My favourite ladies watches at SIHH 2019

Last week ended the 29th Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie – one of the most important watch event of the year. I have made a short selection of my favourites ladies pieces.

Girard-Perregaux Cat’s Eye Plum Blossom

Cute and feminine – the main two words to describe this delicate watch.

A plum blossom blooms on the dial. Slender and fragile, it appears as a small seconds hand, like a flower drawing its scent and its life from the earth. Cat’s Eye, the famous ellipse that has become the signature of the Maison’s women’s collection, appears this year attired in mother-of-pearl, aventurine and diamonds, shining more brightly than ever like pure, iridescent nocturnal lights.

At its heart, the oscillating weight, a decorated bud, finely open-worked by hand, reveals the invisible.

The marvels of Cartier

Cartier revisited classic designs to bring some good looking timepieces.

In addition to its history of considering form, Cartier is also questioning names with the Tank Chinoise. Cartier chose to use this watch from 1921 for this stylistic exercise and to pair it with a colour imbued with strong symbolism in China: red, for passion and vitality.
When placed in this prism of colours, the square is lengthened to become a rectangle bordered by two lintels of calibrated rubies highlighted by black enamel. A line of diamonds adorns the brancards and edge. The complete composition and the tension between the coloured elements and the diamonds strengthen the original architectural reference of this watch, available as a limited edition of 100 pieces. The challenge of Cartier Libre was to reconnect forms and origins; intentions and aesthetics.

Although quite unlike any other, this watch seems to be taken straight from the Maison’s sketchbooks. With its contorted and distorted features, it lays all expectations to rest.
The lines of red or black enamel are accompanied by paved diamonds, leading a new and daring harmony to emerge from the use of colour. With a minuscule dial distinctively stamped with Cartier’s watchmaking codes, the Diagonale watch pays homage to a heritage of disrupting the classics.

This watch’s volume is viewed as a surface for creation. It is studded with emeralds and Paraiba tourmalines, black spinels, yellow sapphires or diamonds. When perceived with the eyes, each gemstone becomes a
minuscule speck of light. Meanwhile the dial in the middle is paved with dazzling diamonds.
Available in white or yellow gold and released as numbered editions of 50 pieces, the watches are disrupted by an unsettling eruption of colour, which by daring to venture into immoderation reveals the elegance of their signature aesthetics.

Hermes Arceau Awoooo

A beautiful crafted enamel dial kept in a Arceau white gold case.

When you cry ‘wolf ’, it appears on the dial of the new Arceau Awooooo ! watch. Crafted in enamel, the silver-furred animal stands out against a starstudded  backdrop featuring a slim moon crescent.
This miniature scene is beautifully framed by a white gold case and a matt graphite alligator strap.

Audemars Piguet Sapphire Orbe

An example of creativity and manufacturing skills.

This piece features more than 12,000 stones, each rigorously selected, individually cut and set by hand. The central petal-shaped rings are entirely snow-set with diamonds and graded sapphires in 6 graded shades of blue and orange, each in 20 different diameters ranging from 0.5 mm to 1.5 mm in size. Multifaceted, this piece offers a play of colour and light that changes depending on the perspective from which it is seen. It took approximately 1,050 hours to gem-set this piece.
In the domed centre nestles the 2 cm dark blue sapphire-set globe which,
when inverted, reveals the watch’s 18-carat white gold dial paved with graded orange sapphires. This spherical case houses a tiny quartz calibre.
The bracelet is made of articulated diamond-set components, for maximum flexibility and comfort.

Ulysse Nardin Manara

The last timepieces from today’s selection are based on the erotic drawings of Milo Manara.

Manara has created just ten of these illustrations, a series that Ulysse Nardin has reproduced using micro painting. Ten pieces per drawing will be produced in stainless steel and ten pieces in rose gold, making the series limited to a mere 200 pieces in total.

Of course, these are not all the beautiful watches seen during SIHH 2019 but just a small selection.

Until next time,

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