by Dana Li
Each year, Watches & Wonders, one of the watch industry’s largest and most highly anticipated events, is the world’s largest stage for new watch releases. The flurry of new watches from brands aiming to showcase some of their best watchmaking and artistry creates an exciting buzz and gives us a glimpse into the next step in each brand’s development.
For me, I always find it interesting to see the trends coming out of the week. Last year, we saw a revival of yellow gold with the Vacheron Constantin 222 and beige-lacquer Cartier Santos-Dumont and an increase in skeletonized movements with the jaw-dropping Grand Seiko Kodo and Moser’s Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton. Looking into this year’s releases, here are 3 noteworthy watch trends that we’ll likely see moving into 2023.
Black ceramic sports watches are becoming increasingly popular.
A month before Watches and Wonders, Audemars Piguet released its monochrome black ceramic Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph for the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore, kicking off a new wave of black ceramic watches. While ceramic isn’t necessarily a new material that brands are using in their designs, it is certainly becoming a staple in their novelties. Thanks to its sleek look and durable construction, black ceramic will likely become a popular choice for collectors who want an understated piece made of a unique material. Zenith’s new black ceramic Defy Skyline and Defy Skyline Skeleton are just two examples of how black ceramic is redefining the traditional look of a sports watch.
(Credits: Zenith) From left to right, Zenith Defy Skyline in 41mm and Defy Skyline Skeleton in 41mm
Bold colors continue to reign supreme.
Earlier this year, one of my biggest watch predictions for 2023 was big, bold colors continuing to make a splash. This year’s releases at Watches and Wonders are another indication that this trend is here to stay. While Rolex is a brand that historically has been more reserved with their design updates, the brand has completely embraced bright hues, with three dazzling stone-dial Day Dates and two of the most-talked-about novelties: the colorful celebration-dial Oyster Perpetual and the jigsaw, emoji Day Dates.
(Credits: Rolex) From left to right, Rolex Celebration dial Oyster Perpetual and Jig-saw dial Day Date
The use of lab-grown diamonds is on the rise.
As sustainability becomes increasingly important to consumers, watch brands are continuing to find ways to incorporate ethical, eco-friendly practices into their design and production processes. With the rise of lab-grown diamonds and their use in jewelry, incorporating lab-grown diamonds into gem-set watches is a natural choice for brands. Oris, who is no stranger to environmental consciousness and sustainability, released a gorgeous cherry dial Aquis Date adorned with 48 lab-grown diamonds. Tag Heuer also released a new Carrera Plasma Diamant D’Avant-Garde in 36mm that features a stunning pink lab-grown diamond on the dial and crown.