We’re all still reeling in from the info dump after this year’s Watches and Wonders that saw new releases from 54 brands. This almost weeklong celebration of horology was quite the anticipated event for watch aficionados all over the world, and the mechanical marvels that debuted here had us cheering, jeering, and everything in between.

If you still haven’t read part 1 where we talked about Grand Seiko, Tudor and Rolex, you can check it out here. In this part of our Watches and Wonders 2024 recap miniseries, we take a look at timepieces that broke records and expectations, particularly from Bulgari, Panerai, and Vacheron Constantin; 3 more heavy hitters in the world of watches.

Enough introductions, on to part 2!

Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro Luna Rossa Ti-Ceramitech PAM01466

Source: @chronoskorea on IG


Panerai Submersibles are known for being heavy duty, rugged watches. For WnW 2024, Panerai unveiled two new Submersible QuarantaQuattro (44mm) dive watches made from a new and innovative material that took 7 years to research and develop (drawing parallels to the divisive Seiko Tuna). The new Panerai Submersible, made in continued partnership with Italian Sailboat Racing Team Luna Rossa, is made of a titanium alloy that underwent a ceramization process resulting in a dense blue ceramic surface that is 44% lighter than steel yet 10 times more fracture-resistant than traditional ceramics. This new material is dubbed “Ti-Ceramitech,” and certainly looks as cool as it is functional.

The 44mm Ti-Ceramitech cases water-resistant to 500 meters feature Panerai's signature love-it-or-hate-it crown protector lever. The unidirectional bezels are also Ceramitech while the casebacks are sandblasted titanium. The dive watches come fitted with rubber straps in complementary blue textile with a red Luna Rossa stripe down the middle. Titanium pin buckles complete the nautical-inspired look.

Inside beats the in-house, premium P.900 automatic movement with a 28,800 vph and a 3-day power reserve. Priced at $16,600, these robust yet lightweight Ceramitech Submersibles certainly showcase Panerai's technical dive watch prowess.

Modding Inspiration


Pam watches have a very distinct rounded square look, and it is further distinguished by the comically large crown guard that’s designed to make sure your crown does not accidentally pop open when diving - a water resistance-related measure. For an homage watch modeled after the QuarantaQuattro, you’ll need these two case features to make something convincing. Unfortunately, our NMK930 Nautical case with a similar crown guard look is already out of stock, but you can still use the NMK929 case which has the same rounded square look seen on Panerai watches, minus the crown guard. If you’re just planning to use the case for regular use and not really for diving, this can be a positive as it removes a lot of bulk from the watch.

The matte look of the new Panerai Submersible looks good though, so you’d want your case to have a similar finish (maybe sandblasted or cerakoted). As for the watch face, any matte or sunburst dial along with wider hands would be a good choice. Cap it off with a fabric strap for extra points, and sprinkle in some red accents to get that subtle Luna Rossa look.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC 2024

Source: @morgan_watchmaker on IG


We know that the modfam is crazy about slim watches, so this new Bulgari release must be a big thrill.

In the race to create the world's thinnest mechanical watch, Bulgari has reclaimed the title with the new Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC measuring an astonishingly slender 1.7mm thick. This shatters the previous record of 1.75mm held by the Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari watch. According to Bulgari Managing Director Antoine Pin, having the record snatched away by Richard Mille motivated them to fight complacency and push boundaries even further with the Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC. More than just about setting a new benchmark, it represents Bulgari's quest to redefine the limits of watchmaking miniaturization.

The 40mm titanium case houses 170 tiny components generating a 50-hour power reserve. Cutting-edge materials like carbide tungsten composites provide the strength needed for such an ultra-thin profile without compromising structural integrity, because nobody has a use for a bent watch. While thrilled to recapture the "world's thinnest" title, Antoine Pin admits the potential for achieving even more incredible thinness is bound only by the progression of materials and mechanical watchmaking. This suggests Bulgari's engineers are already looking ahead to their next groundbreaking ultra-thin release.

For now though, the Octo Finissimo Ultra COSC represents an extraordinary landmark achievement as the slimmest mechanical watch ever created at just 1.7mm - essentially the thickness of a 5 pence coin, while costing a cool half-mil.

Modding Inspiration


We’re not going to be able to create watch mods that come remotely close to the Octo Finissimo Ultra anytime soon - a complete watch that’s already slimmer than just the Miyota 9015 movement alone. But don’t let that stop you from making the slimmest mod you can!

If you’re down for modding something a bit different than an NH35/36, you may want to check out Miyota mods. We now offer the Miyota 9015/90S5 which are considerably slimmer than the NH movements we’ve gotten accustomed to, making way for very slim and subtle mods. Our absolute thinnest case at the moment is the NMK949 Miyota Field Case clocking in at only 9.15mm with a crystal and caseback. This case is perfect for either tool or dress watch builds.

You can style it according to your preference with any Seiko dial that we sell (Miyota takes the same 28.5mm dial) but make sure that the hands you’re getting are compatible with the Miyota 9015 and 90S5, as the post for the hands are of a different size. Check our Miyota Parts collection here.

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers 'Berkley Grand Complication


This next watch reminds us of this Jurassic Park quote: "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should."

In a surprise reveal, Vacheron Constantin has unveiled their latest Opus - the "Berkley Grand Complication" pocket watch commissioned by billionaire W.R. Berkley. This incredibly complex timepiece is the effective "sister" to Vacheron's previous world record holder, the 57260 watch, also owned by Berkley. The watch (if we can still call it that) features two dial faces displaying a staggering array of 63 complications across multiple calendars and astronomical functions. However, this new creation's centerpiece is a first-of-its-kind perpetual Chinese calendar module.

Converting the many complexities of the lunisolar Chinese calendar into a mechanical complication was a monumental challenge requiring 11 years of research by Vacheron's master watchmakers. Three dedicated "brain" mechanisms calculate the lunar cycle, solar cycle, and Metonic cycle interplays to precisely track things like month lengths, new year dates, zodiac animals and more without intervention until 2200.

On top of this Chinese perpetual calendar, the watch also incorporates a Gregorian perpetual calendar, triple chronograph, grande sonnerie Westminster chimes, alarm complications, and expansive astronomical data like sky charts, sunrise/sunset and equation of time specific to Shanghai.

Measuring a pocket watch record 90.8mm wide and 50.55mm thick, the Berkley Grand Complication is an unwearable museum-grade piece exemplifying the apex of mechanical watchmaking artistry and innovation. 

Modding Inspiration

While this epic V.C. watch is definitely awe-inspiring, it is more of a demonstration of genius rather than a time-telling tool. We are not sure how this can translate into the modding scene just yet. If anyone has any ideas though, please feel free to share them in the comments below!

Wrap Up


Here are three novelty pieces that came out of the recently concluded Watches and Wonders 2024 that really give credit to the event name. They are the products of years of development, taking immense skill and resources, and resulting in these incredible watches. These might be a bit out-of-reach for us mortals, but we hope they serve as good inspiration for your future Seiko mods nonetheless.

If you did get inspired, be sure to check out our new releases for your Seiko modding needs! We recently launched a new angular and minimalist dive case that would work great for a daily beater, as well as a vintage tonneau case for an aviation-inspired watch. New bracelets, dials, hands, and more are also here to offer you more choices and let you build your watch to the exact specifications you want.

Got any questions? You can reach us at support@namokimods.com

Happy modding!

April 17, 2024 — Jeremiah A

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