The Watches & Wonders 2024 Release Highlights
 

The Watches & Wonders 2024 Release Highlights

9 min read
Safie Agar-Hutton

Categories

International Watch Shows

Safie Agar-Hutton

Categories

International Watch Shows

The WatchGecko team have, naturally, been in our element this week as Watches & Wonders 2024 has brought us release after release from some of the finest watchmakers in the world. Not dissimilarly to kids in a candy store, we’ve been running from release to release in starry-eyed wonder to check out the novelties released by brands in honour of the prestigious show in Geneva. Rolex for one, seemed to slip further from their tool watch heritage with a plethora of “refreshed” models deployed in gold. Then we had brands like Jacob & Co. and Ulysse Nardin who wow-ed with souped up editions that fall far outside of the norm, while NOMOS went for colour and Zenith finally completed their DEFY Skyline constellation.  

Watches & Wonders 2024. Credit: Watches&Wonders Press.

As people who eat, sleep, and breathe watches, this is something we mark out our calendars for every single year, but as the fun draws to a close, we feel there are important questions to be answered. Like, which of the dazzling new releases met, or even better, exceeded, our expectations?  Did we discover new grail watches? And ultimately, have any of these novelties actually convinced us to part with our money? I’m willing to go first in answering…

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar

Chosen by Safie

This year’s Watches & Wonders event saw Jaeger-LeCoultre release a torrent of shiny new novelties and whilst most of these fell into the Duometre category, it was the Master Ultra Thin models that piqued my interest most.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar. Credit: Jaeger-LeCoultre.

 
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Classic Simple Handmade Italian Leather Watch Strap - Black
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Classic Simple Handmade Italian Leather Watch Strap - Chocolate Brown
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Classic Simple Handmade Italian Leather Watch Strap - Reddish Brown
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The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar was made available in four variations. A pink gold option with eggshell dial presented with or without diamond-set bezel, pink gold with gradiant blue sunrayed dial (to be presented in May 2024) or a steel option with sunrayed silver dial. Generally I'm not a huge fan of blue and the silver option feels a little too toned down for my tastes, so for me personally, the eggshell dial stands out as my winner.

Now, honestly, diamonds aren’t particularly a girl’s best friend in my case, so I’m happy to let that variation pass me by. The more subtle option, reference Q1142510 with its eggshell dial and matching pink gold case, was the reference to really catch my eye. Subtler than its bejewelled counterpart, with a timelessly classic aesthetic and wearable 39mm case, it’s exactly the kind of watch I’m drawn towards. Add in my favourite complications, the moon phase with perpetual calendar, and I’m sold.

Whilst I admit that realistically I don’t quite have the funds to drop £40k on my next watch, a girl can always dream and, to me at least, this classy yet functional number is what dreams are made of.  

TAG Heuer Skipper

Chosen by Richard

Both TAG Heuer and I are going through a parallel revival. I have again fallen in love with the brand thanks to their 2023, and now 2024, innovative designs and this has culminated in the recent purchase of my first TAG in 25 years. 

TAG Heuer Skipper. Credit: TAG Heuer.

The new 2024 Skipper is an old model that is lovely to see appropriately revived. Despite following the current trend of being released as an £18,000 gold chronograph, as opposed to an affordable, useful steel watch, I still love the design, and I concede the case colour is sublime. I probably would not bash it around a sailing yacht, but I would wear it without hesitation on my fictional super yacht.

The new model is a fine-looking bi-compax with striking colours. The 18K rose gold case and teal dial are appropriate for water sports and classy regattas. The exhibition case back shows the fetching in-house TH20-06 movement, and the very well-made fabric strap further enhances the natural look and brings the watch down to Earth or, more accurately, sea level. The watch retains the traditional 15-minute counter, which commences all regatta races.

I love old TAGs, especially when they are sympathetic to the original models. This reimagining of the Skipper is stunning, eye-catching, and, for me, the best release in the show.

Moser & Cie. Streamliner Tourbillon Skeleton

Chosen by Reece

My favourite release from the madness of Watches & Wonders is the H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Tourbillon Skeleton. While it is perhaps a little out of Moser’s normal sight of gorgeous dials with bright colours, skeleton watches are close to my heart, and this has quickly become quite the grail piece for me.

