Breaking News: Nine Prominent Independent Watchmakers to Join SIHH 2016 in Geneva

Nine independent watch brands will be part of SIHH 2016, the trade fair dedicated to haute horlogerie that takes place in January in Geneva. This brings the event full circle back to its origins in 1991.

Rumours have swirled for some months now but it is finally official. Nine independent watchmakers, ranging from the avant-garde to the traditional, will exhibit at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the annual watchmaking fair in Geneva. Long dominated by brands of luxury conglomerate Richemont, the addition of these eight independents, amongst them MB&F, Urwerk and Voutilainen, adds texture to the event that takes place from January 18 to 22, 2016. Unlike Baselworld, its mass market compatriot that takes place in Basel, SIHH has always been an invitation-only event focused on mainstream brands. Greubel Forsey and Richard Mille joined the ranks of exhibiting brands in 2010, but SIHH is still widely seen as being a convergence of Richemont brands. Next year will see the addition of nine independent brands in an area titled Carré des Horlogers. The nine are: Christophe Claret De Bethune H. Moser & Cie. Hautlence HYT Laurent Ferrier MB&F Urwerk Voutilainen Together they replace Ralph Lauren Watch & Jewellery, which departs as it revamps its strategy under a newly appointed chief executive. The arrival of the notable nine brings a little of the magic that independent watchmakers have to the fair, a posh and formal affair with open bars and catered food. And it also helps strengthen the position of SIHH vis a vis Baselworld, since most independents at SIHH will likely show all their new products in Geneva. In some ways this represents a return to the origins of the event, which first happened in 1991. That year saw Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth as one of the five exhibitors (the others being Cartier, Piaget and Baume & Mercier). Franck Muller joined in 1992, and four years later Svend Andersen, Roger Dubuis, Paul Gerber and Jean Kazes were participants as well. A varying cast of independents continued to take part in the fair until 2003, when the sole independent left was Roger Dubuis (a brand that was in many ways the Richard Mille of its time). For visitors to the fair, primarily comprised of retailers, retailers and brand executives, these additions to the fair brings the convenience of being able to stay within the exhibition hall. In past years visiting independent brands required an excursion to the hotels along the lake.

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A Look at the Tudor Heritage Black Bay One for Only Watch 2015

The first and only unique timepiece Tudor has ever made, the Heritage Black Bay One for Only Watch 2015 is a one-off creation for charity auction Only Watch 2015. Here's it is in the metal, courtesy of our friends at Tudor.

Only Watch is a charity auction that takes place in November 2015, and for the first time Tudor is taking part. Its contribution is a one of a kind dive watch, Heritage Black Bay One  ref. 7923/001. Based on Tudor’s historically inspired dive watch, the Heritage Black Bay One has been tweaked to make it look even more vintage, with the look modelled on the rare Submariner ref. 7923 of 1954. Thanks to these fresh photos of the actual timepiece from Tudor, we get a sense of what the Black Bay One actually looks like.

Not an exact remake of a vintage watch, the Black Bay One is instead a blend of elements from the past. The dial is a gilt, with a glossy surface and the lettering as well as minute track in gold. “200m-660ft” is in red, something not found on the vintage Tudor Submariner, but reminiscent of Rolex dive watches like the Red Sub or Double Red Sea-Dweller.

Several features set this apart from the ordinary Black Bay, like the hands for starters. The hour and minute hands are pencil-shaped, while the seconds hand is tipped with a circle, hence the nickname “lollipop”. In contrast the regular production Black Bay has a “snowflake” hands. Another unique feature is the bezel that has five-minute markings and a red marker at 12 o’clock, lacking the 15-minute marking on the regular production Black Bay.

And then there’s the bracelet, which has a straight end. This feature is also found on the Heritage Ranger, while most other Tudor watches have fitted end links.

Like other Tudor Heritage watches, the Black Bay One is accompanied by extra straps, both NATO-style. One is in brown leather with a distressed finish, and the other is an Admiralty grey jacquard-weave band made the traditional way in France. And the Black Bay One is also packaged in a special box. Similar in size to the usual Tudor Box, but made of wood with a brass plate on the top.

The rest of the Black Bay One is identical to the regular production model: 41mm steel case with an ETA 2824 inside. It will be sold alongside 42 other one of a kind timepieces on November 7, 2015, at Only Watch in Geneva under the aegis of Phillips auctioneers.

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Tudor Unveils One Of A Kind Heritage Black Bay One For Only Watch 2015

For the first time in its history, Tudor has created a unique reference, the Heritage Black Bay One for Only Watch 2015 modelled on the Submariner ref. 7923 of 1954, featuring a gilt dial and pencil hands. 

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