Namoki Recap: The Best Releases of Watches and Wonders 2023
Watches and Wonders is an international trade show for watch lovers. Established in 1991 to create a more exclusive trade show dedicated to fine watchmaking, the event continues to be held every year in Geneva to celebrate excellence in watchmaking.
If you are bored with old watch designs and want to make something new, we have a list of some of the best releases from the event this year that could be the perfect inspiration for your next mod.
While we were not able to physically attend the event (it is but an item in the bucket list for now), we have been closely following the announcements and compiled the best ones for you. If you are looking for a way to take Seiko spare parts, and make them something special, here are some models that will influence mods and general watch design for years to come.
Black Bay 54
Source: Time and Tide Watches
The new Black Bay 54 (reference 79000) may be one of the most appealing vintage-inspired dive watches in 2023. If you want a smaller dive watch or a modern Tudor that still feels vintage, this watch is perfect for you.
At just 37mm, the watch has vintage dimensions, and a style to match. Dive watches tend to be sized at 40mm and up, as you’d need more material to withstand water pressure in the depths, making them bulkier out of necessity. This makes the Black Bay 54 somewhat of an anomaly, though it still delivers a lot of value in a small package.
In addition to the vintage look, with a luminous pip at 12 on the bezel, and a smooth 60-click bezel, the Black Bay 54 has all the classic diver’s styling cues. It also has a rivet style bracelet on the steel bracelet model that just screams ‘vintage diver’.
The gilt dial and hands also add to the overall feel of the watch, and at less than $4,000 for either model, the Black Bay 54 isn’t outrageously expensive given its provenance. Of course, if it is too small for you, Tudor has you covered with both a 39mm, and 41mm version of the Black Bay.
A Mod it Inspires
Source: @finemods on IG
Seiko released the SKX013 as a smaller-sized offering modeled after the immensely popular SKX007. Still, it is clear that the bigger of the two SKXs were much preferred, and we have a feeling that the same will happen between the BB58 and the 2mm smaller BB54.
If the 39mm size of the Black Bay 58 is already perfect for you, then you may want to proceed with creating your own Fifty-Eight mod using our set of cases, dials, inserts and hands that will allow you to build a perfect homage. You can check out these Fifty-Eight inspired parts here.
Rolex Titanium Yachtmaster
Source: Everest Bands
The new titanium Yacht-Master (ref. 226627) was a surprise, though a more welcome one for many compared to Rolex’s previous Titanium watch release, the Deepsea Challenge clocking in at a whopping 50mm. This newer 42mm watch, which looks so sturdy, and feels unbelievably light at around 100 grams on the Ti bracelet is more comfortable to wear for more wrists.
Made from Rolex's proprietary grade 5 RLX Titanium, which is up to 3x more durable than the grade 2 of the Pelagos and able to be brushed to a satin finish or polished, the watch has nice sharp chamfers that contrast against the dark gray, matte metal.
Much like the full-gold Yachtmaster, the Ti model uses a black ceramic bezel insert, and deep matte black dial.nOverall, this is a watch that could be coming home to its roots.
Rolex legends say that the Yachtmaster was originally built to replace the Submariner, but the Rolex brass killed the idea, instead making the Yachtmaster a luxury option in the line. Now, the Yachtmaster is offering something no Submariner ever could - a grade 5 RLX Titanium case!
A Mod it Inspires
You can’t change our mind that Titanium is one of, if not the best material for dive watches, which is why we’ve released two Titanium cases long ago. Our first foray was a Grade 2 Ti SKX case, which we soon followed up with the improved Grade 5 Ti SKX case mk.2 and the Grade 5 Ti MM300 case.
As expected, modders who used the case were happy with the exotic yet natural pattern of the material, not to mention its better durability and corrosion resistance. On top of that, it makes for a watch so light you’d probably forget you’re wearing it from time to time!
Jacob & Co. Casino Tourbillon
The new Jacob & Co Casino Tourbillon was released in a Limited Edition of 101 pieces, sporting a tourbillon movement which is only visible in the case back. The face of the watch is designed as a roulette wheel, complete with white ball, and a single green zero at the top of the wheel.
