My 2017 SIHH Highlights, Shot With A Leica Q
by Simon Cudd
The 2017 edition of the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) was quite busy despite the various ongoing dramas at the Richemont group (see Do The Recent Changes At Richemont Herald A New Watch World? An Industry Insider Present Some Hypotheses).
At this show I particularly liked the Carré des Horlogers, as the SIHH independents’ hall is known. The Carré des Horlogers was introduced in 2015 and showcases some of the industry’s finest creative minds producing amazing watches, both traditional and contemporary.
So without further ado, here are my SIHH highlights.
Urwerk UR-T8 Transformer
The Urwerk UR-T8 (“T” stands for “transformable,” while the “8” signifies the motion of the case as the wearer flips it) is a watch Ian described as the lovechild of a T-Rex and a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso in If You’ve Ever Wondered What The Lovechild Of A Reverso And A Tyrannosaurus Rex Might Look Like: Presenting The Urwerk UR-T8 ‘Transformer.’
This ultra-cool and eminently modern take on a classic hunting/shooting/fishing timepiece of old showcases Urwerk’s creative finishing techniques. Despite its very large size – I would have personally liked it a little smaller – it sat comfortably on the wrist. I couldn’t stop touching the outer shell; with its large-scale guilloche the UR-T8 truly looks like a prehistoric animal.
For more information, please visit www.urwerk.com/en/collection-t-8-collection-ur-t8.
Quick Facts Urwerk UR-T8 Transformer
Movement: Caliber UR 8.01, automatic winding with pneumatic winding regulation
Indications: hours and minutes via double rotating planetary gears
Case: 60 x 48 x 20 mm, grade 5 titanium, reversible, water resistance 30 meters
Limitation: 30 pieces in natural titanium, 30 pieces in two-tone black PVD and natural titanium
Price: 100,000 Swiss francs (tax excluded)
Richard Mille Jean Todt RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph
Jean Todt is a lucky man! Richard Mille celebrates him and his 50th career anniversary in motorsports with a series of limited edition timepieces.
This blue quartz RM 11-03 really grabbed my attention.
Richard Mille is certainly a brand recognized for its use of extreme materials and is often associated with the world of motor racing, and that is no different here: motorsports are close to Mille’s heart as both a racer and collector of cars and memorabilia.
For much more see Richard Mille’s Celebration Of Jean Todt: Limited Blue RM 11-03, RM 050, And RM 056 Sapphire and www.richardmille.com/watch/rm-11-03-jean-todt.
Quick Facts Richard Mille Jean Todt RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph
Case: 49.94 x 44.5 x 16.15 mm, blue-and-white Quartz TPT
Movement: automatic Caliber RMAC3 with two spring barrels and variable inertia balance, variable geometry rotor, 55-hour power reserve, fast-rotating barrel
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; flyback chronograph, annual calendar with large date
Limitation: 150 pieces, available exclusively at Richard Mille boutiques
Price: 148,500 Swiss francs (including tax)
MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 Aquapod
HM7 represents MB&F’s first foray into the world of water with the jellyfish-inspired Aquapod. The idea for it came to founder Maximilian Büsser through an accident whilst on holiday, in which his wife was stung by a medusa.
While being a massive fan of anything this avant-garde company produces, I have to say that the Aquapod has to be one of the brand’s coolest watches to date. It features a central flying tourbillon within the main bubble while displaying signature font markers around it. The hinged lugs flex comfortably around the wrist allowing the extremely comfortable rubber strap to mold itself to the wearer.
For much more see Medusa In The Sea: Introducing The MB&F Horological machine No. 7 Aquapod and www.mbandf.com/en/machines/horological-machines/hm7.
Quick Facts MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 Aquapod
Case: 53.8 x 21.3 mm, titanium with blue ceramic bezel or red gold with black ceramic bezel
Movement: in-house developed automatic Caliber HM7 with one-minute flying tourbillon
Functions: hours, minutes, flying tourbillon
Limitation: 33 pieces in titanium, 66 pieces in red gold
Price: titanium (blue) $98,000 Swiss francs, red gold $118,000 (excluding tax)
Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch S
More conventional than the brands listed above, Moser certainly still pushes buttons . . . not only within watchmaking world but in the world at times, as its “Swiss made” question illustrates.
