Without being too chauvinistic and pro VC it is safe to say that for most visitors or online readers the star of SIHH 2016 was the new Overseas collection with inhouse movements and changable bracelet/straps.
However, 23 other brands were exhibiting this year and for the 1st time the fair was open to 9 new independent brands from the cutting edge DeBethune, Urwerk and MB&F to the more classical Laurent Ferrier.
Here is a purely personal pick of what I really liked. Those who know me won't be surprised to see a majority of small boutique makers. Why? Because as we all know these are hard times and most of the major brands were playing it really safe whilst the independents had their *@£& # on the table with realy creative offerings. So here is my pick in alphabetical order:
Audemars Piguet: Offshore Diver Chronograh
As much as I'm a fan of the Royal Oak the beefed up version never spoke to me... until now. AP presented this year a chronograph version of the Offshore Diver with flashy dials and the lime green model really REALLY speaks to me!
DeBethume: DB25 World Traveller
De Bethune is probably one of the most technically exciting brands out there with unequaled finishing and I don't understand why they don't get more love! Their new DB 25 World Traveller is in fact a world premiere as it is both a world time (the cities and time zones can be chosen by the owner) and a GMT which is indicated via the rotating sphere which goes from pink to black depending if it is indicating night time or daytime!
Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boreal
Ex product developer at Patek Philippe Laurent Ferrier set out to create his own brand 5 years ago. he mixes rather classical designs with amazing details mixed with horologically avant gard movements such as in the Boreal model which has a sector dial reminicent of the watches from the 30s but treated with superluminova. The automatic caliber housing this model features a direct double impulse escapement!
MB&F Horological Machine 6 in Saphire
MB&F don't really need an introduction but this HM6 is about as crazy as it gets! time is indicated via two rotating globes in the front part with a central tourbillon and the rotors directly opposit the time indication. Dressed in saphire this piece is just jaw dropping
Moser &Co: Endeavour Concept Funky Blue
I have to admit that I was never a Moser fan. I couldn't understand their philosophy and find most of their timepieces rather bland. However, the Endeavour Concept is really interesting both in terms of case design and dial. I love the fact that they feel comfortable enough not to even put their name on the latter! The "funky blue" (that's the name they've given to it) dial is stunning. I just wish it cam in steel
photo courtesy of The Horophile
Urwerk: EMC Time Hunter
Due to their strong designs, WIS mistake Urwerk as a design brand whereas horologically these guys are pure bliss (and the fact that co-founder Felix Baumgartner started his carreer at VC is proof :-) )
The EMC Time Hunter is artificial intelligence on the wrist. The crank on the right side of the case enable the wearer to power up a generator which via an optical system will then calculate both the accuracy and the amplitude of the watch indicated via an opening on the top left hand side of the watch. The owner can then manually adjust accuracy and amplitude via a small screw on the back!!