Watches & Wonders 2023: Rolex Has an Emoji Watch

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Having unveiled the tech in a limited-edition watch last year, Oris is now applying it to what was already one of its most tech-forward models, the ProPilot Altimeter (£5,250, or $6,485). First seen in 2014, it contains a mechanical altimeter, with a dial displaying time, air pressure, and altitude. The new version is an upgrade on all fronts: The altimeter, which works by reading fluctuations in air pressure in a sealed chamber, now goes to 19,700 feet (up from 15,000); the power reserve is up from 38 hours to 56; and the carbon-fiber case reduces weight by 70 grams. At 46 mm, it’s a specialist item, only now a bit more special.

Hermes H08 Chronograph

Photograph: Hermes

Hermes is also going for a strengthened take on carbon fiber, though it’s mixing the material with powdered graphene, which acts as a hardening agent for what’s otherwise an extremely lightweight watch case. Hermes describes its H08 watch, a softly square-form number introduced in 2021, as an “all-terrain watch with a sporty spirit,” and now the brand is pushing the sporty element in a series of iterations that pair the lightweight carbon/graphene case with colorful rubber straps and dial accents. Most importantly, it’s introducing a £13,100 chronograph version of the H08, also with the carbon/graphene case. Rather than disrupting the flow of the case profile with traditional chronograph stop/start/reset pushers, the chronograph is entirely operated by a single pusher set within the winding crown.

Rolex Yacht-Master 42 RLX Titanium

Photograph: Rolex

Along with the resurrection of chronographs, another theme for this year’s W&W is titanium. Numerous pieces employed this lightweight, strong, and corrosion-resistant material, and after competitive sailor Ben Ainslie was spotted wearing a prototype in 2021—and following Rolex’s first titanium timepiece, last year’s Deepsea Challenge—it came as a little surprise to see the final version of the company’s Yacht-Master in grade 5 titanium. The 42-mm, £11,800 piece has a satin finish, apart from its crown guard, lug bevels, and bidirectional bezel, which are polished. An intense black dial adds to the aesthetic, while water resistance to 100 meters and a 70-hour power reserve make it functional too.

A Lange & Sohne Odysseus Chronograph

Photograph: Lange & Sohne

The Odysseus range is German maker A Lange & Sohne’s entrant into the sports-luxe field: Launched in 2019, and made in tiny numbers, it’s rapidly become an investment-grade grail watch. The new Odysseus Chronograph (€135,000, or $146,256) is also A Lange & Sohne’s first automatic chronograph, and it takes a novel approach to a very traditional genre. Instead of sub-dials for stopwatch functions, as are found on most chronos, the stopwatch second minute counters are both mounted centrally, so as not to obstruct the large day/date display. Discrete pushers (resembling protectors for the crown) set the date functions and operate the stopwatch elements, which offer a bit of eccentric, why-the-hell-not flair. When the chronograph is reset, the minute timing hand jumps immediately back to zero, but the second timing hand does a lighting-fast revolution for every minute timed before resting back at zero.

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