Watches & Wonders 2024: Geneva's Premier Watch Show Countdown

A preview of the highly anticipated Watch Fair in Geneva, featuring new releases, brand highlights, and industry insights.

Watches & Wonders 2024: Geneva's Premier Watch Show Countdown

One of the great challenges I face is convincing my wife that I have a “proper” job. So I'm not sure that I should be admitting this, but next week, Watches and Wonders in Geneva for 2024 is likely to be the best week of my working year. Whenever I get back from a press trip I'm often greeted with the same line: “How was the Jolly?”. And while the biggest trade show of the year is absolutely not a “jolly”, it is always a joy to see industry friends from around the world and get hands on with all the new watches. The good fortune of being there is never lost on me. 

Trade shows in the watch world have been evolving in recent years. Pre Covid we had a number of brands doing a number of different things across different shows or going at it alone. But post Covid we have more consolidation and a show this year at the Palexpo in Geneva which consists of no less than 54 brands. We have the Richemont Group which includes Cartier, Panerai, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin and A. Lange & Söhne among others as well as Rolex, Tudor & Patek, Chopard, Zenith & TAG Heuer as well as a dedicated hall for independence which include Laurent Ferrier and Ressence.

Watches & Wonders 2023.

A few notable additions to this year's show are NOMOS and Bremont. NOMOS has been a fan favorite for over a decade now, but in many ways, since its exit from Basel, the world has kept a low profile. I for one am excited to see what they're going to come out with. And Bremont has new leadership at the helm, with talk of repositioning and rebranding — it is one to watch. 

The big omissions from the show are Breitling, which has been going from strength to strength, as its annual reports have shown, with plenty of excitement around its recent acquisition of Universal Geneve; Audemars Piguet, who just launched its novelties for this year in Italy. But that said, we cannot trust that there won't be more launches in the next months. New watch launches are used strategically these days. Gone are the times when we saw a single launch for the whole year. We are also missing the Swatch group, so no Omega. It's also worth noting that there will be other events going on in Geneva next week other than the main show, with a number of brands showing at hotels in the area, and there is another get-together for independent watchmakers at L'iceBergues. 

The general sentiment out there ahead of the show is one of positivity. To most insiders we are back to the position of pre Covid levels of appetite for new watches and excitement. So there is a sense that maybe from a product perspective that this year might be more subdued and quieter — but I've got a sense that we've got some cracking bits and pieces to come out. We have a number of different brand anniversaries like the 150th for Piaget, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Collection and A. Lange & Shöne’s Lange 1 to name a few.

Yellow Gold GMT, Rolex.
Celebration Oyster Perpetual, Rolex.
Jigsaw Day Date, Rolex.

Of course, for the majority of onlookers Rolex will be the focus. If we look at highlights from last year, the solid yellow gold GMT, the Celebration Oyster Perpetual and the Jigsaw Day Date, the crown didn’t disappoint. Rolex really does seem to be operating in their own league at the moment and it's very hard to predict what we will see. And we do know that it's going to be unpredictable! 

Last year A. Lange & Söhne came with one novelty. And a limited edition one at that. An incredible in-house split seconds chronograph in the Odysseus framework. Given the Lange One anniversary this year I expect it to be another statement year for the Saxon watchmaker. One of these watches of 2023 was the Chopard time only LUC 1860 – a seamlessly elegant 36mm dress with pink dial. Chopard only seem to be going one direction at the moment which is hugely exciting. And a final note for Bell & Ross who have been experimenting with full loom cases and dials in recent years. While the brand may not get the headlines as often as it deserves, they are pushing forward in a creative design manner as well as a technical one. 

All in all it's going to be a hell of a week! I will personally be on the ground and absorbing each and every novelty in the metal. Oh! And if my wife asks – I was at a health and safety conference in Swindon. 

Odysseus, A. Lange & Söhne.
LUC 1860, Chopard.
BR 03-92 Full Lum, Bell & Ross.