With Watches & Wonders 2023 wrapped up just a little more than a week ago, we bring you 8 highly-raved novelties that every self-professed watch lover should have on your radar.
After its debut last year, Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023 opened on 27 March, and closed on 2 April with record figures, including 43,000 unique visitors (doubled from 2022) over the whole week, from 125 nationalities. Close to 50 brands presented their impressive line-up of novelties, many of which were featured on our Instagram account during the week of the exhibition.
Here, we have handpicked eight of our “Hero models”, all of which created significant buzz during this year’s Watches & Wonders Geneva 2023. Which ones are your favourite?
Tudor Black Bay 54
Tudor has expanded its Black Bay line with a new watch. The Black Bay 54 pays tribute to the Oyster Prince Submariner reference 7922, Tudor’s first-ever dive watch introduced in 1954.
Back then, it was first issued primarily to the French and American Navy but later used by civilian divers. The new Black Bay 54 is powered by a Tudor manufacture movement, calibre MT5400, and is water-resistant to 200 metres.
Design-wise, the Black Bay 54 remains faithful to the original style in several aspects: The bezel follows the style of vintage Tudors without crown guards and has been reworked with a coin-edge profile that is also seen on vintage Tudors. The hands have also been tweaked, with the original square-tipped second hand replaced with a round lollipop hand. The hands are also “pinched” at the base to replicate the design from 1954.
This timepiece is sized at an elegant diameter of 37mm and is 11.24 mm thick. Sophisticated yet simple, it maintains the utilitarian styling that has made the line-up popular through the years and is sure to please lovers of dive watches who are seeking slimmer models that are more wearable on smaller wrists.
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver White Bronze
This new addition to the BR 03-92 Diver Bronze family has been updated with a new opaline silver dial. The watch is visually appealing thanks to a combination of colours. The bronze case and bezel are complemented by rose gold-plated indices enhanced with Super-LumiNova inserts for superb readability in the dark.
If you are new to dive watches, it certainly helps to know that achieving water resistance in a square watch case is more complex than in a round one – and Bell & Ross is probably one of the very few watchmakers on the market that are able to create fully functional square dive watches. BR 03-92 Diver was the brand’s first square dive watch, launched in 2017.
The BR 03-92 Diver White Bronze is a certified dive watch compliant with international standard ISO-6425 and is powered by a self-winding movement BR-CAL 302. It has a screw-down crown, a sapphire glass with an anti-reflective coating and serves its purpose even at depths of up to 300m.
The timepiece is sold with an interchangeable brown calfskin leather strap and a woven black rubber strap. Only 999 pieces have been produced, and being encased in CuSn8 alloy composed of 92% copper and 8% tin, they will acquire a distinctive patina over time, making each piece unique.
Cartier Privé Tank Normale
For the seventh series of its Privé collection, Cartier puts its focus on the Tank Normale. The new Privé Tank Normale was a highly anticipated model, thanks to its simplicity and classic design, as well as the fact that the very first Tank model that was created by Louis Cartier in 1917 (the word ‘Normale’ was supposedly added after the Tank Louis Cartier was launched in 1922) has been missing from Cartier’s line-up for a long time.
This new version is available in six distinct designs, with the most talked-about being braceleted versions in yellow gold and platinum.
The dial of the Privé Tank Normale features the collection’s signature Roman numerals and the signature railroad minute track. Its case has been scaled up to meet modern preferences and measures 32.6 mm x 25.7 mm. The caseback of the Privé Normale is brushed, and a blue sapphire cabochon is set on the crown of the yellow gold model, while the platinum version has one in ruby.
Another exciting element would be the bracelet. This is the first time a timepiece from the Privé collection has been offered on a bracelet. The 7-link bracelet features a seamless design with no visible pushers at the closure. It is orchestrated by the manual-winding Cal. 070 MC movement. 100 pieces each of the yellow gold and platinum bracelet models have been made.
Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XPS
Like the other steel models in the series, the XPS is made from Lucent Steel A223, an innovative and proprietary steel alloy made from 85% recycled material. This alloy is prized for its anti-allergenic qualities, brilliance produced by the recasting process, and its responsible origins.
The case has a familiar shape with distinguishing flanks, a bezel with eight functioning screws, an engraved crown, and its dial is textured with a radiating pattern in “Monte Rosa Pink”. For this new extra flat model, the sides of the bezel have been slightly trimmed to balance the proportions in line with the slim and stylish profile of the watch. The thickness of the case measures just 8mm, allowing it to sit comfortably even on a slender wrist despite its 41mm diameter.
Powering the watch is an automatic L.U.C 96.40-L movement with central hours and minutes, small seconds, and a stop-second function for precise time-setting. Two stacked barrels guarantee a 65-hour power reserve. The calibre is also decorated with Côtes de Genève on the bridges, with other components finished to satisfy the Poinçon de Genève requirements. It is also COSC-certified.
Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date
The latest edition of Montblanc’s 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date features a new grey version, whose dial colour is said to be an exact replica of the shade of ice found atop Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s tallest mountain.
