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Jason Pitsch

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control with new Sector Dials

Jason Pitsch

Jaeger-LeCoultre first debuted the Master Control collection in 1992 – so the Le Brassus-based watchmaker created three new variations this year for its 25th anniversary. The new models are not re-editions but rather retro editions, with open baton hands and new sector dials. The three watch models are the Master Control Date - 39 mm x 8.5 mm, the Master Control Chronograph - 40 mm x 12.1 mm, and the Master Control Geographic - 39 mm x 11.8 mm. All three versions maintain the same case diameter, are crafted in stainless steel and have the same respective movements (JLC calibers 899, 751, 939) as the models that they are based on. However, Jaeger-LeCoultre has managed to slightly reduce the case thickness on all three versions, which, of course, is a plus. The only other changes are to the dials and

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Ulysse Nardin Innovision 2

Marking ten years since the launch of the Innovision 1 – which boasted ten horological innovations – the Innovision 2, a halo/concept timepiece, was unveiled at SIHH 2017, with ten new innovations. Dual constant escapement Following in the footsteps of the Dual Direct escapement of 2001, which set new standards in efficiency, the new Dual Constant makes an even greater leap forward. This sophisticated constant force escapement makes ingenious use of a complex silicium structure with locking elements and flexible silicium blades that are not dependent on the mainspring. This means that friction is reduced, and the small pulses of energy transmitted to the balance wheel and hairspring are equal and constant over time. The result? Mechanical accuracy that is second to none. Direct silicium bonding The InnoVision’s escapement element is made from a process in which Deep Reactive Ion

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Jason Pitsch

HM7 Aquapod

Jason Pitsch

Last month at the SIHH trade show in Geneva, MB&F unveiled one of their craziest horological creations yet: the HM7 Aquapod. It is essentially their version of a dive watch. Although as you might expect, it is like no other dive watch you’ve ever seen. The HM7 Aquapod features a unique spherical construction with a 52.8 mm x 21.3 mm case crafted from either grade 5 titanium or 18K 5N red gold, with a massively domed sapphire crystal on the top, and a less domed sapphire crystal on the bottom. Most notably, there is a circular open space in between the main dial area of the watch the rotating bezel, which MB&F has dubbed a “floating” a bezel. The profile view clearly looks like a jellyfish! The inspiration for the watch was, of course, dive watches, but also a gelatinous

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Jason Pitsch

The Lange 31 with Anthracite Gray Dial in White Gold

Jason Pitsch

The Lange 31 was launched in 2007 and was the first mechanical watch with a power reserve of 31 days (744-hours), a feat that might not appear that impressive, especially when you see the fairly simple dial. However, in reality developing a mechanical wristwatch with a month-long power reserve, and delivering the power uniformly over the entire period, was extremely complicated, and accordingly, the cost of a Lange 31 is over six-figures. Moreover, only a few other watch companies have been able to achieve such a feat. The Rebellion Prometheus with a 1000-hour power reserve and the Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari with a 1200-hour power reserve come to mind. Technically speaking, nothing has changed with the Lange 31 since its initial introduction in 2007. The Lange caliber L034.1, which uses a key to wind the mechanism on the caseback of the

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 in stainless steel

Jason Pitsch

The world’s second largest annual watch trade show, SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève), took place last week in Geneva following a very tough year for the watch business in 2016. And so, not surprisingly, the watch introductions during the one week show were more conservative compared to recent years. There were more line updates and extensions, as opposed to all-new watches. More watches in stainless steel, as opposed to precious metals, than I can ever recall at this show. This is a good thing, as the two concerns we hear most often in the online community are related to price and case metal. Collectors want stainless steel watches and more reasonable pricing. The watch landscape (the way that watches are marketed from the products being made to how they are being communicated to the consumer), has changed

