Over the years, watchmakers have truly appreciated the importance of collaborating with creators from other fields. Thus, from time to time, we have seen creative collaborations between watchmakers and their counterparts in, say, the automotive industry or aviation or the world of jewellery and fashion. The year 2022 was no exception — there were some spectacular collaborations resulting in exquisite timepieces. So, here’s a round-up of the best collabs that turned heads.
Breitling Triumph Top Time
For the first time, Breitling and Triumph Motorcycles collaborated to create a Speed Twin Breitling Limited Edition motorcycle and a Top Time watch collection, limited to 270 pieces. The Top Time collection was launched in 1964; research on this new line started in 1962. The limited-edition version (Ref. A23311121C1X1) comes in a 41-mm stainless steel case with an icy blue dial, complete with a brushed finish. The Breitling logo sits at 12 o’clock while the Triumph logo sits at 6 o’clock.
The COSC-certified chronograph features a 60-second counter at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute window at 3 o’clock; there is no third subdial that usually showcases the hours.
The watch also gets stainless steel, baton-shaped hour and minute hands with stainless steel chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and restart the function. There is a stainless steel crown. The timepiece has in-house self-winding Breitling 23 Calibre automatic movement with a 48-hour power reserve. A black calfskin leather strap finishes the overall look of the watch.
Ducati x Bvlgari
There seems to be a never-ending love affair between timepieces and automobiles. Both industries seem to complement each other perfectly. And when we talk about Italians, they are feted not only for their arts, wine and cuisine, but also for their penchant for speed. 2022 saw two prominent Italian brands, Bvlgari and Ducati, come together to create a limited edition Bvlgari Aluminium Ducati Special Edition watch. There are just 1,000 pieces.
The Bvlgari Aluminium Ducati Special Edition watch is part of the Italian timepiece maker’s iconic ‘Bvlgari Bvlgari’ line. With a 40-mm aluminium case, the timepiece has a black rubber bezel with a ‘Bvlgari’ on top and an inverted ‘Bvlgari' on the bottom. The watch features a deep red dial with bar-shaped hour markers. Here, the numerals, 10, 11 and 12, pay tribute to the dashboard of Ducati motorcycles in the brand’s characteristic style.
There is a date window at 4:30, while black subdials at 9 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 3 o’clock display minutes, hours and seconds with red hands, and there are two titanium chronograph pushers. The watch is powered by in-house Calibre BVL130 automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve.
Panerai x Brabus
One cannot go wrong with a diver’s watch and a great collaboration — Panerai has proved this yet again with its Submersible S Brabus Blue Shadow Edition, a timepiece limited to only 200 pieces. Brabus has always been known for its top-quality performance. Panerai and Brabus collaborated for the first time last year to create the Submersible S Black Ops Edition (PAM01240). Taking this association forward, the new Panerai’s latest Submersible S Brabus Blue Shadow Edition (PAM01241) comes in a 47-mm titanium case, using Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) and matte finishing.
Panerai’s signature functions, such as the cushion-shaped case and the crown protector, have been incorporated. The unidirectional bezel in Carbotech helps in reducing the weight of the watch. The dial gets a skeleton layout in black, blue and grey colours. The watch has eight dotted and three bar-shaped, blue hour markers, with a date window at 3 o’clock. This GMT-function watch has a day/night indicator with a small seconds hand at 9 o’clock with a Brabus logo engraved at 7 o’clock.
When one turns the watch, its skeleton caseback with a power reserve indicator is revealed. Panerai Submersible S Brabus Blue Shadow Edition has in-house P.4001/S Calibre automatic movement with a 72-hour power reserve. The watch sports a calf rubber, bi-material black strap.
Zenith x Kari Voutilainen Chronometer
The Calibre 135-O movement was developed from 1954 onwards by Ephrem Jobin, celebrated watchmaker. It was in production from 1949 to 1962. Often called the ultimate observatory chronometer, Zenith developed two versions of the same — the first was meant for commercial use while the second was developed for chronometry competitions at Observatories of Neuchâtel, Geneva, Kew Teddington and Besançon. After getting tested thoroughly, Calibre 135-O won 230 chronometry awards.
Zenith invited renowned independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen not only to restore the iconic movement, but also to handcraft all 10 pieces. The limited-edition watch comes in a 38-mm niobium case with tapered lugs, complete with an oversized crown at 3 o’clock and the engraving of the Zenith logo. The sterling silver dial has a salmon matte finishing and applied indexes and triangular hour markers in ruthenium plating and faceted German silver with a guilloché motif. The slightly domed black dial in sterling silver model gets a guilloché engraving in a fish-scale motif.
The watch also sports an oversized second counter at 6 o’clock, which has the inscription of the movement’s serial number. Needless to say, it is powered by the Calibre 135-O movement with a 40-hour power reserve. It sits on a black calfskin leather strap with a titanium pin buckle. In total, there were 11 original movements that were found. Zenith in collaboration with Kari Voutilainen and the auctioneers at Phillips created 11 timepieces; the 11th watch was auctioned for charity.
IWC x Porsche Chronograph
IWC and Porsche Design created the world’s first titanium case and bracelet wristwatch in 1980. This was followed by the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar in 1986, which had a case made of black zirconium oxide ceramic. The year 2022 saw IWC develop a new material, Ceratanium®, which combines titanium with ceramic, and has better resistance to corrosion. IWC has also made the crown, the push buttons, the buckle and the caseback with the same material.
The 41 mm ceratanium watch has a similar layout — 12 o'clock getting the 30-minute subdial, 9 o'clock getting the 12-hour dial and 6 o'clock getting the 60-seconds subdial. The black dial has Arabic numerals, 12 o’clock has a triangular hour marker and 6 o'clock gets the seconds subdial. The timepiece sports the IWC logo, day and date window at 3 o’clock.
The watch is powered by Calibre 69385 automatic movement with 46 hours of power reserve. This watch comes with a black textile strap.
Reservoir x LabelNoir x Popeye
For every kid who grew up in the '90s, Popeye the sailor is an iconic cartoon character, known for his love for spinach. The latest collaboration between Reservoir and LabelNoir, a 200-piece limited edition, is dedicated to him. The 41.5 mm, DLC-coated titanium watch has slightly curved lugs and a signature knurling on its unique crown. Under the anti-reflective sapphire crystal, the famed cartoon character is on full display.
The grey dial features a 240° retrograde configuration with the minutes indicated from 00 to 60 via Popeye’s massive arms and then snapping back again at the top of each hour. The jumping hours are denoted on the black window at 6 o’clock. Turning the watch reveals the open caseback, with an exclusive ‘Popeye’ character glass paint application.
Powering the watch is the Calibre RSV-240 self-winding movement with a 56-hour power reserve. The limited-edition watch sits on a taupe grey nubuck leather strap with red stitching. The timepiece has a water resistance of 50 metres.