Wealth is more than a status symbol. To paraphrase Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada it is a world where tastemakers are unlimited in their artistry. It is they, the selectors, who representing “millions of dollars and countless jobs” create dreams out of stone and color- inspired by the very first instruments of time.
Today marks the final day of the Salon International de la Haute Horologie. I know sounds intimidating, fancy and French. Well it is actually more of an exciting celebratory event for those in the industry, and it’s Swiss. However, fancy is a definite guest of honor.
SIHH kicks off the year for the biggest luxury watchmaking houses. 2014 marks its sixth incarnation and took place January 20th-24th in Geneva where over 16 big brands unveiled their latest innovations and inventions.
Here are two watches from amongst my favorite brands that showed at the convention. Each piece represents the opposite side of the spectrum highlighting both simplicity and the ultimate in fine watchmaking complexity. This is partly why watches are ever more exciting and relevant. Lets see your cellphone do this:
Starting with something simple, here is the new for 2014 Panerai Luminor 1950. Panerai is arguably the premiere Italian fine watch brand. They have had a long history developing watches for the Italian Royal Navy and now are a favorite with men, especially male action stars. Arnold Schwarzenegger helped give the brand its current cult status. Its signature features are its legibility, large case size, luminous date markers and lug protectors. This model is the left-handed 3 days Acciaio, with the famous lug and lug protector on the you got it…left hand side. It has an open case back showcasing the p.3000 hand-wound mechanical calibre and a personalized leather strap.
Did you get a good look? This Art Deco inspired masterpiece is the L’Heure Envoûté by Cartier which roughly translates as “the enchanted hour”. I mean wouldn’t you feel pretty enchanting wearing this on your wrist? This masterpiece is called a “secret” watch, that is a ladies watch where the watch face is hidden under lots of bling. Serious bling. It creates a dazzling effect as a one- of-a-kind handcrafted piece of fine jewelry. This watch undoubtedly took countless hours to create and uses a combination of diamonds and emeralds set in 18k white gold. 19 baguette cut and 1,030 brilliant cut diamonds to be exact. Its small white silvered dial is hidden under a triangular cover of brilliance. It expands on Cartier’s years of experience as the ultimate jewel maker for royals and celebrities. The piece becomes a fully integrated work of art for the wrist. Baby got bling indeed.
Photo credits belong to the Cartier and Panerai websites.