Take a look at these seven watches that stole the show at Watches and Wonders 2024

From Grand Seiko’s timepiece inspired by Shinshu sunrise reflecting off Mount Hotaka to Hermès’s Arceau Chorus Stellarum watch inspired by the Chorus Stellarum silk scarf, here are the watches that are ticking all the boxes of style and functionality

April 19, 2024 04:14 pm | Updated 06:30 pm IST

French footballer Kylian Mbappé made an appearance for luxury watchmaker from Nyon, Hublot, at Watches and Wonders 2024

French footballer Kylian Mbappé made an appearance for luxury watchmaker from Nyon, Hublot, at Watches and Wonders 2024 | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Horology enthusiasts were looking forward to this year’s edition of Watches and Wonders in Geneva. The fair was bigger in scale, with 54 participating maisons, their retailers, partners, and media. The week-long event, open to invitees only for four days, flung its doors open to the general public during the last three days. Compared to last year, it recorded a 14% rise in footfall, with nearly 49,000 visitors, including 5,700 retailers and 1,500 journalists.

On the Internet, #watchesandwonders2024 shot to popularity on many social-networking sites, clocking an estimated reach of over 600 million, states the event’s official closing report. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen attended the event for Swiss luxury watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen and French footballer Kylian Mbappé made an appearance there for luxury watchmaker from Nyon, Hublot.

We get the lowdown on the watches that are ticking all the boxes of style and functionality and are a hit among watch collectors and followers of the luxury watch industry.

Changing colour

Grand Seiko Caliber 9R 20th Anniversary Limited Edition

Grand Seiko Caliber 9R 20th Anniversary Limited Edition | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Grand Seiko Caliber 9R 20th Anniversary Limited Edition is a new creation in the Grand Seiko Sport Collection, and it draws inspiration from Shinshu sunrise reflecting off Mount Hotaka, which is situated in Japan’s Hida Mountains and is home to all Grand Seiko Spring Drive creations. The scenery radiates ebullient colours, transforming from pink to orange early in the morning. Marking the 20th anniversary of the first Grand Seiko watches powered by the 9R Spring Drive movement series, the new Spring Drive Chronograph GMT inspired by the mountainous landscape has a new dial-processing technology — called Optical Multilayer Coating — that expresses the Japanese appreciation for the delicate transition of time as seen through the changing colours of summer mornings.

Price: Approximately ₹12,50,000

Playful nature

 Lady Arpels Brise D’Été

 Lady Arpels Brise D’Été | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Paying tribute to Nature, the new creation of Maison Van Cleef & Arpels, the Lady Arpels Brise D’Été watch celebrates the freshness of a summer morning. In this new poetic expression, corollas bloom within the Van Cleef & Arpels garden. White and yellow-gold butterflies rendered in plique-à-jour enamel tell the time, but what adds playfulness to this creative timepiece is the fluttering of butterflies courtesy on-demand animation module, which also breathes life into the flowers and their stems.

Price: Approximately ₹1,35,48,970

Set sails for Barcelona

Panerai Submersible Tourbillon GMT Luna Rossa Experience Edition

Panerai Submersible Tourbillon GMT Luna Rossa Experience Edition | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Panerai Submersible Tourbillon GMT Luna Rossa Experience Edition stands for the brand’s journey with The America’s Cup — the world’s most popular sailing competition. Over the six-year partnership with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team, Panerai has developed collections of technical watches, one each year, either drawing inspiration from the technologies and materials used in The America’s Cup or from the insights and needs of the Luna Rossa Team. Limited to just 20 pieces, the Submersible Tourbillon GMT Luna Rossa Experience Edition PAM01405 will debut in July 2024 in the lead-up to The America’s Cup finals. Offering an immersive experience, the owners of the watch will be invited to partake in the finals of The America’s Cup in Barcelona, early September. This exclusive opportunity will include a behind-the-scenes view of the competition, unmatched access and engagement with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team, allowing clients to experience the event up close.

Price: Approximately ₹1,71,88,100

The skeleton rider

Hermès Arceau Chorus Stellarum

Hermès Arceau Chorus Stellarum | Photo Credit: Joel Von Allmen

The six-piece limited edition Hermès Arceau Chorus Stellarum watch, featuring mobile appliques, engraving and miniature painting, comes to life in a whimsical and mischievous equestrian universe. The watch, designed by the legendary artistic director of Hermès Henri d’Origny, has a round case topped by asymmetrical stirrup-shaped lugs. Two exclusive interpretations are fantasy-tinged and futuristic, inspired by the Chorus Stellarum silk scarf designed by Japanese designer/illustrator Daiske Nomura. The characters — dashing skeleton riders astride their noble steeds — are embodied in mobile yellow-gold appliques, engraved and painted by hand. Driven by a spring mechanism linked to the nine o’clock pusher, these characters swing into action at the flick of an on-demand impulse animation that sees them prance around a gilded constellation created using the champlevé technique. This alliance of art, relief, and radiance is highlighted by a slender white gold case measuring 41 mm in diameter, set with 70 diamonds on the version adorned with a skeleton horsewoman. A matt abyss blue or pearl grey alligator strap highlights the vibrant colours of these two watches, each issued in numbered limited series of six.

Price: €1,15,000

With you till 3999

 IWC Portugieser Eternal Calendar

 IWC Portugieser Eternal Calendar | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

IWC Schaffhausen earned its stripes of making perpetual calendars in the 1980s with watchmaking genius Kurt Klaus and has, since then, acquired unique expertise in the field of mechanical calendars. With the new IWC Portugieser Eternal Calendar, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer recognises the different month lengths and adds a leap day every four years at the end of February. It also takes into account the Gregorian calendar’s leap year exceptions by skipping three leap years over 400 years. To explain to the layman, this eternal calendar will need no setting till year 3999. For this watch, IWC’s engineers have also developed a moon phase display. Theoretically, the Double MoonTM indication will only need to be adjusted by one day after 45 million years.

Price: On request

Complexly precise

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual Calendar

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual Calendar | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Watchmakers strive to find a solution to the fundamental conundrum of watchmaking: how to maintain a consistent flow of energy while adding complications that require extra bursts of energy. Invented by Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Duometre mechanism was introduced in 2007 in the form of a chronograph and has subsequently been united with other complications, forming a collection. This year, the brand introduces the most complex of them all — the Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual Calendar (Calibre 388), where it incorporates two of watchmaking’s most advanced and prestigious complications — the tourbillon and the perpetual calendar in one of the most visually appealing timepieces.

Price: Approximately ₹4,28,00,000

What women want

Reflection de Cartier

Reflection de Cartier | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Cartier knows women best. This year, the watchmaker presented yet another hybrid bangle/cuff watch, a thing they mastered in their long history of catering to a strong women clientele. The new Reflection de Cartier is a modern and chunky gold jewellery with a playful twist in telling time. Available in solid yellow and rose gold variants and in three gem-set on white gold options, the quartz powered watch is concealed and set inside the opening of the cuff. The reflection is made on the polished gold surface that is on the opposite side of the cuff’s opening, creating a sort of backwards time-telling optical illusion.

Price: Approximately ₹37,20,000 (for the yellow gold variant)

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