Five Things I Want To See In The Watch World In 2024

More risks less rainbows.

By most accounts, 2023 was a pretty good year for watch lovers. There were tons of good new watches, a positive energy in the collector community, and a full-throttle return of in-person watch events across the globe. From Rolliefest in New York to Watches & Wonders in Geneva to the Patek Philippe Grand Exhibition in Tokyo, people were hanging out, having a good time, and talking about watches. I consider that a win.

So looking ahead to 2024, I find myself with very little to complain about. But I do have more than a few thoughts on what I’d like to see next year. Some of it is the continuation of positive trends, and some of it is things I think we can leave behind. Here’s what I’d like to see in watches in 2024:

More Big Swings

The Rolex Celebration Dial is the epitome of this for me. There’s no more conservative brand on the planet than Rolex, but even they’re showing a sense of humor, giving us a little wink now and then. Don’t stop there. More brands need to take themselves less seriously, to take big swings, to not be afraid to fail, and to give us watches that put smiles on our faces instead of just something “nice” or “good quality” that doesn’t bring anything new to the party. Fortune favors the bold and we can all use a little weird every once in a while.

The Affordable Indie Wave Rolls On

Indies have been making major headlines for years now, with the Journes, Akrivias, and De Bethunes of the world becoming can’t-get, high-price auction grails. I love it. But what I also love is the rise of affordable indies like Furlan Marri, Baltic, Unimatic, amongst others. It used to be that if you wanted a good quality mechanical watch under $2,500, you basically had to go to a big-name brand and choose from a pretty narrow range of styles. Now you don’t have to do either, and it means newer collectors and people with more modest budgets can get awesome, creative watches without having to sell a kidney. I think we’re just getting going here – and that couldn’t have me more excited.

The End of the Rainbow

I’m calling it. The rainbow phenomenon is over. I loved it while it lasted, but let’s let it fade gracefully into the sunset, rather than wringing every last ounce of sparkle out of it. The original Rolex Rainbow Daytona is an icon; Hublot’s Murakami rainbow is a fun spin; every brand slapping a rainbow bezel on their best-selling watch is silly and misses the point. What made the rainbow so great in the first place was its audacity – so what’s going to blow our minds next?

The Return of the Strap

Sport watches on bracelets are great. I wear one at least a few days per week.. And I don’t think the Royal Oak and Nautilus mania is going anywhere just yet. But let’s bring back strap style. A great strap can make or break a watch and straps offer so many ways to dress watches up or down, to add your own spin, etc. It also opens up whole other worlds of watches to enjoy– unusual shaped Cartier pieces, for example. I challenge every watch lover to find a great watch-and-strap combo this year and to really make it their own.

Make It Pop (Culture)

It feels like over the last few years, watches have truly started going mainstream. More people are talking about watches now than ever, so let’s get more big-name celebrity collaborations, more product placement in movies and TV, more name-dropping in songs, and more finding strange ways to make watches a part of non-watch things. The purists might find this stuff superfluous or silly, but I’m personally all for anything that helps make sure we’ll still have a watch industry to care about decades down the line. We’ve always known that watches are culture. The world is catching on – let’s make sure we don’t let them forget it.

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