Geneva show goes digital to beat COVID-19 virus | Luxe Watches

Geneva show goes digital to beat COVID-19 virus

While another week of lockdown forced top horology event Watches & Wonders (SIHH) to be cancelled at the weekend, an impressive digital concept took its place.

Watch enthusiasts will be thrilled with the new digital online portal launched on Saturday (25) as it means they can check out some of the exciting timepieces to be released this year, from the comfort of their own home.

The new community at www.watchesandwonders.com replaces the popular show in its 30th year, allowing 30 brands who would have showcased at the event, to enjoy the attention from enthusiasts, retailers and the press.

With years of work going into creating many of these new luxury watches, Covid-19 was not going to ruin their grand unveiling.

Replicating a live experience of being at the show, visitors can take a virtual walk around the book and experience augmented reality of the watches from brands such as Cartier.

We thought we’d share a few of our favourite new releases from the portal:

Lange & Söhne – Zeitwerk Minute Repeater

We love this new white gold and deep blue offering from A. Lange & Sohne. The 44.2mm dial is crafted from solid silver whilst the hands are made of rhodiumed gold.

But you’ll be lucky to get your hands on one of these as they are limited to just 30 pieces.

It’s the first mechanical watch where you can read and hear the time simultaneously. Black-polished steel hammers are positioned on both sides of the seconds dial. 

For example, at 3.48, the gong hammer on the left strikes a low-pitched note three times, once for every elapsed hour. Four double tones would then strike for the elapsed ten-minute intervals, followed by the right-hand hammer with eight high strikes – one for each lapsed minute.

The former platinum version produced in 2015 cost £390,000. The new model will be worth around £388,000.

Cartier – Pasha de Cartier Skeleton

Back with some va-va-voom is an 80s sporty favourite, created by time-served designer Gerald Genta.

This fancy upgrade means chunkier dimensions, interchangeable watch straps and movements that are resistant to magnetism.

A striking iteration is this skeletonised version, with the flexibility of a steel sports watch.

Piaget – Altiplano Ultimate Concept

Check out the world’s slimmest watch! Piaget’s brand DNA created the original ‘Altiplano’ back in 1957 with a 2mm movement. 

Bvlgari was next to step in with its Finnismo offerings but now Piaget is back with the Altiplano Ultimate Concept at 2mm for the entire watch – that’s the same width as a 50p coin – incredible.

The 41mm case and the movement are made up of 156 tiny parts and a wafer-thin crystal at 0.2mm had to be created to sit inside the watch, still allowing space for the hands to move freely on top, while wheels turn underneath.

The case is made from a new, cobalt-based alloy that is 2.3 times stronger than gold.

But the thing we absolutely love about this watch, is how customisable it is in terms of colours and finishes. Piaget claims there are 10,000 permutations.

IWC Schauffhausen – Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon

This stunning limited edition watch, part of the new Portugieser Complications collection, is completely synchronised so doesn’t need additional adjuster pushers.

Following the basic design of IWC’s other perpetual calendars, it boasts day, date, month and year (four-digit)  displays. The moon phase display is accurate to within one day’s error in 577.5 years.

The movement is calibre 51 with an amazing 7-day power reserve which you can read at the 3 o’clock counter.  

Armor Gold, often found on elaborate pieces, has been used to create the wristwear and this looks perfect teamed with a blue dial and woven leather strap. According to IWC, Armor Gold  is significantly harder and up to ten times more wear resistant than conventional 5N red gold.

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Podium pieces: The best sports offerings from Watches & Wonders 2020