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Continuing our theme of reviewing 2017 models from our favorite brands, let’s move on to take a look at what we are calling the “Extreme Traditionals.” These brands hew to a standard of traditional technical excellence, largely sticking with cases in steel or precious metals, while pushing the limits of the tourbillon, the perpetual calendar, and other age-old complications.

A.Lange & SöhneTourbograph Perpetual Pourle Mérite A.Lange & SöhneTourbograph Perpetual Pourle Mérite Photo: Modern Luxury

A.Lange & Söhne

The clear star of A. Lange & Söhne’s septet of new offerings at SIHH 2017, the Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite” presents a panoply of traditional horological mechanisms: fuse-and-chain transmission, tourbillon, chronograph, rattrapante function and perpetual calendar. Despite clearly demarcating its various functions on the dial, the watch boasts an uncluttered aesthetic and legibility. Housed in a 43mm platinum case, this is the fifth timepiece in A. Lange & Söhne’s “Pour le Mérite” line. It is available in a limited edition of 50 pieces.

Vacheron Constantin

Introduced at SIHH 2017, Vacheron Constantin’s Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 took home the Mechanical Exception Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève later that year. This one-of-a-kind piece took five years to develop, comprising as it does 23 complications (!) and 514 components in a caliber that measures just 8.7mm in thickness. A stunning piece of art front and back, this incredible piece displays hours, minutes, perpetual calendar, day/night indication, precision moonphase, age of the moon, running equation of time, sunrise and sunset, length of day and night, seasons, solstices, equinoxes and zodiacal signs, tide level indicator, Sun-Earth-Moon conjunction, opposition and quadrature, transparent celestial chart of the Northern Hemisphere with indication of the Milky Way, the ecliptic and the celestial equator, celestial time hours and minutes, tourbillon, 3-week power reserve (using 6 barrels), and power reserve indication.

Girard Perregaux Laureato Flying Tourbillon Skeleton Girard Perregaux Laureato Flying Tourbillon Skeleton Photo: Modern Luxury

Girard-Perregaux

The Swiss brand took the occasion of its return to SIHH in 2017 as an opportunity to revisit its signature Laureato family, first established in 1975. Among the new offerings was the bold Laureato Flying Tourbillon Skeleton, which incorporated clean, curved arcs into the the completely openworked dial. With a tourbillon at 11 o’clock and a visible barrel at 5 o’clock, the Laureato Flying Tourbillon Skeleton gives us a new look—quite literally—at an icon.