Like most of the watch world CWBC was in Geneva not too long ago for Watches and Wonders and like most of the watch world we really enjoyed it. All the brands were there showing off their new models and seemed excited about what would come next. The heavy hitters such as Rolex and Patek had taken out huge spaces with lots of focus being paid to their hottest new releases. Particularly the new titanium yachtmaster, yet in many ways there was a more interesting show in town. A few roads over there was a convention called Time to Watch which we also attended that weekend. This convention was set up by smaller brands and was a great demonstration of how much depth this industry has.
There are two main watches that I think deserve special attention, the first of which is Ikepod. This is a brand that is best experienced in person or through pictures, words simply don’t do them justice. The perfectly round case and purposely retro design make them a must have for collectors.
The other brand is called Berney and has a pretty unique set up. Valjoux, as many of you already know, is a rockstar of a watchmaker. Their movements are in many iconic watches including the Daytona and multiple Enicars. Berney has sourced vintage Valjoux movments and put them into modern watches. Berney specialises in dress watches with clean dials but the real artistry comes from the case back. The see through case shows off the movements and the hand decoration is simply incredible. We are so impressed we have even taken some into the store and will be getting the up on our site soon. If you would like any more information about these watches please get in touch.
Watches and Wonders gave us a chance to see many of the newest releases and I will go through some of our favourites now.
Whilst most nicknames are made by the community Oris has done a good job of creating their own. Their new green dial isn't just a homage to the worlds most famous frog because of the colour but also the date wheel shows a picture of Kermit. A really fun piece that's sure to be a hit.
Rolex, as always, was the most popular brand at W&W which is odd considering how little their watches change from year to year. The only real exception being the new Yacthmaster. Still the same design and look but the size has been boosted to 42mm and the metal swapped to titanium. This is an interesting pick from Rolex as the Yachtmaster was the watch that never claimed to be a tool watch but exclusively a luxury watch. It makes me wonder i they would be better suited creating a titanium Sea-Dweller instead, but it's all by the by as you can't buy this watch even if you wanted to at retail and it will sell at a blistering pace.
Certain words are used to frequently when talking about watches, at least in my opinion. One of the worst examples of this is 'cool', it is an inescapable catch all term for any watch you can imagine someone like Steve McQueen wearing. Yet unfortunately that is the only word which summarises Tag Heuer's new releases. They are just cool. The way the sapphire covers the tachymeter and the clean layout on a black dial is just cool.
Vacheron Constantin never disappoints and this year was no exception. Their booth was filled with the pinnacle of what watch makers can achieve and a plethora of incredible watches. Whilst everyone will have their favourites I think you can't go wrong with any of their collection. Even their watches which don't feature an in house movement (FiftySix) they are still an amazing watch. The finishing quality, choice of materials and designs are simply unbeatable.
Now it must be said I am a plain Jane when it comes to my favourite JLCs. Give me a plain yellow gold Reverso, or a Master Ultra Thin any day of the week. But, it is worth noting that JLC is more than that. In particular their enamel work is stunning and true artistry on some of their Reverso's. If you want a one of a kind unique watch it is tough to beat a personalised Reverso.
As you might have noticed I have only been showing the watches so far but I wanted to make an exception with Ulysse Nardin. I think their pointlessly ostentatious display should win an award for being quite so pointlessly ostentatious. The first thing you see when you walk into their area was a massive model clock on the floor and an angled mirror reflecting it. It was so distracting that I don't think everyone who went to their area actually looked at the watches. Although we did and as always the Freak is a marmite watch in terms of design but objectively amazing in terms of technology. This watch has no hands and no dial and is best summarised by Ulysse Nardin themselves when they say "
NO DIAL, NO HANDS, NO CROWN. Movement is king as it rotates to tell the time."
Similar to JLC I don't have particularly exotic tastes when it comes to Cartier. I think that a Santos, Tank or Roadster will always be my favourite from the brand but they are much more than that. They cater to everyone from the reserved very traditional person who wants something understated to watches that are more diamonds than watch.
I don't think any other pictures better summarises Piaget than these two. On the one hand an intricately built perpetual calendar and the other a far more rudimentary movement but an incredible piece of jewellery. Piaget does unquestionably create art and both of these watches are examples of that but the tastes are very different. Whilst some may criticise companies like Piaget for creating these lavish pieces alongside high end watches I personally think both are very impressive.
-A.Lange & Sohne-
If the Big Three ever expanded into the Big Four then A.Lange & Sohne will be the one joining. Everything from movement, to finishing quality is simply impeccable. Their dials are clean with complications that aren't cluttered or competing for attention and staggeringly complex movements.
There's still many watches to get through from the two days worth of watches that we saw but this was a good start. If you have any questions about any of the watches shown then please just get in touch or leave a comment below. I will also link to some of the best watches currently in our store so you can browse our selection of high end luxury watches.