The annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (International Exhibition of High Watchmaking), held mid-January in Geneva, showcases a year of research and innovation in watchmaking — an industry always bent on refining its marvelous mechanical intricacies, improving practical performance, and doing it all in an artistic manner with precious materials and attractive designs.
Freak X, Ref.: 2303-270.1
This latest model of the whimsical Freak collection is made to be more simple and bold than its predecessors. It has fewer visible wheels, but one of Freak’s most outstanding innovations remains visible and takes centre stage — a super-light balance wheel in silicium, extra-wide, with nickel flyweights and stabilizing micro-blades. Water resistant to 50 metres.
Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel, Ref.: 52534E1
A blue enamel dial with a fine-lined guilloché pattern sits atop a 1600201-HA1241 transparent circle that displays a multi-axis tourbillon. Tourbillons were originally made to prevent gravity from interfering with a watch’s accuracy; they are unnecessary in modern wristwatches, yet the art of making these dancing, spherical devices is so intricate that they are prized as a luxury. This watch has a minute repeater with a Westminster chime that reproduces four melodies. The watch also features a perpetual calendar that adjusts itself in both directions. A perpetual calendar is a feature that allows a watch to keep the date correctly by taking into account leap-year dates and other variations in days. Power reserve 52 hours. Water resistant to 50 metres.
Toric Chronomètre, Ref.: PFC423-1600201-HA1241
Watchmaker Michel Parmigiani describes the dial of his Toric Chronomètre: “The decoration is so captivating because it is based on the golden ratio. Within it, you see Fibonacci spirals, reproducing a harmony that is everywhere in nature.” The dial is handmade using an artisanal technique called guilloché. A fan-shaped date display window is at 6 o’clock; rose-gold cutout hands and easy-to-read Arabic numerals lend the watch an air of restrained elegance. Power reserve 55 hours.
Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry, Ref.: PAM00982
This special-edition dive watch, named after the free-diving world champion Guillaume Néry, is a testament to Panerai’s technical strength in the field. Notable features include water resistance to 300 metres and a rotating bezel to calculate the duration of a dive. The dial is exceptionally readable in any light conditions, thanks to a combination of white and blue luminescent indices.Power reserve 72 hours.
Santos, Ref.: WSSA0013
On a disc of graduated blue, sword-shaped hands strike out, coated with a luminescent Super- LumiNova finish for a sporty look. Two bracelets are interchangeable with the QuickSwitch system — a steel bracelet with a SmartLink adjustment system, and a navy blue calfskin strap with steel double-adjustable folding buckle. Power reserve 48 hours. Water resistant to 100 metres.