The Salon International De La Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2015 opened in Geneva on Monday, celebrating a quarter of a century in existence.
From a mere five exhibitors in 1991 to 16 in 2015, SIHH has grown dramatically through the years. Now known as one of the most prestigious luxury watch events of the year, it brings together watch enthusiasts, brands and media from around the world. Aimed at exploring the world of watchmaking, from how movements are manufactured to the brand’s strategic plans for the next year, SIHH has been used as not only a marketing tool for the maisons, but also as a networking opportunity for industry professionals around the world.
Watch brands thrive on events like these as a result of having the time to truly converse with their clients, the media and potential buyers. Exploring the most recent creations and announcements from luxury watch brands, SIHH has become the who’s who of the industry.
Previously, the exhibition took place for more than a week, but this year, it will span only four days, from January 19 to 22. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, SIHH has not only brought a spectacular amount of attention to the watch industry, but also to Geneva.
This year, with 16 watch brands showcasing their most recent works, the exhibition is top notch. From Cartier to Montblanc, watches are currently the talk of the town in Geneva. Walking into SIHH, there is an overwhelming sense of pride and success. The grand setup of the exhibition adds to the luxurious event. With high ceilings and stylish cafés throughout the exhibition, the event is a luxury lover’s haven. If that was not already enough to satisfy one’s needs, the brand presentations will take care of that. From Piaget’s four-screen projection display to Parmigiani’s intimate tour of its most recent releases, brands have gone all out to present their current projects in the best possible way this year.
Although it is hard to keep track of all of the launches that are taking place this week, we have gone through the announcements made so far. The main highlights were: Vacheron Constantin’s Harmony Ultrathin Grand Complication Chronograph, part of their new Harmony collection. Limited to ten pieces, the timepiece has the world’s thinnest self-winding split-second chronograph caliber.
Another top announcement at the event has been the re-appearance of the Van Cleef & Arpels Codenas watch. Now with an enlarged dial and space for engraving on the clasp, the classic watch has finally returned.
Along with Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget has also made a big announcement, the Swiss luxury brand has released the Piaget Altiplano, the world’s thinnest manual-winding chronograph and also the first complication on Altiplano. With 56 diamonds, 240 components, a fly-back function and the option to add a second time zone, it is a watch that you could not just walk past.
Parmigiani displayed timepieces from their collaboration with Bugatti. Consisting of three timepieces, the watches have been created with the car engine in mind. With the watch face displayed on the end of the timepiece rather than the top, the driver is able to check the time without getting distracted.
And of course, we cannot forget Vacheron Constantin’s announcement that they have released their first chronograph for ladies, the Harmony Chronograph Small Model. With a manual winding 1142 caliber, hand engraving for their 260th anniversary, and 84 diamonds of 1.2 carats, the timepiece is available in a limited edition number of only 260 pieces.
Although watch releases are in full swing at SIHH, as they are each year, Montblanc decided to also take this opportunity to announce its new female brand ambassador, Charlotte Casiraghi. Charlotte, the daughter of the Princess of Hanover, has previously been a journalist and competed in show jumping, which led her to become the official brand equestrian ambassador for Gucci. Now working with Montblanc, she will need to put down the boots and strap on a watch.
With so many announcements taking place over the next few days, it is hard to see how brands can top one another. But we are here to find out, so watch the space for more.