Watches

Seven watches to invest in from Watches & Wonders 2024

These are the best timepieces to invest in from this year's Watches & Wonder 2024. Including watches from Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget's Polo Date, a complicated TAG Heuer Monaco, Chanel J12 and a Gucci minute repeater as well as Jaeger-LeCoultre and A. Lange & Söhne models

By Scarlett Baker

A ‘future collectible’ might sound like a bit of an oxymoron. How are we to know what will be the icon of tomorrow, while living in today? In truth, we don’t. After all, time will run its course and have the ultimate say. In the behemoth that is watch real estate, with new designs, prototypes and hopeful timepieces conceived every single day, it’s hard to cut through the noise (particularly if you’re up against a Grand Sonnerie). 

That said, when Geneva rolls out the red carpet to reveal the annual spectacle that is Watches and Wonders (or what I like to think of as the watch industry’s answer to fashion week) releasing this year’s catalogues of newness and novelties, there’s certainly a shortlist that are deserving of a spot on your grail list. 

To help decipher the bread and butter watches from your high tea, discover this year’s future collectibles that we believe will truly stand the test of time.

TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph

TAG Heuer Monaco Split-Seconds Chronograph

While it might take you longer than a split-second to name TAG Heuer’s latest o€ering, this all-new model is momentous in bringing a futuristic edge to the archetypal oblong that is the Monaco. TAG by name, avant-garde techniques by nature, this immediately arresting dial showcases the bona fide icon but with a newfangled nod to just how inventive a dial can be, regardless of its small-scale parameters. With gradient blue dial arches that authoritatively frame the dial, its inner workings are no afterthought to the brightly-hued design. 

With a calibre crafted entirely in titanium, it boasts the lightest automatic chronograph movement ever created by TAG Heuer, in partnership with Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. The unrelenting enticement of the Monaco – whether you’re in amour with all things automotive or otherwise – is consolidated with a secret surprise on the caseback.

Encasing the soul of the watch, sapphire crystal is constructed with angular ridges to give the impression of a floating oscillating weight, so that you’re left scratching your head thinking exactly how you can get this mere 85 gram model on your wrist faster than you can say haute horlogerie. 

Chanel J12

Chanel J12

Should the groans against fashion-forward watches need to be silenced once and for all, Chanel will happily oblige in sealing the lips of those in protest, proving that those well versed in haute couture can thrive in haute horlogerie, too.

Case in point, Chanel’s further amplification of the hallmark J12, further bridging the spheres of artistry that come with fashioning clothes and fashioning watches. And Chanel does so quite literally, leaning into this desire amongst younger audiences to see watches that dabble in satire and fuse fun into the DNA of the dial. So much so, a traditional pair of hands are usurped by the intricate shape of a scissors and needle, while the crisp white dial is illustrated with the motif of pattern-cutting.

Of course the J12 wouldn’t be the unsung hero it is today without its highly-resistant ceramic anatomy. But this culturally hybrid model is a testament to watchmaking that feels insouciant. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but its wit lies there for those worthy enough to notice it.

Gucci 25H Minute Repeater

Gucci 25H Minute Repeater

In the interest of technicality – the core of the watch world – Gucci’s spell-binding novelties mightn’t be decorating the holy halls of Geneva’s Palexpo, but the launch of their novelties in line with this major calendar moment aren’t to go amiss.

Gucci has long gained the trust of those sitting around the red carpet, but in more recent years, trust has extended to the watch industry too. The maison’s approach to high watchmaking only continues this year, as the Italian kingpin manifests a spot on your wrist with the Gucci 25H Minute Repeater. 

What makes it so deserving of the spot? In the brand’s horological history, a new Gucci calibre gives life to what is arguably one of the greatest complications of them all: the minute repeater. An acoustic portrayal of time, prompting a delicate chime with three notes on the quarter hours fits neatly into an ultra-thin case of 9.8mm, you could call it architectural awe. Paired with a flying tourbillon and transparent dial that subtly exposes the hidden artistry of cogs in motion, think of it as the haute couture equivalent but for your wrist. 

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honeygold “Lumen”

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon Honeygold “Lumen”

It’s difficult to decipher what makes Lange’s latest Datograph Lumen so collectible: the front or the back of the watch. Judge it for yourself, but it’s been 25 years since the maison launched the iconic Datograph, and this year marks a first for the brand with the Lange exclusive honey gold version.

