January 29, 2023

The 2017 edition of the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) was quite busy despite the various ongoing dramas at the Richemont group (see Do The Recent Changes At Richemont Herald A New Watch World? An Industry Insider Present Some Hypotheses).

At this show I particularly liked the Carré des Horlogers, as the SIHH independents’ hall is known. The Carré des Horlogers was introduced in 2015 and showcases some of the industry’s finest creative minds producing amazing watches, both traditional and contemporary.

So without further ado, here are my SIHH highlights.

Urwerk UR-T8 Transformer

The Urwerk UR-T8 (“T” stands for “transformable,” while the “8” signifies the motion of the case as the wearer flips it) is a watch Ian described as the lovechild of a T-Rex and a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso in If You’ve Ever Wondered What The Lovechild Of A Reverso And A Tyrannosaurus Rex Might Look Like: Presenting The Urwerk UR-T8 ‘Transformer.’

Urwerk UR-T8 Transformer on the wrist

Urwerk UR-T8 Transformer on the wrist

This ultra-cool and eminently modern take on a classic hunting/shooting/fishing timepiece of old showcases Urwerk’s creative finishing techniques. Despite its very large size – I would have personally liked it a little smaller – it sat comfortably on the wrist. I couldn’t stop touching the outer shell; with its large-scale guilloche the UR-T8 truly looks like a prehistoric animal.

Urwerk UR-T8 Transformer on the wrist

Urwerk UR-T8 Transformer on the wrist

For more information, please visit www.urwerk.com/en/collection-t-8-collection-ur-t8.

Quick Facts Urwerk UR-T8 Transformer
Movement: Caliber UR 8.01, automatic winding with pneumatic winding regulation
Indications: hours and minutes via double rotating planetary gears
Case: 60 x 48 x 20 mm, grade 5 titanium, reversible, water resistance 30 meters
Limitation: 30 pieces in natural titanium, 30 pieces in two-tone black PVD and natural titanium
Price: 100,000 Swiss francs (tax excluded)

Richard Mille Jean Todt RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph

Jean Todt is a lucky man! Richard Mille celebrates him and his 50th career anniversary in motorsports with a series of limited edition timepieces.

Richard Mille Jean Todt RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph

Richard Mille Jean Todt RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph

This blue quartz RM 11-03 really grabbed my attention.

Richard Mille is certainly a brand recognized for its use of extreme materials and is often associated with the world of motor racing, and that is no different here: motorsports are close to Mille’s heart as both a racer and collector of cars and memorabilia.

Richard Mille Jean Todt RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph on the wrist

Richard Mille Jean Todt RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph on the wrist

For much more see Richard Mille’s Celebration Of Jean Todt: Limited Blue RM 11-03, RM 050, And RM 056 Sapphire and www.richardmille.com/watch/rm-11-03-jean-todt.

Quick Facts Richard Mille Jean Todt RM 11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph
Case: 49.94 x 44.5 x 16.15 mm, blue-and-white Quartz TPT
Movement: automatic Caliber RMAC3 with two spring barrels and variable inertia balance, variable geometry rotor, 55-hour power reserve, fast-rotating barrel
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; flyback chronograph, annual calendar with large date
Limitation: 150 pieces, available exclusively at Richard Mille boutiques
Price: 148,500 Swiss francs (including tax)

MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 Aquapod

HM7 represents MB&F’s first foray into the world of water with the jellyfish-inspired Aquapod. The idea for it came to founder Maximilian Büsser through an accident whilst on holiday, in which his wife was stung by a medusa.

MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 Aquapod on the wrist

MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 Aquapod on the wrist

While being a massive fan of anything this avant-garde company produces, I have to say that the Aquapod has to be one of the brand’s coolest watches to date. It features a central flying tourbillon within the main bubble while displaying signature font markers around it. The hinged lugs flex comfortably around the wrist allowing the extremely comfortable rubber strap to mold itself to the wearer.

MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 Aquapod on the wrist

MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 Aquapod on the wrist

For much more see Medusa In The Sea: Introducing The MB&F Horological machine No. 7 Aquapod and www.mbandf.com/en/machines/horological-machines/hm7.

Quick Facts MB&F Horological Machine No. 7 Aquapod
Case: 53.8 x 21.3 mm, titanium with blue ceramic bezel or red gold with black ceramic bezel
Movement: in-house developed automatic Caliber HM7 with one-minute flying tourbillon
Functions: hours, minutes, flying tourbillon
Limitation: 33 pieces in titanium, 66 pieces in red gold
Price: titanium (blue) $98,000 Swiss francs, red gold $118,000 (excluding tax)

Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch S

More conventional than the brands listed above, Moser certainly still pushes buttons . . . not only within watchmaking world but in the world at times, as its “Swiss made” question illustrates.

