The A. LANGE & SOHNE Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase is impressive for its longevity. It can accurately track the lunar cycle for an uninterrupted 122.6 years, far exceeding the lifespan of any of its owners. Reality is another important element of this watch. The large moon phase display is connected to the hour-wheel continuum, meaning that it is in constant motion, just like the real moon, with an accuracy of 99.9978 percent. Much work has been put into the moon phase display, with craftsmen developing a patent-pending coating process that brings the hues of the night sky to life, set with more than 300 laser-cut stars.
The new range of refined yet sporty BAUME & MERCIER Clifton Chronographs takes inspiration from dress watches of the 1950s, an era of watchmaking that Baume & Mercier describes as golden. The 2014 interpretations have been supersized to 43mm and fitted with a chronograph movement. To emphasise the dress aspect of these sporty watches, the straps of choice are brown or black alligator or polished and satin-finished steel.
The AUDEMARS PIGUET Tourbillon Royal Oak Concept GMT takes the use of ceramics in watch design to a whole new level. Not only has the smooth, white, scratchproof material been deployed for the bezel, crown and pushers, it has also, in a first for the brand, been used to create the upper plate. And to keep collectors blood pressure levels sufficiently high, the watch also flexes the muscles of its in-house watchmakers with a twin-barrel, manually wound proprietary movement with tourbillon and GMT.
The MONTBLANC ExoTourbillon Rattrapante is, according to the brand, representative of a horology world first. What makes this timepiece so special, apart from a particularly good-looking dial, is that it claims to offer an unprecedented combination of horological complications. Complications include a large balance positioned outside the tourbillons rotating cage, a chronograph with split-second function and a three-dimensional regulator dial in gold and grand feu enamel. It also shows a second time zone and has a day/night indicator.
The 2014 family of Aquatimer divers watches offers up a new protege in the form of the first watch within this line to offer a perpetual calendar movement, The IWC Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar with Digital Date-Month. The watch is fitted with proprietary movement 89801, and with a case diameter of 49mm it is the second-largest watch ever created by the brand (the 1940 Big Pilots Watch still holds on to first place). Other highlights of the new Aquatimer lines include the use of bronze for the first time, the Aquatimer Deep Three with mechanical depth gauge and watches designed to honour the Charles Darwin Foundation, a scientific institution set up to promote and protect the ecology of the Galapagos Islands.
The PANERAI Luminor 1950 Left-Handed 3 Days is a very traditional design with a less traditional twist. The new watch has been crafted in house at the brands own manufacture. The classic 1950 case has been updated with a subtle cusped shape but the real difference is that the winding crown and crown protector are on the left-hand side rather than the right. Another twist, this time historical, is that the glass is not sapphire but Plexiglas, which is closer to the polymethyl methacrylate used in the archive models.
The RALPH LAUREN Flying Tourbillon takes its inspiration from the glamorous world of motorsports in general and one very special car in particular. That vehicle is the 1938 Type 57SC Bugatti Atlantic Coupe, a car owned by the fashion brands eponymous founder. To capture the spirit of the automobile, the designers at Ralph Lauren have used elm burlwood to create an outer dial, choosing the same wood as used on the Bugatti dashboard. And to prove that this is a horological wonder as well as a nicely themed watch, an aperture at 6 o clock gives pride of place to a flying tourbillon that has been supported only at the bottom of the cage to make it appear as though suspended.
The VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Midnight Planetarium Poetic Complication is a truly extraordinary watch, bringing the wonder of a planetarium to the wrist. The dial of the watch delivers a miniature representation of the movements of Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn around the sun and shows their position at any given time. The planets are set in motion thanks to a self-winding mechanical movement equipped with an exclusive module developed in partnership with the Maison Christiaan van der Klaauw that contains 396 separate parts. The movement of each planet is true to its genuine length of orbit: it will take Saturn more than 29 years to make a complete circuit of the dial, while Jupiter will take almost 12 years, Mars 687 days, Earth 365 days, Venus 224 days and Mercury 88 days. As we said, an extraordinary timepiece.
At SIHH PARMIGIANI revealed the fruits of its collaboration with Italian jewellery brand Pomellato, the Parmigiani Pomellato Tonda. The ornamental collection makes use of warm rose gold for cases that surround silk-screened arabesque motif dials. Hermes calfskin leather has been used for the straps and the watches make nods to Pomellatos jewellery expertise with the use of diamonds on the case and dial and ruby cabochons set into the crowns. One version of the watch even has a dial crafted from solid turquoise in homage to the brands Capri collection of jewels.
The VACHERON CONSTANTIN Collection Excellence Platine was introduced in 2006 as a collection of exceptional watches crafted to titillate collectors. Making its debut at SIHH as part of this line up was a platinum version of the Malte Tourbillon. The watch was first created in 2012 in pink gold but now this even more precious version, with sandblasted solid platinum dial and polished platinum case, has become available. Like its predecessor it carries a proprietary tonneau-shaped movement tailored to the curves of the case. The exceptionally well finished toubillon carriage takes inspiration from the Maltese cross and uses intricate craftsmanship, such as the French art of bercage filing, that has made this timepiece worthy of its Poincon de Geneve hallmark.
The ability to pause time has become a popular theme with watchmakers of late, no doubt offering some light relief in a world obsessed with milliseconds. RICHARD MILLE has now joined in on the act with the RM 63-01 Dizzy Hands. It is a watch that promises to bust stress by allowing wearers to put a pause on time while relaxing, say on holiday or out with friends for a drink. Rather than just stay still, as is the case with other timepieces offering this function, the hands of the watch perform what the brand describes as a ballet when time is on pause; the sapphire glass dial begins to slowly rotate counter-clockwise, as the hour hand moves clockwise, both at different speeds. When it is time to get back to reality, a push of a button in the centre of the crown will bring the watch back to the correct time.