Quill & Pad SIHH 2015 Awards
by Ian Skellern
The Quill & Pad SIHH 2015 “Awards” highlights a few of the watches and ancillary eye-candy that attracted our attention and made us cry out with awe, amazement, and, at times, even laughter. However, please bear in mind that these “awards” are based on what we saw and photographed so we may have missed out on some brands, watches or moments – to those we apologize.
Oh, and please don’t take these “awards” seriously, they are presented in the spirit of fun and are, at times, quite tongue-in-cheek.
So without further ado, here’s what caught our eyes at SIHH 2015 in no particular order.
Best use of material from space: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar with meteorite dial.
Most colorful ladies’ watch: Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Extraordinaire Espérance from the Charms Extraordinaire Langage des Fleurs collection in a 25 mm yellow gold case.
Best-sounding repeater (ever, for that matter): Audemars Piguet Acoustic Research prototype, though admittedly this is unfair as it’s not a production watch – but, hey, who says we have to be fair?
Repeater special mention: Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Grande Complication because it still sounded very good even after listening to the Audemars Piguet Acoustic Research prototype. You can see and hear it in action in video at SIHH 2015 Photo Essay: Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Best-looking repeater: A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater, which is absolutely gorgeous but still in late-prototype stage and the chimes need improving, which is sure to happen before the production pieces are delivered.
Most surprising tourbillon: the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision for the sapphire crystal bubble on the back, which keeps the watch’s height down, but is also surprisingly comfortable on the wrist.
Best ladies’ tourbillon: the Richard Mille RM 19-02 Tourbillon Fleur.
Most surprising new line: the IWC Midsize Portofino Ladies collection, and this from a brand whose tagline “engineered for men” is not the most macho tagline it has ever published. Will we see “engineered for women” next?
Largest tourbillon: the 250 kg (550 lb) model of the Tourbillon Cylindrique from the Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama on the ceiling of the Montblanc stand.
Best dressed: the haute couture, flower-infused dresses of the Richard Mille booth attendants; their attire, and indeed their whole look, changed with each passing day.
Best non-wristwatch that still tells the time: this ornate fish by Van Cleef & Arpels called Carpe Koï, which boasts 8,000 colored gemstones needing 3,450 hours of work. The fish’s mouth delicately opens, revealing a full-set dial upon which the time can be read if one looks quite closely. Don’t worry: it doesn’t bite!
Best carbon fiber case: the Panerai Luminor 1950 Carbotech.
Best photo of an incredible watch movement: A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater.
Trendiest dial in high watchmaking at the SIHH: no dial at all as exemplified by Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon Skeleton.
Best unexpected use of two-tone (and simultaneously a quartz watch we would wear): the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 33 mm in stainless steel and pink gold.
Best re-edition of an existing watch, in fact so good that hardly anyone would have noticed the changes if they weren’t told: the new and improved Lange 1 by A. Lange & Söhne.
Best revival watch: the amazing new Vacheron Constantin Harmony line, which includes three new chronographs in 1920s-style cushion-shaped cases, including the Chronograph Caliber 3300, a re-edition of an original 1928 monopusher chronograph.
Best engraved tourbillon: Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Mécaniques Gravées 14-Day Tourbillon.
Best miniature rendition of planet(s) earth: Montblanc’s Tourbillon Cylindrique Geosphères Vasco da Gama.
Best fully handmade watch: Naissance d’une montre Le Garde Temps.
Best lunch at SIHH: the Quill & Pad lunch, of course!
The most stylish way to present the new watches on the wrist: Ralph Lauren, who brightened up the press conference with live models.
Nicest blue dial: the lapis lazuli on this Parmigiani Tourbillon Ovale.
You might also enjoy the Quill & Pad Baselworld 2014 Awards.