Special Look: The Best of the SIHH

With the recent ending of 2013’s Salon de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the luxury watch industry’s annual gathering, the salon’s favorites from the biggest names in watchmaking are coming forth. Four of the top picks- as reported by Vogue– to hit watch enthusiast’s attentions so far has been: the 867 Diamants by Ralph Lauren, The Limelight Gala by Piaget, The Tank Américaine Petit Modèle by Cartier, and the rose gold Patrimony Contemporaine by Vacheron Constantin.


A big contender on the popular lists making their way around is the Ralph Lauren 867 Diamants. Gaining a large amount of attention from fashion giants like Vogue, the 867 Diamants model is said to borrow from the aesthetics of the inter-war 1930s period. This piece is largely representative of Ralph Lauren’s new emphasis on the art-deco creative style, which focuses on angular, creative, and colorful pieces. The model presented at SIHH comes impressively arrayed with 292 diamonds, 12 of which are baguette-cut. A black suede strap in delicate lines completes the retro look. This new 867-model line is named after the Ralph Lauren flagship store at 867 Madison Avenue, in New York.


Next is the Limelight Gala watch, presented by Paiget and set to astonish from the first look. The watch-face is encrusted in 228 diamonds, with an additional 62 diamonds setting an elegant swirl to border around the casing. Additionally, fifteen more precious stones have been set on the ardillon buckle, which rests on a black satin strap. In the case of this watch, the name truly lives up to the work, as this is a piece of jewelry that is meant to be seen by bright lights and red carpets.  The Limelight Gala comes is detailed at 32mm and based in 18K white gold. The dial is paved with 228 exquisitely cut diamonds and white gold indexes. The Limelight is a Piaget 690P quartz movement. The silver dial of the Limelight is engraved with a black Roman numeral time scale to be set against the black silk strap. Lastly, the
folding buckle is adorned with one meticulously cut and placed diamond. A true work of craftsmanship and polish for Paiget.


Another piece that has been quite talked from this year’s SIHH about is Cartier’s Tank Américaine (Petit Modèle). This watch is an addition to Cartier’s signature Tank line, recognizable by the line’s octagonal shape. However this particular model features an elongated case that results in a more noticeable curve than is typical of the Tank line. The Tank Américaine is a Cartier caliber 157 quartz movement available in an 18K rose gold setting with round-cut diamonds. The octagonal crown is also pink gold and embellished with a mineral crysal silver-grained dial. The face displays traditional Roman numerals and sword-shaped hands in steel blue. The Tank Américaine is water resistant up to 30m (100ft) and comes in at a total weight of 81.5 g.


Lastly, the Patrimony Contemporaine by Vacheron Constantin in rose gold surely had a few heads turning at this year’s SIHH. The Patrimony is actually one of a triad of models presented at SIHH 2013 by Constantin, the other two being the Malte and Métiers d’Arts. The Patrimony is constructed with a watch-face encased in 76 baguette-cut diamonds ringing the rose gold disc center. Other luxuries facts about the Patrimony include its diamond-set bezel, gold dial, applied gold hour markers and strap of 18K pink gold set with diamonds on external links. A transparent sapphire crystal case backs the grand work and reveals to those willing to tear their eyes away from the front plate, an impressive 2460SC caliber equipped with an oscillating mass rotor in guilloché pink gold. The type is mechanical self-winding, sticking with age-old expertise, and comes in at a 26.20mm diameter. Comprised of 182 parts and 27 rubies the Patrimony has a power reserve of 40 hours and produces 28,800 vibrations per hour.


While this selection is definitely not “budget”, we want to join other watch enthusiasts in this exciting discussion and admire this year’s event showings!


Written by Amani Liggett, Contributing Writer

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