More groundbreaking materials, dazzling designs, exceptional craftsmanship and never-before-seen complications were showcased at Watches and Wonders 2023
A Lange & Söhne
A Lange & Söhne doubled down at Watches and Wonders 2023 on its four-year-old Odysseus collection of sporty-elegant timepieces with the premiere of its 100-piece limited edition Odysseus Chronograph, featuring the manufacture’s first self-winding chronograph movement. Attired in a three-part stainless steel case, the Chronograph measures in at 42.5mm in diameter and places a premium on precision and legibility. Powered by the new L156.1 Datomatic (derived from the words “date” and “automatic”) calibre, which offers a 50-hour power reserve when fully wound and incorporates an ingenious mechanism for resetting the chronograph hand to zero, the piece is marked by a combination of matted surfaces and chamfered edges that create an impressive play of light, as well as a dial architecture designed to create the illusion of depth.
Baume & Mercier
Geneva-based Baume & Mercier this year celebrates 50 years since the inception of one of its most popular icons, the Riviera, with a stable of new models, including five new interpretations of its feminine 33mm and 36mm, a new Riviera Azur 300m and trio of 39mm Baumatic versions.
As ever, the latest Riviera Baumatic variations retain the same distinctive dodecagonal bezel equipped with four screws, but with a drop size from 42mm to 39mm. There are two new stainless steel iterations – characterised by either a smoked blue sapphire dial or smoked grey sapphire dial – and a third forged from sand-blasted titanium. All three feature a transparent wave transfer decoration, integrated straps, 100m of water resistance and the in-house Baumatic calibre boasting an incredible 120-hour power reserve.
Also new is the Riviera Azur 300m, available in black or blue, which reinvents itself in a 42mm stainless steel case while upholding the integrity of the stylistic codes that built its reputation. It is water resistant up to 300m and is topped with a unidirectional rotating bezel in polished and sun-satin stainless steel for precise timekeeping.
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross made its Watches and Wonders debut with three novelties. Furthering the success of the BR05 series, the BR05 Green Gold is arguably the most vibrant among the trio. Powered by a self-winding movement, this opulent piece boasts a 40mm satin polished 18k rose gold case; verdant green dial exhibiting a striking sunburst effect achieved through the meticulous application of layers of tinted green varnish; date window at 3 o’clock; and C3 Super-Luminova hands, numerals and baton indexes.
This year, the BR 03-93 GMT Blue joins the family of travel-intended timepieces. Driven by the BR-CAL.303 self- winding mechanical movement with 42 hours of power reserve, the watch showcases a blue sunray dial framed by a tonally complementary blue and grey bi-directional rotating bezel.
Also joining the BR 03 series of professional-quality dive watches is the BR 03-92 Diver White Bronze, featuring a pearl white dial, water resistance to 300m and BR-CAL 302 automatic movement encased in an anti-magnetic cage for added durability. As with all bronze watches, it will develop its own patina over time, making each of the 999 pieces unique to its owner.
The suite of pieces, including reiterations of the Tank models, Santos-Dumont, a diamond-set version of the beloved Baignoire Allongée and a bevy of skeletonised models, unveiled by Cartier this year sees the grande maison revisit centuries-old design codes under a fresh lens. But it’s the Tank, created by Louis Cartier in 1917 and re-envisioned by Cartier Privé to join the collection as its seventh opus, that receives the spotlight.
Arriving in upsized 32.6mm x 25.7mm dimensions, four of the Tank Normale models feature classic solid dials and the same iconic hallmarks of the original, such as Roman numerals, a railway minute track and satin-brushed case.
To bring this watch into the modern era, Cartier also introduced three Tank Normale models with a skeletonised movement, accompanied by a complication marked by a sun and crescent moon, also skeletonised. While the minute hand goes around once every hour, the hour hand goes around the dial once every 24 hours. The upper part is therefore dedicated to daytime hours, and the lower to nighttime, a transition reflected in the dial’s graceful gradient of hues.
