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The Best Releases of 2024 So Far

April 9, 2024

With Watches and Wonders around the corner, now is a good time to review the most notable watches introduced this year.

From the long-anticipated white-dial Speedmaster to a set of wearable Fifty Fathoms models, 2024 has already seen some incredible releases from luxury brands. On the affordable side, Seiko and Swatch are back at it once more with several exciting new models. Of course, the year has also brought further price increases from top brands like Tudor and Rolex. While only time will tell what Watches and Wonders will bring, the first three months of 2024 have already been fruitful.

The White-Dial Omega Speedmaster 

Omega's decision to introduce a white-dial Speedmaster in early March came as a pleasant surprise for collectors who had been looking for such a release for years. The timepiece itself is hardly revolutionary, sharing the same case, bracelet, and movement as its black-dial counterpart. The dial features several updates beyond its color, including black PVD hands and indexes, red accents, and a glossy finish. While non-limited, the availability of the new release remains to be seen. Demand for the model is expected to be high in the coming months.

Zenith Chronomaster Original Triple Calendar

Zenith recently adapted its iconic Chronomaster design to include a triple calendar, a historical complication from some of the most iconic mid-century watches. The largely symmetrical dial is certainly a handsome facade, featuring a moonphase display at six o'clock and the day and month above opposite sub-dials. Beneath, the impressive El Primero 3610 beats away at 5hz. Like the standard Chronomaster Original, the watch still measures 38mm across. However, the space required to accommodate the complication brings the thickness to 14mm. Viewed in profile, it's clear that the caseback protrudes significantly, making the watch sit somewhat awkwardly on the wrist. The watch's design and movement may make up for this shortcoming but perhaps fall short of justifying the retail price. At $13,900, the new release is hardly competitively priced.

Seiko Prospex 1965 Heritage Diver

Seiko recently introduced the successor to the Prospex SPB143, one of the brand's most popular mid-tier divers. The update includes three new references: the blue-dial SPB451, black-dial 453, and limited-edition gilt-dial 455. Seiko downsized the case from 40.5 by 13.3mm to 40 by 13mm. The model is also now water resistant to 300m instead of 200. The movement received an update as well; the 6R55 caliber replaces the 6R35, providing two more hours of power reserve. At a price of $1,300, the two non-limited editions are $100 more expensive than their predecessor. What hasn't changed is the inspiration: a charming, vintage Seiko from 1965. The technical and aesthetic improvements make the heritage-inspired design more attractive than ever.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph Ti49

The Laureato Chronograph Ti49 is a striking new release from a brand that is often neglected by enthusiasts. Girard-Perregaux introduced the Laureato in 1975 following the success of the Royal Oak. Logically, the design is very similar to the famous AP, from the angular octagonal case, integrated bracelet, and clous-de-Paris dial. While derivative, it's hard to argue that the formula doesn't work. The case measures 42mm across and 12mm tall and is made of Grade 5 titanium, a first for the Laureato collection. The muted, monochromatic, gray dial complements the sporty case nicely. The watch is powered by the in-house automatic GP03300-0141 caliber, which consists of over 400 components. With a price of $19,400, the release is an attractive alternative to the much costlier Royal Oak Chronograph.

A 42mm Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

In March, Blancpain finally introduced the iconic Fifty Fathoms design in a wearable size. At 42.3mm across, the new cases share the dimensions of some of the coveted but sadly inaccessible limited editions Blancpain released last year for the Fifty Fathoms' (nominal) 70th anniversary. Of course, the brand has still reserved steel for limited models; the new releases are only available in titanium or rose gold. The move to release its most famous model in a size that isn't an absurd 45mm is only logical for the brand, which has struggled in the last decade. The Blancpain X Swatch Scuba Fifty Fathoms models, which were also 42.3mm, converted far fewer buyers to Blancpain owners than the fruitful MoonSwatch collaboration. While the $16,000 price tag of the most accessible model still prices out most potential Scuba Fifty Fathoms customers, at least now the watch they can buy won't engulf their wrists.

Omega X Swatch MoonSwatch Snoopy

Swatch and Omega are back at it again with the release of the MoonSwatch Mission to the Moonphase. The Snoopy-inspired model draws from Omega's long-standing relationship with NASA, which awarded the company the "Silver Snoopy" Award in 1970 for its contributions to space exploration. The brand famously released several coveted Snoopy Award Speedmasters. The new model features a 42mm Bioceramic case and velcro strap like the original Missions to the Moon. The main difference is the dial, which includes a moonphase indication in which Snoopy lies atop two crescent moons. While the new model isn't limited, Swatch has opted to release the MoonSwatch Snoopy exclusively in stores.

Piaget Polo 79

Piaget is definitely a bit late to the '70s sports watch craze with this release. While the brand's $14,400 Polo design could capitalize off the integrated-bracelet trend, this edition is asking for a lot more while delivering what is arguably a worse package for the money. The $73,000 price tag tops those of the Vacheron Constantin 222 and a gold Royal Oak at retail. Where Piaget has doubtlessly succeeded is in the design. Using the iconic elements of the original Polo, Piaget has masterfully reconstructed the alternating brushed and polished gadroons of the case, updated the movement to an ultra-slim mechanical caliber, and cleaned up the dial. The result is crisp and modern, even if overpriced.

TAG Heuer Carrera Dato Chronograph

Unveiled at LVMH Watch Week 2024 in January, the Dato Chronograph is the latest watch in a series of well received, vintage-inspired releases from TAG Heuer. Executed in a bright teal color, the dial is remarkably striking. The unique placement of the date window at nine o'clock balances the minute counter at three. The odd configuration comes from the 1968 Heuer Carrera 45 Dato. In keeping with the vintage inspiration, the case measures a modest 39 by 13.86mm and features a tall, "Glassbox" crystal. The Dato houses the in-house TH20-07 DATO column-wheel chronograph caliber which provides 80 hours of power reserve. The new release retails for $6,550.

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