The 2019 edition of Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie has begun in Geneva and each of the thirty-five exhibitors are displaying the latest and greatest in global watchmaking. From technological advancements to the highest of luxury materials, the watches displayed at SIHH set the tone for the new year in horology. Here is a look at two of the exceptional pieces exhibited this year from a few of the titans of watchmaking, Piaget and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon Meteorite
While thin movements and gemstone specializations are not new for Piaget, the combination of the galactic with gemstones and a tourbillon complication is an exceptional display of the watchmaking excellence for which the Swiss brand is known. The Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon Meteorite brings the extra-terrestrial to your wrist in this ultra-thin Altiplano with a dial made from a slice of meteorite. Building on the brand history of the 60s and 70s when Piaget used exotic, colorful stone dials, the expertise in gemstone cutting was beneficial to whittle down the slice of meteorite to fit in the ultra-thin Alitplano case. The 41mm case sits only 7.4mm tall and is constructed of 18k pink gold. The pink gold case is complemented by brilliant-cut diamonds set in the bezel (including a single briolette diamond in the crown). The blue meteorite dial provides a stunning contrast to the soft color of pink gold, creating a dynamic appearance to the Altiplano Tourbillon Meteorite which is completed with a blue alligator leather strap and 18k gold pin buckle.The Altiplano Tourbillon Meteorite is powered by the ultra-thin Calibre 670P manual-winding tourbillon movement measuring 30.6mm in diameter with a height of only 4.6mm. Consisting of 157 components which operate at 21,600 vph, the Calibre 670P features a 48-hour power reserve. The sapphire crystal front and caseback display the intricacy of the tourbillon movement along with hand-beveled bridges, sunburst brushed wheels, and a hand-beveled flying tourbillon cage. The time and tourbillon functions are displayed at the 8 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions. The hours and minutes indicators are thin golden baton hands similar to many other Altiplano dials. The flying tourbillon doubles as a second’s register. Classic styling and elegant touches make this timepiece a shining example of the excellence for which Piaget is known. The Piaget Altiplano Tourbillon Meteorite is offered in a limited edition of 28 pieces.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Moon Enamel
Jaeger-LeCoultre is celebrating 2019 as the year of Precision. Moving beyond the concept of precision as it relates to movements and complications, Jaeger-LeCoultre is using new pieces in 2019 to exercise an exacting attention to detail in the quest for watchmaking perfection. The first offering in a new series that will culminate with a new Grande Complication, is the Master Ultra-Thin Moon Enamel. Limited to 100 pieces, the Master Ultra-Thin Moon Enamel is presented as an example of craftsmanship and understated elegance.The polished 18k white gold case is enclosed with a sapphire crystal front and back. Measuring 39mm in diameter and 10.4 mm in height, the timepiece is water-resistant to 50m. The details of the case are minor compared to the exercise in precision presented by the in-house movement. Updated since the original offering, the in-house automatic Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 925/2 offers nearly double (70 hours) the power reserve of Jaeger models utilizing the 935/1 (43 hours). Calibre 925/2 powers the hours, minutes, and seconds on the central axis, with the date and moon complication located at 6 o’clock on the face. The dial of the Master Ultra-Thin Moon Enamel is a work of exquisite craftsmanship. Manufactured in-house and made of several individual parts which are then welded to create the final dial, Jaeger-LeCoultre demonstrates mastery of the traditional arts of watchmaking. The guilloche pattern of the dial is applied by hand and has to be aligned to match perfectly. The outer ring, hour markers, and subdial framing are all individually finished and applied. Lastly, a blue translucent enamel layer is applied to provide the depth and detail to the finished dial. Jaeger-LeCoultre finishes the Master Ultra-Thin Moon Enamel with a blue alligator strap with white gold pin buckle.As SIHH continues over the next few days, there will be many more amazing timepieces unveiled. These are two of our favorites so far, with attention to detail, master craftsmanship, and truly unique presentation. We can’t wait to see what comes next.