The UK’s premier watch exhibition Salon QP 2016 returned to the Saatchi Gallery last week. Here’s the four brands that really caught our eye…
Montblanc Boheme Exotourbillon
Montblanc, which was shortlisted in the Eve’s Watch Awards 2016 for Best Complication and Best Brand categories, has really upped its women’s watch game recently and this addition to its incredibly popular Boheme range indicates that this momentum isn’t about to slow.
Following in the footsteps of its first perpetual calendar, which was also part of the hugely successful Boheme collection, comes Montblanc’s first women’s exotourbillon which we made a beeline for at Salon QP 2016.
You may be vaguely familiar with a common-or-garden tourbillon, but an exotourbillon has the minimal weight of the cage disconnected from the balance wheel making it even more precise. Aside from the science side of things, this is a beautiful, bold watch. It’s slim (sitting just 9.37mm high) and at 38mm is substantial on the wrist without being too imposing.
Having its horological guts on display can make a watch look masculine, but that is balanced out aesthetically here by the diamond-set bezel and guilloched mother-of-pearl dial. It also has the simple release button on the strap so it can be changed at home.
It is certainly a surprise but one of the best ones to have come out of Montblanc for a while.
While not technically new, these colour changes for the Neomatik family certainly grabbed out attention and got us planning our next watch purchase. Getting the midnight blue treatment are the Tangente, Metro and Minimatik and to complement this shade the colour pops are in gold, green and tangerine. Apart from the dial, nothing else has changed – they all still have the DUW 3001 providing the heartbeat, Nomos’s revolutionary swing system and a 42-hour power reserve. Nomos continues to be on our best of show lists and it is no different at Salon QP 2016.
Discover more: Nomos the Winner of Best Design Eve’s Watch Awards 2016
FP Journe Élégante
When the word went out that FP Journe was making a woman’s watch there were raised eyebrows and flutters of excitement; after all this is a brand that doesn’t really do women’s watches. Then the news came that it was a quartz and there were further raised eyebrows and Eeyore-like sighs from the fairer sex. However this is no ordinary quartz; instead the Élégante houses Francois-Paul’s clever ‘hibernating’ electro-mechanical quartz movement, which has hands that stop moving if the watch isn’t worn for half an hour. Thanks to a microprocessor the watch continues to keep time, while the mechanical parts stop moving. This means that, when the watch is picked up again and mechanism starts moving, the hands return to the correct time.
It also looks fabulous too.
Czapek & Cie Quai des Berges
Czapek & Cie may be an old name but the recent iteration of the brand came to life through much more modern means – crowd-funding.
Thanks to the interest and generosity of friends, private investors and watch enthusiasts, this is now the first haute horlogerie brand to have been established by these means.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that these democratic beginnings point to a less than luxury product. As this women’s Quai des Berges shows this is still very much a high-end product.
The dial has mother-of-pearl and diamonds on it, the strap is alligator and the movement is one that has been developed for the brand on a proprietary level. Inspired by a pocket watch from the 1850s that was developed by François Czapek, it has double barrels, satiné finish of the bridges and a pair of open rachets, which is something of a signature.
You don’t get that kind of attention to detail from most crowd-funded enterprises.