The biggest watch exhibition of the year, Watches & Wonders, saw the watch industry put their best foot forward. From reinvented classics and never-before-seen technical mastery to fresh design codes, here are our favourite picks from Watches & Wonders 2022.
ROLEX GMT-MASTER II
One of the biggest releases was the left-handed Rolex GMT-Master II. Delivered in a brand-new colourway, this unexpected piece from Rolex got the watch industry at the edge of their seats. Featuring a crown on the left side of the case and a green and black bezel insert, the timepiece echoes the GMT-Master created in 1955. Designed for those who prefer to wear their watch on the right wrist, Rolex is calling this the “destro.”
JAEGER-LECOULTRE POLARIS PERPETUAL CALENDAR
For 2022, Jaeger-LeCoultre has taken its adventure-loving Polaris watch and enriched it with one of the most complex complications — a perpetual calendar. The watch comes in a 42mm steel or pink gold case featuring the key Polaris design codes of taut lines, fine bezels, and an eye-catching mix of brushed and polished surfaces. The deep gradient-blue dial is inspired by the Polaris Mariner Memovox. It features a graduated blue shade that suggests the transition from day to night. Powered by the Maison’s Calibre 868AA with a power reserve of 70 hours, the Polaris Perpetual Calendar is offered in a steel bracelet or textured rubber strap for the steel version, and a blue rubber strap for the gold version.
VACHERON CONSTANTIN HISTORIQUES 222
Making an impression from the word go is the all-new Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222. A reissue of the brand’s legendary 222 that launched in 1977 for the 222nd anniversary of the Maison, the 2022 Historiques 222 symbolizes the brand’s rich heritage and cultural significance. Among the various existing 222 references, the one chosen to mark the return of the legend was the Reference 44018 in 18K 3N gold with a 37mm diameter. The 2022 version features the same case material and size as the original. Belonging to the “jumbo” category, the 222 is an emblematic sporty-chic timepiece featuring the Maltese cross emblem at 5 o’clock. The exhibition back serves to reveal the new generation in-house Calibre 2455/2 featuring an oscillating weight redesigned for this model.
PANERAI LUMINOR GOLDTECH CALENDARIO PERPETUO
Limited to 33 pieces, the Luminor Goldtech Calendario Perpetuo features one of the most complex complications of all time — a perpetual calendar. This complication is supported by Panerai’s automatic P.4100 movement that offers an intuitive setting that requires no corrector or tools. The 44mm Luminor case, made from Panerai’s Goldtech material, is set with an inventive smoked sapphire display that allows complete visibility of the day and date discs sitting beneath the dial. Each buyer of the Luminor Goldtech Calendario Perpetuo will be invited to an extraordinary journey to the seat of Panerai heritage, the city of Florence, and the surrounding Tuscan countryside. Additionally, the client will also receive access to an exclusive NFT created by an artist for the occasion.
HERMÈS ARCEAU LE TEMPS VOYAGEUR
As the world gears up to give travelling another chance, Hermès shows its support with the launch of the ultimate luxury travel watch — the Arceau Le Temps Voyageur. Crafted in platinum and titanium or in steel, the timepiece comes in a round case structure housing a fantasy map imagined by Jérôme Colliard for the “Planisphère d’un monde équestre” silk scarf. On the dial, the mobile and home time indication can be viewed via 12 o’clock. All of this is made possible with the help of the Hermès H1837 mechanical self-winding movement. The Hermès Arceau Le Temps Voyageur is available in two models: a 41mm model in platinum with a matt black DLC-treated bezel and a 38mm steel version. Both are fitted with alligator or Swift calfskin straps made in Hermès Horloger’s own workshops.
IWC PILOT’S WATCH CHRONOGRAPH TOP GUN EDITION “LAKE TAHOE”
When it comes to one of the most recognisable aviation-inspired watches, there is just one watch that comes to mind — the IWC Pilot’s watch. This year, IWC takes this iconic Pilot’s Watch Chronograph and gives it an all-white look. This white design aesthetic has been inspired by US Naval uniforms and the winter landscape around Lake Tahoe, giving the timepiece its name. The 1000-piece chronograph timepiece features a 44.5mm white ceramic case set with a pitch-black dial and black hands coated with luminescent material. It is powered by an IWC-manufactured movement Calibre 69380 that clocks in a power reserve of 46 hours.
