Watches and Wonders 2024: 6 timepieces that caught our eye | Fashion Trends - Hindustan Times
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Watches and Wonders 2024: 6 timepieces that caught our eye

Apr 13, 2024 02:08 PM IST

From the world’s most complicated watch to the world’s thinnest watch, here’s our pick of delectables from the annual watch fair.

Fifty four watchmakers participated in this year’s edition of Watches and Wonders that is on until April 15 in Geneva. The watches showcased at the world’s most popular watch fair ranged from the likes of the Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Berkley Grand Complication to the popular Tudor’s Black Bay 58, which is now available in yellow gold complete with an 18-karat gold bracelet. With 63 separate complications and 2,877 components, the Berkley Grand Complication, Vacheron’s bespoke pocket watch that weighs close to a kilo, is the world’s most complicated watch. The shiny Black Bay 58, on the other hand, is yet another sign of the end of quiet luxury, at least in the horological world. Vacheron Constantin and Tudor were not the only watchmakers to create exceptional – and tempting – watches.

Luxury timepieces shine at Watches & Wonders 2024 in Geneva
Luxury timepieces shine at Watches & Wonders 2024 in Geneva

Here, we take a look at six other timepieces that made us pause and take a closer look.

Cartier Santos Rewind

Among the several gems showcased by the Parisian jeweller and watchmaker, the Santos Dumont Rewind especially caught our eye. With its distinctive Roman numerals layed out in reverse on a Carnelian dial, the Rewind is a watch that literally runs counter-clockwise. Its 31.5 x 43.5mm case is made from platinum and gets a ruby cabochon crown. The watch is powered by a reversed inhouse handwound movement and comes with a colour-matched leather strap. No one does classical – and quirky – better than Cartier. $38,400 ( 32 lakh)

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IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 44

Several watchmakers equip their timepieces with the perpetual calendar, but the complication seems especially suited to the Portugusier. IWC’s iconic line, born in the 1930s but resurrected in the 1990s, has now been “reengineered” and is available in 18k white gold with ‘horizon blue’ and ‘dune dials’ as well as in the manufacturer's proprietary and hardier Armor Gold that comes with an obsidian or silver-plated dial. The colour of the dials, which is achieved with 15 layers of transparent lacquer, reference the different hours of the day. The ‘reengineering’ is also focused on making the large watch affect a slimmer profile, which means, among others, a slender case ring combined with box-glass sapphire crystals front and back. The new models are powered by the IWC-manufactured 52616 calibre with the much admired Pellaton winding system and a power reserve of 7 days. $49,000 ( 41 lakh)

Tag Heuer Monaco Split Seconds Chronograph

The quotidian in Italian sounds delicious, and they use it to great effect. Case in point: the Maserati Quattroporte, where the second word means ‘four doors’. Similarly, ‘rattrapante’ in French roughly means to ‘catch up’, and in the world of horology, it denotes a special kind of chronograph movement that enables the wearer to record multiple time intervals that begin at the same time but don’t end together. And, to celebrate the Monaco’s 55th year, Tag Heuer has just equipped one of its most iconic timepieces with the split seconds (or rattrapante) complication. Made from a combination of titanium and sapphire crystal, the Monaco is incredibly light (85 grams) and the red lacquered rattrapante hand is an especially lovely touch. The mechanical split-seconds chronograph caliber, the lightest automatic chronograph movement ever created by Tag Heuer, is also made from titanium, and has been jointly developed with movement maker Vaucher. Besides the bold racing red option, the watch will also be available in a blue-and-titanium-grey colorway and ships with colour- matched calfskin straps that are embossed with a textured fabric pattern. $138,000 (RS 1.15 crore.)

Gerald Charles Masterlink

Gerald Charles Genta had an outsize influence on watchmaking. Genta, who passed away in 2011, designed several bonafide classics in his heyday, including the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the Universal Polerouter, the Omega Constellation... With his eponymous brand, Gerald Charles, launched in 2006, Genta produced crackers such as the Maestro which had a highly distinctive asymmetrical integrated bracelet case, and which has now inspired the all new Masterlink. In reconciling an integrated bracelet with the asymmetrical Maestro case (with that indented ‘smile’ at 6 o’clock), the designers at Gerald Charles have created a compelling contender in the luxury sports watch space. The 38mm Masterlink is slimmer, ‘squarer’, and, as befits a luxury sports watch, 7.9mm thin. It is powered by a 2.7mm ultra-thin automatic movement that is powered by a micro-rotor. $25,000 ( 21 lakh)

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC

Bulgari, which has been a serious player in the ultrathin watchmaking game, has fired the latest salvo in the war of the thin watches with its Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC. The Ultra is both the world’s thinnest watch as well as the thinnest COSC chronometer. Made from titanium, the Ultra is just 1.70mm thick – that’s thinner than a coin – and has been created jointly with movement manufacture Concepto. The manually wound movement is made of 170 components that are assembled on the caseback, which is also the mainplate. $600,000 ( 5 crore)

Rolex Perpetual 1908 in platinum

The Crown stuck to its philosophy of advancing incrementally with a bunch of iterative updates to its classics at the Watches & Wonders 2024. On one hand you had an attractively loud Deepsea with a stunning blue lacquer dial and two blingy iterations of the Cosmograph Daytona, and on the other there was this extremely elegant Perpetual 1908 in platinum with a guilloche dial. The Perpetual 1908, which replaced the Cellini line last year, is named after the year in which Hans Wildorf trademarked the name ‘Rolex’. The timepiece’s icy-blue dial features a guilloche rice-grain motif, with the minute track surrounded by a different guilloche with a crimped pattern. The 39mm watch is powered by the calibre 7140, which has a power reserve of about 66 hours, and is paired with a matt brown alligator leather strap. Always wanted a quiet Rolex? Here it is. $30,000 ( 25 lakh)

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