My Highlights of Watches & Wonders and Geneva 2024: There were Many!

Every year in Geneva, you meet the most endearing people and their art, who are involved with watches of all kinds. This is particularly the case in April each year, because many events and meetings are concentrated in one small area: Watches & Wonders – Palexpo, Time To Watches – HEAD Geneva University, Masters of Horology (AHCI) – L’ice Bergues, Watchmakers United and Beau Rivage in the heart of Geneva, and in many other places at various pop-up events in the city between 8 and 15 April in 2024.

Watches and Wonders 2024 (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

My head buzzes every time, and I find it difficult to concentrate on everything and see and what interests me most. My pictures, both on the camera and on my phone, bursts every time after these few days.

Many brands exhititing at the Beau Rivage hotel during W&W (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

Extraordinary beauty from largely unrecognized artists

My aim each year is to try and sort out the impressions in my head and put them in some order. I try to capture what I have experienced and seen in a way that I can show everyone back home from my subjective point of view. Among the abundance of watches and clocks were works of art that remain in my memory longer than the rest because of their beauty and special character.

After each visit to Geneva, I add a few micromechanical, handcrafted works of art to my personal long-term archive, my inner memory, which remain there for for many years, far beyond the fleeting brief impression, because they stand out.

Over the last years I felt more and more that there are too many watches out there, far too many insignificant products in the world. And I feel, more than ever, to focus on rare and beautiful creations.

My phone rings no later than two of the three days after my return from Geneva with a brief, “Are you OK?” followed quickly by “S, what happened in Geneva? What’s coming this year? What will we see? What did you like best? Was it good? Was it worthwhile? Now I’m really curious.”

What really impressed me in this year includes the following pieces.

The always amazing and beautiful miracle machines from Van Cleef & Arpels

Usually of of Van Cleef & Arpels beautiful machines is always at the top of my list. This year it is the Apparition des Baies Automaton. A table clock in rose, white and yellow gold, with lots of precious stones, lacquer and plique-à-jour enamel.

Van Cleef & Arpels Apparition des Baies automaton (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

All of the craftsmanship and mechanics that can be imagined can be found in great beauty in this marvelous automaton.

Van Cleef & Arpels Bouton d’Or automaton

The second extraordinary object by Van Cleef & Arpels shown was the Bouton d´Or Automaton, and it is of similar beauty.

Van Cleef & Arpels  Apparition des Baies: rose, white and yellow gold, diamonds, sapphires, jasper, lacquered leafs, 8-day power reserve, animation on demand. Price: upon request

For more information, please visit



Maison Alcée Persee table clock kit

I like mid- and large-size clocks more than wristwatches. I have written about on Quill & Pad several times. And I still think that clocks are much underrepresented. They deserve more attention, especially in a year when the mechanical clocks category will not be represented at GPHG 2024.

Maison Alcée Percée clock

The team behind the Persée table clock kit are some of the nicest people in the world of horology.

This a perfect piece to introduce horology in a DIY-approach. Maison Alcée has occupied exactly the right niche here.

Maison Alcée Persée: table clock, manual wind, 18.000 A/h, limited edition of 500 table clocks, 233 parts, 17 tools. Price: 5.800,00 CHF

For more information, please visit

Vacheron Constantin Caliber 3752 Berkley Grand Complication: Simply Superlative

Simply superlative! Few watches deserve this description more than the double-sided Caliber 3752 from Vacheron Constantin. The most complicated construction with 63 horological complications in one micro-mechanical time machine.

Vacheron Constantin Caliber 3752 Berkley Grand Complication (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

It contains, to name only a few complications, a split-second chronograph, a Gregorian calendar, a Chinese lunar calendar, the full spectrum of calendar indications, tourbillon, retrograde indications and many more spectacular mechanisms. I am sure we will see a lot of articles about this masterpiece throughout this year.

There is no other watch like this.

