Watches And Wonders Releases For The W.O.E. Community

Watches And Wonders Releases For The W.O.E. Community

Last week was Watches and Wonders, a trade show in Switzerland where watch brands showcase their latest releases. Journalists, tastemakers, and watch enthusiasts flock to Geneva to see and photograph new timepieces, meet with brand representatives, and drink no shortage of champagne and Negronis.

Watches and Wonders is a masterclass in marketing, also known as the mass manipulation of consumers. We have previously written about covert influence in watch media (READ HERE) and this event is the Superbowl or, if you will, the Fashion Week. Propelled by the rise of digital media, what was once a straightforward industry trade show has been catapulted into the feeds of even the most basic enthusiast, with extensive coverage across all forms of social media, podcasts, and legacy watch publications. 

watches and wonders 2024 new watches
Photo Credit: Watches and Wonders

For weeks leading up to the event, the internet has been rife with “Watches and Wonders Predictions,” an organic marketing exercise that benefits both brands and content creators. The most influential tastemakers are invited to Switzerland as guests of the trade show, with hotels and other expenses covered either by the Watches and Wonders foundation or the brands.

Lavish parties are thrown to showcase the watches but more importantly to woo the journalists, who are then expected to (objectively) cover the new watches, often simply regurgitating press releases with brand-approved language. Whether or not they are invited back next year is implied in part on their coverage of the event or the particular brand that sponsored their attendance. It’s brilliant.   

a. lange & söhne watches and wonders 2024
Photo Credit: Watches and Wonders

Don’t Hate The Player Or The Game

To be clear, we don’t hate the players or the game. On the contrary, we admire the masterclass that is Watches and Wonders. It’s a fascinating exercise in human psychology, consumer behavior, and marketing. As enthusiasts, the releases are exciting, the speculation and leaks are admittedly fun, and the grand reveals offer the age-old intrigue of the unknown.

While we normally don’t cover new releases, we want to highlight several watches that speak specifically to our community and our “Use Your Tools” ethos. 

watches and wonders 2024 geneva switzerland new watches
Photo Credit: Watches and Wonders

We originally planned to cover 10-12 timepieces, but frankly struggled to identify more than a handful that met our criteria. The industry is trending towards high fashion and this seemed to be the year of dress watches and precious metals, which needless to say is not really within our wheelhouse. These are by no means endorsements, but here are a few that caught our eye.

Rolex GMT-Master II Grey-Black Bezel Price: $10,900 (In Theory)

new rolex gmt-master II black grey bezel 2024

A CIA Case Officer has been described as a “Ph.D. that can win in a bar fight”, and that fictional person would (traditionally) wear a Rolex GMT.  Whether the updated grey and black bezel on the newest GMT Master II is to your taste is up to you, but we would argue it gives the watch a modern look that is also more subtle than something like the legendary Pepsi bezel. For the traditionalists, the Pepsi is still available and was not discontinued as indicated by the rumor mill.  It’s an easy win and we like it.

rolex gmt-master II new 2024 black grey bezel

Cons: The days of a Case Officer or SpecOps operator walking into a boutique on R&R and walking out with a Rolex GMT are over. Given the astronomical secondary market prices (at times over double retail for certain references), it’s hard to say a new Rolex GMT is a true tool watch with a straight face. Modern Rolex models tend to be pretty shiny and this new GMT is unfortunately no exception. It can and will still be used as a tool by a select few, but the modern GMT Master II lacks much of its original tool watch feel. Also, good luck getting one at retail.

Doxa Sub 200T Price: $1,550 - $1,590

doxa sub 200t 300t 300 professional dirk pitt

For both the military and recreational diving communities, Doxa is a legendary name, having famously been worn by Dirk Pitt, Clive Cussler’s fictional undersea hero, and in the US Navy’s pioneering SEALAB experiments. Better known for their storied salvaging efforts, US Navy Divers also have been at the pointy end of the espionage spear, responsible for developing and executing a daring mission to tap Soviet undersea communication cables in the 1970s on Operation Ivy Bells.

Jumping ahead to 2024, Doxa sneaked in just ahead of the Watches and Wonders releases, unveiling the Sub 200T about a week ahead of the big show. Providing a smaller alternative to the established Sub 300 and 300T, the 200T comes in with a 39mm diameter and more slender case while maintaining much of the Doxa Sub design language. Available in a staggering array of colors and matte or sunray dial finishes, the Sub 200T seems poised to provide a smaller-wearing alternative for those who have traditionally considered Doxa’s chunky cushion case to be a bit too much.

doxa sub 200t 300t 300 blue dial dive watch

Cons: Most Doxa Sub models wear considerably smaller than their stated diameter, meaning this 39mm Sub 200T might wear more like 36 or 37mm on the wrist, pretty small.