So we’re urging you to run, don’t walk, given its limited access with just 50 watches. If you missed the mark in 2016 when Lange dropped the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon, then your time has come once more. Except now, lucky wrists get three classic complications – perpetual calendar, tourbillon with stop-seconds and a jumping minute counter – that mind-blowingly exist in harmony, to the backdrop of lilting honeyed gold. And that’s not even the fun part. The charm of Lange’s Datograph truly lies in the moment when the lights are turned o€, and the watch takes to the spotlight with a semi-transparent dial and luminous coating.

In short, it looks like a totally different watch in the dark. The lucid interjections of the movement sit unobtrusively in the background, and the darker the surroundings, the more luminous the elements appear. Its buoyant response to light and the narrative between the dial and its inner workings prove that Lange really puts the L in lume. Looks like its lights out, and away you go. 

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Brise D’Été

Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Arpels Brise D’Été

Stalwarts in illustrating the poetry of time, Van Cleef & Arpels never cease to outdo themselves. So much so that their entire archive is collectible in its own right. But this year, the maison ushers in a full-circle moment, paying homage to the theme that has guided them since their early beginnings: nature. It’s a motif that we perhaps forget about in the fastidious nature of our busied lives, and yet Van Cleef ushers us on back, supplying their usual wizardry to watchmaking in the Lady Arpels Brise d’Été watch.

On a canvas of 38mm of white gold, the maison brings flowers into bloom, and utilises delicate butterflies to take flight through an animation module to indicate the passage of time. Summoning us to willingly suspend our disbelief, in what feels like an act of defying the very laws of physics, enamelled leaves and tsavorite garnet nod to the eternal cycle of both nature and time.

Housing a pastoral vision on the wrist, it’s a bucolic escape to another world, and a testament to just how eye-opening the world of watchmaking can be sometimes. And of course, movement is at the very heart of such a world, but for Van Cleef & Arpels, it embodies an entirely new meaning; the ability to manipulate the movement of objects on a dial that records time in a non-linear fashion. But most importantly, their ability to truly move watchmaking into the future. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Heliotourbillon Perpetual

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Heliotourbillon Perpetual

Dubbed the watchmaker of watchmakers, Jaeger-LeCoultre confirms exactly why for this year’s Watches & Wonders novelty line-up. Experts in finessing refined watches, the Swiss watchmaker has conceived an undoubtable collectible for any watch-lovers horological hoardings with the Duomètre Heliotourbillon Perpetual.

Cast your minds back to the frivolity of your childhood and the aimless joy that came with twirling a spinning top through your fingers. Well, Jaeger-LeCoultre has unintentionally harnessed that endless euphoria in a novel manner, with the introduction of a tourbillon that spins on three axes to mirror the effect. In aficionado terms, it means greater accuracy, but to the zealots for free-spirited design, it’s a reminder of the joys from yesteryear.

Not only that, this breakthrough in precision is constructed so that the complication intersects the width of the dial, exposing layers to the watch in a pseudo-skeleton effect. But if anything, it’s a reminder to peel back the layers in this unique world of fine craftsmanship, which now more than ever, is about so much more than telling the time.

Piaget Polo Date

Piaget Polo Date

Is there a watch brand that truly typifies the appetite of today’s watch wearers other than Piaget? Perhaps not. And nothing makes for a timepiece that you want to treasure for eternity than an anniversary watch. In lieu of their 150th celebrations and following on from Piaget’s seismic success with the return of the Polo 79 earlier this year, the maison continues to build on the allure of sports-chic, beckoning both aficionados and newcomers alike with the Piaget Polo Date.

Its warming coffee-coloured panetones speak to the charismatic design of the OG Polo in a modern manner, taking cues from its infamous gadroons that horizontally strike the dial, here in a comforting 42mm. The delicate inflections of rose gold – which offers an inherently vintage feel – on the hands, with the second hand bearing a commemorative ‘150’ proves that Piaget are masters in harnessing all that was good about yesteryear, while finding its place ahead of time.

Like this? Piaget celebrates 150 years at Watches & Wonders 2024