Cartier Reflection de Cartier watch from Partridge

Keeping up with the times — these are the year’s most covetable timepieces

Horologists across the globe make annual pilgrimages to the numerous watch industry’s showcases of their finest new timepieces. Here, we explore the new and the noteworthy launches from the world’s most desirable watchmakers.

Blue is Hot

Okay, maybe it’s not the warmest colour, but blue faces definitely made their mark across the board this season, with stellar examples from TAG Heuer, Rolex, Breitling, and Seiko. 

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At TAG Heuer, the new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Skipper juxtaposed a rose gold case with a sea-blue dial and sub-dials in eau-de-nil, brilliant orange and emerald, crisply segmented in the manner of maritime flags. The whole thing is anchored between a deep blue textile strap – the perfect sea-faring, or sea-fancying watch wearer’s acquisition. 

“Bigger, badder, and with the ability to go way deeper, Rolex released a new solid-gold Deepsea in the mould of the blue and gold Submariner”.

Breitling’s classic Navitimer, already slimmed down in 2022, came out in an icy pale blue hue for 2024, making this most collectible of watches — originally created in 1952 for pilots — even more desirable. With the option of alligator leather straps or stainless steel bracelets, the new editions make this bucket list watch even more irresistible.

Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive model may sport a blue dial, but it’s the texture, not the colour that appeals, it’s face as choppy as waves on the high seas. 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea watch from Partridge
Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Spring Drive watch from Partridge
Breitling Navitimer Automatic GMT 41 watch from Partridge
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Skipper watch from Partridge

Precious Time

Jewellery watches always delight, when it’s less about complications and movements and more about the sheer aesthetics of the design. At Cartier, the new Reflection de Cartier design is a masterclass in the jewellery/watch hybrid – a chunky bangle of a watch that not only hides a timepiece at the end of a bangle but sets it opposite a mirror polished twin. In plain golds, pavé-set diamonds and a mesmerising version in green and black hardstone, it’s a hyper-modern, sculptural twist on a jewellery watch.

Cartier Reflection de Cartier watch from Partridge
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce watch from Partridge
Breguet Reine de Naples 8918 watch from Partridge
Lady Arpels Jour Enchanté from Van Cleef & Arpels

At Breguet, the new Reine de Naples watch, based on the world’s first wristwatch created in 1812 for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples and sister of Napoleon, comes with a grand feu enamel dial set with diamonds on an eau-de-nil calfskin strap, a most elegant addition to the range.

At Van Cleef & Arpels, the métiers d’arts are exhibited best in the Lady Arpels Jour Enchanté watch, depicting a winged woman picking flowers at dawn. Utilising façonné and plique-à-jour enamel and inlaid with turquoise, the watch took 180 hours of work for the dial alone – a true example of the house’s exemplary savoir-faire. 

And finally to Patek Philippe, who presented a new version of the Aquanaut Luce model in white gold with a dial embellished with a checkerboard pattern of diamonds and sapphires, and a bezel sporting a soft gradient of baguette-cut sapphires ranging from pale to dark blue. 

Wonderful Creations

Another year, another sublime automaton from Van Cleef & Arpels, this time featuring a sapphire and diamond plumed bird emerging from a dome of lusciously lacquered leaves, the entirety perched on a display of Dalmatian Jasper and rare, crimson-flecked thulite. Sweet dreams are made of these.

Apparition des Baies from Van Cleef & Arpels

Bold is Better

When Bulgari launched the Octo Finissimo in 2017 with a depth of 5.15mm, people were impressed. Little wonder the new Octo Finissimo Ultra Cosc launched this year at a depth of just 1.7mm drew gasps. It’s the thinnest mechanical watch in the world, but also sports the thinnest ever COSC chronometer. Add to that the fact that the watch just exudes futuristic cool, and you’ve got one hell of a contender for launch of the year.

Gucci surprised the horological world with the launch of the 25H Minute Repeater in an ultra thin format, with an invisible activation mechanism (the wearer simply rotates the bezel) and Roman numerals set in a minimalist dial on a rubber strap – it’s cooler than cool. 

At IWC Schaffhausen, it was the Portugieser Chronograph that received an update with three new versions, the most striking boasting an obsidian dial in a sleek gold case with black calfskin strap. Classic, with a twist.

Octo Finissimo watch from Bulgari
IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 watch from Partridge
25h Minute Repeater watch from Gucci


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