Four luxury watch anniversaries to note in 2024

And our predictions on what to expect from them at Watches and Wonders 2024

Who doesn’t love a birthday bash? Luxury watch brands, for one, are always up for blowing out candles on their most significant anniversaries. From the birth of legendary marques to the launch of iconic collections, time has borne witness to the enduring qualities of these brands and watches. Read on for the top-drawer companies and timepieces that are celebrating noteworthy birthdays this year.

Piaget: 150 years

Synonymous with ultra-thin watches and lavish bejewelled creations, Piaget is the undisputed don of black-tie horology. The brand was founded in 1874 by Georges Piaget in the sleepy Swiss village of La Côte-aux-Fées, earning its stripes as a maker and supplier of watch movements.

Vintage Piaget ad circa 1959. Photo from Piaget

Despite its manufacturing prowess, it wasn’t until the 1940s when Piaget produced its own line of watches. Since then, the brand has established itself as a purveyour of sophisticated dress watches, particularly in the field of ultra-thin timepieces and, subsequently, extravagant high jewellery.

Limelight Aura High Jewellery watch in white gold with diamonds and sapphires from 2023. Photo from Piaget

Prior to Watches and Wonders 2024, Piaget wasted little time to get into celebration mode with the unveiling of the Polo 79. The full-gold watch commemorates the 45th anniversary of the Polo collection, billed as the brand’s first ‘sports chic’ line. We expect nothing less than a full-on extravaganza for the coming year, wagering on releases from the Altiplano line that hails Piaget’s expertise in ultra-thin complications, as well as irresistible bejewelled offerings that extol its creativity with gemstones.


Bulgari: 140 years

Bulgari’s journey to being a modern horological powerhouse mirrors that of its talented and entrepreneurial founder, Sotirios Voulgaris. A talented silversmith, Voulgaris left his home in Greece for Italy in 1881, and proceeded to learn his skills for three years before founding Bulgari (the phonetic version of his surname) in Rome in 1884.

Watchmaker encasing an Octo Finissimo. Photo from Bulgari

By the time Bulgari started making watches in the 1920s, the company was an established name in the high jewellery business. Incorporating its jewellery savoir-faire in its watchmaking creations, Bulgari’s watches are known to reflect the zeitgeist of the time, from art deco-inspired watches of the 1920s, to the lavish and extravagant creations of the 1980s. In that time, the brand not only created several iconic models like the Serpenti and Bulgari-Bulgari, it also bolstered its watch manufacturing capabilities by acquiring case and movement making factories, including the Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth manufactures in 2010.

New Octo Finissimo Automatic models for 2024. Photo from Bulgari

In recent years, Bulgari has been garnering acclaim in watchmaking circles for its impressive portfolio of record-breaking watches, from the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, featuring the world’s thinnest tourbillon movement in 2014, to the Octo Finissimo Ultra, the world’s thinnest mechanical watch in 2022. Earlier this year, the brand teased us with a show of gold-clad models from the Bulgari-Bulgari, Octo and Lucea collections. While Bulgari isn’t exhibiting at Watches and Wonders, we won’t be surprised if it has more hot releases in stores—perhaps another record-breaking ultra-thin complication in the works.


A. Lange & Söhne, Lange: 130 years

Hailing from the eastern German town of Glashütte, A. Lange & Söhne is known for its two-part history. The brand was first founded in 1845 by Ferdinand Adolph Lange, a watchmaker extraordinaire who, through his company, singlehandedly established the town’s watchmaking industry. However, the devastation of World War II laid all that to waste, and it wasn’t until 1994, when Lange was reestablished by the founder’s great grandson, Walter Lange.

Quality check on a Lange 1 model. Photo from A. Lange & Söhne

Lange’s rebirth in 1994 was marked by the introduction of four contemporary watches, the most distinctive of which is the Lange 1. Recognised by its off-centered displays and outsized date indicators, the Lange 1 is now the brand’s most emblematic iconic, demonstrating key horological tenets of identity, craftsmanship and technical sophistication.

While the brand celebrates the 30th anniversary of its relaunch this year, we are pinning our hopes for the Lange 1 to take centre stage. If Lange’s recent modus operandi is anything to go by, the company will be judicious with its releases at Watches and Wonders 2024. (Last year, it unveiled only one watch at the fair, the Odysseus Chronograph, although more models were subsequently introduced.)

Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar in white gold from 2023. Photo from A. Lange & Söhne

And if it were a new Lange 1, we would love to see an addition to the Pour le Mérite (PLM) series. A top-of-the-line range in terms of aesthetics and mechanical complexity, PLM models all feature the fusée-and-chain mechanism, one of the most complex and visually arresting torque regulating systems in mechanical watchmaking. There have been five PLM models since the brand’s 1994 relaunch, excluding variations, and none have yet to feature from the Lange 1 collection. Maybe it is about time?

A. Lange & Söhne

Grand Seiko, Spring Drive Automatic: 20 years

The Japanese have been known for some truly leftfield technological innovation and the world of watchmaking isn’t immune to them. Back in 1978, Grand Seiko raised more than a few eyebrows when it filed a patent for the Spring Drive, a hybrid watch movement that combines mechanically powered components with electronically precise, quartz-driven timekeeping.

Spring Drive SBGA481 ‘Tokyo Lion’. Photo from Grand Seiko

In the ensuing decades—and in spite of cynicism from naysaying purists—Grand Seiko chipped away at the concept that it felt combined the best of traditional and modern watchmaking. Following the introduction of the first hand-wound Spring Drive watch in 1998, Grand Seiko eventually co-opted the technology for automatic movements in 2004.

Spring Drive GMT ‘Mt. Hotaka Peaks’ SBGE295. Photo from Grand Seiko

Since the watershed milestone 20 years ago, the Grand Seiko Spring Drive collection has grown exponentially. Last year, the brand unveiled a host of stunning Spring Drive-powered models, including the Spring Drive SBGA481 ‘Tokyo Lion’ and Spring Drive GMT ‘Mt. Hotaka Peaks’ SBGE295. Oozing artisanal verve with decorative dials, both watches showcase the Spring Drive’s reliability and precision with -/+1 second daily accuracy and 72 hours of power reserve, accompanied by chronograph and GMT complications, respectively. For the collection’s 20th anniversary, we are longing for a retro-inspired offering backed by enhanced performance that pays homage to the Spring Drive’s short but storied legacy.

Grand Seiko