Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SIHH 2012 : Quick look - Baume & Mercier, Greubel Forsey

Here I am in the Salle de Presse at SIHH 2012, which looks like this -

I have been very busy with press presentations, with very little time to upload and post-process my shots, so for this phase of SIHH I am using a newly purchased Panasonic Lumix GX1 with the Lumix G 14-42 X power zoom lens. It's great for quick snaps and I think it can do more than that too, but for really detailed and accurate watch shots I will be reverting to my Nikon D700 and 105mm Micronikkor macro lens later in the week.

The first booth to the right of the Salle de Presse is Baume et Mercier. Their presentation is tomorrow, but from my first quick look at the display cases outside the booth, I would say that they are upping their game.

New chronographs -

A new, more elegant and classic range of time-only watches with really nice sword hands, subtle dial guilloché and other details -

A closer look at one of the chronos -

Here is last year's Capeland chronograph, which has from memory a Dubois-Dépraz movement -

The thing about Baume et Mercier is that they are NOT attempting to go upmarket by developing their own movements, or worse, grabbing someone else's movement and calling it their own. What they do instead is take good reliable ETA and other third-party movements, finish them beautifully, and put them in high-quality cases.

Previously, I found their styling worthy but terribly boring. Now, I'm looking at these new watches and saying, "Wow, that's really nice and elegant for that price point." I will do a serious shoot on Thursday and let's see if the resulting photos bear this hypothesis out.

The B&M booth had an artist working on some drawings outside the entrance -

Back to Greubel Forsey. This year they have a new GMT watch with a big, big earth sphere indicator -

- and a super-impressive new iteration of the 24º Incliné tourbillon watch with the deepest blue dial I have ever seen. I need to attend the press presentation to tell you how that dial is made, but I think there's titanium in it.

This dial and the overall layout remind me strongly of the Harry Winston Opus 6 which was executed by GF about six years ago.

The back has skeletonised bridges finished in GF's signature frosted metal finish, seen here in the mirror -

Plenty more to come folks. Same Tart-time, same Tart-channel...

Tony P

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