Chamath’s Picks for Watches and Wonders 2024

by Chamath Gamage

Now that the dust has settled on the Watches and Wonders and I have had some time to think about all the watches I had the pleasure of handling, let’s see what stood out for me.

This year’s fair was all about complicated pieces. Well, for me, at least, it felt that way. As expected, the showcase booths did not disappoint, especially from brands such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Van Cleef and Arpels, Ulysse Nardin, A. Lange & Sohne, to name a few. 

Cartier Santos Dumont “Rewind”

Cartier Showcased some great-looking watches during the fair, and while they had some show-stoppers, my pick from the latest releases is the “Rewind.” 

Why the “Rewind”? 

For one, it’s not a complicated watch. What’s complicated is how you read time on this watch. Since the numerals are inverted or running anti-clockwise, the time is essentially read backwards. So you read the time from 11 to 1 as it is supposed to read from 1 to 12. 

This watch will be somewhat difficult to understand at first, but it will definitely keep you on your toes when reading time. So, for this coolness factor, it gets my pick from the brand. 

It comes in a platinum case with a burgundy dial and looks seriously great on the wrist!

Jaeger LeCoultre Duometer Chronograph Moon 

I always get excited to see the new booth setup for the brand, as each year they outdo themselves, and this year was no different. 

Themed “The Precision Maker”  this year, it was all about the Duometer collections. I, for one, was really excited to see this as this collection really sums up what the brand is capable of – precision watchmaking. 

Why the “Chronograph Moon”?

For starters, the Platinum case with the copper dial is a seriously good-looking combination. If that weren’t enough, staring at the dial and caseback, you would realise how phenomenal the Duometer mechanism is.

The manual wind calibre 391 has twin barrels and two geat trains (you can see the power reserve in each barrel on the dial side at 5 and 7 o’clock). On the dial side is where it gets all exciting. At 2 o’clock, the chronograph counters and moon phase are all displayed as one. At 6 o’clock is the jumping 1/6th of a second. The hour/minutes with the day-night indicator is displayed at 9 o’clock. 

The Duometer Chrono moon is very theatrical on the wrist. To appreciate it, you must see the motion of the central second hand running with the chrono second hand and jumping seconds at 6 o’clock. 

TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph 

I am a fan of chronographs, and when I first heard of the Onlywatch submission from the brand, the only watch Monaco Rattarapante 

Fast forward to 2024, I was excited to see what the brand would release for Watches and Wonders, and they did not disappoint. 

Why the “Monaco Split-second Chronograph”?

Rattrapante, or the Split-seconds chronograph, is one of the most complicated watches the brand has created to date. Its function is to measure the timing of two separate events simultaneously. A perfect example of this is measuring the delta between coming first and second in a race and how appropriate for the brand given their involvement with racing.

The TH81-00 calibre movement was created in partnership with esteemed manufacturer Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. It is made entirely of titanium and is TAG Heuer’s lightest mechanical chronograph movement to date. Operating at a high-frequency rate of 5Hz, the TH81-00 calibre produces a 65-hour power reserve and 55 hours when the chronograph is in operation. 

Carol Forestier-Kasapi, the brand’s movement director, perfectly sums up what this watch means to the brand. 

“Every Component of the watch reflects our passion for horological artistry.”

Rolex 1908 Platinum with an Ice-Blue Dial 

Launched in 2023, the 1908 collection belongs to the perpetual collection and is a reinterpretation of traditional horological style imbued with the quintessential expertise and aesthetic heritage of Rolex.

Why the “Platinum with an Ice-Blue dial.”?

The standout features for me are the ice blue dial featuring a guilloche rice-grain motif and the minute track, which is surrounded by a filet sauté with a crimped pattern, also guilloché.

39mm platinum case has an open caseback (rare for Rolex ) that showcases the calibre 7140 and is paired with a brown alligator leather strap. It looks so great on the wrist (well, at least on my wrist, anyway!)

This version of the 1908 will change how the whole collection is viewed!

A.Lange & Sohne Datograph Perpetual Honeygold “Lumen”

First released in 2016, Datograph Perpetual has been a great success for the brand. This year at Watches and Wonders, the brand went all out in creating the Honeygold Lumen version!

Why the Datograph Perpetual Honeygold “Lumen”?

Three complications in one watch: the perpetual calendar, Flyback Chronograph, and neatly tucked-away tourbillon. Perhaps the best feature of this watch is not the complications but the Lume.

It looks as if the entire dial has been coated in lume, which is displayed through the crystal clear sapphire dial. The watch’s hands, subdials, date window, tachymeter scale on the outer flange of the dial, you name, its been coated in lume. What this ultimately does is, give the watch an unrivalled appearance at night. All of this is encased in the brand’s famous 18k Honeygold case, which completes luxury look of this high-complication timepiece.

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