Karishma Gulyani

Karishma is a science nerd turned fashion and beauty writer who loves talking about trends as much as eating desserts. Gucci, salted caramel ice-cream, jewels, and Simba (her dog) make up four chambers of her heart. Like Karishma's story? Drop her a line in the comments section below. .

Watches & Wonders 2024: The Boldest Timepieces with Haute Complications and Jewels

Experience the beauty of time!

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Reflection de Cartier, Image Courtesy: Cartier

As Watches & Wonders 2024 concluded last week, it’s been the most wonderful time of the year for the world of horology. From technical finesse to haute complications, from rose gold resurgence to revamped retro-classics, this iteration of the world’s largest watch fair highlighted the confidence in the watchmaking savoir-faire – along with artistic whimsy and sophisticated elegance. And in between the traditional grand complications and skeletonized tourbillons, many heritage houses also demonstrated the delicacy and flamboyance of jewellery watches with expert gem-setting and distinctive craftsmanship.

Below, we have our curation of some of the boldest horological masterpieces from Watches & Wonders 2024. So, read through and revel in the beauty of time with these wearable works of art.

Chanel Première Cuff Watch & Sautoir-Belt Watch

Debuted in 1987, Chanel Première has been a symbolic addition to the design language of the Parisian house – especially with the octagonal black-lacquer dial reminiscent of the stopper of the N°5 fragrance bottle and the black and gold chain bracelet interlaced with leather that echoes the chain of classic CHANEL handbags. And at Watches & Wonders 2024, Chanel presented two new limited editions – Première Cuff and Première Sautoir Belt – that reinterpret the codes of the Première Édition Originale. While the Première Cuff watch is set against the statement version of the signature black and gold backdrop of leather and chains, the Première Sautoir Belt serves as a belt, pocket watch, and necklace with the characteristic Chanel Première design.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honeygold ‘Lumen’

Exuding exceptional technical prowess, Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honeygold ‘Lumen’ by A. Lange & Söhne combines the functionality of three complex horological complications – perpetual calendar, tourbillon, and a flyback chronograph that’s fitted with the Maison’s signature big date. This 41.5 mm 18k Honeygold (Maison’s proprietary gold alloy) watch is sixth in the ‘Lumen’ series, and comes with a tinted sapphire crystal dial plate and completely lume-coated watch face, ensuring sophisticated radiance by day and remarkable visibility and readability in the dark.

Chopard Alpine Eagle 41 XP Frozen Summit

Inspired by the dazzle and purity of the mountain glaciers, Chopard created this diamond-encrusted and mechanically sophisticated Alpine Eagle 41 XP Frozen Summit (with Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark.) This ice-cold timepiece perfectly harmonises sport, substance, and delicate shimmer with a 41 mm case, dial, bezel, and crown set with 22.56 carats of diamonds in 18k ethical white gold.

Reflection de Cartier

Designed to be a crossover between a bracelet and a timepiece, Reflection de Cartier delivers a trompe l’œil effect and reverses the time. Each of the four distinct models (available in 18k yellow gold, 18k rose gold, or 18k white gold) features an open bracelet design with one end accented with a quartz dial in 18k white gold and sandblasted silver and the other with a mirror, where the dial meets its reflection. As Cartier plays with time, a sense of magic and fascination is created with elongated lines and defined edges of the bracelet – accented with snow-set and inverted diamonds and obsidian, emeralds, and Paraiba tourmalines.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC

Recorded as the world’s thinnest mechanical watch, Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC is a mere 1.70 mm thin (even thinner than a coin!) and cased in 40mm titanium with a tungsten carbide back for much-needed durability. The movement inside is the BLV 180, which is manually wound, and delivers a 50-hour power reserve. And with COSC certification, it also becomes the world’s thinnest COSC chronometer – thereby, embodying the supreme reliability, performance, and elegance of the Octo Finissimo Ultra dynasty.

Van Cleef & Arpels Brise d’Été

Showcasing its mastery of automatic and poetic complications, Van Cleef & Arpels unveiled Lady Arpels Brise d’Été where two fluttering butterflies (rendered in plique-à-jour enamel) animate time as the surrounding flowers and stems sway, bringing alive the essence of a breezy summer. As the animation ends, the butterflies float back to indicate the hour on a retrograde scale – with an orange butterfly for the first half of the day and a blue one for the second half. Yes, these delicate butterflies outdazzle traditional day/night indicators with the whimsy and beauty of summertime.

Gucci Interlocking

Gucci expands its high watchmaking repertoire with the introduction of Gucci Interlocking, a new signature horological masterpiece collection that combines two complications – the flying tourbillon and jumping hours mechanism – with an innovative concentric dial display filled with motion and depth. The multi-layered dial has the flying tourbillon at its heart, while the jumping hour display, which is crafted from a hand-lacquered hour disc of Roman numerals, surrounds the tourbillon. And the correct hour can be read through an aperture in a semi-transparent glass ring, bordered by aventurine glass. Infused with technical innovation, impeccable precision, and visual dynamism, Gucci Interlocking (available in rose gold or white gold) delivers the groundbreaking era of Gucci High Watchmaking.

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse (Ref. 5738/1R)

A fine tribute to the 1970s classic, the Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse brings a sense of timelessness and elegance with a sunburst ebony black dial, rose gold applied baton-style hour markers and cheveu-type hands, and fully polished rose gold chain-style bracelet that comprises of 363 elements, including more than 300 links individually mounted by hand. This harmonious and uncluttered aesthetic brings alive the spirit of the original Golden Ellipse – especially with that perfectly proportioned elliptical case (inspired by the famous Golden Ratio of 1/1.618) as the trademark of this retro-classic timepiece design.

IWC Portugieser Eternal Calendar

Made for eternity, IWC introduced the Portugieser Eternal Calendar that transcends and transforms traditional watchmaking with its technical and design ingenuity and unmatched precision. While the calendar function is set up to run for 400 years with only the need to adjust the leap year three times over four centuries, the true masterpiece is its moon phase display that’ll give an accurate representation of the moon’s waxing and waning for 45 MILLION YEARS by which time it will have deviated by just one day. The Portugieser Eternal Calendar is a poetic reminder of the eternity of time – after all, it will tick for many more months, years, and centuries than us.

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