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The most fantastic watches to wear in 2023: from 3D printing to emojis

The most fantastic watches to wear in 2023: from 3D printing to emojis

The annual Watches & Wonders show in Geneva, which showcases the luxury watch industry, is always a bit crazy, but even with current economic challenges such as cost-of-living crises, inflation, supply chain disruptions, and the conflict in Ukraine, the event remained extravagant. Despite the challenges, Switzerland's major watch companies are raising prices and experiencing no decrease in demand or production after a successful last year, particularly due to the resumption of the Chinese market that was previously closed due to the pandemic. Interestingly, the higher the cost of the watch, the quicker it sells out, indicating a booming market.

Despite a lack of groundbreaking innovations like light-absorbing cases, 3D-printed gold, or world-record thin timers, the watch industry is creatively vibrant in 2023—a plethora of colors, advancements in materials, and everything it takes to capture your attention.

So, in response to the current global issues, some watch companies have opted to inject some levity into their offerings. For example, Rolex has created the horological equivalent of a mistake by introducing a limited edition Day-Date 36 Puzzle Motif that amusingly replaces the days of the week with positive words. The date window at 3 o'clock also features a sequence of emojis instead of numerals, including a kissing face, four-leaf clover, heart, and peace sign.

Oris ProPilot Altimeter

Oris has developed a 3D-printed watch to elevate the manufacturing technique to unprecedented levels. The brand collaborated with a Swiss startup that specializes in additive fusion technology to create carbon fiber parts for the aerospace, automotive, and medical sectors. The process involves a two-stage approach that begins with the precise layering of carbon-fiber strands to manufacture a part, followed by a high-pressure, high-heat molding treatment that enhances the bonding between the layers and perfects the profile and finish of the piece. This technique has been employed to create the case of Oris' new ProPilot Altimeter watch.

Hermes H08 Chronograph

Hermes has also chosen to reinforce carbon fiber, but with the addition of powdered graphene, which functions as a hardening agent for the already lightweight watch case. The H08 watch, introduced in 2021, boasts a softly square-shaped design. The brand has now released several versions of the watch that pair the lightweight carbon/graphene case with colorful rubber straps and dial accents, further emphasizing the sporty element. Instead of incorporating traditional chronograph pushers that would disrupt the flow of the case profile, the watch is operated entirely by a single pusher located within the winding crown.

Rolex Yacht-Master Titanium

This year's Watches & Wonders show features the revival of chronographs and the prominence of titanium in numerous timepieces. After competitive sailor Ben Ainslie was spotted wearing a prototype watch made of corrosion-resistant material, it was not surprising to see Rolex's Yacht-Master as one of the highlights of the show. This 42-mm watch has a satin finish, and the intense black dial contributes to the watch's aesthetic appeal, while its water resistance to 100 meters enhances its functionality.

A Lange & Sohne Odysseus Chronograph

A Lange & Sohne's Odysseus line is their entry into the realm of luxury sports watches and has become a highly sought-after timepiece since its launch in 2019. Their newest addition, the Odysseus Chronograph is also the brand's first automatic chronograph. This watch takes a unique approach to the traditional chronograph design, with the stopwatch minute and second counters located in the center of the watch face to avoid obstructing the large day/date display. The date functions and stopwatch elements are operated by discrete pushers and offer a touch of eccentricity.

IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40
Gerald Genta, a renowned watch designer - has been the talk of the watch industry for the last three years, thanks to his iconic 1970s designs for Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. The watches he designed are considered some of the world's most sought-after timepieces, so it's no surprise that IWC is reintroducing the Ingenieur SL, a steel watch created in 1976. The new Ingenieur comes with a modern twist and an updated movement boasting a 72-hour power reserve. The timepiece is available in three dial options: black, white, or turquoise, each featuring a new interpretation of the pattern that defined the original design.

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May 12, 2023
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