We caught up with three of our experts, Senior Luxury Watch Buyer, Lisa Broun; Head of Watch Buying, Mark Toulson; and David Lindsay, our Director of VIP Client Sales, to get the lowdown on their favourite launches from SIHH.
Last month, we sent a team of experts to walk the halls of Geneva’s Palexpo centre for the 29th edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (or SIHH, as it’s known for short). As ever, the salon gave us the opportunity to get up close to the all the new-for-2019 launches from brands such as Cartier, IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre. Here, we speak to three of our most knowledgeable experts to find out their take on the show, and the watches to keep an eye out for this year.
Lisa Broun, Senior Luxury Watch Buyer
This year, Cartier continues to focus on its two big pillars, with new launches in both the Santos and Panthère collections. Following on from last year’s successful relaunch of the Santos, the brand is now revolutionising its Santos-Dumont. There are all-new models available in quartz, in two different sizes to appeal to gents and ladies, and in steel and bi-colour editions. It’s a classic piece that’s a great addition to the collection. For me, the standout piece is the new smoky blue dial on the Santos, which is so on trend. Cartier uses a special technique to apply the colour, meaning each watch dial is unique. Elsewhere, Cartier has introduced a new case size for the Panthère. The Panthère Mini, which measures up at a dainty 20mm, is a really beautiful jewellery piece for the wrist, and is available in steel and in 18-carat gold with a quartz movement. As ever, Cartier continues to create beautiful timepieces that are spot-on for our clients.
Mark Toulson, Head of Watch Buying
Seeing Vacheron Constantin’s novelties is always delightful. The standout piece for me was the Overseas Tourbillon – it’s a beautiful watch and retails for about £103,000. It was a real surprise. In common with lots of pieces at SIHH this year, it has an exquisite blue dial – in fact, it’s one of the nicest blue dials I’ve seen in a long time. The brand has gone big into the wild blue yonder, and is now bringing out blue dials for its very successful FiftySix model, on which we’ve previously reported as well as its Patrimony and complicated Overseas models. It makes sense, as blue is a growing trend right now.
Of its latest offerings, I think the most popular will be the steel FiftySix with the aforementioned blue dial, either as a three-hand date model or the full calendar moon-phase version. The current models with silver dials work so well that I think the blue dials are bound to appeal. The brand also introduced some diamond-set Overseas models for ladies, which looked really good.
David Lindsay, Director of VIP Client Sales
I’m always like a kid in a sweet shop at SIHH, but my expectations are always exceeded. There was so much for the eyes to feast on at this year’s salon that it’s hard to know where to start. I fell in love with the Rose Gold Vintage 1945 from Girard-Perregaux. I can’t stop thinking about it! Cartier is building a great portfolio – I loved the skeletonised Santos-Dumont in steel – and I’m sure we’ll be inundated with requests for Lange & Söhne’s Lange 1 25th anniversary edition.
I think it’s going to be another big year for blue dials. And I also saw an array of wonderful colours coming out of Hublot – hats off to the brand for its varied selections and styles this year. Overall, I would sum it up by saying men’s watches are becoming more conservative, and ladies’ models are growing in size. Soon, I think there’ll be no more ‘his and her’s’ watches, and it’ll all be about size choice. I think it’s really cool the way the industry is shaping out, and giving us all more options.