SIHH 2019 Round Table: What We Liked, What We Didn’t Like, And What We Would Buy For Ourselves. Warning: Heavy Photo Fest And Sexually Graphic Images
Please join our Quill & Pad round table discussion where we discuss what we did and didn’t like at the 2019 SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie).
Our panelists are:
IS Ian Skellern, co-founder of Quill & Pad
ED Elizabeth Doerr, co-founder of Quill & Pad
JM Joshua Munchow, resident nerd at Quill & Pad
GG GaryG, resident collector at Quill & Pad
MG Martin Green, resident gentleman at Quill & Pad
IS: With all of the time, experience, expertise, and money that goes into the SIHH each year from both organizers and brands, I expect to have a great time every year. Great is what organizers and brands are paid to provide, great is the promise, great is why we exhaust ourselves for a week, great is what we expect.
Anything less than a great year is a fail.
And 2019 was a great year!
Superb watches, smooth press facilities, a great open auditorium near the entrance, non-stop, professionally-directed social media photo shoots, and a chance to catch up with friends. SIHH 2019 was a fine vintage edition.
GG: I for one thought that SIHH 2019 was quite a success! In my view, many of the brands had successful new offerings and the tone of the show was quite upbeat.
JM: SIHH 2019 has returned to being what SIHH should be about: excellent watchmaking and excitement for the year. Minus a few missteps, the vibe felt upbeat and positive with some brands releasing pieces that truly wowed and many of those exhibiting showing some optimism and real effort again after the recent, more subdued years.
And more than one company made it clear that environmental awareness would be factoring into future decisions for their brands.
ED: I was particularly happy to find so many instances of environmental awareness, Joshua. Even in smaller ways like the press kit bar code on the chocolate bar giveaway at Bovet (instead of a USB key or other tangible throwaway item) and Montblanc’s donation to the Research Center for Alpine Ecosystems in lieu of press gifts. These were thoughtful statements that showed that some switched-on brands are now starting to think about things in a slightly different way – a way that benefits not just us, but the world at large. I like it very much.
JM: The show went through a couple changes over last year, with Van Cleef & Arpels moving out and Bovet moving in as well as some structural changes that included a much-needed change for the auditorium that opened it up to passersby and made it much more accessible.
This might be one of the biggest changes making a significant impact on engagement in the future since it made the talks and presentations much more approachable. While communication of these talks still needs vast improvement, the new setup definitely helps a lot.
MG: What a fair it was! It was very exciting to see that so many brands really stayed in touch with their “DNA,” introducing strong products at realistic price points. The mood was very upbeat, and even the Geneva weather was mostly mild for the time of year.
SIHH 2019: best of show
IS: While I’m guessing that the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat will well-deservedly top the lists of many of my colleagues here, the watch that stood out for me, for the totally selfish reason that I could vividly imagine it on my wrist, was the Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain.
JM: Some years “best of show” is tough to decide, while others it is a no-brainer. This year it is a bit in the middle as there were many fantastic pieces with a few taking clear leads. I always take technical innovation as the most important driver, followed by design or mechanical creativity. Which means that for 2019 Vacheron Constantin has to take my top spot with its new Traditionnelle Twin Beat perpetual calendar.
The Twin Beat features dual balance wheels that are designed and regulated to operate at very different rates: 5 Hz for when a person is wearing the watch and 1.2 Hz for when the watch is not being worn. Switching between the two allows the perpetual calendar to stay accurate and the watch to run up to two months if the watch is fully wound before putting it away. This innovation is extremely functional for owners of a perpetual calendar, solving a real problem.
GG: There were more complicated watches at this year’s SIHH and there were certainly more expensive watches, but my watch of the show was the Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune, which is as clever as it is beautiful.
The idea of the rotating time and date dials covering and then uncovering the moon as seen from both hemispheres is inspired. And both the meteorite and aventurine dial implementations were very much to my liking. Find out more in Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune: And Pegasus Flies On The Moon.
MG: Because this edition of SIHH was so strong, I find it very hard to decide on a “best of show.” I love the concept of the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat; I was extremely excited by Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel; and Richard Mille did an amazing job of taking a completely new approach to ladies’ watches.
I also think that the new Freak X is a strong addition to the lineup at Ulysse Nardin, and I was very taken by the completely reworked movement in the Zeitwerk Date by A. Lange & Söhne.
