Armchair Picks: Kunal picks 3 of the best new watches from WWG24

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Deployant contributor Kunal Khemka picks his top 3 watches from the novelties from this year’s Watches & Wonders 2024.

Armchair Picks: Kunal picks 3 of the best new watches from WWG24

Watches & Wonders Geneva 2024, held from April 9 to April 15, saw about 54 global luxury watch brands reveal new timepieces to industry professionals, media, collectors, enthusiasts, and general public. Luxury watch brands continue to surprise, even delight, whether completely new timepieces, new calibres, materials, horological innovations, updates to existing collections or models, and one-of-a-kind pieces. Given the excellence and diversity of the novelties, choosing three top picks is no easy task. I can easily choose more than ten. Based on my own personal preferences and understanding and appreciation of horology, I have chosen the following three timepieces. 

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Manual-Winding 

Vacheron Constantin (VC) celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Patrimony family by introducing two models. The Patrimony is a circular dress watch family, rooted in VC’s heritage, going all the way back to the 1950’s. The two models are the Patrimony Moon Phase Retrograde Date and the Patrimony Manual-Winding. While the former is a dial and strap update on an existing reference, the latter is a new model.

The new Patrimony Manual Winding Reference 1410U looks identical to the Patrimony reference 81180, though it is a completely new watch. There are two versions, a case crafted in 18K white gold and one in 18K 5N pink gold. Its case diameter is 39 mm and case thickness are 7.72 mm (as compared to the 81180’s 40 mm and 6.79 mm) and is powered by in-house mechanical hand-wound calibre 1440, with a power reserve of about 42 hours, that beats a frequency of 28,800 vph or 4 Hz and hallmarked by the Poinçon de Genèva or Geneva Seal. (Reference 81180 is powered by calibre 1400, with a power reserve of about 38 hours, also beating at 28,800 vph or 4 Hz and hallmarked by the Geneva Seal. However, both calibre 1440 and 1400 are different in design.) Given the calibre’s 22.1 mm diameter, small in relation to its case’s 39 mm diameter, a solid gold caseback is provided. As much as I would love to view the gorgeous calibre via a sapphire caseback, a solid gold caseback on one’s wrist is not the end of the world. Moreover, it presents an opportunity for personalization, be it a sentimental text or a design such as a family’s coat of arms or corporate logo.

There is no news yet whether the new 39 mm version replaces the 40 mm version, or whether both will co-exist in VC’s catalogue.

One might wonder why I chose this classic time-only piece when the show was full of exciting new launches – ranging from the ultra-bling to ultra-thin to the ultra-complicated? I love classic time-only pieces. Contrary to what one might believe, designing simpler timepieces is difficult because these watches “have to say more with less”. There are no apertures and other bells and whistles on their dial, save for the occasional date window or a small second’s dial. A small reduction in diameter (1 mm) makes a world of difference, as it becomes more wearable for those with smaller wrists yet preserving the magic of its expansive minimalistic dial. A dial that is adorned with Patrimony design elements such as its slender hours and minutes hands, Maltese cross logo at 12 o’clock, applied hour markers, and polished gold “pearls” minute track encircling the outer dial – all crafted in 18K 5N pink gold. When combined with its old-silver-toned dial with a sunburst finish, the result is pure magic. 

Both the white gold and pink gold versions share the same dial. The straps are different; the white gold version gets an Olive green Mississippiensis alligator leather with a polished 18K white gold pin buckle shaped as a half Maltese cross, and the pink gold version gets an Azure blue Mississippiensis leather strap, with a polished 18K 5N pink gold pin buckle shaped as a half Maltese cross. Both versions are equally beautiful and compelling choices.

The Patrimony Manual-Winding offers nothing in terms of horological innovation or even material innovation. What it does offer is continuity in the ability to design and craft simple time-only watches. It will stand the test of time and will be as relevant decades later as its predecessors were in the 1950’s. It has an abundance of soul, something I feel is lacking in many watches today. It is a timepiece I would personally love to own.

Name: Patrimony Manual-Winding

Versions: 1410U/000G-H017 39MM White Gold and 1410U/000R-H018 39MM Pink Gold

Price: Not available.

Laurent Ferrier Classic Moon

Laurent Ferrier (LF) is no stranger to classic timepieces with complications. Laurent Ferrier himself spent decades at Patek Philippe honing this craft, in addition to participating in Le Mans. The Classic Moon combines an annual calendar with LF’s first moon phase complication.

The Classic Moon is available in two versions, Classic Moon Silver, and Classic Moon Blue. Both versions feature a pebble case (diameter 40 mm and thickness 12.9 mm) and a “ball” or onion crown – LF design hallmarks.

  • Classic Moon Silver’s case is crafted in 18K/750 5N red gold and features a vertical satin-finished silver dial. 
  • Classic Moon Blue’s case is crafted in stainless steel and features a grey-blue opaline dial.

The dials of both versions have an abundance of details, be it their hours and minutes hands, date pointer, bevelled aperture for days of the week and months, and the shades of blue and colours for hands, numerals etc. – shades and colours mostly being different on both dials. The moon phase display is a work of art and features Aventurine glass from Murano of Italy.

