We’re not really one for “trend” here at HODINKEE. The term “trend” is used by fashion magazines when putting together a photo spread on watches with, for example, a blue face, or by the New York times to describe something that happened three years ago (hey-ho! jk, love you guys!). So, in this case, we’re going to call this micro-trend of SIHH a theme, instead.
One theme we noticed while in Geneva was the introduction of a type of watch that is a juxtaposition upon itself – a refined, elegant, time-only tourbillon of reasonable size – or a “timid time-only tourbillon.” Tourbillons are rarely of interest to people that truly understand wristwatches. The are, most of the time, kind of silly and a horological “peacocking” of sorts (of course there are notable exceptions, such as those incredible purpose-driven tourbillons from the likes of Greubel Forsey, Thomas Prescher, Richard Mille, and Jaeger-LeCoultre, plus the traditional tourbs from Patek Philippe, Laurent Ferrier, Vacheron Constantin, and A. Lange & Sohne.) In fact, there are few modern tourbillons that most watch guys would make the effort to save up for, purchase, and wear.
But, SIHH 2012 changed that. In fact, there were four tourbillons that really caught our eye, and not a single one of them features a perpetual calendar, a chronograph, or hell, even a date window (ok – a power reserve indication is present here and there but does that really count as a complication?). And, all four of them fall into the size range of 39mm-42mm (actually, one is 39mm, one is 40mm, one is 41mm, and the final is 42mm – so you can pick your millimeters). So, if you’re like us and have never really thought yourself a tourbillon guy, click through and take a look at these four understated, chic, and almost timid time-only tourbillons from SIHH 2012.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon – 39mm