Monochrome Watches
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The Best Dress Watches of Watches and Wonders 2024

Elegance and restrained proportions made a welcome comeback during the Geneva watch week.

| By Brice Goulard | 6 min read |

In the past decade, we have witnessed several trends in the watch industry; blue and then green dials, slightly smaller cases making a comeback, integrated bracelets… And mostly, a strong focus of brands on casual, if not sporty watches. For too long, the elegant dress watch has been forgotten. But it seems that it is slowly making its comeback. During the Geneva Watch Week 2024, we have seen more dress watches than ever in the past decade, yet with one important fact to take into account… Dress watches aren’t classic anymore, but now come with colours and a certain casualness. 2024 could be the era of the sartorial watch (I must give credit to Parmigiani’s CEO for that) and here are 6 of the best dress watches we’ve seen during Watches and Wonders 2024

Chopard L.U.C XPS Forest Green

Quiet luxury and casual elegance at its best… This new Forest Green Chopard L.U.C XPS was one of the watches I was eager to see in the metal during the fair, and it did not disappoint. A perfect example of a new generation of dress watches that take things less seriously, this Chopard combines the high shine of its Lucent Steel case with a stunning dark green sector dial. Add to this a classy cognac strap and you have a stunner. Elegant but not old-fashioned, it has personality and presence, modernity and classism. Under the sapphire back is a handsome micro-rotor movement, the emblematic ultra-thin Chopard Calibre 96, which is here presented with a gold oscillating weight and a COSC certification. And at CHF 11,200 or EUR 12,700, it is certainly not cheap but remains quite accessible considering the overall beauty and quality of the craftsmanship.

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Quick facts: 40mm x 7.20mm lucent steel case – sapphire crystals front and back – dark green sector-style dial – in-house ultra-thin calibre L.U.C 96.12-L, automatic with micro-rotor, 65h power reserve, COSC-certified – cognac smooth leather strap with pin buckle – reference 168629-3001 – EUR 12,700

Grand Seiko Hand-Wound SLGW003

Usually more expected in the sports watch category, Grand Seiko has expanded its Evolution 9 collection this year with its vision of a modern dress watch. And this SLGW003 has a lot to offer. Housed in a compact and sharp titanium case, it retains most of the design cues of this collection, yet in a far more restrained and elegant manner. The dial, in typical GS fashion, has a nature-inspired texture and streamlined hands and markers. But importantly, it comes with a new hand-wound movement, featuring an innovative escapement, a solid power reserve and an overall appealing look and finish. The dress watch according to the Japanese philosophy… Also available in pink gold, in a limited run of 80 pieces.

Quick facts: 38.6mm x 9.95mm Brilliant Hard Titanium case – sapphire crystals front and back – silvery-white dial with birch bark texture – in-house calibre 9SA4, hand-wound, Dual Impulse Escapement, 80h power reserve – leather strap with three-fold clasp in titanium – reference SLGW003 (also available in pink gold SLGW002) – available in August – EUR 11,700

Parmigiani Toric Small Seconds 40mm

After focusing on modernizing the brand with the Tonda PF collection of luxury sports watches, Parmigiani Fleurier is now coming back to its roots, with the return of the Toric collection – which was, in 1996, the first watch of the brand. Following its vision of sartorial elegance mixing Swiss precision and Italian sense of beauty, PF has revamped the emblematic Toric in a supremely elegant manner… Only made of precious metals (for the case, dials, hands and even most of the movement), it is rendered in a series of warm, subtle colours combined with a more discreet knurling on the bezel and a hand-grained dial. The back reveals the new hand-wound calibre PF780 with original Côtes de Fleurier texture over 18k pink gold bridges. Extremely appealing, but not really accessible…

Quick facts: 40.6mm x 8.8mm rose gold or platinum case – sapphire crystals front and back – Celadon grey or Sand-Gold hand-grained dial in solid gold with gold hands and markers – in-house calibre PF780, hand-wound, solid gold bridges, 60h power reserve – soft-touch alligator strap with pin buckle – CHF 45,000 in gold and CHF 52,000 in platinum

Raymond Weil Millesime Moonphase

In a completely different price segment, we have to give credits once again to Raymond Weil and its Millesime collection. While we already praised the small second version for its modern take on the classic sector dial, the brand now adds an elegant moon complication to its collection. Fairly compact, housed in a Calatrava-style case with a flat bezel, it has an undeniable charm (maybe even more in the gold PVD with blue dial version) and the extra moonphase display only adds to the retro look of this otherwise modern watch with a solid Sellita automatic movement. Quite a watch for barely more than 2K euros.

Quick facts: 39.5mm x 10mm steel case (gold PVD coating available) – sapphire crystals front and back – silver or midnight blue sector dial, brushed – calibre RW4280 (Sellita SW280-1), automatic with moon phases, 38h power reserve – calfskin strap with pin buckle – available October 2024 – from CHF 2,125

Rolex Perpetual 1908 Platinum & Ice Blue Guilloche

One of the least expected new models from Rolex this year… but also one of the most appealing watches of the Crown. Successfully launched last year, the Rolex Perpetual 1908 collection already made quite an impact in its discreet gold versions with matte white or black dials. But this year, Rolex came with something unexpected yet highly elegant, a platinum edition with… a hand-guilloche dial. And to add to the beauty of this watch, the rice-grain texture (made traditionally on a lathe) is combined with a classic Rolex ice-blue tone. The result stands out and has an undeniable charm and elegance. The back, with its in-house calibre 7140 visible under a sapphire crystal, also makes quite an impression. At 31k euros, it’s not what I’d call an affordable watch but the price feels justified.

Quick facts: 39mm x 9.50mm platinum case – sapphire crystals front and back – hand-guilloche with ice blue colour and rice-grain motif, solid gold hands and markers – in-house calibre 7140, Superlative Chronometer, automatic, Chronergy escapement, 66h power reserve – alligator leather in matte black or matte brown, platinum folding clasp – reference 52506 – EUR 31,300

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Manual-Winding

This year, Vacheron Constantan updated one of its most classic and neutral watches, the Patrimony Manual-Winding. Not what I would have called a stand-out piece in the past, the update adds charm and elegance, resulting in a watch that is of a rare elegance. Celebrating the Patrimony’s twentieth anniversary, Vacheron has given its Patrimony manual-winding a more compact 39mm case. But mostly, it’s the new old-silver-toned dial with pronounced sun-brushed finishing and domed profile that stands out. Warm and lively, it’s paired with a white or pink gold case, and colourful straps (something more neutral would surely fit too). Inside the case but hidden under a solid back is the Geneva Seal hand-wound calibre 1440, an ultra-thin movement (2.6mm) with a tad short power reserve of 42 hours.

Quick facts: 39mm x 7.7mm white or pink gold case – sapphire crystal and solid gold back – convex old-silver-toned dial with applied pink gold indices and pearl minute track, gold hands – in-house, ultra-thin manual-winding calibre 1440, 42h power reserve, Hallmark of Geneva – olive-green or azure-blue alligator leather strap with gold pin buckle – approx. EUR 25,000 (to be confirmed)

5 responses

  1. The 1908 has no hand guilloche but a machined one. Please do your journalistic homework your standard is normally very high.

  2. That LUC travelled high on my list immediately I saw it. Not totally sold on the hands they use, but if that green is a lovely IRL I believe I need to buy it.
    Competing with the amazing Galet Square green dial from LF, though that is a very different price level as well as very hard to actually find.

  3. Bro you must be joking comparing this ugliness to galet from Laurent …

  4. Toric looks lovely, but the movement layout and the price kill it for me

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