Now that Baselworld — the huge horological trade show that ran for nearly a century in Basel, Switzerland — is no longer around, Watches and Wonders (formerly SIHH) is the only game in town.
Last year, Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, three of the LVMH watch brands, and others joined for the first time, expanding the show past its former Richemont-plus-high-end-independants purview and gathering almost all of the (non-Swatch Group) player together in one place. This is, frankly, great news for journalists, and thus for watch fans, as it allows us to cover most of the year’s significant releases at once, and convey them easily and quickly to you, dear reader.
This year, we’re excited about new releases from the big brands, plus a whole hosts of high-end-indies such as Laurent Ferrier, Czapek & Cie, Grönefeld, and more. Join us as we check out elegant new dress watches, business-first tool watches, super complicated, limited-edition pieces, and more!
NOTE: We’ll be updating this story throughout the week and as the fair progresses. Be sure to check back often to scope the latest news!
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Small Seconds Tribute in Pink Gold Sheds a Millimeter
It’s impossible not to love the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, the reversible timepiece designed for polo players that’s been kicking around the watch world since the days of the British Raj — simply flip the case over, and the dial is protected from impact, while the now-visible caseback can be personalized with an engraving, lacquer work, or more. Available in numerous sizes, complications, and configurations, it’s a classic for a reason.
For 2022, La Grande Maison has reconfigured the Reverso Tribute Small Seconds — which is arguably as close as one can get today to the original, diminutive, hand-wound 1931 version of the watch — offering versions in stainless steel and pink gold in brand new dial colors. The pink gold version is really the star of the show: Its case has been slimmed down by a full millimeter and now measures just 7.56mm tall. Pretty svelte!
Paired to a black dial, a burgundy lacquered dial — which takes forever and a day to create, by the way — or a silver dial, this ultra-elegant Reverso comes with fine leather straps from the brand’s collaboration with Casa Fagliano and is powered by the hand-wound, in-house Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822, a movement dedicated solely to the Reverso that features a power reserve of 42 hours. If you’ve been waiting to snag the perfect dress watch, the new pink gold Reverso Tribute Small Seconds would be an excellent move.
Movement: Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822 hand-wound
Case Material: Pink gold; stainless steel
Bulgari Expands the Octo Collection with New Dials and Wild Complications
While the cutting-edge Octo Finissimo collection gets most of the love from the watch world, the “standard” Octo collection still offers incredibly compelling pieces that — until now — existed at a much more affordable price point. For 2023, Bulgari is showcasing two sides of the Octo coin: new time-and-date models — plus a brand-new chronograph — at more down-to-Earth prices, plus some stupidly complicated models that are likely to make even Octo Finissimo owners blush.
First of all, the time-and-date and chrono models are sick: With their blue, anthracite, and white-dialed Clous de Paris dials, in-house movements, and awesome integrated bracelets, these are luxury sports watches that compete with the best from brands such as Chopard, IWC, and others. (Hell, even AP and Patek owners are likely to feel pangs of FOMO when examining these new beauties.)
But that’s not all that’s new from the Italian-founded luxury brand: This year’s high watchmaking focus is on the tourbillon complication, that now-useless-yet-still-fascinating mechanism that was originally intended to improve accuracy in pocket watches. Several new Octo models feature it, the dopest being the Bulgari Octo Roma Striking Papillon Tourbillon and the Bulgari Octo Roma Striking Tourbillon Sapphire. With their black DLC titanium cases, unusual dials, and incredible movements, they’re the type of timepieces that prove Bulgari is now on par with storied watchmaking houses that have been operating for centuries.
Movement: Bulgari Calibre BVL 191 automatic
Case Material: Stainless steel
Price: 7,900 EUR
Octo Roma Chronograph
Movement: Bulgari Calibre BVL 399 automatic
Case Material: Stainless steel
Price: 9,900 EUR
Octo Roma Striking Papillon Tourbillon
Movement: Bulgari Calibre BVL 348 hand-wound
Case Material: Titanium
Price: 130,000 EUR
Bulgari Octo Roma Striking Tourbillon Sapphire
Movement: Bulgari Calibre BVL 206 hand-wound
Case Material: Titanium
Price: 85,000 EUR
IWC Updates a Fan Favorite, the Ingenieur
Each year, the International Watch Company focuses on a particular collection. This year, that collection is the Ingenieur, the brand’s famous anti-magnetic luxury sports watch that got a serious design upgrade by none other than Gérald Genta in 1976. Fans of the vintage Ingenieur SL “Jumbo” have been clamoring for an update for years, and this year, they’re finally getting their wish.
