Bezel & Barrel REVIEWS, NEWS, AND INFO FOR WATCH ENTHUSIASTS

SIHH Review

SIHH, or the Salon Intl de la Haute Horlogerie‎, has been over for almost two weeks. Does that make us a little late with our commentary? Maybe, but I don’t think so. See, nobody from Everest was invited, so we all had to live vicariously through all those journalists and bloggers who did get invited.

It’s all a matter of perspective. If you’re there, talking to the brands and trying on watches and getting press kits on thumb drives (and other swag?), you see things one way. If you’re back here stateside, watching the Timezone press release forum or Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you see things another way.

Neither is better than the other (easy for me to say, who was not there fondling the watches…), they’re just different.

And so, to the watches… or some of them anyway. After all, the fifteen brands of the Richemont Group plus nine independent makers were there, each with numerous pieces – far too many to cover here. So we’ll go for impressions, eh?

It was good to see IWC go back to 36 and 40mm with the Pilot’s Watch Automatic 36 and the Mark XVIII, respectively. And it’d good to see them go back to single date windows. Apparently they were pushing the 36 as a women’s watch, but there are – and were – plenty of men’s watches that caliper in at 36mm. Rolex Day-Date, anyone?

Of course, IWC balanced those pieces with their Big Pilot's Heritage 55 And 48 Limited Editions (100 and 1000 pieces worldwide, respectively), although they’re both in homage to the original 52 caliber TSC (Tirette Seconde Centrale) made for the German Air Force in 1940.

It’s the 85th anniversary of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, and JLC’s releases reflect the fact. The Tribute Reverso Duo celebrates the date with two dials, one featuring a 24 hour dial to indicate day and night.

Lange & Söhne’s Richard Lange Jumping Seconds is just plain beautiful, although I never really got the jumping seconds part in a mechanical watch – beyond the genius it takes to make one.

The Cartier Drive is a classically styled men’s sport watch evoking a long-ago era of open top sports cars flying along tree-lined country roads.

Vacheron Constantin released several new pieces in the Overseas series, featuring a unique bezel treatment – a style point I personally am not too sure about.

So that’s a snapshot of SIHH 2016 from the comfort of my office here in the Midwestern United States. As far from Geneva as that is, one can get quite a sense of what went on simply by virtue of being virtual.

 

-Ed Estlow

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