Watches & Wonders isn’t an awards show like the Oscars, it’s a trade show, so really nobody actually wins anything (except future sales). It’s up to watch enthusiasts to decide who took home best in show or most innovative. We won’t be breaking them up into categories like that, but we are going to talk about who really knocked it out of the park this year at Watches & Wonders.
Rolex came out swinging this year with a flurry of new releases and most of them are actually interesting in comparison to last year! First up we have the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, the showstopper, but even so, the changes made to the sub-dials may make this less desirable to some, but judging by the reaction online, people are in love with this watch.
The new GMT-Master II is a first for the brand having combined Oystersteel and yellow gold. This is an absolute Wolf of Wall Street style of watch alongside the completely all 18kt yellow gold variant.
Rolex was able to have fun this year and two watches exemplify that – the new Oyster Perpetual with bouncy balls on the dial and the puzzle piece Day-Date 36. These are absolutely to die for, especially the puzzle piece model which adds emojis in the date window and phrases like “Love” in the day window. These will be collectors’ items for sure.
IWC didn’t do anything crazy for casuals in the market, but those who know their history, know that the Ingenieur Automatic 40 is something special. Originally created in 1955, it is most frequently associated with Gérald Genta due to his work on the model during the 1970s. This new version takes on the aesthetic codes of Genta’s Ingenieur and brings it into the modern day. This may be an exaggeration, but this has to be one of the most exciting things IWC have released in a while.
A. Lange & Sohne
A. Lange & Sohne released one watch and one watch only, the Odysseus Chronograph. This is their first chronograph with a self-winding movement and is simply gorgeous to look at. Who needs this? No one. Who will buy this? Maybe three people and the other two pieces will stay behind closed doors only to be brought out for exhibitions.
Hublot, for all their flaws, are almost always exciting. What are they going to do next? Maybe a full carbon tourbillon? Who would’ve guessed! Hublot are like the bad boys of the watchmaking world as we quietly whisper, I can fix them. They aren’t perfect, but when you have an MP-13 Tourbillon Bi-Axis Retrograde that looks like a colosseum gazing upon the carnage that is the movement, you can’t be too mad.
The rest of the releases are okay with generic movements and over-the-top designs in true Hublot fashion, but when Hublot are good, they are so incredibly interesting that they are worth mentioning. There is a big problem though, the titanium Orlinski has a design that is absolutely stunning, but they’ve cheaped out on the movement once again, putting in an ETA movement. So you have a great design with lacklustre mechanics, wouldn’t be a problem if the price reflected that, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Arnold & Son
Arnold & Son are included here purely because of the Globetrotter Platinum, which if you’re going to bring a wonder to Watches & Wonders, this is it. It’s stunning horology in a way that only a few marques can do. This isn’t for everyone, and it’s hardly meant to be, this instead is a bit of art for the wrist. It’s an absolute stand-out in what were quite a few interesting releases from Arnold & Son.