Luxury brands such as Cartier, Piaget, and Vacheron Constantin presented their exclusive watches at the International Haute Horlogerie Salon in Geneva, in front of thousands of experts and a clientele eager to obtain them.
By Federico Tibytt
Piaget, Baume & Mercier, Montblanc, Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Audemars Piaget, Officine Panerai, Vacheron Constantin and eight more luxury watchmakers were selected to present their new exclusive timepieces at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) held in Geneva, Switzerland, from January 20 to 24, 2014.
This event, one of the most important for leading manufacturers of luxury watches, attracts, each year, about 13,000 experts and industry professionals, eager to see the new proposals from the world’s most exclusive brands, and to mingle with their colleagues and an international audience.
This year, one of the most important releases at the Geneva Show was the presentation of Diver from the Calibre de Cartier sports line, a certified diving model with ISO 6425, which is the standard required of dive watches for high depth. The Diver, a stand out in Cartier’s men's collection, is the first diving watch made by the traditional Maison.
Its design, luxurious and sporty at the same time, has easy to read Roman numerals and large needles with refractory elements. It also has a water resistance of up to 984 feet, and is able to withstand high pressures and very low temperatures. For Cartier, the largest exhibitor at the watchmaking summit this year, this new piece "is a compromise between the technical requirements of a diving watch and the aesthetics characteristic of Cartier".
Piaget, meanwhile, stood out with the presentation of the Altiplano 900P, the thinnest mechanical watch in the world, with a thickness of only 3.65 mm (about 0.144 inches). The 145 delicate parts that make up the sophisticated mechanism have been thoroughly reinvented to achieve, in some cases, the thickness of a hair. Last year, Piaget created a one-of-a-kind Altiplano for a special auction in Monaco.
The Altiplano 900P features a minimalist design, perfectly round, with fine black hands and a separate second’s hand, all contained in an 18 K white gold body held by an elegant black alligator strap. The market price of this model will be between 20,000 and 30,000 dollars.
On the other hand, Vacheron Constantin, the traditional Swiss firm founded in 1755, introduced its new line of watches The Art of Openworking, classic pieces that display the watches’ intricate mechanisms, which require skilled craftsmanship and exquisite precision. Each piece is delicately hand-engraved, which makes them unique. This Vacheron Constantin line introduces outstanding watches for both sexes in a carefully selected colors.
In recent years, the haute horology industry has enjoyed a significant revival since the potential clients who have access to such luxury items consider them collectibles and obtain them to diversify their investment portfolios. All copies of a special edition by Officine Panerai in white or pink gold were sold the very first day. "We are talking about 100 items, and all were sold at a price of $89,000 per unit," said a representative of the Italian firm, who recalled that the brand became famous for watches made especially for the Royal Navy commands during World War II.
Driven by this great momentum, Geneva's Haute Horlogerie International Show was the perfect excuse for the world's leading brands to demonstrate all their skills without skimping on luxury, innovations and new proposals. ■
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