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6 Watch Trends We Saw at SIHH 2019

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Photo courtesy of SIHH

Trends in the watch industry are an interesting phenomenon: definitely not adherent to fashion’s model of trends—changing from day to day in drastic leaps—but still very much reactive to a demanding market’s (regional or global) tastes, preferences, and sense of aesthetics, albeit with the consideration that, unlike clothes, watches are essentially machines meant to last a lifetime.

While traditionalism and classic design will always be in vogue in the world of horology, we couldn’t help but notice a few interesting trends and developments at this year’s edition of SIHH.

Colored Dials

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Specifically, in blue, green, and black. The movement that prompted every manufacture to create timepieces in everything from aquamarine and cobalt to navy and turquoise is still going strong in 2019, with nearly every brand—with notable adherents like Jaeger-LeCoultre, Girard-Perregaux, and Vacheron Constantin leading the pack—imbuing their timepieces with different iterations of the hue.

Green was a massive favorite with brands as well, specifically when paired with bronze cases and details which serve to highlight the tones of both the dial and the metal that surrounds it, as in IWC Schaffhausen’s reimagining of its iconic Pilot’s watches.

Have a penchant for the darker side of life? Also spotted were black watches of every persuasion, with many clearly designed to cater to the tastes of a younger market.

Skeleton Movements

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Few details scream high horology like a skeleton movement, which puts a manufacture’s expertise front and center through a masterful blend of minimalism and frills.

This year, manufactures such as Roger Dubuis show off their respective design visions and ideals with signature pieces that pull the curtains back on the feat of engineering that is the mechanical timepiece, releasing pieces inspired by everything from hypercars to the cosmos.

Bejeweled Watches

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Minimalism was definitely not a buzzword at this year’s edition of the Genevan watch fair. From monochromatic stunners paying tribute to specific stones to rainbow-inspired pieces, to diamond pavé on any and every surface imaginable, manufacturers explored gem-setting techniques and pushed the boundaries of their aesthetics when creating men’s and women’s watches alike.   

Rose Gold

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No matter what the manufactures are calling it—rose gold, pink gold, or any one of the exclusive proprietary alloys in the same family—the metal was having a movement.

There was barely a yellow gold sighting in Geneva, with manufactures like A. Lange & Söhne and Ferdinand Berthoud spotlighting the warm, rosy complexity of this material to complement and elevate more neutral and traditional tones, textures, and finishes.

Innovative Materials

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For manufactures, this was a year of experimentation with new techniques and materials, with iconic models reimagined in ways that brought together design and technology.

SIHH 2019 was abuzz with the unveiling of iconic models in proprietary materials like A. Lange & Sohne’s Honey Gold Langematik and Panerai’s many, many Submersibles in Carbotech and BMG-Tech. Taking familiar materials like ceramic, but giving them an added aesthetic twist, as in IWC’s sand-colored ceramic in its Top Gun-edition chronograph and Audemars Piguet’s brand new Offshore in a chocolatey take of the material, were also key highlights of the fair.

Ultra-Thin Watches

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Much like the quest for accuracy, watchmakers have challenged themselves with turning already minuscule movements into thinner and thinner mechanisms. Many have achieved this ironically herculean task, showing off their achievements in Geneva, with many watches seemingly slimmer than the last. Best embodied in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Ultra-Thin models and Piaget’s Altiplano, and even Audemars Piguet’s extra thin Royal Oak, this year, thin is in.

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