Vacheron Constantin Berkley Grand Complication: 63 complications, 2.877 parts, traditional Chinese perpetual calendar, Gregorian perpetual calendar, 3-axis tourbillon. Price: unique piece, already sold

For more information please visit

Sylvain Pinaud Origine Only Watch edition in blue: Balanced and beautifully crafted

This piece unique Origine by independent watchmaker Sylvain Pinaud was an entry to the 2024 Only Watch auction. It is as beautiful as the original Origine. The design of the movement is clear and the finish of this watch is of an outstanding quality. Sylvain Pinaud has decided to make an Origine in his favorite color, blue, and it looks beautiful. There’s blue both on the two dials and on some delicate and more hidden parts of the movement.

Sylvain Pinaud Origine 2024 Only Watch edition (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

I like that Sylvain Pinaud dispenses with unnecessary complications. With the Origine, he produces a practical watch that simply tells the time – nothing more and nothing less.

Sylvain Pinaud, Origine: free sprung balance wheel, 21.600 A/h, 22 jewels, 55 hours power reserve, 40 mm stainless steel case. Price: unique piece (on auction), 68.000,00 CHF (for the regular Origine)

For more information, please visit:



Khemea tourbillon by Shona Taine

A more feminine version of a balanced and beautifully crafted practical wristwatch comes from an independent maker Shona Taine.

Khemea tourbillon by Shona Taine (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

I first saw the Khemea by Shona Taine at the AHCI in 2023 and was thrilled by the watch, the construction, but above all by the watchmaker Shona Taine. Shona Taine makes this watch with an obsession for quality that is unique to me.

Over the past year, Shona Taine has rethought and reworked numerous functions and finishes, and she is presenting an even more beautiful Khemea in 2024.

Khemea by Shona Taine: tourbillon, hours, minutes, 21.600 A7h, 100 hours power reserve, guilloche, Aventurine. Price: 86.000 CHF

For more information, please visit:

The collaboration of Beauregard and Vianney Halter – Ulysse

When Vianney Halter and Alexandre Beauregard meet, it obviously ends in a collaboration – how cool is this please? A limited edition of 10 pieces was launched at the Watches & Wonders 2024.

Ulysse by Beauregard and Vianney Halter (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

The watches of Beauregard (not only this collaboration) demonstrate, that high jewelry goes together with high horology, and I would love to see more courage among watchcollectors to wear feminine watches which are designed with high jewelry in mind.

It is beautiful, both in mechanical and aesthetic terms.

Beauregard & Vianney Halter  Ulysee: 21.600 A/h, 56 hours power reserve, 18 k rose gold case, hand polished Aqua Marines. Price: 110.000,00 CHF

For more information please visit:



The unique marquetry dial with parts of butterfly wings by Luc Giafferi “Rayonnement”

The new location that opened for the first time in the city of Geneva on the occasion of Watches and Wonders was the Watchmakers United boutique at the Rue Pierre-Fatio, where previously unknown young artists, designers, students, craftspeople and also well-known independent watchmakers can showcase their work.

Rayonnement by Luc Giafferi (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

Among them was Luc Giafferi, who presented his work on a watch and a very special dial. The inlay work consisting of countless small elements forms a colorful mosaic. Although it may look like wood, silk, straw or fabric, Luc Giafferi has used fragments of butterfly wings for his dial. The case is made of steel and a new owner can freely decide about the movement used inside this watch.

And why exactly this one? Because I have never seen anything so special, so beautiful and equally so poetic before, and because I find joy at the dedication and beauty that has now found its way into the design of dials.
Price: unique piece

For more information, please visit

XRby Quetzal with the multi-material marquetry technique by Rose Saneuil

Speaking about handcrafts, dial making and beautiful inlay work, you can’t get past the works of the French artist Rose Saneuil. She calls her technique multi-material marquetry and you can see it on Piaget and Louis Vuitton watches.

XRby Quetzal with the multi-material marquetry technique by Rose Saneuil (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

The watch that was shown in Geneva is called Le Quetzal and is a collaboration with XRby (Xavier Rousset). The green bird on its dial consists of tiny 214 parts and 16 different materials such as wood, straw, leather or mother-of-pearl.

