8 investment watches to know from Watches & Wonders
Heritage ruled at this year’s Watches & Wonders, with a host of luxury brands digging into their archives for the hundreds of new watches debuting at the world’s biggest watch fair.
From tongue-in-cheek references from Rolex and Chanel, who offered playful spins on their much-loved watch collections, to the celebration of intricate jewellery techniques from Cartier and Piaget, discover the top eight watches to invest in now, and love forever.
1. Chanel Première Robot Watch
In 1987, Chanel surprised the fashion industry with the release of their first watch, the Première. Taking its cue from both the architectural silhouette of Chanel’s home, the Place Vendôme, and the distinctive shape of the stopper of the N°5 fragrance bottle, it intertwined couture moments throughout with its distinctive leather chain nodding to the classic handbags. A precious playfulness is introduced into this new version guarded by a robot in ceramic, blackened titanium and onyx.
2. Cartier Clash (Un)limited Watch
Jewellery watches don’t need to be delicate, and the Clash (Un)limited watch eschews an overly feminine aesthetic, focusing instead on gloriously bold design. Drawing on jewellery artistic director, Jeanne Toussaint’s legacy, this piece plays on her fascination with ball bearings. Here they are cast in a newly-created violet gold, spinning on their axis and nestled between sharply drawn brushed and satin-finished gold in a chic contrast between precious and punk.
3. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Self-Winding Watch
No-one does classic watches better than Vacheron Constantin, who this year rethink the colour palette, adding a twist to the Overseas self-winding model with new versions in pink gold and steel. Cutting a slender case silhouette, a chunky gold bracelet is offset by a brilliant blue lacquered dial. For a casual look, switching it up is easy too: each watch comes both with the integrated bracket and one in rubber and one in calfskin, which can be effortlessly changed at home.
4. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watch
Decided on a Rolex but unsure which one to go for? We love the new Oyster Perpetual model, which nods to a classic Rolex design and has fun doing so. The lacquered dial on the familiar face pops with multi-coloured bubbles, each one nodding to the five colours introduced by Rolex in 2020. The motif—appropriately dubbed ‘Celebration’—makes a cheerful foil for the clean Oystersteel of the case (Rolex’s own stainless steel alloy), set onto the three-piece link bracelet introduced by Rolex in the Thirties.
5. Piaget Limelight High Jewellery Cuff Watch
Horological codes meet a high jewellery heritage in Piaget’s new pieces, which stay faithful to a 1957 philosophy dictating that only precious metals were to be used in their watches. Now, Piaget is looking back to the gold cuff watches introduced in 1969, with a gold bracelet expertly engraved with minuscule grooves which imbues the bracelet with a fluidity, making a sculptural foil for the bright turquoise dial.
6. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Watch
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso rewrote watchmaking codes upon its debut in 1931, epitomising Art Deco design in its clean lines and angular motifs. While originally created for polo players—who could flip the dial over to protect it during the game—the watch has since been rethought in elegantly feminine variations. With its chevrons and zigzags in bold coloured enamel, these new pieces return squarely to their Art Deco beginnings.
7. Van Cleef & Arpels Perlée Watch
Golden beads bring a vintage elegance to the Perlée collection of watches from Van Cleef & Arpels. Taking inspiration from the delicate beaded silhouettes of the jewellery pieces, here the double row of beads in rose gold circle a shimmering white mother-of-pearl dial, making for an elegant cocktail watch.
8. Hermès Slim d’Hermès Cheval de Légende
A silk scarf designed by artist Benoit Pierre Emery, which drew a galloping horse in gold dots on silk, is the inspiration for this Slim d’Hermès watch. Created by placing 1,678 rose gold beads, one by one, into laser-carved cavities on the golden surface of the watch face, this limited piece is the ultimate expression of the craftsmanship Hermès is rightly celebrated for.