The celestial world has always been an inspiration to many. For fashion house Chanel, particularly, whose founder Gabriel “Coco” Chanel had an affinity for the stars and comets. At this year’s edition of Watches and Wonders, the brand debuted an otherworldly capsule collection, aptly named Interstellar, offering fresh, bejewelled takes on the house’s most beloved models – the J12, Première, Boy•Friend and Code Coco included – as well as limited editions of Haute Horlogerie pieces.
Spearheading the offering is a series of J12s – one spun in 18k white gold, with a dial set with 168 baguette-cut diamonds; another, featuring a 26 brilliant-cut diamond-set tourbillon cage; and elsewhere, a set of seven that transition from full white ceramic to full black, mimicking the timelapse of an eclipse.
A cyber theme also runs through some of this year’s intros, including the Boy•Friend Cyberdata. Presented on a black quilted patent-leather strap, the watch is highlighted by its statement dial – a diamond-set circuit board.
Watches and wonders 2023 set the scene for a host of exciting new Chopard models, as well as the announcement of the exclusive use going forward of the maison’s sustainable Lucent Steel in all its steel creations.
Housed in a 41mm case of Lucent Steel – an exclusive, ultra-resistant shiny alloy made from 80% recycled materials – the new Alpine Eagle 41 XPS expands an already impressive list of Alpine Eagle variations with an unprecedented textured “Monte Rosa Pink” dial. Measuring just 3.30mm thick, the L.U.C 96.40-L movement boasts chronometer-certified accuracy and a 65-hour power reserve. Meanwhile, its gold hands and indexes are coated with Grade X1 Super-LumiNova, which is 60% more luminous than traditional LumiNova.
Also new in 2023 is a 25mm Happy Sport collection, which comes in seven variations that alternate materials, straps and diamond settings; and the reissued L.U.C 1860 watch, which showcases Chopard’s progress 26 years later. The new case is more distinctive, with wider lugs and a brushed mid-case, while the dial is crafted from a salmon-copper gold plate and the 36.5mm case is made from proprietary Lucent Steel.
Japanese watchmaker grand Seiko continues to push the boundaries of horology, as shown in its first high-beat mechanical chronograph, The Tentagraph; the hand-engraved manual- winding Spring Drive; and the Spring Drive 8-Day Jewellery Watch. The highlight of The Tentagraph – TEN beats per second, Three days, Automatic chronoGRAPH – watch lies
in its movement, the new calibre 9SC5, which beats 10 times per second to offer a precision of +5 to -3 seconds per day. The new 43.2mm titanium-cased watch retains the eye-catching Evolution 9 textured dial finish, here coloured blue, which takes inspiration from the contours of the mountain visible through the windows of the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi.
Gem-setting is a craft that Grand Seiko has been steadily introducing, most recently in the Spring Drive 8-Day Jewellery Watch. The eight-piece watch has 112 diamonds set into the upper part of the platinum case, which has chamfered corners and Zaratsu mirror finishing, and 60 baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel. It operates on the 9R01 calibre designed and crafted by Micro Artist Studio with an impressive eight-day power reserve.
Hermès has made its mark in the fashion world. And since the triumphant debut of its H08 watch in 2021, it has also been making waves in the watchmaking realm. This year, new versions of the H08 were released, sporting “woven” rubber straps in bright pops of yellow, green, blue or orange. The timepiece’s cushion-shaped case is sculpted from a block of multi-layered composite, providing high-performance protection that is both resistant and light to wear. Touches of matching colours are introduced on the watch-glass seal, the minutes track and the varnished seconds hand, powered by an Hermès H1837 mechanical self-winding movement. A mono-pusher chronograph was also introduced as part of the H08 line. Its 41mm cushion-shaped casing has a polished titanium bezel and the dial alternates segments with smooth and textured finishes with rough-grained sub-registers at 9 and 3 o’clock.
For women’s timepieces, a noteworthy launch was the new Arceau Petite Lune. Delivered on a shiny blue sapphire alligator strap, the dial recreates the astral world in a cosmic orchestra of materials, featuring aventurine, mother-of-pearl, aragonite and opal, framed by a halo of diamonds.
