By Zara Zhuang

Grazia Guide: The Ultimate Overview of Watches and Wonders 2024

If you can remember only one novelty from each brand, let it be these.
perpetual 1908
Rolex Perpetual 1908

Fifty-four exhibiting brands across 810,000 sqft of exhibition space for one full week. Sure, it’s a lot to take in, but it is after all Watches & Wonders 2024, touted as the grandest edition yet, and 15 per cent larger than last year’s. Since today’s the last day of the 2024 fair, we thought we’d go over some of the highlights presented. If you can remember only one novelty from each brand, let it be these.

Rolex Perpetual 1908

watches and wonders

Six of Rolex’s lines received an update this year, starting with the debutant in 2023, the Rolex Perpetual 1908. The collection welcomes a new version in platinum, with a finely decorated ice blue guilloché dial bearing a geometric rice-grain motif laid out in a concentric pattern that appears to originate from the small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. A fluted bezel and filet sauté guilloché around the minute track add to the intricacy of the offering. 

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC

watches and wonders

Bulgari’s Octo Finissimo has done it yet again with the new Ultra COSC, the thinnest mechanical watch ever produced and also the thinnest COSC-certified chronometer. At just 1.70mm thick, it surpasses even the Octo Finissimo Ultra from 2022, which measured an already astounding 1.80mm. Developed in collaboration with Concepto, a mechanical movement manufacturer, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC seems to defy logic itself—thinness and robustness in a watch feel as if they ought to be mutually exclusive—and yet it is resistant to water, shock and magnetic influence.

Van Cleef & Arpels Apparition des Baies

Van Cleef & Arpels continues its tradition of launching new automatons at every major watch fair: Apparition des Baies and Bouton d’Or, part of the Extraordinary Objects collection. These automatons bring together the best of jewellery craftsmanship, watchmaking and metiers d’art, and are both inspired by flowers and how nature is constantly in motion. The 30cm-tall musical table clocks were created in collaboration with the Swiss automaton maker François Junod, and the Apparition des Baies depicts a bird made from white gold, sapphires and diamonds hidden within verdant lacquered leaves.

Chanel Couture O’Clock Musical Clock Couture Workshop

watches and wonders

In Chanel’s Couture O’Clock capsule collection, various tools of the trade—such as thimbles, scissors, spools of thread, pins, measuring tape, and even dressmaker’s mannequins—are reinterpreted with precious metals and gemstones, turning these creations into miniature treasure hunts that happen to keep time really well. Our favourite? The manual-winding Musical Clock Couture Workshop unique piece, with five couture dummies under a glass dome, decorated with black leather, yellow gold, diamonds, pearls and onyx.

Vacheron Constantin Grand Lady Kalla

watches and wonders

The Art Deco-inspired Grand Lady Kalla reminds us of Vacheron Contantin’s long history of jewellery and pendant watches that stretches as far back as 1812 when it created a pocket watch festooned with small pearls. Made up of 268 diamonds totalling more than 46ct, Akoya pearls, and onyx beads, the white gold quartz-powered watch can be worn as part of a sautoir complete with tassels, or on a fully paved diamond bracelet. It is based on the design of the Kalla jewellery watch introduced in 1980, which was derived from the 1979 Kallista jewellery watch. 

Montblanc 1858 The Unveiled Minerva Monopusher Chronograph

watches and wonders

When Montblanc’s style of subdued sophistication meets a movement that deserves to be admired in its full glory, what you get is the Montblanc 1858 The Unveiled Minerva Monopusher Chronograph. In a limited edition of 100 pieces, the 43mm stainless steel timepiece is distinguished by its mono-pusher movement Calibre MB M17.26, constructed on pillars to maximise visual levity, and completely visible through the five apertures added into the case band. The hand-finished manual-winding movement comprises 291 components, with German silver plates and bridges plated in blue for better contrast, resulting in a spectacular watch that needs to be seen. 

Cartier Privé Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph

After reviving the Crash, the Tank Cintrée and the Tonneau across previous editions, the Cartier Privé collection brings back the 1912 Tortue outfitted with the mono-pusher chronograph complication this year. Limited to 200 pieces, the watch closely follows the original design (spy the apple-shaped hands and rail track) but with subtly updated touches, such as a slimmer profile and a more aerodynamic silhouette. The manufacture 1928 MC movement operates the chronograph’s start, stop and reset functions through a single push-button integrated into the crown, and at 4.3mm, it’s the Maison’s thinnest chronograph movement.

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse Reference 5738/1R-001

Patek Philippe‘s The Golden Ellipse receives an update this year with a chain-style bracelet that expands upon the existing Golden Ellipse models, which are fitted with shiny alligator-leather straps. The Golden Ellipse Reference 5738/1R-001, in rose gold, is held in place with a new chain-style mesh bracelet—comprising over 300 links manually assembled, with an engraved clasp and three adjustment notches—that closely follows the contours of the wrist.

Hublot Big Bang MP-11

Hublot continues its exploration of materials and colours this year, starting with the Big Bang MP-11 14-Day Power Reserve in pale blue sapphire crystal, a new colour for the brand that it calls “water blue”. The light blue colour has been developed through a new chemical formula but retains the luminosity and scratch resistance that sapphire crystal is capable of, and gives the HUB 9011 manual-winding skeleton movement and its seven barrels the appearance of being frozen in glacial ice. The 35mm watch is limited to 50 pieces.

