The second day of SIHH 2018 was kind of lackluster. And dare I say it, a bit dreary? But with its slower pace, it did give us all a chance to catch our breaths and take in what we’ve already seen. So far, we’ve seen some exquisite timepieces from the likes of Audemars Piguet, Cartier, IWC, Greubel Forsey, Vacheron Constantin of course and Richard Mille. We reviewed the pre-releases which, in my honest opinion, was ruled by Audemars Piguet, and the highlights reel of Day 1 was a very impressive one, with a lot of the watchmaking manufacturers pulling out the big guns with the likes of the Triple Split from A. Lange & Söhne, the RM 53-01 from Richard Mille and the Différentiel d’Égalité from Greubel Forsey. But the show must go on, right? Here is a wrap-up of Day 2 of SIHH 2018.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph (TBA)
Oh, this will definitely ruffle some feathers, but what’s new? Ever since Girard-Perregaux re-introduced the Laureato back into the modern watch market, they’ve been met with criticism, disdain and quite a bit of backlash. The amount of disrespect and, to be quite frank with you, awfulness, is really astounding. Especially amongst peers whom I consider to be fairly well switched on, well-mannered and overall pretty nice people. Names won’t be named, and that’s all I’ll say about that. So, the watch. Here it is, available in either a 42mm or a 38mm stainless steel or pink gold case, the Laureato Chronograph is a real winner for me. The “panda” version hits all the right notes for me, and I would seriously consider it were I ever put in a viable economical position to purchase it. My only issue is the closed caseback. I like seeing a movement, and if the GP03300-0134/0136/0137 is finished to the degree of which the calibre GP01800-0013 in the standard Laureato has been tended to, then I of course would have love to have been able to see it on the regular. Otherwise, outstanding watchmaking as per usual from Girard-Perregaux!
Girard-Perregaux Minute Repeater Tri-Axial Tourbillon (TBA)
If there ever were any doubt as to the technical prowess of a manufacturer like Girard-Perregaux, then I think this watch would definitely have quelled it. The Minute Repeater Tri-Axial Tourbillon is as powerful as it is subtle. Made of titanium, the Minute Repeater Tri-Axial Tourbillon sits at an enormous 48mm in diameter and 21.30mm in height, with thanks to the equally as enormous calibre GP09560-0001 manually wound triple-axis tourbillon minute repeater that sits at 37.50mm in width and 17.32mm in height. This is a big watch, there’s no two ways about it. But try to understand the complexity at hand. The tourbillon cage (and only the tourbillon cage), is made up of a whopping 140-components and that in itself weighs 1.24grams (which might not sound like much, but in a watch, that’s pretty damn heavy). Either way, this is in stark contrast to the super sleek, very wearable Laureato Chronograph, but without a doubt the Minute Repeater Tri-Axial Tourbillon is a triumph of watchmaking and an ode to Girard-Perregaux’s haute horlogerie expertise.
Girard-Perregaux Classic Bridges (36,700CHF)
It seems as though Girard-Perregaux is the name on everyone’s lips for Day 2 of SIHH 2018. Here is the Classic Bridges, a beautiful interpretation of the Tourbillon with Three Hold Bridges. Albeit not as complicated, the Classic Bridges is nevertheless a very beautiful timepiece that holds its own intricate complexities. Powered by the automatic calibre GP08600-0002 (I wish GP would shorten the names of their movements… it’s such a bitch to write out all those numbers!), the 37mm wide, 5.67mm thick movement makes up the majority of the dial side of the timepiece. All in all, the Classic Bridges is 45mm wide and 12.16mm thick, and while that may seem large, rest assured the pink gold mass sitting on your wrist will receive compliment after compliment. A beautiful timepiece no doubt, and one that I feel fortunate to be able to cover.
Girard-Perregaux Planetarium Tri-Axial Tourbillon (TBA)
Okay, last one from Girard-Perregaux, honest. Here is the Planetarium Tri-Axial Tourbillon, available in two versions. Both are in pink gold, both are 48mm in width and 18.82mm in height (21.62mm in height where the domes are), and both are powered by the wonderfully complicated GP09310-0002 calibre, featuring the passing hours and minutes, a tri-axial tourbillon, a day and night indicator, as well as a moon phases indicator. The only difference is that one has an aventurine and gold dial (the one on the left), while the other has a dial made purely of gold (the one on the right, of course). The gold dial variant’s terrestrial rotating globe is also different to the one with the aventurine and gold dial model, with the titanium globe actually have a similar colour palette to that of Earth.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Aventador S In Pink Gold ($214,000USD)
The more I dig deeper into Roger Dubuis’ vast collection and the more I learn about their timepieces, the more I fall in love with what they have to offer. And if there were one piece I could choose from their haute horlogerie cohort of magnificence, it would be the Excalibur Aventador S In Pink Gold. It’s a very loud, very aggressive looking timepiece, but that rings true with respect to its collaborating partner, Lamborghini. The Excalibur Aventador S In Pink Gold is powered by the exceptional calibre RD103SQ, which is actually a super high frequency movement (beating at 57,600bph), which Roger Dubuis have configured to cater for a deadbeat seconds complication (one of my all-time favourite complications).