Streamliner Tourbillon Skeleton. Credit: H. Moser & Cie.

 
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Vintage Highley Genuine Leather Watch Strap - Light Brown
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Vintage Highley Genuine Leather Watch Strap - Reddish Brown
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Vintage Highley Genuine Leather Watch Strap - Black
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The cushion case looks fantastic, and the sleek stainless steel offers a seamless and somewhat industrial charm when integrated with the bracelet. The same, for me at least, can’t really be said for some of Moser’s brighter pieces. Its brushed and polished surfaces complement each other well, while the open-worked dial is a real star. It features the same anthracite colour as the case and bracelet, bringing everything together wonderfully, while the presence of the one-minute flying tourbillion and raised baton indices almost make portions of the dial look as if they are floating above the movement itself. This is a dial you could easily get lost in, and to me, that’s the marker of a fantastic watch.

Elsewhere, the 40mm case diameter looks to make it pretty wearable, while the narrow link bracelet should mean it’s rather comfortable on-wrist. The bracelet also has vertically brushed links, which look sublime, and fit well with the finishing of the Streamliner Tourbillon Skeleton’s case. This Moser piece also comes with a slightly domed sapphire crystal which enhances the viewing experience of that open-worked dial and completes the overall look, especially with the cushioned case.

Make no bones about it, this is a hilariously expensive watch, but money-no-object, it’s the one I’d have from Watches and Wonders 2024.

Tudor Claire de Rose

Chosen by Martin

It certainly doesn’t seem like a whole 12 months has passed since the world’s largest watch fair landed a couple of worthy, belated April Fools’ winners from Rolex before our eyes – yet here we are again, wondering what supermodels and bizarre offerings will be launched to please or repel us. From what I have seen this year’s offerings are somewhat more subdued and, one could argue, easier on the eye.

Tudor Claire de Rose. Credit: Tudor.

I think, as predicted, Tudor have stolen the show – but for me personally, my watch choice for best in show 2024 is going to have to go a little further left field. I’ve chosen something arguably more ‘ordinary’, and it’s not something that would be for me, but is more-so my idea of what the watch industry needs to focus more on. It’s a stunning ladies design: the Tudor Clair De Rose in Tudor’s Signature Blue.

Sitting alongside other colourways in this often lesser-known model line-up, the blue comes in three case sizes (24, 30 and 34mm) with either diamonds as hour markings (between the Roman numeral cardinals) or as all Roman numerals. Utilising Tudor’s T601 automatic movement, based on an ETA variant, the Clair De Rose is an obvious competitor to Omega’s De Ville range and, from a Watches & Wonders’ perspective, one of the more subtle and more realistically priced releases of this year’s show. Well done Tudor for keeping it classy and simple.

Czapek Goutte d'Eau and NOMOS Tangente 38 Date

Chosen by Charlotte

Most years, during Watches & Wonders week, I feel almost spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a favourite release or two. 2024 is a little different though, and I can’t help but feel a little disheartened that most brands have taken the “predictable” route and simply added different metals, colours or complications to existing lines (I’m looking at you Rolex and Tudor). That said, there are still some releases from Watches & Wonders 2024 that have my heart.

Promenade Goutte d’Eau. Credit: Czapek.

 
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The first comes from Czapek & Cie, who before this week, only had four core collections to their name. But they’ve now introduced a fifth, and a spectacular fifth collection it is. Named the Promenade, it arrives with two distinctive dial designs. The dials are minimalistic in that there’s very little printing or hardware used, but their guilloché or grand feu enamel centrepieces make them anything but basic. I particularly love model Goutte d’Eau, a name that translates to “drops of water” in English, which uses grand feu enamel to replicate the ripples created from a single water drop.

NOMOS Tangente 38 Date. Credit: NOMOS.

Another personal favourite release from Watches & Wonders 2024 is the NOMOS Tangente 38 Date collection. The series adds 31 completely new and undeniably exciting dial colours to the German watchmaker’s best-selling Tangente model. Some of the dial shades are more conservative than others, but it’s the unconventional and down-right funky references that call to my wrist. I particularly love “Chilli” and “Poporange”. It’s always fun to see watch brands experiment with colour and the results from NOMOS here are super fun.

