Watches & Wonders


Ulysse Nardin gives its Freak X a layer of military garb with the Freak [X OPS], which boasts a new khaki green carbon fiber case covering and a matching fabric strap.

The new Ulysse Nardin Freak [X OPS], pictured with khaki fabric strap.
The new hue and material are inspired by the irregular patterns of Damascus and nicely complement the Freak [X OPS]’s 43mm black titanium case, bezel and crown. A model with a black strap is also available.

As you might recall, the first series of Freak X models in 2019 were aimed at a new generation of Freak collectors with its somewhat simplified case and the addition of a crown to the formerly crown-free Freak. Ulysse Nardin refers to that original Freak X as “the easy-going Freak.”

Yet despite its pared down nature, the Freak X retained all the Freak’s primary characteristics, including movement bridges that double as hands.

With no dial, the watch’s one-hour orbital carousel tourbillon becomes the minute hand, and the hour hand is a pointer set on a rotating disc that sits under the movement.

Here, Ulysse Nardin coats the hour and minute indicators and hour markers in a matching khaki green SuperLuminova that glows green in low-light conditions. 

Ulysse Nardin has built the new Freak [X OPS] by combining that original Freak X design with the case covers, or flanks, that echo those found the 2020 Freak X Magma. But instead of the patterned red epoxy resin found on that model, this watch is created from carbon fiber and green epoxy resin. With the swirling resin mixture, each case will look marginally different.

Inside Ulysse Nardin fits its automatic UN-230 movement, itself a hybrid of the bedrock UN-118 and the high-tech UN-250 found in the Freak Vision. The watch is water-resistant to 50 meters. (See additional specifications below).

Price: $33,800.


Specifications: Ulysse Nardin Freak [X OPS]

(2303-270-2A-KAKI/0A (black strap) 2303-270-2A-KAKI/0B (green strap))

Movement and Functions:
Caliber UN-230 Manufacture automatic, flying carousel movement rotating around its own axis, balance wheel and escapement in silicon, oversized oscillator in silicon, black movement with indexes and bridges in khaki green Super-LumiNova, oscillations at 21,600 vph. Power reserve is 72 hours. 

Case:  43mm by 13.38mm black DLC titanium case and bezel, black DLC titanium caseback with transparent sapphire opening, khaki green carbon flanks in ‘Magma’, an original composite, blending black carbon fibers and green epoxy resin.

Strap: Khaki green fabric or black fabric strap (recycled fishing net), hook and loop fastener. 

Price: $33,800.

TAG Heuer teams with Porsche to launch the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche, the latest Carrera model that merges design elements from both brands.

The seventh joint launch since TAG Heuer and Porsche officially partnered in 2021, the new 42mm watch is a vision in silver and red, with red details highlighting references to the 1970s Porsche 911 dashboard design.

The new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche. A rose-gold-cased version is also available.

Beyond the dial accents, TAG Heuer has also built into the new watch a special version of its new TH20 automatic movement, which debuted this past March during Watches and Wonders.

The new reference here, the TH20-08 movement, features a chronograph seconds hand meant to echo Porsche 911’s ability to reach the 100 km/h in just 9.1 seconds.

Here, the central hand accelerates faster than usual at the start of the chronograph activation thanks to a clever use of a two snail-shaped wheels, which also create a decelerating motion for the central hand after sixty seconds. TAG Heuer makes the wheels using the so-called LiGA lithographic etching process.

On the dial, TAG Heuer continues to reference the Porsche 911.

At 6 o’clock for example you’ll find a subdial that directly recalls the area around 50 km/h that was often highlighted to indicate the recommended speed in urban areas.

The red portion of the 9 o’clock subdial is meant to be a reminder of the ‘critical engine limit.’ TAG Heuer opts to place the red line at 6.8 hours, a nice reference to that 6,800 RPM limit. Red lines on the flange recall the Porsche 911’s ability to reach the 100 km/h in just 9.1 seconds, a clear reference to the very first Porsche 911.

Look for a steel and a gold version of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche, each featuring the same retro-inspired double glassbox sapphire crystal seen on Carrera debuts earlier this year.

These domed and curved crystals echo similarly domed hesalite crystal designs from the 1970s, but here have been revamped to add a curve that flows over the tachymeter scale and blends into the case.

From the clear caseback TAG Heuer designs a rotor to replicate the famed Porsche three-spoke steering wheel.

TAG Heuer will launch the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronosprint x Porsche watches with a calfskin leather strap, in brown for the gold edition and in black for the steel edition, each with an embossed number “911” on the strap.

Prices: $9,200 (steel) and $23,550 (rose gold).

Zenith will exhibit a selection of its vintage pilots watches at the Watches of Switzerland Hudson Yards location in New York from August 8 until September 10. The exhibit is meant to celebrate the watchmaker’s new Pilot collections, which debuted earlier this year during the Watches and Wonders watch fair in Geneva.

A Zenith military pilot watch circa 1928-1930.


At the Watches of Switzerland Hudson Yards store visitors will find six Zenith Pilot heritage pieces alongside Zenith’s new Pilot collection, which includes stainless steel and ceramic three-hand automatics and flyback chronographs.

A Zenith Chronographe Cairelli Type CP2 from the 1960s.

Zenith will display an impressive selection of historic aviation watches, including the Dashboard Altimeter (1910s), Pilot Wristwatch (1928-1930s), Chronograph Tipo CP2 (1968-72), El Primero Pilot-Diver (1972), El Primero Rainbow Fly-Back (1997), and El Primero Pilot Big Date Special (2010).

An altimeter from 1910.

