2016 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Echoes the Elegance of the Design District

Besides the Miami Design District, the next best place to find all of your favorite watch brands together in one place was the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, one of the world’s premier watchmaking events. Now in its 26th year, the annual timepiece trade show and expo gave attendees the opportunity to browse upcoming styles from renowned brands and notable newcomers.Christophe Claret Soprano Recto Verso

2016 marked an important year for the show as it introduced a fresh, streamlined look to echo its new “Square of Clocks,” a dedicated space for craftsmen and independent workshops to showcase contemporary timepiece innovations. Modern ateliers, such as Hautlence and Urwerk, debuted complications and striking designs that marry traditional Swiss movements with modern techniques. First-time exhibitor Christophe Claret, known for being the first to incorporate sapphire components, introduced three reinterpretations of the Soprano watch that included two new complications: a 60-second tourbillon and a minute repeater. The latest batch of watchmakers not only brought the total number of exhibitors to 24 but also helped forge a relationship between traditional Maisons and more unconventional designers in common pursuits.

As in years past, it was veteran brands like Piaget and Audemars Piguet (the brand’s Supersonnerie, which launched at the 2015 SIHH, was still very much abuzz this year) that rallied crowds curious to see what new releases would debut at the show. Vacheron Constantin, whose fifth U.S. location is in the Design District’s Palm Court, took to the occasion to unveil its new Overseas models, which introduces a new in-house, self-winding movement.

Cartier made news for its new Calibre Drive, a watch that premiered at the 2016 show in Geneva and, unlike other recent releases, will not be a mass market timepiece. Rather, the Drive, an automotive-inspired wristwatch aimed at a male demo, will appeal to industry leaders in search of the next trendsetting piece.