These are the 20 stellar timepieces that caught our attention at this year’s high-profile Watches and Wonders in Geneva.
Parmigiani Fleurier – Tonda PF GMT
This year’s Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante is beautifully simplistic in its design and function. The push button setting on the GMT function is clever and adds an extremely useful function without interfering with the look and feel of the dial. I particularly like the fact that when I am done with the second timezone (as happens when one gets home) you can simply press the pusher at 8’o clock and the rhodium-placed hand moves on top of the rose gold hand…genius.
Ressence – Type 8
I fully understand the marketing spiel of Wear the Future when looking at the Ressence Type 8, or any Ressence for that matter. So, I will not even attempt to explain the mechanism or how it works as no matter how many times they tell me, it still seems like some wizardry is at hand.
The Type 8 is incredibly clean in appearance, one does not need to add the obvious adjectives of original, contemporary and innovative as this applies to all of them. That said the Type 8 has gone the extra mile in both clarity and simplicity. This may also help explain the new entry-level price for the brand as Ressence look to add a wider audience to their futuristic timepieces. Crafted entirely from Grade 5 titanium, the 42.9mm case is extremely lightweight at just 42 grams including the strap. The tapered case has a two-tone finish (polished & satin), with lugs hidden behind the round case body.
Rebellion – Re-Volt Chrono Carbon Coloured
The Re-Volt Chrono carries a muscular rectangular case made up of multi coloured camouflage carbon colour options with their Arctic Storm, Mars Valley and Toxic Storm references. The ergonomics of the Re-Volt Chrono is designed like a cockpit of a racing car in order to facilitate its use. The hour and minute hands, coated with luminescent materials, move on the sunnycomb-patterned dial like that of a supercar grille. Time can be measured using push-pieces in the shape of an accelerator pedal. The results can be read on the counter housed at 3 o’clock, resembling a stylish tachometer, and thanks to the central second hand. A small second placed at 9 o’clock balances the staging of this ultra-graphic dashboard. All this time, information is powered by a robust Swiss Made automatic calibre.
Panerai – Submersible Quarantaquattro Luna Rossa
With news that Panerai will resume its role as the official sponsor of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team on the occasion of the 37th America’s Cup, it came as no surprise that they would not continue the tradition and honour the partnership with a new time piece.
If there was an award for the best-looking blue dial at this year’s W&W, I would have the Luna Rossa shortlisted. Boasting a 44mm steel case that is engineered to withstand the rigours of ocean racing it will also look cool when you are wearing jeans or sitting by the pool in your shorts. The sun-brushed blue dial is a thing of beauty as the white Super-LumiNova hour markers float on the surface. The small seconds subdial with a red seconds hand adds contrast to the dial. This is further complemented by the dark blue bi-material strap accented with the red and white Luna Rossa logo and a second in the same ocean-inspired colour and composed of recycled rubber.
The watch features a patented crown protection device, rubberised crown and rotating unidirectional bezel. It has an improved date window at 3 o’clock with a Panerai caliber P.900, an automatically winding movement that has a three-day power reserve and is water resistant to 300m.
Zenith – Chronomaster Sport
Zenith is fast becoming the brand to go to. They are currently producing the watches that the market demands and do not seem at this stage to have any problems with their supply chain. So, I am sure that people with a sports stainless steel craving and an appreciation for the amazing El Primero chrono movement will be delighted to see an extension to the Chonomaster Sport product line that launched last year. The SS model saw a slight variation in the ceramic colouring to match its 3 x sub dials. They also introduced precious metals to the collection. The one that really caught my eye was their two-toned edition with its gold bezel, gold plated hands and silver-toned sunray-patterned dial with three different-coloured counters – further complemented with a bracelet and buckle of stainless steel and rose gold bracelet with a double folding clasp.
Laurent Ferrier – Sport Auto Blue
The good news is that the Sport Auto has launched as part of their main collection (not limited). The bad news is the watch is already sold out for 2022 so get onto their website now and click on the “Inquire” button. The brand’s first attempt at a sports watch (ignoring their 2019 Grand Sport Tourbillion) is scarily good, making its stainless steel case smaller and using their own automatic 270.01 calibre movement will make the watch far more accessible and affordable. With its beautifully rounded curves and ‘sport-chic bodywork’ as well as a domed sapphire, the watch is everything you could wish for whilst still staying true to the brand’s aesthetics. Get your order in now as the 12 months wait for the next grail watch is nothing compared to what we have become accustomed to.
Czapek – Antarctque S
Following in the trend of beautiful sports watches from independent brands, I was delighted to try the new Czapek Antarctique S – an elegant new 38.5mm case size featuring the Czapek’s signature ‘Stairway to Eternity’ pattern presented in Glacier Blue and Salmon. Equally impressive was the ‘Frozen Star’ dial edition which is made from the very rare Osmium, which when crystalised provides the dial with a unique bluish-grey sparkle providing an amazing contrast with the matt and polished finish of the SS case and bracelet.
