Year on year, SIHH (Salon Internationale de la Haute Horlogerie) pulls out all the stops. What started as a small fair between Baume & mercier, Cartier, Piaget, Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth, has morphed into the behemoth that is the Richemont Group with plenty of flair from the indepedent brands as well. 2017 is certainly no different, this year we have seen some absolutely stunning pieces from Audemars Piguet, Vacheron, Panerai and A. Lange & Söhne. The clear standout in our view this year this is Jaeger LeCoultre. Let’s delve a little deeper into some of our personal favourites.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in Black Ceramic
Since we are such Royal Oak softies here at Watchohnado, first off the rank is the mesmerizing AP Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in Black Ceramic. Royal Oak, tick, Perpetual Calendar, tick, in a very cool brushed black ceramic, tick. Audemars Piguet have always been at the forefront of experimenting and taking unique materials into production. Ceramic is not new to Audemars Piguet but in this piece, a full ceramic bracelet is. For those who have had the pleasure of fondling or wearing Royal Oak, one of the most common comments has always been how luxurious and comfortable the bracelet is. Audemars Piguet claim that it takes 30 hours to machine, polish, finish and assemble the ceramic bracelet. Five times more than its steel counterpart. The Perpetual Calendar movement, the 5134 is based on the exquisite ultra-thin 2120. Matched with a ceramic case and bracelet that is unscratchable  and heavy duty, you can expect this watch to be quite rare in the wild or at boutiques, and become a much coveted piece in the Royal Oak collection.

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Cal. 2020 heritage mixed with new-age flair

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600
It’s name is quite the mouthful, and its price is also mind-numbing. The Celestia is one of Vacheron’s most complicated pieces. The Ref. 9720C/000G-B281 is an astronomically focussed piece, and so is its price, well over $1 million. At 45mm wide it does command a lot of presence on the wrist. The result of a five year project, the Celestia on the front of the watch include a Perpetual Calendar with moonphase, solar time (for sunrise, sunset, length of day and night), a mareoscope (tide and sun, earth and moon tracking). Turn it over and there is a celestial chart. As if this wasn’t compelling enough, there is also a Tourbillon and a power reserve of three weeks. We repeat, three weeks. What is more amazing about this piece is that Vacheron has been able to squeeze so much into a dial layout that is rather simple and very clean. The lugs do stand out and perhaps some curved ones would have been more fitting. Whoever is lucky enough to pickup one of these is truly blessed to know that they are wearing on of Vacheron Constantin’s masterpieces.

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Surprisingly a clean front dial 

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JLC Reverso Tribute Moon and Master Control Date
Although the JLC Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time was impressive, we are very fond of two more modest watches from JLC. First is the Reverso Tribute Duo Moon in stainless steel. Inspired by the original 1931 Reverso, the Tribute Moon is mated with a moon phase and date complication. On the front side, the blued markers and silver grained dial are spot on. The moon disk is entirely hammered by hand. On the reverse side is a captivating deep blue Clous de Paris guilloché design with the moonphase disc acting as the day/night indicator as opposed to a third hand.  The next piece comes from a line that is often overlooked at JLC. However this will no longer be the case. The new Master Control collection is an absolute winner. It truly has a vintage yet modern feel to it and is able to compete with the likes of the much loved Patek Calatrava. At a perfect 39mm, the case houses an thin automatic 889/1 movement, the Master Control Date is a welcome change to the Master Control series. The skeletonised baton blue hands work beautifully with the black markers and silver track dial. The dial is brushed on the outer track and grained on the inside. Well within the budgets of many, it will surely be a popular alternative this coming year.

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Silver grained dial and blue markers, a winning combination

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The new Master Control Date, two thumbs up!

Panerai LAB-ID Carbotech Luminor 1950
Panerai’s SIHH releases generate some mixed emotions. On one hand its supporters and critics are getting tired of the multitude of “re-editions” however this year they have come out with something from left field. The PAM700 may appear to be slightly different with its blue lumed sandwich dial and carbon body, however there is much more behind the scenes. With an unheard of guarantee of 50 years, the limited edition of 50 Panerai LAB-ID Carbotech’s  will go quickly. The culmination of using dry lubricated barrels, a silicon escapement and low-friction composite materials results in a watch that needs additional lubrication. The dial is coated with carbon nanotubes to create a deep black. The downside being that the text cant be printed on the dial and is instead applied to the crystal instead. Hopefully these innovations pave the way for other manufactures to increase the service durations and overall durability of their watches.

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Finally, a Panerai to get really excited about

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A 50 year maintenance free movement

A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual ‘Pour Le Mérite’
Last but not least is the stunning Tourbograph Perpetual ‘Pour Le Mérite from A. Lange & Söhne. Back in 2005, Lange introduced a similar watch, but this time they have added a Perpetual Calendar to an already impressive list of complications, namely; a tourbillon, split seconds chronograph, and a fusee-and-chain constant force mechanism. It is one of the most complicated watches from this impressive manufacture, consisting of 684 parts with a 36-hour power reserve. Squeezing all these complications into a 43mm wrist watch is an engineering feat in itself, making them all work in harmony with each other is a totally different level of mastery. The dial may seem busy but it still has the Saxon simplicity and legibility that we have all come to love. Lange integrated the Perpetual Calendar into the 2 sub dials, replacing the 2005 Tourbograph’s guilloched decoration. The Tourbograph Perpetual PLM is a truly extraordinary piece fitting of its $800,000 price tag. A piece for the truly made Lange aficionado, and a piece for all others to aspire to.

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Doesn’t get much better than this

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The often prettier side of Lange