In the horology world, SalonQP is touted as one among the most important events for the maker and the wearer, alike. This year too, the event swept away its discerning clientele with its showcase of the best. From the sophisticated to the prestigious, from the elegant to the innovative, they all were there. Here are a few beauties that grabbed the maximum oohs and aahs with their uniqueness at SalonQP 2015.
Montblanc Metamorphosis II
Making its first ever appearance in the UK, the Metamorphosis II is a worthy successor to the Metamorphosis that had debuted in 2010. For the prejudiced, the II looks like a decorous version of its slightly rugged-looking predecessor. The time is displayed via separate readouts for seconds, minutes, and hours. Once the minute hand completes 60 seconds, it goes back to the zero mark. Also carried forward on the dial is the playful hide and seek of appearances that alternate between the classic and the sporty. In mode classic, Roman numerals display the time. When the slide on the left side is pressed, the hinged dial plates under the minute and second face split into two, to reveal the sporty mode that has two new dials in Arabic numerals. This second set of dials contains a chronograph, which continues to run even after the watch is switched back to its original configuration. 82 moving parts in the background make this play a reality! Like the hide and seek? You’d have to hurry for they’ve just made 18 of these.
TAG Heuer V4 Tourbillon
After being a concept watch, when the TAG Heuer V4 was made commercially available in 2009, it became the first watch in the world to be driven by belts instead of the traditional wheels and pinions. The mechanism was inspired by the movement of automobile engines. How cool it that? It’s like having a little engine roaring on your wrist, minus the vroom vroom. This time, with the addition of a tourbillon to the mechanism they made this piece the world’s only belt-driven watch with a tourbillon. Makes us wonder, weren’t things complex enough already? The tension of the five notched micro-drive belts is controlled by two turnbuckles. An innovative linear weight replaces the classic oscillating weight. A 12g tungsten ingot; it is mounted on the world’s smallest ball bearings. It moves up and down between two pairs of V-shaped barrels (thus the “V4” in the name).
De Bethune DB29 Maxichrono Tourbillon
De Bethune’s Maxichrono Tourbillon was one of the watches to grab the spotlight in Basel 2014. What’s amazing is that this watch is armed with five hands! Of the quintuplets, two are for the hours and minutes, while the other three are chronographs with 24hr, 60min, and 60sec counters. The tourbillion gives a 30- second indication but unlike other watches, does not show itself off in the forefront. The purpose here is purely mechanical. The main hours & minutes hand, and the chronograph’s hours & seconds indicators are hand-polished and forged in flame-blued steel while the minutes chronograph indicator is shaped in rose gold. This watch is shortlisted in the Chronographs section of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, where all the winners at SalonQP will also be showcased.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica XI
Instead of continuing its experimentations on three-dimensional complications, this year Jaeger-LeCoultre decided to go ultra-thin with its Mechanica XI. The case measures just 7.9 mm and packs 471 parts inside it. Talk about simple exteriors with complex interiors! With this piece, the company revived the sapphire-gong minute repeater it pioneered in 2005. What’s new this time is that it has managed to integrate a feature into the strike train that eliminates the pause occurring when the gongs can’t strike a quarter hour. The master ultra-thin minute-repeater flying tourbillion is hard to miss on the minimally attired dial. With this watch, Jaeger-LeCoultre continues to show off its horological prowess minus the hullaboo. And who needs one, when the wearer’s broad smile speaks it all out.
Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon
It’s amazing when a luxury watch designer designs a watch for the geeks. But when it’s Vianney Halter, quirk is the name of the game. His Deep Space Tourbillon is inspired by Star Trek space station, Deep Space 9. The 46mm titanium-cased Deep Space Tourbillon features a triple-axis tourbillon, that rotates every minute, every six minutes, and every half an hour on its three axes. To read the time, one has to look at the blue hands that are stretched across the impressive dome shaped dial. All that drama under the dome, we say, is sure to invoke a childish glee on the face of the wearer. After all, it’s not everyday that one can boast of a space ship on the wrist. Having said that, sire Halter, any chances of an inspiration de Green Lantern coming up?
*Photographed at Salon QP in London by Yulia Harding.