The best new watches of 2023, plus why the luxury watch world is looking to Ireland

Waiting lists, new boutiques, and an ever-more discerning customer: Ireland is experiencing a watch boom, writes Leslie Williams

Rolex’s new Oyster Perpetual Day-Date in Everose and diamonds

The luxury watch world is slowly but surely beginning to take Ireland seriously. Sales are up, there are six new brand exclusive boutiques on Chatham Street just off Grafton Street and both Weir & Sons in Dublin and Keanes in Cork have undergone refurbishment.  Keanes now have one of the most substantial Rolex and Patek Philippe spaces in Ireland and Weir & Sons will have a new Rolex area opening in the autumn in their new first floor Luxury Department.

Yvette Donlon of Weir & Sons says that she expects the planned new Rolex manufacturing facilities to improve the selections that will be available in the coming months and expects to have all the new watches released at Watches and Wonders (W&W) 2023 in store. Keanes say the same, but as per usual with Rolex these days demand will continue to outstrip supply.

Meanwhile the new luxury boutiques and ‘shop-in-shops’ on Chatham Row, Chatham Street are all open and busy. The stores interconnect so one can walk between Breitling, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Cartier, Tudor and TAG Heuer, perhaps stopping at the in-house bar in Panerai for a cocktail while you try on the new downsized 40mm Radiomir Quaranta in ‘Goldtech’ which blends platinum and copper (€18,500).

The ‘boutique’ status of the new stores will ensure a larger selection from those brands than was previously available including boutique-only models. Technically the Cartier store is an ‘Espace’ rather than a boutique, but it too will have a much larger selection than was previously available in Ireland and we will no longer have to fly to London, Paris or Geneva to see all the new models.

Finally in new openings Watches of Switzerland Group opened a TAG Heuer boutique in Dundrum Shopping Centre in February, their first outlet in Ireland and likely not their last.

Watches and Wonders

Watches and Wonders (W&W) has now effectively replaced both Baselworld and SIHH and is by far the biggest watch show of the year with only the Swatch Group noticeable by their absence. Anticipation was high for W&W 2023 which ran from March 27th - April 1st particularly as it was the first show of its kind since 2019 and nearly forty major watch brands were in attendance. Here are some of the highlights from the leading watchmakers.


Rolex captured many of the headlines as usual, but this year there were no complaints about a lack of creativity. In fact it was the opposite as some Rolex fans seemed confused and almost upset by the launch of two unusual dials.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 36 in ‘Emoji Datejust’ was a surprise reveal at Watches & Wonders

The Oyster Perpetual (OP) Celebration (€6,500) is in stainless steel and features a playful jumble of colourful circles representing previous OP dial colours on a blue background. The DayDate 36 has some new dial variations with diamond set bezels but the real surprise in the range was the ‘Emoji Datejust’ 36mm meanwhile features a jigsaw dial in various colours with emoji instead of dates and emotions instead of days including “love”, “peace” and “gratitude” - price to be revealed.

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Daytona chronograph, Rolex has revamped the full range with subtle changes to the case size which has also been increased by a  millimetre in size to 40mm. The big news was the Platinum Daytona with a typical ice-blue dial but now with a display caseback to allow you to view the decorated movement and its attractive yellow gold rotor. Rolex has almost never offers display casebacks and this is a first for one of their sports model.

1908 Perpetual

The dress watch Cellini range is now gone and instead Rolex has introduced a new range called 1908 available in white and yellow gold. 1908 refers to the date of the Rolex trademark registration and the dials feature a 3,9 and 12 a reference to the Oyster Perpetual from 1931. The 1908 is 39mm and also features a display casebacks and costs €22,400.

There is a new Yachtmaster in Titanium (Rolex’s first titanium watch), including a titanium bracelet – this was widely predicted. The Explorer is now a 40mm watch and the GMT range received some new colours including a new black bezel version in two-tone yellow gold and steel.

The new Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 ©Rolex/JVA Studios


The Tudor Black Bay 54 (€3,870) is new to the range and at 37mm will appeal to both women and men. There is a rubber strap option and 200m water resistance so this is a functioning dive watch and a sister watch to the more established Black Bay 58.  While Rolex have been increasing the size of their watches it was interesting to see Tudor produce a watch noticeably smaller. The BlackBay ‘54’ pays homage to the past and is “a modern expression of Tudor’s first dive-watch” which launched in 1954.

The Tudor Black Bay 54

The Tudor Royal received some new colours but most people were focused on the new Black Bay Burgundy, an attractive new colour in the range which comes in at 41mm with Metas certification (instead of the more usual Cosc cert), 70 hour power reserve and a “T-fit” clasp (€4,510 on a jubilee, €4,190 on rubber).


IWC’s big news for W&W was the launch of a new Ingenieur, reviving the design created for them by watch designer Gerald Genta in 1976. Gerald Genta was the designer behind two of the watch world’s most sought after models – the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak – the watch that created the fashion for integrated bracelet steel sports watches.

