With the 39-mm ref. 15300 Royal Oak soon to be a thing of the past due to the intro of the 41-mm ref. 15400 Royal Oak introduced at this year's SIHH watch show I thought it would be only fair to show just how well the 39-mm Royal Oak fits the wrist.
Jaeger-LeCoultre boss Jerome Lambert told me last year that he expects the industry to concentrate more and more on ultra high-end collectors’ pieces with six-figure prices and ultra-limited production runs – such is the importance of super-collectors with the spending power to help brands ride out economic storms. According to people I spoke to, the upper echelon collectors at SIHH were happy with what they saw.
Open worked and skeletonised watches are hardly a new phenomenon, but a striking number of brands were taking this route at SIHH. Most noticeably, Audemars Piguet celebrated 40 years of the Royal Oak watch with a skeletonised, extra-thin version of its design classic and a very smart skeletonised tourbillon model, both in platinum – limited editions of 40 watches each. Meanwhile Piaget continued its slimline odyssey with the world’s thinnest ever skeletonised automatic watch, the Altiplano Automatic Skeleton.
Where were all the innovative watches? Besides from Greubel Forsey and Richard Mille I did not see a lot of great new inventions nor wow-factor-news from the other watch brands. AP showed not surprisingly a slightly updated Royal Oak collection. JLC had a couple of Reverso's and a Deep Sea Chronograph that was not an off spin of history, but instead an off spin of last years relaunch. Girard-Perregaux showed a Laureato with their iconic three-bridge tourbillon and JeanRichard presented a DiverScope that was not PVD-coated.
Always a pleasure visiting Richard Mille & Co. Smiles, kisses and hugs from everybody. And of course some horogical surprises too. For example this crazy looking RM053 with tourbillon sitting in a 30 degrees tilted movement. Dedicated to a...poloplayer named Pablo Macdonough. Case made of titanium and titanium carbide.
It was a pleasure to see a lean looking Roger Dubuis meet & greet the press yesterday. Good to see him back at the company that bears his name. And the watches looks good too. Especially the Pulsion line. Rugged, yet luxurious. And pricy! 35-135.000 CHF.
My first interview of the 22nd SIHH 2012 watch show was with AP chief designer Octavio Garcia. Of course he presented the 40th anniversary Royal Oaks, but more of these later. My eyes were glued on the 42-mm Offshore Diver of forged carbon and ceramic (however dark titanium hinges from case to strap).
And this Cartier Santos Dumont of gold is simply amazing! I know the model is not new per se, but the gold version was just released during the SIHH 2012 watch show. I shot the picture on a female wrist but I assure you that it also looks fantastic on a male wrist. BUT...do shave your arms, if you are of Wooky descent.
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