So, I can only conclude that the “best of show” is the show itself! But if you pressure me, I would have to go for the Cartier Privée Tonneau Skeleton Dual Time because it merges the former Collection Privée Cartier Paris with the Fine Watch Making Collection and shows us a glimpse into the future of complicated Cartier timepieces, honoring the past and highlighting the now.
JM: The watch that is my runner-up for best of the show is easily the Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune. As a moon phase guy, I am always on the lookout for a cool moon phase piece. The movement is highly technical, the construction is very interesting, and the resulting aesthetic is marvelous.
The only reason the L’Heure de la Lune doesn’t take my top spot of the fair is that unlike the Vacheron Constantin Twin Beat, it doesn’t solve a technical problem that plagues a specific movement style. But outside of that it is hard to deny that L’Heure de la Lune isn’t a truly beautiful and unique rendition of a dual moon phase display.
ED: This watch was also my runner-up, Joshua – and for all the very same reasons! I think our team is fairly unanimous in pinpointing these two watches as the crème de la crème of what was nothing short of a vintage year at the SIHH.
SIHH 2019: biggest disappointment
IS: I’m ashamed to admit that my biggest disappointment was in not being able to generate much affront and disappointment in the new Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 collection. While the new models were generally not my cup of tea – spoiler alert – in the flesh they didn’t look like the dog’s dinner the social media clamor had decided they were.
GG: I, for one, did not find the new Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 watches to be the crimes against humanity that early reactions portrayed them to be either, Ian. At our viewing I handled all of the watches except for the plain-dialed three-hand watch, which the brand apparently had pulled from circulation.
One pleasant surprise was the Supersonnerie version, which to my ear actually sounded better than it had in its second-edition Jules Audemars case of 2017. Otherwise, these were generally inoffensive new offerings that were betrayed by one of the worst jobs of new-product strategy execution and customer expectation setting I have ever seen.
MG: Apart from a poor display of marketing I felt that Audemars Piguet’s watches themselves were not that bad. The cases are beautifully made and the movements are sensational (somehow hardly anybody was talking about those freshly developed calibers!).
The dials and hands have what I call the “Lexus syndrome,” though. When Lexus looked to conquer the North American car market, it sent its craftspeople to Yamaha to learn how to apply piano lacquer. They got so good at it that they could apply it without a single flaw. The result was that it looked like very cheap, black plastic.
In my opinion, the Code 11.59 (which has to be one of the worst names for a collection in the history of watchmaking) has fallen prey to exactly this; if AP reworks the dial and hands, the watches should be fine. Things turned out great for Lexus in the North American market, after all.
Warning: three somewhat graphic images below
JM: The biggest disappointment for me this year wasn’t a watch, but attitudinal reactions thanks to some admittedly questionable decisions by certain brands.
Let’s begin with the Classico collection subset by Ulysse Nardin that features miniature paintings designed by famous erotic comic book artist Milo Manara, which felt more than a little tone deaf and sensationalist. The reactions to these ten watches that together told a story in graphic novel manner was polarizing: some appreciated the images due to an appreciation of the artist, while others were very put off by the perhaps needlessly explicit images.
The reactions over a set of watches that were in most ways rather unremarkable were intense.
ED: This set of watches was disappointing to me for a couple of reasons. For one, my introduction to them was an image on a random Instagram account that only captured the most sensationalist of them: lesbian mermaids in the act. After our appointment at Ulysse Nardin, I understood the concept behind the set of watches and was less disappointed. Nonetheless, I can’t shake the sensationalist impression.
The second reason is that, historically, the Ulysse Nardin Classico line has been reserved for the enamel dials created by Donzé Cadrans (which Ulysse Nardin owns). The 2019 Ulysse Nardin collection presented at SIHH does not include one single enamel dial; the Manara watches are crafted by outside artisans using miniature painting.
And the third reason is that while Ulysse Nardin has offered its share of erotic watches over the decades since Rolf Schnyder bought it in 1983 – Kering took the brand over after Schnyder’s death in 2011 – these have adhered to the horological tradition of 1) placing the erotic scenes on the back of the watch for private enjoyment, and 2) using repeating mechanisms to animate the scene. Again, putting a scene like this on the front of the watch with no seeming tie to the history of the brand or the erotic horological tradition ruffles my feathers a bit as I’m unsure of the reasoning behind it.
