Simon de Burton brings us the latest news from Watches & Wonders and beyond, with the best new watches 2023. 

Best New Watches 2023

Breguet Quantième Perpétuel 7327

When it comes to watch making, Abraham-Louis Breguet really was a GOAT ( ‘greatest of all time,’ geddit?). Between the second half of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th, he perfected just about everything worth perfecting watch-wise and, notably, created a series of pocket watches that combined his ‘perpétuelle’ automatic winding system with a calendar display and his signature ‘hobnail’ patterned dial. Now the modern-day Breguet (owned by the mighty Swatch Group since 1999) is paying tribute to those historic pieces with the new Quantième Perpétuel 7327 wrist watch, a work of genius that contains 294 components and sports a ‘mechanical memory’ that enables its calendar to automatically take account of leap years and short months. Measuring just 39mm in diameter and a svelte 9.1mm thick, the watch is replete with exquisite Breguet-style finishes – including that delicious hobnail dial – and can be had in white or rose gold. All yours for £73,100…

Richard Mille RM07-04

High-tech, high-priced watch maker Richard Mille has produced its first sports model made specifically for women. The 36-gram RM07-04 is said to have taken three years to develop and was designed with the help of half-a-dozen female sports stars, including French racing driver Margot Lafitte, American golfer Nelly Korda and Czech snowboarder Ester Ledecká. Available in six versions – five with Quartz TPT cases and one made from Carbon TPT – the watches feature platinum winding rotors and movements with titanium base plates and bridges. Cream, orange, navy, pink and black colourways are offered, each with sharply contrasting highlights and bright, textile straps. 167,000 CHF,

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce 5261R

Patek Philippe has long believed that interesting, mechanical watches appeal as much to women as they do to men. But it wasn’t until 2009 that the revered maker debuted a ‘complicated’ model for women with the launch of what it called ’the Ladies First Chronograph’. That was followed by ‘the Ladies First Minute repeater,’ and now Patek has added a complication to its Aquanaut Luce range, launched in 2004. This new version of the Aquanaut sports watch for women gets an annual calendar function, meaning the date needs to be adjusted but once a year (at the end of February). But guard it carefully, girls – at 39.9mm in diameter and without a single diamond on its rose gold case, it wouldn’t look out of place on the hairy wrist of  ’im indoors. £49,530,

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph

Audemars Piguet created the Royal Oak ‘Offshore’ in 1993 to mark the 20th anniversary of the original , smaller, Royal Oak designed by Gerald Genta. And now, to celebrate 30 years of the Offshore itself, AP has released this mighty 43mm number that’s based on the ‘End of Days’ limited edition produced in 1999 in collaboration with the film’s star, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The 30th anniversary special is made from black ceramic with yellow detailing and comes with a choice of black or yellow calfskin straps. Just 500 examples of the flyback chronograph watch will be available worldwide. Instant collector’s piece… £POA,

Cartier Privé Tank Normale

Cartier Privé Tank Normale

Cartier introduced its ‘Prive’ collection in 2017 with the aim of reviving historic models and making them in small numbers – just the way things were back in the old days. A new model is honoured each year, with the latest being one of the first Cartier wrist watches of all, the Tank Normale. Designed in 1917 and first sold two years later, the first (and purest) Tank design gave way to several variations on the theme – but the new Prive model remains true to the original. Measuring just 32.6mm by 25.7mm, it contains a tiny, hand-wound movement and can be had in platinum or yellow gold, with both versions being available on leather straps or matching bracelets. If you can afford it (and can track one down) go for the platinum version on platinum bracelet with a red cabochon in the crown. Just 100 will be made – and they will be a better bet than money in the bank. £29,700, available on request at Cartier boutiques. 

Oris ProPilot x Kermit Edition

Oris ProPilot x Kermit Edition

Oris has set-out to ‘bring joy’ to buyers of a new variation of its ProPilot X Calibre 400 watch by giving it a make-over honouring Kermit the Frog, star of the celebrated Muppet Show. The Swiss maker collaborated with Disney+ – which began streaming the show in 2021 – to give the watch a frog green dial and a special calendar feature: an emoji of Kermit’s smiling visage appears in the date window on the first day of every month. The ‘ProPilot X Kermit Edition’ is due to be promoted by a Hollywood-filmed TV commercial in which everyone’s favourite amphibian is seen singing and playing the banjo. Word of warning: if you see a commercial pilot wearing this watch, head straight back to the safety of the terminal. £3,700,

IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40

IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40

Back in the 1950s IWC introduced a watch for lab workers, technicians and engineers called the ‘Ingenieur’ and featuring a specially-developed ‘Pellaton’ automatic movement encased in a Farady cage integrated with the dial to combat magnetism. The original look prevailed for more than 20 years before being freshened-up by freelance designer Gerald Genta to create the ‘Ingenieur SL’ of 1976. IWC revisits that model with the new Ingenieur Automatic 40, which subtly re-interprets the SLs screw-down bezel, grid pattern dial and integrated bracelet. Differences include the addition of crown guards and the use of IWC’s Calibre 32111 in-house movement. From £10,500,

Bremont Broadsword Recon

Resolutely British manufacturer Bremont has added to its ‘Armed Forces’ collection with this limited edition take on the so-called ‘Dirty Dozen’ watches produced to a standard Ministry of Defence specification by 12 different makers towards the end of World War Two. The ‘Broadsword Recon’ (for ‘reconnaissance’) is a rugged, 40mm steel watch with a two-part ‘sandwich’ dial designed to glow bright in the dark during those risky night ops. The case backs are stamped with the symbols of each of the UK’s three armed forces and each watch is supplied with a ‘NATO’ style nylon strap as well as alternatives in black rubber and brown leather. Just 200 Broadsword Recons will be available. £3,195 (15 percent off for serving military),

Harry Winston Emerald watch

Harry Winston Emerald watch

The late Harry Winston – him they called ‘the King of Diamonds’ – liked nothing better than an emerald cut stone. Which is why the modern-day brand that bears his name created the ‘Emerald’ cocktail watch, a jewel-like creation with an eight-sided case based on the emerald cut shape. This new version of the watch is the first to feature ruby hour markers on its mother-of-pearl dial, the stones being complemented by a wraparound strap in red satin. A total of 44 brilliant-cut diamonds adorn said dial and there are 108 more on the case, which can be had in white or rose gold. From £12,800,

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Celebration Bubble

Rolex sent fans into a lather at this year’s Watches & Wonders show in Geneva when it pulled the wraps off new ‘Celebration’ dial versions of its stalwart Oyster Perpetual model. The mighty Crown caused a feeding frenzy back in 2020 when it released new OPs with pink, blue, yellow, red and green lacquered dials, some of which quickly appeared on the pre-owned market at more than six times RRP. It’s likely to be a similar story with the bubble-icious Celebration models, which can be had in 31, 36 and 41mm steel cases. Despite their playful appearance, the watches still come with ‘Superlative Chronometer’ certification, meaning they should remain accurate to plus or minus two seconds per day. £5,400 (41mm version),

Longines Spirit Flyback

Longines Spirit Flyback watch

The holder of the 1936 patent for the first flyback chronograph, Longines has returned to the complication for the latest addition to its Spirit collection, which celebrates the adventuring ethos that has driven the brand since it was founded in 1832. The Longines Spirit Flyback continues this tradition with its new exclusive calibre, resistant to magnetism and equipped with a silicon balance spring, with a power reserve of 68 hours. Perfect for your next adventure. £4,100 on leather strap,