It is powered by hand-wound calibre LF 126.02, a “redesigned and improved version of” calibre LF 126.01. This calibre features 30 new components, and 20 others have been “revised and optimised.” It has a power reserve of 80 hours and beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph or 3 Hz. In addition to hours, minutes, small seconds, annual calendar functions of date, days of the week, and months, and a moonphase display, it features a power reserve indicator on the caseback side. Various aspects of the calibre feature beautiful finishing such as bassiné finish, Côtes de Genève decoration, circular graining, and bevelled and hand polished edges and interior angles. It is visible via a sapphire caseback.

Both versions come with straps that are hand-sewn and feature tone-on-tone Alcantara lining. For the Classic Moon Silver, a Brown Calk strap with a pin buckle crafted in 18K/750 5N red gold, and for the Classic Moon Blue, a Dark grey Nubuck strap with a pin buckle crafted in stainless steel.


LF is a gem in the world of horology and of independent watchmaking. It is “not spoken” in the same way as other independents; somehow, they missed the “hype train.” LF is more of a IYKYK (“if you know you know”). In the case of LF, IYKYK, then you are indeed fortunate as their timepieces are works of art and meant to be appreciated and enjoyed, with a glass of equally fine wine or single malt. The Classic Moon’s level of horology and abundance and attention to detail proves once again just how special LF is as a watchmaker.

Name: Classic Moon Silver and Reference: LCF039.AC.C1WC

Price: Swiss Franc (CHF): 80,000 (excluding taxes)

Name: Classic Moon Blue and Reference: LCF039.R5.G3N

Price: Swiss Franc (CHF): 70,000 (excluding taxes)

A.Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honey Gold “Lumen” in 18-carat Honeygold®

A.Lange & Söhne’s iconic Datograph celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. To celebrate, Lange has introduced two new models, the “regular” Datograph Up/Down in a 18K white gold case with a blue dial and the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honey Gold “Lumen” in 18-carat Honeygold®.

The Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon combines a flyback chronograph with a precise jumping minute counter, a perpetual calendar, and a tourbillon with a patented stop-seconds mechanism. Dial functions include the iconic Lange outsize date at 12 o’clock and moonphase at 6 o’clock. The tourbillon is positioned at 12 o’clock on the caseback side. 

To mark the Datograph’s 25th anniversary, Lange pulled out all the stops, and clothes this magnificent timepiece in a Honeygold® case – an alloy exclusive to Lange, “characterised by its special hardness and incomparable warm shine” and gives it the “Lumen” treatment. Lange’s “Lumen” timepieces feature a semi-transparent dial and use of luminescent coating that light up the time and all the displays and functions, including the outer dial, date windows, subdials and moonphase. The “Lumen” treatment transforms the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon into an edgy and sexy timepiece, one I imagine Robert Downey Jr’s character “Tony Stark,” or “Iron Man” would wear. 

Its case measures a diameter of 41.5 mm and a height of 14.6 mm. It is the sixth “Lumen” edition timepiece and the second that combines Honeygold® with “Lumen”. 

While the “regular” Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon is powered by in-house mechanical hand-wound calibre L952.2 consisting of 729 parts, the Honeygold “Lumen” is powered by calibre L952.4, consisting of 684 parts. The vertical semi-arc power reserve indicator of the “regular version,” located on the outer dial between 9 o’clock and 10 o’clock, is not present on the Honeygold “Lumen”. Calibre L952.4 has a power reserve of 50 hours and beats at a frequency of 18,000 vph or 2.5 Hz. It is a work of horological sculpture, featuring the highest level of movement finishing and features the signature hand-engraved balance cock. Typical of Lange calibres, they are assembled twice. It is visible via a sapphire caseback. The timepiece comes with a brown alligator leather strap.

When launched twenty-five years ago, the Datograph shook the world of horology, especially the Holy Trinity of Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. Gradually adjusting from the birth of the revived A.Lange & Söhne in 1994, these three (and others) now had to face the first “developed from the ground up” chronograph calibre L951.1, the first in-house chronograph calibre in decades. Back then in 1999, Lange was still proving itself to the horological world. Lange has gone from strength to strength, crafting a unique design identity and a horological prowess second to none. The Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honeygold “Lumen” is a fabulous addition to Lange’s catalogue and a fitting tribute to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Datograph – one of the greatest watches of all time.

Name: A.Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honeygold “Lumen” in 18-carat Honeygold®

Reference: 740.055FE

Price: Not available.

Limited to 50 pieces.

Other timepieces I liked.

I really liked the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC, the De Bethune Kind of Grande Complication, IWC’s revamped Portugieser collection and the Portugieser Eternal Calendar, Patek Philippe World Time with Date reference 5330G-001, Rolex 1908 in platinum with guilloche dial, and several from Vacheron Constantin, including the Overseas range in 18K 5N pink gold with green dials, Patrimony Moon Phase Retrograde Date in 18K white gold with old-silver-toned dial, Grand Lady Kalla, and the Les Cabinotiers, The Berkley Grand Complication.


About Author

Comments are closed.