Say hello to the new Ingenieur Automatic 40 collection. Currently available in three stainless steel references (black, silver, or aqua dials) and one titanium reference (grey dial), it’s one of the biggest stories of Watches and Wonders, and a tremendous piece of news in a horological climate in which the luxury sports watch has never been more popular. Priced at $11,700 in steel and $14,600 in titanium, it’s certainly not an entry-level product, but it’s also eminently more affordable than much of its direct competition from the likes of AP, Patek Philippe, Chopard, and others.
Measuring a comfortable 40mm by an impressively thin 10.8mm and featuring the in-house IWC Calibre 32111 automatic movement — with 120 hours of power reserve and hella resistance to magnetism via a soft iron inner cage within the watch case — plus an integrated bracelet, a functional, screw-down bezel, and a beautiful “Grid” dial, the Ingenieur Automatic 40 collection isn’t some thoughtless, one-for-one upgrade. Rather, it’s a highly considered extension of an idea whose seed took shape in the mind of the world’s greatest watch designer nearly 50 years ago.
Movement: IWC Calibre 32111 automatic
Case Material: Stainless steel; titanium
Chopard’s Take on the Luxury Sports Watch Is Ultra Thin — and Ultra Cool
While the Alpine Eagle may not be as familiar as the Royal Oak, Nautilus, 222, or Ingenieur, that’s because the collection’s only been around since 2019, rather than the 1970s. Featuring all the typical attributes of such a timepiece — an integrated bracelet, an extremely highly finished movement, a beautifully architected case, an attractive dial, etc. — the Alpine Eagle was extremely well received, and has since grown to include complicated and gem-set references in multiple sizes for both men and women.
This year, Chopard is adding a notable addition to the Alpine Eagle lineup in the form of the Alpine Eagle 41 XPS in Lucent Steel A223. Featuring a stunning salmon-colored “Monte Rosa Pink”dial, this time-only sports watch uses the in-house Chopard L.U.C 96.40-L movement, which clocks in at just 3.30mm thick, is chronometer-certified, and will run up to 65 hours. Housed in a 41mm case and paired to an integrated bracelet, the watch is machined from Lucent Steel A223 — a specially resistant, shiny steel alloy made from 85% recycled materials.
Joining more complicated recent releases such as a flying tourbillon and a flyback chronograph, this 8mm-thick timepiece is so well finished that it received the Poinçon de Genève or Geneva Seal, the standards for which are ludicrously high. Water resistant to 100m and fitted with a glare-proof sapphire crystal, it’s also a fully functional, hard-wearing sports watch — even despite its incredible good looks.
Movement: Chopard L.U.C 96.40-L automatic
Case Material: Lucent steel
Grand Seiko Is Introducing Its First Mechanical Chronograph at Watches and Wonders
You read that right — until now, there’s never been a GS chrono running on a mechanical movement. (Cue spooky music: “UNTIL NOW!!”) Introducing the Evolution 9 Collection Tentagraph SLGC001 — which we’re totally just gonna call the “Tentagraph.” Powered by the Grand Seiko Calibre 9SC5 with dural barrels and three days of power reserve, it is (according to GS), the chronograph with the longest power reserve in the world that’s powered by a movement that beats at 10 beats per second. (Oddly specific, but cool, I guess?)
It’s also wildly accurate: GS tests it for 20 days to a standard of +5 to -3 seconds per day. And beyond this impressive movement is super cool housing: a Zaratsu-polished case in titanium measuring 43.2mm with a box-shaped sapphire crystal, a matching bracelet with a three-fold clasp and push-button release, plus a screw-down crown and a sapphire case back. The dial is in a blue “Mt. Iwate” pattern with a date window, a triple-register chrono display, and applied indices and hands.
A black ceramic bezel with a tachymeter scale rounds out the design which, with its black, blue, and steely looks, cool movement, compelling design, and practical feature set, is poised to be one of the most exciting of Watches and Wonders 2023.