Moser’s Swiss Mad watch was simply brilliant, even more so for the video and buzz surrounding it: the one-off Swiss cheese-encased timepiece on a cow hide strap was only the beginning (see H. Moser & Cie. Creates $1 Million Watch Made Of Genuine Swiss Cheese).
It was Moser’s latest incarnation of the Swiss Alp watch that I loved, however. With a champagne-colored fumé dial and blued hands, it is simply perfect.
For more information, please visit www.h-moser.com/en/news.
Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch S
Case: 38 x 44 x 10.3 mm, white gold
Movement: manually wound Caliber HMC 324 with Straumann hairspring, gold escape wheel and pallet fork
Functions: hours, minutes, hacking seconds; power reserve indication (movement side)
Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Dual Tourbillon Double Spiral
A timepiece by Laurent Ferrier would certainly be a contender for a traditional piece in my collection if my budget ever allowed, and I would pick the Galet Classic Dual Tourbillon Double Spiral.
I’m a massive fan of the “galet” pebble-shaped case. And paired with the superb dial, the simplicity of the tourbillon – for the first time visible on the front of a Laurent Ferrier watch – fascinates through the sapphire crystal.
For more information, please visit www.laurentferrier.ch/galet-classic-tourbillon-double-spiral.
Quick Facts Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Dual Tourbillon Double Spiral
Case: white gold, 41 x 12.7 mm
Movement: manually wound Caliber LF 619.03 with one-minute tourbillon (double balance springs) and 80-hour power reserve; official chronometer certification
Functions: hours, minutes
Price: 180,000 Swiss francs
Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Minute Retrograde
You’ve already read about my love of the Moser Swiss Alp Watch above, however the collaborative Minute Retrograde version with sister brand Hautlence was even better: it combines the Swiss Alp Watch’s cool with the Hautlence Vortex (see The Hautlence Vortex: Is This The World’s Slowest Tourbillon?) in a dazzling combination of high-fire enamel dial, Roman numerals, a flame-blued retrograde hand, and sapphire crystal almost everywhere, allowing you to lovingly gaze upon that Hautlence HL2.0 caliber.
For more information, please visit www.h-moser.com/en/news.
Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Minute Retrograde
Case: white gold, 48 x 42.1 x 18.3 mm
Movement: Hautlence Caliber HL2.0 in-house tourbillon caliber with Straumann hairspring rotating regulator, automatic winding with micro rotor, 92 jewels, 3 Hz balance frequency, twin spring barrels
Functions: jumping hours displayed by a chain, retrograde minutes; power reserve indication
Limitation: 10 pieces
HYT Skull Pocket
Skulls are certainly a popular theme in the world of watches and have been captured in some very interesting ways, indeed.
HYT is no exception, and the brand’s Skull Pocket is the best interpretation yet: bold and bonkers!
With that well-engineered titanium chain, it could conceivably double up as a weapon, perfect for any bad boy out there!
For more on how the liquid time-telling display works, see When Opposites Collide: Microfluidics Of The HYT H1 And H2.
For more information, please visit www.hytwatches.com/collection-skull/watch/skull-pocket.
HYT Skull Pocket
Case: 59 x 20.6 mm, titanium and black DLC-coated titanium with leather-embossed cover and titanium chain
Movement: manually wound HYT caliber beating at 4 Hz with 65-hour power reserve
Functions: fluid hours, minutes, seconds (left eye); power reserve (right eye), mechanical blue background light loaded by dynamo (crown at 4:30)
Limitation: 8 pieces
Price: $115,000 / €115,000 / 115,000 Swiss francs
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Thanks for the insight into the SIHH fair.
Again, some outrageous pieces on display from the different manufacturers.
Many of the models not conducive to everyday wear.
Having said this, you are right, The Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Dual Tourbillon is stunning. Such a clean and neat looking time piece.
Did you find it to be comfortable on the wrist?
I also had that piece on my wrist during the SIHH, and I can vouch that it is extremely comfortable. I find Laurent Ferrier’s timepieces to be designed for everyday wear. They are elegant and ergonomic.
Thank you for your insight.
Thanks, Ricardo. Yes, both the LF and Moser were certainly everyday attire. Both elegant and fairly subtle too…
The others certainly made a bold statement, and I’d wear them given the chance!!!
Thank you Simon,..
I query the comfort of the Laurent Ferrier Galet CDT as I have thin wrists and rarely veer into or over 40mm,
As you stated, the casing having a pebble shape, so perhaps the 41mm is something to try.
Is it fair to assume that this model is in regular production?..