The Best Watches of 2024 (So Far)

This is an edition of the newsletter Box + Papers, Cam Wolf’s weekly deep dive into the world of watches. Sign up here.

If you were playing Watch Industry Bingo this year, you’d already be pretty close to winning. A hotshot new brand entered the market with a watch that sold out instantaneously. A luxury brand enlisted a major celebrity for an epic collaboration. And more than one brand revived a well-loved archival model that was garnering present-day hype (a move I haven’t tired of yet, as you’ll see below).

I don’t say this as a dig at this year’s releases. Taken together, they feel like listening to a really good pop song: I’m familiar with all the melodies and hooks, even as they’re shaped into something new. These are my favorite watches of 2024 so far.

Best Debut: Toledano and Chan B/1

No doubt the most exciting debut of the year. The B/1 is inspired by Brutalist architecture—specifically a window on the Breuer building in New York City. And despite borrowing a few design cues from Rolex’s ’60s-era King Midas, the watch looks like nothing else on the market today. Co-founders Alfred Chan and Phil Toledano, a well-known collector, launched the piece in May and it sold out instantly. The watch retailed for $4,000, but it’s so hot right now that a pièce unique version made from carbon just sold at Sotheby’s for $24,000.

Best Turtle-Inspired Watch: Cartier Tortue (Time-Only)

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Lucas Horenburg © Cartier

I’m such a sucker for Cartier’s classic shapes. This year, the house brought the curvy Tortue back from its archives. The watch is Cartier at its best: an incredibly simple, very pretty watch molded into a slightly silly shape. If a timepiece inspired by a tank isn’t your thing, how about one that mimics the humble tortuga?

Best Retro Dive Watch: Zenith 1969 Defy Diver

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