Geneva Watch Days 2023: a report in wrist-shots
Since most readers have been inundated with press releases, official photos and impressions from various publications, I will keep my report short, using only wrist-shots. The order is purely chronological – based on my schedule. Enjoy!
URWERK UR-100V Stardust
It has become somewhat of a tradition to start GWD with URWERK. A brand that I adore for its unusual, yet complex design. Their UR-100V Stardust adds the superb snow-set with 400 brilliant-cut diamonds to the already well-known satellite design. Although it is not specifically intended for the feminine market, the Stardust brings a touch of elegance and finesse characteristic to a discerning lady collector.
De Bethune DB28XP Kind of Blue
The master of blue shades, De Bethune does not disappoint this autumn with a mostly blue presence – the DB28XP Kind of Blue. This marvel combines the DB28XP with a completely blue look inspired by the DB28 Kind of Blue. As the name suggests, this piece is an ode to blue: the case, dial, movement and strap all bear the unforgettable shade that has become the signature of this fantastic independent brand. The flexible lugs and extensive use of titanium make this watch a comfortable yet eye-catching accessory.
MB&F HM9 ‘Sapphire Vision’
It is no secret that MB&F is a pioneer in terms of watch design, the materials it uses and its horological mechanics. This year, the Horological Machine No. 9 Flow has received a sapphire case, making it more open and spectacular than ever. The entire concept makes the movement float on the wrist, allowing the collector to study and enjoy the most hidden details of the dual balance wheel movement.
H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Tourbillon Concept Vantablack
Moser Watches can now be considered veterans in the use of Vantablack® – one of the darkest materials ever produced. The problem with this beautiful material is the fragility of the carbon nanotubes, which makes it difficult to work with. The result is magical, though: a watch featuring a dial coated with this material appears to have its hands hovering over the abyss.
Hautlence Sphere Series 1
Some of you may already be familiar with the Sphere concept, but don’t be fooled. Similar in many aspects, the new Sphere Series 1 is a new design with improvements made to the modularity of the movement and the design of the sphere (which is now much lighter and easier to be driven). The minute display has also been redesigned with a new retrograde system and 3D Globolight® minute indexes.
DOXA SUB 300 β Sharkhunter
DOXA Watches surprises the market with an unusual proposal – a fully equipped tool watch in a black ceramic case with an 18K 3N gold bezel and crown. The versatility of the DOXA SUB 300 β Sharkhunter defies norms: from a more business or evening outfit to a full diving suit, the watch lends itself to anything you can think of. The full black/gold theme is offered at an impressive price point, making it a unique proposal on the market.
Czapek & Cie Place Vendôme Complicité
Czapek & Cie and Bernhard Lederer have collaborated this year to bring a new piece in the Place Vendôme Collection: a double escapement combination initially created in 1930 and very rarely used in wristwatches. As with many of Czapek’s recent watches, the Place Vendôme Complicité features a superb open design which reveals the exceptional Lederer dual escapement and some modifications to the case.
Byrne Gyro Dial Zero in gold with a diamond touch
The recently launched Byrne watch continues to play with the “one watch, 4 faces” concept. The design is taken one step further by using diamonds set in the rotating indexes. While the idea seems easy to implement, the technical difficulties are not to be ignored. The open dial is an unusual sight, revealing part of the mechanism. It is nice to see how design and mechanics are evolving.
Bianchet B1.618 Flying Tourbillon Grande Date
I was first introduced to Bianchet at Baselworld 2019. This young independent brand plays with the golden ratio Phi 1.618. The Fibonacci sequence is a natural number that surrounds us in the most unusual places. Bianchet adds a grand date complication to the sporty B1.618 Tourbillon. As expected, the design of the new piece follows the natural succession.
Ulysse Nardin BLAST Free Wheel Marquetry
A very technical design from the independent Ulysse Nardin, the Free Wheel has received a new decoration using silicon tiles in matte and polished finishes. The highly complex mechanics using silicon escapement now benefits from the beauty of this high-tech material – silicon, a relatively new material used in watchmaking. The new shape of the case emphasizes the openness of the design, allowing the light to play on the silicon marquetry.
