The biggest watch trends for 2024

Our resident watch expert talks us through the key watch trends to keep an eye out for in 2024

I’ve been called many things over the years, but never a sage. While I may know very little generally speaking, when it comes to watches, I feel I have a better chance than on any other subject to give predictions, as I do spend a fair whack of my day considering what’s cool, what to invest in and what’s coming out. So, according to my close analysis of the watch market, here are five early shouts for the watch trends to keep an eye out for in 2024. Enjoy!

Smaller case sizes

Chopard's Alpine Eagle 36.

This will come as no surprise to those who have been paying close attention to the watch world in recent times. We have seen this happening for a few years now, but with the rise of neo-vintage designs, social media and genderless designs, we are absolutely seeing case sizes come down. A decade ago, it was commonplace to see new models of 45mm and up (marketed as ‘men’s watches’). These days, we are seeing 36mm case sizes ‘without gender prescription’ from the likes of Chopard, which I for one am pleased about. It just means nobody feels alienated, you can go for what attracts you style-wise and quite frankly it’s just more fun! Whatever size you take, there is no doubt that smaller is more elegant. Just my two cents.

Full Lume Dials

IWC's Full Lume 41 Black Aces Pilot.

No doubt you will have enjoyed that moment when you glance down at your wrist in low light and instantly get a read out from lumed hands and markers. Well, manufacturers are now going a step further with not only the hands and markers, but the whole dial itself. We saw this from the IWC Full Lume 41 Black Aces Pilot, and while this is less of a shoe-in for 2024, I just happen to think that brands take trend advice from the same consultants and this will be one of them (much like green dials last year).

Relaxed, traceable straps

Breitling x Outerknown ECONYL® yarn strap.

In line with the rise of environmental consciousness and traceability, buyers have demanded makers up their strap game. We have seen Breitling link up with Outerknown, Kelly Slater’s climate-conscious kit maker. IWC has also come to the party with vegan strap options that are fully traceable. Gone are the days of the stiff, glossy croc straps your grandfather used to rock. And thank God for that.

Increased retail prices

Patek Phillipe's Nautilus 5711.

This isn’t something new for 2024 per se, but I think increased retail prices on watches will be more obvious than ever before and quite possibly more aggressive. I say this because we are facing a credit crunch across the board with the cost of living going up and that tends to be the time in which we feel these things more acutely. This is compounded by the fact that brands, coming off record years, will do anything to protect brand equity and secondary market prices. Patek has already announced considerable increases – who will be next?

Rainbow bezels

Carl Bucherer's Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral Paradise.

The Rainbow Daytona from Rolex was not the first watch to deploy a beautiful gem setting – but it is the reference. Since its introduction in Everose in 2018, it has been the ultimate unisex flex. Prices are bananas and getting one at retail (just shy of £100k) is almost impossible. In recent years we have seen newcomers to the rainbow bezel party from Carl F Bucherer, Patek Philippe and TAG Heuer. While this could have been a trend spot in 2022 and 2023, I have no doubt we will see more sparkle in 2024!

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