Dessverre er vårt magasin ikke tilgjengelig på det valgte språket.
02/09/2023
 4 minutes

Horological Predictions for 2023: What we anticipate from Omega, Rolex & Co.

By Kristian Haagen
Rolex-Submariner-Kermit-2-1

When asked what watches I’d like to see in 2024, but that most likely won’t appear on the market (I am after all merely fantasizing), I came up with Tudor and Rolex timepieces inspired by my early days as a watch geek. The other two from Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin are wishful thinking inspired by extraordinary modern timepieces. Nevertheless, these are four excellent watches that I would love to see launched in 2024.

Let’s Daydream About What’s to Come

Watches have always been a big deal for me, even as a kid. If you caught my December 4, 2023, article, you’d know that my love affair with timepieces started early. Those National Geographic ads with watches worn by mountain climbers, deep-sea divers, and explorers were like comic book heroes to the young me.

Obviously, Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Omega were way out of my budget back then. Instead, I daydreamed about them, hoping I’d someday snag a GMT-Master, Moonwatch, or Nautilus. Fast-forward from my teen years filled with fake Submariners and look-alike Cartier Tanks, at which point lady (watch) luck started to smile upon me.

Tudor Chronograph “Big Block”

A stint in advertising as an art director not only fulfilled my horological dreams, but padded my pocket quite nicely to boot. When the Internet was revving up in the late 1990s (I guess you could call me a late adopter when talking tech), I discovered various watch forums, and realized I wasn’t alone in my deep interest in timepieces. Some of these forums had sales sections, and one day, a Tudor Chronograph “Big Block” caught my eye – and not just because of its robust case and fantastic dial layout. It also looked like the unattainable (yes, even back then) Rolex Daytona, a watch that felt way out of reach to 23-year-old me.

Will Tudor bring back the "Big Block"
Will Tudor bring back the Big Block?

Fast-forward to today, and I’m throwing my wish into the horological universe: Bring back the Tudor Big Block in 2024. Considering Tudor’s recent tease with the Prince Chronograph One for the (postponed) 2023 Only Watch charity auction – a Big Block in 18-karat gold with an automatic caliber MT59XX (double XX indicating a prototype movement), there’s even a glimmer of hope for my idea. The horological oven is baking something special, which could be a 2024 revival of the iconic 1976 Big Block Chronograph.

Rolex Milgauss

Returning to the iconic watches that graced the pages of National Geographic in the 1970s and ’80s, the Milgauss ref. 1019 stands out as a true gem. With its quirky 38-mm diameter – a feature distinct to this model, introduced in 1960 and discontinued in 1988 – this anti-magnetic marvel was purpose-built for scientists navigating or surrounded by magnetic fields.
Much like its counterpart, the Explorer II ref. 1655, aka Freccione, tailored for spelunkers, the Milgauss became more of a window display item than the kind of watch that adorns the wrists of scientists at CERN.
Watches that didn’t steal the spotlight upon launch often enjoy a resurgence in popularity decades later. This holds true for the Explorer II ref. 1655 and Milgauss ref. 1019.
A peek at Chrono24 prices reveals that the once-unwanted become collectible with time. So here’s my pitch: Facelift the Milgauss to look like the ref. 1019. Rumor has it that it might take the case of the 2023 Air-King with those nifty protective shoulders. I, however, think we’ll probably have to wait until 2026 for the Milgauss’s 70th anniversary to see any truly radical changes.
The Rolex Milgauss
The Rolex Milgauss

In the meantime, a revival of the 38-mm ref. 1019 would definitely top my wish list – with black and silver dials, of course.

Audemars Piguet Offshore Triple Calendar

We all acknowledge that the Audemars Royal Oak from 1972 was the first luxury watch with an integrated bracelet. However, the Royal Oak Offshore from 1993, designed by the ingenious Manu Guiet in 1989, wasn’t just a game-changer for Audemars Piguet back then; it’s a cornerstone of modern horology today.

The Offshore offers a bolder design, adding three millimeters to the diameter of the original Royal Oak. But not all the early Offshore models latched onto this chunky trend, and the Triple Calendar is a testimony to this. Sporting a modest diameter of 38 mm, the Offshore Triple Calendar traded the usual chronograph complication for a day, date, and month display, turning heads when it hit the scene in 1996.

Audemars Piguet Offshore Triple Calendar
Audemars Piguet Offshore Triple Calendar

With smaller watches being plate du jour in the current market, people are moving away from the chunky Offshore line. With this in mind, I see it only fitting that AP returns the 38-mm Offshore Triple Calendar.

Are small watches really back in fashion?

In terms of the movement, I’m okay with AP reusing the moduled automatic caliber 2127-2827 that powered the original from 1996, based on Jaeger-LeCoultre’s caliber 889.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 Perpetual Calendar

As a proud owner (and hence a biased fan) of the stunning Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 in pink gold, I can’t help but daydream about the Maison’s limited editions based on this exceptional model. Not least of all the jaw-dropping, ultra-limited edition of 20 pieces in platinum, boasting a perpetual calendar and the ultraslim caliber 1120. This rare gem was exclusively available in Vacheron Constantin boutiques in Geneva, Moscow, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, and fetched CHF113,400 (approx. $124,300) at Phillips Auctioneers in May 2021.

The Historiques American 1921, already a darling with long waiting lists, has been offered as a time-only watch since its (re)launch in 2008. Since 2021, it has come in two sizes of 36.5 and 40 mm. The metals used in the 1921 line are white, pink, and yellow gold, plus limited platinum editions.

With an array of materials already in play, it’s high time to introduce an unlimited Perpetual Calendar version. Alas, I will not be able to afford it if it hits the market. However, instead of putting my financial situation out there, let’s instead imagine this intricate complication on such a fantastic watch. It would unquestionably make any watch enthusiast’s heart skip a beat, emphasizing yet again the importance of the Swiss Maison and their incredible timepieces.


About the Author

Kristian Haagen

I've been collecting watches since I was about 20 years old. I like vintage watches most; they often come with a fascinating history or a cool provenance. Provenance makes a watch far more interesting than any brand-new watch.

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