So it is that time of year again in the Horology exhibition circuit. March is synonymous with the internationally acclaimed Baselworld, September now has Watches and Wonders in Hong Kong, and November has Salon QP in London. January, and sometimes February is known for Salon Internation de la Haute Horlogerie, aka SIHH for short. It is nearly upon us, let me give you some history on this amazing event and I can share with you what I am looking forward to the most.
SIHH is a privately held watch exhibition organized by Richemont, certainly if you are not new to watches and the brands within the industry, you will realize just how big this company is. For the newer members of our watch community, Richemont is one of the largest companies in Switzerland with a turnover of over 8 billion euros, and employs approximately 25000 people around the World. While I am at it, here are a few of the brands that are subsidiaries of Richemont, Alfred Dunhill, Cartier, Montblanc, Jaeger leCoultre and A Lange & Sohne, amongst many more. As you can already see, some of these brands are massive in their own right.
The event is held in Geneva, Switzerland, the mecca for luxury watches. The very first SIHH was held in 1991 with only 5 manufacturers present, they were Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Gerald Genta, Piaget and Daniel Roth. This was the ideal vehicle for them to show their newest and greatest pieces exclusively to their elite followers. Now in its 23rd iteration, SIHH boasts 16 exhibitors, in over 30,000 square feet of hall space, 12,500 privileged guests and 1200 journalists. This, my friends is a BIG deal!
Right, now to one of my favourite watches in recent years. It is the Jaeger leCoultre Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931. Rolex has the Submariner, Audemars Piguet the Royal Oak, Cartier the Tank, and JLC has the Reverso. This is one watch you absolutely MUST have at some time or other, in my opinion anyway. The Tribute to 1931 is an updated version of the original classic designed for polo players of old. Larger face, ultra thin case, art deco design, fits amazingly well and super elegant. What else could you want? Released back in 2011 to commemorate the 80th Anniversary of Jaeger leCoultre, this was and is an absolute winner.
For this year, SIHH 2014, will see the release of an updated version of this Tribute to 1931, a stunning chocolate colour dial, exuding glorious warmth, gives it a slight casual touch as it comes across as less harsh or ‘smart’ as black. Paired with a chocolate horween shell cordovan strap makes this a winning combination. Here is to being a polo player once again, and wearing a beautiful timepiece at that. A timeless classic.