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Royal Oak Chronograph

Jason Pitsch

This year at SIHH, Audemars Piguet launched an entire refresh of their existing Royal Oak Chronograph line that includes new two-tone dials, inside the 41 mm diameter case. In total, there are eight new styles. Three stainless steel with steel bracelets, with a black on white, white and black and silver/gray on blue, four pink gold with either blue or brown dial on either gold bracelet or leather strap, and one titanium and platinum model with a blue on a gray dial. A Frederic Piguet 1185 caliber, referred to as AP caliber 2385 powers the line, as was the case in the past. The movement is an integrated vertical clutch actuated column wheel chronograph but it is made by Audemars Piguet’s Vallée de Joux neighbor, Frederic Piguet (which Blancpain bought out) because the phenomenal caliber 3120 with a chronograph module

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Kari Voutilainen Vingt-8 ISO

Jason Pitsch

Kari Voutilainen is a highly respected Finnish-born master watchmaker who has a small workshop in Môtiers, Switzerland that produces between 25 to 50 timepieces per year. From the beautiful guilloché dials to the three-part open-tipped hands, that Voutilainen is famous for, to the movement plate and bridges, all finishing is done by hand. Components such as jewels, mainsprings, sapphire crystals, and cases are outsourced, but most parts are made in-house, including the Voutilainen direct impulse escapement with two escape wheels, made of steel (for strength). The ingenious design provides a net energy gain of about 30% power in comparison to a traditional lever escapement, and so the power reserve is 65-hours instead of 50. The look of Voutilainen’s German silver three-quarter main plate and bridges – which are hand-finished to the highest haute horology standard – is arguably one of

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Panerai LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days

Jason Pitsch

Created by Panerai’s Laboratorio di Idee, the LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days features a carbon fiber composite case, a completely new deep black dial, and a movement needing no lubrication for 50 years. The 49 mm carbon fiber case, referred to as Carbotech, has already been in use on previous models, such as the Luminor Submersible 1959 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic that we reviewed in 2015. The 49 mm Luminor 1950 case has the same dense, uneven black surface, which is composed of very thin sheets of carbon fibre that are pressed together at a controlled temperature under very high pressure. What is all new, is the dial which is covered in carbon nanotubes, and the movement which works perfectly without any lubrication for 50 years, according to Panerai. The dial has Panerai’s the classic sandwich construction, with a

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in Ceramic

Jason Pitsch

Thomas Mudge produced the oldest known perpetual calendar in 1762. Patek Philippe followed in 1925 with a perpetual calendar wristwatch based on a ladies’ pendant watch. Breguet created the first perpetual watch with a true wristwatch movement in 1929. However, it was not until 1955 that the leap year indication was brought to a wristwatch by Audemars Piguet in the reference 5516. Prior to that, all perpetual calendar mechanical wristwatches had the day, date, and month indications – not the leap year. Having said that, Audemars Piguet is clearly recognized as a leader and innovator in the Perpetual Chronograph field, however, it is not the perpetual calendar equipped caliber 5134 movement that is new. Although, it was in 2015, when the larger 41 mm perpetual calendars in steel and pink gold models were introduced, with the enlarged movement (based on

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SIHH 2017: Audemars Piguet Diamond Outrage

As the third and final part of the Audemars Piguet Haute Joaillerie ladies’ cuff timepiece trilogy – which started with the Dimond Punk in 2015, followed by the Dimond Fury in 2016 – the Diamond Outrage debuts today at SIHH in Geneva. The Diamond Outrage is available in two different one-of-kind pieces that are crafted in 18K white gold and include prominent spikes set with either diamonds or blue sapphires. Aptly described by Audemars Piguet, the “Diamond Outrage becomes an explosion of stalactites on the wrist.” The sparkling spikes vary in size from 29.30 mm to 40 mm in length, and are produced using the so-called “snow setting” technique, where the diamonds are set so close together that the jewel’s white gold frame appears almost invisible. The invisible setting, another rare technique, is used for each of the three distinctive

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