I am fully aware that this is my personal reaction. I have spoken to other industry long-timers and have understood that the majority of them are positive about these watches. One very well known retailer, whose opinion I value greatly (we more often than not see eye to eye on our eclectic tastes), even said the following to me, “Miniature painted dials always have boring subjects like birds, tigers, peacocks, landscapes, boats, etc. I like the work of Manara here, it is poetic and sexy.”
IS: I thought the mermaids (okay, one mermaid and one bikini model) were more titillating than “hot” (as the brand described). If Ulysse Nardin wants to be truly audacious, it should feature two men.
JM: In my book, though, the reaction to Audemars Piguet’s new Code 11.59 was the true driver of negativity this year, and often in a very ugly way. The watches themselves were a mixed bag: cool new cases (somewhat un-Audemars Piguet), pretty sub-par dials, and the typical, quality AP movements inside.
But combined with some weird marketing choices and strong expectations from the blogosphere, the responses turned dirty. I may not have been a big fan of the watches, but the reactions around social media and in face-to-face conversations seemed tinged with animosity.
Perhaps my affection for Audemars Piguet isn’t as deep-seated as that of other people or I wasn’t actually expecting much, so the release of the Code 11.59 didn’t cause my brain to revolt against the brand. That cannot be said for much of what I read online or heard in person.
And that intense dislike, anger, and downright hatred affected the brand and how its representatives communicated with us: I felt like I was on the receiving end of an argument I wasn’t even involved in during our appointment on the last day of the fair!
GG: If Audemars Piguet’s truly dismal marketing effort was discouraging to anyone who appreciates the brand, at least as disappointing to me was the awful set of watches put forward by Richard Mille.
One of the most amusing phenomena of the week was the stream of glowing descriptions of these grotesque candy-themed watches as whimsical and groundbreaking. Mille’s work at SIHH this year was in some ways the opposite of Audemars Piguet’s: genius marketing that convinced many that the king was indeed wearing clothes and that a set of candy-hued watches priced in the six figures was anything other than cynical exploitation of Mille’s sycophantic customer base.
ED: I have to laugh here, Gary: the rest of us are fans of Richard Mille’s fun Bonbon collection, and I personally felt it was like a breath of fresh air, bringing light into what is a normally staid business setting. It just goes to show how different tastes are, even if there is common ground in the love of high watchmaking.
MG: One of my disappointments this year was for sure Piaget: I don’t know why the brand even bothered attending. A few new dials and a ladies’ watch . . . and that was it.
And a big faux pas is the white date wheel in the otherwise stunning Piaget Altiplanos with stone dials. This hurts even more because the brand is so dear to my heart, and if it hadn’t had such an amazing booth, which was decorated as a beach club this year, it probably would have been completely forgotten by many.
An even bigger disappointment to me was Girard-Perregaux, whose employees must have forgotten that they were giving presentations to journalists and that we read and detect marketing bullshit for a living. They gave us plenty of that, but what they didn’t give us were decent watches.
The new Cat’s Eye models now feature a randomly placed flower on the dials, and the Laureato, a decent sports watch, is now available with a black case, blue dial, and rubber strap upon which Girard-Perregaux printed its brand name. Very 2005!
SIHH 2019: initiatives we appreciated
IS: I thought that opening the auditorium to full view of the entrance/exit and opposite the press room was a great idea, as was playing the auditorium talks on large screens at the food and drink counters.
GG: Our collector group was quite busy, Ian, and so I didn’t visit the Lab or attend the auditorium interview sessions and presentations, but both looked lively and decently populated whenever I passed. And in its second year, the photo booth provided a great opportunity to ham it up with friends and capture pleasant memories of the show.
JM: One thing that became clear was that environmentalism and sustainability are going to be taken a bit more seriously moving forward. Brands like H. Moser & Cie and Panerai are two great examples looking to make a bigger impact with their efforts by changing how its products are made.
Panerai is seeking to specifically use more recycled and eco-friendly materials, including straps made out of recycled PET bottles to reduce ocean pollution. H. Moser & Cie wants to ensure that it meets ethical and fair-trade sourcing requirements and has become certified with the Responsible Jewelry Council. It also aims to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by the end of 2019.