Tudor Black Bay 58 GMT “Coke” Price: $4,400 - $4,600

new tudor black bay 58 gmt 2024 coke bezel

While they may not have the historic caché offered by Rolex’s GMT Master models, Tudor’s GMT watches have come a long way since the release of the Black Bay GMT in 2018. However, from that 41mm wide by 15mm thick model’s inception, many were quick to call for a smaller and thinner option. But what most enthusiasts wanted was a Black Bay 58 GMT, and that’s exactly what we got in 2024.

At this point, Tudor’s relationship with our community is well-established. Still producing unit watches for some of the world’s most elite military operators, Tudors of Espionage (T.O.E.) are very much a thing. That said, the new Black Bay 58 GMT feels like more of a vintage throwback than a modern practitioner's watch, but still offers its own play on the desirable “Coke” format along with the best set of dimensions thus far for a Tudor GMT, measuring 39mm wide and under 13mm thick.

tudor black bay gmt 58 2024 watches and wonders dial macro

Cons: The new BB58 GMT relies heavily on “gilt” gold-tone markings that aren't for everyone. The faux rivets on the bracelet have to go and it’s really hard to understand why they use them on new designs. There is no utility to this feature and it crosses the line of homage-corny. The nicest thing we have heard about faux rivets is, “...they don’t bother me that much.”

Bremont Terra Nova Price: $2,850 - $4,250

bremont terra nova field watch british

We are big fans of Bremont and we've previously covered the UK brand’s intriguing relationships with intel and military units around the globe (READ HERE). It would be intellectually dishonest to ignore the new Terra Nova collection of field watches “inspired by military pocket watches of the early 20th century”. That said, it’s hard to sugarcoat this one. To use a cricket metaphor, it was a swing and a miss. The rebranding fell flat with both enthusiasts and Bremont traditionalists.  

Prior to the event, newly appointed Bremont CEO Davide Cerrato (formerly of Tudor, Montblanc, and Panerai) foreshadowed a pivot to a lower price point and we were genuinely excited about these releases. The strategy was sound but the implementation was flawed. The Terra Nova and the redesigned Bremont Supermarine are a stark departure from what makes Bremont loved by many, standing out as classy and refined aviation-inspired watches.

Bremont Terra Nova crown macro close up new logo 2024

Cons: The list is unfortunately long. The new logo, font, and overall design and manufacturing quality fall well short of expectations. To make matters worse, the price range places it squarely in competition with the likes of Tudor and many others. On the bright side, the brand appears to still offer the previous models (with original branding) and Special Projects appear unchanged. Understanding that a full pivot like this is bold, and takes a lot of time, effort, and money, we would love to see Bremont bounce back from this and return to its roots.

Tudor Black Bay Monochrome Price: $4,225 - $4,550

tudor black bay monochrome 2024 41mm

We didn’t set out to profile two watches from the same brand, but Tudor came in with another solid (though predictable) win, not our fault. A follow-up to last year’s redesigned 41mm Black Bay Burgundy that added additional strap and bracelet options as well as METAS certification, the new Black Bay Monochrome makes one of Tudor’s single strongest arguments for a vintage-inspired sports watch to wear every day.

Though we’ve often argued the Pelagos 39 is the modern Tudor-Sub, the Black Bay Monochrome is now right up there with a slimmer case design compared to previous iterations and more subtle looks than something like a ceramic Rolex Submariner. In our opinion, this is a major step up from the Black Bay 58, which we also love.

tudor black bay 41mm monochrome

Cons: If forced to nitpick a great watch, again enough with the faux rivets.  Fortunately, this watch is also available with a “Five-Link” (Jubilee) or an integrated rubber strap, both of which feel like better moves.

Zenith DEFY Revival A3648 Price: $7,700

zenith defy revival dive watch vintage 2024

It’s not a name we talk about all the time in our shadowy corner of the watch world, but Zenith is a brand we respect and is also doing some very interesting things in 2024. Better known for its contributions to the world of chronographs, having unveiled one of the automatic chronographs in 1969 with the El Primero, modern Zenith balances a collection of up-to-date designs and heritage. This particular inclusion in this list is slightly less about being an ideal watch for Intel/Spec Ops and more about simply being a great new luxury tool watch.

