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March 2019

SIHH 2019

  • À l’heure du futur




As the first trade show of the year, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is an excellent sign-poster of coming timewear trends. We clocked in to 

Having opened to the public in 2017, the SIHH continues to reinvent itself; the 29th show was even more connected, drawing millions of viewings on social media. One aspect of this opening up was the show's newly optimised app so as many as possible might enjoy the "live" experience. The result? Positive: 23,000 visitors.

Millennials targeted
In the alleys it seemed that winning over the millennials was top priority. For this, Audemars Piguet, whose mythic Royal Oak already draws them, presented a new collection named Code 11.59. Delivering technical and aesthetic complexity in a direct, modern message, this watch has everything going for it: choice of dial colours plus versions to please all comers, from simple three-hander to flying tourbillon via chronograph and skeletonised. Yes, the luxury players have figured that if they win the hearts of generations Y or Z they bring the parents with them! So when not inventing more pragmatic and less costly models, the manufactures innovate for the benefit of that demanding public. Girard-Perregaux presented a brand new material, Carbon Glass, while Piaget is celebrating its Polo's 40th birthday with versions in diamond-set red gold or elegant nuances of green, and Jaeger-LeCoultre banks on ageless elegance with three new Master Ultra Thin Enamel watches with a hand-guillochéd blue enamel dial.

Poetry, gourmandise, eroticism
A more romantic ambience at Hermès, which invites us to contemplate the heavens via its Arceau L’Heure de la Lune: on a meteorite or aventurine face, two floating dials move over two mother-of-pearl moons, a feat achieved by means of an exclusive patented module. At Richard Mille, the unbridled imagination of creative director Cécile Guenat is going to thrill today's pampered youth, with her deliciously regressive Bonbon collection reinventing our conception of artistic crafts such as high-fire enamelling. The artisan beauty is inescapable but the traditional vocabulary has been ousted – forget flora and fauna motifs, here we have our childhood sweeties, with a special mention for the RM 07-03 Marshmallow and RM 16-01 Liquorice. Pleasures are X-rated at Ulysse Nardin, who brought that master of erotic cartoons, Milo Manara, on board to imagine a series of 10 voluptuous timepieces. And moving up a gear, Roger Dubuis has caused a sensation by signing a partnership with Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Pirelli; the ménage à trois has produced a real speedball, the grande complication Excalibur One-Off.

Limitless creativity
Fantasy is part of the cheery MB&F band's DNA, their leitmotiv translated by the idea that "a creative adult is a child who survived." Not content with unveiling a clock in Murano glass, created in partnership with L’Epée 1839, the manufacture revisits the watch-as-object through eye-catching futuristic designs. Good news for girls: its first ladies model is out this spring. In the independent watchmakers' Carré des Horlogers creativity knew no bounds. Very notable was H. Moser & Cie's hugely symbolic Nature Watch with its dial made of stone and lichen from the Swiss Alps and a grass strap. This extraordinary timepiece flags up the manufacture's commitment to Responsible Jewellery Council conditions, which among other things require the use of
fair-trade raw materials only. Impressively but rather less oneirically, Ressence's Type 2 e-Crown brings mechanical movement and new technologies together. Equally technically stunning is Armin Strom's Dual Time Resonance that uses resonance physics to enable two independent regulators connected by a clutch spring to stabilize each other.

1) Née d’une relation à trois, entre Roger Dubuis, Lamborghini Squadra Corse et Pirelli, la montre Excalibur One-Off - 2)Swiss Alp Watch Concept Black (ci-dessus) ou Nature Watch… l’approche philosophique de H. Moser & Cie fait parler d’elle - 3) Nouvelle esthétique chez Audemars Piguet avec la collection Code 11.59 - 4) Design carrossé et performance technique chez MB&F avec la HM6 Final Edition - 5) La dernière-née de Hermès, la montre Arceau L’Heure de la lune est tout simplement captivante ! - 6)  Elégante, la Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Emanel de Jaeger-LeCoultre - 7) Irrésistibles, les montres Marshmallow et Réglisse de Richard Mille ont attiré tous les regards au SIHH - 8) 40 ans et pas une ride pour la Polo de Piaget qui profite de cet anniversaire pour révéler de nouveaux looks.

Par Julie de los Rios