Our horological highlights from 2017 SIHH

The opening act on the horological calendar, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, is an event where every major watchmaker sets out its stall for the coming year. These were the highlights from this year’s show…

Piaget Altiplano

The watch of choice for French bon vivant Alain Delon, the ultra-thin Piaget Altiplano, has been adored for 60 years now, during which time the timepiece became known as a personification of elegance. Piaget is marking the anniversary by dedicating its 2017 to the legendary model, with a range of colourful pieces that are a refreshing change from the black, silver, and gold watches seen elsewhere at the show.

A.Lange & Söhne Lange 31

It feels strange to describe a dress timepiece as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but it really is true of the updated Lange 31, namely because of the astonishing 744-hour (or one-month) power reserve of its calibre L034.1 movement. Just 100 will be built, featuring a white-gold case and a grey dial. 

Richard Mille RM 50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Ultralight McLaren F1

Legendary designer of the McLaren F1 Gordon Murray was obsessed with saving weight, and it’s a principle that Richard Mille’s skilled watchmakers have employed for its latest timepiece, designed in collaboration with McLaren. The world’s lightest split-seconds chronograph, the RM50-03, weighs a scarcely believable 38g thanks to its titanium, carbon, and graphene construction. Priced at over 1m CHF including VAT, the watch takes aesthetic cues from the Woking-based Formula 1 manufacturer’s cars, such as the wheel-rim motif on the crown and the air-duct-style pushers. 

RJ x Donkey Kong

A glorious union of 1980s style and traditional watchmaking, this eight-bit-inspired collaboration between quirky Swiss custom watch outfit RJ-Romain Jerome and Nintendo features Donkey Kong and Mario hand-painted on its dial. Its 46mm titanium case shrouds a self-winding movement that boasts a 42-hour power reserve – suffice to say, it’s not playing games. 

IWC Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph

Never one to be upstaged, IWC used SIHH to reveal its new updated Da Vinci collection, which features three complications – a chronograph, a tourbillon, and a retrograde date display. The dial is surprisingly uncluttered; however, its stunning tourbillon entrance begs you to peer closer. It also boasts a 68-hour power reserve.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ceramic

Audemars Piguet has built a Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar entirely in matte-black brushed ceramic for the first time. The strap alone takes five times longer to craft than its steel equivalent, but the material offers a much greater level of protection from scratches, heat, and ageing. We think it looks truly fantastic. 

MB&F HM7 Aquapod

Taking inspiration from jellyfish, MB&F’s first aquatic-themed ‘Horological Machine’ has been aptly named the Aquapod, and as you’d expect from the quirky manufacturer, it looks unlike anything else we’ve ever seen. The outlandish case comprises two hemispheres of high-domed sapphire crystal covering a flying tourbillon, surrounded by a traditional-looking curved ceramic bezel. It is big (54mm across and 21mm thick) and bold, but it’s so much better for it. 

Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic

Designed to emulate evocative racing car instruments of old while also encompassing modern features, such as the black ceramic dial, Montblanc’s new TimeWalker Chronograph is about performance as much as it is nostalgia.

You can find a wide selection of classic and modern watches listed for sale in the Classic Driver Market.