While it may be a stretch to describe luxury watches as trendy, there’s no denying that Swiss watchmakers are conscious of the zeitgeist, and have begun to embrace it in meaningful ways. The timepiece trends spotted at Watches and Wonders Geneva, and highlighted below, are proof of that.
A refreshing sign that high-end watchmakers are no longer taking themselves quite so seriously is the proliferation of lighthearted, eccentric styles introduced over the past year.
Richard Mille kicked things off last September with the RM88 Automatic Tourbillon Smiley, a serious watch with a golden smiley face centrally placed on the skeletonized dial, alongside other emblems of good times, including a blossoming flower, sun rays, a pineapple, a blooming cactus, a pink flamingo, and a rainbow.
In February, Jacob & Co. took the notion of play in a much more literal direction with the introduction of the Casino Tourbillon, a $280,000 watch featuring a real spinning roulette wheel on the dial.
Rolex, however, sealed the deal in Geneva with a bevy of unexpectedly festive timepieces, from its bubbly new Oyster Perpetual watch to an off-catalogue Day-Date 36 model featuring a colorful jigsaw motif on the dial—available in 18k yellow, white, or Everose gold.
That’s not all: The watch displays an inspirational keyword in English—Happy, Eternity, Gratitude, Peace, Faith, Love, and Hope—in the arc-shape aperture at 12 o’clock (replacing the day of the week). And in the window at 3 o’clock, wearers see one of 31 exclusive emojis in place of the date. Color us impressed!
The watchmakers who showed in Geneva have something in common with their counterparts in fashion: They’re seeing red. The color appeared on dials, straps, and accent details in new introductions from Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Roger Dubuis, Oris, and even Patek Philippe, to name just a handful of brands that adorned their newest timepieces in pops of scarlet, crimson, and cherry.
Move over green. Step aside blue. The reigning dial color of 2023 is a warm shade of pink that most brands described as salmon. Seen at Bulgari, Cartier, Chopard, MB&F, and Vacheron Constantin, among others, the shade acts as a neutral counterpoint to the saturated hues that lately have dominated watch fashion.
Time on a String
A throwback to an earlier era, when women were not expected to know the time, pendant watches that doubled as elegant deco-style necklaces appeared at Bovet, Chanel, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Providing watch lovers with a peek inside the movement is hardly a new concept. What is new about the slew of skeletonized timepieces we saw in Geneva is the contemporary approach watchmakers are collectively taking—from displaying a movement flipped over to reveal its extraordinary complexity, as Montblanc did with its new 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph Limited Edition, to encasing an open-worked movement in a case fashioned from a block of transparent sapphire crystal, as Hublot did with its Square Bang Unico Sapphire watch.
Top: Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 emoji puzzle watch in 36 mm 18k white gold case, price on request; RolexFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine