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Four Watches & Wonders Alternatives In The Windup Watch Shop
Words by Windup Watch Shop

Watches & Wonders, the watch industry’s biggest annual fair, came to a close earlier this week. As usual the anticipation was palpable, and the payoff was – well, it depends on who you ask. Whether or not you were impressed with the novelties, it’s no surprise that many of the new releases are, in reality, quite a long ways off from being available (if they ever are for regular folks). No matter; the following Chronicle highlights four watches that aren’t merely more affordable alternatives – they offer the same spirit and aesthetic and are available today right here in the Shop. As always, the Windup Watch Shop staff are happy to meet with you to answer any questions you have. Without further ado, here are this year’s Watches & Wonders alternatives!

Rolex GMT Master II and Seiko 5 GMT

Rolex’s lone stainless steel release this year was not the GMT “Coke” that many hoped for, but it does expand the lineup to include a sober and low-key alternative to the BLRO, BLNR, and VTNR GMT-Master IIs. Though far from a perfect comparison, the Seiko SSK019 is also a low-key, self-winding, fully in-house GMT on a five-link bracelet with 100 meters of water resistance. Featuring an all-black and 24-hour bezel and independently setting 24-hour hand, this Seiko retains the case style of its iconic SKX brethren and represents fantastic quality for its price, which is something we have come to expect from Seiko. Best of all, it is available (key word: available) in both blue and yellow configurations.

Nomos Tangente Colors and Paulin Neo

Nomos celebrated its 175th birthday this year by releasing an array of Tangente 38 Date watches in 31 different dial colors. Each version is limited to 175 pieces, so not everyone will be able to get their hands on one. If the scarcity or price tag of north of $2,000 is a bit much, you’re still in luck. The Paulin Neo is an equally striking watch that comes in its own variety of colors (named A, B, C, and D). Boasting custom typography, identical 38mm diameter as the Nomos, and a hand-wound and automatic NH35 movement, the Neos are even easier to collect en masse to complement for every outfit and look.

Rolex 1908 and Louis Erard Excellence With Guilloché

Love it or hate it, the Rolex 1908 is back again this year, now with a new guilloche dial and platinum case. Also included is a price tag for $30,900. Beginners need not apply. The good news is that high-end finishing has found its way into watches in segments previously unthinkable. Perhaps the best example is none other than the Louis Erard Excellence Petite Seconde with its anthracite guilloché dial. This Swiss-made watch, available in anthracite black (42mm) or anthracite blue (39mm) is stunning and showcases a variety of dial finishes that belie its modest price point.

Raymond Weil Millesime and Tissot Heritage Small Seconds

The Millesime may not have been a new 2024 Watches and Wonders introduction, but it did win a GPHG award in 2023 for “Best Watch under CHF 2,000”. But what if you love the Millesime and want the GPHG equivalent at half that max price? The Tissot Heritage Small Second is the answer. It has a beautiful silver railroad outer minute track, black-grained dial, and gold hands and Arabic numerals. In short, it’s a charming and elegant watch from a storied brand with a COSC certified movement at just $1,000.