All that ticks
Fine watchmaking’s most glamorous trade event, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) has, since 1991, been the assembly ground for top luxury watch and jewellery brands to exhibit their novelties. Traditionally attended only by industry professionals and trade media, this week-long event organised by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie is often regarded as the de facto barometer of watch and jewellery trends, attitudes, and technologies. Committed to the art and science of watchmaking, SIHH is – in other words – a watch lover’s wonderland.
Change is in the air for the SIHH; in 2016, the event inaugurated its very first exhibition area for independent watchmaking, Carre des Horlogers, where nine watchmaking independents showcased their specialties alongside the industry giants. This year, five new independents are set to join the Carre: Romain Jerome, Gronefeld, MCT, Ressence, and Speake-Marin. Additionally, two international brands will officially start exhibiting at the SIHH: Ulysse Nardin and Girard-Perregaux, the latter returning after a four-year hiatus.
And for the first time this year, SIHH will open its doors to the public for just one day, on 20 January. Here are some things to look out for as you navigate your way through the exhibition.
A. Lange & Sohne
Constantly outdoing itself on the technical front, this German brand has been producing contemporary complications with innovative mechanisms. Keep your eyes peeled for the giant Lange timepiece at its entrance.
Much has changed for this historical brand including the introduction of a completely new timepiece, the Competizione. But GP loyalists can definitely continue to look forward to fresh renditions of the Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges.
Every year a new collection takes the limelight and this year, IWC will unveil the new Da Vinci collection after a 10-year hiatus.
Tourbillon enthusiasts, make a beeline for Jaeger-LeCoultre because apart from novelties, there are rare pieces you don’t get to see every day like the Gyrotourbillon. On-site watchmakers will also demonstrate their crafts, from assembly to decoration.
If the last few years are anything to go by, Montblanc is undoubtedly the one to watch. Rumour has it that the TimeWalker line is expecting some dramatic upgrades. Connoisseurs should also check out the 1858 collection.
The booth’s nautical design theme anchors this brand in the maritime world but Panerai had also proven to be among the most innovative at the SIHH. The brand has already released two teasers, PAM685 and PAM687.
Fine watches and high jewellery share the limelight here, with jewellers and watchmakers displaying their skills, including gem-setting and movement finishing.
Step into the fantastical world of Roger Dubuis where larger-than-life cuckoo clocks, labyrinthine oversized stars, and a giant golden falcon give you a hint of what’s to come.
All about artisanal watchmaking, Vacheron Constantin has been known to bring age-old machinery like the rose engine lathe and the artisan who operates it to its booth. This might be the only place you could see these watchmaking treasures outside of history books.
- Watchmaking books and other tick lit are up for sale at the bookshop.
- The central bars are open from 11am to 6pm with food service till 3pm.
- Use the cloakroom for free but beware of snaking lines at the end of the day.
- WiFi is available but can be patchy; download the SIHH 2017 app in advance.
- SIHH shuttle buses ferry visitors to and from the airport as well as key hotels all over Geneva.
Route François-Peyrot 30
1218 Le Grand-Saconnex
Open Day: 20 January 2017, 11am – 6pm
Tickets: CHF70 (subject to availability)