Movement: Grand Seiko Calibre 9SC5 automatic
Case Material: Titanium
Hublot Debuts a New First
Believe it or not, there are still a few watches that Hublot hasn’t made yet — one of which is a watch with both a tourbillon and a retrograde display, in which the time is read along a semi-circular axis rather than around the periphery of a conventional dial. Well, the Nyon-based Swiss brand is remedying that this year with the new 44mm Big Bang MP-13 Tourbillon Retrograde Bi-Axial Titanium.
And this enormous bruiser of a watch doesn’t just feature any old tourbillon — which would be impressive enough on its own, mind you — but a bi-axis tourbillon constructed entirely in-house by the brand. (While a standard tourbillon makes one rotation every, say, 60 seconds on a single axis, this one makes a second rotation every 30 seconds on a secondary axis, effectively doubling both how mind-blowing the engineering is, and how useless a tourbillon is in a wristwatch.)
But forget about that for a moment. (I know I would if I were about to plunk down $158,000 on a watch.) Above the bi-axis tourbillon flitting about at 6 o’clock is a retrograde timing display positioned above a skeletonized movement, the hand-wound HUB6200. With its 96-hour power reserve, it can be viewed from both the dial side and underside of the case due to dual sapphire crystals. Housed in a polished and satin-finished titanium case and limited to 50 pieces, it’s a pretty wild object, and of the most notable of Hublot (myriad) 2023 releases, to our minds.
Movement: Hublot HUB6200 hand-wound
Case Material: Titanium
Oris’s New Pilot’s Watch Makes Us Green with Envy
When Hölstein-based independent watchmaker Oris dropped its ProPilot X Calibre 400 in 2022, the watch world was understandably pretty excited. After all, this thing a) looked dope as hell b) made use of a new(-ish) in-house movement c) was available in several eye–catching colors d) was sized well for both men and women, and e) was fitted to a most excellent bracelet. (And f) was made out of titanium. Almost forgot.)
This year, it’s no surprise that Oris is expanding the collection to include a new model — but the direction taken by the brand may surprise some. Adding to an already pastel-influenced smattering of dials is a bright green dial — one that’s themed around Kermit the Frog. Part of the Oris x Disney’s The Muppets collaboration, it’s the same 39mm titanium watch we all love, but in Kermit green and with a date window that features a small cartoon Kermit that appears on the first of each month.
Outfitted with an impressive movement that features a 5-day power reserve and featuring the product line’s extra handsome grooved bezel and crown, the Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition comes in a special presentation box and carries a price of $4,600.
Movement: Oris Calibre 400 automatic
Case Material: Titanium
Panerai Dropped Its Very First Annual Calendar
An annual calendar is a thing of beauty, a complication that keeps track of the day, date, month, and sometimes the phase of the moon automatically (with the exception of February, at the end of which it needs manual adjustment.) Panerai has never before had an annual calendar in its collection, but it’s remedying that with the introduction of the new Radiomir Annual Calendar reference PAM01363.
A 45mm hunk of solid gold in a Radiomir cushion-style case with “wire” lugs and a large onion crown, it’s certainly not a subtle piece — but that wouldn’t exactly be Panerai’s style. It features a blue gradient dial with a sun-brushed finish, a running seconds display at 9 o’clock, a day-date display at 3 o’clock, and a rotating month disc along the periphery with a fixed indicator arrow at 3 o’clock. Its “sandwich” construction is typical for the brand, enhancing legibility and lending a signature look.
Powered by the Panerai P.9010/AC automatic movement with 40 jewels and 316 components, it’s also available in a more adventurous Experience edition. This reference, PAM01432, is cased in Platinumtech and comes with a sun-brushed burgundy dial — plus entry into a special Panerai experience in Rome replete with cultural and artisanal experiences. It’ll cost you a pretty penny — these watches often run in the tens of thousands of dollars — but after all, it’s tough to put a price on an experience like this. (Especially one that comes with an annual calendar.)
Movement: Panerai P.9010/AC automatic
Case Material: Goldtech; Platinumtech
Rolex Updates the Steel Daytona in Time for Its 60th Birthday
Andddd the moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived — new Rolex watches. Everybody knew we were gonna see some Daytona action in time for the 60th anniversary of this most popular of chronographs, but nobody knew in exactly which form these timepieces would appear. Of course, there are several of them, but perhaps the most notable is the redesign of the new steel model, complete with a tweaked dial with subtle aesthetic updates and a brand new movement, the Calibre 4131 with Chronergy escapement, Paraflex shock absorbers, and an optimized ball bearing system for the automatic winding.
