Pre-SIHH 2019: Blue dials rule the roost
Out of the blue
Coral might be the Pantone colour of 2019, but blue remains a perennial favourite in the world of watches. And why wouldn't it be, given how versatile the colour is: it can be minimal, but the right shade can pack a serious punch. Plus, it's gender-neutral, and can be as discreet or bold as you want it to be. The colour is back with a bang in a number of avatars, as evinced by these launches to be released officially at the annual Salon International de la Haute d'Horlogerie happening in Geneva from January 14th onwards.
Piaget's Altiplano collection receives an injection of colour with two new blue dials. The first, the Altiplano High Jewellery (top), is a 36mm beauty to behold, with a mesmerising sunray-brushed dial in the signature Piaget blue hue. Measuring a scant 2.1mm thick, the timepiece is ultra sleek and chic, with the only pop of colour being the baguette-set diamonds on the bezel. It is notoriously difficult to set baguette-cut diamonds on watches, as the rectangular shape of the stone have to fit in the contours of the case.
The pink gold Altiplano Tourbillon (above)showcases Piaget's watchmaking prowess, and its finesse in creating ultra-thin watches. How it managed to pack a tourbillon in a 4.6mm case is an engineering feat, but it does not rest on its laurels as it introduces the complication with a meteorite blue dial. Limited only to 28 pieces, each timepiece is unique for the Widmanstätten patterns on the dial, which form distinctive lines.
The female-centric Cat's Eye collection by Girard-Perregaux looks to the skies with a series of three timepieces that have been decorated with aventurine dials. Emulating a starry sky, aventurine has iridescent speckles against a dark blue canvas - the effect is similar to star-gazing on a clear night. The Cat's Eye Celestial enhances this sensation with the addition of a moonphase function. The timepiece is lavishly adorned with diamonds on the bezel, indices and dial, but it can't compare to the decadence of the Cat's Eye Tourbillon, where strips of baguette-diamonds on the dial and across the tourbillon imitate shooting stars.
Don't be fooled by the apparent simplicity of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon. The timepiece marks the first release that highlights the Art of Precision, the watchmaker's focus for 2019, and that brings together its mastery of technical ingenuity and artistry. Here, the dial is both the canvas and the artwork, as it has been hand-guilloched featuring a sunray pattern to give it three-dimensionality. Then, the guilloche is layered with blue enamel, which is a notoriously difficult technique. The timepiece is only available in a series of 100 pieces.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's famous literary work, Le Petit Prince, has long been a source of inspiration for IWC Schaffhausen. Once again, the wise little prince makes an appearance within the watchmaker's portfolio, this time on the Big Pilot's Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition "Le Petit Prince". The blue dial has become a signature of the collection, and for the first time, the watchmaker has used hard gold for the case, a more resilient red gold alloy. Limited to 10 pieces only, the timepiece features a constant force at 9 o'clock, while the moonphase display features the Little Prince standing atop the satellite.
H. Moser & Cie
Instantly recognised for its fume dials, which features a gradient effect where the colour is lighter in the centre and becomes darker as it spreads out, H Moser & Cie strikes gold once again with the All-Terrain Steel Tourbillon. The midnight blue fume dial frames a flying tourbillon that has been re-adapted for daily wear - meaning that you don't have to worry about damaging the mechanism as you go about your daily routine of working out, heading to meetings, and spending time with loved ones. Only 50 pieces of this steel watch will be up for grabs.