Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2012


We are heading fast towards a new year – time seams to be zipping by while we are eagerly awaiting to find out what 2012 has to offer. Luckily, as early as January 16th, watch lovers will satisfy their curiosity at the SIHH show in Geneva. Though this is officially a private show (inviting 12,500 privileged guests accompanied by 1,200 journalists) we will certainly be informed of what our favorite top brands have in mind for us in the year to come. But until then, we will take a look into the “Pre SIHH” models which are already widely spoken about.

Let’s start from the Jaege-LeCoultre Duomètre à Quantème Luniare 40.5. Apart from the dial diameter (which was shrunk from 42 mm to 40.5 mm), the most obvious change in comparison to the previous version of this watch is that the dial is completely closed i.e. you cannot see the inside of the watch any more. This might be a bit disappointing for people who like open parts of the watch. Luckily, the jumping seconds hand at the bottom and the hour and minutes and moon phases sub-dials are still there.

Maybe some fans will be disappointed because of the loss of the viewable mechanism

With the Patrimony Traditionelle 14-Days Tourbillon we can see part of the mechanism but this is not the main reason why collectors are excited about this piece. It is in fact the simplicity of it. For a powerful tourbillon it does look plain but this just contributes to its elegance. What is innovative about this piece is that it is powered by an energy source composed of four barrels which guarantees you up to 14 days of autonomy!

Marriage of class and power

Marriage of class and power

And now we come to the superlative when it comes to seeing the mechanism. You might say that all “skin and tissue” had been strapped off this timepiece and only the skeleton remained. I present you – the Piaget Altiplano! Be sure to notice how thin the watch is in the bottom right picture!

Naked to the bone

Naked to the bone

Next is a little treat for enthusiasts interested in a different aspect of watch making. Girard-Perregaux 1966 Equation of Time is a state-of-the-art model which automatically changes months with regard to the month’s length. Furthermore, there is the hand between the fourth and fifth numeral which shows the difference between the solar time and civil time. Namely, the length of the solar day is changing on a daily basis because of the elliptical shape of the Earth’s orbit. Intrigued?

The machine that truly tells the time

The machine that truly tells the time

A bit more down to earth is the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Retrograde Annual Calendar. Everything is about the dial of this timepiece, but it is nevertheless nicely spread. The most prominent feature are the dates, displayed in large Arabic numerals on the edge of the dial. Only odd numbers are displayed though. At the three o’clock position we have the month sub-dial (also numerical), at nine o’clock the day sub-dial and at six o’clock the recognizable moonphase display which accounts for both the Northern and the Southern Hemisphere.

Legible and precise time teller

Legible and precise time teller

Here I’ve displayed just some of the timepieces for you, enough to get you started. We are all looking forward to the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. I hope those lucky enough to get invited will share their experiences with us mortals! :)

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