Completely overshadowed by the collection of chronographs, Zenith also produced several chunky yet capable dive watches in the late 1960s and 1970s including the rarely-seen Defy A3648. It’s not going to be for everyone, but the modern DEFY Revival A3648 is a near 1:1 of the original with a 37mm case and a very old-school feeling bracelet. With no less than 600 meters of water resistance, it’s also as capable a dive watch as you could ever want while offering a serious splash of orange on the bezel, dial, and hands that will speak to dive watch enthusiasts.

zenith defy revival diver 2024 watches and wonders

Cons: It’s awesome they made this thing 37mm, but a lot of modern-day collectors might not be able to handle the lack of girth. Bright colors on watches are not for everyone (myself included), and a more subtle option might be cool to see in the future.

Grand Seiko SBGJ277 Price: $6,800 

grand seiko sbgj277

Like Zenith, we seldom talk about Grand Seiko, instead concentrating on Seiko’s well-established and legendary historical associations with military special operations. With that in mind, Grand Seiko has operated as a separate brand for years now and provides some of the best watchmaking in its price category.

The newly-released SBGJ277 leans into Grand Seiko’s history with high-beat mechanical calibers, in this case operating at 5 hz or 36,000 VPH. In addition, this new member of the brand’s Sport collection offers 100 meters of water resistance and a 55-hour power reserve, more than enough to suit the average Case Officer while differentiating from the established Rolex and Tudor crowds.

grand seiko sbgj277 sport gmt

Cons: While the finishing on this SBGJ277 is impressive for the dollar amount, the additional polished elements and textured dial both serve to create a more refined and therefore less utilitarian look. It’s not to say you couldn’t “Use Your Tools” with this watch but rather that it doesn’t look or feel the part as much as some others on this list.

Again, we are not necessarily endorsing these watches, but each of them caught our eye and calls for a closer look. We understand that these watches are not cheap and if you’re interested in learning more about entry-level options that are well-suited to our community, check out “Best Watches Under $1,000 - Ask the Experts.

Next week we will resume our regular programming. 

*sponsored by Rolex, Doxa, Tudor, Zenith, Bremont, and Grand Seiko (Just Kidding)


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billy waugh cia contractor army special forces


Rolex controls every aspect of their own manufacturing process. They could choose to manufacture enough Subs and Sea Dwellers to satisfy consumer demand at retail. If you’re just some schmo who makes enough money to buy a Sub, they don’t want you to have one. It would dilute the prestige of their brand for people to see it on your unimportant wrist. Rolex views the vast majority of consumers as unworthy of their product.

You can buy a Tudor, though. They still want your money.

Greg L

In regards to Bremont, completely agree with your comments and they match my own. Lets hope this bounce back in the direction they came from but focus more on better advertising, slimmer ranges and the story behind the brand.


It’s disheartening to witness traditional “tool watches” morphing into luxury items due to marketing ploys and artificial supply chain controls. Luxury watchmakers are starting to resemble the modern-day De Beers Diamond Consortium. As we progress in our professional lives and finally have the means to acquire our dream timepieces, we’re often faced with the frustration of being on elusive waitlists or just to find these watches NOT at our local Authorized Dealers (ADs) altogether.

While waitlists for precious metal models or exceedingly exclusive pieces like the Rolex “Rainbow” are understandable, the idea of having to be famous to acquire tool watches like the Submariner or GMT seems rather absurd. These watches were initially crafted for divers, explorers, the military, or to commemorate significant life moments.

In the watch community, our strongest voice is through our purchasing decisions. It’s important to support watchmakers that create quality timepieces and genuinely desire their watches on the wrists of those who appreciate them. Among the brands I’ve discovered, Christopher Ward, Seiko, Doxa, and Luminox stand out as offering exceptional value for the price.

I’m curious to hear the thoughts of the WOE community on Rolex’s current strategy. What alternatives are military personnel, adventurers, and blue-collar enthusiasts turning to for their modern-day Rolex tool watch? For me, my white dial Seamaster serves as my personal take on the Submariner.

What are your thoughts?


I’m still on the waiting list for a new gmt Pepsi on a jubilee. But I’m thinking more and more of getting a 16710 Pepsi or coke and calling
It a day. I agree the new GMT has gotten a little flashy and lost some of the tool watch, which Rolex use to be known for. But I do like the solid feel of the new watches bracelet and clasp compared to the older versions.


I liked some of Bremonths prior releases but was never fan enough to buy one of their watches. It seems that they have moved even further to the wrong direction.

Your assessment of this years W&W rings true with me as well and honestly makes me undersand why I have not bought a watch costing more than $1,000 in the last three plus years.


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