Haute Time: SIHH Update Day 1 From Carol Besler

This is the 22nd time I have travelled to Geneva to cover the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie), the invitation-only Richemont affair showcasing the new introductions of 18 elite Swiss watch brands. It is the first SIHH, however, about which I have written a blog. Instead of capping the night with a glass of champagne at the usual hot spot and arguing with my colleagues about the best inroductions of the day, I will take a moment to opine online about the day’s top 3 treasures.

First, the reason why we are all here in the first place: Cartier (accounting for more than half of Richemont Group sales). When the brand introduced the Tank Francaise in 1996, my personal opinion was that it should have been more rounded at the edges and less rectangular in case shape. It turned out to be the most successful introduction in Cartier history. Today, the brand introduced the Tank Anglais, with rounded edges and a more squared case – and so at last, the watch of my dreams. A distinguishing feature is the crown’s seamless integration into the right brancard – the side element of the case. At a dinner tonight with the Cartier group, the brands’s style, image and heritage director Pierre Rainero (what other brand has a style, image and heritage director!?) explained that that Jean-Jacques Cartier, son of Jacques Cartier and grandson of the brand’s founder, designed watches that were always rounded at the edges, and that the latest Tank is a tribute to that aesthetic. In three sizes and three gold colors, with diamond options, this is a full collection and sure to be another Cartier home run.