Monochrome Watches
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The Best Chronographs of Watches and Wonders 2024

From classic to split-seconds or historic mono-pushers, we've seen some stunning new chronograph watches in Geneva.

| By Brice Goulard | 6 min read |

An absolute must for any respectable watchmaker, the chronograph complication was once again well-represented at the 2024 edition of Watches and Wonders… To say the least, as we’ve seen some fascinating new models. What struck us most was the fact that many of these chronograph watches came with more than just a start-stop-reset function. Flyback, mono-pusher, split-seconds, high-frequency… Here are 6 of the most important new chronographs launched during this year’s Geneva fair. 

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down Blue Dial

First released in 1999, the Datograph by A. Lange & Söhne is one of the most important watches in the chronograph category. With a couple of other models, it started the trend for in-house, high-end chronograph movements. To celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, ALS releases a limited edition of the second generation Datograph, the Up/Down version, in white gold with a handsome blue dial. Apart from this new combination of materials and colours, the heart of this splendid watch remains the same, the in-house, hand-wound and flyback chronograph calibre L951.6, which has long been regarded as one of the finest movements on the market – and a proper micro-city on the wrist…

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Quick facts: 41mm x 13.1mm white gold case – sapphire crystals front and back – blue dial, outsize date, silver-toned sub-dials – Lange manufacture calibre L951.6, hand-wound column-wheel chronograph with flyback function, power reserve and large date – 2,5Hz frequency, 60h power reserve – blue alligator leather strap with white gold prong buckle – reference 405.028 – limited edition of 125 pieces – price upon request (approx. EUR 125,000)

Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir

One of the most collectable modern Cartier watches, the Tortue Monopoussoir Chronograph, is back! First released in the late 1990s under the CPCP collection, the Tortue Monopoussoir remains famous for its elegant historical design and its delicate hand-wound movement made by some of the most renowned indie watchmakers (Halter, Journe and Flageollet). While the successor of this movement is still produced, Cartier decided to revamp the Tortue Monopoussoir with its own shaped movement (designed with an undisclosed partner). The rest of the watch is equally appealing, with compact proportions, handsome dials and an undeniable charm. This watch made a lot of noise during the fair… More details here.

Quick facts: 34.8mm x 43.7mm x 10.2mm platinum or yellow gold tortue-shaped case – sapphire crystals front and back – silvered opaline dial (platinum) or grained gold-finish dial (gold) – calibre 1928 MC, proprietary shaped movement, column-wheel and monopusher chronograph – 4Hz frequency, 44h power reserve – 2 alligator straps included with ardillon buckle – reference CRWHTO0008 (platinum) and CRWHTO0007 (gold) – limited to 200 pieces per version – CHF 49,100 in gold, CHF 57,000 in platinum

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronograph Rattrapante

While the Toric Small Seconds already made it to our list of the most appealing dress watches of the fair, we also have to mention the split-seconds version of this watch in this selection of chronographs. First of all, the overall design and sartorial appeal of the watch are undeniable, even in this larger, bolder version in 42mm – there’s a true sense of elegance in the colour combination. Turn the watch over and you’ll discover a splendid movement, the so-called Chronor calibre, almost entirely made of rose gold, finished with great care and technically impressive. Not only this is a rattrapante chronograph but this hand-wound movement (made with Vaucher) runs at a 5Hz frequency.

Quick facts: 42.5mm x 14.4mm rose gold case with knurled bezel – sapphire crystals front and back – gold hand-grained coffee-coloured dial – calibre PF361 (Chronor) in-house split-seconds chronograph movement, 2 column-wheels with solid rose gold plate and bridges – 5Hz frequency, 60h power reserve – alligator strap with rose gold pin buckle – reference PFH951-2010001-300181 – CHF 135,000

Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph 5980G

Earlier this year, Patek Philippe announced the discontinuation of all previous versions of the Nautilus Chronograph 5980… But it was only to make some space for a new version of this watch, the Denim-Themed Nautilus Chronograph 5980G. Sitting alongside the more complex 5990 Dual Time Chronograph, this classic version is back with a twist and a new colour – this denim blue tone is the theme of the year at Patek… Housed in a white gold case with classic Nautilus shape and rather compact proportions, it now has a grey-blue dial with a denim-inspired leather strap. Inside, no changes as we find the in-house, automatic flyback calibre CH 28-520 C/522. We’ll let you decide if this new casual take on this important watch is relevant or not, but it does work better in real life.

Quick facts: 40.5mm x 12.2mm white gold case – sapphire crystals front and back – opaline blue-grey dial with horizontal embossed pattern – calibre CH 28-520 C/522, in-house automatic integrated flyback chronograph with column-wheel and vertical clutch – 4Hz frequency, 45-55h power reserve – calfskin strap with blue-grey denim pattern and white gold Nautilus fold-over clasp (additional composite blue-grey fabric pattern strap included) – Reference 5980/60G – EUR 78,300

TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds

One of the most important chronographs in Heuer’s and TAG Heuer’s history, the Monaco has been elected to become the brand’s flagship and home to an unprecedented movement made with Vaucher manufacture… A first for this collection, the Monaco Split-Seconds is a bold, ultra-technical take on the brand’s squared case, here constructed partially in sapphire crystal. The openworked dial and bevelled sapphire back reveal an impressive movement made of titanium, with column-wheel architecture and high-frequency 5Hz regulation. One of the most high-end TAG watches in years, with a matching price tag too.

Quick facts: 41mm x 41mm x 15.2mm titanium and sapphire crystal case (with or without DLC coating) – sapphire crystals front and back – openworked sapphire dial with black or gradient blue DLC titanium arches – calibre TH81-00 (made with Vaucher), automatic split-seconds chronograph with column-wheels – 5Hz frequency, 65h power reserve – calfskin strap embossed with a fabric pattern, titanium butterfly folding clasp with fine adjustment – reference CBW2181.FC8322 (red) or CBW2182.FC8339 (blue) – EUR 135,000

Zenith Defy Skyline Chronograph

A natural evolution of the Defy Skyline collection, Zenith has just released a highly anticipated chronograph version of its luxury sports watch with an integrated bracelet… And it is, as you can imagine, powered by an El Primero calibre (what else…) Larger and slightly bolder than previous editions with time-and-date or openworked movements, the Defy Skyline Chronograph retains the exact same design cues, including the 12-sided bezel and the textured dials with star pattern. The main evolution concerns the case now at 42mm and the movement inside, the modern El Primero 3600 with elongated power reserve and 1/10th of a second central chronograph hand.

Quick facts: 42mm stainless steel case – sapphire crystals front and back – black, blue, or silver dial with embossed starry pattern – El Primero calibre 3600, in-house, automatic column-wheel chronograph with 1/10th of a second central hand – 5Hz frequency, 60h power reserve – stainless steel bracelet and textured rubber strap included, with easy-change system – reference 03.9500.3600/51.I001 (blue), 03.9500.3600/01.I001 (silver) and 03.9500.3600/21.I001 (black) – EUR 13,900

1 response

  1. The average price of these pieces (excluding the ‘relatively’ affordable Zenith at ‘only $13k) is well North of $100k….I can’t be the only watch enthusiast thinking that W&W 2024 is now 99% only for multi millionaires!!…there’s normal inflation for most of the human race and ‘Swiss Watch Inflation’…value for money seems to have finally flown the nest….:(
    Microbrands are now 100% the ‘value driven’ part of the market and most Swiss luxury watch brands are, even more than usual, just taking the piss BIG time with their pricing (c.40% of which goes to the lucky AD’s IF they can sell these ‘ego pieces’ in 2024…..Good Luck with THAT guys and gals…


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