The dial updates are indeed subtle — just light tweaks to the hour markers and totalizer rings — but such is the Rolex way. Similarly, the case has received small changes, with a redesigned mid-case and, on versions with a Cerachrom ceramic bezel, a metal edging that matches the case material.
For those who desire something a bit splashier, there’s a 950 platinum Daytona with a transparent case back and a movement featuring an 18K yellow gold rotor. (The transparent back is the first within the Oyster Perpetual collection of watches.) A mix of platinum and ruthenium, 950 platinum looks brilliant when combined with Rolex’s signature, ice blue dial — the color it pairs with platinum pieces. Additionally, there’s a new Everose model in one of two dial colors — the black version, available with or without diamond hour markers, is particularly fetching.
Tudor Adds a Killer Tribute to a Vintage Dive Watch — in 37mm, No Less!
In 1954, Tudor launched its first diver, the reference 7922. Today, in a surprising move, it debuted a modern take on this most excellent of early tool watches that it’s dubbed, fittingly, the Black Bay 54. Coming in at 37mm, it features a 60-minute unidirectional bezel without any hash marks — a nod to the bezels of yore. Strap on the “rivet-style” stainless steel three-link bracelet, and someone could very well think you’re sporting a 70-year-old timepiece. (The modern bracelet, however, features “T-fit,” and the watch is also available on a rubber strap.)
Featuring a domed, radially brushed black dial with gilt accents — another nod to vintage models — it has the typical arrangement of dot, dash, and triangular markers, plus signature Tudor “Snowflake” hands, plenty of lume, and a handsome “gilt” outer minute track. Powering the watch is the Tudor Manufacture Calibre MT5400, which is COSC-certified and features an impressive 70-hour power reserve.
On-wrist, the Black Bay 54 has an incredible feel — the 37mm case actually wears larger, feeling more like a 39mm or 40mm watch, but is perfectly comfortable on either rubber or steel. It’s also wonderfully thin, features the small crown of the 7922, and the snowflake hands, though anachronistic to a model from the 1950s, look killer. Ultimately, this is a surprising choice from Tudor considering the availability of 39mm models in the catalog, but it’s a move that we certainly applaud.
The Rolex Yacht-Master Is Finally Available in Titanium
A few years back, the world caught a glimpse of a prototype titanium Rolex Yacht-Master on the wrist of Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie. Speculation abounded as to when this watch would make its way into the catalog, and today, our questions have been answered: The new Yacht-Master 42 is housed in an RLX titanium housing, paired to a matching Oyster bracelet with an Easylink comfort extension, and executed in a satin finish that further differentiates it from the Submariner dive watch.
The Yacht-Master — a timepiece dedicated to yachtsmen, sailors, and all manner of other folks brave enough to crew lightning-fast racing vessels on the high seas — is topped with a bi-directional, rotating 60-minute bezel with a Cerachrom insert in matte black. (The bidirectional nature of the bezel means that while it may look like a dive watch, the Yacht-Master 42 isn’t perfectly ideal for actual diving.)
RXL titanium, of which the watch is fashioned, is a unique Rolex titanium alloy that can take a polished or satin finish. (Rolex has chosen satin for the Yacht-Master 42, giving it a technical look that jives well with its specific design remit.) Before last year, when the brand debuted the Deepsea Challenge, this material wasn’t present within the Rolex catalog whatsoever; in 2023, Rolex seems to be continuing down the path to a high-tech future of materials beyond stainless steel and precious metals.
Patek Philippe Pairs An Elegant Calatrava with Its Handy Travel Time Complication
If you’re a watch aficionado who enjoys traveling, chances are you’re familiar — whether or not you own one — with Patek’s “travel time” watches. This system, which uses two hour hands and a set of pushers on the case flank to move the local hour hand around the watch, is incredibly intuitive and elegant. In the past, it’s graced watches from the Nautilus and Aquanaut collections, and even the Calatrava line in the form of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time reference 5224R-001.
This year, a beautiful new Calatrava dress watch is being fitted with the travel time system — only this time, the pushers are gone, replaced with a patented hour corrector system in the crown, which is adjusted in one-hour steps via the crown’s intermediate position. Housed in a 42mm polished rose gold case that takes inspiration from that of the Calatrava Weekly Calendar from 2019, it features a gorgeous, navy blue dial with applied Arabic numerals in a 24-hour format.