Hermès Cut

Following up on the highly successful men-focused H08, whose chronograph made a splash last year with its mono-pusher concept and rubber strap range in fun colours, Hermes Horloger now unveils the Hermes Cut collection. The first manufacture line aimed primarily at women but with a universal style, the watch sits elegantly at 36mm and spans varying combinations of stainless steel, rose gold, diamond-set bezel, bracelets, and interchangeable rubber straps in various colours. Somewhere between a circle and a cushion, with features of both, and also with curved facets sliced into either side, the Hermes Cut alternates between mirror-polished surfaces and satin-brushed ones to create an intriguing interplay of focused and diffused reflected light.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Leading the pack at Piaget is the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon 150th anniversary edition, which comes six years after Piaget unveiled the Altiplano Ultimate Concept, then the thinnest watch in the world, measuring 2mm. The 2024 version is the same thickness but distinguished by the introduction of a flying tourbillon, which required a 90 per cent redesign to accommodate the added complication. With a monobloc dial and a solid case-back with a sapphire crystal disc, the 41.5mm watch runs on the manual-winding Calibre 970P-UC, with a one-minute peripheral tourbillon and a small seconds on the tourbillon carriage. Despite its diminutive dimensions, it boasts water resistance to 20m and 40 hours of power reserve. 

Tudor Black Bay 58 18K

It’s another strong year for the Tudor Black Bay family, which adds a Black Bay 58 GMT, a Black Bay monochrome, and this full stunner in yellow gold—the first Tudor divers watch forged entirely from yellow gold. The watch holds its own against all its relations, with its satin-brushed case and three-link bracelet, set against an olive dial (which the brand calls “golden green”) and bezel. Even the snowflake hands and the applied hour markers are given the yellow-gold treatment. Under the domed sapphire crystal, the watch runs on the Manufacture Calibre MT5400, with 70 hours of power reserve.

IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Eternal Calendar

If 2023 was the year of the Ingénieur collection, 2024 has got to be about the Portugieser. One of IWC’s oldest collections, the Portugieser welcomes six additions, from the versatile (and approachable) Automatic 40, Automatic 42 and Chronograph in three new dial colours (Horizon Blue, Obsidian, and Dune, or sand) to the mind-boggling we-could-so-we-did Eternal Calendar, which is accurate until the year 3999—only because it has not yet been officially decided whether the year 4000 will be a leap year. The newly developed Calibre 52640 is designed to account for leap years with its 400-year gear, which completes one revolution every four centuries, and the added reduction gear train, with three intermediate wheels, keeps the moon-phase display accurate for 45 million years.

Zenith Defy Skyline Chronograph

Zenith stays focused with two launches for Watches & Wonders 2024, the Defy Skyline Chronograph and the Defy Revival A3648. The former is an extension of the Defy Skyline range of integrated-style steel sports watches launched two years ago, and introduces the chronograph function to a series that already encompasses a skeletonised movement, a 60-second tourbillon, and a slew of coloured dials. Available in black, blue, or silver dials emblazoned with a starry sky-patterned motif, the watch features three oversized counters, pushers that follow the outline of the 12-sided bezel, and the highly accurate El Primero 3600 calibre.

TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph

Following up on the unique Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph that TAG Heuer created for Only Watch last year, the brand adds this watch to its catalogue, a move that could indicate more timepieces built upon this newly launched TH81-00 mechanical split-seconds chronograph calibre. Capable of concurrently measuring two separate time intervals, the intricate movement—including TAG Heuer’s signature checkerboard pattern on the centre bridge—can be admired through the sapphire crystal case-back and is crafted entirely from lightweight titanium, so that the watch weighs just 85g. Two editions are available, in red and in blue.

Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XP Frozen Summit

Proving that jewellery watches aren’t just about looks, Chopard‘s Alpine Eagle collection introduces this 41mm frosted beauty equipped with the ultra-thin L.U.C 96.41-L self-winding movement, with an off-centre micro-rotor that offers 65 hours of power reserve, and yet so slim in profile that it keeps the watch at just 9mm thick. Crafted entirely from ethically mined white gold and set with baguette- and custom-cut diamonds on the case, dial and bezel, the watch and its exquisite finishing and decorative details are certified by the Poinçon de Genève, a seal reserved for high-quality precious metal objects made in the city or canton of Geneva.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual

The first thing to capture your attention on the limited-edition Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Heliotourbillon Perpetual might be the tourbillon: a first for the manufacture, this tourbillon rotates on three axes to offset the effect of gravity in pretty much all directions, resulting in a spin that resembles a top. Powered by the new manual-winding Calibre 388, the watch features a perpetual calendar, where the hours and minutes can be adjusted backwards or forwards independent of the perpetual calendar, with grande date indication at 3 o’clock. Part of what makes up this remarkable movement is the patented Duometre mechanism, which comprises two separate barrels, each powering an independent gear train—one for timekeeping and the other for power complications—so that operating the latter doesn’t draw energy away from the former.

Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon

Grand Seiko‘s first mechanical complication returns this year in colours and finishes inspired by daybreak, resulting in a visually lighter timepiece and creating a yin-and-yang aesthetic when presented next to its predecessor: openwork silver-toned movement components, hand-polished for maximum shine; platinum and titanium paired to build the case so that the metals create a subtle contrast; and blue sapphires for watch jewels (a first for the brand). The limited-edition watch features the tourbillon with a constant-force mechanism, which synchronises with the sound of the escapement to create a steady, hypnotic beat.

This story originally appeared on GRAZIA Singapore.