For the uninitiated, Watches and Wonders is like Fashion Week for the watch industry – this year the fair is a fervent showcase of the world’s most emblematic timepiece models of yore, revisited and rebooted, with a generous dosage of colour and fine details to break new ground. Here are some of the wrist-worn objets d'art taking centre stage this season.
As pop artist Andy Warhol once said, “I don’t wear a Tank watch to tell the time. Actually, I never even wind it. I wear a Tank because it is the watch to wear!” His words still ring true with these new Tank Must steel models in monochromatic matte hues of burgundy, oxford blue and juniper green. If you like a touch of gold, try the Louis Cartier Tank models in blue and rose gold or burgundy and yellow gold. Cartier Tank Must from £1,985. Other Cartier Tank watches from £2,140 are available here.
The jet-set society of the 1970s could easily be renamed the “Piaget Society”, as the signature Piaget Gala watch's asymmetrical lines were often a fixture around the wrists of the most glamorous women of that era. With a golden bracelet and dial hand-carved in “Palace Décor” and embraced by two sinuous rainbow lines of coloured sapphires, this Piaget Rainbow Limelight Gala is joie de vivre in watch form. From £21,800 here.
Ninety years ago, Jaeger-LeCoultre came up with an ingenious mechanism to protect the watch dial worn by Polo players. With a swift movement of the index finger, the Reverso’s dial could slide to the side, stand up and turn on its back to become a sturdy bracelet. Incorporated into the Precious Flowers collection, this simple gesture allows a change of scenery from a serious watch dial to a dainty miniature picture of enamelled white lilies and pink, purple and blue aurum flowers. From £82,000 (excluding VAT) Other Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Watches are available from £3,850 here.
Attached to a crocodile leather cord is a beautiful round object to hold and behold – a masterpiece of leather marquetry by artist Alice Shirley depicting a whimsical roaring Tyrannosaurus Rex and snuggly fitting in the palm of your hand. Lift the lid you’ll see it’s a watch. An unconventional timepiece to have and to hold. One-of-a-kind (price on application).
The sounds and soul of the 1990s informs the new J12 Electro Star range by Chanel. With a sleek strap and bezel and dial set with colourful gemstones. The perfect wrist companion to celebrate night clubs' finally reopening in June. Price on application. Other Chanel J12 watches from £4,050 are available here.
True to its motto “mai troppo” (it is never too much), Bulgari has conceived a dazzling high jewellery cuff-cum-timepiece inspired by the empress of excess Cleopatra. An abstract rendering of the snake’s skin in diamonds and coloured gemstones conceals a miniature diamond-set dial veiled by a faceted hexagonal transparent rubellite of over 5 carats. A must-have for maximalists. One-of-a-kind, price on application. Other Bulgari Serpenti Watches are available from £3,940 here.
Attention seekers, come hither. The classic Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36, in 18-carat gold with hour markers and alligator strap in a fizzy tequila-sunrise orange, is swathed in diamonds (the dial, alone, is paved with 450!). Also available in turquoise and burgundy, from £66,200 here.