We are back the largest watch fair: Watches and Wonders 2023. Here ares some first thoughts on the brands that caught our eyes.
It is customary to begin watch fair coverage with Rolex, and we shall oblige for Watches and Wonders 2023, even though our own appointment with the giant of Swiss watchmaking is tomorrow — in fact, tomorrow (today for you) is the big one for our two go-to Geneva watchmakers, Rolex and Patek Philippe. The big news of course is that titanium is finally part of the standard collection, as foreshadowed by the Deepsea model last year. This year, the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 gets the RLX titanium treatment, which is yet another sign that titanium is finally taking centre stage at Rolex.
The other big news is on the classic side of things — the dressier bit of the Rolex story. It seems the Cellini collection has been transformed into something quite different, which is called the 1908. We thought this was just one watch, but a quick scan of the Rolex website shows that the Cellini models of recent times are nowhere to be found (the website also has a new configuration, on a side note), with the new 1908 forming an entire family of watches. One might think this a storm in a teacup, but this new series arrives with a full set of variants and exhibition casebacks (which showcase calibres with Syloxi hairsprings)…we shall more to say about this shortly.
Moving on to watches we actually touched and felt, to use the usual Watches and Wonders Geneva terminology, we reserve the highest praise for the A. Lange & Sohne Odysseus Chronograph, which dares to imagine the popular complication in completely new terms. You may recall that the Odysseus has day and date indicators that are adjusted by pushers — those same pushers now pull double duty as chronograph pushers. The display of information is also entirely different to what might normally consider standard for chronographs, and yet reading timing indications remains entirely logical.
Moving on, Cartier impresses this year with wonderful form watches, including the Tank Amercaine and the Santos-Dumont Skeleton. There are lots of little touches across the entire range of offerings, including a new gold alloy (violet gold), several new bracelets, new clasp systems, and dial decorations. We will have more to say on specific collections in the weeks and months to come.
We close on the brand we started our Watches and Wonders Geneva experience with, Parmigiani Fleurier. This year, the manufacture follows up on the PF GMT Ratrappante with a complication that both emulates it, yet is wholly new in traditional watchmaking. The Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante offers a unique indication of elapsed minutes, which will allow for new ways of measuring time. For now, we leave it at this, but we will return to this new watch in due course. Although our first day included a number of other brands, including Chopard, Zenith and Bell & Ross, we must call it quits here. By the time you read this, we will need to update for more details on Rolex and Patek Philippe, and we will return to the other brands at that point.
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