Skip to content

Tag: DeBethune

Designs of futures past

The MB&F Legacy Machine (LM1)
The MB&F Legacy Machine (LM1)

There was a time when watches were micro-mechanical models of the future – sweeping curves cast in highly polished gold or steel – devices to take you boldly where no person had gone before. These were the days of the Hamilton Taurus, the Gemini and the Savitar II, whose asymmetric cases pointed firmly to the future. Within a couple of years, Hamilton would also give us the X-01, a prop for the seminal science fiction film 2001, a Space Odyssey, as well as the QED, an LED watch that, subconsciously, may have echoed HAL’s unflinching, red eye. Hamilton even spun-off an LED-specific brand, Pulsar. Pulsar, a name so cool it was bought by Seiko in 1978 and relegated to a sub-Lorus backwater. These were the days of Disney, of EPCOT – the experimental prototype community of tomorrow – Walt’s utopian vision of the way we would live. The way we could live.

You cannot be SIHH-erious!

Every January since the early nineties, Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) has been tempting trade and collectors alike with the best that selected watch manufactures have to offer. In the earliest days, the list of exhibitors was limited to five (Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Piaget, Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth) but by 1999, this had been expanded to 18, and the number has remained relatively stable; today, SIHH’s sixteen brands include some of the most intriguing and exciting watchmakers in the world, as well as many of the most powerful.

The Foundation that operates SIHH has maintained a set of central tenets that most #watchnerds will probably find hard with which to disagree: SIHH’s list of exhibitors should reflect (in the eyes of the Foundation) “historic” brands / manufactures, “ateliers and Master Watchmakers which produce their own movements and creations” and brands that “invest in Fine Watchmaking by inventing and creating”. Of course, underlying all this is a widely-held view that SIHH is merely a media vehicle for the Richemont Group – who no longer wanted to be associated with the increasingly Swatch Group-led BaselWorld. Whatever the reasons for their inclusion, there is no doubt (in my mind at least) that SIHH remains highly relevant and an important date in the #watchnerd calendar.

Perhaps this is why it is so galling to have missed yet another year.