The watch industry is descending on Geneva this week for the 28th edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the annual fine watchmaking show you may know better as SIHH. Consider it the SXSW (minus the beards) of the luxury timepiece market — it’s the year’s first major gathering of professionals in the watchmaking segment, setting the tone for the twelve months ahead as it showcases the latest trends.
As a preliminary heat check on the industry, here are five showstoppers to look out for at this year’s SIHH.
Officine Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso – 38 Millimetre
Capitalizing on the industrywide shift from colossal chronographs to tinier timepieces, Panerai’s latest Luminor Due is 38 millimetres in diameter. That makes it the smallest watch the company’s ever crafted. If all the small things look like this — a rose gold case with an ivory dial and blue numerals, on a blue alligator strap — we’re on board with this trend.
Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition
Though Montblanc has in the past aligned itself with auto racing (see: it’s TimeWalker collection), this year the company’s heading for the mountains. For its new anniversary 1858 series, the brand is using the great outdoors as inspiration. Take the Monopusher, for instance; besides its excellent Minerva caliber, it comes with a subtly rugged smoked green dial and all the functions and accents you’d want while scaling Everest.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept
Oh, just the thinnest mechanical watch in the world. Piaget has whittled this concept Altiplano (named for the flatness of the Andean plateau) down to an impossibly svelte 2 millimetres. Piaget says it took three of its best minds four years to create this stunner, and they’ve filed for five patents as a result of its development. As the industry continues to push the boundaries of what’s conceivable in ultra-thin watchmaking, this one sets the new benchmark.
No price; concept watch, piaget.com
Vacheron Constantin: Fiftysix Complete Calendar
To celebrate watch design’s ’50s heyday, Vacheron Constantin has named its latest collection the FiftySix. It’s a modern spin on the brand’s Reference 6073, and water-resistant automatic first introduced in 1956. Like the original, it features 40mm cases with a lug design inspired by the brand’s Maltese cross emblem. Each piece in the collection also comes fitted with a brand new Calibre 1326 movement boasting a 48-hour power reserve. Choose between automatic with date, day-date, and, in this case, a complete calendar with moon phase functions.
Cartier Santos de Cartier
Cartier’s turning back the clock this year with a throwback to its original wristwatch design, the Santos. The aesthetic bears a striking resemblance to its 1904 debut, but now comes equipped with the brand’s QuickSwitch and SmartLink systems, innovations that make switching straps and adjusting bracelets a heck of a lot easier. Retrofuturism’s never looked sexier.