Hublot continues to stand at the forefront of innovation and disruption with its 2023 novelties. The MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde simply defies convention, bringing together for the first time in one 44mm brushed titanium case two complications – the tourbillon and the retrograde display. The tourbillon rotates on two axes – a considerable feat – and is suspended and skeletonised for maximum space-age wonder. Also a first for Hublot is the bi-retrograde display, with a minute hand that moves steadily and an hour hand that skills instantly from one hour to the next, optimising readability for the wearer while maintaining a power reserve of 96 hours.
Hublot created a stir in 2022 when it unveiled a new square watch design. A year on, several new editions join the Square Bang family. Perhaps the most notable are the Square Bang Unico Sapphire, and a black and white Unico Ceramic. No less striking with their slightly smaller 41mm case size, the ceramic cases feature contemporary microblasted surfaces combined with polished bevels. Each is powered by the automatic column-wheel flyback chronograph calibre HUB1280, beating at a frequency of 4Hz with 72-hour power reserve.
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Of all the new IWC Schaffhausen Watches and Wonders 2023 releases, the new collection of IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 watches has made the most noise. Originally designed by the late, great Gérald Genta in 1976, this 40mm timepiece features a new grid-adorned dial, available this year in a black, silver or dark colour for the stainless steel version and grey colour for the titanium version.
True to the original IWC Ingenieur of 1976, the 2023 iteration sports classic design details – tonneau shape, raised bezel with five functional screws and screw-down crown – and is powered by the IWX 32111 movement. This movement has an automatic pawl winding system and packs a 120-hour power reserve.
The Colours of Top Gun, a collection of bold and monochromatic watches in coloured ceramic with matching dials and straps, was launched last year. Joining the line-up this year is the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Black ceramic and Oceana ceramic. Full-black or full-blue, the choice is yours.
In celebration of the mystical number 1.618, otherwise known as the Golden Ratio, Jaeger-LeCoultre has introduced a host of new models to the Reverso collection – the standard- bearer for the Golden Ratio that governed the proportions of the Reverso designs of the early 1930’s.
The Reverso Tribute Chronograph honours the groundbreaking Reverso Chronograph of 1996, with a clean and simple front display paired with a skeletonised dial revealing the new fully integrated hand-wound Calibre 860 chronograph movement. The new Reverso Tribute Duoface Tourbillon is rendered in stunning 18k pink gold and runs on the Calibre 847. The front dial, with its silver sunray-brushed finish, is all about showcasing the time and tourbillon while the reverse features a miniaturised black dial and partial skeletonisation showing a second time zone and a day-night indicator.
Four variations of the Reverso Tribute Small Seconds also debuted at the event. The redesigned pink gold case model has a black dial – paying homage to the black dials of the original 1931 Reverso. Art Deco is also revisited in a new duo of Reverso One Precious Colours: green and blue.
Montblanc brought out a number of limited-edition pieces this year, including a fourth colour option for their 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date series that debuted in 2022. The new elegant grey dial was inspired by the hues of one of the Mont Blanc mountain’s largest glaciers, the Mer de Glace.
Joining Montblanc’s roster of Zero Oxygen time-tellers is the 1858 Zero Oxygen 8000 Capsule Collection, which comprises four timepieces that pay tribute to the world’s 14 highest peaks and are completely devoid of oxygen, a feature that helps to prevent oxidisation and fogging while simultaneously elongating the lives of watch components inside.
Montblanc also released a third instalment of its Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph in a distressed 43mm stainless steel case and white gold fluted bezel as a nod to Minerva’s first fluted bezel of 1927. The new architecture, however, is dwarfed by the skeletonised dial which showcases its inverted movement, the calibre MB16.29, first developed in the early 20th century.
Oris went green and got high at this year’s Watches and Wonders with two distinctively different designs. First, the professional-grade carbon-fiber composite ProPilot Altimeter. Introduced in 2014, this new model boasts an updated altimeter module that allows for accurate readings of up to 6,000m, as well as the slimline automatic Calibre 793 movement, which packs 56 hours of power reserve (a big step up from the original’s 38 hours). Two versions of the new watch are offered: one that reads altitude in metres and one that reads feet. Circling the caseback of both is a handy engraved feet-to-meters conversion table.
