SIHH 2013: Greubel Forsey (with live photos)

As is usual Greubel Forsey presented several beautifully conceived and finished timepieces. All of them are variations of existing movements, except for one. At SIHH GF unveiled the first timepiece from the brand that does not have a tourbillon.

Greubel Forsey Double Balancier 35°

Instead, the Double Balancier 35° has a pair of balance wheels, each inclined at 35 degrees. (This is the first officially launched GF watch with no tourbillon. GF made six watches with a similar concept for London retailer Marcus last year.)

Both oscillators are linked to a spherical differential, which averages out their individual rates. In between the twin exposed balance wheels is a constant seconds hand which displays the average of both balances. And at two o’clock is the 72 hour power reserve display.

The reason for a 35 degree incline is that it allows to a larger diameter balance wheel to be used, which mean higher inertia and thus better timekeeping.

Visually the watch is typical GF; even though GF has no one iconic design to speak of, like the Reverso or Royal Oak, its watches are all distinctive in design and construction. The Double Balancier 35° is no different. At 43.5 mm it is quite large and hefty. The dial features a frosted finish that GF usually employs on movement bridges.

The characteristic relief text on the case side of the Double Balancier 35°

This is a limited edition of six watches in white gold. Despite not being a tourbillon, it retails for a bit more than the Double Tourbillon 30°.

Another unusual watch from GF is the Double Tourbillon Technique in a black DLC coated titanium case with a stitched rubber strap; this same movement won the Concours de Chronométrie 2011

Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon Technique in black titanium

I love the four-armed sapphire hand on the tourbillon carriage

While the movement finish and construction is beautiful, I am not a fan of the aesthetic. The all-black look went out of fashion some time ago, in my opinion.

First launched last year in platinum, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain is now available in rose gold. 

Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain in red gold

Sapphire bridge for the tourbillon

It retains the striking blue titanium dial and sapphire chapter ring above the dial. The rose gold Contemporain is a limited edition of 33 pieces.

Likewise, the Quadruple Tourbillon Secret was also launched last year in a platinum case, it is now available in a rose gold case with a striking black dial. This is a limited edition of eight pieces.

Twin double tourbillons linked by a differential

Last is the ultimate travel watch, the Greubel Forsey GMT, which is now available in red gold. The globe on the front works as a day and night indicator, and it is linked to the cities disc on the rear.

Greubel Forsey GMT

See the rest of my SIHH 2013 comprehensive reports. The brand reports listed in italics are still in progress. A. Lange & Söhne Audemars Piguet Cartier Greubel Forsey IWC Jaeger-LeCoultre Montblanc Panerai Parmigiani Piaget Richard Mille Roger Dubuis Vacheron Constantin Van Cleef & Arpels – SJX

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SIHH 2013: The reference, comprehensive photo report

I present my photo report of the watches shown at SIHH 2013, which I hope will serve as a reference for the new timepieces launched at the fair. I will cover notable individual watches in greater detail, with more photos, later on. I cover majority of the watches launched at the fair, and also a handful of notable independents outside of SIHH. I will publish the brand reports individually as they are ready, but here are a few to start. The brands listed in italics are yet to be published. A. Lange & Söhne Audemars Piguet Cartier Greubel Forsey IWC Jaeger-LeCoultre Montblanc Panerai Parmigiani Piaget Richard Mille Roger Dubuis Vacheron Constantin Van Cleef & Arpels – SJX

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SIHH 2013: Audemars Piguet (with live photos)

Audemars Piguet had a fairly restrained collection at SIHH 2013. The new watches launched were variations of existing models or movements, mainly Royal Oak Offshore models, rather than anything entirely novel.  Alongside news of the 2013 collection was the appointment of François-Henry Bennahmias as CEO of AP. He was formerly head of AP North America, and since last year General Manager ad interim of AP. Mr Bennahmias has some changes in store with regards to brand direction, products and even pricing, though nothing has been announced officially – those will prove to be interesting. But now on to the watches. The flagship product for 2013 is the Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication. This is a grand complication in the traditional sense; it has minute repeater, perpetual calendar and split-seconds chronograph. Despite its rugged appearance and rubber strap, this is only water-resistant to 20 m, due to the minute repeater slide.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication in titanium

Pictured here in titanium with ceramic bezel, pushers and crown, the Offshore Grand Complication is also available in rose gold. Each is a limited edition of three pieces. The case diameter is 44 mm.

The dial is sapphire, revealing the intricate mass of levers and gears below.

The cal. 2885 movement has been used in other models before, including the Royal Oak, but this is the first time it is found in the Offshore case. 

A less complicated family member is the new Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. Previously using a JLC 889 base movement, this now sports the in-house cal. 3120 as a base with the perpetual calendar module on top.

Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in titanium

The traditional four sub-dial layout of the perpetual calendar is old fashioned, making this almost a retro-style reissue.

This is a limited edition of ten pieces in platinum, 25 in rose gold and 35 in titanium.

Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in platinum

The case is the classic 42 mm Offshore case with round chronograph buttons; it sits well on the wrist and the precious metal versions feel reassuringly solid.

Royal Oak Offshore Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in rose gold

Another extension of the Offshore family is the Royal Oak Offshore Diver in a 42 mm black ceramic case and bezel. The crowns are also ceramic, and the crown at ten o’clock rotates the inner elapsed time bezel.

The dial is black with the “mega tapisserie” guilloche. And inside is the in-house cal. 3120.

Though ceramic is not a new material by any means, AP works ceramic very well, this carries a beautiful matte and glossy finish. Though not extremely creative, this is strikingly attractive.

