(This article by Roberta Naas first appeared on Forbes.com. Here on ATimelyPerspective, it is one of an on-going series. Stay tuned.)
In late October at Gotham Hall in New York City the 2023 WatchTime New York collector show took place, with 36 brands showcasing their newest and most recent watches. Some brands officially unveiled their newest pieces or collaborations at this show, which more than 2,000 watch lovers attended. Among them: a couple of celebrities such as Kevin O’Leary (aka Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank), who is also an avid watch collector, and Aldis Hodge (of Black Adam and City on a Hill), who is also a self-taught watchmaker. Here we bring highlights of just a few of the standout timepieces and unveilings.
Armin Strom displayed its most recent Mirrored Force Resonance Manufacture Green edition, created in a limited run of just 50 pieces. The watch boasts an open-worked movement (a signature of the brand) and on off-center green textured dial in a “machine” green hue inspired by vintage equipment. It was the first time many collectors were able to view the watch.
Over at Bell & Ross, the brand’s CEO Carlos Rosillo and award-winning designer Sacha Lakic unveiled their Blacktrack Motors motorcycle and watch collaboration. First the Blacktrack BT-06 motorcycle was unveiled, followed by the BR 03-94 BlackTrack watch, created in a limited edition of just 500 pieces. An exploration in dynamic shapes and stealth lines, the fruits of this collaboration were a hit at the show. The watch is a mechanical chronograph 42mm piece whose black dial resembles a dashboard.
Carl F. Bucherer unveiled its Manero Central Counter collection of watches with bold colored dials in blue, green, salmon and brown, with black subsidiary dials that complement the DLC-coated bezels. The 41mm chronograph timepieces are powered by an automatic movement and offer tachymeter and 24-hour day/night indication in addition to hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph functions. The watches are water resistant to 30 meters and offer 40- 44 hours of power reserve.
Parmigiani Fleurier showcased it Tonda PF Minute Rattrapante, which was a world premiere when it made its debut at Watches &Wonders Geneva earlier this year. For many collectors, the show gave them their first hands-on experience with this timepiece that incorporates the Rattrapante usually used for chronographs as a secret hand that the wearer can set to one- or five-minute increments to remind them of an upcoming meeting or event. When the time arrives, the gold hand tucks itself away beneath the regular minute hand.
Independent watchmaker Roland Murphy of RGM stole my heart with his just introduced “Tiger in Stone” miniature stone marquetry watch. Using the RGM Model 25 with an American-made 40mm case, contoured bezel and curved lugs, RGM creates a mosaic of tiny pieces of stone to emulate a tiger on the dial. The meticulous craftsmanship that goes into the making of this dial takes hundreds of hours and is well worth the effort.
As to the show, investor and watch enthusiast Kevin O’Leary said, “What I appreciate about this is that it’s a gathering of a global scale,” said Kevin O’ Leary. “These are brands from all around the world coming together. It’s a chance for collectors like me to see what’s next but also what came before, because some of these brands are displaying some very rare vintage pieces. So, I would never get to see these unless I was here… I think that’s the importance of this: understanding there’s a past to this industry as well as a future. Putting them both together in one show is genius.”