The SIHH 2005

An illustrated report - Part 1


By Alex Ghotbi and Alberto Schileo
© April 2005 by Alex Ghotbi, Alberto Schileo and ThePuristS.com

You may click on any image to enlarge it.

My annual pilgrimage to the Swiss fairs was a bit shortened this year as I was unable to attend the Basel fair but was planning to make it up as much as possible at the Salon International de Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) held in Geneva from April 4-10. As it has become a tradition you will find hereafter the fair seen through the eyes of a passionate watch aficionado making this write up neither exhaustive on the brands covered, the novelties and definitely not objective but always illustrated with Alberto Schileo’s more than amazing photographs!

I really did not know what to expect from the fair this year. I was almost certain that due to Vacheron Constantin’s 250th anniversary and the special edition pieces created on that occasion the other brands exhibiting at SIHH would not be showing any breathtaking piece since almost all the lights would be directed on VC. I was partially wrong...

What I was hoping not to see was yet other tourbillons, limited edition pieces with no technical achievements but just a different dial and made in 10 000 pieces or more, Panerai sized dress watches and pizza watches with too many complications!

What I was hoping to see was simple time only watches with well finished movements and perfect proportions, small and useful complications, new in house movements and a silver-dialled Lange Datograph.

Please follow me and step inside the Geneva salon…


Villemont

Villemont was the first brand we visited and some of you may have followed the different presentations made here on this brand who was presenting its first very collection of watches. The watches were quite interesting and the case construction was truly a feat. Villemont may certainly not be a haute horlogerie brand but a lot of detail and effort has been placed in the design and construction of the watches which may appeal to the aficionado who is looking for an alternative to the different big maisons that exist and watches with a strong presence.

Aston R Dual Time Chronograph
With its 43mm case the watch is too big in my opinion but then again I have a feeling of being very alone in thinking that big is not always the solution. Nevertheless this watch is quite attractive the case and the chronograph pushers are absolutely stunning and I am repeating my self but it is obvious that a lot of love went into the design of these watches.

Aston R GMT/Alarm
One of my favourite Villemont watches. The dial is extremely legible, the alarm rings loudly and the slate grey dial is very attractive.

Aston R Big Date
Aston R Rattrapante
What a wonderful watch !! Why is it that a young brand which does not even consider itself as being high horology manage to make a split seconds chronograph with a co axial pusher for the split function placed in the crown while so many others from so called high end can’t or don’t want to? Even more rare is the fact that both the chronograph and split hands were perfectly aligned and of the same size. Believe it or not, but many brands actually use a thicker hand for the regular chronograph hand as to have this hand cover any lack of alignment with the split seconds hand! I truly loved this watch and find it attractive, fun to wear and sexy! Yup you read me well, this watch is sexy and would look good in any collection!

Aston T Dual Time Chronograph
The same as in the Aston R but with a tonneau case. I find the Aston T case too big and massive and prefer the smaller version but de gustus… as they say.

Aston T Rattrapante, Aston T Big Date
Lady V

Part 2 - Jaeger-LeCoultre

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