Interestingly, the hour markers are spoken to by an exceptionally peculiar, to some degree shortened …
The heaviest: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2
No, we didn’t weigh it. And, because this is a concept model, the brand didn’t want to reveal any figures. But there is no contest. Once it’s on the wrist, it’s impossible not to sense the huge amount of platinum that has gone into making the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar. The weight is particularly noticeable given the watch’s extreme slenderness, which is perfectly appreciable to the eye.
The longest: Cartier Panthère Triple Loop
The Panthère Triple Loop is exceedingly long, coiling three times around the wrist – four on daintier frames. Some of our colleagues even had a go at wearing it around their necks… And although it was quite hard to read in that position, it was an excellent fit.
The highest flier: Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Les Aérostiers
These watches commemorate aerial feats from three hundred years ago. The five series of five Métiers d’Art watches illustrate the original aerostats, history’s first and most spectacular hot air balloons. In addition to the elevation associated with their noble theme, the execution is of an extremely lofty standard.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak RD#2 – Cartier Panthère Triple Loop – Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Aérostiers © David Chokron/Worldtempus
The flashiest: Hermès Arceau Casaque
Light, colour, energy and a shot of vitamin C. Hermès, not generally known for its exuberance, has scored a coup with this series of watches in zingy colours. There’s green, red and blue, but it’s the yellow that stands out the most, and probably works the best. In fact, we have rarely seen a dial that is so gaudy and so much fun.
The thinnest: Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept
Two – yes, two! – millimetres. And that’s for the whole watch, not just the movement! In profile, this concept watch by Piaget is the same width as its strap. Granted, it’s just a prototype. But it works! When the company succeeds in translating the extraordinary achievements of this incredible timepiece into saleable watches, be prepared to see exclamation marks at the end of every sentence.
The most macho: Ulysse Nardin Diver Deep Dive
Sharp corners, chunky proportions, sticky-out bits and a plethora of manly details. At a SIHH dominated by restrained elegance and quiet good taste, the new extreme diver from Ulysse Nardin is something of a weightlifter. And that’s a good thing. Because it would be a dull world if it was all curves and consensus. Sometimes you need a bit of bite – like the tooth of a hammerhead shark, the emblem of this watch, and of several previous collections.
Hermès Arceau Casaque – Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept – Ulysse Nardin Diver Deep Dive © David Chokron/Worldtempus
The most robust: Richard Mille RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough
Pablo Mac Donough explained it well: polo is rougher than American football, and yet it is played without any protection. And while he takes his life in his hands every time he rides onto the field (that’s no exaggeration), his watch is far better equipped than he is to deal with shocks. TPT carbon case, laminated sapphire crystal that would need a hammer to crack it, and an ultra-light tourbillon movement suspended on cables. So, any volunteers to put this €900,000 watch through its paces?
The most poetic: Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Nuit Féerique
Van Cleef & Arpels strikes again, with the obligatory touch of magical delicacy. With this new work, part of the Cadrans Extraordinaires line, the jewellery-watchmaker casts another spell over the world. A fairy reaches for a comet in the night sky… simply magical.
I also need to call out that, for all of the airy-ness of the plan, it still comes in at a rather hefty 13.75mm thick – guess all those gears have to hide somewhere (hint: it is vertically). That apart, for people who want an wonderful bit of timekeeping architecture on their wrist, the 20-piece edition of this Roger Dubuis Exalibur Spider Americas Edition can be obtained at their New York boutique in a cost of $167,500, in Roger Dubuis 545 Madison Avenue, New York. So this is something fresh from Roger Dubuis, also it is not merely a very impressive looking pocket watch, but also something which the Swiss luxury watch brand hopes will be a new tradition for them. Known only as the Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime pocket watch, this item is a one-of-a-kind production based on a difficult restoration job of a classic pocket watch movement. In fact, “millesime” in French simply means “classic” Roger Dubuis has announced that they’ll produce one such bit unique “restored classic” watch annually and that those items will be available for sale only in Roger Dubuis brand stalls around the globe. That sounds like a fairly good way of getting folks in stores, or at least the stores that have these products. This Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime will live at the forthcoming Roger Dubuis brand boutique in Geneva, scheduled to open in July of 2015. As the first of its kind, the Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime needs to garner a lot of attention if Roger Dubuis is to justify the new group. Though the price for your Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime will not be exactly what folks consider cheap, it did require massive quantities of time and effort for only 1 object.According into Roger Dubuis, Mr. Roger Dubuis himself gifted a classic pocket watch movement to the firm for them to restore and flip in the Roger Dubuis Hommage Millesime. It would be somewhat unfair for the movement in this pocket watch to be identified only as something which was decorated and restored. Roger Dubuis claims to have added some attributes to the motion too. They call the movement the Roger Dubuis caliber RD181, and aren’t particularly open with who made it in the first place or what year the motion was created. I understand that Roger Dubuis wants to maintain focus on itself and its own accomplishments, however when they mention time and time again that the motion was subject to a thorough restoration project it is almost unfair to those interested parties to fail mentioning anything associated with the history of the motion or its roots.
Most transparent: Girard-Perregaux Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton
The three-dimensional volumes already made this watch an aerial wonder. By excavating the mainplate, the watchmaker has made this architectural watch into something of a suspension bridge, which is no bad thing, given that it has three bridges stretched over its vital organs.
Richard Mille RM 53-01 Tourbillon Pablo Mac Donough – Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Nuit Féerique – Girard-Perregaux Neo-Tourbillon With Three Bridges Skeleton © David Chokron/Worldtempus
The biggest: Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch
Measuring 60 mm in diameter and 21 mm deep, this pocket watch owes its great depth to the compass hidden in the back, and its diameter to the immense Minerva calibre that drives it. Held in the hand (prior to being slipped into a pocket), the piece is imposing, although thanks to the use of titanium, not excessively heavy.
Most complicated: Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT
If the most complicated watch at the SIHH is to be found at the Panerai booth, it is because other brands have gone off in a different horological direction, at least for the time being. We’re not complaining. It features more astronomical complications than you can shake a stick at, a vertically rotating tourbillon, a ghost date, and on-demand production to ensure the correct location for calculation of the equation of time.
Most historic: Ferdinand Berthoud Régulateur FB 1R.6-1
For the 6th variant on its exquisitely finished constant force tourbillon movement, La Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud offers a design that is faithful to the drawings and original creations of the man who inspired the brand. It is reminiscent of a dashboard instrument, offering a unique way of telling the time.
Montblanc 1858 Pocket Watch – Panerai L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT – Ferdinand Berthoud Régulateur FB 1R.6-1 © David Chokron/Worldtempus
Most ephemeral: Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli Automatic Skeleton Medium White
It will be available for only two months. After no more than 88 have been produced, this skeleton watch will be removed from the shops and replaced with a different colour variation. The next watch will enjoy the same lifecycle, before making way for its successor. And if all 88 have not been sold, that’s just too bad.
The tallest: HYT H20
It’s partly a design choice, but it’s mainly the consequence of how the movement is structured. With its fluid display model, HYT tends not to skimp on the depth. The latest, more minimalist iteration of the H2 measures 19.95 mm under the caliper (with a diameter of 51 mm). Thankfully, the back is highly ergonomic, which makes it, if not exactly comfortable, at least fitted to the wrist.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli Automatic Skeleton Medium White – HYT H20 © David Chokron/Worldtempus