Previous roulette-inspired models from Jacob & Co were complex, but this model is simple, with applied gold indices for the hour markets, and two hands to show the time. The case size is 44mm with a height of 16.3mm.
One interesting aspect of this watch is the control layout. The winding and time setting controls are on the back, with the window displaying the tourbillon. The only control on the side of the watch is a sleek crescent lever, which activates the spinning roulette wheel.
Like anything from Jacob & Co, the Casino Tourbillon doesn't come cheap. You will have to pay USD 280,000 (or maybe more) to own this limited edition.
A Mod it Inspires
The working roulette on the Jacob & Co release is definitely a fun gimmick, adding a fidget toy on a luxury watch that most people would probably keep safely tucked away until the next Vegas trip. If you’re not that much of a high-roller but have fun ideas for a casino-themed watch though, we got you covered with this roulette-inspired date wheel for the NH35/36. It may not bring you more luck at the game tables, but it just might bring a bit more charm to your mod.
Rolex Perpetual 1908
Source: SJX Watches
Rolex introduced an incredible new model at Watches and Wonders this year, and it also might be the start of a new brand collection. The model, called the Perpetual 1908, is clearly a watch that is made to look vintage and replaces the Cellini in Rolex’s dress Watch line up.
The Perpetual 1908 is a 39mm watch offered with a 18k white gold or yellow gold case. Both versions sport rounded, fluted bezels, which seamlessly meet a sapphire crystal. The overall look is old school, and with a 39mm case, this Rolex is a perfect fit for anyone that needs a dressy watch.
The watch is offered with a simple white or black dial, both with applied markers, and a pseudo-Breguet handset. One stand-out feature of the 1908 is its automatic movement, the calibre 7140, which is visible through the sapphire case back.
The calibre 7140 has a skeletonized solid gold rotor, and is finished to perfection. While it is a very simple watch, the Perpetual 1908 shines in its attention to detail, and overall execution. Priced above $20,000 for any of the models, the 1908 will be an exclusive piece for high-end collectors.
A Mod it Inspires
We have to admit, it will be hard to match the elegance and charm of the 1908, although we’re sure one of our superbly talented modfam will crack the recipe for a truly fitting homage soon. Something that may get the creative juices flowing is our newly-released Breguet hands, featuring a design that has been around for about two centuries now and an unmistakable callback to the classics. Hope to see this handset help with retro mods soon!
Source: Time and Tide Watches
The last one on our list is the new Grand Seiko Tentagraph SLGC001. The newly-coined horology term stands for TEN beats per second, Three days (power reserve), Automatic chronoGRAPH. Featuring Grand Seiko’s first ever fully mechanical spring-drive chronograph, the SLGC001 features a three register readout, as well as a date complication.
Its subtle blue themed dial was inspired by Mount Iwate, and the blue color of the dial varies based on lighting conditions. The hour and minute hands are lined with Lumibrite, the brand’s proprietary luminescent treatment while the indexes are applied, faceted, and ridged on their upper surfaces.
The SLGC001 measures 43.2mm in diameter and has a black ceramic bezel marked with a tachymeter scale, which looks amazing, and is totally functional for anyone that needs to use the bezel to measure speed.
The case and bracelet are made from high-intensity titanium, which makes the imposing size of the SLGC001 wear comfortably light on the wrist. As usual, the body is polished to mirror-like perfection by Grand Seiko’s wizards.
Make it with namokiMODS
This year's Watches and Wonders event has undoubtedly been a remarkable showcase for an array of captivating timepieces. It has served as the perfect platform for numerous intriguing watches to make their debut and leave a lasting impression on the watch-adoring audience.
A Luxury Watch could be the perfect inspiration for your next Seiko mod. We stock a growing variety of SKX007 parts, including SKX compatible cases that draw from luxury styles.
No matter what kind of Seiko Mod Watches you are into, choose to use high quality Watch spare parts. Take a look at our extensive online catalog for loads of options - and happy modding!