Watches & Wonders: Day 2 Recap

Day 2 of Watches & Wonders is history, and the Worn & Wound team is back to recap the day’s events once again. Today saw more meetings, more video shoots, and more frantically checking our calendars to make sure we don’t miss a key appointment. There were also plenty of surprises, from brands that we have known and loved for years, and also some that we all want to learn more about. Check our reactions to day 2 below.

Zach Kazan

Watches and Wonders Day 2 started, thankfully, after a good night’s sleep. To this point, the effects of jetlag have been mostly pretty minimal, and waking up early, having a real breakfast, and starting the day on Swiss time in mind and body was certainly a positive development. Some people come to these shows, put in a full day of work, and party hard well into the evening, and frankly I’m not sure how those people survive the week while meeting deadlines. 

I’ve learned that a nice thing that happens at an event like this is that a brand will inevitably surprise you, either with the watches they’re exhibiting, the presentation, or both. That happened today with TAG Heuer, who have introduced new Carreras that are more appealing than just about chronograph I’ve seen them release in the last three or four years. And that’s a lot of chronographs. Zach Weiss will have more on these tomorrow, but they’re an early favorite of the show for me. In person, they were so much stronger than I expected based on the brand supplied images. Not really their fault though. The effect of this particular “glass box” crystal is tough to capture in two dimensions, and the watch is definitely something you’ll need to experience in person to fully grasp. 


But that wasn’t even my favorite watch to come out of the TAG meeting. No, that would be the solid gold Aquaracer with a gorgeous brown/gray fumé dial. I can already feel this watch becoming a lingering obsession. I’m here for the mix of high and low, making what is essentially one of their most approachable pieces in a precious metal. And maybe it’s rapidly approaching middle age (who am I kidding, it’s here), but I like the casual, sporty, opulence. I don’t currently live a lifestyle where a watch like this would make any sense at all, but I love it. 

Last year’s meeting with Hermes was one of my favorites. The watches are beautiful, but the people at the brand also provide a wonderful experience and are just incredibly friendly. This year’s meeting was much the same, and we’ll have more on some new watches in the H08 line coming soon. But the real highlights this year were the artisanal pieces. The level of craft is mindblowing. We were shown a pocket watch with a case accented with gold thread and real horse hair. A one-off piece that has already been sold, the only reason for it to be at the show is to flex, which with this watch and many others, Hermes has earned the right to do. 

Blake Buettner

My second full day of Watches & Wonders was mired by a set of completely shot vocal chords. Being a productive member of the team was difficult, but thankfully you don’t need a working voice to get some writing done. After some tea (thanks, Fernanda!) I found myself in serviceable territory to take some meetings and see some watches. While many great watches were indeed scene, the real fun was spotting in the halls between meetings. Seeing the likes of Lange, Laurent Ferrier, vintage Zenith, as well as previously unknown watches was just as incredible as seeing the new stuff. I mean seriously, look at this thing. 

Perhaps the most impressive watch seen at the show thus far came in the Ferdinand Berthoud meeting, where I was able to view and even briefly handle some truly impressive horological machinery. We’re talking fusee and chain constant force, cylindrical tourbillons, sapphire bridges, and some truly spectacular finishing at every angle. To truly appreciate these movements, you’d have to have a watchmaker with you to translate some of the ideas at work into layman terms. Luckily, I had one with me, so keep an eye out for more impressions on those watches coming soon. 

My favorite watch spot of the day? A vintage Zenith Pilot chronograph Sub Sea, a watch I’ve come close to buying on more than one occasion. It was on the wrist of the Zenith historian, who was present to explain Zenith’s history in pilots watches, which is ample. But the charm of the watch on her wrist surpassed many of the new watches under the glass. 

Tomorrow we’ll be going our busiest day yet, and will finally offer the opportunity to go hands-on with the new releases from Rolex. Assuming my voice holds on for another day, expect much more impressions to come. 

Zach Weiss

Day 2! It’s in the books! After staying out a little too late last night at a party with WOLF winders and WM Brown project (thanks the negronis!), I managed to get up at 6am, strap on my Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto (and get dressed too), head down to breakfast, and ready myself for another long day of looking at luxury watches, sipping bitter espressos, and drinking as much water as I could. Luckily, our first meeting was an easy one with our friends over at Oris. While we saw the Kermit and the Altimeter (both very nice), it was the stuff they have coming out later this year that got me most excited. But, you’ll just have to wait. 

The highlight of the day though was our meeting with TAG Heuer. I had a good feeling going into this one after reading the press release for their new Carreras. The more I learned, the more I realized just how big of a deal this launch was. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. The new 39mm Carreras are something special. They might end up might being my favorite release from Watches & Wonders this year. Stay tuned tomorrow for my article and a video of my very enthusiastic reaction.

I did also stop by Hautlence, who after a four-year semi-hiatus is back in a big way. They did a collab with Black Badger that was lots of fun. More on that to come. I followed that meeting with a stop by Laurent Ferrier, as one does at Watches & Wonders, to try on some dream watches. They literally found the perfect green. 

One last stop at Hermes, who always manage to blow my mind with something, was a great finale. Amongst their impressive offerings was a dial that had an illustration of a leopard on it. Not that wild, though elegant. And then we learned it was actually made out of little pieces of leather. Woah. 

See you tomorrow!

Kat Shoulders

I have to say, Day 2 of Watches And Wonders started off a little slower than Day 1. Maybe it’s the jet-lag and lack of sleep that’s starting to get to me but I was definitely reaching for the coffee today. The day did start off bright and cheery though as we had our first appointment with Oris and got to see the ProPilot Kermit in the flesh. Sadly, Kermit himself was not on site, word on the street is he is a very busy frog and has places to be. Speaking of celebrities, I’m still not over missing Julia Roberts’ keynote yesterday with Chopard, but I digress. 

Next up was TAG Heuer, who had a very inviting and entertaining booth space this year. While a lot of the media has fallen hard for the new Carreras (as they should, because they are awesome), I was smitten by the new solid rose gold Aquaracer. Rose gold is hit or miss for me sometimes but TAG executed it perfectly, even nearly matching my rose gold wedding ring. This must be a sign right? The dégradé dial of the Aquaracer leans between brown and gray depending on the light and is just a solid hunk of warmth on the wrist. On black rubber, it’s sexy as hell and easily won the day. 

Hermes and Bell & Ross ended the day for me, both showcasing some very fun pieces. The new colorful Hermes H08s were certainly the highlight. They seem to be something totally different than their normal repertoire of fine watches and I tend to like them even more for that. 

Food was again excellent in the halls today, however, no mini sandwiches for me as the day got away from me. I’ll have to make up for that tomorrow. The pace was a little slower today and it seemed that several folks had a little more downtime to catch up and chat in the halls. I’m looking forward to day 3 and what is my final day at Palexpo before heading to Time To Watches with Zach Wiess on Thursday. Let’s do this!

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