Each January, watch lovers look to Geneva and the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), awaiting the latest timepiece launches from some of the world’s most fascinating watch luxury brands and independent watchmakers. The novelties introduced at SIHH define the horological trends for the year to come.
Stephen and Jared Silver make a pilgrimage to Switzerland every year to select new and rare timepieces for their high horology salon. Here are a few of the newest timepieces from Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry’s portfolio of featured watchmakers, launched this week to the world in Geneva, and coming soon to Silicon Valley.
The Historic Maisons corridor of SIHH houses some of the most storied brands in watchmaking history; however, their offerings for 2019 were anything but traditional. For 2019, these brands channeled the best of their heritage while pushing horology further with experimental new materials and clever complications.
BOVET Brainstorm® Chapter One
BOVET takes the inclined “writing slope” case design of the Brands GPHG award-winning Récital 22 timepiece, and translates the distinctive case shape in sapphire for its new Récital 26 Brainstorm® Chapter One. The inclined case crafted of light, ultra-transparent sapphire facilitates new perspectives and arrangements of its complex mechanisms and indicators, which include a flying tourbillon, three-dimensional moon phase, big date, and 10-day power reserve indicator.
Greubel Forsey Balancier Contemporain
Greubel Forsey unveiled the new Balancier Contemporain, the first timepiece by the brand that measures under 40mm. With 225 components, a 72 hour power reserve, and an unrivaled level of finishing, this is going to be one of the big winners from the show this year.
Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune
The new Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune retains the playful nature of Hermes’ flagship watch collection but introduces twin hemispheric moon phases. The dual moon phase indicators, beautifully crafted in mother-of-pearl, command full attention and rotate in an out of view behind lacquered date and time discs against a dial of meteorite or aventurine, all housed within a 43mm white gold case.
Carré des Horlogers and The Independents
The Carré des Horlogers and outlying independent brands, exhibiting elsewhere in Geneva during the show, did not disappoint in 2019. Their independent spirit and imagination were on full display this year, and these maverick watchmakers introduced some of the year’s most buzzworthy new timepieces, each more visually engaging and technically complex than the next.
MB&F HM6 Final Edition
MB&F announced its new HM6 Final Edition just before SIHH commenced, marking the latest and final chapter of one of the brand’s most successful and unconventional wristwatch series to date. The HM6 Final Edition has been updated with a rare stainless-steel case and a revised central dome, which allows an improved, panoramic view of its flying tourbillon.
HYT – H²0
HYT’s new H²0 bridges past and future with its mix of traditional elements like guilloche ornamented yellow gold and futuristic red fluid accents which transformed the brand’s signature production technique into an eye-catching design element.
Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar Montre Ecole
For 2019, independent watchmaker Laurent Ferrier updated his beloved Galet Annual Calendar Montre Ecole with a new movement, the LF126.01, and introduced a stunning blue dial. As always, Laurent Ferrier will issue this model in an extremely limited production.
Ressence Type 2
Ressence has set out to improve the mechanical watch in every way, and this year, the brand set out to design a smarter mechanical watch. The new Type 2 comes equipped with a unique power saving function, its e-Crown®, which will automatically hold the barrel of the mechanical movement if it sits idle for more than 12 hours. To resume timekeeping, the wearer need only double tap the sapphire e-Crown®. The e-Crown® can also register two time zones, set via a Bluetooth enabled smartphone app.
URWERK UR-105 CT Maverick
URWERK introduced the New UR-105 CT Maverick in a limited-edition of just 22 pieces. The brand designed the watch in honor of artists, eccentrics, inventors, and individualists who make their own colorful mark on the world. The hallmark of the UR-105 CT Maverick is its raw bronze bezel, whose rich patina will evolve and deepen the more it is worn.
The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition
In 1953, Breitling launched its Ref. 765 AVI, a pilot’s watch (AVI stood for “aviation”) known as the “Co-Pilot”. It had a particularly bold look with a rotating bezel and oversized Arabic numerals, and its impressive legibility made it a favorite among aviators. Breitling is honoring this classic chronograph’s legacy with the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition.
The new AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is a carefully researched and crafted re-edition of the legendary Co-Pilot and is based on one of the early iterations from that year. The Co-Pilot was a 1950s interpretation of the onboard clocks designed and produced by Breitling’s Huit Aviation Department in the 1930s and 1940s, which have already provided inspiration for the watches in the Aviator 8 collection.
The new watch coexists comfortably with another Breitling icon: the Navitimer, with its famous circular slide rule, established its sterling reputation for flight calculations, while the Co-Pilot, with its superior legibility and rugged construction, was particularly valued as a reliable companion equal to the challenges of aerial activity in the most extreme of circumstances.
