Monochrome Watches
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The Best of Indie Watchmaking at Watches & Wonders 2024 and The Geneva Week

The week wasn't only about big brands... It was also the opportunity to discover the fascinating world of Indie Watchmaking.

| By Brice Goulard | 6 min read |

Watches & Wonders 2024 and The Geneva Watch Week are now far behind us… But it’s the perfect time to look back, with more relaxed minds, at the best watches we’ve seen around town. These fairs are primarily bringing the spotlight on large brands, such as Rolex, the Richemont Group or LVMH. But thankfully, it was not all about mainstream watchmakers. Far from that actually, as many of the independent watchmakers were also displaying their novelties during this week, and here are some of the most notable watches we’ve seen. 

Angelus Instrument de Vitesse Monopusher

Angelus brings back its historic flair! With its La Fabrique collection launched last year with the Chronographe Médical, the idea is to revive heritage pieces and pay homage to iconic designs. And this year’s Instrument de Vitesse Monopusher Chronograph is a stunning watch. Compact, thin, elegant and full of charm, it relies on an original central chronograph display without sub-dials and a layout primarily focused on the tachymeter scale (hence its name, speed instrument). Under the sapphire back is another delicacy, the hand-wound, column-wheel calibre A5000, a handsome movement made by La Joux-Perret that can be traced back to the movement once made by THA Ebauche. Altogether, a lovely chronograph with vintage appeal, consistent movement and refinement.

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Quick facts: 39mm x 9.27mm stainless steel case – ivory-white or ebony-black dial with central chronograph and tachymeter scale – calibre A5000, produced by La Joux-Perret for Angelus, hand-wound monopusher chronograph with column wheel, 42h power reserve – calfskin strap with pin buckle – limited to 25 pieces per dial colour – CHF 17,100

Bovet Recital 28 Prowess 1

Without a doubt, it is one of the most impressive traveller’s watches ever and one of the highlights of the Geneva Watch Week 2024. With this Recital 28 Prowess 1, Bovet is bringing a mechanical masterpiece, not only because it is one of the very few watches to solve the issue of Daylight Saving Time (DST) in a worldtimer, but also because it is an insanely complex watch altogether. Besides having 24 rollers, each with 4 positions, its movement comprises 744 components, a flying tourbillon, and a perpetual calendar also displayed with rollers. Yet the main highlight is how it can cope with the oddity of the timezones and the DST issues, which can be corrected by pressing the crown according to UTC, AST (American Summer Time), EAS (Europe and America Summer Time), and EWT (European Winter Time). A watch that needs to be discovered in our in-depth article here.

Quick facts: 46.3mm x 17.85mm Dimier “Writing Desk” case in rose gold, platinum or polished grade 5 titanium – inner and outer ring in aventurine, display with world time and perpetual calendar on rollers – calibre R28-70-00X, in-house, hand-wound, flying tourbillon, world time on rollers with UTC, perpetual calendar with rollers – alligator strap with folding buckle – from CHF 650,000

H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Tourbillon Skeleton

H. Moser & Cie. continues to expand its successful Streamliner collection, its original take on the sporty-chic watch with an integrated bracelet. The latest to date is one that combines boldness, mechanical beauty and overall consistency with the initial design. The Streamliner Tourbillon Skeleton, offered in stainless steel, relies on an openworked dial that seamlessly merges with the case and bracelet design, forming a harmonious ensemble. The lower portion of the dial is home for a one-minute flying tourbillon with the brand’s signature double-hairspring. And while usually not a fan of openworked watches, this new Streamliner model works surprisingly well in the metal.

