The SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) 2016 has just wrapped up in Geneva. The yearly event is always seen as the battle zone for luxury watchmakers to set the standard and showcase their best offers. The following are Blackbird’s selections for the finest of the finest.
The first Panerai tourbillon calibre in titanium, the Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio special edition has the classic diameter of 47mm and has an exceptionally lightweight case thanks to an innovative technology called Direct Metal Laser Sintering. The 3D printing process allows layers of titanium in merely 0.02mm thick being merged together and forming solid forms that cannot be achieved otherwise. The hand-wound and patented skeletonised Panerai movement used here is the P.2005/T version with titanium bridges and plates, and it weighs 35% less than the previous P.2005/S movement. The back is made of see-through sapphire crystal and allows room for the power reserve indicator.
As the name suggested the Big Pilot’s Watch was originally created for the air force back in 1940. IWC has revisited its roots of the original and launched Big Pilot’s Watch IW500912. The dial of this latest version is visually more harmonious and similar to the original model, with the triangular index positioned below the chapter ring and slightly bolder numerals. The timepiece is equipped with the in-house calibre 51111 that offers a power reserve of seven days when fully wound with indicator at the 3 o’clock position. It also features sleek black calf strap made by similarly top notch and renowned Italian shoemaker Santoni.
While fountain pens are usually seen as the celebration of old world luxury, Richard Mille has launched probably one of the coolest pieces in SIHH – the RMS05 fountain pen with a mechanical movement that is as complex as any of their calibre. The brand’s research and development team spent four years before it finally came into realisation. It uses a self-winding calibre to extend the pen’s 18K white gold nib and the mechanism is activated with just a push of the button located at the top of the pen. The baseplate and bridges are made of grade 5 titanium and the recoil type escapement makes sure the pen’s nib automatically extends within seconds. Once the cap is replaced the mechanism is reset and rewound while the nib retracts and gets ready for the next use. The appealing visual effect on the barrel and the cap is created by modifying the direction of the weft by 45 degrees between layers of carbon fibres.
Smart wearable technology is one of the most talked about topics in the watch world, but rarely it is matched with luxury mechanism. Montblanc has showcased one of the few watches marrying the best of both worlds. The TimeWalker Urban Speed UTC E-Strap is compatible with selected Android models and the latest iPhones. The specially design e-strap allows the usual smart functions such as tracking walking distance and calories burnt, showing incoming calls, messages and notifications, and remote controlling the camera and music player on the phone.
Powered by the automatic calibre MB 24.05, the timepiece can display two time zones with the UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) function. The sporty design is paired with profiled stainless steel case and is shock and water resistant, which makes it a perfect companion for any active jet-setter.