The much-awaited Watches and Wonders 2022 began in Geneva, Switzerland, on 30 March as a week-long event which will end on 5 April 2022.
One of the most biggest industry events in the world is upon us: Watches and Wonders, which sees the best of the world’s watchmakers and jewellers under a single roof, had its last in-person event in 2019 before the pandemic got in the way of just about everyone’s plans.
A lot is to be expected from this year’s gathering in Geneva. A video shared on the official @watchesandwonders Instagram account shows a glimpse of things just getting started at the massive event, with magnificent exhibits on display from the world’s top brands.
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The world of horology has been looking forward to seeing the likes of familiar names including Patek Philippe, Hublot, TAG Heuer, Grand Seiko, Cartier, Tudor and Chopard present their new creations at the event.
These brands and many others participating in the trade show aim to cater to their customer bases across the world through the prestigious platform.
The biggest highlights so far at Watches & Wonders 2022
Cartier Collection Privé Tank Chinoise
The Privé Tank Chinoise, an absolutely one-of-a-kind watch, was showcased as one of the novelties on the first day of the Watches & Wonders 2022 event. Cartier is a French fine-jewellery brand and the Privé Tank Chinoise made its debut exactly 100 years ago. It is considered a very rare watch.
The new version comes with a skeleton dial which reveals the movement within the watch. The watch is inspired by the architecture of Chinese temples — the bars on the dial resembling the geometric patterns of temple porticos. The dial is encased in gold, rose-gold and platinum.
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time
It’s not a conversation about luxury watches without Patek Philippe. One of the most significant Watches & Wonders highlights so far has been Patek’s Annual Calendar Travel Time. This watch merges the brand’s patented Annual Calendar with its Travelling Time feature.
The Annual Calendar requires a manual correction only once a year. With the Travel Time system, the watch now has a second time zone feature, and if that’s not enough, there is also a new self-winding movement in the 41mm white gold case.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition ‘Woodland’
The newest addition to IWC’s coloured ceramic line, the dark green hue of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition ‘Woodland’ is inspired by the dress worn by Top Gun pilots and the forested landscapes they use as their training grounds.
IWC’s coloured models made using ceramics are created from zirconium oxide mixed with other metallic oxides. The monochromatic ‘Woodland’ is the first model to feature the unique colour. Black hands with subdued green in appearance, the luminescent material complements the dial. The watch has a 44-millimetre ceramic case and the pushers, crown and case back are made from Ceratanium, which is also used for the TOP GUN logo.
Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph
The most unique thing about this outstanding timepiece (a major novelty at this year’s Watches and Wonders) is its Solargraph technology, after which it gets its name. The technology enables the watch to be powered by the sun or artificial light, which means that there is no need to change the watch’s battery.
Even the Super-LumiNova elements of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph are powered by the sun. The elements are present in dial, hands and bezel, which make the watch perfect for use in the night. According to the company, Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph will be available starting October 2022.
Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Collection Spring Drive 5 Days Diver’s 200m
The Spring Drive 5 Days Diver was one of Grand Seiko’s best releases on Day 1 of Watches & Wonders 2022. Part of the famous Spring Drive collection from the brand, the watch comes with a new Spring Drive calibre — 9RA5. The calibre offers a five-day power reserve and has an accuracy rate of +/-10 seconds per month.
The case of the 43.8mm new Spring Drive is made of high-intensity titanium and the dial has a deep black coloured texture inspired byJapan’s Kuroshio Current, which is also known as the Black Stream, as shared by Grand Seiko. The ceramic rotating bezel protects the watch from scratches.
Chopard Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon
The Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon is indeed one of the most beautiful watches from Chopard presented at the Watches and Wonders, Geneva. The 41mm timepiece has a textured Aletsch Blue dial which is layered in an artistically patterned style.
The latest addition to the Alpine Eagle collection, the Flying Tourbillon has a transparent tourbillon mechanism at the 6 o’clock position, which reveals part of the complex inner mechanisms of the watch. The watch and its bracelet are made from the ultra-resistant and lustrous Lucent Steel A223 alloy.
Louis Moinet ASTRONEF
The Louis Moinet ASTRONEF was one of the biggest highlights of Watches & Wonders. Showcased on Day 2 of the event, the watch is an engineering and design marvel.
To create a depth effect, 0.2mm from the total 0.6mm thick plate, which has been used to make the dial, is hollowed out. The watch has a sapphire container mounted on an 18K gold frame. Its two tourbillons rotate in opposite directions on two different levels, crossing paths every 3 minutes and 20 seconds or precisely 18 times every hour.
It has a sapphire dome and welded inner bezel ring accentuated by openworked lugs and case middle.
The ASTRONEF mechanism took over three years of research. The base of the watch is just 3.75mm thick, in which this interesting mechanism is hidden.
Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400
The titanium-cased watch comes in three dial colours — grey, blue and the unique salmon. Its in-house Oris calibre 400 delivers a very high 120-hour power reserve. The dial design is almost minimalist, which makes it great for those who wish to present a regal side of themselves on important occasions.
Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 mechanical watch has a large date window at the 6 o’clock position. Its skeleton back showcases part of the mechanics of the watch.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin
Vacheron Constantin is especially renowned for its elegant and advanced women’s timepieces. The new Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar ultra-thin watch is the perfect example of the technical details that the Geneva-based Swiss luxury watchmaker goes into when carving an exquisitely beautiful masterpiece for the wrist.
The watch has an in-house Calibre 1120 QP and caters to women who want complicated mechanical timepieces. It has subdials displaying the days, dates, months and years on a four-year cycle, including a leap year indication. The system is designed as such that it won’t need any adjustment before the year 2100. There’s also a moon phase indicator at the 6 o’clock position. The 36.5 mm-diameter watch comes in 18K white or 18K 5N pink gold case.
Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon
Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon was another one from Grand Seiko at the Watches & Wonders 2022. Highlighted as one of the novelties on the second day of the event, the watch is the first mechanical complication timepiece in the 62-year history of the Japanese watchmaker.
For the first time in the history of horology, a brand, in this case Grand Seiko, managed to combine a tourbillon and a constant-force mechanism on a single axis. This unique innovation is exemplary; it gives the watchmaker an unprecedented edge in the technology space with regard to accuracy of watches.
According to Grand Seiko, the movement of Kodo, which is the Japanese word for “heartbeat”, will be available as a limited edition of 20 in October 2022.
Ferdinand Berthoud Chronomètre FB 2RSM.2-1
A member of the acclaimed Chronomètre FB collection, the 2RSM.2-1 is one of the three variants of the Chronomètre FB RSM sub-family. This particular watch comes in an 18-carat rose gold case and an 18-carat rose gold satin-finish dial with black rhodium treatment.
The case, movement, dial and hands are technically complex. A disk at 2 o’clock, visible through a large window cut, displays the hour. The minutes are located in a subdial at 12 o’clock. The large second hand is the centre of the face. The 44mm case is supported by hand-sewn rolled-edge alligator leather strap.
Chanel J12 Watch Caliber 12.2, 33 mm, White Version
One of the biggest highlights from Watches and Wonders 2022 came on Day 3 when the beautiful Chanel J12 Watch Caliber 12.2 was revealed.
The 33mm watch uses highly resistant white ceramic, steel and diamond as its materials. As such, this all-white creation from the French luxury fashion house looks like a stunning piece of jewellery.
A 0.11-carat brilliant-cut diamond adorns the steel, non-screw crown. The caseback has sapphire glass, while the bezel sports baguette-cut, white-varnished sapphire. Its ceramic indicators perfectly match the white-lacquered dial.
As for the mechanics of the watch, its self-winding Caliber 12.2 movement was manufactured exclusively for Chanel.
Hermès Arceau Le temps voyageur
Chanel was not the only major luxury fashion label releasing a timepiece at the Watches and Wonders, Geneva. Hermès introduced to visitors its Arceau Le temps voyageur — the latest addition to the Arceau collection.
The Le temps voyageur has a dual-time design. Hermès created a 24-time zone watch that is represented by 24 cities around the world. Its uniqueness lies in its mobile subdial that has a red arrow and can be set to the local time of the desired reference city. The subdial, which Hermès dubs “satellite”, shows the hours and minutes.
The watch is crafted in platinum and titanium or steel, and its round case has asymmetrical lugs.
Van Cleef & Arpels Poetic Complications Lady Arpels Heures Florales
The Lady Arpels Heures Florales is part of the famous Poetic Complications collection from Van Cleef & Arpels. Its captivating dial is adorned with beautiful corollas and petals in shades of blue-green or rose-pink. Additionally, the watch’s mechanism is nothing less than a spectacle.
It shows time with the ‘blooming’ of the mechanical flowers and the change in scenery every 60 minutes. For instance, three flowers will bloom on the dial if the time is 3 o’clock.
Lady Arpels Heures Florales is inspired by the floral clock concept imagined by Carl Von Linné in 1751. The maison’s craftsmen developed the automatic mechanical movement, which uses around 166 elements to bring the dial to life. The watch has a mother-of-pearl and 10 sapphires besides other stones.
Ressence Type 8
A major horological highlight at Watches & Wonders 2022 was presented by Belgian watchmaker Ressence — Type 8.
The domed cobalt blue dial on the minimalist, sleek watch makes it an attractive option for young buyers. However, its true genius lies in its ergonomics, which makes it look like an advanced 21st-century timepiece.
Ressence Type 8 uses the Ressence Orbital Convex System (ROCS) display in which the two rotating discs on the same platform make up the dial. While one disk shows the hour hand, the other has the minute hand. Both discs rotate in tandem to show the time.
The watch can be used in low-light conditions because of the blue SuperLuminova on its scales. The 42.9mm case makes the watch weigh only 42 grams. It is made entirely from grade five titanium. The watch has no crown, and the time can be set via the case back.
Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Platinum
The Ultrathin Tourbillon Platinum is one of the best pieces from the craftsmen of the English company Arnold & Son. It is named after an 18th-century watchmaker, John Arnold, known for his work on marine chronometers.
The watch employs a manufacturing technique dubbed ‘Cosmic Grené’ by Arnold & Son. The highlight is the dial, on which aluminium sparkles mixed with gold powder create a grainy texture that shimmers. The sandblasted surface is then given either of two colours — blue for the Ultrathin Tourbillon in red gold and green for the platinum version — in a 41.5mm case.
Time is displayed through a subdial at the 12 o’clock position. At the 6 o’clock position is a circular window, which shows a glimpse of the moving mechanism of the watch. The transparent caseback showcases more of the movement. Only 28 watches of each type will be produced.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290
The limited-edition watch was one of Watches & Wonders highlights on Day 3. The company has added a chronograph function for the first time to the Montblanc 1858 Geosphere series.
A 44mm satin-brushed and polished titanium case makes the watch lightweight and resilient. Meanwhile, its most unique feature is that oxygen has been completely sucked out of the movement before sealing, which ensures there is no fog or oxidisation on the Gratté Boisé dial even when exposed to the most extreme weather conditions. This means the watch can be easily worn at high altitudes.
Additionally, what might make it more desirable for many is that acclaimed mountaineer Nirmal Purja, famously known as Nimsdai, will be testing it on his Mount Everest expedition in May 2022.
Only 290 Montblanc 1858 Geosphere 0 Oxygen LE290 will be made, each of which will come with a zero-oxygen certificate.
Hublot Square Bang Unico
Hublot has made a square watch for the first time. However, it looks so perfect that one could assume the Swiss luxury watchmaker has been making it for years. The watch, which is inspired by the Hublot Big Bang line of watches, was a major attraction at Watches and Wonders.
There are five variants in the Hublot Square Bang Unico family — three in solid titanium with King Gold or black ceramic and two in black ceramic bezel blended with titanium or King Gold. Only one of them, the Square Bang ‘All Black’, is limited to 250 pieces.
Measuring 42mm, the Square Bang Unico has Hublot’s One-Click strap-changing system, and all models have black rubber straps.
Panerai Luminor Goldtech Calendario Perpetuo – PAM01269
Two things make the Calendario Perpetuo a must-have: first, it is a limited-edition set, with just 33 pieces, and second, each buyer will get to visit the watchmaker’s site in Florence, Italy. To top it all, each owner will get access to an exclusive NFT designed for the occasion.
As for the watch, the movement, P.4100, can itself adjust the day and date of each month while factoring in leap years. The movement needs no tools or correctors.
While the 44mm Luminor case is made from Panerai’s trademarked Goldtech material, the sapphire caseback shows the mechanism behind the watch.
It comes with a black patina alligator strap and an additional black rubber strap.
Rebellion Timepieces Weap-One Biaxial Flying Tourbillon
One of the novelties on Day 5 of Watches & Wonders 2022 was Rebellion’s futuristic wristwatch. The biaxial Flying Tourbillon of the Weap-One collection looks like a test tube. It has a 25mm diameter and 53mm-long sapphire and titanium case.
The hours and minutes are displayed by rollers on either end of the tube. Suspended between them is an asymmetrical, 60-second flying tourbillon that rotates on multiple axes.
Another technologically amazing feature of this watch is that the tube can be detached and used as a miniature clock. An aesthetically beautiful watch, the Rebellion Timepieces Weap-One Biaxial Flying Tourbillon will come with accessories to expand its use as a car clock and a pocket watch.
Czapek & Cie Antarctique Rattrapante Ice Blue
Ice Blue is the latest edition in the Czapek & Cie Antarctique Rattrapante collection. This open-worked split-second blue chronograph comes with blue hands over the dial’s metallic-grey components. There is an effect of blue on the minute track and two subdials — a 30-minute totaliser and the seconds’ display.
The movement has 49 jewels and 292 components. The watch has a power reserve of up to 60 hours. A recycled 5N rose gold rotor automatically winds the watch. It has circular satin-finished wheels and black-polished screws, studs and column wheels.
The 34mm watch comes with an integrated stainless steel bracelet, with a Czapek exclusive “Easy Release” system, or an additional calf leather or rubber strap.
Angelus Chronodate Gold
The Angelus Chronodate Gold is an attractive chronograph whose numerals are beautifully carved and large enough for easy visibility. Its two sub-dials are placed over the hour marks on either side, completely hiding the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions and partially hiding the adjoining hours.
A 42.5mm monobloc bezel, crown and case middle in 18-carat red gold (5N) encompass a blue PVD frosted centre. The caseback reveals the inner workings of the watch.
Supported by a blue rubber strap, the Angelus Chronodate Gold is limited to just 25 pieces.
(Hero and featured images: respective brands)