A recently launched independent brand, Haute-Rive brings a few innovations to a traditional looking watch: 1000 hours of power reserve from a single barrel design using a tourbillon. White or black enamel dials highlight the nicely executed finishes of the visible front components. The large, fluted bezel serves as a barrel winder, which makes the mechanism even more interesting. The design and the execution are very promising. I am looking forward to seeing how this new brand will evolve.
Bernhard Lederer Central Impulse Chronometer
Bernhard Lederer has extensive experience in watchmaking and a deep knowledge of escapement design. His watches have become increasingly complex over the years. After last year’s improvement to the escapement of the Central Impulse Chronometer, this year’s improvement is more visually obvious but equally significant – the two seconds hands will always remain synchronized for the sake of aesthetics, using a complex mechanical innovation.
During Watches & Wonders I was introduced to a new brand, Artime – a newly launched independent brand founded by a handful of industry veterans. As one might expect from this team, the ART01 inaugural piece is a feast of mechanical design and finishes. Since the spring, the brand has been concentrating on improving design and finishes. The piece seen during GWD was a clear, visible step forward – demonstrating that the brand has considered all the input received during W&W.
Claude Meylan Lionne Dentelle
A historic brand, Claude Meylan focused on the feminine clientele with three versions of the Lionne Dentelle. A skeletonized and colored mechanical movement with a delicate decoration and a subtle case make the Claude Meylan Lionne Dentelle an exceptional and attractive watch for a lady.
LAURENT FERRIER Sport Auto 40
When one hears the name LAURENT FERRIER, one can only expect exclusivity, exceptional mechanics and a subtle yet pertinent unique design. The Sport Auto 40 features a great metal bracelet mounted on a beautiful watch. While the green dial is superb, the strength of this watch remains the beautiful mechanical movement.
“The World Is Yours” Dual Time Zone watch by Jacob & Co.
Jacob & Co. touches the sensibilities with a Dual Time Zone watch inspired by the piece Jacob received from his father at the age of fourteen. A lovely domed dial presents two inclined time zones surrounded by the world itself. Although the watch may seem simple compared to the brand’s usual bombastic pieces, “The World Is Yours” Dual Time Zone watch reveals the brand’s expertise in materials and finishes, as well as its mechanical know-how (referring to the inclined indications featured by a straight movement).
Maurice Lacroix AIKON Skeleton Urban Tribe
A new limited series, already sold out, plays with the concept of an urban piece. It combines the tribal decoration with the skeletonized dial already present in the collection. Attractive and firmly anchored in modern urban design, the new watch continues the versatility of the AIKON line.
Frederique Constant Classic Power Reserve Big Date Manufacture
The 31st caliber of Frederique Constant celebrates the brand’s 35th anniversary. A big date, moon phase and power reserve are presented in three versions in platinum, rose gold and steel. The platinum version features a navy-blue meteorite dial. All three versions are spectacular and reveal the strengths of the brand: a complex watch manufacture whose development is enriched by beautiful designs.
Alpina Alpiner Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years
In June, Alpina Watches celebrated the 140th anniversary with the launch of two landmark models featuring the authentic 1938 hand-wound Caliber 490. For GWD, two new contemporary pieces feature traditional Alpina dial designs but modern movements.
Greubel Forsey Balancier Convexe S2 and Double Balancier Convexe in carbon
Perfectionists in every detail, Greubel Forsey play with materials and visual depths. In keeping with its innovative approach, the brand has reinterpreted two of its highly technical pieces. The new releases are proof that a new material is not a problem for an experienced watchmaker but rather a new opportunity to discover new depths of innovation.