While these initiatives are small potatoes in the bigger scheme of things, it is about setting a precedent that high-quality products and profits can be had without the environment suffering because of it. How the conversation about sustainability and ethics is started isn’t nearly as important as just starting the conversation in the first place.
MG: I am very happy that a lot of brands are becoming more conscious of the impact of their businesses on the environment. Moser made a cool concept watch called The Nature Watch (the first one of their “marketing gimmick” watches that I have liked) and a strong pledge that Joshua described above.
Panerai is making the boxes of the new Submersible watches from recycled plastic and, as Joshua mentioned, the straps from recycled materials. The industry needs to do so much more, but these are steps in the right direction and I hope that more and more brands will follow – and that being environmentally friendly and CO2 neutral becomes a new demand by consumers.
SIHH 2019: trends we may have spotted
IS: Blue (again), a few stunning salmon dials, wearable complications – even one of the wildest watches at the fair, the MB&F HM6, is comfortable on the wrist and indicates the time quite legibly – and average case sizes continuing on down.
MG: Silver, black, and blue are now the holy trinity of dial colors, Ian!
Blue is here to stay, and quite honestly I don’t mind that. I guess that we can now also stop calling blue dials a trend. Green is also clearly a trend, as many brands have also used this color in their latest creations.
JM: The main trends I noticed were related to color and mechanism. The first is that salmon has taken over dials and people love it. Almost every major or minor brand seemed to have some version of a salmon dial (or pink gold if you’re A. Lange & Söhne), and in every case it was beautiful. For some reason that color just works, and the brands seemed to have all agreed in the same year.
MG: I disagree, Joshua: there is no trend when it comes to “salmon” dials!
Apart from a few very well executed watches by Montblanc and perhaps an individual Grönefeld there weren’t any. The new addition to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak collection that was first limited and then less limited by the end of the fair had a champagne-colored dial, and the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon has a pink gold dial. The latter was even stressed by the brand’s director of product development, Anthony de Haas, as he said that at A. Lange & Söhne they don’t like their watches “to smell like fish!”
However, I noticed that elegant men’s watches are apparently allowed again! Many brands offered reduced case sizes on existing models, and many new creations were not as large as they might have been in the past.
Even the sports watches became smaller as IWC expanded its Pilot’s collection with more modestly sized versions and Panerai now offers its bold Submersibile in 42 mm!
JM: The other trend is with time displays, specifically star wheel or wandering hour displays. It seems like after H. Moser & Cie took the leap last year with the Endeavour Flying Hours, other brands have come out with their own versions at the fair – including Hautlence and Parmigiani – making 2019 the year the star wheel made its return.
The star wheel has been almost exclusively the domain of Audemars Piguet and Urwerk for most of the last two decades. It feels right that more designers would embrace its form so now we would have many options to obtain such a cool way to display time.
IS: Those are not star wheels at Urwerk, Joshua; the brand uses Geneva crosses for that “star wheel” effect.
GG: I’ll defer to the women on our team for more authoritative views, but to me this seemed a strong year for ladies’ watches that went beyond being smaller jeweled versions of men’s pieces. I was particularly drawn to the Bovet Récital 23 with its domed moon phase display.
And Cartier had several sensational jeweled ladies’ watches as well as a pendant watch with mystery flying tourbillon that had to be seen to be believed.
ED: Gary, I found there were far fewer watches purpose-built for women this year, but that may have also had something to do with the departure of Van Cleef & Arpels from the fair, whose ladies’ watch offerings have been out of this world in recent years.
Two really noticeable additions, though, were as you say the Bovet Récital 23 with its feminine yet technical visuals and Romain Gauthier’s beautiful use of opal on a new edition of 2018’s Insight Micro-Rotor Lady (see 5 Outstanding Watches For Women Introduced In 2018).
GG: On the marketing front, a clear trend is the move by brands to introduce new products throughout the year and to focus the SIHH on subsets of their lines. Last year’s Polaris-focused presentation at Jaeger-LeCoultre was one example. And, for instance at this year’s SIHH, we needed to make a special request to see A. Lange & Söhne’s Datograph Up/Down Lumen as it was not strictly a “novelty” for the show itself, but was instead launched as a pre-SIHH model in October 2018.
SIHH 2019: what would we buy with our own money?
IS: Unfortunately, the one watch that I was and still am considering buying is under embargo for now (it’s an Hermès, but shhhhh, please keep that to yourself).
