SIHH 2018 unveiled many groundbreaking moments in the world of fine watchmaking, and the heartbeat of every piece, its movement, is beating with more life than ever with these new calibres
Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2160
Vacheron Constantin has just made its first in-house self-winding tourbillon movement. Calibre 2160 is a 131/2 ligne movement, beautifully finished and Geneva Seal-certified.
In designing and producing this automatic movement, the esteemed manufacture eschewed the conventional oscillating weight, making a beeline instead for the more inconspicuous
A movement as beautifully finished as this one deserves a peripheral rotor because it winds the mainspring from the edges rather than the central pinion.
And since it oscillates on the periphery, the movement only gains in width, not height, so at just 5.65mm thick, Calibre 2160 can be considered an ultra-thin movement.
Yet in spite of its thinness and the use of a peripheral rotor, this calibre compromises neither power nor performance. Its barrel very ably stores 80 hours of power reserve wound very efficiently by a 22-carat gold oscillating weight.
The 2.5Hz balance frequency isn’t the fastest on the market, but it does allow for beautiful views of the oscillator as it rotates within the tourbillon carriage.
Shaped in the form of the Maltese cross, the carriage sits directly under the tourbillon bridge, a component which took almost 12 hours to bevel by hand.
Baume & Mercier Baumatic
One of the greatest surprises at SIHH came from Baume & Mercier, which unveiled its first in-house movement since the days of Celestin and Louis-Victor Baume. The Baumatic derived its name from a heritage dress watch made in the 1960s, but its internal mechanics are decidedly new age. Developed in collaboration with the Richemont R&D team and produced by the ValFleurier Manufacture, Baumatic is a self-winding 121/2 ligne movement with a host of modern features.
It offers a 120-hour power reserve via an optimised alloy for the barrel. In addition, the escapement with Powerscape technology and Twinspir silicon hairspring maximises energy efficiency and increases chronometric precision. Indeed, this is the first Baume & Mercier movement with silicon technology. All these add up to a rate variation of between four seconds slow and six seconds fast per day – just like any COSC-certified chronometer.
The Baumatic also benefits from lubrication using new types of oils that can withstand greater variations in temperature. It also uses parts that are largely amagnetic (to 1,500 Gauss) so the watch is protected from radiation levels 25 times higher than regular timepieces and movements.
Parmigiani Fleurier Calibre Pf365
Beneath the subtly redesigned Kalpa case is a new movement that pays homage to the roots of Parmigiani Fleurier. Calibre PF365 is the world’s first solid gold self-winding integrated chronograph movement and is the result of six years of development at the manufacture.
This movement is one of the few high frequency chronographs in the industry, oscillating at 36,000vph or 5Hz. Unlike the older Kalpa chronographs, this one has a caseback that fully exposes the movement, offering views of the beautifully decorated movement.
Swathed in haute horlogerie finishes, this gorgeous calibre has partially skeletonised bridges around which 54 sharp internal angles can be found, which means traditional hand bevelling and chamfering. Like most of the best chronograph movements of our time, this one is column wheel-controlled and activated via a vertical clutch mechanism. A COSC-certified chronometer, this tonneau-shaped movement fits perfectly within the Kalpa case and stays powered for a maximum of 65 hours.
Officine Panerai Calibre P.6000
Completing its assortment of manufacture core movements, Panerai introduces the Calibre P.6000, a hand-wound movement with a three-day power reserve.
Measuring 151/2 lignes, it is slightly smaller than Panerai’s other manually wound three-day movement, Calibre P.3000, which stands at 161/2 lignes. Poised to replace the externally sourced Unitas Calibre 6497, it premiered in the new Luminor Base Logo and Luminor Marina Logo models. None of these watches, however, come with exhibition casebacks.
The balance oscillates at 21,600vph which is an average speed and it is securely fixed by a bridge with twin supports, rather than a cantilevered balance bridge which is typically the case in classical movement architecture. Panerai offers a stop-seconds device in this movement which kicks in once the crown is pulled out, allowing for greater precision when adjusting the time.
Montblanc Calibre Mb 25.10
Continuing the Minerva tradition of building some of the world’s best chronographs, Montblanc presented a manufacture chronograph calibre that pays tribute to the great watchmaking firm but in a modern and trendy way. Even though it doesn’t come with the signature devil’s tail bridges found in historical Minerva movements, Calibre MB 25.10 has its own set of high watchmaking hallmarks: bridges with Cotes de Geneve, plates with circular graining, classical blued screws and well-bevelled edges.
This self-winding movement winds the mainspring with a monobloc oscillating weight in black rhodium-plated tungsten that’s designed in the shape of a steering wheel, which is a nod to Minerva’s glory days of motor racing. As a chronograph, Calibre MB 25.10 is about as traditional as can be: column wheel control with horizontal instead of vertical coupling, and a stop-second mechanism that comes in handy when setting the time.
Calibre MB 25.10 is cased in the TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph which has an iconic tri-counter panda dial that gracefully balances heritage with style.