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SIHH 2019 - New chronographs

SIHH 2019 New chronographs

Classic, sporty chic or uncompromisingly technical: all styles of chronograph were represented at the SIHH 2019. And they came in a variety of unique materials.

Men tend to like chronographs. It’s a reliably popular complication, and covers a wide range of different styles. It’s versatile, and can tick any number of aesthetic boxes, with a variety of case sizes and price points.

Over at Montblanc, which is very active in this segment, the chronograph slotted into the 1858 collection, with its bronze cases and green dials. The brand strategy is to offer basic movements alongside its high-end offering produced by the former Minerva manufacture. That’s where the 1858 Split Second Chronograph comes in. The only split-seconds chronograph present at the Geneva fair features a double telemetric and tachymetric scale, and it also comes in a bronze case. 

New chronographs

1858 Automatic Chronograh and 1858 Split Second Chronograph © Montblanc

IWC introduced a handful of new models, including two in ceramic from its Top Gun collection. The first, black on black on black, is a classic pilot’s watch. But the limited-edition Mojave Desert is not your typical classic timepiece. Its sandy beige ceramic case recalls the arid Californian landscape after which it is named.

New chronographs

Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun and Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun “Mojave Desert” Edition © WorldTempus / David Chokron

Still on the theme of materials, Girard-Perregaux has launched a new line, the Laureato Absolute. This ultra-sporty collection is edgier, more masculine and bigger than the Laureato. It comes with a black DLC titanium case and a rubber strap, except for the special limited series made of Carbon Glass. The glass fibres inside the carbon composite are what give this light and ultra-hard material its colour.

New chronographs

Laureato Absolute Chronograph Carbon Glass © Girard Perregaux

The Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon by A. Lange & Söhne takes us in a more understated direction. Although one of its five complications is a chronograph, it nevertheless remains a Datograph. In the “montres de forme” or shaped watches category, Cartier introduced the latest addition to the Santos collection. The Santos Chronograph is one of the Parisian brand’s rare watches targeted at men. The 43 x 51 mm case with its square bezel, rounded corners and visible screws features a unique functional setup: the start/stop pusher is at 9 o’clock and the reset function is in the crown.

New chronographs

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpétuel Tourbillon et Cartier Santos Chronographe © A. Lange & Söhne / Cartier

Chronographs may be relatively common, with new styles introduced every year, but chronograph movements are in fact rather rare. Extremely rare, in fact, given that just twenty or so movement manufacturers and watchmakers produce them. And this makes the arrival of a newcomer to this elite club something of an event. We have been waiting for years for Audemars Piguet to launch its own chronograph. Not the kind of highly sophisticated manual movement we find in tourbillon models, or the Frédéric Piguet, which drives the Royal Oak watches. And not the chronograph module made by Dubois Depraz, however well executed it may be, which piggy-backs on the watchmaker’s base movements. The launch of the Code 11.59 provided an opportunity to introduce the calibre 4400, an automatic, integrated column wheel chronograph movement offering a power reserve of 70 hours. It’s a movement whose time has come, and it was definitely worth the wait.

New chronographs

Code 11.59 Chronograph © Audemars Piguet

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