Second is the truly unexpected Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition watch, which impresses with big-time anti-magnetic performance and a 100m water-resistant rating. The traditional ProPilot X architecture of taunt, angular lines and urban-inspired knurled bezel, is joined by a bright green dial, designed to mimic the colour of Kermit the Frog. The 6 o’clock date window is uniquely decorated with a portrait of the banjo-playing frog that reveals itself only on the first of each month, a day Oris likes to advocate as “Kermit Day”.
Panerai returned to its roots this year with a focus on their more formal Radiomir collection, expanded with a pair of completely new Annual Calendar watches. The models, produced from the patented Goldtech or Platinumtech alloy cases with a diameter of 45mm, are water resistant up to 100m and run on the 40-jewel automatic Calibre P.9010/AC, which operates at a frequency of 4Hz and offers a power reserve of 72 hours when fully wound. The dial is finished in sunburst brushed blue for the Goldtech and burgundy for the Platinumtech.
One of Panerai’s most characteristic dial designs, the California, was also introduced in a brand-new version. The case is artificially aged with a PVD coating and for the first time in the brand’s history, comes in a diameter of 45mm. The gradient deep green dial with beige Arabic and Roman numerals is complemented by a brown leather Ponte Vecchio calfskin leather strap. Just like the California model, the new Otto Giorni, which offers dial alternatives in brown and blue, has a 45mm diameter Brunito eSteel case treated with PVD to give it a weathered, vintage look.
One of the most remarkable launches in 2022, the Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante returned in an integral 18k rose gold version, graced with a Milano blue dial featuring a barleycorn guilloché display with hand-applied rose gold indexes and hands to match the 40mm 18k rose gold case.
What happens when you work on the same principle as the GMT Rattrapante but apply it to the minutes? You get the Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante, which made its world premiere at this year’s Watches and Wonders. There are three skeletonised hands: the hour hand and two overlapping minute hands, one of which is 18k rhodium-plated gold, indicating real time, that goes to hide the rattrapante pink gold minute hand visible only when it is active. By means of the pusher located at 8 o’clock on the 40mm steel case, the pink gold minute hand jumps forward in five-minute intervals, and a second pusher at 10 o’clock moves it an additional one minute on each punch. The complication is presented on a warm sand-grey grain d’orge hand-guilloché dial and embellished with hand-applied 18k rhodium-plated gold indexes. Inside the 10.7 mm thick case beats the manufacture calibre PF052, which provides 48 hours of power reserve.
The oldest independent, family-owned Genevan watch manufacture wowed on home ground with 17 new novelties. Arguably the most striking of the new Calatrava models is the Calatrava Ref. 4997/200R-001 Rose Gold with a matching royal purple strap and dial, the latter packing impressive visual depth thanks to its pattern of concentric waves surrounded by rose-gilt powdered hour markers flanked by 76 diamonds.
Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time Ref. 5224R-001, another self-winding addition to the Calatrava collection, features a navy-blue dial and original display, which opts for a 24-hour format in order to eliminate the need for a day/night indicator. A smooth polished bezel surrounds the front crystal, while the reverse side of the watch showcases its 31-260 PS FUS 24H movement. Among the new additions to the Grand Complications collection is the stunning Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300GR-001, available for the first time in white and rose gold, with opaline brown dials. Dubbed “the most complicated wristwatch” by the horologer, this watch boasts an impressive 20 complications, including five acoustic complications.
Piaget showed up in dazzling form at Geneva with new timepieces that pulse with the Piaget spirit: bold, distinctive and original. Three ultra-thin Polo Perpetual Calendar watches were unveiled, including a striking Obsidian reference attired in a 42mm 18k white gold case set with 56 brilliant-cut sapphires. The other two models include a version featuring a rose gold case with an emerald green dial and a version boasting a steel build. The movement powering the perpetual calendar functions is Piaget’s in-house calibre 1255.