Speaking of a 24-hour dial, Patek doesn’t do a ton of these. They did feature on certain notable pocket watches meant for the Brazilian market in the early 20th century, but not so much on wristwatches. In this particular case, noon is situated at 12 o’clock, and midnight at 6 o’clock, which Patek says ensures better legibility during daytime hours. Paired to a navy blue calfskin strap with a prong buckle in rose gold, it’s one of those “If you know, you know” designs that’s sure to get watch guys’ and gals’ hearts racing.
Movement: Patek Philippe Caliber 31-260 PS FUS 24H automatic
Case Material: Rose gold
Price: EUR 57,630
Hermès Expands the H08 Collection with a Chronograph
Many will no doubt remember the H08 from 2021, a sporty, squarish, time-only piece from the mind of Philippe Delhotel, the Creative Director of Hermès Horloger. Available in several iterations and colors, it’s a departure from the maison’s more svelte and dressy options, and a welcome everyday watch that looks killer on a rubber strap and can be worn in a variety of scenarios.
For 2023, Hermès has expanded the H08 lineup with a complicated take on the watch, dubbed the H08 Chronograph. Rather than use a conventional dual-pusher system, it’s a monopusher, with the single button embedded within the crown like in the chronos of yesteryear. This makes for an elegant look that retains lines of the 41mm multilayered composite case, which is crafted from a combination of carbon fiber and graphene powder.
Set within a polished and satin-finished bezel offset with a black, PVD-coated crown is a black dial with a dual-register chronograph layout; lumed, applied Arabic indices in the highly stylized Hermès H08 typeface; and numerous orange accents that pop against the monochromatic dial background. Powered by the Hermès H1837 automatic movement with chronograph module, it comes on an orange rubber strap, it’s water resistant to 100m — perfect for summer wear, and a welcome addition to a great sport watch collection.
Movement: Hermès H1837 automatic
Case Material: Composite
TAG Heuer Is Updating the Carrera With Vintage-Inspired Touches
Though the 42mm Carrera is a tremendous modern watch, those who love the original 1960s models yearn for smaller case sizes, more subdued looks, and classic color schemes. In seeking to create references that continue the Carrera story in a contemporary way, TAG Heuer hit upon a winning formula in the new Carrera “Glassbox”, a series of 39mm chronographs that pay homage to Jack Heuer’s original racing watch, but update it for the 2020s.
Executed in stainless steel and so named for the tall sapphire crystal that resembles the original, domed acrylic versions of the 1960s, the new Glassbox is available initially in two dials — one blue, and the other black. Interestingly, though both are triple-register models, the former features a date window above 6 o’clock, while the latter’s is situated at 12 o’clock, echoing the looks of certain vintage Carreras.
Echoes of Jack Heuer’s interest in midcentury — or, what was then current — design are reflected in the thoughtful touches that abound in the new Carreras: While Jack had moved the tachymeter scale from the bezel to the inner tension ring in a brilliant feat of functional design, the modern company has gone a step further, curving the edge of the dial such that the tachymeter “flows” into the 1/5th-seconds track without obscuring either.
Powered by a specially finished version of the TAG Heuer 02 movement dubbed the Calibre TH20-09 Automatic COSC that’s equipped with bidirectional winding, the new Carrera Glassbox is a most welcome addition to the TAG Heuer oeuvre — one that will satisfy both dedicated collectors an casual buyers alike.
Movement: TAG Heuer Calibre TH20-09 Automatic COSC
Case Material: Stainless steel
Parmigiani Fleurier Invented Yet Another New Complication
Perhaps you recall the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante from 2022? If not — or if you’ve never heard of it — you’re missing out on a true contemporary horological gem. This precious-metal timepiece housed in a platinum case features a unique GMT system in which an extra minute hand is obscured by the main minute hand. When engaged, the two separate, allowing one to quickly and easily track a second time zone. Then, when you’re no longer traveling, you can just as quickly realign the two hands, and the watch reverts back to a time-only. Pretty brilliant!
This year, PF has adopted this idea in a riff on the idea of the diver’s bezel: Rather than using a bezel to track elapsed time, the new Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante features dual minute hands, one of which is obscured until the complication is engaged. Then, by measuring the difference between the two rhodium-plated gold and 18K rose gold hands, one can discern how much time is left until an event — or how much has elapsed. Two pushers on the case flank allow one to jump the second minute hand in one- or five-minute intervals.
