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04/13/2024
 7 minutes

Watches and Wonders 2024: Patek Philippe, Ulysse Nardin, and More

By Sebastian Swart
Grand-Seiko-2-1

Watches and Wonders 2024: Patek Philippe & More

This year, 54 watch manufacturers unveiled their new 2024 models at the Watches and Wonders international trade show held in Geneva, Switzerland, from April 9 to 12. We’ll show you the most interesting new releases from Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, IWC, Grand Seiko, Ulysse Nardin and Piaget.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/60G

The annual Watches and Wonders is always a home game for Geneva-based luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe. This year, Patek unveiled a number of interesting new models, including rose and white gold Aquanaut models, as well as several new pieces from their Complications and Grand Complications collections. For decades, however, most people have come to know Patek Philippe as the home of the legendary Nautilus. This year saw the release of the new reference 5980/60G.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/60G
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/60G

The Nautilus 5980/60G is a flyback chronograph powered by the in-house CH 28‑520 C movement. It combines a central three-hand time display with a subdial featuring a three-scale display at 6 o’clock. There’s also a date complication at 3 o’clock. The caliber contains the patented Gyromax® balance and Spiromax® balance spring. This watchmaking masterpiece, with its 21-karat gold rotor, can be enjoyed through the watch’s sapphire crystal case back. The dial of this timepiece is opaline blue-gray and, typical of the Nautilus collection, horizontally embossed, providing an additional, wonderful dimension of depth.

Patek Philippe houses all this in a 40.5 mm white gold case that is 12.2 mm thick and water-resistant to 30 meters (3 bar, 98 feet). It comes on a denim-patterned calfskin strap, as well as with an additional blue-gray composite material strap with a fabric pattern.

Patek Philippe lists this timepiece at €77,640 (approx. $83,300).

Grand Seiko SBGJ277 “Sekkei”

Grand Seiko once again put its creativity on display this year, presenting a series of fresh new models, one of the most exciting of which is the Grand Seiko SBGJ277 “Sekkei” with a GMT function. Grand Seiko’s GMT watch references begin with SBG. They enjoy a long tradition with the watchmaker and various models of them have been a cornerstone of the Grand Seiko catalog for years, with the Grand Seiko SBGJ277 “Sekkei” now taking its place among the beautiful watches in this collection with its exciting technology.

Grand Seiko GMT SBGJ277 "Sekkei"
Grand Seiko GMT SBGJ277 “Sekkei”

The stainless steel case of the SBGJ277 “Sekkei” is 44.2 mm wide and 14.8 mm thick, making it a watch for larger wrists. This is further emphasized by its lug-to-lug measurement of just over 50 mm. Grand Seiko drew inspiration for the color design of this watch from the so-called Sekkei (雪渓), or “snowy valley,” something you’ll notice most of all on the dial that, upon closer inspection, has the structure of fallen snow. The dial also has silver applied bar indices, with a date complication at 4 o’clock. And in green and white, the 24-hour sapphire GMT bezel complements this winter look beautifully.

Inside beats the in-house Grand Seiko caliber 9S86, which oscillates at 36,000 vibrations per hour (5 Hz) and delivers a power reserve of 55 hours when fully wound. The watch comes on a three-link stainless steel bracelet, and officially costs $6,800.

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon 150th Anniversary

2024 marks the 150th anniversary of the Genevan Maison Piaget. It’s the perfect occasion for the luxury watchmaker to release a tourbillon watch. And not just any tourbillon watch, of course, but the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon 150th Anniversary, the thinnest of its kind in the world. What exactly is this timepiece?

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Piaget is once again pushing the boundaries of what’s technologically possible in a watch. The Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon 150th Anniversary is unbelievably thin, with a total thickness of only 2 mm, which includes its sapphire crystal. This is made possible by its ultra-thin in-house caliber 970P-UC. This hand-wound tourbillon movement is housed in a 41-mm blue cobalt alloy, PVD-treated case. It beats at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) and has a 40-hour power reserve. Its offset time subdial is located between 12 and 1 o’clock, while the tourbillon is located at 10. The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon 150th Anniversary is also water-resistant to 20 meters.

Although Piaget has not disclosed how many pieces it will produce of this spectacular timepiece, the company does make clear that it takes an entire year to produce a single watch. As to how much this watch will set you back, the price is available exclusively upon request.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Moon Phase Retrograde Date

20 years of Patrimony – reason enough for Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin to celebrate with those who love the brand. VC presented three new models at Watches and Wonders 2024. Let’s take a closer look at the Patrimony Moonphase Retrograde Date.

Patrimony Mondphase mit retrograder Datumsanzeige
Patrimony Moonphase Retrograde Date

Vacheron Constantin is going with an understated, timeless look with this new Patrimony. That’s why the watchmaker went with a sunburst dial with what VC calls an “old silver tone.” The hands and hour markers are made of rose gold, which provides a sophisticated contrast to the dial. The date is displayed in retro fashion along the top half of the dial, while the moon phase complication is located at 6 o’clock.