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli ($69,500USD)
Costing about a quarter of the price of the Excalibur Aventador S In Pink Gold and sharing a similar aesthetic, the Excalibur Spider Pirelli presents the better valued timepiece of the two, with respect to overall value. Different movement, yes (RD820SQ automatic micro-rotor powered mechanism, beating slower at only 28,800bph), but all in all sharing a very similar openworked aesthetic. The only issue I have with the Excalibur Spider Pirelli is the lacking sweeping-seconds hand. Sure, we’re going to get a lot of movement with thanks to the micro-rotor and the balance wheel, but at the same time I love seeing the sweep of a long seconds hand. But still, the Excalibur Spider Pirelli is still an exceptional timepiece whose inception and subsequent release will surely enable a prospective buyer who isn’t wanting to spend close to a quarter of a million dollars on a brand new SIHH-released timepiece to get their foot in the door of Roger Dubuis.
Armin Strom Pure Resonance (From 49,500CHF)
After the success of the Mirrored Force Resonance, Armin Strom needed to pull something out of thin air to continue their impressive and relentless momentum that they had gathered after collaborating with the likes of Kari Voutilainen. And, I must say, they’ve done an excellent job in the Pure Resonance. The proportions of the Pure Resonance are much more favourable now (at 42mm in width and only 12mm in height), but one thing remains constant: the wonderful degree of finishing. It’s absolutely outstanding. The Côtes de Genève lines on the bridges, the sunray finish to the hour/minute dial and the circular engraved seconds dial, coupled with the overall look of the piece gives it a very clean, silky smooth aesthetic, which is what I think Armin Strom were striving so hard to achieve. The Pure Resonance is available in steel for 49,500CHF, or in rose gold for 62,000CHF.
Cartier Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat (From $5,600USD)
I wasn’t expecting too much more from Cartier, especially after seeing the Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon and Day & Night, but they surprised me with the Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat. It’s a very modest, low-key looking piece whose aesthetic I’ve grown to enjoy. The Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat is the perfect “below-the-radar” watch. Its subtle details (like the “Cartier” name in the IIV hour marker) elevate this piece to a level of which I would never have thought it could. Not in my opinion, anyway. The gorgeous silvered sunburst dial blends perfectly with either metals (stainless steel or yellow gold), and its sleek look is further accentuated by its restrained dimensions (38mm in width; 39mm in length; 6.6mm in height). The delicate Drive de Cartier Extra-Flat is available in stainless steel for $5,600USD, or in yellow gold for $15,400USD.
Romain Jerome x Spiderman (18,950CHF)
Well this was a fun little surprise. Fans of Marvel’s Spiderman, rejoice. Here is the Romain Jerome x Spiderman, a very playful take on the comic-book icon. In the centre of the openworked dial you have Spiderman’s iconic spider symbol logo emblazoned in a bright red lacquer, and on the back, there’s a spider web, which was created by actually depositing metal onto the inside part of the sapphire crystal. It’s powered by the RJ004-M manually wound calibre that has been fully skeletonised and features a very linear, very symmetrical layout. A fun addition to a manufacturer who is renowned for producing timepieces with a bit of humour and excitement added to them.
Christophe Claret Maestro Mamba and Maestro Pantherophis (Both 96,000CHF)
Okay, from a purely aesthetic point of view, Christophe Claret’s latest creations are completely and utterly out of this world. To put it simply for you, they’re just plain old cool. And that is a tenet that unfortunately seems to be lacking in a lot of these new timepieces at SIHH 2018. That’s not to say the pieces that we’ve featured thus far are boring, lackluster or uninspiring, no. All I’m saying is that the Maestro Mamba (green) and the Maestro Pantherophis (orange) are actually quite refreshing, despite their somewhat aggressive, somewhat hostile aesthetic. Either way though, I like them (for some bizarre reason…)!