From October 2-4, the 2012 Salón Internacional Alta Relojería (SIAR) hosted 45 top-end brands which classified it among the most important watch shows in the world. The fifth annual watch show which took place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City has revealed some spectacular pieces that warmed up watch aficionados at the end of the pretty interesting year. Christophe Claret presented a new Soprano Minute Repeater, Audemars Piguet came up with several grand complications from its Le Brassus workshops, while Cyrus’s stunning Mars Collection and Girard-Perregaux’s newest Bi-Axial Tourbillon testified about the highest level of the show. For the fans of historical retrospectives, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) has organized an original, historically-themed exhibition called The Mastery of Time.
The world’s finest representatives of the haute horology have gathered in the heart of Mexico City, in order to present their latest products, to exchange ideas and discuss about the most advanced watchmaking technologies. Salón Internacional Alta Relojería has been on the watchmaking map since 2007, becoming the most important salon of the haute horology in the Americas and probably the world’s greatest watch show after Baselworld, SIHH and Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair.
This year, SIAR 2012 hosted the high-end brands, such as A. Lagne & Sohne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Carl F. Bucherer, Cartier, Chopard, Christophe Claret, Corum, Cyrus, Girard Perregaux, Hermes, Hublot, Jaeger LeCoultre, Mont Blanc, Parmigiani, Piaget, Richard Mille, Romain Jerome, Vacheron Constantin, Zenith and others.
The Renowned watchmaker, Christophe Claret, revealed its newest masterpiece, called Soprano Minute Repeater, the watch that has been preselected by the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève jury for the award in the Best Complicated Watch category for 2012.
The Soprano features a four-note minute repeater striking Westminster Quarters on cathedral gongs. Besides, this remarkable model, available in three limited editions of eight pieces, comes with a tourbillon movement, Charles X style bridges and a titanium case-band that optimizes sound transmission. Soprano is either made of red or white gold and it pays homage to the roots of the brand’s manufacture, famous by innovative complications, minute repeaters, tourbillons and sapphire components incorporated in a mechanism. (You will get more information about this masterpiece soon.)
Girard-Perregaux’s Bi-Axial Tourbillon
Girard-Perregaux gained the most attention with an exquisite limited edition of a new Bi-Axial Tourbillon. The high-end architecture of the hand-winding tourbillon mechanism is based on two concentric cages, allowing the regulating part to performer multidimensional rotations, which compensates rate irregularities due to the Earth’s gravity. The internal cage that bears a balance wheel, a balance spring and an escapement makes the complete rotation on its axis in forty-five seconds. At the same time, the external cage completes the full turn in one minute and fifteen seconds, providing a rotation on its second axis. This mechanical perfection ensures an extra-ordinary spectacle on both sides of the case. Although they are made of 113 components, two cages have a combined weight of only 0.80 grams!
Girard-Perregaux’s Bi-Axial Tourbillon watch comes with a black DLC titanium case and brushed 18 karat white gold bridges, which is much more visually impressive than the brand’s previous two models that came in red and white gold, incorporating red gold bridges. Gorgeous contrasts on this “all in black” model and the elegant, avant-garde design both testify about high-end expertise of GP’s craftsmen. The dial features a beautiful circular grained texture that nicely matches brushed finishes of bridges and two barrels that provides 72 hours of power-reserve. The case has a robust size, with the diameter of 45 mm and it is covered with sapphire crystal on both sides. (Sapphire glass is nicely attached to the case by 6 screws.) This piece of art is limited to just 8 pieces. Thus, for most of the visitors, it was a unique opportunity to see the watch.
The 40th Anniversary of the Royal Oak
This year, Audemars Pigut celebrates 40 years of its emblematic model, the Royal Oak. For that occasion, the famous watchmaker prepared several special Royal Oak Grande Complication timepieces. Besides, AP presented an amazing Classique Grand Complication Pocket Watch that is certainly one of the best pocket watches that I have ever seen.
Inside a 52mm half-hunter case, crafted in 18 karat pink gold, there is a true mechanical perfection. It is a Calibre 2860 hand-winding mechanism that required about 800 hours of work to put together its 620 meticulously finished components, hand-adjusted one at a time. This high-end movement is visible through a hunter-style, sapphire crystal case-back, when it is open. It provides a number of great complications, including a moon-phase indication and a minute repeater on two gongs. A calendar shows date, day and month and includes a leap year. Finally, this great pocket watch features minute and split seconds counters.
Audemars Piguet also displayed a one-of-a-kind Royal Oak Grand Complication watch, made to order, in 18 karat white gold. Inside the iconic Royal Oak case, there is another in-house mechanical perfection – a hand-winding Calibre 2860, made from 648 components individually adjusted and regulated by the same craftsman. Visible through sapphire crystal, on both sides of the case, it provides the same performances like the Classique Grand Complication Pocket Watch.
Two more Royal Oak Grand Complication watches were revealed at the SIAR 2012 watch show. The first one is a Titanium Open-worked Royal Oak Grande Complication. With a titanium case and stainless steel bezel and bracelet, this sporty timepiece looks amazing. It houses AP’s Calibre 2885 self-winding mechanism that features a perpetual calendar, a moon-phase indicator, a split seconds indicator, as well as a minute repeater on two gongs. Finally, there is Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 40th Anniversary Grand Complication. Featuring an iconic dial with the “Grand Tapisserie” motif, this stainless steel model is powered by a Calibre 2860.
FHH’s Exibition of Time Measurement History
The Mastery of Time exhibition, organized by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) displayed more than 100 artifacts and historically significant timepieces, with the mission to promote the culture of time measurement around the world, in all its forms.
By drawing on the book written by the historian Dominique Fléchon, this exhibition traveled through different centuries, showing man’s ingenuity in conquering his temporal environment. Presented in six parts, it considered the history of time measurement as the mirror of human genius.