SIHH is winding down, and as usual, there are always some nice things to see.
This year, to my surprise, a couple watches really excited me, perhaps even surprised me. I'd like to discuss those in particular, understanding these two watches are not the only worthwhile watches this year at SIHH.
The first, is more of a collection revamp to me, and it was by IWC.
I've been a fan of IWC for nearly two decades now, but there was a definite turing point for me once Richemont took full control. What was once a very simple, minimalist no nonsense company making serious watches with serious in-house innovations, suddenly became a watch for Hollywood, and started pimping itself out.
Watches became way too big too fast, and the glorious history of IWC seemed to fade away.
They still make watches way too big (for the most part), but at least with the Portugieser (formally Portuguese) they have introduced some serious new in-house movements with really beautiful dials.
One of them is the Portugieser Annual Calendar. Essentially it's a 7-day automatic with the addition of perpetual annual calendar.
They also added a Perpetual Calendar with Digital Date (like the Zeitwerk by ALS), to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Portuguese.
And another 75th anniversary watch is the 8-day manual wound Portugieser. This model in particular comes in a 43mm case, which is quite nice. The others are nearly 45mm, a little too big, but more than that, over 16mm tall.
This is a far cry from the "Top Gun" days or just trying to have the most obvious booth, so I tip my hat to IWC. They've defnitely impressed in the way that I think they should (now only if they could make some 40mm - or smaller - versions).
For more info on the IWC watches, please click here.
The next watch, or collection of watches is the Vacheron Constantin Harmony line.
And absolutely masterpiece of a collection.
Also used to commemorate a milestone, in this case the fact that Vacheron has been around for 260 years, these watches offer something for everyone, and even set a world record.
These are pillow case case designs, which is really hard to do right, but offer a series of new in-house movements that took 7-years to develop including a dual time movement, a Tourbillon, a chronograph, and to me the star of the show, an ultra thing grand complication split chronograph.
The split chrono is only 5.9mm thick and has a "peripheral rotor", which does not cover the movement as it rotates (as all typical automatic rotors do), thus allowing one to see the glory of the movement working without obstruction. It is absolutely amazing, period.
Case sizes range from 37mm for the ladies versions up to 42mm. In fact, the single chrono sits at an absolutely perfect 40mm.
Not "cheap", the simplest variation starts at about $45k, and tops out with the grand complication at nearly $370k.
For more info on the Vacheron watches, please click here.
And for more info regarding all the watches, visit Sihh.org.