Put simply, Watches and Wonders is a wild time — especially for members of the press. Walking through the hall doors that first morning, even the most astute veteran with a meticulous sense of organization can’t always be fully prepared for the world’s largest luxury watch fair. Between the flurry of meetings, photoshoot bookings, press conferences, and keynote speeches, the fair brings together all facets of the luxury watch world.
This year SHARP did things a bit differently, as we teamed up with Maison Birks — one of Canada’s leading and longest-standing luxury watch retailers — producing a series of videos that take watch enthusiasts inside the booths of some of the industry’s leading brands, for a closer look at their newest releases. All of the brands seen below are carried by Maison Birks, and there are plenty of timepieces from each of these brands in store and available to shop now.
Jaeger LeCoultre leaned on the Reverso as primary line to highlight in 2023, and while there were many options to consider, the new Reverso Tribute Chronograph is the one we all want. Taking its roots from a similar chronograph from 1996, there have long been wonders about whether or not the practical complication would make its way back to the Reverso. To the untrained eye a chronograph seems rather run-of-the-mill, however it’s the specifics of this execution that give it its charm. To fit into a Reverso casing, it’s not a case of wedging a conventional round movement into a rectangular watch — that would be too easy. Instead, Jaeger LeCoultre went back to the drawing board, and conceived a modern rectangular chronograph caliber (based on the one used those decades ago). It in turn makes sense that the brand would leave the chronograph visible via an open dial, allowing its wearer to appreciate its construction and finishing.
Tudor has spent the last several years with a clear focus on the “watch enthusiast” end of the market segment, and this year’s hero release doubles down on that position. The Black Bay 54 — whose nomenclature takes its roots from the original Tudor dive watch that launched in 1954 — is a perfect example of modern-meets-vintage design harmony. It’s 37mm in diameter and can be purchased on a brushed steel rivet-style bracelet, but in turn the brand also offers up an integrated rubber strap for those desiring a bit more utility. Both are fitted with the brand’s micro-adjustment clasp, ensuring a perfect fine-tuned fit. This is by no means a release the reinvents the wheel for Tudor, but one that fills a gap in the modern luxury dive watch offering in a way that will appeal to nearly everyone.
Being the 60th anniversary of the TAG Heuer Carrera this year, the brand has been pulling out all the stops with its new releases. While some have been enjoying the true-to-original Carrera chronographs, it’s the Carrera Chronograph “Glassbox” models that stole our heart. These references look more modern than many of their counterparts, however the extension of the domed sapphire crystal out to the utmost edge of the case is in fact a nod to chronographs made by the brand in the ’60s and ’70s. At present, a blue version as well as a black and white reverse-panda dial are on offer, alongside a 42mm variant that replaces its running seconds subdial with an openworked tourbillon at the six o’clock position.
We never truly know what to expect from Grand Seiko, as the brand has a knack for appearing at industry shows with a slew of surprises. Much like many releases this year, we’re not talking about some sort of ultra complex and rare timepiece costing six figures, but rather a wonderful execution of a type of watch that many have been hoping for for years. The Grand Seiko Tentagraph is a culmination of years of the brand’s expertise. Masterful dial and case craftsmanship, impeccable accuracy, and in this case the addition of a complication to the brand’s repertoire we’ve not yet seen. For years the only chronograph available from Grand Seiko was a watch that used one of the brand’s ingenious Spring Drive calibers. Wanting to ensure that it could live up to the brand’s exacting accuracy standards, it took until 2023 for the Tentagraph to come to market. Accurate to +5/-3 seconds per day (a hair under the Swiss COSC certification), the high-frequency chronograph runs at 10 beats per second, all while still delivering a 72-hour power reserve; with specs like these, the new watch was absolutely worth the wait.
We’ve been expecting a refresh of Panerai’s Radiomir line, but that’s not to say that this year’s releases from the brand didn’t come with any surprises. In particular, the addition of an Annual Calendar complication to the classic model was an unexpected win, as it adds the indication of the month to an outer rotating disc on the dial (as shown in our video). Alongside these substantive additions — being offered in Goldtech (Panerai’s proprietary rose gold formulation) with a blue dial as seen above, as well as in steel with a fumé red dial — the brand also took big steps in adding to the Radiomir’s core collection as well. A handful of new references bring the Radiomir’s case size down to 40mm to suit the downsizing trends we’ve seen in the market these last few years.