Best Watches of SIHH 2019: Day 1Written by Melissa Kong
A. LANGE & SÖHNE Zeitwerk Date
Commemorating its 10th year, the indelible Zeitwerk cops the spotlight with a new, deceptively simple date complication. The date ring that frames the dial comes with numbers that magically – and instantaneously – switch to red at midnight. This sleight of hand, amongst many other wonderful and practical features such as rapid date and hour correctors, are made possible by a new handwound, 516-part movement. Stay tuned for more of this awesome mechanical marvel!
VACHERON CONSTANTIN Traditionelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar
The Traditionelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar is powered by a hyper-intelligent movement that can transition between a high-frequency ‘active’ mode of 5Hz and a low-frequency ‘rest’ mode of 1.2Hz. This shift between modes, orchestrated by a patent-pending ‘Twin Beat’ system with two balances that draw energy from one mainspring barrel, can affect the well of power reserve from four to 65-days. And what complication better than the perpetual calendar, which requires complex adjustments when the watch stops, to take advantage of the energy-regulating invention? Genius.
OFFICINE PANERAI Submersible Chrono Guillaume Néry Edition
Inspired by its namesake, French free-diving champion Guillaume Néry, this sexy 47mm dive watch is part of Panerai's Submersible collection, launched for the first time as a standalone series. Featuring a flyback chronograph, the watch employs pushers on the left of the case so as not to interfere with the brand's iconic crown guard on the right. For the first time, this dive ticker features a uni-directional rotating bezel with an applied blue ceramic disc that offers a nice pop of colour to contrast its otherwise muted hues. In a nod to the marine roots of collection, the dial comes in a textured 'shark grey', evocative of the predator's skin.
With the ever-growing popularity of the Santos collection, Cartier has revived the Santos-Dumont collection, modelled after the impeccable style of Santos-Dumont himself, yet keeping very close to the original version from 1904. The differences are subtle - the new Santos-Dumont comes with the option of a smaller case and features a beaded crown with a blue cabochon. The pared-down aesthetics continue with slimmer Roman numerals on the dial. Interestingly, Cartier has chosen to fit the collection with a quartz movement, albeit a high efficiency one. Unlike usual quartz movements which last an average of three years, the Santos-Dumont's movement will last approximately six years, courtesy of a new high performance battery and some reworking to reduce energy consumption.
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".