The most spectacular of all the watches which were unveiled at SIHH 2019 comes from Audemars Piguet. This Swiss company has cemented a tradition of stunning SIHH visitors with a unique show-stopping women’s timepiece each year. In 2019, the limelight was stolen by the 'Sapphire Oribe' model - named after the river that crosses Le Brassus, home of Audemars Piguet. The 3,240 blue sapphires totalling 23.03 carats, and 2,794 orange sapphires totalling 15.14 carat decorate the snow-set basin shaped elements that are accented by 27.93 carats of diamonds. The sphere which nestles in the centre spins to reveal a 2 centimetre, fully pavéd dial that seamlessly graduates into the bracelet of the watch. Is it any wonder that it took approximately 1,050 hours to decorate this work of gemstone art?
The latest jewelled watches from the revered house of Cartier form a limited edition collection of four: ‘Libre’. This exclusive release sees one of the world’s most famous luxury houses reinterpret a series of their iconic aesthetic ‘codes’. The four watches showcased at SIHH are named after freedom, and this is the theme which has inspired a design departure from such a classically traditional watchmaker. Cartier has redesigned the ‘Tank Chinoise Red’ from 1921 and incorporated diamonds and rubies, whose red colour represents good fortune in Chinese tradition. The ‘Diagonale’ watches released as a limited edition of 50 pieces, and features unrestricted geometric lines accented by red and black enamel, as well as rows of pavé diamonds. Finally, the two interpretations of the ‘Baignoire Allongée’ watch come in two colour versions - the ‘Céladon’ embellished with emeralds and paraiba tourmalines, and the ‘Black’ edition, alternately set with black spinel and yellow sapphires. Both versions are limited to only 50 pieces.
Debuting three new ‘Cat’s Eye Plum Blossom’ models at SIHH 2019, Girard-Perregaux have designed each with a different mechanism and corresponding to its individual look: a tourbillon, a moon phase, and a time-only with a new case shape. The tourbillon is set with tapered baguette diamonds - and with a total of 6.20 carats - is a one-of-a-kind piece. Their elliptical cases have diamonds surrounding either mother-of-pearl, blue aventurine or diamond encrusted dials, with a charming delicate gold plum blossom flower on the dial, and a diamond bezel decorating all three.
Hublot has its sights on making history, laying claim to being the first watchmaker to decorate a timepiece with electrifying paraiba tourmalines. The ‘Big Bang Paraiba’ edition of the brand’s ‘Big Bang’ collection is available in two versions, for ladies and gentlemen. The feminine counterpart displays a matching turquoise dial and paraiba embellished time markers, whereas the masculine edition has a black dial with turquoise numbers. Both are splendidly decorated across their bezels and lugs with paraiba tourmalines, which are - on average - mined at a ratio of one to every 10,000 diamonds.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is a brand for whom elegance is always blended with astonishing craftsmanship. At SIHH 2019, the Swiss watchmaker launched two new ‘Night & Day’ versions of the iconic ‘Rendez-vous’ watch models, and 'Moon’ model that has been inspired by the sparkling night sky of the Vallée de Joux. The women’s timepiece exhibits a new luxurious look with a mother-of-pearl dial and two rows of diamonds - 126 smaller on the inner halo, and 47 larger diamonds on the outer halo - of the bezel, extending to the 12 diamonds embellishing the lugs.
Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie continues to prove its mettle as the most exciting watch fair in the world; and with such astonishing jewellery watches being revealed at this exhibition, the event shows no signs of faltering amid a turbulent luxury climate.