IWC’s new Ingenieur revives the design created for them by watch designer Gerald Genta in 1976

Paul Sheeran says they have already had enquiries to their IWC Boutique about the new model, so you might want to get your name down soon. With an improved integrated bracelet, an automatic movement with 120 hours power reserve and attractive dial options in black, silver and a green-blue aqua the price is €12,900. A titanium boutique only version will also be available at €16,000.

Jaeger LeCoultre (JLC)

Jaeger LeCoultre largely used W&W 2023 to flex their technical and decorative skills as demonstrated with some new editions of the Reverso, first introduced in 1931 at the height of the art-deco movement. The appeal of the Reverso shape is correlated to the fact that it fits the Golden Ratio number phi and JLC riffed on this with their new Tribute Chronograph (€35,000).  This hand wound chronograph is also a duoface allowing both a classic blue-grey dial and a skeletonised version that allows you to view the intricate chronograph mechanism.

If this talk of chronographs sounds too macho JLC also introduced a ‘Secret Necklace’ version of the Reverso which turns it into an enamelled and diamond set jewellery piece that can of course be reversed to check the time.

The Reverso One Precious Colours, revealed at Watches & Wonders

JLC also released a Duoface Tourbillon and some limited edition enamelled versions which are things of beauty.  On the more affordable end there are four new versions of the Tribute Small Seconds with the steel version available for €9,200 before tax.

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe added seventeen new references to its range this year including some new Grand Complications at the top end and some new Calatrava at the somewhat more affordable end. The Grand Master Chime features over 20 complications and can now be found in rose gold and in versions with baguette cut emeralds - price on request. The WorldTime minute repeater has a new white gold version with a cloisonné enamel dial.

The Aquanaut Luce collection for ladies by Patek Philippe has a practical and easy-to-use complication with the new Annual Calendar coming with a day/date/month calendar that needs only one manual correction per year, (c. €52,500)

The Aquanaut is now available with an annual calendar in rose gold (c. €52,500) and now comes in a more wearable 38.8mm version with diamonds (c. €46,000).  The Patek Philippe Pilot added two new colour variations and the Calatrava took a more sporty focus with the new colour accented black dials on the white gold 6007G range. You can choose between an embossed ‘carbon’ pattern with touches of either yellow, red or sky blue.

TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer were celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Carrera with new 36 mm date versions (€3,200) including one in hot pink that will get you noticed. The redesigned case has lost a couple of millimetres and looks a little more svelte. TAG also introduced a new 39mm Carrera Chronograph ‘Glassbox’ curved sapphire crystal which highlights the inner tachymeter scale, a reminder that these watches were originally designed for car racing.

The new TAG Heuer Carrera now comes in a hot pink version
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer range got new in-house movements and even some full gold models.  TAG Heuer also surprised everyone with the Carrera Plasma 36mm which features 1.4 carats of pink and white lab-grown diamonds including a dramatic large pink diamond to serve as the crown - the price? Around €375,000.


Panerai focused this year on the Radiomir collection - historically the Radiomir range was solely for use by the Italian navy. Six new Radiomir models were introduced including some California dial boutique-only versions - thankfully Dublin now has a Panerai boutique so we should be able to see them in person. Two new annual calendar models (the gold version costs €40,000) were introduced plus some time only models in different colours and materials plus a very wearable 40mm Radiomir Quaranta Goldtech made from an alloy of Gold, Platinum and Copper (€18,500). The new Otto-Giorno models feature an 8-day power reserve (hence the name) and features display caseback and retails for €9,900.


Cartier rather bombarded us with new watches this year with something like 85 new models released. Perhaps the most attention went to the skeletonised Cartier Santos Dumont which is available in three colours – the micro-rotor movement has 212 components and and took two years to develop (c. €37,500). If the skeletonised version is a little too dramatic the Santos XL is now available in Rose Gold, Gold and Platinum.

The first Cartier Tank was introduced in 1917, inspired by the Renault FT-17 tank and several years later the Tank comes in a few shapes – Americaine, Francaise and so on. This year sees a new Tank Normale which is closer in style to the 1917 version available in 18k yellow gold or 950 Platinum with a sapphire or ruby cabochon respectively (€49,800 and €57,500).  There are also skeletonised versions.

You might have noticed that Shiv in Succession favours a Cartier Panthère. Well, you can outdo her by picking up the new version which is in solid yellow gold with a black lacquered diamond set dial due later in the year for around €30,000. Cartier have also rejuvenated the small oval Baignoire on a solid gold bracelet first introduced in 1912 - the new version is quartz driven and will be available from June for €10,600.

Finally the Hermés H08 got a new monopusher chronograph and A.Lange & Sohne released a new Chronograph version of their stainless steel sports watch the Odysseus.

Hermés H08

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