From fantasy automaton to cheesy bezel, we took a look at the most over-the-top launches by H.Moser & Cie, Richard Mille, Van Cleef & Arpels, MB&F and Audemars Piguet
BY VIVIAN CHEN
23 JAN 2017
This year’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) featured exquisite pieces from the world’s biggest watchmakers. Craftsmanship aside, some models verged on the sublime – and the ridiculous.
H.Moser & Cie – Venturer Swiss Mad
Holy cow! To protest the tightened legislation of the “Swiss Made” label, folks at H.Moser & Cie created a watch using real Swiss cheese – literally. The Swiss Mad watch – referred to as the “most Swiss-made watch ever” features a bezel made with actual Vacherin Mont d’Or cheese mixed with a special resin and is priced at a whopping 1,081,291 CHF (HK$ 8,384,000) – referencing the founding date of Switzerland: August 1, 1291. A dairy-free version is also available, the Venturer Swiss Mad, in a limited edition of 50 pieces featuring hand-wound HMC 327 calibre and the brand’s iconic fume dial in red.
Richard Mille – RM50-03 Tourbillon Split Seconds Chronograph Ultralight McLaren F1
How light is 38 grams? Probably no heavier than a handful of sugar cubes. It’s also the weight of Richard Mille’s new tourbillon chronograph. The timepiece, created in collaboration with McLaren F1 racing team is the world’s lightest split-seconds tourbillon chronograph. Titanium, TPT Carbon as well as a new graphene-based composite are used to lighten the watch case. Limited to only 75 pieces.
Van Cleef & Arpels – Automate Fee Ondine
This beautiful table clock was certainly the centre of attention at Van Cleef & Arpels’ SIHH booth. Set to be activated every 15 minutes at the fair, the clock features a fairy admiring the blossoming of a lotus revealing a butterfly inside. The intricate mechanism is a collaboration between Van Cleef & Arpels’ artisans and automaton maker Francois Junod. The piece is currently not for sale.
Audemars Piguet- Haute Joaillerie Diamond Outrage
Audemars Piguet’s latest women’s high jewellery watch is surely not for the faint hearted. The diamond-studded timepiece is inspired by the icy forests in Vallee de Joux. Brilliant cut diamonds and baguette cut diamonds are used in this statement piece. The sapphire-diamond version features six shades of blue.
MB&F: HM7 Aquapod
Independent watchmaker Maximilian Busser and Friends took inspiration from a jellyfish when making the Horological Machine No.7, or HM7 Aquapod. The result is a futuristic looking timepiece that is absolutely symmetrical in design. The watch is equipped with a 60-second flying tourbillon in the centre and is available in two versions: Titanium with a blue bezel (limited to 33 pieces), and Red Gold with a black bezel (limited to 66 pieces).