Every year, in the lead-up to SIHH, exhibiting brands release teaser models, calling them pre-SIHH novelties. These timepieces are meant to whet collectors’ appetites, giving them something to look forward to in the coming year.
Sometimes, the watches offer a glimpse of which direction the brand is heading. Maybe yellow gold will be making a comeback, or chronographs will come to the fore as the brand’s focus.
Other times, the watches are merely teasers in the true sense of the word. They throw you off the trail completely. But that only makes the actual novelties stand out even more.
We picked four pre-SIHH 2018 lovelies that caught our attention. Whether they offer an accurate forecast of the year’s lineup or not, we will find out soon enough!
The IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition 150 Years tells the time without hands
Celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2018, IWC presents a sterling line up of vintage-inspired watches. Leading the charge is the esoterically designed Tribute to Pallweber Edition 150 Years. Resembling little of the usual Big Pilots and Portugiesers, it comes with a never-before seen digital time display. Make no mistake though, this is not an electronic watch but a mechanical one with jumping hours and minutes.
This is indeed a tribute to Pallweber, an Austrian watchmaker who invented this mechanism and made watches for several companies including IWC. The Schaffhausen manufacture, however, only made them from 1884 to 1887, styled obviously in a pocket watch. Now in 2018, this unique mechanism is available in a wristwatch format for the very first time. And it springs a few surprises of its own.
Its movement, Calibre 94200, is endowed with a patent-pending mechanism. This mechanism allows the single-minute disc to advance the 10-minute disc without relying on power from the mainspring. This allows for an ample 60-hour power reserve. In an 18k red gold case paired with a white lacquered dial, this watch is limited to just 250 pieces.
A Lange & Sohne’s 1815 Homage to Walter Lange puts the microscope on the smallest unit of time
To commemorate Walter Lange – the man who revived A Lange & Sohne in 1994 – the German manufacture has made a timepiece that highlights a 150-year-old invention conceived by its original founder, Ferdinand Adolph Lange. That invention was the jumping seconds and it was one of the earliest patents granted to Lange’s firm in 1877.
A jumping seconds hand ensures top-notch time-telling accuracy, as the hand never rests in between indexes. Like the original creation, this elegant wristwatch utilises the flirt-and-star principle. The star refers to a six-point star wheel and flirt is a technical term describing a tensioned lever arm.
Equipped with a newly designed movement, Calibre L1924 (recalling Walter Lange’s year of birth), this is probably the only watch in the world with two seconds hands, one that sweeps and one that jumps. A pusher at two o’clock starts or stops the jumping seconds hand. This gives the wearer a simple timekeeping function accurate to the nearest full second. There are three variations: white gold (145 pieces), pink gold (90 pieces) and yellow gold (27 pieces).
Montblanc’s Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec puts a new spin on an old classic
Nicolas Rieussec was the inventor of the first inking timekeeping device and inspired the word ‘chronograph’, which means ‘time writer’. With a strong passion for chronographs, it’s only natural for Montblanc to preserve the spirit of the Nicolas Rieussec collection.
The Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec retains the twin rotating chronograph discs for the elapsed 60-seconds and 30-minutes. Indeed, unlike typical chronographs, it does not rely on a central hand for timekeeping. Pushing the button at eight o’clock sets the discs in motion. When stationary, they are aligned with the blued steel horizontal piece under six o’clock.
In this stainless steel watch, Montblanc offers the classical touches of haute horlogerie. This includes a dial decorated with traditional guilloché and azure finishing at the centre of the hour circle. In addition, there is also a filet saute guilloché decoration around the dial’s perimeter. Calibre MBR200 is a vertically coupled column-wheel chronograph movement. It offers a second time zone and 72 hours of power reserve.
Vacheron Constantin’s Traditionnelle Complete Calendar proves that time is extra precious
Vacheron Constantin’s Collection Excellence Platine houses some of its most exclusive timepieces, ranging from the simplest to the most complex. All limited edition platinum pieces, they are what the most ardent Vacheron Constantin collectors look out for year after year. In 2018, their patience is duly rewarded by this complete calendar model that is both practical and charming.
One notch below the annual calendar, the complete calendar displays date, day and month. It needs only one manual date adjustment every end of the month. Inside, Calibre 2460 QCL also proffers a highly accurate platinum moon phase display and power reserve indicator. Limited to just 100 numbered pieces, this Geneva Seal-certified watch comes with a dark blue alligator leather strap. For extra finesse, the strap is hand-stitched with 950 platinum and silk thread.