Judging by the offerings at last week's glitzy Geneva Watch Show, horology is off to a running start in 2016. Celebrated watchmakers flocked to the annual event, better known as the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève (SIHH), to debut the latest and greatest in luxury watches.
This year’s batch was decidedly eclectic, with both classic pieces and more modern takes thrilling watch aficionados. Here, we tick off the three biggest trends at the 2016 SIHH, and our favorite examples of each.
TIME TRAVEL: Catering to jet set collectors, a number of watchmakers unveiled travel and navigation-inspired timepieces. With a nod to cartography and a recurrent use of blue, these are some of the coolest watches to debut on the other side of the Atlantic.
1. Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum
The German watchmaker dropped this sophisticated maritime-inspired piece after a similar watch stunned at last year's fair. Its sapphire-crystal dial features 24 cities on different time zones.
2. Montblanc Collection Villeret Tourbillon Cylindrique
For nostalgia's sake, Montblanc debuted a state-of-the-art pocket watch, redolent of turn-of-the-century seafaring. Its winning feature is its cylindrical hairspring, which allows absolute regularity and precision.
3. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Collection
The prestige Swiss label updated its popular Overseas Collection, loved for its rich blues and steel straps. But these models stand out for their ultra-thin calibres, which feature 22-carat gold oscillating weights.
Starts at around $23,500
THE TIMELESS: As analog watchmakers have fought to prove their place in the analog age, many have made a turn for the bombastic. While some have welcomed the innovation at SIHH, others find it a tad desperate. Luckily for the latter camp, we saw a number of watchmakers do away with the bells and whistles this year to remind us of the power of a classic timepiece.
5. Greubel Forsey Signature 1
Good news: this is one of the company's least expensive watches ever. Bad news: it still costs more than many houses. The Signature 1 took six years to perfect and features three manually-wound hands.
6. IWC Schaffhausen Top Gun
This elegant watch packs a stylish punch with its all-black, sporty design. IWC touts its minimalist watch face and black calfskin straps as reasons for your purchase.
FIST POMP: What would a convention of ultra-pricey Swiss watches be without a little extravagance? These may not be the wisest choices to add to your collection, but damn are they fun to look at.
7. Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari Sapphire
Here's one of the most absurd contraptions on display at this year's SIHH, but, for whatever reason, we can't get enough of it. Its intricate circuitry, with display roles and a suspended tourbillon, is gorgeously exposed in a transparent sapphire case.
8. HYT Skull Maori
Here's a watch fit for Dr. Evil. This ominous skull-themed timepiece runs on capillary, which uses fluid as an hour marker. And naturally, blood red was the color of choice for that liquid. How this process works completely eludes us, but HYT has clearly mastered it.
9. Audemars Piguet Diamond Fury Haute Joaillerie
This one is for the ladies, but we can still gawk at it, right? There are 4,635 diamonds in the case and band with another 206 on the dial. Though it strikes onlookers as a bracelet, a hinge mechanism reveals the glorious timepiece beneath all that glittering splendor.
Starts at around $570,000