JM: My normal response for this question is to pick a watch that I could actually see myself buying, with the current financial situation I am in playing the deciding factor. But sometimes there is no watch that jumps out in this category and I need to open it up to watches I would save for a few years to get. That means pieces over $20,000 enter into the picture and the game gets a bit more fun. This year that is the case and I am torn between two pieces that are very, very different yet feel like philosophical cousins.
My first choice would be the Hermès Arceau L’Heure de la Lune, something that is literally one of my favorites from the fair and has a price tag of only $25,500, which, while not cheap, is miles more affordable than many of the watches I lust after. Given a proper budgeting and saving regimen, I could possibly afford this watch in a few short years. After which I would only need to find one of the 100 limited pieces for sale!
My other choice would be the Ulysse Nardin Freak X, a controversial baby brother to the incredible Freak, but offered with a slimmed-down assortment of Freak features for a remarkable starting price of $21,000. Since the next cheapest version is nearly $100,000, I could see actually picking up one of those after some hardcore saving and frugal dinner choices for a few years (instant ramen, anyone?).
It may not be a true Freak (I mean, it has a crown, so it can’t be a true-to-the-core Freak) but it really could be the next best thing.
GG: Of the watches at the show itself, my “own money” watch would be the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Date. With this watch, A. Lange & Söhne has both made the appearance of the Zeitwerk more elegant and introduced multiple technical improvements to reduce thickness and extend the power reserve.
And as Romain Gauthier now offers dial swaps to existing Logical One owners, I’d be tempted to make my example a “new” watch by installing one of his Anita Porchet enamel dials.
If we get to include other current watches that we saw in Geneva this week, then mine would definitely be the updated (from last year’s prototype) Chronometre Contemporaine from Rexhep Rexhepi – make mine the red gold with black dial, please.
MG: A great SIHH always wreaks havoc on my wish list for new watches. This year was terrible, if not disastrous, in that sense as the watches I am considering buying with my own money is a list by itself. The new Cartier Santos-Dumont ticks all the boxes for me, and I am considering one in stainless steel. I was surprisingly taken by the Santos Chronograph, while the new Tonneau also felt very much at home on my wrist.
Last year I already liked the FiftySix Full Calendar from Vacheron Constantin, but with its new blue dial it goes straight to the top of my “what to buy next” list. The same goes for the Parmigiani Toric with grey guilloche dial.
Some people might be surprised, but I actually wear sports watches despite being the resident gentleman here, and I am a big fan of the IWC Pilot’s watches. I counted myself fortunate that the Top Gun Edition Mojave Desert looked bland on my wrist, otherwise I probably would have put down a deposit right then and there. The bronze Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Spitfire is another one I liked.
Also, for the second time in my watch collecting life, I am considering a Montblanc. I once almost bought a Nicolas Rieussec when they were just introduced, but the retailer I was with made me an offer on a Cartier that I simply couldn’t refuse. This time it was the green-and-bronze 1858 Geosphère Limited Edition that called my name.
ED: I’d be all in for one of those lovely vintage-styled Montblanc Heritage watches, but the difficulty would be in choosing one of them! Or one of the many Vacheron Constantin blue dialed beauties introduced this year as you mentioned, Martin.
SIHH 2019: what would we buy if money were no object?
IS: This choice is an easy one for me this year, thanks to the Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain. It’s everything I want in a watch in a size I can comfortably wear.
MG: One that I really, really liked and would have probably bought on the spot if I had the money was the diamond-set version of the Balancier Contemporain. The setting is so stunning and so well executed, and it fits as the perfect frame for this breathtaking new watch, whose more modest size also perfectly fit my wrist. Quite honestly, it was only my tremendous respect for Stephen Forsey that persuaded me to take this latest creation off my wrist and hand it back to him.
ED: Yep, Ian and Martin, me too. Although I might have to opt for the gem-set version this time. Alternatively, the Hermès L’Heure de la Lune captured my heart. But so did the Richard Mille Bonbon RM 37-01 Cerise! Aw, hell, I’ll take all three if money is no object!
JM: This question is nearly the easiest question to answer as it is always the watch that I would love to wear every day if it was given to me. This year it would have to be the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Date. I always love the Zeitwerk, and any iteration instantly falls on my list of most coveted watches. There is just something ridiculously awesome about it that makes it one of my favorite watches of all time.
