With the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie just around the corner, we take a look at the watches already causing a stir
IWC Aquatimer 2014
As the march into 2014 begins, we look forward to seeing what the world of watches and jewelry have in store for us, starting with the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) later this month. In advance of this grand affair, where we will once more be in attendance at the PalExpo, we have already seen some impressive sneak previews. Unlike in previous years though, we feel confident to predict that this will be the year of that most useful of high complications, arguably, the perpetual calendar. The Rotonde de Cartier AstroCalendaire is likely to be the most visible of the new calendar watches, simply because it is as visually stunning as Sofia Vergara. We also think there will be plenty of exciting moon phase models to look forward to but that is another story...
In an era where everyone’s phone can deliver the same result that the typical perpetual calendar does, it may seem that the anachronistic mechanical wristwatch had finally met its match. 2014 looks to be the year Swiss watchmaking confirms that the perpetual calendar is still both in vogue and completely useful. While we have not yet seen the full spread at the fair – the fun begins January 20 – we have received news from no less than three august manufactures of important perpetual calendars.
Briefly, perpetual calendars are not to be confused with Rolex’s Oyster Perpetuals. Instead, the perpetual calendar is a watch that keeps track of – and displays – the day, date, month and leap year constantly. Unlike simpler timekeepers, these do not need to be manually adjusted for months of differing lengths or for leap years. As long as they remain wound up, these watches will keep an unerring count of the Gregorian calendar.
Unfortunately, one of the aforementioned three – IWC Schaffhausen – has chosen to save the grand reveal of its star 2014 novelty for the fair itself so we do not have a picture of that piece. What we do have, pictured above, is the Aquatimer range, which has been completely refreshed for this year. We shall leave it at that and trust that your interest has been sufficiently piqued. We know ours has!
Another collection to look out for is the Montblanc Meisterstuck Heritage collection, which incorporates everything from a 3-Hand Automatic to a Perpetual Calendar.... Yes that is the last of the three significant perpetual calendars.
Of course, it would not be a proper world of watches without some variety and this is supplied by the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon. As you might remember from our report last year, the world can always count on Audemars Piguet to bring their A game to the pre-SIHH table and the firm does not disappoint. Perhaps the powers-that-be at Le Brassus will reveal a nice perpetual calendar at the fair...
Adding depth to the current selection are a new Panerai coming in from leftfield, so to speak, and, perhaps ironically, an ultra thin watch from Piaget that redefines what it means to be skinny... On that note, Panerai has revealed that its SIHH 2014 novelties will be chronograph-heavy but there is not much more information available.
To finish, as per usual style, we present our favorite pre-SIHH watches below in alphabetical order.