The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition
The AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is the brand’s second historical re-edition. The first, the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, was one of the most popular releases of 2019 – and the new watch is set to follow in its footsteps. Georges Kern knows that the new watch will enjoy the same enthusiastic reception as the previous Re-Edition, saying: “It was always clear to us that long-time Breitling fans would embrace these watches. But it’s also exciting to see how strongly they appeal to people who are new to our brand – they can take one look at a Re-Edition and see how much living history, innovation, and cool luxury we can pack into a single watch.”
The AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is being produced in a limited series of 1953 pieces, each of which will be numbered “ONE OF 1953”. The watch is powered by the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09, a manually wound mechanical chronograph movement based on the brand’s celebrated in-house Manufacture Caliber 01. The B09 was designed with the Re-Edition models in mind, and, like all Breitling movements, it is a COSC-certified chronometer.
Breitling’s Re-Edition Watches – Attention to Detail, Respect for a Legacy
Breitling’s Re-Edition watches are created with painstaking attention to detail. Every effort is made to ensure that each one is a faithful reproduction of the original.
The AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition features the same Arabic numerals as the 1953 Co-Pilot as well as hand-applied Super-LumiNova®, the color of which has been carefully chosen to recall the luminescent material on the original. The 41.1-millimeter stainless-steel case is also identical, and the bezel is secured by three screws that are placed in precisely the same positions as those on the watch from 1953. The watch features thin syringe hands, which exactly match those on the earliest examples, and a domed hesalite crystal that has been fashioned in precisely the same shape as the original.
There are only two concessions that distinguish this new timepiece from its famous ancestor: the water resistance of the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition has been improved to 3 bar (30 meters/100 feet) compared to the original version, and keen-eyed observers will also see that “GENEVE” no longer appears on the dial.
The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition is presented on a black vintage-inspired leather strap with a pin buckle and comes with a five-year warranty.
The Breitling AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition in Precious Metals
There is no question that Breitling aficionados will be drawn to the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition and a chance to wear a piece of history on their wrists.
Breitling will also be releasing the AVI 1953 Edition in two striking precious-metal versions. The first is crafted in 18 k red gold with a black dial and a brown vintage-inspired leather strap. This model will have a limited-edition run of 253 pieces, and “ONE OF 253” will be engraved on its caseback. The second is being produced in platinum and features a blue dial and a gold vintage-inspired leather strap. This extraordinary version will be available in a limited edition of only 153 pieces, a fact that will be verified by “ONE OF 153” engraved on the back of the platinum case.
These AVI 1953 Edition watches created using precious metals also offer water resistance to 3 bar (30 meters/100 feet) and feature hand-applied Super-LumiNova®, the color of which calls to mind the luminescent material on the original watch.
Celebrate Time With A Personalised Engraving On Your Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso
When Jaeger‑LeCoultre introduced the Reverso almost 90 years ago, its blank metal flip side was designed purely as a functional solution to the need for polo players to protect the delicate glass of their watches. However, it immediately became a canvas for special messages and artistic expression, decorated with enamel or engravings.
Some would commission engravings for themselves – to mark one of life’s milestones or as a reminder of something deeply meaningful. Others would commission engravings as a gift for someone special in their lives – perhaps a significant date, maybe a message of love. Thanks to the Reverso’s design – unlike any other watch – the decoration could be kept secret or flipped over to be displayed to the world.
Continuing this tradition, three of the Maison’s friends share their stories about how they have personalised their Reverso watches.
A watch enthusiast since he was very young, British actor Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite, X-Men, A Single Man) has enjoyed close links with Jaeger‑LeCoultre for the past four years, regularly participating in the Maison’s cinema-related activities. His Reverso, a Reverso Classic Large Small Second in Steel, reflects his relaxed and classical style of dressing and his choice of engraving – his son’s initials – is equally classical, yet deeply personal. The first time he spoke about his baby in an interview, he said that being a father “makes you value time differently” – so it is especially fitting to have his son’s initials engraved on a favourite timepiece.
“I engraved the initials HKH as a way to honour my son and keep him close to me every day. Timepieces have a tradition in my family of being passed down between generations. I am excited to pass along this watch to my son one day, “ says Hoult, adding that his interest in watches began through his own father’s fascination with timepieces. Through his choice of engraving, Hoult has created a future heirloom with a deep emotional connection to his family.
Welcomed by Jaeger‑LeCoultre as a friend of the Maison at the beginning of 2019, when she attended SIHH for the first time, American actress Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia! Les Misérables) often speaks about her beloved dog, Finn. Since she rescued the Australian Shepherd from an animal shelter almost a decade ago, he has played a major part in her life.
