During Watches & Wonders, the world’s largest watch fair in Geneva, dozens of the most important watch houses display their wares. Rolex, Cartier and Patek Philippe are just a small selection of all the beautiful things that are available. The so-called classics are unmistakable: their appearance and quality remain unchanged. Compare it with a Gerrit Rietveld chair in your home, or a Birkin Bag on your arm. Watches & wonders presents the best luxury watch brands you can imagine.
Watches & Wonders Geneva
Every manufacturer would love to present a new equivalent of the Birkin Bag. A watch with instant sex appeal, that is as stylized as it is proportioned, technically innovative, in line with the heritage of the house. And very important with the potential to become a true classic. But how do you do that? In a sea of sports watches and diamond settings, it’s mainly about the uniqueness. And striking this year: radical durability of the materials used.
Leather is increasingly vegan. Even made from apple peels at Cartier, gold is reused and the thermostat in the office is turned down a degree. But actually, the world of haute Horlogerie has always been quite sustainable. After all, the products are passed on from generation to generation.
Another clear development is that of gender neutrality. This means that luxury watch brands encourage customers to build up a common collection together with their partner. The idea is as simple as it is ingenious. The ‘male’ models gradually become more polished and smaller, while the ‘female’ models become tougher and bigger.
In many ways, the Rolex Datejust is the archetypal watch. In fact, the world’s first waterproof self-winder has barely changed its appearance since 1945. But now a small revolution is taking place: a dial with a floral pattern, with small diamonds on it.
Where Hermès’ timepieces were known until short as ‘fashion watches’ – as if they were accessories such as the well-known leather goods and scarves – Hermès spent the corona crisis developing a very own mechanical timepiece. In terms of designs, things have always been good at the French house, and the ‘Lesfolies du ciel’ is now added to that. It pays homage to the first balloonists in the style of cinematographer Georges Méliès.
Cartier, which has more than earned its spurs in the world of accessories, jewelry and watches, presents the stunning Coussin de Cartier. In contrast to classic models such as the Tank Must and the Panthère de Cartier, the case is made of a flexible, soft material. It is – the name gives it away – a bit like a pillow, with a hard mechanical core; a completely unique concept in the watch world.
Despite the fact that Piaget considers watchmaking as a strictly aesthetic matter. There is an automatic movement in the case that is not inferior to the very best. But in the end, of course, it’s all about the flamboyant appearance that, paved with 174 diamonds and 22 green tsavorites, is a real conversation starter.
As a specialist in the field of complex timepieces. Patek Philippe has extensive experience in the field of moon phases (watch with special moon phase indication). Patek has raised the level of elegance considerably: a white gold case has blue hands and the dial has airbrushed sun rays. To underline the cosmic theme once again, there was a double row with, yes, 132 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Following in the footsteps of Hermès, fashion brand Chanel has also taken up the production of extremely complicated and expensive watches. The result is a special sportswatch-like design with a flying tourbillon, with which Chanel has taken unprecedented technical steps. That mechanism looks great because of the openwork cabinet. With a lot of diamonds, of course.