In Wrist Watch — our monthly column dedicated to timepieces worn in the metal and seen in the wild — resident horology enthusiast Randy Lai spotlights key finds each exhibiting some element of aesthetic, mechanical or cultural significance. This week, after recovering from a bad case of jet lag, we’re switching up our usual focus (i.e. eminent Hong Kong collectors) to bring you a recap of the best new releases from SIHH 2019. You can expect more brand-specific coverage over the coming weeks, but for now sit back and enjoy a selection of watches — ranging from updated classics to exceptional novelties — as curated by our man on the ground.

Between the itinerary that traditionally obliges journalists to view 32 brands in four days and an endless tirade of cocktail receptions/celebrity appearances, it’s no wonder that SIHH can often resemble a rarefied horological Comic-Con. Despite that, a few key releases managed to cut through the spectacle; and that’s no small feat — considering the unique atmosphere that hung over our visit to Palexpo.

The conversation was of course dominated by Richard Mille and AP — two influential maisons that farewelled SIHH in equally provocative fashion. The former ignited all kinds of meta-commentary about the nature of the Swiss watch industry with a collection of droll confectionary-themed releases; while the latter launched Code 11.59 — 13 contemporary references (equipped with new movements and cases) that have been greeted with equal amounts of acclaim and vitriol.

Both presentations are definitely worth unpacking in detail — you can check back next week for our brand-specific stories — but we thought we’d kickstart our spotlight on SIHH 2019 with a look back at a few relatively incognito releases. What do these new watches all have in common? Simply put, they’ve been weighed up, worn and found to be 100 percent awesome! Let’s dive in.