Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024: Day 1 Highlights

Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II

In advance of the first day of Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024, we very reasonably wonder about the watches of Rolex. For example, has Rolex won the day yet again? To begin with, the main story at Rolex seems to be about gold but there is a lovely new Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II to discover, as you can see. Obviously, we will have more to say about Rolex later but we will make the point here about some discontinued models and then say no more about it…well ok no more for now.

Ceramic bezel of the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II

On that Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II then, the rumour about the end of a fan-favourite bezel is debunked; take that rumour-mongers (you know who you are). There is also no new Milgauss model in the picture (so I will refrain from using its proper name since it is effectively non-existent). So ends my personal bias here. Sadly, we bid farewell to the Yacht-Master II, which was truly one of the quirkiest chronographs from a major brand ever made. We hear that all palm and fluted dial motifs are also gone, and that will indeed darken some people’s moods.

That is quite a lot to say about watches that just gone. In many ways, the biggest player in fine watchmaking starts the novelty season with the unbeatable advantage of market interest. Everyone who is even vaguely interested in contemporary watchmaking of the mechanical sort will be interested in Rolex. Even if the first news from the brand at Watches and Wonders Geneva does not resonate, at least you can now move on…

TAG Heuer Monaco Split Seconds watch

Read More: The Dynamism of the TAG Heuer Monaco Split Seconds Chronograph

In other news, we had already concluded that we were deeply interested in the TAG Heuer Monaco Split Seconds watch and the Roger Dubuis Central Tourbillon Orbis in Machina, which happen to be our first brand appointments this year. On the first watch, we cover it more extensively elsewhere but reference it here because a new chronograph from TAG Heuer must win the day…except for the earlier note. Just consider for a moment the new calibre TH81-00, which was developed by Vaucher, under the direction of TAG Heuer movements director Carole Forestier-Kasapi. It is a fascinating story that began with a unique project that deserves its own space.

Roger Dubuis Central Tourbillon

On the other hand, the Roger Dubuis Central Tourbillon is both something of a staple for the brand and a special creation – not many watchmakers attempt the central tourbillon and not one does so in such theatrical fashion. The watch itself is a showcase for the Hallmark of Geneva, otherwise known as the Poincon de Geneve; all the exquisite finishing touches emblematic of Geneva fine watchmaking are present in both calibre RD 115 and the case.

Poincon de Geneve

In fact, the Poincon de Geneve honours the quality of the entire watch, not just one aspect or another. In many ways, a watch that has earned the Hallmark of Geneva is a great way to start your Geneva watchmaking tour. Well, it was a good way to start ours anyway. We note for the record here that Orbis in Machina is a part of the regular collection, making this the first time the central tourbillon has become an integral part of the Roger Dubuis collection. It is still a limited edition in this specific version, with just 88 slated for production.

Patek Philippe Ref. 5330G-001

Before we get too long in the tooth here, we have to include a brief introduction for another Geneva watchmaker, Patek Philippe. Our appointment will be tomorrow but we can hardly let day one of the watch fair go by without chiming in on what this titan of fine watchmaking has revealed. Happily, the big story is about Ref. 5330G-001, the first worldtimer with date synched with local time. More on that one tomorrow.

For more on the luxury watch reads and the latest in Watches and Wonders Geneva 2024, click here.

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