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This year was the first time SIHH allowed brands, outside of the Richemont Group to be involved with the luxury fair. It was a case of “if you can’t beat’em, just let’em in”. Since most of these brands would congregate and set up venues in Geneva, around this time of year to benefit from the vast and prestigious clientele the SIHH luxury fair tends to attract. And SIHH organizers were just fed up of dealing with the distractions and so the “Carré des Horologers” was introduced. Here are some of the independent brands and their watches at this year’s SIHH 2016.

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HYT the “hydro mechanical horologists” decided to go in a different route for their first participation at the SIHH. They took their “H2” model and gave it a more traditional feel, hence the title “HYT H2 Tradition”. This is the second watch created by the brand with a typical V-shaped compression system and a complete skeletonized movement. But, although this a more traditional timepiece, it’s still a HYT, with its idiosyncratic displays which rely on the use of fluids, inserted in a capillary tube, to indicate the hours.

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Image courtesy of: HYT

The 48mm case is made of titanium, with an anthracite grey PVD coating on the center container. What really bring’s in the tradition to this HYT watch are the inclusion of two sub-dials, one for the minutes and another for the seconds. These lacquered dials have a 4N gold treatment, Roman numerals and blued hands for indicating time. The main plates on the dial and movement sides are finished with diamond guilloché. This watch has a power reserve that lasts up to 8 days.

Video courtesy of: HYT

http://www.hytwatches.com/collection-h2/watch/h2-tradition/ – MSRP: $189.000.00 USD

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Laurent Ferrier is a five year old brand that has just entered the “Carré des Horologers” with their first sports watch, the: “Lareunt Ferrier Galet Square Boréal” and the “Lareunt Ferrier Galet Traveller Boréal”. The 41mm case is made of stainless steel on either one. The black nickel-colored dial, has vertical satin-brushing, snailed small seconds and slate-grey transfer, while the chapter ring is coated with SuperLuminova. The hands are arrow-shaped with 18k/750 gold for the hours and minutes, while the seconds are baton-shaped.

The difference between these two reside in the extras included on the “Lareunt Ferrier Galet Traveller Boréal” which features a beveled date-window at 3 o’clock, a small-seconds counter at 6 o’clock and a dual time-zone aperture at the 9 o’clock position. Extra complications for those who tend to globe-trot and make use of these features.

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Image courtesy of: Laurent Ferrier

This “Lareunt Ferrier Galet Square Boréal” is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 229.01, with 35 jewels and 186 parts. The power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 72 hours. While the “Lareunt Ferrier Galet Traveller Boréal” is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber LF230.01, with 44 jewels and 288 parts. The power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 80 hours.

Mounted to this watch you can opt for the strap being either of leather and composite material with green stitching or a barbialla calf with hand sewn Alcantara lining. Also optional is it being ended with a pin buckle or a double-blade folding clasp in stainless steel.

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Urwerk has accustomed us to high-end ultra-modern watches, but they’re not just style over substance, since they’ve produced some very technically challenging timepieces. At their first year inside the SIHH they’ve brought along two models.

First off the “Urwerk EMC Time Hunter” which is the first timepiece able to monitor both the amplitude and the precision of the watch, with the help of electronically enhanced indications. Now, what does this mean? The amplitude is how many degrees the balance wheel moves with each oscillation. Since the balance wheel is so small and oscillates so quickly, a simple change in temperature or brisk movement, can affect the frequency, which disrupts the accuracy of a watch.

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Image courtesy of: Urwerk

The 51mm case is made of titanium and steel with a bead-blasting, satin finish. The dial informs you of: hours, minutes, seconds, precision delta, amplitude and power reserve status. There is also the option of obtaining this watch in a ceramic camouflage-green color model.

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Image courtesy of: Urwerk

This “Urwerk EMC Time Hunter” is a 100% mechanical watch, powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber UR-EMC2. This timepiece also features artificial intelligence provided in the form of a trademark Maxon generator, which is a small capacitor that is charged by the crank on the case side. The power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 80 hours.

Secondly there’s the “Urwerk UR-105 T-Rex” which is a return to their satellite indication watch, which has been an emblematic signature element of the brand for 18 years. The way it works is that four satellites, each carrying three hour numerals, reveal themselves as they circle around the minute rail to display time. The movement’s automatic winding is precisely regulated by dual air turbines seen thru the exhibition caseback.

The 40mm case is made of titanium with a bronze bezel, finished with perlage, bead-blasting and polished screws. The uncommon dial covered by PEEK (Polyether ether ketone) adorned with a mystifying guilloché pattern and circular-graining finishes, provides simple legibility of hours and minutes, with SuperLuminova treatment on markers, dials, indexes and satellites.

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Image courtesy of: Urwerk

This “Urwerk UR-105 T-Rex” is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber UR 5.02, with 52 jewels and coupled with turbines. The power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 48 hours.

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MB&F also has entered SIHH with both one of their classic models and a shout out to the future. The classic model comes in the form of the “MB&F LM101” originally released in 2014 and one of their more conventional looking watches. But, returning now in a 40mm platinum made case (limited to 33 pieces) or in 18k red god and 18k white gold.

This “MB&F LM101” is powered by a three-dimensional horological movement, manual-winding with a single spring barrel, developed in-house by MB&F, featuring 23 jewels and 229 parts. The power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 45 hours.

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Image courtesy of: MB&F

Yet, the real eye-catcher is their other model at SIHH, the “MB&F Horological Machine No.6 (HM6 SV)” also known as the “Space Pirate”. The “SV” stands for sapphire vision, a concept originally introduced by this brand back in 2011.

The “MB&F HM6 SV” is composed of 10 sapphire crystals, of which nine are doomed: 4 for the hour and minute indications & 4 for the turbines, plus a flat one for the exhibition caseback. The hours and minutes are displayed on separate semi-spherical aluminum indications, which results in one of the most oddly unique watches to be featured at this year’s SIHH.

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Image courtesy of: MB&F

This “MB&F HM6 SV” is also powered by a three-dimensional horological movement, exclusively developed for the HM6, featuring a flying tourbillion with retractable shield, iridescent platinum 950 battle-axe automatic winding rotor, with 68 jewels and 475 parts. The power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 72 hours.

Video courtesy of: MB&F

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De Bethune may be considered by some as the smaller of the independents to get into SIHH this year, but they’re on a mission to change that. Stating that it took them eleven years to build their latest pieces, but history will without a doubt view it as the ”foundation of 21st Century horology” is quite a confident and ambitious statement. Introducing the “De Bethune DB25 World Traveller”.

This timepiece is destined to become best-friends with those inclined to globetrotting, due to the ease in legibility on this dial. After you get used to, it will take a simple glance to tell the time from various time-zones. World-times appear on a disc in the center of the dial, encircled by a graduated channel in which a moving microsphere indicates the reference time, also designated as home-time.

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Image courtesy of: De Bethune

Then there’s a microsphere which has two halves in order to indicate day and night. One half is blue, while the other is pink and they reverse positions after passing the 6AM and 6PM markers. It also features a discreet peripheral date indicator scale.

This “De Bethune DB25 World Traveller” is powered by a manual-winding mechanical movement, caliber DB2547, with 49 jewels and 430 parts. The 45mm case is made of 18k white gold with cone-shaped lugs and double AR-coated sapphire crystals. The case seems to be slightly raised as to provide ease of use. The power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 120 hours.

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Image courtesy of: De Bethune

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De Bethune, HYT, Laurent Ferrier, MB&F, SIHH, Urwerk, Luxury Watches

Written by Mauro Az