By RIO ROSE RIBAYA
As the original was published on 2 January 2018
Opening gifts in the presence of your family is one of the best feelings in the world. But if you find yourself unveiling a gift that hasn’t suited your taste yet, take it easy. The New Year is here. And with it comes a much-anticipated event every watch aficionado looks forward to — the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie or SIHH 2018.
It’s an annual watch fair that features the best and the latest of haute horlogerie. It’s happening from 15 to 19 January this year and you’ll be sure to discover new watches with rare artisanal features as well as arresting pieces made with high complications or avant garde designs.
In the last 27 years, it has maintained a reputation for prestige and exclusivity. And while the five-day event tends to focus on men’s watches, we have a feeling this year would be different. As early as November, we’re already seeing pre-SIHH 2018 previews that women would absolutely fall for.
So what’s in stock? Few brands can make a lady’s heart skip a beat more than Hermès. And for the first time, the luxury handbag designer is heading to Geneva to present the new version of its three-decade-old Cape Cod watch. Another watch that will be getting new look are the oval-shaped watches from Cartier’s Bagnoire collection. Its dial interfaces are stretched and shrunk to fit the wrist like a high jewellery.
Scroll further down if you can’t wait to see the stunners that will dominate SIHH 2018. And from here, you can glean your own observations as to the next big trends for ladies’ watches to rule 2018.
In the 1960s, Piaget enjoyed its heyday due to its high jewellery and innovative watch designs. One such signature piece is the Extremely Lady watch, which was associated with stylish women like Jacqueline Kennedy. This will be reimagined and officially presented at the SIHH 2018 event in Geneva next month. Keeping its unconventional oval stone dial and intricate gold bracelet, the new iconic lady wristwatch features an 18k pink gold bracelet that’s embossed with a fur decor. 24 brilliant-cut diamonds adorn its mother-of-pearl dial while a 56P quartz caliber power the mechanism.
Cartier did not hold back when it transformed the signature oval shape of its Bagnoire collection to showcase at the SIHH 2018. Born out of the desire to play with the French jeweller’s classic Cartier shape, the five-piece Libre collection included stretched and shrunk Baignoire watch called Etoilée. This captivating design features an 18k white gold bracelet with a crystalline cascade of glittering diamonds and black spinels. Suspended strands of precious stones create an illusion of black melting into white around a white gold case. It frames a black, minuscule dial set with a double row of stones.
If Van Cleef & Arpels’ entire SIHH 2018 line-up is as good as its pre-event preview, then we’re in for a heavenly treat. Its newest creation, the diamonds-set Lady Arpels Planétarium watch, illustrates Mercury, Venus, as well as the Earth and its Moon orbiting around the Sun. The pink mother of pearl that represents Mercury, green enamel for Venus, turquoise for Earth, and diamond for the Moon revolve around the pink gold Sunday at the centre of the dial in actual orbits of 88, 224, and 365 days respectively. What makes this 38mm watch even more amazing is that the Moon itself rotates around the Earth in 29.5 days.
Almost three decades after Henri d’Origny created the Cape Cod watch, the legendary artistic director of Hermes is ready to present a new version. Like the original, it features a square watch that’s embedded in a rectangular case. Anchor Chain motifs are maintained on the dials to magnify the playfulness of 26-year-old iconic frame. The only difference is that the latest model now comes with rhodium-plated dial. It is polished and coated with a precious translucent lacquer while a single or double tour Milanese mesh bracelet is attached to case.
Last month, Audemars Piguet used the Dubai Watch Week to preview some of its pre-SIHH novelties for women. The collection is made up of new takes on the Millenary watch — a distinctive design that has existed in some shape or form since 1995. One of the three new versions feature a more subdued improvement on the Frosted Gold finish, which you may recognise from the brand’s SIHH 2017 introductions. The Florentine technique, an ancient gold hammering procedure, helped achieve this effect that’s even more eye-catching on an opal dial that carries frosted inner and outer bezel, top lugs, and the case’s sides at 9 and 3 o’clock.