This year’s Watches & Wonders can count the likes of Piaget’s ultra-thin Altiplano tourbillon and Rolex’s yellow gold Deepsea among its most lauded.

But looking beyond these crowd-pleasing flagship pieces, what of the other launches that, unjustly, didn’t perhaps garner quite as much bandwidth?

Here's a look at ten of our favourites…

Patek Philippe

Golden Ellipse Ref.5738/1R

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse Ref.5738/1R watch

Patek’s ref. 5738/1R-001 Golden Ellipse boasts a rose gold case, sunburst black dial, self-winding movement, and a new patented bracelet. Taking a full 15 years to develop, the chain bracelet comprises 363 parts (over 300 of which are articulating links) to ensure a flawless, comfortable fit; a point where many previous chain-style bracelets fall short. Size can also be easily adjusted and re-adjusted to suit each wearer, another improvement over previous iterations, while a three-position micro-adjust clasp facilitates everyday adjustment. This watch is elegance incarnate.


Black Bay

Tudor Black Bay watch collection

The Black Bay 58 GMT may have secured more column inches, but there was a further refinement of Tudor’s beloved collection, via the new and improved Black Bay ‘monochrome’ – now available with a Jubilee-style bracelet and T-Fit clasp, and ‘METAS’ certification. While it may seem like a pretty modest launch, it’s Tudor simply giving the customer what they want: even more wear options and better value-for-cost from one of its most popular and versatile offerings. A reflection, also, of Tudor’s maturing as a brand and graduation from (re)startup to seeded player, one that no longer needs to launch slew after slew of loud attention-grabbing watches to prove its place at the table.

Grand Seiko

Hoshizukiyo ‘Starry Night’ Limited Edition

Grand Seiko Hoshizukiyo ‘Starry Night’ Limited Edition watch

A 50-piece limited edition reissue of Grand Seiko’s first watch (from 1960), the Hoshizukiyo – or ‘Starry Night’ – is a tasteful ‘everyday’ time-only piece. Presented in a 38mm rose-gold case with a proprietary hand-wound movement, visible through an exhibition caseback, it boasts 72-hours of power reserve. The dial here is the real highlight. Ultramarine blue in colour and accented by rose gold hands/indices, Seiko looked to Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night for inspiration. Grand Seiko’s signature is found engraved at 12 o’clock, while an eight point ‘star’ can be found at 6 o’clock – a symbol used by the company to denote the use of precious metal for the dial.

TAG Heuer

Carrera Chronograph

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph watch

While attention towards TAG Heuer this year was focused on the remarkable split-second Monaco, it was the Carrera Chronograph that stole TAG’s show for me. With vintage styling, recalling the Heuer chronographs of the 1960s, the watch utilises contrast polished/brushed steel construction, three-link style bracelet, ‘glassbox’ sapphire crystal, a red-accented silver/black contrast ‘panda dial’, and an automatic manufacture calibre. Introduced in 1963 by the namesake founder’s great-grandson, Jack Heuer, the Carrera was named in honour of Mexico’s Carrera Panamericana rally race and was subsequently found on the wrists of everyone from Niki Lauda and Mario Andretti to James Garner and Mick Jagger.

Frederique Constant

Classic Moonphase Date Manufacture

Frederique Constant Classic Moonphase Date Manufacture watch

The Classic Moonphase Date Manufacture employs a new iteration of Frederique Constant’s high-precision 4hz movement. Guaranteed to five years, it includes a new barrel and three days of power reserve. A handsome daily wearer, it is housed in a 40mm steel case, water-resistant to 50m, and utilises three-from-the-centre timekeeping hand configuration, an onion-shape crown, and a moonphase/date sub-dial. The sunray dial finished in a fetching British racing green forms part of a strong trend towards green-hued dials seen throughout the novelties unveiled at this year’s Watches & Wonders.


L.U.C Qualité Fleurier

Chopard L.U.C Qualité Fleurier dress watch

Forming part of Chopard’s haute horlogerie L.U.C collection, the Qualité Fleurier is produced in the company’s trademark protected Lucent Steel – an alloy composed of at least 80% recycled material. Powered using an ultra-thin micro rotor movement with twin stacked barrels (for increased power reserve) and Geneva stripes decoration, the watch is certified under the eponymic, Qualité Fleurier programme. This is a fittingly stringent process that includes and builds on Chronometer certification solely for 100% Swiss-manufactured watches. Other stand-out design notes include the bulls-eye dial, syringe hands, running seconds sub-dial, and welded horn lugs.


Tangente 38 Date Sportburn

Nomos Tangente 38 Date Sportburn watch

Expanding on its stalwart Tangente 38 Date model, Nomos has introduced the model in no fewer than 31 new colourways. Each version is limited to just 175 pieces yet priced lower than the general production model. With this striking medley of colour combinations – from bold to more conservative offerings – the Glashütte-based brand extols that it wants to bring “individuality to the wrist and diversity to the world of fine watchmaking.” The Sportburn iteration [pictured], for instance, is said to be inspired by 1970s fashion and the “cheerful days of youth” with its red dial, cream numerals/markers, turquoise minute track and mustard outer ring.


Santos de Cartier Dual Time

Cartier Santos de Cartier Dual Time watch

In a move befitting its globetrotting, aeronautic heritage, Cartier’s Santos de Cartier Dual Time introduces a namesake ‘dual time’ complication into the 2018-rebooted Santos collection. The second time zone is displayed via a 6 o’clock sub-dial with a colour alternating aperture for AM/PM indication. Driven using an automatic calibre, the Dual Time is supplied with steel bracelet or leather strap options and the tool-less ‘QuickSwitch’ system for easy interchangeability between the two. The Santos collection is named in honour of pioneering Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, for whom the first Cartier ‘Santos’ watch – and the first men’s wristwatch made in earnest – was produced.


Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon Day & Night

IWC Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon Day & Night watch

With pieces like the Portugieser Hand-Wound Tourbillon Day & Night, IWC focussed on high complications for its Watches & Wonders releases. This Portugieser’s lead features, as its name suggests, are a 56-part flying tourbillon and a novel day/night indicator. A small globe, half dark/light in colour, rotates on its axis once every 24-hours in a novel representation of the Earth’s diurnal cycle. Conceived by one of IWC’s then-apprentice watchmakers, Loris Spitzer, the brand proudly cites this as “a testament to the success of IWC’s trainee programme and the culture of curiosity and innovation that the company fosters.”

Ulysse Nardin

Freak S Nomad

Ulysse Nardin Freak S Nomad watch

Debuted in 2001, the Freak is a true watch world icon, marking the first commercial use of silicon in watchmaking. A material now employed by everyone from Rolex to Patek Philippe. It’s time display and winding system was avant-garde too. Eschewing the conventional dial, hands and crown - the inner workings were instead laid bare to see, the time was indicated by the (revolving) movement atop a rotating disc, whilst the watch was wound via its turning bezel. The latest Freak retains these ‘Freaky’ hallmarks, but updates the design to include a carbon fibre and PVD-titanium case alongside an 18th-century rose-engine turned guilloché pattern engraved onto the hour disc.