And adding a date ring to the outside of the dial makes it even more practical and useful on a daily basis. And since its price is more than double my yearly salary, it will have to stay firmly on the “if money were no object” list for the foreseeable future.
GG: If you’re buying, I’ll take the unique-piece Les Cabinotiers Retrograde Armillary Tourbillon that we saw at Vacheron Constantin (see Wild Things! Vacheron Constantin Introduces One-Of-A-Kind Les Cabinotiers Mécaniques Sauvages Watches).
If that one is already sold, I’ll happily switch to the wonderfully innovative Traditionnelle Twin Beat, which solves the problem of keeping a perpetual calendar wound and properly set during long intervals off the wrist. I wasn’t entirely convinced by the dial-side aesthetics of the latter, but since you’re paying I’ll happily overlook that and focus instead on how truly clever this watch is.
MG: If money was no object, I know what I would get. Ever since its launch – see Ferdinand Berthoud Is Reborn With FB 1 Thanks To Chopard’s Karl-Friedrich Scheufele – I have been a huge fan of Ferdinand Berthoud. At every fair I think that this brand cannot improve its one and only model, and every time I am proven wrong. The latest dial is to die for, but unfortunately to afford it means the sale of vital organs.
SIHH 2019: the biggest fun-factor watch
IS: While I’m sure that two of the three brands I am about to name will have apoplexy at my mentioning them in the context of “fun factor,” plus I’m assuming cost is not a factor in our scenario here, there are three main contenders for me for three different reasons.
1. Richard Mille’s Bonbon (“Candy”) Collection was design genius – from the theme of the brand’s SIHH stand to the watches presented. I smiled every time I walked past, and I wasn’t the only one.
2. The wristshot above of the Armin Strom Dual Time Resonance Sapphire (thanks again to long-suffering wrist model Joshua Munchow) made me happy; it also made me feel that while this is a serious but crazy complication in an incredible case, it could be worn casually, “just for fun.”
3. While I was photographing the Bovet collection, one watch set off a small group nearby, and from hazy memory the words “hunky chunky” came up a few times, but I had no idea which watch they were referring to – and naturally, it turned out to be the Bovet Virtuoso IX. Its versatility, especially its ease in becoming a desk clock or pendant, makes serious complications fun.
ED: Ian, that is hilarious! Joshua and I were in that joking group talking about the watch while you were clicking away, and we were actually playing around with the word “flinqué,” which became “chunky flunky” in our ever-increasing hilarity. But all humor aside, that was one serious watch and one that we very much appreciated for its versatile fun factor and extreme craftsmanship.
However, in terms of sheer fun, I too am going to go with the Bonbons of Richard Mille. The only downside was the related press gift: I got a stomach ache on the drive home from eating too many of the delicious French candies! As I stated above, my favorite was the rich red RM 37-01 Cerise that looked good enough to eat.
JM: Some years there aren’t any watches that are simply fun for the sake of being fun. This year is not one of those years: Richard Mille came out with the Bonbon collection featuring pieces filled with enamel, miniature painting, and lacquers to create spectacular candy- and fruit-inspired decorations. My favorite is definitely the RM 07-03 Automatic Marshmallow, and while it is one of the most feminine watches of the collection with its smaller size, pastel hues, and billowy shapes, it is just the most pleasing to my eyes.
I would gladly rock it if I got the chance because, dang, if it isn’t super fun!
MG: Hands down the Richard Mille Bonbons.
Every brand is struggling as to how to bring a refreshing collection of watches for women, and Richard and his new creative director Cécile Guenat achieved it with crazy fun candy and fruit. The details are absolutely amazing and the execution is very high end, making these watches far more than just a gimmick to get attention.
I hope Mille continues on this road, as this might be the way to finally take haute horlogerie ladies’ watches into a realm of their own and out of the “we’ve-got-a-mother-of-pearl-dial-and-a-diamond-set-case-on-what-often-used-to-be-a-men’s-watch” arena.
GG: I am quite confident that opinions will be mixed on this, but I quite liked the Milo Manara erotic watches at Ulysse Nardin and could imagine including one of the tamer variants in my collection.
Away from Palexpo, the Ming 19.02 Worldtimer and ultra-clean Singer Flytrack also caught my eye and may capture my wallet!