SIHH 2016 can hardly be said to be spectacular nor lackluster. As usual, we see some brands go on a decline with questionable releases, and some which we applaud loudly on the stands and in our hearts. The 5 pieces that I have selected are from some of the brands that I have been a fan of for quite some time now.
True enough. Objectivity may be hard reason, nonetheless, these 5 pieces are chosen for its good value proposition, popular reception among collectors, strong artisan pedigree and an overwhelming wow factor.
Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Collection Twincounter Date
Montblanc (for the third year now) has been redefining value proposition. Having packed a punch with their perpetual calendars and annual calendars, this Montblanc Heritage Chronometrie Date is another well priced classic timepiece. I particularly like the dial display with an asymmetric subdial layout. The seconds at 9 and date counter subdials are different sized, with the latter a tad larger. This play of balance gives the dial an interesting twist outside of its overall well-designed classic look. The watch replica uses a modified SW200 movement and measures 9.85 mm in height.
IWC Big Pilot Heritage
As a long time fan of the brand, I was excited to see the new IWC Pilot’s collection. While debate over the awkward date display in the seconds counter has yet to hold session, the luxury watch replica on a whole, looks the part. A timely resurrection of the IWC Big Pilot icon. I was very much torn between the IWC Big Pilot Heritage 55 and its 48 mm cousin. The Big Pilot Heritage 55 limited to 100 pieces is nominally 10 times as collectible and rare as the Big Pilot Heritage 48 limited to 1000 pieces. The larger size also affiliates the bigger boy as the alpha and the smaller 48 size-ably inferior. However, I ultimately chose the 48 for its wearability in terms of its more comfortable size as well as a power-reserve approximately 4 times longer than the F.A Jones movement in the 55. Cased in titanium with a thoroughly vintage appeal, the IWC Big Pilot Heritage is the major upgrade to the IWC Big Pilot line that many collectors have been waiting for.
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 42mm
The new Vacheron Constantin Patrimony has an even softer look than before with its transition to pearl minute markers instead of the previous railroad markers. The overall case design and feel is more sublime, with a thinner bezel which provides more dial space for one to admire Vacheron Constantin’s dial finish. Alluding to vintage Vacheron Constantin seconds at 6 models of the 60s, the dauphine hands are considerably thinner this time. The design approach of reduction, less-is-more, minimalism appeals to my senses which ultimately lands a spot in my selection.
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moonphase
I love the moonphase complication. Lange’s 1815 Moonphase was one of my earlier grails, but now the Saxonia Moon may just take its place. There are a few design reasons why the Saxonia Moonphase works so well. The dial is beautifully balanced- with the central focus moonphase and big date windows aligned with the logo and hands. Bauhaus style minimalism of the line hour and minutes counters accentuate the beauty of the Moonphase disc, which contains no fewer than 852 laser cut stars. Not to mention the extremely precise moonphase movement crafted in fine German silver with high quality finishing, gorgeous case, hands and dial; this Lange Saxnoia Moonphase is in my opinion, the best Lange release of the year.
The MB&F HM6 Space Pirate SV (Sapphire Vision)
We have seen the titanium version of the HM6 and thought that was all to the HM6 line. But no. The Space Pirate or HM6-SV, this gorgeous platinum sapphire crystal version just blows me away. Cased in platinum and sapphire crystal, the semi transparent case leaves the naked movement out in the open for the view pleasure of all. The intricate movement parts have now all become part of the visual spectacle. I doubt there’s any more point in me expressing more love for this piece. If you’ve any doubts, just check out the photos.
With that, I end off this confession piece. Chester’s Top 5 picks. Do weigh in if you’ve any opinions.