Rolex – Air-King
Yes, we’ve heard about the Rolex GMT-Master II left-handed model, and yes, it was certainly one of the highlights at Watches and Wonders. But, praise for the single highest selling Swiss luxury watchmaker in the world need not stop there. Consider then the new Air-King Ref 126900 which was also launched at this year’s exhibition alongside the GMT. The new Air-King features an all-important addition of crown guards which give the 40mm timepiece a simultaneously sports and dress watch appeal. The applied numerals are now covered with Chromalight which increases legibility on the dial. This chronometer-certified timepiece also has a power reserve of 70 hours. Rolex, like its logo, wears the crown as far as Swiss watchmaking goes – and the Air-King only further solidifies its unassailable standing.
Patek Philippe – Annual Calendar Ref 5205R
It’s the dress watch that will undoubtedly stop every other dress watch in the room dead in its tracks. The 5205 is a reference we first saw from the hallowed halls of Patek back in 2010, and this year’s edition features a breath-taking 40mm rose gold case coupled with a deep olive green dial that neatly displays the day-date-month in the upper half of the dial across three apertures and a moon phase indication at 6 o’clock. Guaranteed, you’ll spend an unhealthy amount of time gawking alternatively at the hand-finished concave bezel and the caliber 324 automatic winding movement – an artisanal triumph.
Montblanc – Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290
Nimsdai Purja is an extreme altitude mountaineer who has summited the world’s 14 highest peaks taller than 26,000 feet in just seven months – the previous record, for comparison, stood at eight years. Having spent months in brutal weather conditions at altitudes where oxygen is rare and survival is the primary goal, it makes him a perfect ambassador for the latest Geosphere Chronograph 0 Oxygen LE290. Oxygen is the enemy of watchmaking and so Montblanc has built this piece such that each comes with a certificate that attests to it being encased with zero oxygen within it. Its all-new automatic winding calibre MB 29.27 powers the chronograph, date and world time complication. It’s also limited to 290 pieces – a reference to the 29,031 feet that Nimsdai will climb to reach the summit of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, with this ticker strapped to his wrist.
Jaeger-LeCoultre – Master Grande Tradition Caliber 948
The Vallée de Joux watchmaker has spent nearly 190 years perfecting its craft. The result of those tens of decades focused on a singular pursuit to create outstanding timekeepers is reinforced by way of this worldtimer tourbillon whose caliber 948 comprises of 388 components. JLC’s Atelier des Métiers Rares division played a pivotal role in the creation of this timepiece. Intricate enamelling is used to showcase the world map, as viewed from the North Pole, which sublimely floats above the dial. The outline of the continents are cut from white gold and the timepiece indicates the time across 24 time zones – there are only a handful of countries across the world where this watch won’t indicate the local time. The Earth and the flying tourbillion fly across the circumference of the dial completing a rotation every 24 hours – pure visual art.
Baume & Mercier – Riviera Baumatic 10702
Baume & Mercier is known for its relaxed luxury vibe and you find that in abundance with the new Riviera Baumatic 10702. A stainless stell 42mm piece, there’s an on-point smoky gray sapphire dial case framed perfectly by the dodecagonal bezel. The Baumatic caliber meanwhile which stays accurate to between -4-+6 seconds each day offers a five-day power reserve and has a magnetic resistance of 1500 Gauss. It builds on the entire sports stainless steel watch frenzy we’ve seen at Watches and wonders – though it makes sure to cut through the clutter and emerge in a league of its own.
IWC – Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Ceratanium
This year IWC revamped its aviation-inspired family of watches. The standout piece was this Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Ceratanium, which showcased the watchmaker’s strength in material innovation. Titanium is used in watchmaking due to it being lightweight while ceramic is useful for it being scratch resistant. IWC has blended the two in a well-guarded manufacturing process to end up with a material called Ceratanium. That material has been used across the watch including in its case, pusher and crown. A discreet timepiece that also features a 12-hour chronograph, it has a black dial as well as a darkened crystal on the caseback through which you can view the robust automatic-winding calibre 69385. Maverick, indeed.
Vacheron Constantin – Historiques Ref 222
Vacheron’s archives are brimming with watches that have become benchmark references for the industry as a whole. One such example is the Ref 222 which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. If you were to put the 1977 and 2022 versions side by side, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference – the hexagonal-link integrated bracelet, fluted bezel and Vacheron Constantin Maltese Cross at the bottom right corner of the case are all present in the latest reincarnation of the 222. What you don’t see below the 37mm yellow gold case is a new automatic Hallmark of Geneva certified-caliber 2455/2 that operates at 28,000vph and has a 40-hour power reserve.
