Geneva is arguably considered ground zero when it comes to luxury watchmaking innovation today. Naturally, it’s a fitting destination to showcase the biggest upcoming watch releases to the world. For the first time in three years, Watches & Wonders Geneva welcomed industry leaders and journalists to preview the most anticipated debuts in person. From bedazzling haute horlogerie to showstopping new takes on timeless classics, we’ve rounded up seven of our favourite highlights from the industry’s biggest watch showcase.
Rolex GMT-Master II
On day one, Rolex set the pace for the rest of the show with its new GMT-Master II. Presented in Oystersteel and a brand-new green and black colourway, it was the first time in the style where the crown was placed to the left side of the dial (along with the date window). A “lefty” or “destro” as some watch nerds would say, it was an unexpected and delightfully inclusive surprise from the brand.
Tudor Black Bay Pro
Another GMT debut at this year’s show, Tudor’s Black Bay Pro is housed in a 39mm Black Bay 58 case and comes with a steel bracelet, woven NATO strap, or rubber with stitched accents. Those with a penchant for vintage-inspired looks will salivate over this timepiece that is equal parts utilitarian as it is handsome.
One of the most show-stopping debuts from the show this year came from Cartier’s Coussin (that’s “cushion” in French) collection. There are two big things to marvel at here. One, they all feature a case set with gems but two models feature stones that are brilliant cut and set inverted. Two, flexible cushion cases. That is, an outer case akin to a flexible mesh that can be “squished” when touched. What a delight!
Chanel J12 X-Ray Red Edition
Red has long been one of Chanel’s signature colours, which it has parlayed into the design of its iconic J12 watch. With a case and bracelet made of crystal sapphire, an 18k white gold bezel, and 46 dazzling rubies on full display, this is a statement for any wrist. True to its X-Ray name, you can see the Caliber 3.1 in-house manufacture movement thanks to the watch’s transparent design.
TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma
Like a rare bird of paradise, this exceptional debut from TAG Heuer features a crown made of one very large lab-grown diamond—a dual display of innovation and opulence. The most expensive watch produced by the brand, diamonds are also featured in the case as well as the polycrystalline diamond dial.
Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques 222
Back in 1977, Vacheron Constantin celebrated 222 years of continuous production with its Les Historiques 222—an instant icon in the brand’s portfolio. Today, the irresistible 222 has been reimagined in the same 18K yellow gold and integrated bracelet but with a few modern touches, including an updated movement.
Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection SBGD209 White Lion
Timepieces certainly fulfil a practical function but they also serve as examples of masterful design and innovation. In some cases, stunning pieces of jewellery that rival the artistry of today’s biggest couture ateliers. Japanese brand Grand Seiko certainly didn’t hold anything back in its Geneva debut. Symbolizing the majesty and strength of its lion symbol, the White Lion features a case and dial adorned with 267 diamonds with 26 black spinels and a Spring Drive 8 Day power reserve.