Watches And Wonders 2024: A Showcase Of Exceptional Watchmaking

The esteemed Watches and Wonders event has drawn in renowned watchmakers, luxury brands and enthusiasts for many years as Switzerland’s largest horological exposition. The annual showcase gained popularity as a platform for luxury watchmakers to unveil their finest creations for the upcoming year, inviting guests to celebrate the craftsmanship, innovation, and technology behind these exceptional timepieces. Watches and Wonders 2024 did not fail to dazzle enthusiasts with its array of unforgettable watches that set new records and redefined elegance. From the thinnest tourbillon to the most complicated watch in the world, the event was a testament to the relentless pursuit of craftsmanship and creativity within the watchmaking industry.

Source: Cartier

Piaget, Bulgari, and Vacheron Constantin led the charge with record-breaking achievements in watchmaking. Piaget debuted the thinnest tourbillon, a marvel of engineering at a mere 2mm thick—about the width of a nickel. Bulgari reclaimed its title for the world’s thinnest mechanical watch, surpassing its record by 0.3mm compared to Piaget’s creation. Additionally, Vacheron Constantin unveiled the most complicated watch ever created, with an astounding 2,877 parts and 63 complications, including the ground-breaking first Chinese perpetual calendar. In addition to these monumental contributions, the Watches and Wonders 2024 show saw several standout releases from iconic watchmaking brands, including Rolex, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Hublot. 

One of these standout pieces was the Rolex Perpetual 1908, a timepiece that pays homage to the brand’s rich heritage and timeless design ethos. Launched in 2023 as part of the Perpetual collection, the 1908 seamlessly blends traditional horological style with Rolex’s quintessential expertise. Named in honour of the year Hans Wilsdorf registered the brand, 1908 embodies the spirit of the Perpetual collection with its elegant and understated design. The 1908 is powered by the calibre 7140, a self-winding mechanical movement introduced exclusively for this model. This movement gives the 1908 an exceptional performance in precision, power reserve, convenience, and reliability that showcases Rolex’s cutting-edge technology and meticulous craftsmanship. 

In addition to its ground-breaking mechanics, the Rolex Perpetual 1908 showcases exquisite design elements. The new addition to the Perpetual 1908 collection features a platinum case with a captivating ice-blue dial adorned with a “rice-grain” guilloché pattern. This distinctive dial, created using the guilloche technique, reflects Rolex’s dedication to traditional artistry and creativity, whilst the transparent back allows a view of the intricate movement within. The brown alligator leather strap with a Double clasp adds a touch of sophistication to this dress watch, making it a versatile choice for various occasions. Priced at $47,000, the 1908 embodies the pinnacle of Rolex’s craftsmanship and dedication to excellence.

Following the theme of embracing horological history, Cartier’s inclusion of the Tortue Monopoussoir Chronographe in the Privé collection pays homage to the brand’s early ventures into watchmaking. The jewellery brand first introduced the tonneau-shaped watch in 1912, giving this reinterpretation timeless appeal and elegant design with a modern movement. The Tortue Monopoussoir Chronographe uses an intricate Manufacture 1928MC and column wheel movement that is fully visible through the open back, showcasing Cartier’s attention to design and functionality. Available in limited editions of yellow gold or platinum, the Tortue mono-pusher chronograph maintains its classic appeal. The platinum version, priced at $90,000, features a 41.4 mm case with a 44-hour power reserve. Its timeless design, reminiscent of eras past, ensures it will remain a coveted piece for generations.

Similarly, another famed jewellery brand, Van Cleef & Arpels, unveiled the Lady Arpels Jour Nuit, a mesmerising blend of fine jewellery and haute horology. Part of the Poetic Complications collection, the Lady Arpels Jour Nuit watch is designed to tell the story of the Sun and Moon in a celestial dance across the Aventurine sky. The 18-karat white gold case of the Lady Arpels Jour Nuit is set with round diamonds, complementing the cosmic theme of the watch. Equally, the blue aventurine glass dial creates a fascinating depth effect, evoking the immensity of space, whilst the yellow sapphire Sun to the diamond-set Moon recreates the magic of a starry night. In addition to its imaginative design, the Lady Arpels Jour Nuit showcases the very best of Van Cleef & Arpels’s technical prowess. Powered by a self-winding mechanical movement with a 36-hour power reserve, the Lady Arpels Jour Nuit features a rotating 24-hour disc that animates the Sun and Moon as they chase each other across the Aventurine sky. Priced at $139,000, this limited-edition timepiece displays Van Cleef & Arpels’ distinctive blend of artistry and technical prowess as every detail comes together seamlessly to create a poetic interpretation of time.

Source: Hublot

One of the most outstanding pieces unveiled at Watches and Wonders 2024 was Hublot’s Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire. Known for pushing the boundaries of material innovation, Hublot has built on itsexpertise with sapphire with this latest addition. Having seen success with its previous colourful iterations, such as orange, yellow, and green, this timepiece boasts a stunning icy blue hue. This colour also complements the skeletonised dial, which showcases the horizontal barrels and power reserve indicator. This sculptural 7-barrel movement, placed at an impressive 90-degree angle to the movement, enables the impressive 14-day power reserve while maintaining a sleek 10.9 mm profile. With Hublot’s engineers and chemists having worked tirelessly to develop the sapphire case alone, it is no surprise that the Big Bang MP-11 Water Blue Sapphire sports a price tag of $261,500, as it brilliantly combines innovation, craftsmanship, and striking design. 

From record-breaking complications to timeless designs, each timepiece unveiled at Watches and Wonders 2024 represented the pinnacle of horological artistry. As enthusiasts and collectors marvelled at these creations, it became evident that the spirit of innovation and tradition in luxury watchmaking continues to thrive worldwide.