Hermès – H08 Blue Titanium
I know that I am supposed to write about the newly released Arceau Le temps Voyageur, as this was presented to me beautifully at this year’s Watches & Wonders and was the only watch I had images and a press pack for. The Arceau watch is a good-looking watch and features a travelling time mechanism with a disc type display of 24 time zones. Added to that the watch features a fictional horse world map following the design of a Hermes scarf.
However, when approaching the desk to try on their new masterpiece my eye was immediately drawn to the very cool looking latest edition of the H08 which has now made me a new fan of the brand. Gone is my watch snobbery towards fashion brands despite the fact that many of them now combine their traditional beautiful design with serious complications inside.
The latest H08 continues the cushion shaped case but has a sportier feel about it with a blue rubber strap and titanium buckle. The dial is blue titanium with a grained surface, wherein the white Arabic numbers stand out beautifully and are provided with further contrast with the orange minute track that runs inside the numbers. The date (which I could honestly do without) sits at 4.30 and the black second, minute and hour hands provide further contrast for this very cool looking watch which sits even better on the wrist. The watch is powered by the Hermes Manufacture H1837 automatic movement and is retailing at approximately Dhs30,000.
Chopard – Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon
It was in 2019 at the Dubai Watch Week where Chopard proved to be a showstopper when it showcased its brand-new Alpine Eagle collection that used a proprietary alloy called Lucent Steel A223 that was made of partially recycled stainless steel. This year’s timepiece not only features a stunning flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock, but is also the first Alpine Eagle to be Hallmark of Geneva-certified. As a result, each individual link in the integrated bracelet is painstakingly bevelled. It has a dial with a texture that represents the iris of an eagle. All of this is backed up with a chronometer-certified in-house L.U.C 96.24-L automatic winding movement with 65 hours of power reserve. Three years ago the eagle landed – now it’s soaring to new heights.
Hublot – Classic Fusion Orlinski Bracelet
French artist Richard Orlinski’s work is well recognised within the UAE – not least by way of the Wild Kong installation you’ll find in The Dubai Mall. Hublot has been teaming up with the artist for the last five years (the watchmaker’s Hublot loves Art programme has seen it collaborate with world-renowned artists such as Takashi Murakami, Shepard Fairey and Maxime Plescia-Buchi, among others.) Hublot’s collaboration with Orlinski this year focuses on a collection of four watches with a new bracelet design that features the artist’s signature angular visual cues. Its polished titanium case encloses a HUB1100 self-winding calibre. It includes options with black and white ceramic dials, and another two versions that feature a pave set diamond design. Hublot’s latest Orlinski collaboration is another chest-thumping win for the watchmaker.
Piaget – Altiplano Ultimate Concept
Piaget has mastered the art of ultra-thin watchmaking, with 2017 marking a turning point for the brand when it debuted its Altiplano Ultimate Concept (AUC). This year’s one-off AUC tribute piece pays homage to that original and demonstrates how watchmaking can be reengineered at its very core. Conventionally, a watch comprises of four layers – a bezel and crystal, a dial with the hands, the movement and finally the caseback behind it. To achieve its 2mm dimensions though, the AUC combines the bridges, dial, and hands on one layer and the caseback, movement, main plate, and bezel on the other layer thereby reducing the watch’s construction to just two layers. The February 7, 2017, inscription on the dial refers to the exact date that the AUC was born, while the watchmaker’s GPS coordinates of its La Côte-aux-Fées manufacture has been inscribed on its ratchet wheel. A time and place worth bearing in mind.
A. Lange & Söne – Odysseus in Titanium
Lange, a German watchmaking brand that had a new lease of life in the early Nineties thanks to Walter Lange and Günter Blümlein, has this year showcased a titanium version of its Odysseus. The Odysseus first debuted in 2019 and was the brand’s first-ever steel sports watch. It was followed by a white gold version and this year it’s got the grade 5 titanium treatment. The choice of metal is interesting as titanium is 43 per cent lighter compared to steel. A watch where craftsmanship shines through, the ice blue multi-layer dial adds a level of depth to the offering that is bound to be a dealmaker for the 250 people who are lucky enough to secure this limited edition. The 4Hz L155.1 Datomatic calibre has a total of 312 components, with 99 of them devoted to the date mechanism alone.
Cartier – Tank Louis Cartier
There’s a share of military history riding on this piece. The design (and the name itself) of the original Cartier Tank were inspired by actual tanks which were popular on the battlefield back in 1917 when the watch first debuted. The specific tank that it was inspired by is believed to be the Renaut FT which was the first production tank to boast of its armament within a fully rotating turret. Skip forward to 2022 and there’s still that familiar design. An electrochemical engraving technique was used on the anthracite grey dial and a manual-winding 1917 MC movement with a 38-hour power reserve was deployed under that dial. This is Cartier bravely showing up on the frontline of avant-garde watchmaking.
Emirates Man – The Summer Escape Issue – Download Now
– For more on how to look smart and live smarter, follow Emirates Man on Instagram