You may be familiar with the old Christmas diddy “The Twelve Days Of Christmas.” Let me sing you the final verse of this song, including what my true love gave to me on the twelfth and final day, in horological terms…
In this age of digital information, watch companies try to get ahead of the competition by releasing news on their new timepieces ahead of the big watch fairs. This year is no different, and in honor of the upcoming 25th edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), we present you with an overview of some of the new models that have already been revealed.
Making the nib of a fountain pen – the point of the instrument that directs the ink – does not differ much from working precious metals to be used as watch components, but it does entail a heck of a lot of work done by hand. The nib alone needs about 40 steps until completion; making a whole pen, including barrel, cap, feed and, of course the nib, takes about 200 individual steps.
This young award is just barely three years old, but indeed it has already managed to reward some of the greatest personalities in the world of watches for their “passion” and “talent” – which are undeniably the most essential ingredients for the finest watchmaking. A jury from the Cultural Council of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) honored two exceptional personalities in 2014: Philippe Dufour for his “talent” and Henry-John Belmont for his “passion.”
There were new models launched in Hong Kong at the second edition of Watches & Wonders from Jaeger-LeCoultre, Richard Mille, Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange & Söhne, Montblanc, Audemars Piguet, IWC, Roger Dubuis, and Panerai.
Now we get to the real nitty-gritty at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.: the Aiguille d’Or. There are no ifs, and or buts any more, just a decision on which of the 72 pre-selected watches is the best overall timepiece of the year. It is the most prestigious of the awards given.
Which could be our panel’s favorite to win? The Margot by Christophe Claret? Urwerk EMC? Perhaps the De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon? Or will it be something else entirely?
The Petite Aiguille category is for watches under 8,000 Swiss francs (approx $8,500). The contenders are Bell & Ross BR03-92 Ceramic Black Matte, Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono, Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Moonphase, Seiko Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT, TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Chronographe “Racing,” and the Zenith El Primero Synopsis.
Just look at the contenders in this heavyweight Tourbillon division: Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Automatique, Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, Grönefeld Parallax Tourbillon, Montblanc Villeret ExoTourbillon Rattrapante, TAG Heuer Carrera MikroPendulum Tourbillon, and the Blancpain Villeret 12-Day One-Minute Flying Tourbillon. Our panel just managed to reach a majority decision, but it was a close race.
The pre-selected Calendar watches in the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève are as varied as they are superb: the A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar Terraluna, Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar, Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Planetarium, Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantième Perpétuel, Zenith Captain Winsor Annual Calendar and the Jaquet Droz Perpetual Calendar Eclipse Ivory Enamel. Which would you choose?
Our panel picks their favorite chronographs from those pre-selected in the 2014 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. There is a very strong line-up of chronographs this year: Montblanc TimeWalker 100 Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon, Chopard L.U.C. 1963, Tudor Fastrider Black Shield, Zenith El Primero 410 and the De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon.