Home Lifestyle Prime Time: Highlights at Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024

Prime Time: Highlights at Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024

Beyond a showcase of novelties for the upcoming year, Watches and Wonders Geneva serves as a platform for watch manufactures to not only shine a spotlight on their mastery over form and function, but also their dedication to pushing the envelope in precision and design. This year, Hermes unveiled its most complicated timepiece to date, the Arceau Duc Attele, while Van Cleef & Arpels, brought to life an on-demand animation of butterflies flitting around summer flowers that sway gently in the breeze with its Lady Arpels Brise d’Ete. Then there’s the Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual by Jaeger-LeCoultre, featuring a tourbillon that spins on three axes like a top. On the more understated end of the spectrum, Parmigiani Fleurier presented the minimalist but elegant Toric Petite Seconde timepieces. As Grand Seiko celebrates 20 years of its 9R Spring Drive, it introduced the Spring Drive Chronograph GMT with a chameleon-like dial that changes colour.

HERMES: ARCEAU DUC ATTELE

the hermes arceau duc attele in titanium with an anthracite guilloche dial in rose gold with an aventurine dial watches and wonder 2024
The Hermes Arceau Duc Attele comes in titanium (left) or rose gold (right) with an anthracite guilloche dial. (Photo: Hermes)

Trust the French maison’s most complicated watch to date to be a visual spectacle. Powered by the manual-winding Calibre H1926, the Hermes Arceau Duc Attele houses both a central triple-axis tourbillon and a “tuning-fork” minute repeater in an understated 43mm round case with a sapphire dome. The titanium tourbillon features three cages, axes and rotation speeds that operate within a curved hour-circle. Indicating the time are two blue claw-shaped hands that move around the chapter ring rim with the 48-hour power reserve indicator set at the base of the dial. Just below that is the minute repeater with hammers sculpted in the shape of a horse. Chiming the hours, quarters, and minutes on demand via a slide on the side of the case, they strike the long, hardened steel gong to produce rich tones reminiscent of cathedral chimes. The watch is offered in a numbered limited edition of 24 pieces each in polished titanium with an anthracite guilloche dial, and in rose gold with a sparkling aventurine dial.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: LADY ARPELS BRISE D’ETE

van cleef arpels lady arpels brise dete watches and wonder 2024
Van Cleef & Arpels’ Lady Arpels Brise d’Ete. (Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels)

The maison didn’t disappoint with this nature-inspired masterpiece that brings to mind elegant summer flowers swaying in a gentle breeze. Framed within a 38mm diamond-set white gold bezel, charming white and yellow gold butterflies rendered in plique-a-jourenamel not only tell the time, but they also flutter around the garden, courtesy of an on-demand animation module that also breathes life into the flowers and their stems when activated. The vibrant scene features corollas created in vallonne enamel and spessartite garnet pistils, which create a poetic tableau against a backdrop of lustrous mother-of-pearl. Champleve enamel leaves and blades of grass in tsavorite garnet add depth to this miniature kinetic art piece.

PARMIGIANI FLEURIER: TORIC PETITE SECONDE

the parmigiani fleurier toric petite seconde in rose gold with a sand gold dial watches and wonder 2024
The Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Petite Seconde in rose gold. (Photo: Parmigiani Fleurier)

This timepiece is an example of what quiet luxury should look like. Minimalist and modern, the 40.6mm watch has no protrusions or hard angles, but a fluid softness when viewed from any angle. Its bezel is delicately knurled, while the gold dial is finely grained with a traditional handcraft that involves applying a special mixture of cream of tartar, crushed sea salt, and silver onto it and brushing gently to create a finely textured surface. This process results in a unique dispersion of light that visually softens the dial. Inspired by a vintage aesthetic from the 1960s, the Toric dial features a cheve design, in which it gently slopes down towards the case’s inner face. The elegant minimalist aesthetic extends to the Calibre PF780, a manual-winding movement with rose gold bridges. Finished in nubuck, the alligator strap is adorned with “punto a mano” stitching. The latest Toric Petite Seconde line is offered in two iterations: Platinum with a grey celadon dial and sand gold strap, as well as rose gold with a sand gold dial and grey celadon strap.

GRAND SEIKO: SPORT COLLECTION CALIBER 9R 20TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION SBGC275

the grand seiko sport collection caliber 9r 20th anniversary limited edition watches and wonder 2024
The Grand Seiko Sport Collection Caliber 9R 20th Anniversary Limited Edition. (Photo: Grand Seiko)

The Japanese manufacture marks the 20th anniversary of its 9R Spring Drive with the Sport Collection Spring Drive Chronograph GMT, which draws inspiration from the Hotaka mountains in central Japan’s Shinshu region, where Grand Seiko assembles its Spring Drive timepieces. What sets this watch apart is its unique dial that transitions from vivid red to pink to orange – colours of the sun-drenched mountainous landscape during summer mornings – thanks to the patented dial-coating process of Optical Multilayer Coating. Housed in a 44.5mm titanium case, the watch combines durability with a 200m water resistance, making it suitable for any adventure. To reflect Grand Seiko’s symbol of the lion, the model features a robust design with powerful angles and claw-inspired lugs that contrast against polished surfaces. Driven by the Caliber 9R96, the watch will have a limited run of only 700 pieces. It will be available from July at Grand Seiko Boutiques and select retailers.

A. LANGE & SOHNE: DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL TOURBILLON HONEYGOLD “LUMEN”

the a. lange sohne datograph perpetual tourbillon honeygold lumen watches and wonder 2024
A. Lange & Sohne’s Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honeygold “Lumen”. (Photo: A. Lange & Sohne)

First introduced in 2016, the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon stands out as one of A. Lange & Sohne’s most intricate creations, both technically and aesthetically. It deftly integrates a flyback chronograph, perpetual calendar, and tourbillon within a dial layout that is organised yet legible. Powered by the updated manufacture calibre L952.4, this year’s 41.5mm model is not only dressed in the maison’s exclusive Honey Gold, its functions can also be seen in low light conditions. This enhanced readability is achieved through a semi-transparent dial and luminous coating, which ensure the timepiece’s complex functions glow in bright green under reduced lighting. The hands for the hour and minutes are filled with luminous material, while the chronograph seconds hand is fully coated. Subdials for the seconds, month, day, and minute counters are overlaid on luminous backgrounds, enhancing visibility. This allows for the minute scale and tachymeter on the dial’s periphery to be illuminated brightly, making the watch as functional as it is exquisite.

JAEGER-LECOULTRE: DUOMETRE HELIOTOURBILLON PERPETUAL

the jaeger lecoultre duometre heliotourbillon perpetual watches and wonder 2024
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual. (Photo: Jaeger-LeCoultre)
Jaeger-LeCoultre combines its expertise in tourbillons and the innovative Duometre mechanism to present the Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual this year. Introduced in 2007, the patented Duometre mechanism enables the addition of complications without any compromise or damage to the timekeeping function, as well as its precision. This 44mm timepiece stands out with its unique tourbillon on the left, which spins on three axes to resemble a spinning top – a first for the maison. A sapphire crystal window in the side of the case offers another view of this captivating mechanical show. Driven by the brand-new manufacture Calibre 388, the watch also incorporates a perpetual calendar capable of adjusting for different month lengths and leap years. On the dial’s right side sits a Grande Date display within the hours and minutes subdial at 3 o’clock, and a patented moonphase indicator that remains precise for 122 years at 11 o’clock.
Rolex’s new novelties include solid gold Deepsea, black and grey GMT-Master II
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John Mayer didn’t just get a new watch — he designed one for Audemars Piguet
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