January 16th -20th,
Noteworthy Watches from SIHH 2017
Highlights from the Show: The Winners, The Losers and this Odd Duck (rat?)
AUDEMARS PIGUET, One of the original three “Holy Trinity” watch makers. Known for their complicated and precise in-house watch movements, their sport and formal dress watches can range from a few thousand dollars to over $500,000. Often considered “haute horology” they dazzle this years SIHH with some funky colors on their classic AP Royal Oak Off Shore diver, no doubt aimed at a younger generation of millennial professional who likes to use their wrist as an expression of unique individuality and expression of personal flare. Releasing a variety of vibrant and garish colors seems to be the trend most watch makers will need to adopt in order to stay a float in a world where wealth transfer is going to the new 30 something year old urban professional.
Mechanically you’re buying AP quality, so you know what you’re getting here. So let’s focus on the whole point of this release, the new bright color choices. While the majority of the new colors aren’t too ‘out there’ I think it offers a solid opportunity to match very specific outfits you may have to your watch more precisely, offering a more tailored expression of your personality. But I believe the classic neutral colors that can coordinate with any outfit are more of a safe choice for everyday life. It’s Nothing really life changing from AP, but is it a good design move or does it serve to cheapen the brands high standing reputation?
If you’ve always wanted a lime green or Banana AP diver to compliment your neon zinc sunscreen at the beach, now is your chance.
Royal Oak Off Shore, Ref. 15710ST, Cal. 3120 40 jewel Automatic Movement with Hack setting and 60 hour Power Reserve @ 21,600 bph, 42mm Stainless Steel Case, Sapphire Crystal, 300m Water Resistance, on a Rubber Strap. estimated retail price: $20,000 usd.
BAUME ET MERCIER, Shows us the Shelby Cobra themed tribute to the Daytona Coupe. Limited to 196 pieces worldwide (a number significant of the speed record achieved by the Daytona at the 1964 Le mans).
Powered by a 28,800bph Swiss La Joux-Perret 8147-2 automatic movement with a custom Cobra Daytona replica rim winding rotor, the movement has a fly-back chrono feature that allows for a quick reading of one chronograph calculation to another and a date aperture between the 4 and 5 o’clock position. The case is a 44mm polished stainless steel and titanium with an AR treated sapphire crystal on both the front and on the display back. The dial features C1 blue superluminova and a red Shleby Cobra insignia on the end of the seconds counter. This watch comes on a carbon fiber patterned blue calf skin strap with red stitching.
Individually numbered and limited to 196 pieces.
Available in June, it has an MSRP of $7,950
The 39mm Cartier Drive Extra Flat is fitted with an in-house Swiss manual wind Cartier 430 MC, 18 jewel, 21,600bph movement, with a 36 hour power reserve. The Drive Extra Flat is available in a rose gold or a limited edition of 200 pieces 18k white gold. The Extra Flat is 40% thinner than the original Cartier Drive model and features a beautiful sun burst dial with typical Cartier roman numerals, a two hand display and a flat faceted sapphire crystal. The Drive Extra Flat comes fitted on a flat semi-matte alligator skin strap and is priced around $16,000 usd for the pink gold and $17,000 usd for the limited edition white gold.
I love the geometry of this watch and its simple elegance. It appears very refined and the new smaller size is a welcomed improvement over the older larger 41mm x 11.25mm automatic Cartier Drive model, albeit at the cost of a date display and running seconds at 6 o’clock.