The Watches And Wonders 2023 Chronograph Roundup – Part 1

by Shaun Lee

The chronograph stand outs at the Watches and Wonders.

The 2023 edition of Watches and Wonders has successfully concluded, and left a slew of novelties from the major watchmaking brands in its wake. From brand new collections that tread new paths for their brands, to additional references offering compelling alternatives to existing models, there were myriad timepieces on show. These watches didn’t just signal a complete return to normalcy, but also reaffirmed the event as the industry’s definitive trade show.

What particularly stood out this time were some new chronographs that were unveiled. We’ve compiled some of our favourites in this two-part story for your consideration, beginning with four highlights here.

Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Chronograph Ref. 5924

Pilot watches and chronographs go hand in hand, and Patek Philippe has finally introduced the latter to the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time line, eight years after which it first unveiled in 2015. The new Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Chronograph Ref. 5924 bears the familiar dual time zone display – with date indication tied to local time – and adds the chronograph complication via a sub-dial at six o’clock. Of course, it retains the collection’s distinctive aesthetic, which harks back to Patek Philippe watches created for aviators in the 1930s.

The combination of the chronograph with the pilot watch design makes this arguably the most representative model of the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time collection thus far. Two references are available for the new model. Our vote goes to the variant in green (pictured) with a lacquered khaki green dial and an olive green calfskin strap. Meanwhile, the other option sees a blue-grey sunburst dial paired with a navy-blue calfskin strap.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph

The Reverso’s swivelling, reversible case has long lent itself to the integration of various complications. In the new Reverso Tribute Chronograph, Jaeger-LeCoultre has debuted a new movement, Calibre 860, which adds a chronograph into the mix. On the “main” face of this watch, time is presented simply using two hands against a sunray-brushed dial. Flip the iconic case over, however, and the same time display is joined by a chronograph sporting a retrograde 30-minute counter at six o’clock.

The complexity of the movement on show is matched by the equally busy dial, which has been openworked to expose bridges decorated with Côtes de Genève and indices that are cantilevered from the flange. It’s the visual representation of the Reverso’s duality through and through, using an eminently useful complication, no less. This timepiece is offered in rose gold with a black dial, and in steel with a blue-grey dial.

Zenith Pilot Big Date Flyback

Zenith’s Pilot Type 20 line receives a revamp this year. The collection is simply called the Pilot now, with just two models – each cased in either steel or black ceramic. The larger Pilot Big Date Flyback clocks in at 42.5mm – a tad larger than the Pilot Automatic’s 40mm – and features a newly-developed version of the manufacture’s workhorse El Primero 3600 calibre, this time with the flyback chronograph and big date complications.

What’s radically different for this iteration is the watch’s overall design. In lieu of the Pilot Type 20’s vintage styling, the new collection has a decidedly modern case and dial. In the Pilot Big Date Flyback, this translates to details including the modernised typeface, textured dial background, bold chronograph hands, and the multi-coloured sub-dial at three o’clock. Consider this the herald to more models within the now-contemporary Pilot line – undoubtedly with other complications in the works.

Bulgari Octo Roma Chronograph

Bulgari marks a first this year as well, with its Octo Roma line debuting a chronograph model. As a sub-collection within the wider Octo umbrella, the Octo Roma lends balance to the Octo’s stark lines and hard facets, as well as the Octo Finissimo’s pursuit of all things ultrathin. This is largely accomplished with a preponderance of softer corners and curved surfaces.

Bulgari has reworked the Octo Roma this year with some subtle tweaks, and topped things off with the new Octo Roma Chronograph. The timepiece embodies a revised aesthetic that also marks a new chapter for the line. Note the perfectly integrated chronograph pushers, for instance, and how they extend seamlessly from the lugs. In much the same way, the crown has been restyled to blend more smoothly into the case – even with the new crown protectors flanking it. The finishing touch is the new Clous de Paris pattern on the dial, which takes the play with shapes and lines even further. This is perhaps the more versatile cousin to the modern classic that is the Octo.

Images courtesy of respective brands featured, artwork by Curatedition.

Related Links:

Patek Philippe: The Past Informs the Future

Patek Philippe: How to Stop Time

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s New Head Turner: Reverso Tribute Duoface Calendar

Jaeger-LeCoultre: Reverso Stories

Zenith Defy Revival: Colour Therapy

Zenith Defy Skyline Skeleton: Open Architecture

Bulgari Octo Finissimo: Go for Gold

Bulgari Octo: Less Is More

Bulgari: Lucky Number 8

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Continuing to use the site means you accept the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Accept Read More