H. Moser & Cie. Concept Citrus Green

Chosen by Neil

Truth be told, I've been confined to my sofa with my leg in the air following a foot operation, under strict instructions to remain still. Thankfully, the timing couldn't have been better. With my MacBook, iPad, and iPhone all open on different social platforms, I eagerly awaited each drop.

Among the anticipated releases were those from Rolex and Tudor, yet I found myself rather underwhelmed. As an ardent enthusiast, I yearn for brands to push boundaries and innovate. It's disheartening to witness mere alterations in dial colours, bezels, or materials. Rarely do we encounter entirely new models; instead, we're offered revamped versions from the archives.

I genuinely believe some brands fear venturing into new territory. How can they evolve if they're unwilling to take risks? How many times must we witness the same watches with merely superficial alterations?

Concept Citrus Green. Credit: H. Moser & Cie.

Rant aside, let's discuss the pieces that truly captivated me and my initial impressions: A. Lange & Söhne's Honey Gold Lume, an absolute stunner. Moser & Cie's Concept Citrus Green and Skeleton Tourbillon, simply breathtaking. Mido's Multifort TV Big Date, a concept I adore and am seriously tempted by. Grand Seiko's SLGH021 Genbi Valley, boasts a remarkable texture and colour—a piece I'd be proud to own. Bremont's Terra Nova 40.5 Date, the logo change doesn't faze me; and I'm drawn to its overall aesthetic.

Watches & Wonders 2024 will undoubtedly spark countless discussions, and we'll each have our favourites. So far, mine is the Moser & Cie Concept Citrus Green.

Czapek Antarctique Mt Erebus

Chosen by Rob

I recently compiled a list of the “Top Five Watches From Watches and Wonders 2024” so you might think writing about my favourite piece is a little redundant.

However — curveball — my personal favourite piece didn’t feature in the “Top” five, however odd that may seem on first reading.

Czapek Antarctique Mt ErebusCzapek Antarctique Mt Erebus - Credit Czapek

There are two reasons why the model that I would most like to own didn’t make it onto the previous list. Firstly, it was from a brand that already had a watch in my Top Five and, secondly, that watch — The Czapek Antarctique Mt Erebus — was selected because it was more important to the brand and its trajectory.

Therefore, and perhaps unsurprisingly given my track record, my favourite watch from Watches and Wonders 2024 was a Czapek Antarctique with a steel case and bracelet and a vivid green meteorite dial.

In 2021 while I was with Fratello I worked on a limited edition project with Czapek that resulted in the “Viridian Green” Passage de Drake Antarctique. It was the first model Czapek had ever made to feature the long indices of the Antarctique Terre Adélie mixed with the flinqué dial of the Passage de Drake line and went on to inspire that dial format to be rolled out across all models.

Czapek Antarctique Mt ErebusCzapek Antarctique Mt Erebus - Credit Czapek

Here, however, the indexes get another subtle tweak and the 6 o’clock date is removed in favour of another full-length hour marker.

This allows the vibrant green meteorite dial to really shine. And it really does shine. It’s a majestic return to form for the stainless steel Antarctique and hopefully a strong sign that future models will do exactly what this one does so effectively, which is to add to an already-iconic case and bracelet platform in a way that gives the impression that this model was born rather than created. In my opinion, that is the sign of a truly successful product — to be something that does not seem as if it could have been made by human hands but simply burst forth into existence, perfectly formed. 

And if you’re thinking of picking up one of these beauties (which retail at €25,000), I’d recommend taking the seconds hand with a red tip (it is possible to have the second hand in full stainless steel or fully red, but the balance of the two is, to my eye, the most pleasing). It’s also a brighter red than press photos can express accurately and the contrast adds even more life to this incredible dial.

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Safie Agar-Hutton

About the Author: Safie Agar-Hutton

As a passionate writer, working on the Magazine Team is a great outlet for my creativity. I joined WatchGecko in 2024 and enjoy the varied nature of my job, but my true motivation comes from delivering horological-focused content. My writing includes press releases containing important news from the biggest brands in the industry, timepiece reviews, and Top Choice pieces showcasing the best products from our online store. If it's watch related, I’ll write about it!

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