Probably the most glamorous event in the horological calendar, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, otherwise known as SIHH, is an invitation only watch spectacle from the Richemont Maisons, which takes place at the end of January. Armed with our precious invites, trusty notebooks and a hectic appointment schedule, team Eve’s Watch dodged the champagne quaffing few and embarked on a journey of opulence around the halls of the Palexpo exhibition centre. Whilst an exhibition centre doesn’t strictly sound like the place for extravagance, let us set the scene…think Rodeo Drive (indoors) with ornate and elaborate stand fronts for brand names like Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Roger Dubuis and Van Cleef & Arpels; the place even smells expensive, or maybe that’s just the perfectly groomed, designer clad guests.
Confronted with dazzling diamonds and temptation at every turn, we bring you a round-up of the (at times) ostentatious, technically astounding and exquisitely beautiful women’s watches launched at this year’s show.
After years of women’s watches being under represented in the creations of the Swiss watch maisons, the tides have turned and SIHH provided us with a host of brands showcasing mechanical watches for women that have been designed as such and are not merely downsized versions of their male counterpart. Taking things to technical heights, Richard Mille launched five new women’s pieces including the RM19-01 designed in association with brand ambassador, Natalie Portman. Among others, Piaget also stood out from the crowd with its Altiplano skeleton, the world’s thinnest diamond-set automatic movement at just 3mm thick. Impressive stuff indeed but prepare to part with a 5 figure sum![slider slide_page=”sihh1″ slider_type=”slides” limit=”4″]
Certain brands appeared to have looked to the stars for inspiration this year with astrological complications high on the agenda in both men’s and women’s collections. From the ‘simple’ moonphase complication to Van Cleef & Arpels’ all out celestial domination with its exceedingly beautiful Midnight Planétarium and Lady Zodiac models, even the sky wasn’t the limit this year.[slider slide_page=”sihh2″ slider_type=”slides”]
When it comes to women, the sparkle factor is often unprecedented and this year was no different with timepieces glinting and flashing seductively under the glare of exhibition lighting. Whilst some took their extravagance to impossible levels with totally diamond set dials, cases and lugs, others took a more refined approach incorporating a number of creative techniques. Cartier’s mind-blowing floral marquetry uses actual flower petals to create exquisite designs, and on the floral note, Piaget’s Limelight Blooming Rose allows the wearer to spread its petals to create different striking aesthetics in one watch.[slider slide_page=”sihh3″ slider_type=”slides” limit=”10″]
An Air of Classicism
With all this bling on display it was sometimes the watches which offered less dazzle that were most beguiling. Parmigiani Fleurier’s Pomellato Tonda is a notable example with its turquoise dial and stone set bezel. Baume & Mercier’s use of Red Gold in its two-tone Clifton also stood it apart from the crowd as an example of simplicity at its finest and A.Lange & Söhne’s Saxonia is firmly atop my summer watch wishlist.[slider slide_page=”sihh4″ slider_type=”slides” limit=”10″]
With this luxurious glimpse into what the world of watches has in store for 2014, we are now highly anticipating the next event on the agenda. With the industry taking centre stage again at the end of March for BaselWorld we look forward to bringing you further insight into what will be adorning your wrist for the Autumn/Winter season and beyond.