Van Cleef & Arpels presents poetic astrology for a demure wrist, Cartier updates the iconic Santos with digital features, Ulysse Nardin channels the inner freak, and more from SIHH 2018.
Day 2 of the annual horology mecca saw timely updates of classics, daring aesthetic innovation, and growth of the non-magnetic camp. It’s also worth noting that these models are increasingly gender-neutral, or updated with women in mind.
Salon International de Haute Horlogerie continues to bring excitement to watchmakers, retailers, and aficionados alike – and is it any surprise with timepieces like these?
Here are our top five picks from SIHH 2018 Day 2.
Slimmer and more inclusive, Cartier's flagship is making waves this year in dual styles and case sizes. The square face synonymous with Santos has been updated with 'lips' connecting bezel with bracelet, but trademark exposed screws are here to stay. A classic piece with a modern facelift, it is also pleasantly legible thanks to the plain dial, given a pop of colour by blued steel hands. Cartier is jumping on the anti-magnetic tech train using non-magnetic alloys and magnetic shield over the movement. With a two-day power reserve, the new Santos features QuickSwitch and SmartLink tech, too. Cartier Santos skeletons are also worth a mention, being the first time it comes in a steel case. This beauty will be available in April for $6,850 to $43,200.
Hermès Arceau Chrono Titane
For its first time at SIHH, Montres Hermès brought this self-winding titanium model from its Arceau line that evokes the equestrian spirit. Its most notable feature? 41mm bead-blasted titanium case, complemented by asymmetrical lugs recalling stirrups, and rounded piston-type pushers. Its strap comes in tan or black embossed Barenia calfskin. Sporty and grand, Hermès injected a spot of glamour with the textured galvanic dial, and an air of playfulness with the 'breeze-blown' numbers. This chronograph hits markets in February at $5,100.
Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium
Watchmakers are really getting into women's designs at SIHH 2018. This one is simply a smaller version of the men's design with a diamond-set bezel, but its out-of-this-world dial makes up for that. The astronomical complication tracks the movement of planets around the sun - Venus, Earth, Mercury, and Moon are marked by minute gems, each moving slowly to imitate the time frame of its actual orbit. Look at the shooting star rotating on the outermost ring to tell the time and caseback for date, though we can safely say timekeeping is far from this piece's primary appeal. Price: $245,000 (alligator strap) or $330,000 (diamond bracelet)
Ulysse Nardin Freak Vision
Since its introduction in 2001, the Freak has acted as the platform for Ulysse Nardin;s stylistic and technical exploration. The latest version seen at SIHH 2018 bears a silicon-nickel escape wheel, with the blades oriented for optimum air resistance and constant amplitude. The Anchor Tourbillon takes up the entire face, with its Anchor Escapement pallet fork floating freely with the help of two silicon blade springs. Price: CHF 95,000 (US price pending)
Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic
Behold the Clifton Baumatic, the brand's most technologically-advanced to date. Clarity and precision define this chrono's aesthetic, from the sharp lancet hands to delineated Arabic numerals. It features a new self-winding movement for five-day power reserve, with a silicon escape wheel and lever elevating the Twinspir balance spring. This Powerscape set-up optimises energy transfer from escape wheel to balance while maintaining a high level of anti-magnetism. Decently priced at $2,790, we're looking at this piece for its relevance to the future of watchmaking - it's only a matter of time before Richemont rolls out this tech to its other brands.
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Stay tuned for more updates and highlights on SIHH 2018 all this week. For more information, visit the official SIHH website here.
Images courtesy of respective brands.
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