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SIHH 2019, Day 1: Everything we loved from the watch fair

The 29th edition of the prestigious Salon de la International Haute Horlogerie has kicked off, and it’s bigger and better than ever. In a bid to get more engaging and dynamic, this edition the organisers have showcased a series of interactive platforms that allow for a deeper engagement with the exhibiting brands, which in themselves have a lot to offer. Amidst scoping out the best novelties and launches, here is everything that we loved from Day 1 of SIHH.

Vacheron Constantin’s Traditionelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat

What’s exciting about this timepiece is that it is the first time Vacheron Constantin has created a watch that features two balances, each operating at a different frequency. A pusher at the 8 o’clock position allows the wearer to change from one frequency to another, depending on the level of activity he is indulging in. When the watch is on the wrist, Active mode is best (5Hz balance and 4 days of power reserve), and when not worn, it can be on Standby mode (1.2 Hz). Coupled with a Perpetual Calendar, this is a superlative piece.

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpetuel

A multi-axis tourbillon with a significantly reduced tourbillon size, the timepiece also has a Westminster carillon minute repeater that replicates the chime of the Big Ben, in a sleek, chic finish. What’s not to love?

New interactive platforms


This edition has seen the debut of new, engaging platforms that allow visitors to experience brands more deeply, and understand their heritage and ethos better. The SIHH Lab is a set-up where visitors can see first-hand the innovations and technologies, both past and future, that brands have developed. Technical experts give a lowdown on techniques on a one-on-one basis; there’s even Pepper the Robot, who greets you.

On similar lines is the Auditorium Sessions, where brand representatives speak on subjects as wide-ranging as development of new complications, e-commerce and luxury, space exploration and history of independent watchmakers. Visitors can sit in on any session. And if that’s too heavy, there SIHH Radio and a Live Photo booth to lighten things up as well.

Audemars Piguet’s first ever unisex collection, CODE 11.59

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked

Audemars Piguet’s unveiled a new line, its first-ever unisex collection. The Code 11.59 is a bold design, characterised by an octagonal middle case housed within a round one. 41-mm diameter, it has a complex double curved glare-proof sapphire crystal. The collection on the whole features six in-house calibres. Featured here is the Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked

Roger Dubuis’ Excalibur One-Off, in collaboration with Lamborghini and Pirelli

Roger Dubuis Excalibur One-Off

Inspired by the Lamborghini SC18 Alston super car, a model custom-made for a client, this timepiece has a purpose-built movement, and a mechanical double flying tourbillon. One look at the timepiece is enough to justify it’s state-of-the-art craftsmanship.

IWC’s commitment to the first Silver Spitfire voyage around the world
IWC Silver Spitfire
IWC Schaffhausen’s Silver Spitfire session with creative director Christian Knoop (far left), and pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones

IWC Schaffhausen has pledged support to the first ’round the world Silver Spitfire voyage that will be undertaken by pilots Steve Boultbee Brooks and Matt Jones. One of the world’s most iconic aircrafts (also on display at the IWC booth at the fair), the voyage, in all probability, is set to start in August this year, and end near about Christmas. Fun fact: If all permissions and paperwork comes through, this will be the first time a Silver Spitfire will fly over the Great Wall of China.

All watch images: Courtesy brands 

Preetika Mathew
Mathew has been a part of the luxury industry for over a decade now, writing on arts & culture, style, and watches for some of the leading publications in the country. When not working, she spends time tracking counter-culture trends.