With its 40mm platinum case, beautiful grey dial, and stunning, in-house Parmigiani Fleurier PF052 automatic with 48 hours of power reserve, this unique timepiece is certainly one of the more original Watches & Wonders releases, and one that should ideally be experienced in person to fully appreciate.
Movement: Parmigiani Fleurier PF052 automatic
Price: CHF 28,000
Vacheron Constantins’s Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date May Be the Most Elegant Calendar Watch of the Show
In the 1930s, Vacheron Constantin was commissioned to fashion a wristwatch with complications generally reserved for pocket watches: Made for a Spanish client, it took four years to produce and included a calendar with a retrograde date and a minute repeater. The client wore the timepiece for seven years, after which it disappeared for nearly 60 years before reappearing in a Phillips auction in 2019.
In seeking to recreate some of the magic of this delightful watch, Vacheron Constantin has released a new dial color on a timepiece within its elegant Patrimony collection that should satisfy even the most jaded of watch collectors. The new Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date reference 4000U/000P-H003 is 42.5mm of pure platinum goodness, with an incredible salmon dial whose upper quadrant consists of a retrograde date display in blue, and whose lower half houses a pointer day display, also in blue.
Somehow, the dial of this magnificent timepiece doesn’t feel remotely crowded — possibly due to its case diameter and clever use of complementary colors. Powered by Vacheron’s Calibre 2460 R31R7/3 movement, it measures just 9.7mm thick despite the presence of an automatic winding rotor — welcome news to someone who wants to slip it under the cuff of a dress shirt. (Though, to be fair, who in their right mind would want to hide this beauty from the world?)
Movement: Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2460 R31R7/3 movement
Cartier Reimagines the Tank Normale…and Gives It One Hell of a Bracelet
Each year, Cartier special new versions of its famed watches as limited-edition pieces within its Privée Collection. This year, for the seventh edition of the Privée project, the Parisian maison has taken the Tank Normale — the model based upon the original Cartier Tank from 1917 — and redeveloped it in yellow gold and platinum. The former model is available on a brown alligator strap, but may we recommend instead that — should you manage to get your hands on one — you spring for the version on a matching yellow gold bracelet? With its excellent proportions, blue sapphire cabochon crown, matching blued steel hands, it simply wears and looks like a dream.
The platinum version ain’t too shabby either: Available on a black alligator strap, it too comes on an optional, matching platinum bracelet with satin and polished finishes. Its crown is topped by a beautiful red ruby, while its handset is matching platinum, rather than blued steel like on the gold model. Both measure 25.7mm in diameter — an excellent, unisex size that feels great on the wrist. Powering both is the hand-wound Le Temps Calibre 070, which features a 38-hour power reserve and beats at a frequency of 25,200 vph.
So many Cartier timepieces have become classics: the Tank Louis Cartier, the Tank Americaine, the Santos. Many, thankfully, are available in multiple sizes — but in our opinion, it’s the smaller versions that truly evoke the eloquence and classic spirit of the vintage originals. In wearing the new Tank Normale pieces — which, to be fair, are special editions and not normal production models — once is instantly transported back to a more civilized time. (The whole First World War-thing notwithstanding, of course.)
Movement: Le Temps Calibre 070 hand-wound
Case: Platinum; yellow gold
Zenith Quietly Released One of the Coolest Watches of the Show
Zenith’s focus this year is on its Pilot’s watch collection — and, to be sure, these are dope. But allow us to direct your attention to another timepiece, the Defy Revival Shadow. While you’re no doubt familiar with this octagonal wonder from 1969 — which, by the way, was the first in the Defy line — this particular reference is a thoroughly contemporary take that throws convention to the wind.
If the 14-sided bezel, ladder bracelet, and octagonal case weren’t enough, this reference is crafted from matte-finished titanium and comes paired to a matching ladder bracelet. On-wrist, it simply disappears into your arm, such is the lightweight nature of the material. Paired to a matching, matte black dial punctuated with accents in the form of applied indices, an outer 1/5th-seconds track, and a lumed sword handset, it’s a study in futurism whose net effect is simply awesome — in short, the watch just works.
