A Year Of Underwhelming Launches With Glimmers of Brilliance At Watches And Wonders 2024?

Karishma Karer
17 Apr 2024 |
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Watches and Wonders 2024 has drawn its curtains, leaving behind a trail of horological wonders and memorable experiences. As the largest watch event of the year, it promised nothing short of a spectacle but did it deliver? Well, it most certainly did with a few subtle yet significant changes.

In the City - Day 3 - HD.jpeg
In The City

One noticeable shift at Watches and Wonders 2024 was the introduction of e-badges, a departure from the traditional lanyards that we had grown accustomed to. While the convenience of digital passes was appreciated, many couldn't help but reminisce about the tangible feel of the lanyard swinging around their necks. Another notable improvement was the expansion of the press center, although quite a walk, it was a much larger and more efficient workspace for journalists and media personnel.

Watches And Wonders entrance 

While the overall atmosphere remained upbeat and positive, comparisons to the previous year inevitably highlighted a sense of underwhelming in terms of new releases. However, amidst this backdrop of tempered expectations, several standout timepieces managed to capture the spotlight and leave a lasting impression. One of the undeniable highlights of this year's exhibition were the new Duometre’s by Jaeger-LeCoultre. While traditional tourbillons spin on a single axis to counter gravitational errors, Jaeger-LeCoultre decided that an additional axial rotation was required to enhance the precision of the watch’s perpetually shifting positions - presenting the Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual. Exceptional piece of work but I do get a feeling that India is really going to appreciate the all new Duometre Quantieme Lunaire, a first in steel.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual

Next up is the triple-complication by A. Lange & Söhne -  the Honeygold Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon “Lumen”. With specifications mirroring those of its counterparts in white gold and platinum, this beauty is now available in Honeygold with an extremely bright lume. What a spectacle it is, especially whilst revealing its dark secrets!

A. Lange & Sohne Honeygold Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon “Lumen

IWC caused a stir with their latest additions to the Portugieser collection. The redesigned Perpetual Calendar 44 models are now offered in "armor gold" and white gold cases, featuring four dial color options and a generous 7-day power reserve. While many brands opted for smaller sizes, IWC boldly introduced these substantial 44mm perpetual calendars, a move that is likely to be met with approval. Despite their size and thickness, these timepieces will make a bold statement but only for wrists that can handle them.

IWC Perpetual Calendar 44mm

Amidst the marathon of presentations featuring a multitude of launches, one timepiece stood out above the rest, capturing my undivided attention at Cartier was the the Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph. Its dimensions, steeped in historical significance, coupled with its intricate mechanism, coalesced seamlessly to create a timepiece that epitomized perfection.

Let’s dive right into the Crown. While Rolex dialed back the theatrics from last year, they still showcased some striking pieces. The 36mm Day-Date models stole the show with their abundance of gold, especially the stunning white dial edition in yellow gold. The "Ghost," a nickname for the new GMT Master II, sparked diverse opinions, but it's likely already generating a waitlist frenzy. Personally, I was captivated by the Perpetual 1908 in platinum, boasting an exquisite ice blue dial adorned with a guilloche rice-grain motif. Keep an eye on this collection—it's one to watch.

Rolex Day-Date

Finally, but certainly not least, Tudor made a significant impact with some of the most wearable timepieces of the year. The brand generated considerable buzz with the introduction of the pink Black Bay Chrono, which I can now affirm is worthy of all the hype! . However, at Watches and Wonders 2024, Tudor truly impressed with their 39mm Black Bay 58 GMTs featuring the striking "coke bezel." This new addition, with the black and red bezel and a clean, uncluttered dial, undoubtedly won over the crowds.

Tudor Black Bay 58 

In the realm of independent watchmaking, Louis Moinet stole the spotlight with their "Around the World in 8 Days," collection. Inspired by the city of lights to the art of origami, Louis Moinet has left no stone unturned for this collection, yet another testament to their signature creativity and artistic flair, earning accolades from connoisseurs and collectors alike.

In addition to the previously highlighted watches, Vacheron Constantin introduced its captivating Deep Green Overseas Collection, Raymond Weil unveiled its Millesime watches featuring a distinctive moon phase display, Frederique Constant presented the innovative Classic Moonphase Date Manufacture, and Grand Seiko wowed audiences with its Spring Drive Chronograph GMT boasting a dial-color changing feature. These timepieces have all made significant impressions this year.

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Raymond Weil and Vacheron Constantin Overseas

Watches and Wonders transcends mere watches, launches, CEOs, and celebrities; it embodies the global watch community converging to share their passion and experiences, united by their love for timepieces. Each year is an exhausting yet exhilarating whirlwind, leaving me with a lingering sense of disbelief once the show concludes – can it truly be over already?