LANGE & SÖHNE ODYSSEUS
As a brand that is popular for its dressy and elegant timepiece, A. Lange & Söhne made heads turn when they dropped the sporty Odysseus in stainless steel last year. Following the success of this luxury sports watch, Lange unveiled a lighter Odysseus in titanium. Elegant in all its aspects, the timepiece is a 250-piece limited edition featuring a perfect combination of high-end technical craftsmanship and aesthetic expectations. The 40.5mm lightweight titanium case, set with a new ice-blue dial, is robust, despite its elegant looks. Powering the watch is a robust, automatic L155.1 DATOMATIC movement that offers a power reserve of 50 hours when fully wound.
CHOPARD L.U.C XPS 1860 OFFICER
Harbouring a wealth of secrets and symbols, the newly unveiled L.U.C XPS 1860 Officer is a 50-piece limited-edition vintage style watch crafted in ethical 18-carat yellow gold. One of its most attractive features is the presence of an officer-type back cover that opens to reveal the ultra-thin 3.30mm L.U.C 96.01-L movement working inside. The 40mm case is set with an exceptionally refined Forest Green dial set on a solid 18-carat gold base. The dial is adorned with an outer chapter ring in sunburst satin-brushed decoration and a hand-guilloché honeycomb motif at the centre.
ZENITH CHRONOMASTER OPEN
The latest generation of the Chronomaster Open was released in tandem with the inauguration of Zenith’s ‘Master of Chronographs,’ which showcases a tri-colour dial holding a high-frequency movement at its heart. For 2022, Zenith has revamped the popular timepiece that made its debut in 2003, with a new and improved El Primero 3604 and the iconic tri-colour dial configuration that was first seen on the A386 in 1969. For this tri-colour dial, Zenith improves it by retaining the three counter colours with the help of a hesalite crystal that not only serves as a readable sub-dial but also allows a smooth viewing of the silicon star-shaped escape wheel. The opening itself has also been reinterpreted, foregoing the former version’s applied “frame” and instead, opting for circular openings.
MONTBLANC 1858 GEOSPHERE CHRONOGRAPH 0 OXYGEN LE290
Montblanc scales new heights with the 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290. Created in association with its new Mark Maker Nimsdai Purja, to test on his upcoming expedition to the summit of Mount Everest, the watch is devoid of all oxygen. How does it help when mountain climbing? Removing all the oxygen from the movement enables the watch to be resistant to fogging that usually occurs with drastic temperature changes at high altitudes. It also prevents the onset of oxidisation. Limited to 290 pieces, the 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290 is available in a 44mm titanium case with a bidirectional black ceramic knurling bezel. Available in blue or black coloured glacial dials, the watch is further powered by Montblanc’s new in-house movement MB 29.27, clocking in a power reserve of 46 hours.
CHANEL RED EDITION COLLECTION
Whenever we think of the colour red, we think of power, confidence, and assertion. Chanel embarks on a journey to symbolise these traits with the launch of their Haute Horlogerie Red Edition collection. This bold collection features three watches: J12 X-Ray Red Edition Rouge, Boy-Friend Skeleton Red Edition, and, lastly, the Boy-Friend Skeleton X-Ray Red Edition. The J12 X-Ray Red Edition Rouge features the silhouette of the J12 but is decorated with red accents with the use of rubies that accentuate the unique and sophisticated character of this timepiece. The Boy-Friend Skeleton Red Edition and the Boy-Friend Skeleton X-Ray Edition feature the silhouettes of the Boy-Friend collection accentuated with accents of red shown with the help of a red embossed leather strap and red movement.