Quick facts: 40mm x 12.1mm stainless steel case – openworked dial with red gold-plated indices and hands – calibre HMC 814, in-house, automatic tourbillon with double-hairspring, 72h power reserve – integrated bracelet in stainless steel with folding clasp – CHF 79,000

HYT T1 Series

After several years of ups and downs, it’s always a pleasure to see HYT return. And the team has been hard at work to bring this new T1 Series, a collection with clever improvements over the previous generations of models. Design-wise, a strong focus was given to ergonomics, with a less extravagant shape and a more wearable case, achieving an integrated design with no lugs and interchangeable straps. An important evolution, the bellows that control the capillary tube, have been, for the first time, hidden behind a closed dial, giving this new HYT T1 Series a much more universally appealing design. Mechanically, the impressive movement merging mechanical watchmaking and fluidic technology remains. Overall, it seems that the new direction of the brand could be the right one!

Quick facts: 45.3mm x 17.2mm titanium and black DLC or 5N pink gold and titanium case – silver, deep blue, slate or salmon-coated dial, no apparent bellows, hours indicated by a capillary tube – calibre 501-CM (proprietary), hand-wound mechanical base with fluidic module, 72h power reserve – rubber strap with pin buckle – CHF 48,000 in titanium or CHF 64,000 in gold/titanium

Laurent Ferrier Classic Moon Annual Calendar

With his latest creation, Laurent Ferrier adds an astronomical and very relevant take to the classic Annual Calendar, one of the most revered models of the brand. This new Classic Moon Annual Calendar is elegant, classic, and restrained but also comes with exquisite details all around. More than just the addition of a complication, the watch has been redesigned compared to previous editions (bevelled date/month windows, elongated Roman numerals) and the double moon indicator is built around several layers: aventurine glass from Murano engraved to create the shape of the moon and stars, Super-LumiNova to make them shine at night, translucent petrol blue enamel to create shades and the phases of the moon. The back retains the same hand-wound proprietary movement with refined decoration. All in all, a very classic and elegant watch.

Quick facts: 40mm x 12.9mm stainless steel or 18k 5N red gold case – grey-blue opaline (steel model) or vertical satin-finished silver (gold model) dial – calibre LF126.02, manufacture movement, hand-wound annual calendar with moon phase display, 80h power reserve – dark grey Nubuck or brown calfskin strap with pin buckle – CHF 70,000 in steel and CHF 80,000 in gold

Trilobe Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise

Last but not least, a new edition of the Trilobe Les Matinaux, and probably the most consistent version to date. Dubbed L’Heure Exquise, this new edition adds a moon phase indication, adding to the already poetic display the brand is known for. Elegant, charming and somehow romantic, this new Trilobe won our hearts. Available in titanium or gold, with options for 38.5mm or 40.5mm cases, it relies on a series of discs to indicate the time. What’s new is the inner disc with phases of the moon on the lower level and, on top of it, a sapphire disc with stars rotating at the rhythm of the seconds. The back reveals the brand’s X-centric calibre made by Le Cercle des Horlogers, with its minimalist approach. One of the most charming watches we’ve seen at the fair, whether with a dune-toned or a blue dial.

Quick facts: 38.5mm or 40.5mm x 9.2mm grade 5 titanium or 18k rose gold case – grained blue or dune-toned dial with three concentric discs to display the time and moon phases indicator with running second sapphire disc – calibre X-centric, proprietary made by Le Cercle des Horlogers, automatic with micro-rotor, 48h power reserve – alligator leather strap – from EUR 14,500 in titanium and EUR 26,500 in gold

4 responses

  1. Nice innovative construction perhaps excess funds could of be better use in these trying times!

  2. You are wearing the watches on the wrong part of your wrist. It’s odd to have to point this out. Literally google it.

  3. @Steady – I’m going to answer this comment the way I always do. I don’t choose where to wear watches. They naturally fall into that position because we’re all uniquely shaped. There’s no right way to wear a watch… unless you admit the right way is the one that is comfortable for you. And Google won’t change this, sorry.

  4. No, he’s right. You’re wearing them wrong. The crown is practically half way up your hand. The fact that you have had to respond to this comment multiple times should tell you a lot. You look crazy.

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