10 new watches to put on your wrist in 2019

Each January, the horological world descends on Geneva for the SIHH salon, an opportunity for watchmakers great and small to signal their intentions and set out their stalls for the coming year. These were our 10 firm favourites from this year’s show…

Ressence Type 2

Last year’s SIHH bore witness to a first in mechanical watchmaking: the Ressence Type 2 e-Crown Concept, which incorporated digital technology allowing for the mechanical timepiece to be set from a smartphone, automatically adjusted to new time zones, and reset at the tap of a button. After extensive development, Ressence has presented the production version of the Type 2 at this year’s fair. And we’re thrilled to report that virtually all the clever technology and functionality of the prototype has been retained. A glimpse at the future of watchmaking? We wouldn’t bet against it… 

Hermès Arceau L’Heure Da La Lune

Arguably the most idiosyncratic timepiece presented at SIHH 2019, the Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune boasts a dreamy moon phase complication like you’ve never seen before. Two mother-of-pearl moons (northern and southern hemisphere) are rotated around every 59 days by two floating dials, one of which displays the date and the other the time. The patent-pending complication operating the function measures 38mm and comprises over 100 pieces alone. There are two versions of the awe-inspiring timepiece, each limited to just 100 pieces. 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin 

Of the raft of attractive watches presented by Audemars Piguet at SIHH this year, it’s the Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra-Thin in Black Ceramic that really stole our hearts. Limited to just 100 pieces, the 41mm piece’s black ceramic case, reduced 9mm thickness, and beautiful new Tapisserie Evolutive patterned and textured dial only serve to accentuate that extraordinary tourbillion at six o’clock. You’d never get bored with such a wondrous window to peer through.

A. Lange & Söhne’s Lange 1 ‘25th Anniversary’

While the new Zeitwerk Date’s increased functionality is difficult to resist, we can’t look past the sheer elegance of A. Lange & Söhne’s Lange 1 ‘25th Anniversary’ for this roundup. Over the last 25 years, the Lange 1 has come to represent everything that’s great about the German watchmaker, from fastidious craftsmanship to aesthetic magnificence. Now, there’s a new limited-edition version with a white-gold case, a solid silver dial with gorgeous blue markers and a large ‘25’ in the traditional position of the date, and an engraved hunter case back. Just 250 pieces will be built. 

IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition ‘The Longest Flight’

When IWC announced that it will partner Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones as they plan to circumnavigate the globe with the ‘Silver Spitfire’, we knew to expect some additions to the Schaffhausen brand’s longstanding Pilot’s Watch collection. And so it was to be – IWC has brought seven new references to SIHH, all inspired by the legendary mid-century fighter plane. The piece we’d most like to affix to our wrist is the limited-edition Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitfire Edition ‘The Longest Flight’, which was apparently developed especially for Boultbee Brooks and Jones for use on their 43,000-kilometre journey and combines the brand’s Timezoner complication with an automatic movement for the very first time. 

Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition

Salmon pink is very much in if the crop of new watches presented at SIHH is anything to go by. We think the colour is best utilised by Montblanc on its stunning new Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition, a piece that combines minimal and elegant 1940s looks with the enhanced functionality of a pulsometer scale and mono-pusher chronograph. The 40mm piece’s beautiful salmon dial and transparent case back make this one of our standout watches from this year’s show. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel 

Essays could be written on the nuances of the myriad complications in the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel, from the mesmerising spherical gyrotourbillon or the intricate minute repeater hammers and gongs that play the same chime melody as Big Ben in London. In fact, it’s a near miracle that Jaeger’s watchmakers managed to squeeze them all into a watch that measures just 43mm across and 14mm thick. It’s a technological tour de force from a brand with 186 years at the forefront of complicated watchmaking. 

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph

Going against the common neo-vintage grain, TAG Heuer presented a watch coinciding with SIHH that could well offer a glimpse into the future of high-end watchmaking: the Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph, which utilises a never-before-seen carbon composite hairspring. The technology has been patented by TAG, though we’re sure the watches it will end up in will not look quite as impressive as this one – only the Carrera case is familiar, while everything else from the open-worked dial and forged carbon bezel is nothing short of mesmeric.  

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin

In adding a brilliant blue dial to its rose gold Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin, Vacheron Constantin has lent the dressy and complicated watch a more casual and sportier vibe – one that’s only enhanced by the accompany blue rubber strap. We particularly love the ornate moonphase aperture, which nestles neatly at six o’clock just above the Vacheron logo.  

Panerai Submersible Carbotech 

Panerai has placed all of its eggs in its Submersible basket for 2019, which is in no way a bad thing – the Italian brand’s most rugged diver has garnered a loyal following for its no-nonsense approach. This particular model is the new Carbotech, which utilises the carbon-based material used by Panerai since 2015 and contrasting bright blue accents. There are two versions, one 42mm and one 47mm, the latter of which boasts an in-house movement. 

Photos: Ressence, Hermès, Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Söhne, TAG Heuer, Montblanc, IWC Shaffhausen, Vacheron Constantin, Panerai

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