Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Buying Guide

Our Selection of the Very Best Novelties from Watches & Wonders 2024

From gorgeous chronographs to ultra-thin world records - and everything in between - it has been an eclectic edition of the year's biggest watch fair!

| By Robin Nooy | 10 min read |

It’s done, it’s over and it has been another wild ride: Watches & Wonders 2024. Quite literally the biggest watch fair of the year, it’s the social gathering where watchmakers bring their A-game. Brands high and low have presented countless new watches, setting records in the process. Records for ultra-thinness, for instance, or out-of-this-world accuracy. With so many new watches on display, it’s hard to keep track of everything. Over the coming days and weeks, we will be guiding you through some of the stuff you might have overlooked. But which did we think were the absolute best models, the so-called show-stoppers? Here’s the MONOCHROME editorial team’s selection of “Best in Show”!

Chopard L.U.C. Qualité Fleurier

We start things off simple, in looks at least. But simple equates to drop-dead gorgeous when it comes to the new Chopard L.U.C. Qualité Fleurier. This compact stunner of a watch comes in Lucent steel, known for its brilliant shine and harder properties compared to regular steel. The stunning silver-toned sector dial gives it a monochromatic look from top to bottom, and the calibre L.U.C. 96.09-L is finished to perfection. It’s also Qualité Fleurier certified, meaning it has been tested above and beyond, from construction to accuracy and finishing. Paired with a casual-chic leather strap, this L.U.C. Qualité Fleurier costs CHF 19,300.

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Quick Facts – 39mm x 8.92mm – Lucent steel case – sapphire crystal front & back – welded elongated lugs – 30m water-resistant – silver-toned sector dial – circular satin- and sunray-brushed finish – snailed sub-dial – applied markers & hands with Super-LumiNova – calibre L.U.C. 96.09-L, in-house automatic – micro-rotor – 28,800vph – Twin Barrel Technology for 65h power reserve – Qualité Fleurier certified – calfskin leather strap – CHF 19,300

Patek Philippe 5236P In-line perpetual calendar

One of the most gorgeous calendar watches we’ve seen during Watches & Wonders is, hands-down, the Patek Philippe 5236P In-Line Perpetual Calendar. The fully polished case is refined and elegant in design, the salmon-coloured dial is exquisite, and there’s just something special about the in-line indications for the day, date and month. Besides that, it also features a moon phase display with integrated small seconds indication, a leap-year window and a day/night indicator. All this can be yours for an admittedly rather hefty CHF 120,000, for which you get a superbly supple alligator leather strap with a platinum fold-over clasp.

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Quick Facts – 41.3mm x 11.07mm – 950 platinum case, fully polished – sapphire crystal front & back – 30m water-resistant – opaline rose-gilt dial – charcoal grey indices & hands –  day-date-month aperture – moon phase display with running seconds – leap-year – day/night indicator – calibre 31-260 PS QL, in-house – micro-rotor automatic – Patek Philippe seal – 28,800vph – 55h power reserve – alligator leather strap with platinum fold-over clasp – CHF 120,000

Cartier Tortue monopousoir

One of the comeback stars we’ve seen during the week is the new Cartier Tortue Monopousoir Chronograph, marking the return of one of the Maison’s most coveted horological creations under the Collection Privée Cartier Paris moniker. The new Tortue is slightly bigger, comes in a yellow gold or platinum case with either a grained gold or silvered opaline dial, and features a new movement construction. The chronograph function, displayed on two horizontally aligned sub-dials, is started, stopped and reset by pushing down on the crown. Worn on an alligator leather strap, it costs EUR 46,000 in gold or EUR 53,600 in platinum.

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Quick Facts – 34.8mm x 43.7mm x 10.2mm – platinum or yellow gold case – crown with ruby or sapphire cabochon – sapphire crystal front & back – 30m water-resistant – silvered opaline or grained gold-finished dial – Roman numerals – two-register chronograph layout – calibre 1928 MC, proprietary movement – hand-wound monopusher chronograph – 28,800vph – 44h power reserve – burgundy red or grey alligator leather strap – limited to 200 pieces each – EUR 46,000 (gold) – EUR 53,600 (platinum)

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon

Piaget has a long history of fine and ultra-thin watchmaking, but in recent years, we have seen others step up to the plate. Piaget now returns to the spotlight with the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Tourbillon, the thinnest tourbillon watch in the world. At just 2mm thick, it has the proportions of a coin. It takes the already revolutionary concept of the AUC but incorporates a tourbillon escapement that’s visible from the front and the back. Pretty wild and an amazing testament to the brand’s watchmaking prowess. Finished in a blue PVD-coated cobalt alloy and worn on a blue leather strap, the price is upon request (so it’s expensive!).

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Quick Facts – 41,5mm x 2mm – blue PVD-coated cobalt alloy case – case & movement merged as one piece – sapphire crystal front & back – 20m water-resistant – monobloc dial – baton indices & hand- monobloc minute disc – calibre 970P-UC – one-minute peripheral tourbillon – 28,800vph – 40h power reserve – blue calfskin leather strap with pin buckle – price upon request

IWC Portugieser Eternal Calendar

IWC has pulled off the seemingly impossible with its new Portugieser Eternal Calendar. This watch needs no adjustment until the year 3999 (if kept running) and has a moon phase accurate to 45 million years. With it, IWC has created the most accurate moon phase ever conceived and applied for the Guinness Book of World Records for it. Two special gears were added to the geartrain, one of which only makes a full revolution every 400 years. Set in a platinum case, we don’t see this being bested easily! The price for this remarkable feat of engineering is CHF 150,000.