For the ladies the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Ladycat is new for 2013. Named after a catamaran crewed only by women sailors, which AP sponsors, the Ladycat colours are green, black and gold, which are likewise the colours of the watch.

The 37 mm case is set with diamonds, as are the bezel and four bracelet links. And the chronograph sub-dials are blue mother of pearl. Inside is the Frederic Piguet 1185 movement.

The Royal Oak collection proper only got a few new additions, all of which are jewelled timepieces. One of them is the 37 mm Royal Oak automatic in white gold with the case and dial  set with diamonds.

Finally we come to something that isn’t octagonal. The Traditio Minute Repeater Tourbillon Chronograph is a large, 47 mm cushion cased timepiece that brings to mind early 20th century wristwatches; the Tradition line is basically a reboot of the AP John Shaeffer line.

The case is titanium, but the bezel, case back, crown and pushers are white gold. Notably AP has achieved a bright finish on the titanium parts, as the difference in colour between the two alloys is not especially noticeable.

The dial has a vertical brushed finish, and rose gold plated applied markers.

Inside is the 2874 movement from Renaud & Papi.

See the rest of my SIHH 2013 comprehensive reports. The brand reports listed in italics are still in progress. A. Lange & Söhne Audemars Piguet Cartier Greubel Forsey IWC Jaeger-LeCoultre Montblanc Panerai Parmigiani Piaget Richard Mille Roger Dubuis Vacheron Constantin Van Cleef & Arpels – SJX

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SIHH 2013: IWC (with live photos)

Each year IWC has a specific theme for the particular collection that forms the focus of the SIHH range. Last year was naval aviationand pilot’s watches, and this year it is motorsport – a partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team – and the Ingenieur line. No major technical innovation was part of the new Ingenieur line, though several of the new Ingenieur models are much more attractive than their recent predecessors.

Let’s begin with the most straight forward new addition, the Ingenieur Automatic in steel. This harks back to the Ingenieur SL of the seventies.

Available with either black or silver dial, the Ingenieur Automatic measures 40 mm wide and 10 mm high, giving it elegant proportions. 

On the wrist it appears a bit smaller than 40 mm, perhaps due to the large crown guards, which makes it suitable for female wrists as well. 

It has a solid case back and antimagnetic soft iron cage. Inside is an ETA 2892 (or Sellita equivalent).

And now to the other extreme: at the very top of the new line-up sits the Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon in a 46 mm platinum and ceramic case. 

The tourbillon with a cleverly integrated constant force mechanism is identical to that in the Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia astronomical complication.

At two o’clock sits the double moon phase and below that is the power reserve display. The twin moons on the moon phase display are modelled after the real moon, including the tiny craters on the lunar surface.

Over on the back the engine block-inspired movement is visible.

The other new highly complicated Ingenieur is the Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month. The 47 mm case is made from titanium aluminide, a lightweight and oxidation proof alloy used in aircraft and motorsports, while the pushers and crown guards are ceramic.

Inside is the cal. 8000 based perpetual calendar with digital date and month displays, sporting a dark grey finish and a rotor styled like a wheel rim.

And the sub-dials are clear sapphire, so the discs for the date, month and leap year are visible through the dial.

Also in a new case material for IWC is the Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance. This has a glossy carbon fibre case and dial (or more specifically a carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer), with red or yellow accents.

With a 46 mm case, the carbon fibre Ingenieur has screw heads, crown and crown guard in ceramic, while the central part of the case back is titanium. Inside is the cal. 80110 with a engine pistons-inspired rotor. And the strap is rubber with a textile top lining.

In a similar vein is the Ingenieur Automatic AMG Black Series Ceramic which has a 46 mm black ceramic case. The dial is available in either black or brown.

Not quite new is the Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium. Something similar was launched a few years ago, probably to test the waters for a new Ingenieur line. 

Housed in a 45 mm titanium case with rubber coated crown and pushers, the Double Chronograph is available with a white or black dial; the white dial version reminds me of a Storm Trooper from Star Wars.

In a similarly sized case is the new Ingenieur Chronograph Racer, which is yet another addition to the big-chunky-chronograph segment. Inside is the cal. 89361 which has co-axial minute and hour counters at 12 o’clock. 

This has a steel 45 mm case, with either a grey or white dial, with the option of bracelet or strap. The white dial with blue hands and indices is especially attractive.

And the back features a Mercedes Formula One car in relief. It is worth noting that IWC appears to have moved from an engraved, relief case back to one that is stamped, resulting in less sharply defined relief text and image.

In the same case, but as a limited edition is the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil (“silver arrow”. Named after the legendary championship Mercedes-Benz racing cars of the thirties, the Silberpfeil is a limited edition of 1000 each in silver or brown dial. Both versions are paired with a rubber strap that has a brown leather top lining.

The dials in both colours feature perlage, inspired by the dashboard of the Mercedes W25 Silberpfeil automobile. That same automobile is in relief on the case back.

Despite being nothing novel in any sense, I find the silver dial version of the Silberpfeil is extremely appealing in look and feel.

And lastly there is the Ingenieur Dual Time Titanium. As the name implies it is a dual time watch with a 45 mm titanium case. The local time zone hand is adjustable in one hour increments via the crown, while the home time zone hand is on a 24 hour scale.

See the rest of my SIHH 2013 comprehensive reports. The brand reports listed in italics are still in progress. A. Lange & Söhne Audemars Piguet Cartier Greubel Forsey IWC Jaeger-LeCoultre Montblanc Panerai Parmigiani Piaget Richard Mille Roger Dubuis Vacheron Constantin Van Cleef & Arpels – SJX

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