblanc believes will be a first step towards long-term relevance in a fast-evolving sector.

The Italian-made piece of leather is texturised to look like carbon fibre connected to a tiny OLED touchscreen that sits on the inside of the wearer’s wrist providing a variety of functions and notifications.

 SIHH A. Lange & Sohne A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater
In the world of haute horologie, the Minute Repeater complication is the pinnacle. But being A. Lange & Sohne, this is more than just your average repeater. The Zeitwerk Minute Repeater is the first mechanical watch that combines a jumping numerals display with a decimal minute repeater.

What that means is that unlike other repeaters that chime every hour and quarter hour, it will chime every hour (low-pitched tone), 10 minutes (double tone) and then minutes (high-pitched tone) – making it easier to audibly recognise the time.

SIHH Baume and Mercier. Baume & Mercier Clifton Grande Date
Taking inspiration from the elegant 1950s style timepieces, the 43mm diametre watch focuses on the uncluttered essentials, and does so very well indeed. But it is not just the aesthetics that grab the attention, the mechanical self-winding calibre enables the introduction of a Big Date and 40-hour Power Reserve complications.

The watch’s caseback displays its mechanical automatic movement and oscillating weight engraved with the Greek letter Phi— a symbol portrayed in the brand’s logo and representing the Swiss house’s design concept of Divine Proportion.