HUBLOT SQUARE BANG UNICO
Moving away from its conventional shaped timepieces, Hublot introduces a new watch shape — the Square Bang Unico. This timepiece is the Swiss watch brand’s own interpretation of the square watch. The collection is available in five references, which include a titanium ceramic titanium, King Gold ceramic, a King Gold version along with a 250-piece limited-edition All Black version. The 42mm modular case structure has been created in line with Hublot’s DNA and offers optimum comfort on the wrist. The sandwich construction of the dial gives the watch different levels of depth, and the six (functional) screws on the bezel add more definition to the watch. The new square timepieces are powered by the HUB1280 Unico in-house movement, a 354-component automatic chronograph, set at 4 Hz (28,800 vib/h). Each model is available in textured black rubber straps.
TAG HEUER CARRERA PLASMA TOURBILLON NANOGRAPH
Marking a major milestone in the over 160-year history of the Swiss watch brand and watch industry at large, TAG Heuer introduces the new Carrera Plasma Tourbillon Nanograph featuring lab-grown diamonds. The watch comes in a 44mm watch case made of sandblasted anodized aluminum set with Diamant d’AvantGarde lab-grown diamonds. TAG Heuer has joined forces with Capsoul — a start-up pioneering the field of diamond design — to craft a spectacular crown at 3 o’clock, entirely executed in a diamond. The polished ceramic bezel and the black DLC coated black pushers add a perfect contrast against the diamond-set case and dial. The 11 indexes in white gold and a double index at 12 o’clock combined with the rhodium-plated, matt black lacquer painted hour and minute hands work perfectly against the shimmering dial.
CARTIER MASSE MYSTÉRIEUSE
When it comes to mysterious watches and clocks, Cartier has always been a front-runner in this genre. Everything, including the most advanced techniques, is designed around aesthetics allowing their mysterious complications to play with illusion and the perception of time. So it comes as no surprise that for 2022, Cartier turns its mystery on with the unveiling of the Masse Mystérieuse. But what is the “mystery” here, you ask? It’s the beating heart. For this timepiece, Cartier has taken its movement and transformed it into a mobile, skeletonised, oscillating weight. What this means is the new caliber 9801 MC movement is the rotor, and all the other components that receive energy from the movement, transmission, and regulation are also integrated in the rotor. As the rotor is skeletonised, it allows this moving spectacle to be visible. Limited to just 30 pieces, the Cartier Masse Mystérieuse is available in a 43.5mm platinum case set with the signature ruby cabochon in the crown and strapped to a dark grey and black alligator leather strap.
PARMIGIANI FLEURIER TONDA PF GMT RATTRAPANTE
Simplicity meets purism with the all-new Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante. This timepiece is equipped with a world-first complication that features two superimposed hour hands: one in rhodium-plated gold and the other in rose gold. How does it work? “Pressing the pusher at 8 o’clock causes the upper rhodium-plated gold hand, dedicated to local time, to jump one hour forward, thereby revealing the rose gold hand, which displays time in the wearer’s place of residence, known as “home time.” Once the second time zone information is no longer required, pressing the crown-integrated rose gold push-button repositions the rhodium-plated hand on top of the rose gold hand in the same manner as a split-seconds chronograph hand,” as mentioned by the brand.
The watch is available in a 40mm polished stainless steel case that features a ‘Milano Blue’ dial decorated with fine barleycorn guilloché pattern surrounded by the sandblasted minutes track. The watch is strapped to a polished stainless steel bracelet.
GRAND SEIKO KODO CONSTANT-FORCE TOURBILLON
For 2022, Seiko introduces the brand’s first mechanical complication and most expensive watch — the Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon. Named “Kodo,” which is the Japanese word for a heartbeat, the watch houses the uniquely innovative movement Caliber 9ST1. This uniquely crafted movement delivers a level of stable accuracy unprecedented for Grand Seiko by combining a tourbillon and a constant-force mechanism as one unit on a single axis for the very first time in horological history. Limited to just 20 pieces, the Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon is available in a 43.8mm Platinum 950 and Brilliant Hard Titanium case set with a skeletonised dial where the constant-force carriage holds a ruby as one of its arms, which acts as a small seconds hand.