For Watches and Wonders, the Palace Décor makes its way onto a new cuff watch with a robin’s-egg blue turquoise stone dial and partial bezel set with round-cut sapphires. This artistry is also highlighted in two additional cuff watches, both of which are hand-engraved to reflect Piaget’s love for nature: one resembling the veins of trees, and another reminiscent of frost on a window.
The Limelight Aura High Jewellery watch has been turning heads since its 1989 debut. The new model features a stunning ombré effect crafted with diamonds and blue sapphires. Powered by Piaget’s 430P Manufacture ultra-thin hand-wound mechanical movement, the watch glows with an exceptional brightness.
A prototype of the future is what Roger Dubuis delivered at Watches and Wonders 2023. Presented in a 47mm case made from composite mineral fibre, the new Monovertex Split Seconds Chronograph defies and harnesses the forces of gravity.
While many traditional tourbillons compensate for the negative effect of gravity on one specific axis, the Conical Monovortex Tourbillon turns in 360 degrees, so no matter which way the watch is turned, its precision is maintained. Meanwhile, the positive force that gravity can be is showcased in the Turborotor Cylindrical Oscillating Weight, which sits vertically at the 12 o’clock position. As the watch is moved, this micro rotor weight spins and gravity pulls it down in an oscillating motion, generating power more efficiently and more ergonomically.
The real showpiece of the Monovertex, however, is its split chronograph complication. Cleverly constructed with a double column wheel system, its split-seconds hands operate conventionally, but its tripartite minute hand at the 3 o’clock position is anything but. Named the 120° Rotating Minute Counter, the tripartite hand has arms that point to the units digit and carry the tens digit (0, 1 or 2).
To mark the Daytona’s 60th anniversary, Rolex decided on a revamp. Dubbed “an icon defying time” by the maison, the new-generation Cosmograph Daytonas received an updated dial with new hour markers and counter rings; a redesigned case with a more refined, luxurious geometry; a Cerachom bezel; the Paraflex shock absorber paired with ball bearings to optimise the self-winding mechanism; and renewed calibre 4131, housing the Chronergy escapement that reduces energy loss.
New dial decorations alive with colour and vitality were brought in for the Oyster Perpetual 31, 36 and 41. Named “Celebration”, the new motif encapsulates the vivid colours of the lacquered dials introduced in 2020 with differently sized bubbles fringed with black. The Day-Date 36 is all about colour and fun too, with three stone dial options. But the real surprise comes in the three new variants with champlevé enamel dials starring jigsaw puzzle motifs and 31 emojis.
Tag Heuer has been enjoying an experimental period of late, and the new models unveiled continue that trajectory. Several new additions were made to their Carrera line in celebration of its 60th anniversary, including a stunning duo of TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph “Glassbox” watches. The 39mm stainless-steel cases are topped by a domed sapphire crystal that now meets the case more seamlessly than previous models.
Carrying on the celebrations are another duo of TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph watches, elevated via the addition of bright orange gradient tracks and chronograph hands that recall the look of classic race car speedometers, and a quartet of TAG Heuer Carrera Date watches.
Outside the Carrera collection, we have four TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Bi-Colour watches, as well as a new special edition chronograph created in partnership between the Swiss watchmaker and Gulf.
Tudor moved into the future by tweaking tradition with new additions to its signature Black Bay line. A tribute to Tudor’s first-ever dive watch, the Black Bay 54 resurrects the original 37mm sizing while updating its technical prowess with the latest Tudor manufacture movement, calibre MT5400. Featuring an unidirectional bezel devoid of any graduated hash marks, it’s been called “the purest modern expression of the brand’s first-ever dive watch”. The new aesthetic details don’t stop at the case dimensions and bezel. The seconds hand recalls the look of the original with a lollipop design. Ergonomics have also evolved with a redesigned crown and bezel featuring historical proportions.
The original Black Bay first launched in 2012 with a burgundy bezel. It returns in a third evolution in the same bezel with a slightly domed black dial, and original 41mm stainless steel case. An aesthetic upgrade sees a new bezel with a more pronounced fluting on the edge for better grip, curvier crown and the overall thickness of the watch reduced by more than 1mm to 13.6mm. It is also, notably, the latest Black Bay outfitted with the new METAS certified self-winding Calibre MT5602-U, which measures not only precision but other factors like resistance to magnetic fields.
