Watch and Wonder: The best of Geneva’s timely fest of fantastic new creations
This year’s Watches and Wonders in Geneva displayed another plethora of dazzlingly sophisticated and stylish timepieces. A very grand total of 48 brands welcomed the biggest-ever turnout to the most prestigious watchmaking event of the year. The record attendance for the 2023 edition perused a range of novelties that could not fail to wow even the most seasoned of watch collectors.
Panerai Radiomir Annual Calendar PAM01432
Panerai unveiled six new Radiomir editions at Watches and Wonders 2023, paying tribute to the prototype presented in 1935. Bearing the brand’s debut annual calendar complication, two Radiomir Annual Calendar watches, PAM01432 and PAM01363, were the highlights. The dial is clearly designed and displays all the requisite information in a neat row at 3 o’clock: day and date visible through two apertures, and the current month on an external moving disc, indicated by a fixed arrow. With each monthly cycle, a cam within the P.9010/ AC automatic movement allows the rotating disc and the information display to change instantaneously. PAM01432’s splendid burgundy sun-brushed dial with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers offers smart contrast to its platinum case.
Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF
The new Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF from Chopard combines precision, style and sportiness. It is the second high-frequency model – an innovation that delivers enhanced accuracy and stability – within the Alpine Eagle collection and is initially difficult to discern from an Alpine Eagle 41 in Lucent Steel. While Alpine Eagle watches are traditionally made of the brand’s proprietary ‘Lucent’ steel, ethical gold, or a combination of the two, the new Cadence model is all-titanium with a snazzy splash of orange on its black dial. Whereas Lucent Steel is shiny, hard and particularly comfortable to touch, titanium is distinguished by its even lighter weight, darker colour and more robust nature.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona
Rolex aimed to preserve continuity with the past while demonstrating the powers of invention in its latest creations unveiled at the show. Take the Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, which offers even greater visual harmony and a more modern demeanour. The dial graphics have a new balance. Lines of light are reflected from the lugs and the sides of its redesigned middle case. On versions with a Cerachrom bezel, this is edged with the same metal as the middle case. Most striking, though, is the addition of a sapphire caseback, allowing a clear view of the new manufacture 4131 calibre.
Zenith Pilot Automatic
Taking Zenith’s fascination with the world of aviation to a higher plane at Watches and Wonders 2023 is the Pilot Automatic enhanced by an entirely new 40mm case design. Crafted in either stainless steel or black ceramic, it features a distinct flat-top round bezel fixed on top of the rounded case. In the steel version, the surfaces are vertically satin-brushed with polished chamfers; the black ceramic model is microblasted for a stealthy matte finish. The oversized crown, a defining feature of Pilot watches, takes on a more modern, angular form while remaining easy to operate – even with gloves on.
Cartier Tank Normale
Cartier presented delicate and detailed refinements to models in its iconic watch collections. For instance, for its seventh Cartier Privé incarnation, the Maison has added a skeleton movement to the Tank Normale, accompanied by a quirky 24-hour complication marked by a sun and crescent moon that is also skeletonised. While the minute hand turns around the dial in one hour, the hour hand goes around in 24 hours instead of 12.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5224R-001 Calatrava Travel Time
Patek Philippe also regaled attendees with a substantial number of debutants to an already vast range of collections. In total, it showed 17 new iterations, including Ref. 5224R-001 Calatrava Travel Time, an addition to its travel watches, which is equipped with dual time-zone function and distinguished by its 24-hour display. The Aquanaut Luce line welcomes a new useful and easy-to-use complication: the patented Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R-001. Adorned in blue-grey from dial to matching strap, this elegant rose gold timepiece enriches the brand’s range of complicated watches for women by presenting a non-gem-set model.
Roger Dubuis Monovortex Split-Seconds Chronograph
The Monovortex Split-Seconds Chronograph from Roger Dubuis was another Watches and Wonders 2023 standout. The eye-catching model boasts a 47mm case made of hyper-tech MCF (Mineral Composite Fibre) – a material 2.5 times lighter than ceramic and 13% lighter than carbon. A Turborotor Cylindrical Oscillating Weight also features, sitting at 12 o’clock and positioned vertically, so that the entire force of gravity pushes down on the design to keep the watch running efficiently.