H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch S

H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch S

Moser’s Swiss Mad watch was simply brilliant, even more so for the video and buzz surrounding it: the one-off Swiss cheese-encased timepiece on a cow hide strap was only the beginning (see H. Moser & Cie. Creates $1 Million Watch Made Of Genuine Swiss Cheese).

H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch S on the wrist

H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch S on the wrist

It was Moser’s latest incarnation of the Swiss Alp watch that I loved, however. With a champagne-colored fumé dial and blued hands, it is simply perfect.

For more information, please visit www.h-moser.com/en/news.

Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch S
Case: 38 x 44 x 10.3 mm, white gold
Movement: manually wound Caliber HMC 324 with Straumann hairspring, gold escape wheel and pallet fork
Functions: hours, minutes, hacking seconds; power reserve indication (movement side)
Price: $24,900

Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Dual Tourbillon Double Spiral

A timepiece by Laurent Ferrier would certainly be a contender for a traditional piece in my collection if my budget ever allowed, and I would pick the Galet Classic Dual Tourbillon Double Spiral.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Dual Tourbillon Double Spiral

Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Dual Tourbillon Double Spiral

I’m a massive fan of the “galet” pebble-shaped case. And paired with the superb dial, the simplicity of the tourbillon – for the first time visible on the front of a Laurent Ferrier watch – fascinates through the sapphire crystal.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Dual Tourbillon Double Spiral on the wrist

Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Dual Tourbillon Double Spiral on the wrist

For more information, please visit www.laurentferrier.ch/galet-classic-tourbillon-double-spiral.

Quick Facts Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Dual Tourbillon Double Spiral
Case: white gold, 41 x 12.7 mm
Movement: manually wound Caliber LF 619.03 with one-minute tourbillon (double balance springs) and 80-hour power reserve; official chronometer certification
Functions: hours, minutes
Price: 180,000 Swiss francs

Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Minute Retrograde

You’ve already read about my love of the Moser Swiss Alp Watch above, however the collaborative Minute Retrograde version with sister brand Hautlence was even better: it combines the Swiss Alp Watch’s cool with the Hautlence Vortex (see The Hautlence Vortex: Is This The World’s Slowest Tourbillon?) in a dazzling combination of high-fire enamel dial, Roman numerals, a flame-blued retrograde hand, and sapphire crystal almost everywhere, allowing you to lovingly gaze upon that Hautlence HL2.0 caliber.

H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Minute Retrograde on the wrist

H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Minute Retrograde on the wrist

H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Minute Retrograde

H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Minute Retrograde

For more information, please visit www.h-moser.com/en/news.

Quick Facts H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alp Watch Minute Retrograde
Case: white gold, 48 x 42.1 x 18.3 mm
Movement: Hautlence Caliber HL2.0 in-house tourbillon caliber with Straumann hairspring rotating regulator, automatic winding with micro rotor, 92 jewels, 3 Hz balance frequency, twin spring barrels
Functions: jumping hours displayed by a chain, retrograde minutes; power reserve indication
Limitation: 10 pieces
Price: £100,000

HYT Skull Pocket

Skulls are certainly a popular theme in the world of watches and have been captured in some very interesting ways, indeed.

HYT Skull Pocket open

HYT Skull Pocket open

HYT is no exception, and the brand’s Skull Pocket is the best interpretation yet: bold and bonkers!

With that well-engineered titanium chain, it could conceivably double up as a weapon, perfect for any bad boy out there!

HYT Skull Pocket closed

HYT Skull Pocket closed

For more on how the liquid time-telling display works, see When Opposites Collide: Microfluidics Of The HYT H1 And H2.

For more information, please visit www.hytwatches.com/collection-skull/watch/skull-pocket.

HYT Skull Pocket
Case: 59 x 20.6 mm, titanium and black DLC-coated titanium with leather-embossed cover and titanium chain
Movement: manually wound HYT caliber beating at 4 Hz with 65-hour power reserve
Functions: fluid hours, minutes, seconds (left eye); power reserve (right eye), mechanical blue background light loaded by dynamo (crown at 4:30)
Limitation: 8 pieces
Price: $115,000 / €115,000 / 115,000 Swiss francs