Watch Highlights 2023: A Year of Elegance, Innovation, and Game-Changing Styles

From classic comebacks to futuristic collaborations, the watch scene saw it all this year. Here’s what stood out across all categories
Watch Highlights 2023: A Year of Elegance, Innovation, and Game-Changing Styles
December 27, 2023
Watch Highlights 2023: A Year of Elegance, Innovation, and Game-Changing Styles

In 2023, timepieces witnessed a dynamic evolution. Big moments were celebrated and we saw some classic watches making a comeback at events like Watches and Wonders and Dubai Watch Week.

Even though a widespread old-school vibe was unmistakable in the watch scene, 2023 wasn't just about reliving the past. The top-notch watches released this year showed off an industry that's super confident and ready to dive into new and exciting ideas – there were surprises galore, with bright colours, bold patterns, and inventive movements. 

GMT India checks out the best watches of 2023; here are some of our favourites.

Dress Watch

Rolex Perpetual 1908

This year, dress watches captivated enthusiasts. Take the L.U.C 1860 by Chopard, which made a striking debut at Watches and Wonders in Geneva. Drawing inspiration from its 1997 predecessor, the latest iteration of the L.U.C 1860 features a refined salmon-coloured dial and a Lucent Steel case, earning swift admiration from all around the world. What’s more, Rolex dropped the Perpetual 1908 — their first new collection in a decade. It debuted on Roger Federer at the Met Gala, commemorating founder Hans Wilsdorf's brand registration year. And then there was the Cartier Tank Normale stealing the show with its timeless design, blued hands, and signature features. 


Grand Seiko SLGC001 - Tentagraph - First GS Mechanical Chronograph

Talking of chronographs, let's spotlight the standout piece in Grand Seiko's 2023 collection — the SLGC001 "Tentagraph”. This novel chronograph boasts a high-beat automatic movement and a remarkable three-day power reserve. Notably, it holds the distinction of being the inaugural mechanical chronograph bearing the esteemed Grand Seiko name. The Tentagraph's dial, presented in a deep blue shade, features subtle textures, reminiscent of the ridged surfaces of Mount Iwate, the snow-clad peak that dominates the landscape of Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi. On the other hand, De Bethune introduced a monopusher chronograph that promised a more traditional aesthetic, paying homage to its early watches and commemorating 21 years of watchmaking excellence, harking back to its inaugural model, the DB1.

Sports Watch

TAG Heuer Carrera Glassbox

In yet another exciting collaboration with Porsche, TAG Heuer unveiled the latest addition to its triumphant Carrera "Glassbox" collection this year. This timepiece, however, boasts a distinctive engineering feature that sets it apart from its predecessors. Upon activating the chronograph, the hand accelerates at a certain pace before gradually slowing down as it elegantly traverses the dial. The purpose behind this is to recreate the thrilling sensation of accelerating in a high-performance car. Others in the sports watch category that stole our hearts were the Tudor Black Bay 54 and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore in a compact 37 mm size. 


Swatch x Blancpain Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Arctic Ocean

Patek Philippe X Tiffany & Co. set the trend for enduring watch collaborations, with renowned brands like Louis Vuitton, Ferrari, and Lamborghini joining forces with luxury timepiece makers. One of the highlights this year was the Blancpain X Swatch, a tribute to the pioneering Fifty Fathoms diver's watch, marking a significant milestone in watchmaking. The Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Collection, featuring five mechanical watches, caters to underwater exploration, while capturing the essence of Swiss watchmaking. Inspired by Swatch's SCUBA line, each model represents one of the five oceans, celebrating the vibrant life within. Other noteworthy collaborations included Zenith's Defy Extreme Carl Cox and Vacheron Constantin's unique Armillary Tourbillon, created in partnership with Rolls Royce Coachbuilt's custom Amethyst Droptail.

Metier d'Arts

Piaget Altiplano Métiers d'art - Undulata

Exquisite watches demand meticulous craftsmanship that results in finely finished movements, polished cases, and captivating dials. The Metaphoria collection from Piaget, inspired by nature's beauty, features the mesmerising Undulata watch. Created by artist Rose Saneuil, the timepiece boasts a hypnotic dial, blending green, blue, and iridescent hues in a marquetry of wood, straw, and leather. Limited to eight pieces in white gold and bedecked with diamonds, each element is carefully cut and hand-incrusted; it takes over 44 hours to create each piece. Other watches boasting impeccable craftsmanship this year included the Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Féerie and the Hermès Arceau Petite Lune


Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Secret Necklace

It's impossible to discuss jewellery watches without acknowledging the exceptional Van Cleef & Arpels Ludo Secret Haute Joaillerie timepiece. This watch pays homage to the 1934 Ludo collection, drawing inspiration from the world of couture. Showcasing the Maison's iconic craftsmanship, the watch features the Mystery Set technique, concealing the dial beneath a mesmerising pattern of Mystery Set emeralds. The emeralds create a stunning colour effect, underscoring the intricacy of their pattern. The bracelet, adorned with a hexagonal mesh in yellow gold and star-set emeralds, evokes the flexibility of a belt or fabric. Additionally, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Secret Necklace took the brand’s creative legacy to a whole new level by interpreting art deco into a sautoir while the Bvlgari Serpenti Misteriosi took on the shape of a snake, displaying the time within the serpent’s head. This circular triangle is elegantly paired with either a long Tubogas bracelet or a leather strap.

Image Credits: Respective Brands