Business News: Watches & Wonders Returns to Geneva in March 2023

Along with Hainan and Shanghai in late 2022.

Having successfully pulled off the first large-scale watch fair in Switzerland since the pandemic started – and the first expanded event that included Baselworld transplants like Rolex and Patek Philippe – the organisers of Watches & Wonder will be doing it again next year. Watches & Wonders 2023 will take place in Geneva from March 27 to April 2, 2023 – though those are “provisional dates” according to the organisers.

But before that the event will take place in two cities in China. First on the tropical resort island of Hainan from October to December 2022 where it will happen simultaneously in Haikou and Sanya.

The CDF Mall in Sanya

Last year’s W&W at the West Bund Art Centre in Shanghai

Each of these respective events will be taking place in a shopping mall operated by one of the country’s two primary duty-free retailers, China Tourism Group (CTG) in Haikou and China Duty Free Group (CDF) in Sanya.

And then from November 23 to 27, W&W will move to the West Bund Art Center in Shanghai, where it took place in previous years.

Intriguingly, the announcement the 2023 event in Geneva begins with “Watches and Wonders announces… its first provisional dates for 2023”. And it omits the list of exhibiting brands.

That is perhaps a hint that next year’s event will not have the same exhibitors as this year, reflecting widely discussed tensions between the various exhibiting brands and groups.


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Audermars Piguet Introduces the Royal Oak Offshore “Music Edition”

Tapisserie in rhythmic colours.

A watchmaker with many a musician as brand ambassadors, Audemars Piguet has just unveiled a quintet of sports watches sporting a motif inspired by the digital display of a graphic equaliser, a piece of audio equipment used to vary the volume of frequency bands.

Taking its inspiration quite literally, the Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Music Edition has the familiar tapisserie dial pattern but dressed up with the vertical lines of the display on a graphic equaliser. And in its fanciest form, the latest model renders the equaliser motif in colour gemstones that continue onto the bezel.

Initial thoughts

As with many of the brand’s more extravagant releases, the Music Edition is almost tacky but manages to pull it off. Decidedly modern and very much over the top, the colourful chequerboard is a fun, striking look that distinguishes the watch from every other Royal Oak, which is an accomplishment given the strength of the octagonal design.

Traditionalists will sure disprove of the way the tapisserie dial has been reinvented, but it is certainly in keeping with the bold and adventurous style of the Le Brassus watchmaker. And that has its appeal in moderate doses. The secret to such over-the-top watches is to do it infrequently and as long as AP doesn’t repeat this often or regularly, the Music Edition is different and cool.

The dial of the gem-set model is blue aventurine glass, adding another layer of sparkle to the watch

Between the two dials available, the gem-set version is certainly more flamboyant. In fact, it arguably works better with the equaliser theme as compared to the black ceramic model, which is restrained in comparison. The black ceramic version has a printed dial that goes with the all-black look, creating an almost understated look that’s nonetheless eye-catching thanks to the rainbow dial.

One aspect of the Music Edition purists will appreciate is the fact that all versions are time-only – all go without the conventional date at three o’clock. The clean dial is unusual for a Royal Oak but is a perfect fit for the dynamic dial pattern.

Variations on a theme

The Music Edition dial is actually a clever reinterpretation of the traditional Royal Oak dial pattern. Both dial versions of the Music Edition feature the Mega tapisserie pattern synonymous with the Offshore, a version of the traditional tapisserie with  larger squares.

But the Mega tapisserie motif has been reworked to being impressively three-dimensional, appearing to be made up of blocks rather than just squares. The titanium model has a dark blue dial with the equaliser graphics printed in 10 different colours on top of the blocks.

On the white gold version, however, the dial is blue aventurine glass that’s been engraved with the block pattern, but some of the blocks have been replaced with coloured gemstones.

The printed dial of the 43 mm model has five-minute marks on the flange that are absent on its smaller brother

The stones on the dial have an oblong cut known as “Harmony” cut that allows them to better catch the light according to AP

Unusually for Royal Oak Offshore – meant to be the bigger, bolder, and sportier version of the classical Royal Oak – the Music Edition is available in a smaller, mid-size version that’s 37 mm, along with the typically sized 43 mm.

Both sizes are offered in the same variants, namely printed and gem-set dials, though the printed dial is available only with a titanium case while the gem-set model is in white gold.

However, the 43 mm version is also offered in one additional guise unavailable for its smaller brother: black ceramic.

The 37 mm model in white gold

And the 43 mm model in titanium

All sizes of the Music Edition share the same case details, namely a knurled pattern on the connecting links for the strap that is meant to evoke the cable plugs for an electric guitar. Another detail is the engraved pattern on the crown guard that is modelled on the sliding buttons of an equaliser panel.

The connecting links feature AP’s own quick-release mechanism, which is why each version is packaged with three additional straps

And the movements within are both latest-generation calibres that boast both robust construction and longer power reserves. Inside the 37 mm model is the cal. 5909, basically the no-date version of the cal. 5900 unveiled earlier this year in the Royal Oak 37 mm.

And the 43 mm model houses the cal. 4309, which is again the no-date version of the cal. 4302 first found in the Code 11.59 Selfwinding. The cal. 4309 has a power reserve of 70 hours, 10 more than that of the cal. 5909.

Key facts and price

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Music Edition 37 mm
Ref. 77600TI.OO.A343CA.01 (titanium)
Ref. 77601BC.YY.D343CA.01 (white gold)

Diameter: 37 mm
Height: 12.1 m
Material: Titanium or 18k white gold
Crystal: Sapphire
Water-resistance: 50 m

Movement: Cal. 5909
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours (37 mm);


Titanium – Blue mosaic-patterned rubber strap with titanium pin buckle
White gold – Blue mosaic-patterned rubber strap with white gold folding clasp

All models accompanied by three additional straps in turquoise, yellow, and green respectively 

Limited edition: 500 pieces (titanium)
 At boutiques and AP Houses
Titanium – US$29,100, or 42,000 Singapore dollars
White gold – Price on request

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Music Edition 43 mm
Ref. 15600TI.OO.A343CA.01 (titanium)
Ref. 15601BC.YY.D343CA.01 (white gold)
Ref. 15600CE.OO.A002CA.01 (ceramic)

Diameter: 43 mm
Height: 14.4 mm
Material: Titanium, 18k white gold, or black ceramic
Crystal: Sapphire
Water-resistance: 100 mm

Movement: Cal. 4309 (43 mm)
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 70 hours

Titanium – Blue rubber strap with titanium pin buckle
White gold – Blue rubber strap with white gold folding clasp
Black ceramic – Black rubber strap with titanium pin buckle

All models accompanied by three additional straps in turquoise, yellow, and green respectively 

Limited edition: 500 pieces (titanium); 250 pieces (black ceramic)
 At boutiques and AP Houses
Titanium – US$31,700, or 45,700 Singapore dollars
Ceramic – US$40,500, or 58,500 Singapore dollars
White gold – Price on request

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