by Julie de los Rios
Enchantement dans les @ du plus grand salon horloger, le Watches and Wonders de Genève.
© Pierre Albouy
Isn’t that the aim of all good watchmakers? All good designers? What could conjure more emotion than the memory of checking the watch dial on a loved one’s wrist during childhood? Like the sweet stirring of nostalgia, a glance at a familiar timepiece can plunge you into a bubble of well-being. No wonder design studios are refining and revisiting the lines of a timepiece that has marked watchmaking history. This year, Cartier is unveiling the Tank Normale, which closely emulates the original 1917 design. Rolex, which is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its Daytona and the 70th anniversary of its Explorer, is launching a future classic by the name of Perpetual 1908. Panerai is honouring its emblematic Radiomir; Audemars Piguet is revisiting its 8.1 mm extra-thin Royal Oak “Jumbo”, while Hublot is offering a smaller, more “feminine” version of its Spirit of Big Bang. But sparking emotion also means being surprised, astonished, coming eye to eye with the unexpected. And there again watchmakers are going above and beyond, shaking up time-reading conventions, daubing colours on dials, going overboard with richly jewelled cases, shaking up the traditions of jewels that tell the time, challenging technical limits... to the point of having us forget the time completely. Designers are determined to leave nobody unmoved. And collectors are in for a treat.
We don’t think it’s reckless to say that 2023 looks to be an excellent vintage. Prepare to be amazed as you leaf through our special report on this year’s extraordinary watches. Take the time to pore over every page, every line, every picture. Because the seconds, minutes and hours are ticking inexorably away…