Watches and Wonders is a somewhat overwhelming experience. You are bombarded with new watches left and right, making it hard to separate the good from the average. But when the dust settles, some watches linger in your mind. Some have that X factor that most lack.

These are those watches for me. These are the Watches and Wonders 2024 releases that impressed me the most. Without further ado, let’s get stuck in!

Watches and Wonders 2024 favorite #1: Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir in yellow gold

I have always had a soft spot for Cartier. The Tortue, in particular, was a favorite. However, it was always a bit of a rare beast, hard to find and very expensive. While I was delighted to see it make a comeback this year, unfortunately, it will remain elusive. At only 200 pieces and with a price of just under €50,000, this was likely the first and last time to see one.

Although that may be disappointing, it doesn’t detract from the watch. I find it, in a single word, fantastic. Why? It is the combination of the classic Cartier aesthetic, a beautiful and complicated movement, and the perfect proportions. It measures 41.4mm long and 32.9mm wide, with a thickness of a mere 7.2mm. The way it sits on my 17.5cm wrist is just great, classically subtle yet strongly present.

Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir Thomas's favorites Watches and Wonders 2024

My pick is the version in yellow gold. This is not just because I prefer gold over platinum but also because of the slightly different details. The platinum model has applied Roman numerals, whereas the gold one features stark black printed numerals. I prefer this harder contrast. Also, platinum Cartier watches always have a ruby in the crown, but I prefer the blue sapphire. In this configuration, this is something of a grail watch for me.

You can read all about the technical details and background in my introduction article.

Watches and Wonders 2024 Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time rose gold

Watches and Wonders 2024 favorite #2: Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time Rose Gold & Green

I stay with precious metals for a moment longer, moving on to the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time. This model isn’t new, but it does come in a new outfit that looks rather handsome. My second favorite watch of the show is the Dual Time in rose gold with a green dial.

I am a big fan of brushed gold. It offers gold’s warmth, weight, and luxury without the overpowering bling. The Overseas is largely brushed — and beautifully so — with only a polished accent or two. This is a winning recipe for me, especially on gold sports watches.

And then there’s the dial in a beautiful hue of green that perfectly offsets the rose gold. I also love the little red details that the Dual Time model offers. Both the second hour hand and the AM/PM indicator have red tips. In my eyes, this makes this particular gold-and-green Overseas a tad less serious than its siblings.

You can read all about the technical details and background in my introduction article.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Thomas's favorites Watches and Wonders 2024

Watches and Wonders 2024 favorite #3: Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Chronograph Moon

The third to make my list of favorite Watches and Wonders 2024 releases is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Chronograph Moon. My stance toward Jaeger-LeCoultre is a bit different than toward most other brands. As you may know, I lean towards simpler watches, particularly base models and time-only versions. Not with JLC. I tend to find the brand’s simpler offerings a bit bland, for lack of a better word — as if La Grande Maison’s master watchmakers need a little room to truly spread their wings.

Well…spread their wings they did! I had a chance to go hands-on with the new Duometre models, and they are mesmerizing. The press images look impressive, but they don’t do justice to what these watches are like in real life. The level of refinement is second to none. I handled my share of Ferriers, Berthouds, and Langes last week, but the new Duometre Chronograph Moon is right up there.

I will not detail all the technicalities here as Lex covered them extensively. However, it is worth touching on the Duometre’s core principle. In short, there is a set of two mainsprings and gear trains. One powers the regular time-telling functionality, while the other is specifically for the complications. This way, engaging the chronograph, for instance, does not affect the accuracy of the regular time display. The technology is amazing, but the way it is presented is even more so. The case and crystal are like pebbles, and I am not sure which I find prettier, the dial or the movement.

Honorable mentions

A very close fourth is the Chopard L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25, a jump-hour watch with a stark black dial, characteristic staggered handset, and Chopard typography. In contrast to my pick from JLC, this is a masterclass in minimalism. Staying with Chopard, the L.U.C. XPS with the forest-green sector dial could have made my list too. Another watch that impressed me a lot was the Classic Moon from Laurent Ferrier.

Introducing the Laurent Ferrier Classic Moon Phase

I found Tudor interesting, primarily from a professional perspective. If I had to put my money on which releases will have the greatest commercial success of this W&W, the new Black Bay models spring to mind. Both the 58 GMT and the new monochromatic divers will surely hit the spot for many.

All in all, I think Watches and Wonders 2024 saw some impressive releases. There wasn’t, in my opinion, an absolute show-stopper this year. It was a little bit tame, which was to be expected considering that the market isn’t as hot as it was a while ago. Still, the three watches above would certainly not get kicked out of my watchbox if they were to land there inexplicably. One thing is clear: it is all super high-end stuff. There were very few affordable watches, and the ones that were were often compromised in some way, in my humble opinion.

Which are your favorite releases of Watches and Wonders 2024? Let us know in the comments below!