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Quick Facts – 44.4mm x 15mm – platinum case, brushed & polished – double domed sapphire crystal front & back – 50m water-resistance – white lacquered glass dial – raised minute flange – sapphire crystal sub-dials – full secular calendar indications – calibre IWC 56420, in-house – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 7-day power reserve – Santoni black alligator strap with platinum folding clasp – CHF 150,000

Rolex Perpetual 1908 Ice-blue & Platinum

Whenever Rolex introduces an ice-blue dial, we know it will be encased in platinum, that much is a given. The Crown brought us the gorgeously crafted Perpetual 1908 collection last year to replace the Cellini line and now presents it with an exuberant platinum and guilloché ice-blue pairing. The combination never fails to impress, especially with a hand-machined guilloché dial pattern added to the mix. The proportions and mechanics remain unchanged, and the sapphire crystal caseback is there so you can see its handsome automatic movement. The alligator leather strap is fitted to a platinum Dualclasp. The price is EUR 31,300.

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Quick Facts – 39mm x 9.50mm – platinum case, polished – fluted bezel – sapphire crystal front & back – 50m water-resistant – ice-blue guilloché dial – faceted & polished hands & indices – small seconds display – calibre 7140, in-house automatic – 28,800vph – 66h power reserve – Syloxi hairspring – Chronergy escapement – yellow gold rotor – alligator leather strap in matte black or brown – platinum Dualclasp – EUR 31,300

Tudor black bay 58 gmt

With last year’s Black Bay Burgundy, Tudor took the first step in expanding its METAS Master Chronometer certification, and this year, that expansion continues. Not only in the time-only Black Bay, but now also in a GMT model. The new Tudor Black Bay 58 GMT neatly combines the compact proportions of the BB58 line with the in-house automatic GMT movement in a black, red and gilt colour scheme. It’s available on either a riveted steel bracelet or a rubber strap, both fitted to the stainless steel micro-adjustable T-Fit folding clasp. This handsome and very practical package is yours for CHF 4,100 on a rubber strap or CHF 4,300 on a bracelet.

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Quick Facts – 39mm x 12.8mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – 24h bidirectional bezel – two-tone aluminium insert – screw-down crown – sapphire crystal – closed caseback – 200m water-resistant – matte black dial – gilt markers & hands – Super-LumiNova – calibre MT5450-U, in-house automatic ‘flyer’ GMT – COSC & METAS Master Chronometer certification – black rubber strap or steel bracelet with T-Fit folding clasp – CHF 4,100 (rubber) or CHF 4,300 (bracelet)

grand seiko birch bark Evolution 9 hi-beat hand-wound

Grand Seiko introduced its first fully hand-wound Hi-Beat movement in 50 years and decided to do so in an extremely desirable package. The new Birch Bark, available in Brilliant Hard Titanium (SLGW003) or 18k rose gold (SLGW002), has a compact profile of just 38.6mm in diameter and 9.95mm in height. Its dial features a new type of texture inspired by the bark of Birch trees. The new movement is a completely new construction, using GS’s Dual Impulse Escapement and offering 80 hours of running time thanks to the Twin Barrel system. Worn on a crocodile leather strap, it retails for CHF 11,700 in titanium of CHF 49,500 in gold.

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Quick Facts – 38.6mm x 9.95mm – Brillant Hard titanium or rose gold case – brushed & Zaratsu polished – sapphire crystal front & back – 30m water-resistant – silvery-white dial with new Birch Bark texture – steel or rose gold applied indices & hands – blued seconds hand – calibre 9SA4, manually wound – in-house – Dual Impulse Escapement 80h power reserve – crocodile leather strap with three-fold clasp – gold version limited to 80 pieces – EUR 11,700 (titanium) or EUR 49,500 (gold)

laurent ferrier classic moon annual calendar

The newest member of Laurent Ferrier’s stunning ensemble of watches is the Classic Moon Annual Calendar, available in steel with a grey-blue dial or in rose gold with a silver dial. Both feature the same layout, with appealing printed markings, annual calendar indications and a moon phase display integrated within the small seconds sub-dial. Around the back, the in-house manual-wound movement also features a practical power reserve display. Worn on either a dark grey Nubuck strap or a brown calfskin one, it becomes part of the permanent collection. The price is set at CHF 70,000 for the steel version and CHF 80,000 for the gold one.

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Quick Facts – 40mm x 12.90mm – stainless steel or rose gold case, polished – ball-shaped crown – sapphire crystal front & back – 30m water-resistant – grey-blue or silver dial – Assegai-shaped hands – small seconds display with integrated double moon phase – calibre LF126.02 – in-house manual-wound movement – 21,600vph – 80h power reserve – power reserve display on the back – dark grey or brown leather strap – CHF 70,000 (steel case) or CHF 80,000 (gold case)

bvlgari octo finissimo ultra cosc

Technically not part of Watches & Wonders, it’s impossible to ignore the thinnest mechanical watch ever made. With the Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC, Bvlgari raises (or lowers, if you will) the bar yet again. At just 1.70mm in height, it is the pinnacle of ultra-thin watchmaking. Similar to the Piaget, all components are on a single horizontal plain, with the caseback functioning as the baseplate. Bvlgari also proves this isn’t merely a showpiece by having it certified as a chronometer by the COSC. Two versions are available, limited to 20 pieces each, for a price of EUR 600,000.

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Quick Facts – 40mm x 1.70mm – octagonal sandblasted titanium case – tungsten carbide plate – steel winding & setting crowns – sapphire crystal – 10m water-resistant – openworked structure – hours, minutes, small seconds – black PVD treated hands – BVL calibre 180, developed with Concepto – ultra-thin hand-wound movement – 28,800vph – 50h power reserve – COSC chronometer certified – integrated titanium bracelet – limited to 20 pieces – EUR 600,000

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