I like the full focus that goes on the dial with this watch. The case is made of sapphire and so nothing distracts from the beauty of the dial.
Quetzal XRby: 41 sapphire case, cal. ASE 200.00, automatic with microrotor. Price: 18.500,00 CHF

For more information, please visit:



Every single piece of the Rare Handcrafts Collection by Patek Philippe

This year, 82 clocks (wristwatches, pocket watches, table clocks, dome clocks, desk clocks) were presented, which were produced using a variety of techniques, including works with guilloche, many enameling techniques, engravings, wood marquetry, and stone-setting – all from the manufactory’s classic themes (cars and transport, hunting, mosaics, plants, flowers, art nouveau, samurai, mandalas, art and nature).

Patek Philippe Rare Handcrafts Enamel (left) and Flamingo (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

Thanks to the many craftspeople who work for the company, the Rare Handcrafts collection of Patek Philippe is simply out of this world year after year.

Patek Philippe table full of wood marquetry pieces (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

Patek Philippe remains committed to this unique tradition and thus saves many crafts from extinction. There are not many presentations in Geneva at this time of year that I personally enjoy more than the presentation of the Rare Handcrafts.

For more information, please visit:

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph flyback chronograph 25 years anniversary edition

The Datograph Flyback chronograph and even more, the cal. L951.6 is for sure one of the best chronograph movements ever made.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph flyback chronograph 25 years anniversary edition (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

We celebrate the 25th anniversary of this wristwatch and its movement, and A. Lange & Söhne from Glashütte presented two Datograph watches, of which I simply liked the more restrained version better than the Tourbillon Honeygold Lumen version.

The Datograph really is an icon.

A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down: ref. 405.028, 18 k white gold case, blue dial, 60 hours power reserve, caliber L951.6. Price: 125,000 euros

For more information, please visit:



What else?

My extra attention points to the new shop and to the new initiative Watchmakers United and their boutique in the Rue Pierre-Fatio 5, 1204 Geneva.

Watchmakers United boutique (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

Under the supervision and coordination of founder Maximilien Roussel-Galle, young and independent watchmakers and artists have come together to show their work in the newly opened shop.

Many watchmakers come from France (Morteau) and this gives the Watchmakers United a special character.

For more information, please visit

Apart from the many watches and clocks that were shown during these days in Geneva, the atmosphere in the city was once again worth mentioning. This also applies to the always outstanding hospitality of the AHCI, IceBergues, and to the openness to new ideas of the HEAD University at the Time to Watches exhibition.

Time to Watches exhibition at HEAD in Geneva (photo courtesy Thomas Brechtel)

Historically interesting and definitely worth a mention were the many significant movements and spectacular pocket watches that Jaeger LeCoultre brought to Geneva to show at their Watches and Wonders booth, including gold pocket watches with split-second chronographs, perpetual calendars and tourbillon movements in fantastic (museum) condition.

You may also enjoy:

10 Highlights from Watches and Wonders Week 2024

Sergio Galanti’s Top 10 Watches from Watches & Wonders 2024

Carol Besler’s Top 10 Watches from Watches and Wonders 2024

2 replies
  1. William Julien
    William Julien says:

    Great article!
    You describe Shona Taine’s Khemea as a more “feminine” version of watch. Do you know the size? Can’t wait to see the 2024 version. I don’t see a web site.

    • Thomas37grad
      Thomas37grad says:

      Thank you very much, dear William, for your feedback, and, wow, thanks for your interest in the Khemea from Shona Taine.
      For me the watch, the concept, the design, and the spirit of the Khemea feels feminine. Not sure why. The size is relatively large with a diameter of 40 and a thickness of 10 mm. With such dimensions it is as large as an Oyster or a Seamaster (just for comparison). BUT. Due to what I call “feminine” it feels very elegant and pleasing, a very good harmony.


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