Watches and Wonders 2022 brought together the world’s most luxurious and prestigious watchmakers. We selected the stand out pieces because of their striking designs or mechanical achievements, and many of these watches tick both these boxes.
The main trends are in opposition to each other. On the one hand, elaborate complications and novel finishes are gaining ground and on the other, a sharp minimalism is on the rise. Those in the minimalist camp include Cartier’s edgy all-black Tank Louis Cartier, H.Moser’s perpetual calendar, Parmigiani’s neat Tonda GMT Rattrapante, Laurent Ferrier’s Sport Auto, Ressence’s Type 8 and Oris’ ProPilot X Calibre 400.
Elaborate complications were seen in Hermès’ Arceau Le temps voyageur, that is a brand new World Time complication with a touch of whimsy. Chopard’s L.U.C Full Strike Sapphire minute repeater in a sapphire crystal case with gongs of the same material is an impressive feat of haute horlogerie in a high tech case. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Hybris Artistica Calibre 945 Atomium adds to the firm’s awe-inspiring collection of celestial watches that track the movement of the stars in real time.
The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept watch is but a staggering 2mm thin. Although it was launched in 2018, this new version pays homage to the original by adding details that allude to its ‘birth’ such as Super-Luminova stars reflecting the night sky on its birthday as well as the GPS location of and date of this event. One of the most arresting developments came from TAG Heuer with the Carrera Plasma Diamant D’avant Garde concept watch that for the first time seen in the watch industry not only uses lab-grown diamonds but pushes them to their very limits. The watch set with these man-made gems and the crown is cut from a single diamond while the dial is one large fusion of smaller diamonds, grown specifically for this watch, suggesting that we only begun to see what lab-grown diamonds could do in the watch industry.
A focus on the finishes is gaining ground with examples like IWC’s bold new ceramic cases in hues from mossy green to a sandy beige. Panerai is also stepping it out of its color safety zone with the glossy emerald green QuarantaQuattro eSteel™ Verde Smeraldo – and it is made largely of recycled materials. Patek Phillippe has introduced a brand new Calatrava case with a hobnail band running around its side as well as a new dial finish inspired by old fashioned cameras. Blue still is the dominant color for dials but in lighter tones and an emphasis of different finishes to add depth.
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