April 26, 2004
Major Launches at Geneva Luxury Watch Show
Wide-ranging releases and technical advancements dominated a decidedly upbeat Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the week-long luxury watch show that ended April 25 in Geneva.
Sixteen brands, including the 12 within the Richemont Group and four others, presented their newest timepieces to an invited group of 10,000 retailers from around the globe.
Major initiatives destined for U.S. showcases include the Cartier Santos collection with three new models, IWC's Aquatimer dive watch series, a newly revamped Baume & Mercier Riviera line, Roger Dubuis' first steel collection and nearly all of the Dunhill timepieces. Montblanc added a chronograph to its best-selling Timewalker collection.
Audemars Piguet declared 2004 the Year of the Woman and has focused its collections toward female buyers.
Technical feats include several notable firsts: IWC's first tourbillon; Jean Richard's first in-house movement, an automatic model called JR1000; a multiple-axis tourbillon, called Gyrotourbillon I, from Jaeger-LeCoultre; and a "Double-Split" from A. Lange & Sohne, which places a flyback chronograph with a double rattrapante mechanism on one watch. In addition, Panerai announced plans to develop its own movement in the near term, though no timeline was set.
Piaget, in addition to a new Polo 25th Anniversary model, announced a customization program for its Clous de Paris women's model in which customers choose from 2 bezels, six dials and six straps. Piaget will deliver the finished model to the customer in one month.
by Michael Thompson