New Watch Wednesday: Three Intricate Timepieces, and a Preview of SIHHBy
With the winter holidays in the rearview mirror, it's finally starting to be the most wonderful time of year: new watch season. The industry's two largest tradeshows, SIHH and Baselworld, are fast approaching and we'll have all the coverage for you right here. Before SIHH kicks off in Geneva on Monday though, a few new watches have leapt out ahead of the pack, including a new complication from IWC and a film collaboration from Bremont.
IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar
There are few watches with as dedicated a following as the IWC Portuguese. The newest addition to the family is an annual calendar, a first for IWC, and it's does an incredible job of adding complication without disrupting the clean lines of the time-only classic. The slim arc at the top of the dial shows the month, date, and day of the week, and the mechanism only needs to be adjusted once per year, at the end of February. It's a useful complication that gets even more useful when it's thoughtfully integrated like this, in an easy-to-read way.
But then there's the name. The Portugieser Annual Calendar is part of IWC's collection celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Portuguese, and the brand has decided to revert this particular group to the watch's original 1939 name. It's sort of confusing and rings of marketing nonsense, but we'll forgive IWC because the watch itself is just so darn good.
Price: $24,100 (stainless steel), $35,400 (rose gold)
Bremont Kingsman Chronograph
Tell me that a watch has been made to coincide with the release of a major movie and I'll immediately become suspicious. It just reeks of flash-bang style and no substance. Bremont's new Kingsman collection of chronographs however, actually deliver quality and leave little room for criticism. The three watches—in rose gold, stainless steel, and black DLC-coated stainless steel—are essentially refined takes on the ALT1-WT worldtimer chronograph, a brand mainstay for years. In fact, if you removed the Kingsman logos from the dials, you'd never know these had a movie tie-in at all.
Each of the three watches has a distinct personality, but the black DLC version stands out as the best of the bunch. The steel is nice but uninspiring while the rose gold's precious case doesn't seem right for a highly utilitarian tool watch like this. The black has the look and feel of an actual tactical military watch—it seems like something a spy might wear working in the field instead of sipping a martini at the baccarat table.
Price: $6,495 (stainless steel), $6,650 (DLC), $20,285 (rose gold)
Tissot Chemin des Tourelles Squelette
It's easy to get distracted by watches that cost more than your car, but there are a lot of great mechanical watches out there for more modest sums. Tissot is a mainstay in the affordable-but-reliable market with watches like the Powermatic 80 (and the COSC-certified versions of it) leading the charge. Skeletonized movements are nothing new for the brand, but this might be its most ambitious attempt to date. Specifically, the way the numerals float over the open plates and bridges is really elegant and makes the watch look like some of the more expensive competition. There are a few variations in steel, gold-plate, and with or without blued markers. Details are scarce for now, but this is one we're looking forward to seeing in the metal soon.
Price: From $2,050
The annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) is one of the two biggest tradeshows in the world of wristwatches. Each January, 16 major brands (those owned by luxury conglomerate Richemont and few high-end independent brands) gather in Geneva to show off their 2015 collections. Taking advantage of the crowds descending on the Swiss city, many other brands set up shop around the periphery to also give previews of their new watches before Baselworld in March.
SIHH 2015 begins in earnest on Monday, January 19, but we'll be live on the ground beginning this Sunday to bring you the best of this year's salon. We'll have round-ups of new releases, early forecasts of emerging trends, and in-depth looks at the most interesting watches.