Two very different themes dominated this year's Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2016 watch show in Geneva: travel and the exotic. Long the home turf for Swiss manufacturers, SIHH is where major watch introductions happen, especially in the Grande Complication category where giants like Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Piaget, Audemars Piguet, Girard-Perregaux, Jean Richard, and Panerai play. On one end of the spectrum we have the IWC Pilot's Watch Timezoner, refreshing the brand's ranks of refined workhorses. On the other, pieces like the MB&F's Sherman "Happy Robot" and HM6 SV take the notion of timekeeping into a new realm. Fortunately, there was also plenty to enjoy everywhere in between. Take a look at eight of the best in the galleries below.
The Panerai Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Titanio
Panerai chose SIHH 2016 to introduce their latest skeletonized tourbillon GMT, boasting an amazing 47mm titanium case shaped with Direct Laser Sintering. Tucked inside, there is a manual-winding P.2005/T movement, which is the brand's in-house movement.The new Laser process allows for a 3D-printing like build, letting the watch to weigh 35% less than other models. Additionally the sapphire crystal case back lets you to see the expertise inside. Pricing and availability has not been released yet. (Images via: Panerai)
Where to start with the new Hautlence Vortex Primary Watch? It's fun, it's quirky, and it's impeccably designed. A joint effort from ex-French footballer Eric Cantona and Hautlence, the watch features a series of colorful geometric patterns comprised of 19 glass panels of sapphire, ruby, and blue spinel. Inside, colorful light shines on a Hautlence HLR 2.0 calibre movement that powers the hour hand at the 9 o'clock position and minutes up top. The Hautlence Vortex Primary Watch is limited to 18 pieces, available now for $199,500 each. (Images via: Hautlence)
The MB&F Sherman ‘Happy Robot’ Limited Edition Clock
Switzerland's MB&F released their latest robot-inspired clock at SIHH 2016, a friendly-looking design. Its 143mm-tall design is simple and straightforward, with a two-hand dial on the chest, two blue-steel hands, and a gear-like ring to mark the hours. For Sherman's brain, you'll find a mineral glass dome cover the balance wheel and regulation system, which can purr on your desk for up to eight days before needing a boost. There will be 200 MB&F Sherman clocks in palladium, 200 pieces in yellow gold, and 50 pieces with diamonds, beginning at 13,800 Swiss Francs.
The MB&F Horological Machine No. 6 SV ‘Sapphire Vision’ Watch
Yes, this is a watch you're looking at, developed by the mad scientists at MB&F. In what is probably the most interesting design you'll see coming out of SIHH 2016, the Sapphire Vision’ watch delivers a completely sapphire case with a shape that could safely be called "nouveau steampunk." The clear cover allows you to see all the mechanics inside, including the angular gears, the floating tourbillon, and the four domes that handle the minutes, hours, and regulators. Limited to 100 pieces, this is as exotic, exclusive, and as expensive as it gets, (Images via: MB&F)
One thing is for sure, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph isn't your grandfather's pilot watch. New for 2016, IWC is introducing a world time watch that is the first ever that allows the wearer to set a second time zone, hour, and date, all with the spin of the bezel. Constructed with a stainless steel, 45mm wide and 16.5mm high case, this Pilot is not slouch; it's ready to perform with a black and white dial accented with a splash of red on the second time zone hand. The stainless steel back also has a nod to the popular Junkers Ju 52 plane, which protects the new automatic 89760 calibre movement, Available now with a leather strap for $11,900. (Images via: IWC)
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Watch
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Watch is not for the faint of heart; it's a timepiece with a massive titanium case tourbillon chronograph with a little something extra. Thanks to a new kind of mounting system, the Royal Oak watch uses a separate mechanism to produce a loud, crisp chime that the brand co-developed with an unnamed Swiss music conservatory. Finished with a black ceramic screw-locked crown with plenty of gold and platinum internals, there's a reason it will take nearly 2 years to make the 50 on-tap, each priced at $597,400. (Images via: Audemars Piguet)
The updated IWC Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun and its Chronograph kin are some of our favorites from SIHH 2016 thanks to their classic, sporty style, updated aesthetic, and beautiful engineering. IWC fans will immediately notice that the 2016 models lack the usual red aircraft-adorned seconds hand and the Top Gun logo on the case back, instead going for an engraved look. IWC also classed things up with the addition of an embossed black calfskin leather strap in place of the fabric strap. Updated movements, increased power reserves, and classic black and white styling finish the designs. Both the Chronograph and the Big Pilot are available now for $10,900 and $13,800, respectively. (Images via: IWC)
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph Watch
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Chronograph watch is four years old now, but until 2016 it only arrived in a simple black and white option. These versions also see a return to a steel case, which protects the in-house made Audemars Piguet calibre 3124/3841 automatic movement and internally rotating bezel, proving the brand was serious about making a diving watch with a reliable time-only dial. The price for any of the colors is $27,900. (Images via: Audemars Piguet)