Collectors are likely aware that Zenith registered the trademark “Pilote” in 1888, followed by the English “Pilot” in 1904, which allowed the brand to exclusively use the word on its dials.

A new Zenith Pilot Chronograph in steel.

Zenith watches were worn by Louis Blériot, who made history by accomplishing the first flight across the English Channel in 1909.

The 1997 El Primero Rainbow Flyback.

By Nancy Olson

Storytelling and imagery are important players in communication, creating connection, emotion and, as a result, remembrance.

Watches and Wonders 2023 in Geneva was rife with stories, often told most dramatically by the watch brandsrespective exhibit space. From the fantasy of jewels at Van Cleef & Arpels to A. Lange & Sohnes Odysseus Chronograph, there was a lot to take in and even more to inspire.

The Montblanc booth at Watches and Wonders 2023 featured an oversized nib as a pendulum.

Walking into the Montblanc booth, for example, was like entering a mountain landscape, where shades of gray, white and wood conjured the primary palette and motif of this years watch debuts. The bold imagery also served as a link between the art of writing—Montblancs foundation in pens since 1906—time, and the theme of exploration. And owing to the brands reputation in handcrafting its pen points, the centerpiece was a dramatic oversize Montblanc nib pendulum, which uninterruptedly drew mountain scenes on a round canvas suggestive of a watch dial.

Each watch in the new Montblanc 1858 Zero Oxygen 8000 Capsule Collection features a Sfumato dark grey Glacier pattern dial, replicating the color of the rock and ice at 8,000 meters.

Montblanc’s Managing Director Watch Division Laurent Lecamp emphasized the importance of imagery and storytelling to share important themes. Story is the soul of the world of Montblanc,” he explained to me during our recent interview. Thus the company often engages high-profile individuals, fans of the brand, to help recount the narrative.

The back of the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen 8000 pictures K2, the world’s second-highest mountain.

Reinhold Messner and Nimsdai Purja, mountaineers and Montblanc Mark-Makers,” inspired Montblanc’s intricate art-inspired booth space, as well as the new watches in the collection. Even the walls told a tale, incorporating the mens words taken from their written accounts of climbing expeditions.

The new Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen The 8000, with MB 29.25 automatic worldtime movement.
This Montblanc 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date Boutique Edition comes in a 41mm stainless steel case.

Following suit, the 1858 Zero Oxygen The 8000 watch collection on display for the first time revealed colors that recall the rock and ice found at high altitudes, made using zero oxygen technology.

The new Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen The 8000 LE 290 44mm .

All four of the Montblanc 1858 Zero Oxygen 8000 Capsule Collection debuts join Montblanc’s Zero Oxygen series. The collection’s  timepieces boast zero oxygen inside their cases to not only eliminate fogging, but also to prevent oxidization.

The new Montblanc 1858 Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph LE 88. Inside is a reversed Minerva caliber.

Taking the imagery one step further, the very beautiful and complex Montblanc Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph, while not specifically among the 8000 Capsule Collection models, nonetheless displays a distressed steel case created partly by tumbling and brushing the metal with quartzite straight from the company’s namesake mountain, Mont Blanc.



During Watches and Wonders 2023, IWC revisited its Ingenieur collection by debuting Ingenieur Automatic 40, a new collection of three steel-cased models, while also adding a new titanium version of the watch.

The new IWC Automatic 40 titanium model. Three steel-cases model also debuted at Watches and Wonders.
The back of the IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 in titanium.

While we’ve seen titanium versions of the post-1976 Gerald Genta-designed Ingenieur in the past, this year’s debut is an all-new ongoing model that, from early notices, seems bound to be a hit for the Schaffhausen-based watchmaker.

With a name meaning ‘engineer in both French and German, the Ingenieur collection has been where IWC placed its most ‘technical’ designs over the years. IWC launched the collection in 1955 to highlight its first automatic movement protected with a soft-iron inner case for magnetic field protection.


This tool-watch focus remains as all the new Ingenieur Automatic 40 references are powered by the IWC-manufactured Caliber 32111, boasting a superior power reserve of 120 hours.

Also, all the new models feature soft-iron inner cases to protect the movements from magnetic fields, and all are water-resistant to 100 meters. 

The latest Ingenieur collection traces its design from the 1970s, more specifically from Gérald Genta’s Ingenieur SL, Reference 1832.

IWC modeled the new collection on the 1970s-era Ingenieur SL Ref. 1832, designed by Gerald Genta.

On each Ingenieur Automatic 40 watch you’ll see five functional, polygonal screws along the bezel to secure the bezel to the case. These echo the Genta design, though on the original model the screws were not always in the same location along the bezel.


Here, a permanent pattern for the screws contributes to the case and bezel design while also enhancing the watch’s integrity.

To create its new, distinctive ‘grid’ pattern dial, IWC’s watchmakers stamp the pattern (small lines offset by 90 degrees to each other) into a soft iron blank, and then galvanize it.

The result is a pleasing texture and design that meshes nicely with the entire watch’s technical nature. A new, slightly curved case enhances the model’s wrist friendliness.

For the steel Ingenieur Automatic 40, IWC offers black, silver and aqua dials, while the titanium model is matched with a nice grey dial, notably darker than the silver-dialed steel model.

The titanium watch (Ref. IW328904 ) is also sand-blasted with polished bevels and brushed sides.


Its sturdy integrated Grade 5 titanium bracelet with butterfly folding clasp maintains the entire watch’s lightness, which also contributes to the watch’s wrist-friendliness. Titanium’s anti-allergy properties are also a plus.

Price: $11,700 (steel) and $14,600 (titanium).