The year’s watch releases begin this month with SIHH in Geneva. Here is a preview of some of the exciting masterpieces luxury watchmakers will be delivering.
Cartier Skeleton Dual Time Zone Tonneau Watch
When the Cartier Tonneau watch first appeared in 1906, it challenged the notion of the round pocket watch with its unique oval shape. Now the Tonneau model defies convention yet again with the Skeleton Dual Time Zone Tonneau Watch, which elevates the timepiece to a designer object with its eye-catching skeletonised movement.
The watch is also a technical masterpiece: it employs two separate mechanisms for the home time and second time zone, while the movement shape and gear train alignment have been adjusted to preserve the case’s original curved shape. The watch is available in limited, numbered editions: 100 in pink gold and platinum, and only 20 in platinum set with baguette-cut diamonds.
Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Tourbillon Sky Chart
During the Enlightenment, expert watchmakers practised their craft in workshops perched on top of Geneva’s buildings. These workshops were known as cabinets, and it’s from them that heritage brand Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers department takes its name. Its latest masterpiece exemplifies the hundreds of years of craftsmanship for which the brand is known.
A minute repeater, tourbillon and a sky chart are combined in a single watch, which features a stunning white-gold case and a black dial rimmed with diamonds. Powering these functions is a movement developed specifically for the high complication timepiece.
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Huracàn Performante
The result of the latest collaboration between maverick Swiss watchmaker Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse motorsport division is the sporty-sleek Excalibur Huracàn Performante. Taking its cue from the eponymous marque, the watch is inspired by motor racing design, from its aesthetic down to its inner workings.
The hexagonal shape that features in the supercar’s design is present in the openworked dial, while the RD630 movement with a 12° inclined balance wheel mimics Lamborghini’s trademark aesthetic. This is the perfect watch for ambitious individuals who treat each day as a new opportunity to push their limits and take on challenging goals.
Montblanc TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph
There’s nothing that evokes the spirit of motor racing quite like the Montblanc TimeWalker collection. Created in the brand’s Minerva manufacture in Villeret, known for high-quality pieces that measure brief intervals of time with great precision, the TimeWalker boasts both heritage and technical mastery. The chronograph’s “panda” and “reverse panda” dials, so named for their black and white counters and backgrounds, became motor racing icons in the 1960s and ’70s.
This year Montblanc honours the collection’s history by revealing two new “reverse panda” TimeWalker Chronographs in 41mm and 43mm, which feature, respectively, satin-finished lugs for a smooth line and a semi-skeletonised look.
Hermès Cape Cod Chaîne d’ancre
The Cape Cod’s history is all about experimentation. Its original design was a bold “square in a rectangle” concept sketched by artistic director Henri d’Origny in 1991. The double tour strap was added in 1998, followed by stone, lacquer and colourful leather dials in 2016, and a matt black diamond-like carbon case in 2017.
This year sees the watch reinterpreting the iconic anchor chain motif created in 1938, rendering it in black spinels, white mother-of-pearl, and aventurine or diamonds against a black or white lacquered dial. The result is a watch that’s both daring and feminine.
Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon 41mm
Piaget has historically occupied a unique niche for its combination of exquisite watchmaking and jewellery expertise. The brand puts its gem-setting skills on display with the Altiplano Tourbillon 41mm, a vision of pink gold, blue meteorite and diamonds that evokes the dreamlike beauty of outer space.
Twenty-three brilliant diamonds encircle the blue meteorite dial, which features the distinctive Widmanstätten patterns typical of iron meteorites. A true love letter to the galaxy right on your wrist. The Altiplano Tourbillon 41mm is limited to 28 pieces.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun Ceratanium
With a name inspired by the US Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor programme, IWC’s Top Gun watch is designed with hardy materials such as ceramic and titanium to withstand the wear and tear watches are subjected to during demanding service on elite naval aircraft.
In the newest Top Gun line, IWC incorporates the material Ceratanium for the first time since the collection was created in 2007, producing the first jet black pilot’s watch. Ceratanium is a patented composite material that combines the advantages of titanium and ceramic.
Panerai Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry Edition
A tribute piece for Guillaume Néry, the French free-diving champion who has broken world records, the new Panerai Submersible Chrono is a professional diver’s watch that combines impressive technical performance and reliability with a strong, sporty look.
The watch features luminous white markers that stand out against the grey background and ensure that the dial is legible in any lighting conditions, even complete darkness. The watch is topped off with an engraving on the screw back of Néry’s signature and his final record—126 metres descended in a single breath.
Ulysse Nardin Diver 42mm Blue Shark
This striking piece joins the shark-inspired diving watches launched by the brand in September. Inspired by the blue shark and Ulysse Nardin’s 1964 dive watch, the Diver Le Locle, the Diver 42mm might be smaller than its 44mm counterparts but features the same concave bezel and domed sapphire glass.
The Diver 42mm also boasts a vintage look with an uncluttered dial and retro beige accents. Four strap options are available, too: blue fabric, black veal, stainless steel and a stainless steel Milanese mesh bracelet—the first time the brand has offered such a style.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Perpetual Calendar
The latest addition to Girard-Perregaux’s Laureato line is stylish yet easily wearable on a day-to-day basis; simple to use yet technically impressive; and a homage to classic watchmaking while displaying a chic contemporary, sporty aesthetic.
Its architectural 42mm steel case recalls the Laureato’s original design, created by a Milanese architect in the 1970s, and houses a blue dial embellished with a Clous de Paris hobnail pattern and contrasting white indications.
H Moser & Cie Pioneer Tourbillon
H Moser & Cie is no stranger to defying categorisation, and the Swiss brand does just that with its new Pioneer Tourbillon, a sporty, contemporary reinterpretation of the quintessential tourbillon. The watch is a flying tourbillon with double hairspring, three-day power reserve and an all-steel case that’s water resistant up to 120 metres, making for a versatile piece that can be worn every day.
It also has a remarkable, innovative system that allows for easy servicing of the watch, making this a convenient timepiece for the modern professional on the go.
Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Opaline Black & White
Following the success of the Galet Annual Calendar Montre École, which won the GPHG award in the Men’s Complication category last year, comes a new edition inspired by the chess board. The Galet Annual Calendar School Piece Opaline Black & White watch features contrasting opaline black and white dials, and boasts easy handling, a stylish aesthetic and top-flight performance.
The date and month can be quickly adjusted by turning the crown forward and backward, while the annual calendar complication harks back to the tourbillon double hairspring, the brand’s first manual movement.