By Jessica Mehalic Lucas
It’s watch enthusiasts’ favorite time of year. The most incredible timepieces have been unveiled at the only two tradeshows that matter, Baselworld and SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie), and will soon be available in boutiques—if they’re not there already. We present the latest and greatest new watches, sure to incite wrist envy.
Headlining SIHH was Audemars Piguet’s introduction of the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in black ceramic, which is virtually unscratchable and extremely resistant to ageing. Not only does it look incredibly cool, but the lightweight 41mm case features the day, date, month, astronomical moon and week of the year. The iconic “Grande Tapisserie” decorated dial also displays the leap year indication—pioneered by the Swiss brand back in 1955.
Everyone loves a throwback, especially when it’s better this time around. IWC revisited the classic round case design of the ’80s with the 2017 Da Vinci collection. At 43mm, the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in stainless steel combines a mechanical chronograph with a moon phase display. Also available in 18-karat red gold, it features a 68-hour power reserve and a Santoni alligator leather strap.
Only 75 pieces are available of Richard Mille’s latest and extremely technical creation, produced in collaboration with a famed Formula1 team. The RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1 is the lightest split seconds chronograph ever made. Made from a new material called Graph TPT™ that’s lightweight and ultra-resistent, the manually-wound tourbillon weights only 40 grams despite its impressive measurements: 44.50 mm x 49.65 mm x 16.10 mm.
Created 50 years ago as a professional divers’ watch, the latest version of Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller now comes in a larger 43mm steel case with a Cyclops, or magnifying glass, above the date. The smart sports watch features the new calibre 3235, an automatic movement with a 70-hour power reserve, and the name “Sea-Dweller” in red as a nod to the first model.
After months of development, F.P. Journe has created a unique warm-colored dial dubbed “Havana” for the Octa Automatique Lune (shown here) and the Octa Automatique Réserve. A combination of gold and ruthenium, the dial color complements the caramel alligator straps of both 40mm models crafted in platinum. The one-meter long mainspring and automatic winding mechanism offer more than a five-day power reserve.
Hublot’s first multi-axis tourbillon, the MP-09 Tourbillon Bi-Axis, is just as complicated as it looks. The motor is a HUB9009.H1.RA calibre, an automatic movement with a five-day power reserve and bi-axial tourbillon that makes a complete rotation every minute on the first axis and a rotation every 30 seconds on the second. All of this complex machinery is showcased in a 49mm case made of titanium or King Gold. Added bonus: an innovative date corrector on the left side of the case allows you to press a simple lever up or down to adjust the date forward or backward.
Panerai’s big reveal at SIHH was the Luminor Submersible 1950 BMG-Tech™ 3 Days Automatic. This 47mm case is made from a revolutionary new material developed by the Italian house called BMG-Tech, which looks like steel but is actually a metallic glass that’s much lighter and more resistant to scratches—allowing the watch to preserve its appearance over time. This strong, durable material is also anti-magnetic, which helps the longevity of the movement, an automatic P.9010 calibre.
At Baselworld, Breguet introduced the 43.9mm Marine 5887, available in a platinum silver dial and an 18-karat rose gold dial. Paying tribute to A.-L. Breguet’s role as chronometer-maker to the French Royal Navy in 1815, the complication shows the difference between mean solar time (standard hours and minutes) and true solar time (the actual solar hours and minutes) with two distinctive minute hands. The self-winding movement also features a tourbillon, perpetual calendar and 80-hour power reserve.