Three days, 18 brands and some serious cool watches. Anyone who knows me well knows that SIHH is my favourite event in the watch calendar. I know Basel kicks its arse in terms of size, scope and opportunities to induce cirrhosis, but there is something about the cool, clean exclusivity of SIHH that makes my heart beat that little bit faster.
There will be a proper preview in the mag , which won’t have any breathless exhortations or declarations of love, but will instead be a sensible overview of the show’s trends, but I thought I’d let you know a couple of my highlights now.
The first thing to get me contemplating theft (because let’s face it, that is the only way I am getting my hands on anything at SIHH), was the Ralph Lauren Slim Classique with guilloche dial and bezel. So elegant, so sophisticated and just so damn chic. I love the shape, the mix of Roman and Arabic numbers and that when worn it hints at the possibility of an evening of cocktails and jazz.
That infatuation lasted all of about three hours, until I wrapped my wrist in the vast proportions of Panerai’s Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo. A complete contrast to the slim, chic measurements of the Ralph Lauren, this beast of a watch is 47mm in diameter and could quite easily double as a wrist weight, but there was something about the manly style of this watch on a female arm that just worked. It will also look better with age due to the patina that forms on bronze.
I thought that was it for me, but, like Elizabeth Taylor on a marriage bender, no sooner had I pledged my heart to Panerai, Jaeger LeCoultre came along and changed things again.
Jaeger was celebrating its Reverso and its Minute Repeater version was the perfect combination of technical clout and undeniable coolness.
Basically there is a cover on the watch that is rolled back to activate the minute repeater. I realise that sentence is the horological equivalent of describing a McQueen dress as being a really pretty frock with some nice patterns on, but if I was to describe the sheer genius of this piece, we’d be here all day, and, as much as I would like to think you hang on my every word, I realise that you probably have things to do, liking getting on with your life.
From then on I was like a shoe fetishist at a Louboutin sale.
I got rather hot under the collar for Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Traditionnelle World Time. It allows the wearer to know what the time is in 37 time zones. I am not sure when in my life I would need to do that, but when has practicality been the dictator of desire?
Greubel Forsey’s Double Tourbillon 30º was heart-breaking in its technical brillance and was more work of art than watch and finally I got a real treat at Van Cleef & Arpels. Not only did I get to play with the double retrograde Five Weeks in a Balloon - clever and so gorgeous to look at - but I also got a sneak peak at a collection that won’t be released until later on this year so for the moment is off the record, on the QT and very very hush hush.
Rather like the Ralph Lauren watch I managed to sneak into my handbag. Only kidding, but a girl can dream.