For the flip side of her Reverso Classic Medium Thin, she asked Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s engravers to reproduce a favourite photograph of Finn. “He’s been my constant companion, unconditional support, and the guiding light in my life,” explains Seyfried. “He’s my forever lucky charm and having his little face against my skin every day will be the perfect reminder of how special our bond is.”
With starring roles in The Flowers of War and Love and Destiny among her credits, Ni Ni is one of China’s most acclaimed young actresses. A friend of Jaeger‑LeCoultre since 2018, she has taken an active role off-screen in the Maison’s initiatives to support and preserve the cinematic arts. For her Reverso, Ni Ni has chosen plum blossom as a poignant reminder of her home town – but it could just as easily be seen as an allegory of the actress’s delicate beauty and inner strength.
“When I was a child, many Chinese poems about the elegance and resilience of the plum blossom impressed me a lot. In my hometown, Nanjing, we have the ‘best Plum Blossom Mountain in China’ and Xuanwu Lake, where you can find plum trees blooming vibrantly even in winter snow,” Ni Ni explains. “The choice to include these elements was not only due to the classic beauty of the plum blossom, but also because it’s symbolic of perseverance in the face of adversity.” The cool tone of the steel case of Ni Ni’s Reverso Classic Medium Thin makes a beautiful background for the delicate engraving of the plum blossoms.
Big Bang Special Edition Rockies
Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot celebrated the opening of its first U.S.
mountain-resort boutique in Aspen
and launch of the Spirit of Big Bang
Special Edition Rockies. The celebration hosted a ribbon cutting
ceremony, cocktail reception, and dinner alongside friend of the brand, Olympic
Gold Medalist, and world champion, Bode
VIP and members of the media enjoyed an action-packed day set against the unrivaled Aspen landscape, hitting the slopes at Aspen Snowmass while keeping time with Hublot clocks on display throughout the resort. The evening kicked off with an official ribbon cutting ceremony presented by Jean-Francois Sberro, President of Hublot North America, which flowed into a cocktail reception where guests perused Hublot’s latest novelties and mingled with Bode Miller. All attention turned to Jean-Francois Sberro as the hazy white glass of the main vitrines faded to reveal the Spirit of Big Bang Rockies. To cap the day of celebrations, guests dined at legendary members-only Caribou Club, toasting to Hublot’s expanding presence in Aspen.
“Hublot has developed strong relationships with leading ski destinations around the world, so we are proud to be opening the first North American mountain-resort boutique in the iconic city of Aspen. We are looking forward to developing our relationship with this incredible city and are grateful for Bode Miller’s continued support.” -Jean-Francois Sberro, CEO HUBLOT NORTH AMERICA
“I am excited to be joining Hublot again as they continue to bring the brand’s culture of excellence to Aspen.” -Bode Miller, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST, HUBLOT FRIEND OF THE BRAND
The Spirit of Big Bang Special Edition Rockies, limited to 25 pieces, features a white ceramic case and blue lined rubber straps, offering another chic take on the brand’s signature Art of Fusion. Designed for the serious and stylish skier, the high-tech ceramic – zirconium dioxide with high temperature sintering – provides a hard and solid case resistant to scratching and ageing, yet lighter than steel. Sporty and sophisticated, the trademark rubber straps add another element of function and style. Outfitted with the quintessential colors of ski season, snow white against clear blue skies, the newest Spirit of Big Bang houses the HUB4700 self-winding chronograph movement inside the iconic 42mm tonneau case.
Hublot Aspen, the brand’s first mountain-resort boutique in North America, will be operating through the winter with a full selection of timepieces in addition to the exclusive special edition Spirit of Big Bang Rockies. Featuring a bar and lounge with evening trading hours, the boutique is perfect for après! Located in the heart of West End, the charming and vibrant bustle of the town encompassed by the Rocky Mountains creates the perfect backdrop for Hublot.
The seasonal boutique supports Hublot’s position as the Official Timekeeper of Aspen Snowmass, one of the most prestigious ski destinations in North America, where Hublot reinforces the mountain culture closely tied to the brand’s Swiss heritage. In addition to this partnership, Hublot has developed strong relationships with leading luxury ski resorts around the world including Courchevel 1850 in the French Alps and Zermatt, where Hublot opened a chalet-styled boutique in both villages, released dedicated limited editions, and signed partnerships with iconic actors and venues affiliated with both resorts. Aspen Snowmass Resort joined the Hublot portfolio sharing the same ambition of being “first, unique and different” and celebrating ski culture.
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