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Fancy a 3D rotating globe on your wrist? Here are the SIHH 2018 pieces that took our breath away with edgy good looks and clever design.
To call it love at first sight would be an understatement – for every time we look at these pieces, a fresh wave of excitement and awe seems to wash over.
From 3D rotating globes to risqué art depicting passion in motion, last week’s exhibition saw MB&F, Urwerk, and more of our favourite brands injecting countless new ideas to push horological limits as we know it. The results… well, perhaps it’s best you see for yourself.
Here are six pieces that stole SIHH 2018 with quirky builds, incredibly intricate handwork, and absurdly complicated complications.
Girard-Perregaux Minute Repeater Tri-Axial Tourbillon
'Complication' takes on a whole new meaning with Girard-Perregaux SIHH 2018 triple threat. Its manual-winding calibre houses both minute repeater and tourbillon, gravitating around three axes at the same time. You can zero in on every detail thanks to a transparent sapphire crystal case, boasting the house's skilled artisans and their keen eye for opulent detail. Crystalline chimes echo from gong-ring to exterior when activated, as the bottom axis spins brilliantly to draw further admiration. W girard-perregaux.com
Urwerk UR-210 Black Platinum
Winding efficiency is taken to a whole new level with this Urwerk, which essentially tells you if you're moving enough to keep it wound. This enables you to adjust the winding mechanism to suit the pace of your lifestyle (sensitivity is directly proportional to activity), or turn it off and wind manually. This platinum black version steals our hearts with its concentric ripple motif, that make it seem like the case is reacting to the force of flyback minutes. Its red markings are a bold touch - classic Urwerk - lending an extra edge to three fours-sided minute hands that traverse a linear minute track to transport hour displays. W urwerk.com
Ulysse Nardin Classic Voyeur Minute Repeater
If this intrepid dial doesn't make you do a double take, we're not sure what will. SIHH 2018 saw a discreet show at Maison Close - a deep red boudoir containing this Jaquemart minute repeater making love to time at the push of a button. Instead of the traditional figure striking a clock bell, Ulysse Nardin created a voyeuristic piece of erotic art detailing two couples in the throes of passion. Pushing the repeater sets their rhythms into motion. Astonishingly audacious, the piece chimes in a seductively low pitch to mark the hours, and slightly higher pitch for minutes. We all know a brazen pal that would show this off, and can you blame them? W ulysse-nardin.com
MB&F MoonMachine 2
Moonlight may sit somewhere between illusion and reality, but the world's first projected moonphase display is very much real... and breathtaking to boot. An optical prism vertically refracts the hours, minutes, and moon discs. MoonMachine 2 sports a stripped-down HM8 case and transforms its battleaxe rotor into an open-worked radial web of titanium, with the identifying golden moon sealing Stepan Sarpaneva's mark. MB&F's latest comes in natural, black, or red gold titanium cases. W mbandf.com
Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Planétarium
From the sea of women's watches we saw at SIHH 2018, this one rises to a whole other universe aesthetically. We're not surprised, considering it comes from a jewellery house that thrives on awe. The dial is set with concentric rings made of Aventurine - a rare star-like stone. Mercury is marked by pink mother-of-pearl, green enamel represents Venus, turquoise stands in for Earth, and a single sparkling diamond is the moon. The rotation of each celestial body around the sun is accurately represented, which means these tiny gems orbit the dial at their own pace. Is it any surprise Arpels Planétarium took over two years to develop? W vancleefarpels.com
Greubel Forsey GMT Earth
Intricate design elements define this piece, but that which first catches your eye is the 3D rotating globe sitting pretty beside Greubel Forsey's Tourbillon 24 Secondes. Besides a view of three time zones, this masterpiece also displays 24 time zones alongside summer and winter times. Hour, minute, and second indications pop to life at the top right, while GMT is represented by a triangular red hand. Yes, there's a whole lot going on, but the fact that Greubel and Forsey has pulled the GMT Earth off with such finesse earns it a spot on this SIHH 2018 list. W greubelforsey.com
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Images courtesy of respective brands