Inside is not some ultra-complicated, high-beat El Primero-based caliber — rather, it’s powered by the automatic Elite 670 manufacturer movement. But with its 50-hour power reserve and handy date complication, it’s all you need for an everyday watch. Furthermore, at 37mm, this all-black beauty works well on both male and female wrists, lending it a versatile nature that anyone can appreciate.
Movement: Zenith Elite 670 automatic
The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Takes the Chronograph Into Uncharted Territory
In 2019, A. Lange & Söhne moved beyond its typically dressy remit into the realm of sport watches with its innovative Odysseus. This year, the German watchmaker has added a new complication to this most elegant of dive watches with the addition of a chronograph — but it’s a chronograph unlike any we’ve seen before, and one that typifies the trailblazing spirit of this unconventional brand.
The Odysseus Chronograph is very clearly a member of the Odysseus family, housed in a familiar 42.5mm stainless steel case with a matching bracelet and 120m of water resistance. But a close look at its black brass dial reveals a total of five hands: conventional, larger hour and minutes, plus two thinner, central minute and seconds hands, and a sub-seconds hand in a counter above 6 o’clock. The thought process here is to do away with conventional chronograph totalizers so that the watch’s oversized day and date counters can take pride of place at 9 and 3 o’clock.
A dynamic reset-to-zero function is joined by another innovation from the thoughtful Lange team: When the crown is screwed down, two buttons on the right-hand case flank operate the chronograph in the normal start-stop-reset fashion. When the crown is pulled out, however, they function as correctors for the day and date windows. Pretty ingenious! The first automatic chronograph from Lange, it’s powered by the manufacture Calibre L156.1 DATOMATIC movement and is limited to 100 pieces.
Movement: Lange & Söhne Calibre L156.1 DATOMATIC
Case: Stainless steel
Piaget Added a Stunning Blue Obsidian Dial to Its Polo Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin
Though Piaget’s Polo has been around since 1979, it’s often overshadowed by some of its more well known “luxury sports watch” cousins such as the Royal Oak and Nautilus. However, it’s a tremendous collection, and certainly deserves the attention of collectors. This year, Piaget has added a wild new dial and bezel to one of the more complicated versions of the Polo, the Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin.
Housed in a 42mm white gold case that sits somewhere between a more conventional round and a cushioned shape, it features a dial fashioned from a slice of obsidian. (Each dial is also unique, as obsidian features natural inclusions formed as sulfide becomes trapped in rock and solidifies.) As if the compelling dial weren’t enough, Piaget has set the beel with 56 brilliant-cut sapphires, which frame the perpetual calendar display: At 12 o’clock is situated a combination month/leap year counter, while at 3 o’clock is a date counter, at 9 o’clock is a day counter, and above 6 o’clock is a moonphase aperture.
Delivered with interchangeable blue alligator leather and rubber straps, the watch is powered by the Piaget manufacture Calibre 1255P ultra-thin automatic movement. Beautifully finished and composed of 238 components, it features a micro rotor and a power reserve of 42 hours.
Movement: Piaget Calibre 1255P automatic
Case: White gold
Price: Upon request
Montblanc’s New Chronograph Ditches Pushers in Favor of the Bezel
If presented with a chronograph without a single button, there’s a healthy chance you’d be confused as to how to use it — we know we would! Montblanc, however, didn’t let convention stop it from rethinking the standard chronograph pushers in favor of an elegant system activated by the bezel. The Unveiled Timekeeper Minerva LE 100, which celebrates 165 years of Minverva and 100 years since its first wristwatch chronograph movement, is operated via the unidirectional rotating bezel: The first clicks actuates the chronograph, the second stops it, and the third resets it.
This unique system is housed in two separate limited editions, the first of which comes in a 42.5mm stainless steel case with an 18K white gold bezel, and the second of which is housed in a 42.5mm Lime Gold case. The former, with its blue dial and red accents, is quite a stunning feat of watchmaking — though it’s possible to discern vintage 1930s/1940s design influences, the overall impression is of a thoroughly contemporary piece nonetheless.
The Lime Gold version, with its dark green dial, is equally lovely. Something about the combination of Lime Gold and green just works — though if you feel similarly, you might have to act fast: Though there are 100 pieces of the steel version available, the gold version is significantly more limited with just 28 pieces available. Both are excellent examples of Minverva’s — and now Montblanc’s — longstanding commitment to horological excellence.
Movement: Montblanc Manufacture Calibre MB M13.21
Case: Stainless steel; Lime Gold
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