Monday is usually a fairly easy day at the SIHH as the press conferences start later to allow visitors time to check in and get badges, etc. The Quill & Pad team kicked off SIHH 2015 with the Ralph Lauren, Richard Mille, and Montblanc press conferences.
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?
According to a recent interview with CEO Jérôme Lambert at the company’s Hamburg headquarters, Montblanc’s watch business is humming along swimmingly. And an interesting statistic is that women constitute about 35 percent of the clients of this brand. Thus, it stands to perfect reason that the luxury brand boasting two Swiss factories producing elegant wristwatches would not forget women in its campaign to “share its passion for fine watchmaking.”
Surprisingly, Montblanc has entered the 2014 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). I say surprisingly because I know that Jérôme Lambert is not fond of “beauty contests.” Montblanc’s SIHH 2014 offerings were thoroughly exciting and Lambert came across like a miracle worker to me. In the short year he has been in charge, the collection now boasts clear divisions into three main pillars, the top of the line obviously remaining Villeret.