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WWD’s Seven Best Timepieces From Watches and Wonders 2024

From Hermès’ new play toward women to Rolex’s one-third of an ingot gold timepiece, these watches stood out in this edition.

WWD’s Seven Best Timepieces From Watches and Wonders 2024

Clockwise from top left: Rolex Deepsea, Reflection de Cartier, Piaget Ultimate Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon, IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Eternal Calendar, Tag Heuer Monaco Split-second Chronograph, Patek Golden Ellipse, Hermès Cut.

From the best new shape and fresh takes on refreshed classics to the queen of complications and a jewel that tells time, WWD’s editors pinpoint their favorite new pieces from Watches and Wonders — and those that almost made the cut.

Best New Classic: Patek Philippe 5738 1R Golden Ellipse, $60,097

The Ellipse case, inspired by the golden ratio, is without doubt a timeless shape that became a byword for Patek Philippe in the 1970s and has continued to be successful. But what hit the bull’s-eye this year isn’t the ultra-thin self-winding 240 caliber or even the black sunburst dial that compliments the rose gold livery of the piece: it’s the 363 links mounted by hand of its bracelet. The fact that it can now be adjusted by the wearer without requiring a jeweler to cut it permanently to size had conversations going in Geneva. 

WWD’s Seven Best Timepieces From Watches and Wonders 2024

The Victory bracelet for the latest Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse is made of 363 hand-mounted links.

Runner-up: The Cartier Tank Américaine Mini, with its tiny 24mm dimension.

Best Complication Combination: IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Eternal Calendar, approx. $164,300

Watchmakers are always pushing the boundaries of what is possible and that’s what IWC Schaffhausen delivered with this 44mm model, which is the first secular perpetual calendar that will be accurate until 3999, adjusting for the skipped leap years at the start of every century until the leap year of 2400. What’s more: Its moonphase will be accurate for 45 million years. Yes, you read that right. And that’s a record that more than doubles the previous milestone, also held by IWC.

Runner-up: Vacheron Constantin with its one-of-a-kind Les Cabinotiers Berkley Grand Complication, which has a jaw-dropping 63 complications — including the first traditional Chinese perpetual calendar.

Best Technical Feat: Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon, est. 600,000 euros

By the end of the fair, there wasn’t much left to say about the Piaget AUC Tourbillon, which wowed with its coin-like thickness and its 1.49mm tourbillon movement wedged between a wafer of sapphire and cobalt alloy. All this in a wristwatch that no one could resist trying on, if social media is anything to go by.

WWD’s Seven Best Timepieces From Watches and Wonders 2024

Runner-up: Patek Philippe World Time 5330G-001, the first world-time caliber to have a local date.

Best New Shape: Hermès Cut, From $6,725

A circular dial within a pebble-like round with sharply cut sides, the Hermès Cut made for an interesting shape that balanced a geometric feel with a rounded sportiness. One of the biggest novelties for the French house for this year, this model is geared toward a female consumer looking for an easy yet elegant timekeeper. With a variety of options that range from steel on an integrated bracelet to steel-and-gold on rubber offered in eight colors for now, all with the same quick-release mechanism that allows for easy swapping, the Hermès Cut is meant to reiterate the performance of the H08 watch introduced in 2021 and bring new impetus to Hermès’ successful watchmaking division.

Runner-up: The Cartier Tortue, a classic brought back to life by the “watchmaker of shapes.”

Best Chronograph: Tag Heuer Monaco Split-seconds Chronograph, approx. $150,000

On paper this chronograph has the pedigree and the lineage. In person, it’s a fine watch that honors the split-seconds “queen of complications” movement, an entirely new one developed by Tag Heuer’s director of high-end watchmaking and movements strategy Carole Kasapi with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. A case lightened thanks to grade-5 titanium and sapphire on both sides allows every detail, right down to the gradient stripe on the oscillating mass, to shine. This Monaco iteration edged out its nearest competitor for its unique form factor.

WWD’s Seven Best Timepieces From Watches and Wonders 2024

The sapphire front and back gives a better view on the inner workings of this Monaco.

Runner-up: A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetuel Tourbillon Honeygold “Lumen,” three complications packed in one glow-in-the-dark package, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Datograph line and 30th anniversary of the brand. 

Best Jewel That Gives Time: Reflection de Cartier, From $38,900

There are bracelet watches and then there’s this new bangle by Cartier. Sculptural and sizable, this bold design hits the spot for today’s jewelry consumer too. There’s the plain gold versions but it comes in more-is-more gem-set variants that culminate with the opal, tiger eye, amethyst and spessartite garnet model. And the watch face reflected in the polished side of the bangle feels like a nod to another Cartier move of the fair, the Santos Dumont Rewind. 

Runner-up: A tie between Piaget’s latest Swinging Sautoir and Van Cleef & Arpels’ Lady Arpels Nuit Enchantée prototype watch, with its raw purple sapphires mimicking a geode cavern and cluster of façonné enamel flowers, a patented technique the house has recently developed. 

Best Chunk of Gold: Rolex Deepsea, $52,100

Imagine this one as a third of a gold ingot you can wear on your wrist, with deep-sea credentials to boot. Clocking in at 320 grams, this is not just any divers’ watch. Coming in an unusual combination of 18-karat gold — already a first for the genre — paired with ceramic element and RLX titanium, it marks the emergence of the Deepsea as a pillar for the watchmaking behemoth. 

Runner-up: Tudor’s 18-karat yellow gold Black Bay reference 79018V39-mm, with a matte green dial and a T-fit clasp on its yellow gold bracelet.

WWD’s Seven Best Timepieces From Watches and Wonders 2024

The Rolex Deepsea features a RLX titanium caseback.