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Small Seconds
One of my favorite men’s timepieces, the Octo Finissimo received a new outfit – carbon. The race for thinness was not the brand’s main objective, but despite this remark, the 40mm diameter and the 6.9mm thickness reveal a deep knowledge of working with forged carbon. With its rose gold details, this watch is a worthy successor in the Octo lineage. Extremely light and easy to wear, the Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Small Seconds makes me reconsider my love for the titanium version in favor of this novelty.
Oris x Bracenet Aquis Date
One of the most prolific brands when it comes to raising awareness about the degradation of the environment, the polluted oceans or those who fight against it, Oris continues its line of collaborations with a new piece. The Oris x Bracenet Aquis Date comes with unique dials made from recycled materials. Not only are the pieces beautiful tool watches, but they also indirectly help clean up the oceans and raise awareness.
Gerald Charles Maestro GC Sport Grass
Although the conditions were not ideal for taking pictures, I was still able to enjoy the novelties from Gerald Charles. As much as I wanted to show you the latest Maestro 8.0 Squelette, it was impossible for me to take pictures of it. But I did enjoy the Maestro GC Sport Grass – a beautiful textured green dial with a slight fumé accent. As one can notice, the crown is on the left side, making it an excellent choice for the left-handed people who want to wear the watch on their right wrist, or who prefer to keep the watch on their left wrist and not be bothered by the crown…
Perrelet Turbine Titanium 41
For the second half of the year, Perrelet, the master of automatic watches, presents new versions of its Turbine in 41mm titanium. Several dial and bracelet colors and a metal bracelet make this new lightweight model an interesting proposal for a larger audience.
Arnold & Son Perpetual Moon 38 Mintnight
The maker of the largest “Moons” in the industry, Arnold & Son presents a new version of the small 38mm Perpetual Moon with diamonds and a soft gradation of the colored mother-of-pearl dial. The ruthenium crystal on the dial, including the moon, adds a new sparkle to this colorful ladies’ watch.
Corum Concept Watch
With an exceptional mechanical construction using a vertical movement, sapphire bridges and an aventurine plate, the Concept Watch plays with the idea of recycling. Using recycled titanium and “recycled” Corum components, the brand has created a perfect fusion of organic shapes and sustainable materials in a recognizable style.
Krayon Anywhere Métiers d’Art Azur
What if you could tell the exact time of sunrise and sunset anywhere on the planet? This is exactly what Anywhere does – it indicates the duration of the day and the time the sun rises and sets at any point on the globe. And it does so in a magnificent package, with a Métiers d’Art dial and a superbly finished movement. By the way, the brand has its own set of decorations.
Ressence TYPE 3 EE
The pastel Eucalyptus Green presence at GWD is a fun and enjoyable variation of the complex TYPE 3. Immersed in a special oil, the time indication can be set from the caseback which acts as a crown. The complex mechanism can set the time, the date and the day of the week by simply rotating the caseback. Another special feature of these pieces is the oil used for the submerged indication – a complex set of properties and scarcity.
Singer Reimagined Singer 1969
Inspired by the iconic designs of the 60’s and 70’s, Singer Reimagined launched two exceptional pieces with a bold look. A new three-hand model and a new chronograph play with the brand’s well-known visual elements in a vintage interpretation. The movements are again designed and produced by Agenhor to unique Singer specifications.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute 8Tech
A GP classic, the Laureato has been taken straight into the future with avant-garde materials and groundbreaking technology. Due to the technological process, the octagonal carbon bezel and the case feature a random structure, making each watch virtually unique. The multi-level dial and the integrated tech strap contribute to this next-level GP piece, which is nevertheless instantly recognizable as a Girard-Perregaux Laureato.
Armin Strom One Week First Edition
Armin Strom launched its first in-house caliber in 2010. Featuring an architecturally open construction, the caliber was a huge step forward. The One Week First Edition plays with the 13-year-old concept, offering a new interpretation of the Armin Strom design language. The manually wound sports watch features a seven-day power reserve thanks to two symmetrically positioned barrels. The blue PVD finishes highlight the haute horlogerie hand-finishing.