Mario’s Top Five Picks for Watches & Wonders

by Mario C

Now that Watches & Wonders 2024 is done, do you have a bit of FOMO? Well, don’t worry – I’m here to recap some of the best of this year’s biggest horology bash.

For Watches & Wonders this year, we were treated to plenty of new releases, giving us more insight into the creativity, innovation and engineering excellence that drives some of the world’s best watch brands. The standard was set high by last year’s Watches and Wonders (Recap last year’s Watches & Wonders here and here!), but it became clear that every attending brand aimed to raise it even higher – which they did. Don’t believe me? Check out the footage and recaps on our Watch Advice Instagram page.

All of us at Watch Advice worked tirelessly to bring you the best coverage possible of this year’s festivities, but even we had to step back when a debuting timepiece blew our socks off. Despite our best efforts, that happened pretty often. I’m sure if you ask the others, they’ll have their own opinions, but these are my top five Watches & Wonders releases that had me fawning over my keyboard.

Honourable Mention: Louis Moinet

As much of a watch nerd as I claim to be, I had not heard about Louis Moinet’s contribution to Watches & Wonders 2024. However, when I discovered their Around the World in Eight Days box set, it was too remarkable not to share it with you all!

Golden Gate Bridge just one stop around the world

Technically this is cheating, as the box set includes eight watches. But, if I included Louis Moinet in the main list, all five picks would be from this set! The Jules Verne novel inspires the Louis Moinet Around the World in Eight Days; It takes the signature LM135 tourbillon movement, encases it in 18k rose gold, and then completes it with eight of the most intricate dials I have ever seen.

The captivating beauty of Mt Fuji and Japan

Each dial, inspired by destinations around the world, allows you to take a world tour from the comfort of the beautifully designed Louis Moinet trunk. Marvel at the New York lights and Statue of Liberty, or perhaps gaze upon the majesty of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. My favourite, however, would be the Abu Dhabi rendition, containing a serene depiction of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. A destination that, admittedly, I knew little about, but one that I now wholeheartedly aspire to see for myself – After I hit up Ferrari World, that is.

Read more about this watch here!  

5: Raymond Weil Millesime Chronograph

Officially starting the list is the Raymond Weil Millesime Chronograph. Elie Bernheim and the crew have come out swinging in recent years, and have re-established Raymond Weil as a significant player in the industry.

Elegant and refined old-school chrono charm!

This is a sentiment I’ve carried ever since I handled the Raymond Weil Millesime, but both Chamath and I agreed that the new chronograph rendition of the Millesime blew us both away. Configuring a design to suit a different function is one challenge, but preserving a unique design language whilst doing so is a whole other beast. Raymond Weil has managed to do both – keeping the GPHG award-winning elements and even enhancing them in the two chronograph offerings.

The black is a classical dressy chronograph, but the blue reverse panda is where the party’s at. Yes, a watch collection should be a marathon and not a sprint, but man did my wallet want to just fly out of my pocket for a look at that blue one!

Read more about this watch here! 

4: TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph

TAG Heuer, a standout of last year’s Watches & Wonders, have also made great strides to continue their rapid ascent to the top of the watch game. One incredibly daring step they’ve taken is to reignite their Haute Horlogerie spirit, which can be seen in spades with the new TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph.

Derived from the Only Watch release last year, the TAG Heuer Monaco Rattrapante is technically impressive!

Releasing two models in red and blue, TAG Heuer brings their OnlyWatch complication to the main production line, marking the first time that the LVMH brand has ever created a mechanical split-second module as part of the main lineup. The TH81-00 movement was made in collaboration with the esteemed Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, who are renowned for their work with Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille and Hermès. The split-second complication that it possesses is a highly coveted module in the horological world, as it allows for the timing of two separate events simultaneously – for example, how much of a gap there is between Max Verstappen and whoever is in second place.

On top of that, the French word rattrapante means ‘catch-up.’ More than just a phrase that Verstappen says to his peers, the Monaco Split-Seconds also has a button that permits the other chronograph hand to catch up to the other. It’s a level of horology not often seen from TAG Heuer, and while AUD$200,000 is way outside my price range, It makes me excited knowing something like this exists.

Read more about this watch here!  

3: Tudor Black Bay 58 GMT

Yeah, you thought this would be number 1, didn’t you? While I am a stalwart fan of my 41mm Opaline GMT (Read about it here!), it’s hard for me not to swallow some copium and cry about this one.

I adore almost everything about this watch and it’s crazy. With the ‘Coke ’-style bezel, traveller’s GMT with METAS Master Chronometer certification, and that all-important Goldilocks size of 39mm, the writing was on the wall for this one to be an absolute stunner at Watches and Wonders.  

The new Tudor Black Bay 58 GMT on rubber

My only reservation, however, is Tudor’s decision to use gilded accents. Sure, this was made to be a tribute to the golden age of air travel, but did there really have to be that much gilt? It’s everywhere, from the bezel to the indexes and even the GMT hand, and while it does enhance the theme of the timepiece it also makes it a bit harder to pull off every day.

However, it is far from a bad watch. I would go so far as to call it great! Tudor has once again pulled out all the stops for the fans, and it’s releases like these that not only help to establish Tudor’s individuality but also keep the community guessing about what’s next in line.

Read more about this watch here! 

2: A. Lange & Sӧhne Datograph Perpetual Honeygold Lumen

Ever since I found out about the Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen, I prayed to the watch gods to send us another Lange masterpiece in the same vein. Lo and behold, they answered the call. The Datograph Perpetual Honeygold Lumen is, in my opinion, the best A. Lange & Sӧhne drop in years. Of course, the standard for horological excellence is set astoundingly high, but somehow they always managed to outdo themselves with stuff like this.

The A.Lange & Söhne Datograph Honeygold Lumen look spectacular on the wrist!

Deceptively simple is the Datograph Perpetual Honeygold Lumen – encased in Lange’s proprietary 18k Honeygold, this watch contains a flyback chronograph, a perpetual calendar with an outsize date, and a hidden tourbillon all in one!  Only thanks to the sapphire dial do you see the inner workings of this incredible timepiece from the front. On top of that, almost every single aspect of the thing has been lumed, making for a gorgeous – and incredibly trippy – display of horological artistry.

Lit up, the Honeygold Lumen looks a little out of this world.

Again, hilariously out of my (and most people’s) price range at CHF 600,000+, but it makes me happy that someone out there will be enjoying this timepiece for me.

Read more about this watch here! 

1: Cartier Santos Dumont Rewind

As much as I love the previous few, only one timepiece can take the Watches and Wonders cake. For me, there was no better choice than the news Cartier Santos Dumont Rewind.

Reading the time but backwards

At first glance, it looks like your standard run-of-the-mill Cartier Santos Dumont, except in platinum and sporting a red dial. But then, you notice something a little… off. The numbers are all inverted, running anticlockwise instead of clockwise. As you handle the watch, it also turns out that the hands also run backwards!

Still all the great design cues of Cartier, just in reverse!

It’s such a ridiculous complication, yet it’s both simple and extremely fun to witness! To achieve this, Cartier took the manual wind Cal. 250 MC and -you guessed it – flipped it upside down. I would’ve loved to be a fly on the wall for that boardroom meeting. While impractical, it does make for an elegant yet entertaining statement piece. For me, it encapsulates what Watches and Wonders are all about – pushing the limits of horological achievement, and looking good while doing it!

Read more about this watch here!

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