VIDEO: What we learnt at SIHH - Day 1
In the watch industry the Salon International de Haute Horologerie (SIHH) is a big deal. Held every January in Geneva, this convention is put on by the timepiece brands that fall under the umbrella of the luxury goods goliath Richemont (and a few independents).
This year sees the 27th edition of the watch fair and its biggest one yet, so we sent our man to camp out at the show for its duration so that we can get an on-the-ground, daily round-up of FIVE things you need to know:
1. Seems like a good place to hibernate
When travelling to Europe over the winter it is paramount to check the weather forecast. Naturally, being at the foot of the Alps, Geneva can get pretty darn cold in January. Upon landing it was -4C, and therefore no time to messing around with outdoor sightseeing around Lake Geneva. In a genius bit of timing from creators of the convention, the weather is perfect to entice you into the warmth of the convention centre where for 4 days food, champagne and wi-fi are certainly not in short supply.
2. Shooting for the stars
Astronomy is the main theme for mega fancy watchmakers Vacheron Constantin in 2017. The showstopper was the launch of its Celestia Astronomical piece (5-years in the making!) which has a mind-bending number of complications, including a perpetual calendar, moon face, day-night, 3D moon positioning and, most importantly, a solar time indicator that will show the wearer the exact position of the sun throughout the year as told by the Gregorian calendar.
We were also super-impressed by the Maison's Copernicus collection. Named after the great astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, three beautiful limited-edition timepieces have been created that are more akin to works of art than watches, considering the work that has gone into making them. The Baroque-inspired engraving is miniscule and even at a glance is clear the sheer amount of work that has gone into creating them.
3. The sound of gold
'Honey gold', is a term you might not have heard before, but it is a patented metal from the German watchmaker A. Lange & Sohne. The metal that is a merge of pink and yellow gold is at the heart of the brand's new Zietwerk Decimal Strike. This latest edition of Lange's hugely impressive minute repeater (which chimes every tenth of an hour) means that it not only looks the part, but the chiming of the watch sounds different, due to the make-up of the material. Impressive, if not rather pricey.
4. Introducing the Gentlesportsmen
Tapping further into its connection with the sporting world Swiss watchmaker Baume & Mercier has released its new male-focused range, the Clifton Club. Labeling it a 'Tribute to the gentlesportsmen' the brand is going to focus on FIVE pieces that have a refined look, but robust in build. Competitively priced at CHF2,000 (approx AED7,500), these are bang on trend for what is currently popular in the Middle East.
5. Bold moves
If there was ever a time to make big moves it’s at SIHH, well, that’s according to Panerai. The Italian brand has brought a lot to the table this year, but announcing itself as the official watches of the America’s Cup, but we were more impressed by the launch of the Lab-ID. This special edition watch comes with a Carbotech case and needs no for of lubrication to keep it running. So confident is the watchmaker of its timekeeping ability that it has added a 50 year guarantee on any piece that is delivered. Bold move indeed.