It’s easy to get jaded and cynical about the luxury watch industry: it sometime seems like big brands spending millions on marketing in order to sell impractical baubles to the wealthy. But strip away all the breathless press releases and celebrity ambassadors and the heart of timekeeping remains a core of immense creativity and enthusiasm. That’s why every year we come away from Salon International Haute Horlogerie, the world’s most prestigious watch show, feeling privileged and awed. This year was no different. The competitive environment of the show, the electric vibe among the attendees and the enthusiasm of brand reps and watchmakers showing off their new creations make the Palexpo in Geneva a wonderful place every January.
At this year’s show we witnessed the typical assortment of jaw-dropping timepieces from the masters of high watchmaking like Jaeger LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Lange & Söhne and Cartier; there was the usual opulence of the brands’ welcoming booths, from IWC’s “Water World” theme to Ralph Lauren’s clubby scene; and then there were the subtler gems we always love to find, like Montblanc’s Meisterstück Heritage collection, Vacheron’s quiet and elegant booth and Baume & Mercier’s expansion of the Clifton line. After we’ve returned home and slept off the jetlag, we like to poll our team of Timekeeping contributors for their picks from the preceding week. So without further ado, here are our favorite watches of SIHH 2014.