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The top 5 trends from SIHH 2018

Here's what's haute in horology for the year ahead
SIHH 2018 has wrapped up for another year and Buro 24/7 Middle East was at the fair to take note of the top trends for the year ahead. Here's what we learnt...

SIHH took place in Geneva, Switzerland over the past week, giving some of the world’s top brands the opportunity to showcase their new season novelties. Buro 24/7 Middle East was at the fair to uncover the top trends for 2018 and there was a few distinct themes that emerged from the presentations…

1. Interchangeable straps

Whilst traditional watchmaking remains largely unaffected by the invent of smart watches thanks to the skill, detail and expertise required to create such timeless pieces, there is one element that has infiltrated the design process: interchangeable straps. This year, several brands introduced styles that were able to be customised.

Hublot presented the new updates of it Big Bang One Click Sapphire style, Vacheron Constantin‘s Dual Time model will be delivered to clients with two or three straps (either leather, rubber and/or metal depending on their preferences) and its Perpetual Calendar will also have the interchangeable strap option. Over at Cartier, the brand announced that its famed Santos de Cartier timepiece has been updated with a QuickSwitch function that allows customers to switch between a leather or metal bracelet simply by pressing a button a button on the back of the watch and Panerai revealed its new Quick Release System on its Luminor Due styles for easy personalisation. Baume & Mercier also debuted the new aesthetic capability on its Clifton Baumatic timepiece. 

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2. Outstanding designs

Cartier delivered one of the most mesmerising pieces during the week: the Révélation D’une Panthére. Five years in the making, the piece features 900 tiny gold beads that seemingly melt into the face of a panther on the watchface with a flick of the wrist. The design has two patents, one for the liquid inside the watchface that allows the beads to rise and fall and another for the glass. 

Another breathtaking piece came courtesy of Van Cleef & Arpels‘ new Lady Planétarium novelty. The numbered design is completely new for the house — it was started from scratch three years ago — and features the solar system on the watchface. The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Moon all revolve around the dial in the exact sequence they follow in reality, meaning, for example, that it will take 365 days for the Earth to fully rotate around the face. 

Vacheron Constantin was the final presentation we attended during the week and its new Métiers d’Art collection was a standout from the week. Inspired by the first hot air balloon flights taken in France between 1783 and 1785, there are five limited edition pieces, each of which tells a different story through the hand-engraved motif on the dial. 

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3. New shapes 

Ulysse Nardin’s new year offerings were predominantly male-focused however its new women’s watch features an all-new design. The Classico Jade Fifth Anniversary model is launching in a round case this year which is a distinct departure from its usual elliptical-shaped design. In addition to its new shape, the watch also features a wave detail through the middle and is available in three colours. 

Cartier also introduced the Crash Radieuse that is limited to just 50 pieces which features a ripple design case that’s new for the brand, as well as the Baignoire Interdite style that is designed with the traditional oval watchface flipped on its side. 

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4. Astrological influences

Plenty of brands look to the stars this year for inspiration with breathtaking results. Parmigiani was among them with its Kalparisma Nova Galaxy model that has been reimagined in rose and white gold casings with a dial made from Aventurine glass that mimics the shimmer of the night sky when moved. 

Over at IWC, the brand debuted the new Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 which features a dark blue sky dial that displays either a gold or silver moon and stars depending on the time of the day. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre also brings the sky to your wrist this year with its Rendez-Vous Night and Day Automatic novelty that features a day/night indicator on the dial that shows either a sun or the moon and stars, reflective of the present time. 

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5. Colour 

Piaget‘s presentation was an invitation to the sunny side of life and one of its most eyecatching new designs is the new range of Possession watches. Available in red, blue and green, the timepieces are finished with a diamond set bezel for the ultimate statement. 

Hérmes introduced colour, also — a new approach for the heritage brand. The Arceau Casaque novelty is the brand’s newest design, finished in bright red, yellow, green and blue. The equestrian-inspired piece is inspired by the coloured jackets worn by jockeys during races. 

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Now, see the new novelties presented by Audemars Piguet at SIHH 2018.