SIHH 2016: NEW MODELS FROM CARTIER, HYT, MONTBLANC AND H. MOSER & CIE.
Gisbert L. Brunner was born in 1947 and has worked with every sort of precision timepiece, though mainly wristwatches, since the 1960s. He has now published more than 15 books on the subject. He is also in demand the world over as a public speaker.
For the SIHH, the product designers at Cartier have come up with a whole new line of watches. With its barrel-shaped curved case flanks and round watch face cut-out, the “Clé” recalls a popular design from the 1960s. Like the “Ballon Bleu” from the same maker, the winding and pointer position part assume an unusual form. In this case the crown follows the lateral case contour. An integrated blue sapphire serves for ornamentation. These operating elements inspired the name of this timekeeper, which Cartier insists resembles a key.
The manufacture built the already open construction of the automatic calibre 9621 MC, with an overall diameter of 31.63 mm, into the new 41 mm platinum version, waterproof to three bar pressure. The constructional height is 5.66 mm. The watchmakers required 165 components for the mechanics, with four hertz balance wheel frequency, and 48 hours’ power reserve. And it also includes 28 jewels. The rotor, also skeletonised, as you would expect, is made of 22 carat gold.
HYT “H2 Tradition”
HYT can also do classic – in line with the possibilities presented by the unusual movement. You can see this in the HT Tradition, limited to just 50 pieces. For the first time in the history of the young brand, which is also showing its wares for the first time at SIHH, comes the still very technical looking ensemble with guilloché finishes, lacquered watch face and blued hands.
However, there is no change to the hydromechanical style which inspired the name of the brand and its watches. The hours are indicated by a blue fluid in a curving glass capillary. Pressure and counter-pressure are generated by a conventional balance wheel oscillator beating at a frequency of three hertz, with regulated mechanics interacting with two bellows set in a v shape that recall the cylinders of an air-cooled engine. Rotating hands are responsible for indicating the hours and minutes. The power reserve of the HYT calibre totals 192 hours. Protecting the ensemble is a 48.8 millimetre case made from white gold and titanium, good for up to five bar pressure.
Montblanc “Twincounter Date”
With its “Heritage Chronométrie” collection, Montblanc offers classic mechanical watches that even an average income earner can afford. Exalted aesthetic and playful designs have no place here. And that is especially true of the new “Twincounter Date”. The exclusive automatic calibre MB 24.23, based on the Selitta SW 200, brings symmetry to the silvery white watch face with sunburst finish and pink gold appliqués. A front-mounted module supplies the rotations of the little second hand at the “9” and the start-stop function of the date indicator on the other side.
The Glucydur ring balance and its flat balance spring oscillate at four hertz. The movement is encompassed in a 40 mm steel case with transparent base, waterproof to three bar pressure. After all, watches like this aren’t really meant for swimming or diving. Before delivery, the timepiece has to undergo the maker’s own 500-hour test in Le Locle. If it fails, it goes back to school, or at least back to the watchmaker. The price has already been set: 2,790 euros.
H. Moser & Cie. “Swiss Alp Watch”
You can think what you want about the Apple Watch. I just don’t care for it. But in this context that is nothing more than my not-at-all authoritative, personal opinion. As I see it the polarising element is the rectangular case with the rounded corners and edges. It is precisely this soft look that H. Moser & Cie. has picked up on for a mechanical timepiece in Apple Watch style, shortly before the SIHH.
The white gold “Swiss Alp Watch”, limited to 50 pieces, naturally ticks in the accustomed fashion. Which means – the balance wheel and the maker’s own Straumann balance spring completes 18,000 vibrations an hour. The hand-wound calibre HMC 324, shaped to match the case, measures 32 x 36 mm. When completely wound the mechanical microcosm with replaceable Moser escapement, with gold anchor and anchor wheel, will offer four days’ power. The case feels good in the hand and measures 38.2 x 44 millimetres. In contrast to its electronic inspiration, it of course includes a transparent base. The fumé watch face, typical of Moser, has hands for hours, minutes and seconds.