At the gala dinner that brings the SIAR to a close in Mexico City, the exhibition organiser Carlos Alonso traditionally announces the winners of his watch magazine’s annual awards to some 300 guests. The tenth edition of the show was no exception and WorldTempus is pleased to see a number of its partner brands among the winners chosen by the jury.
On the surface, the Clé de Cartier seems simple enough: a well designed, comfortable, functional, gold dress watch. In the hands of different brands, this might have translated as something too formal and boring. But Cartier has managed to make a wristwatch that avoids these traps and even rewards the wearer who pays attention: the ingenious crown, the complex curvature of the circumstance, the intricate dial. Taken individually, they are all tiny details, but in combination they produce a watch that’s wonderfully enjoyable to wear.I’m most impressed with how it curves to match the wrist, and also that I like the leather strap as it mutes the bling element. I also really love the size. Too often watches with diamonds are just another bit of jewellery, but I can actually read the time on this.” If there’s 1 thing and one thing only to consider Cartier (among many others of course) is the way this Old Maison consistently mastered shapes, like not other brand attained and always with a controlled, somehow conservative elegance. Lately, the brand made incursions in new worlds, like for example the sporty Calibre p Cartier and its own Diver edition. However, this year, at the SIHH 2016, Cartier likely introduced THE watch that lots of us were expecting: an elegant, shaped, elegant watch, with just a lot of vintage allure, an in-house movement and a price that surprised over just a few. This watch is called the Cartier Drive plus it’s a pure summary of why we adore Cartier.One thing is important to notice with Cartier; unlike many brands, they’d had a strong focus on shaped watches. Many brands attempted to do this — particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, where Art-Deco also influenced watchmaking and where we’ve seen many timepieces with rectangular or cushion-shaped watches — but few manufactures attained to maintain this feature for a hallmark. In fact, if you examine the actual collections of brands that are older, there are mainly round watches, whether we discuss apparel or sports watches. On the other hand, Cartier’s icons are all shaped-watches and recent inventions follow the same concept.
The Watch of the Year awarded was presented to Greubel Forsey for its Signature 1 watch. Hermès won the Women’s Watch prize for its colourful Slim Mille Fleurs du Mexique. TAG Heuer won the Sports Watch category with its Heuer Monza chronograph. In the Grand Complication category, A. Lange & Söhne’s Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon took the honours. In the rather original “horological values” category, Audemars Piguet was rewarded for its Royal Oak Double Balance Openworked. The collector’s favourite, Patek Philippe, took the honours in the chronograph category with its Chronograph WorldTimer Ref. 5930. This model was especially honoured at the SIAR, since it was also on the cover of the GMT XXL World magazine that was distributed to visitors.
Two further prizes were announced during the ceremony itself, with Cartier scooping the Public Pirze for its Ballon Bleu watch and the Critics’ prize, decided by local media, awarded to Bulgari for its Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater.
The special Tiempo de Relojes prize was awarded to Chopard for the L.U.C Chrono Perpetual, as a nod to the 20th anniversary of the L.U.C collection, which was launched in the same year as Carlos Alonso’s magazine. See all the results on tiempoderelojes.com.