This 42.5 mm white gold watch is water-resistant up to 30 meters (3 bar, 98 feet) and powered by the in-house automatic caliber 2460 R31L. Its moon phase complication tracks the lunar cycle of 29 days, 12 hours, and 45 minutes, and requires only one manual correction every 122 years. Its movement ticks away at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz) and delivers a power reserve of 48 hours. The caliber can be admired through the sapphire crystal case back; a Maltese cross has been integrated into the 22-karat gold rotor. The timepiece is completed by an olive green Mississippi alligator leather strap with a white gold tang buckle.

Ulysse Nardin Freak [S Nomad]

No hands, no dial, no crown. You do however get components made of silicon, a metalloid the watchmaker has been using since 2001 for e.g. the balance wheels on the Freak. Just in time for Watches and Wonders, Ulysse Nardin is continuing this manufacturing trend with its brand-new Freak S Nomad. Let’s look at this watch – which, by the way, is limited to only 99 pieces.

The Freak S Nomad has a 45-mm anthracite-colored, PVD-coated titanium case with carbon fiber side plates. As with all Ulysse Nardin models, the minutes are indicated by a large central flying carousel (the movement itself) that rotates on its axis and serves as the minute hand, while the hour disc rotates underneath. By releasing the latch at the six o’clock position, you can move the bezel to set the time.

Ulysse Nardin Freak [S Nomad]
Ulysse Nardin Freak [S Nomad]
All this is made possible by the automatic in-house caliber UN-251. This futuristic movement features dual oscillators with silicon balance wheels and escapements made from a material called DIAMonSIL, an ultra-high-tech diamond-coated silicon. The Freak S Nomad also features a patented Grinder® automatic winding system, generating power with twice the efficiency of common winding technology, and helping achieve a power reserve of 72 hours. One thing to keep in mind is that the Freak likes it dry: the watch is only water-resistant up to 30 meters (30 bar, 98 feet).

This model has a limited production run of just 99 pieces and comes on a gray textured strap, along with an alligator leather strap of the same color. The watch costs $148,300.

IWC Portugieser

IWC Schaffhausen turned heads at Watches and Wonders 2024 with 17 new Portugieser models.

IWC presented four new models of the Perpetual Calendar 44, with dials in silver, blue, black, or champagne. The silver dial ref. IW503701 with a rose gold case can be yours for $46,500.

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 44 ref. IW503701
IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 44 ref. IW503701

IWC released six new models of the Portugieser Automatic 42. These watches have a classic layout, with subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock, the former of which displays the day of the week, while the latter is a small seconds display. Stainless steel variants like the IW501702 with a silver dial list for $13,500 or $14,500, while the white gold and rose gold models go for $27,800 and $26,700, respectively.

The three new Portugieser Chronograph models feature two subdials: a small seconds at 6 o’clock, and a thirty-minute subdial at 12. The watch also has a chronograph seconds hand. The stainless steel “Dune” champagne dial model can be yours for $8,400, while the rose gold, black dial model has an official list price of $19,200.

The Portugieser Automatic 40 is available in two new versions. With their clean designs, these watches feature a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. Select between white gold with a blue dial, or rose gold with a black dial. The former costs $19,500, while the latter is priced at $18,500.

You’ll need to set aside $79,300 for the Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon Day & Night (ref. IW545901). This rose-gold watch measures 42.4 mm in diameter and is powered by the manual-winding in-house caliber 81925, with an impressive 84-hours power reserve. The tourbillon is located at the 6 o’clock position, while the day & night display can be found at 9.

Czapek Antarctique Green Meteor

Geneva luxury watchmaker Czapek & Cie had some interesting new releases at Watches and Wonders 2024. Just one example is the Promenade Goutte d’Eau with its stunning blue dial. Czapek & Cie’s new Antarctique models, now available in yellow and rose gold, turned more than a few heads. However, the Antarctique Green Meteor was the watch that really grabbed our attention.

Czapek Antarctique Green Meteor, Bild: Czapek
Czapek Antarctique Green Meteor (Image: Czapek)

The dial on this watch is made from a piece of the Gibeon meteorite, and has a “Widmanstätten” pattern. This naturally occurring structure makes each Antarctique Green Meteor dial one-of-a-kind. Its deep green appearance is achieved by applying a lacquer that is then elaborately polished by the watchmaker. The applied, high-polish indices achieve optimal legibility, even in low light conditions.

This watch’s case measures 40.5 mm wide, and a mere 10.6 mm thick. It’s powered by the automatic, chronometer-certified in-house Czapek caliber SXH5.01 with sand-blasted black bridges. This movement features a micro rotor made entirely of recycled platinum and a power reserve of more than 60 hours when fully wound. Enjoy watching this beautifully decorated movement at work through the sapphire crystal case back.

The Antarctique Green Meteor is limited to only 100 pieces, and can be yours for 25,000 CHF (approximately $27,200). As of the beginning of May 2024, only 23 of these watches were still available on the Czapek website.


About the Author

Sebastian Swart

I've been using Chrono24 for years to buy and sell watches, as well as for research purposes. I've had an infatuation with watches for as long as I can remember. As a …

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