Every year for the past 25 years, the Swiss have been throwing themselves an extravagant party, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. Celebrating the country’s favorite craft, the renowned fair once more attracted the crème de la crème in watchmaking. The maisons present at Geneva’s Palexpo convention center included Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Richard Mille, Roger Debuis, IWC, Piaget, and Vacheron Constantin, one of the oldest continuously producing manufacturers.
Piaget once more used the fair to show that the company is in the record-breaking business. At the SIHH 2014, it unveiled the world’s thinnest mechanical watch. At 3.65mm, the Piaget Altiplano 38MM 900P was an impressive (time)piece of work. At this year’s event, the Swiss manufacturer debuted the slimmest chronograph ever created. The Altiplano Chronograph Flyback measures a mere 4.65mm, which is quite an achievement considering the additional parts required. The movement is fitted in an 18-carat pink gold case and will become available in September 2015.
WORK OF ART: Vacheron Constantin chose the SIHH 2015 to celebrate its 260th anniversary with an entirely new watch collection, Harmony, and showcased the first seven models. Chief among them the Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph, a mechanical self-winding timepiece of no less than 459 parts. The company also added two timepieces to its Métiers d’Art collection, fitted with movements engraved entirely by hand with floral motifs, a process so meticulous it takes 10 days.
PARTNERS IN PERFECTION: An anniversary of a different kind was celebrated at Parmigiani Fleurier, where three new watches were launched to honour the company’s 10-year partnership (2004-2014) with high-end car manufacturer Bugatti. While similar in design to the Parmigiani Bugatti Super Sport watch, thehaute horlogerie timepieces are far more extravagant. The Art Deco-inspired watches feature the vertically oriented PF370 movement that uses drive shafts between the gears to deliver power, making the movement strikingly similar in appearance to a car’s transmission. The line up consists of the Bugatti Type 370 Victoire, which has a blackened white gold case, the rose-gold bodied Type 370 Révélation, complete with a filigreed hood, and the Type 370 Mythe. The latter is exclusively available in 2015.
GOING STONG: And since we’re on the topic of anniversaries we could not pass up on the 75th birthday of IWC Schaffhausen’s Portugieser family. The Portugieser perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary” stands out for its two miniature digital displays for the date and month. The most striking feature on the reverse is the movement’s solid gold rotor, which can be seen through the sapphire-glass case back. Available in either platinum or 18-carat red gold, production is limited to 25 and 75 watches, respectively.
Taking design cues from the original Portugieser timepiece, the Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “75th Anniversary” is the purist’s watch of choice. Therefore, the power reserve gauge was moved to the back of the case in order to preserve the simplicity of the dial, which features a company logo that is reminiscent of the original.