The watch captures the illusion of gazing into the depths of a glacier with its icy textures and minerals frozen in time for millennia. Its dial pattern is crafted using an age-old technique called gratté-boisé. It creates an impression of depth and luminosity by replicating the veins, grooves, depths, and scintillating light interactions of the actual glacial textures. It comes with a 41mm stainless steel case.
Like its predecessors, this model conforms to the ISO6425 standard for dive watches. It has passed the Montblanc Laboratory Test for shock, temperature and magnetic resistance, in addition to being water resistant to 300 metres. It is equipped with a rotating dive bezel and luminescent markings. On its caseback is a relief engraving of an iceberg with a scuba diver in the waters beneath.
The watch comes with an interchangeable steel bracelet and rubber straps with double deployant buckles, which the wearer can quickly adjust when worn over jackets and wetsuits.
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante
This watch follows the success of Parmigiani Fleurier‘s Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante, launched last year. The watch employs the Rattrapante concept typically used for chronographs, incorporating it as a secret minute hand that the wearer can set as a reminder of a specific task. The wearer can advance the rose gold hand to a particular time, and as the regular minute hand gets closer to that gold hand, it serves as a reminder to act.
This is not the first watch to use an alarm-like reminder. Still, it is a creative use of the Rattrapante, and it offers a fun interaction with time and an alternative and innovative interpretation of watchmaking complications.
The watch has three different hands, including the hour hand and two overlapping minute hands, one of which is rhodium-plated gold indicating real-time, and the other is the Rattrapante hand in rose gold that is concealed when not in use. The pusher, located at 8 o’clock, allows the wearer to operate the hidden hand by making it jump by five minutes each time the pusher is pressed and, consequently, separate it from the indicator of the actual minutes.
Staying true to the understated style that Parmigiani Fleurier is known for, the Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante is classic, elegant, yet deceptively simple. The steel case has a diameter of 40mm and features a platinum hand-knurled bezel, a crown with a rose gold pusher, as well as a grey dial with barleycorn hand-guilloché pattern.
The PF052 automatic winding movement that powers it is made entirely in-house and consists of 271 parts, including a rose gold micro-rotor. It also offers a power reserve of 48 hours.
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 42mm
TAG Heuer has a rich history with the Carrera Chronograph, which began in 1963 and was named after the fearsome Carrera Panamericana race. The design has changed throughout the years but has always retained that same trailblazing spirit of the original design.
This year, the brand released several new models of its iconic Carrera Chronograph, initially conceived in the 1960s by Jack Heuer, with the Carrera Chronograph 42mm being one of the highlights. This model features sunray brushed dials in either dark blue or black, accented with punchy colours, such as a bright orange gradient track and orange lacquered central seconds hands. The dial is also beautifully balanced with a legible 3-6-9 sub-dial layout, quarter-of-a-second scale, and precise detailing. It includes elements from the original design, such as its polished stainless-steel case, angular lugs, and ergonomic pushers. The new models are worn on a calfskin strap and come with a steel folding clasp with double safety push-buttons, either in black or blue, depending on the reference.
The self-winding Heuer 02 chronograph movement can be seen through the steel screw-down sapphire caseback and offers a power reserve of 80 hours and water resistance of up to 100 metres. Beating at 28,800 vph, its column wheel and vertical clutch work together to ensure the smooth operation of the chronograph functions.
With their bright colours and subtle automotive inspiration, they have a trailblazing spirit that continues to inspire watch enthusiasts. The dial design is partly inspired by tachymeter gauges in sports cars, and the colours on the dial change from yellow to orange and finally red. Although the case size is 42mm, larger than the original 36mm diameter, it remains a faithful and modern interpretation of the original design, making the Carrera chronograph one of the most sought-after vintage models on the market.
Zenith Pilot Automatic
The Zenith Pilot Automatic is a new generation of pilot watches redesigned from scratch. It revisits the collection’s signature aesthetic codes in a unique silhouette and is full of subtle details.
It comes in a 40mm case in either stainless steel or black ceramic and features a new design with a flat-top bezel on top of a rounded case. The steel version has vertically satin-brushed surfaces with polished chamfers, while the black ceramic version is entirely micro-blasted. The oversized crown, a defining feature of Pilot watches, has been given a more modern and angular form.
The black opaline dial, with its horizontal grooves, is inspired by the corrugated fuselage of an aircraft and offers a sense of depth. The oversized luminescent Arabic numerals take on a more modern font and are applied as metal markers filled with white Super-LumiNova. The dial is signed “Pilot,” as Zenith remains the first and only brand to hold the rights to mark its dials with the term.
The watch is powered by the El Primero 3620 high-frequency manufacture movement, visible through the sapphire display back. The movement delivers a power reserve of 60 hours when fully wound. Its winding mechanism’s open and blackened oscillating weight recalls the dashboard instrument, which informs the pilot of the aircraft’s orientation relative to the Earth’s horizon.
The steel model is fitted with the same black cordura-effect rubber strap, while its second strap is in brown calfskin leather. The black ceramic version is delivered on a black cordura-effect rubber strap with a newly designed folding clasp developed specifically for the collection and a more utilitarian khaki cordura-effect rubber strap. The straps are easily interchangeable using a quick-change mechanism.