The Watches We'd Buy From Watches & Wonders
Team Watchonista picks the watches we’d spend our hard-earned journalistic dollars on.
This year's Watches & Wonders has seen the release of a slew of new novelties from close to 40 brands. From highly complicated Reversos to cotton candy-colored bronze beauties, there was something for everyone at this virtual exhibition.
Marco Gabella – Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar in Platinum
The new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar is a worthy descendant of Roman rationalist architecture. Inspired by the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, also called the Square Colosseum, this neo-classic platinum Octo is playing with light while striking the right balance of finishing.
With a unique perpetual calendar complication displayed at the top of the timepiece, this watch is super readable in the abyssal blue colorway. A combination of materials and texture sublimates the radicalism of the Octo's design. Special mention goes to the blue matte alligator strap that complements the execution with ergonomic fit and chicness.
Josh Shanks – Oris Divers Sixty-Five “Cotton Candy”
The last week has seen a fair amount of controversial releases, including a certain Black Panther watch. And the situation is only made worse when the release cycle gets filled with hate and vitriol from collectors and social media pundits when brands release watches that don't fit their heritage or DNA.
However, one brand that continues to bring a smile to my face and its collectors and enthusiasts is Oris. The humble brand from Hölstein is at it again with the Divers Sixty-Five “Cotton Candy." To me, the watch is a fun take on the county fair, plus, I don’t think I saw a single negative comment about it online. It shows that brands can release desirable products that don’t offend or alienate their customer base.
Steven Rogers – Maurice Lacroix Aikon Master Grand Date
Its 45mm steel case might be a tad large for my wrist, but I will go with the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Master Grand Date. It has a lot going for it: An eye-catching blue dial featuring a harmonious layout with a large date complication and exposed escapement, plus great views of the well-decorated, manufacture-developed automatic caliber through the display back, including the skeletonized winding rotor and three-quarter plate with polished bevels. At CHF 7,500, it represents excellent value.
Viviana Shanks – IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph 41
With the risk of repeating myself, the piece that I like and would consider buying is the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 in a blue dial and blue leather strap, as I mentioned in my IWC novelties round-up. This Pilot’s Chrono is one of the pieces that, with its upgrades, has ergonomic proportions and an easy strap change system that makes the watch perfect for the 21st-century watch lover without breaking the bank. Additionally, the IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph 41mm is powered by the in-house calibre 69385, giving IWC a whole new level of notoriety.
Kristen Shirley – Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921
Katarina Shoulders – H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Mega Cool
If I'm coming out of Watches & Wonders with one watch, it is going to be something that makes me a lot cooler than I am. Of course, that watch is the Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds Mega Cool. The tropical blue lagoon fumé dial makes me want to dip my toes in the water and grab a glass of tequila. With plenty of water resistance and bright Globolight lume, this watch is right up my alley.
Hyla Bauer – Piaget Limelight Gala
When I first laid eyes on the Piaget Limelight Gala, I fell in love. I love many, many, other watches as well, but the Limelight Gala, with its diamond-set bezel curving onto the strap, is a firm favorite. If money were no object, I would buy this year's rose gold model with the mother of pearl dial and white strap. The combination of rose gold and white is refreshing, and while I would wear it all year long, it would look great with a tan in the summer.
Victoria Gomelsky – Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds. Twenty-one years ago, I bought a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso at the Patpong Night Market in Bangkok. The watch was fake and soon turned my wrist green, but I fell in love with the historic model anyway. This year, I’m coveting the new Reverso Tribute Small Seconds with the lush green dial — no shame in being green this time!
Vittorio Della Canonica – Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Quadriptyque
Many attractive watches came out at Watches & Wonders. I appreciate Tudor's efforts to differentiate itself, and I have to admit the new BB58 collection is getting better and better every year! Despite these novelties, a watch from Jaeger-LeCoultre took my complete interest: the Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque. It is, of course, out of my budget. However, the way JLC managed to put "the universe" on our wrist is something I was not expecting to see. Bravo JLC, the best just got better.
Rhonda Riche – Cartier Tank Must with Burgundy Dial
While the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Quadriptyque and the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar are now on my grail list, it’s unlikely that I will ever own one. I would buy the Cartier Must Tank in Burgundy. True, I already have an original Le Must de Cartier; it doesn’t matter. The heart wants what the heart wants!