8 Iconic Timepieces That Have Been Reworked For A New Generation

7 min read
Image courtesy of Chanel

Each of these watches is inspired by a model of the past, delivering a fresh take on iconic design and style to a modern audience this year

Chanel Première Original Edition

To accompany the launch of the Première Original Edition in 2023, Chanel enlisted the help of Lily-Rose Depp for a slick promotional campaign. Depp was born in May 1999, but the watch seen adorning her wrist dates back even further to 1987. This is actually a reissue of the first ever watch from Chanel, conceived by Jacques Helleu, the House’s artistic director at the time, and it still looks as fresh today as it did then.

The octagonal case references the No5 perfume bottle, crafted in steel and dipped in 18 carat yellow gold, with an onyx cabochon-set crown. It attaches to the wrist via a chain-like bracelet, with interwoven leather straps, typically used on Chanel’s quilted handbags, and has a sleek black lacquer dial and minimalistic gold hands. Discover the timepiece

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso One Duetto Jewellery

More than 90 years since its art deco icon was first introduced, Jaeger-LeCoultre has a new Reverso model. Originally released in 1931, the watch was known for offering the ability to ‘reverse’ the case, flipping the main dial over in favour of a solid protective plate, originally intended for use in polo matches.

But over the years, the watchmaker evolved the idea, with the Duetto in 1997 the first model to feature back-to-back dials, each telling the same time. The One Duetto Jewellery, seen here, has a rose gold case featuring 335 grain-set diamonds, and either a black leather strap or a matching bracelet, itself set with 384 of the precious stones — another Reverso first. Dials are silvered sunray and glossy black lacquer. Discover the timepiece

Bulgari Serpenti Tubogas Infinity

Last September, Bulgari held a 10-day exhibition at Dubai’s DIFC, The Gate Building, to celebrate 75 years of the Serpenti. Making its debut in 1948 — a bracelet-watch in gold, using the long, flexible wraparound gold straps of the Tubogas range introduced a year earlier, but with a case that resembles a snake’s head — the aesthetic became even more serpent-like later on, adding scales and decorated with precious stones.

No anniversary would be complete without a new model. The Infinity marks the first time the silhouette connects the rose gold case and bracelet, using a modular construction, with diamonds extending from the snake’s tail to the head. Choose a single-twirl bracelet with 445 diamonds in total, or a double-twirl with 486. Discover the timepiece

Dior La D My Dior

This new Dior timepiece marks two important occasions in the Maison’s history. The first is the arrival of the La D de Dior watch in 2003, with this latest timepiece launched to mark its 20th anniversary — a simplistic design, the original model had just two hands, with no index or date display, and here returns to its roots after years of lavish decoration. And then there’s 1947, the launch of Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ range, with the watch using the House’s famed cannage motif, requiring two days of specialist engraving, and originally used to decorate the chairs at the event. The La D My Dior is available in 19mm or 25mm sizes, in steel or 18 carat yellow gold, with a diamond-encrusted crown and the option of diamonds on the bezel, plus a matching ribbon strap. Discover the timepiece

Omega De Ville Mini Trésor

While Omega is famous for its sports watches (and for equipping James Bond and his female supporting cast), it also has the refined De Ville range. Originally introduced as part of the Seamaster collection in the 1960s, it became its own range in 1967, winning design awards and spawning several sub-categories. The Trésor line came in 2014, named after an Omega watch from 1949, while the Mini versions, with cases just 26mm in size, launched more recently, aimed exclusively at women.

This is Omega at its most decadent, with elegant printed fabric straps, steel or 18 carat Moonshine Gold cases and subtle curves paved with diamonds. The all-gold version, including the dial and strap, is naturally the collection’s flagship. Discover the timepiece

Breitling Navitimer 36

Traditionally a very masculine watch brand, Breitling changed tactics recently with long-time ambassador Charlize Theron fronting a new campaign for its latest Navitimer watches, available in 32mm and 36mm sizes. The Navitimer is perhaps the most famous Breitling of all, first released in 1952 as a tool for pilots, with its circular slide rule inside the bezel used for a number of aeronautic calculations. These latest, smaller versions feature pastel colours, mother-of-pearl dials, traceable 18 carat rose gold and responsible lab-grown diamonds. The light blue colourway is said to be a first for the brand, with Theron recently admitting that her favourite was the 36mm with the pearl dial and diamonds around the case perimeter. Discover the timepiece

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust

Dubbed ‘the Rolex classic feminine watch par excellence’ by the Swiss brand, few would argue with the timeless appeal of the Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust. First introduced in 1945 for men, the Datejust was the world’s first self-winding chronometer wristwatch with a date display window, with the women’s version, just 26mm in size, arriving in 1957.

These days, the size has been bumped up to 28mm, with a Calibre 2236 movement inside, and Oystersteel or 18 carat yellow, white or Everose gold cases, waterproof to 100m. Discover a range of dial colours, including sunray blue and rhodium, and even mother-of-pearl, with domed, fluted or gem-set bezels, Arabic or Roman numerals, and a choice of bracelets and straps. With these options, you can truly make this watch your own. Discover the timepiece

Cartier Baignoire de Cartier

The origins of the Baignoire date back to 1912. This was the year that Cartier unveiled its first oval timepiece, although it would not be until 1958 that it adopted the contoured shape and proportions we know and love, and 1973 when it was finally named the Baignoire (which translates from the French as ‘bathtub’ — spot the resemblance?).

Last year, Cartier unveiled its latest version, the Baignoire Mini bangle watch, with the case reduced to just 24.6mm in length, available in 18 carat yellow or rose gold, or rhodium-finish white gold with 552 diamonds, launched in June and sold out by August, with stocks replenished just recently. The case and bangle match perfectly, with the timepiece worn as jewellery, intended to be stacked alongside other bangles and bracelets. Discover the timepiece

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  • Words by Chris Anderson