Twenty-two years after the unveiling of the delightfully unconventional watch that is the Freak, Ulysse Nardin just gave birth to another Freaky baby: the Freak ONE, which returns to the original Freak’s roots – featuring no dial, no hands and no crown – while synthesising the visual dynamics of previous generations of the Freak. The notched bezel comes from the 2001 Freak, the open gear train is from the 2013 Freak Cruiser, and the legibility codes hark back to the 2018 Freak Vision.
This new model comes in a modular case with a diameter of 44mm and a height of 12mm. The multi-component case has a black DLC-coated titanium main body; sapphire crystal display black titanium caseback; and an 18k 5N rose gold bezel with a sapphire insert. In addition to winding the movement manually via the caseback, the manufacture Calibre UN-240 with a 72-hour power reserve also boasts the innovative “Grinder” self-winding system that is twice as efficient as the oscillating weight is connected to a frame carrying four blades.
For 2023, Vacheron Constantin took the retrograde complication to new heights with three stunning watches. The maison’s first sports watch with an integrated retrograde display, the Overseas Moonphase Retrograde Date has a sunburst ocean blue dial and a six-sided bezel echoing the Maltese cross. The upper portion is reserved for the retrograde date, while taking up most of the lower half is the high-precision moonphase, requiring a single correction every 122 years. It is driven by the in-house self-winding Calibre 2460 R31L/2 with 40-hour power reserve.
A true mechanical masterpiece that seamlessly blends contemporary design with the brand’s rich traditions and heritage, the Traditionnelle Tourbillon Retrograde Date Openface features an openworked sapphire dial with a partial guilloché segment from 8:36 to 3:24, which reveals its in-house Calibre 2162 R31.
The Patrimony Retrograde Day-Date stars a more minimalist design. Housed in a new platinum case, it features a double retrograde system that displays the days of the week at the centre, and the date across the upper perimeter.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels once again offered us a poetic expression of watchmaking. New iterations of the Ludo Secret enchant in rose gold, studded with diamonds or pink sapphires, while a new creation inspired by the 1941 Ludo Hexagone Macaron secret watch conceals itself in a matrix of yellow gold and emeralds.
New jewellery watches in the Perlée and Alhambra collections came in new combinations of precious metals and gemstones, including six Perlée pendant secret watches inspired by the pocket watches of 17th century Europe.
The French maison has been paying homage to the allure of fairies since the 1940s. And this year, it continued to do so with a new Lady Féerie watch in an entirely pink palette. Sitting on a cloud of white mother-of-pearl, a fairy in a dress of diamonds and pink sapphires marks the passing of time.
Finally, for 2023, the family of Extraordinary Objects expands with the new Éveil du Cyclamen automaton, a bouquet of flowers that open to reveal a sparkling butterfly; Floraison du Nénuphar automaton, which presents a creative dreamlike interpretation of the passage of time; and the Planétarium automaton, that showcases our solar system in bejewelled motion.
Zenith revisited its iconic Pilot collection in a more contemporary context with some added flair and understated nods to the world of aviation. The 40mm Pilot Automatic features a redesigned case with a flat-top round bezel. The black opaline dial, with its horizontal grooves, mimics the look of the corrugated fuselage of an aircraft while the oversized luminescent Arabic numerals are now applied rather than just imprinted.
Completing the collection is the Pilot Big Date Flyback, a chronograph reference that measures at a rather slim 42.5mm and is fitted with the new El Primero 3652. The ceramic version plays it cool in black with stark white numerals and hands, while the steel Flyback has some fun with an alternating hued-minute totaliser in a callback to the 1997 El Primero “Rainbow”.
Alongside the new Pilot collection, the Defy Skyline and Defy Skyline Skeleton received an updated look with two new references crafted entirely in black ceramic. Defy Revival Shadow, a modern recreation of the Defy Silhouette from the late 1960s, also debuted in a lightweight yet durable titanium build.