2022 has been a remarkable year for sports watch enthusiasts. Global watch brands came up with some of the most innovative timepieces in this category, much to the delight of connoisseurs and collectors. Some of them boasted of newer depths of water resistance while others showed off smart connectivity. So, here’s a round-up of the top-performing, luxe sports watches of the year.
Rolex Deepsea Challenge
In 2021, filmmaker and explorer James Cameron made history by diving to 10,908 metres underwater, wearing a Rolex watch. This year, Rolex unveiled an Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge timepiece in a debutant titanium case. Believe it or not, the watch offers water resistance of up to 11,000 metres.
Following painstaking research and development, the luxury timepiece maker has introduced a unique Ringlock system — a patented case architecture that helps the watch withstand extreme pressure. The helium escape valve, which allows surplus gas to escape from the watch during a diver’s decompression phase in a hyperbaric chamber, reduces the pressure inside the case, which can otherwise damage the product. What’s more, there’s a Triplock crown, with three sealed zones and an ultra-thick caseback.
The dial of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge has a three-hand timekeeping system. It is powered by Calibre 3230, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex, beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. The COSC-certified Calibre provides a power reserve of 70 hours. Perched on a three-link Oyster bracelet in RLX titanium, the watch sports an Oysterlock safety clasp with a Rolex Glidelock extension system and a Fliplock extension link.
Breitling Superocean Automatic 44
Inspired by its vintage Superocean ‘slow motion’ that was released in 1965, Breitling launched a collection of redesigned, technologically advanced diver’s watches. The new Superocean iterations, unlike their predecessors, aren't chronographs. Yet they combine vintage design and cool aesthetics with stellar performance and accuracy. The most unique feature of the collection: The display has a centrally located chronograph minute hand instead of the usual seconds hand. The pared-down dial also features a dot, located at 12 o’clock. It indicates the chronograph’s mode, which turns white when active, less white when paused and black when inactive. The collection comes with bar-shaped and trapezoidal hour markers. The Breitling Superocean Automatic 44 has a ratcheted, unidirectional and a scratch-proof ceramic inlayed bezel.
Available in four sizes — 36 mm, 42 mm, 44 mm and 46 mm — the new Superocean watches are presented in different case materials, including steel, steel-gold and bronze. The timepieces are equipped with COSC-certified automatic Calibre 17, based on the renowned Sellita SW 200. Hidden behind a solid caseback, the movement provides a power reserve of up to 38 hours. The watches come with either steel bracelets or dial-matching rubber straps. The watch is salt water resistant for up to 300 metres.
Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33
The new Omega Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer has been crafted in collaboration with the European Space Agency. The wonder watch can track time on Mars! The first Speedmaster was launched in 1969. The latest model belongs to the fourth generation of Speedmaster X-33 and is presented in a 45-mm, Grade 2 titanium case. It sports a Mars-themed oxalic anodized aluminium bezel ring in a red hematite colour, reminiscent of the red planet. This colour is also visible on the seconds hand.
The Omega watch comes with an LCD display with backlight function along with a combination of analogue (hours, minutes, seconds) and digital indications. With the MTC function (Mars Time Coordinated), one can track Mars’ solar date and time at the prime meridian — a day on Mars is 39 minutes longer than that on Earth. This timepiece can showcase not only the solar longitude of Mars but also the mean solar time for three different locations.
Omega Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer has an innovative solar compass, apart from the applications found in a traditional Speedmaster Skywalker X33, such as MET (Mission Elapsed Time), PET (Phase Elapsed Time), alarms and perpetual calendar.
Hublot Big Bang World Cup
Hublot’s association as the official timekeeper for FIFA is well known as it has crafted limited-edition timepieces for the previous editions of the Champions League and the World Cup. The fourth edition is a 1,000-piece limited edition. The impressive dial of Gen 3 Big Bang e FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has a five-section scale for the first, second and additional time in each half of the match. Once a goal is scored or once a player gets a red or yellow card, the watch will display the player’s name and a corresponding football symbol.
The 44-mm, micro-blasted, polished black ceramic case has the Qualcomm® Snapdragon WearTM 4100 processor, powered by the latest version of Wear OS by GoogleTM (Wear OS 3). Other features include an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a microphone, a speaker, GPS and a heart rate monitor. The limited-edition smartwatch has a Lithium-Ion 4 Pin Pogo charging capacity, 400 mAh battery, with a 1.39-in sapphire crystal screen with AMOLED. The watch has a water resistance of 30 metres and sports black- and burgundy-lined rubber straps with a black composite deployant buckle clasp.
Panerai Submersible Forze Speciali Experience
Limited to only 50 pieces, each purchaser will be invited to Italy to join Italian Special Forces troops in a series of exercises, putting the watches through their paces in the process. The watch comes in a 47 mm, DLC-coated titanium case with a green unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel. The black dial has indexes made of solid blocks of Super-LumiNovaTM. The watch has two chronograph counters — a small seconds counter and a chronograph subdial at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock respectively. The timepiece also has a flyback complication that allows the chronograph to reset and restart with one press of the pusher at 8 o’clock. The dial gets beige dotted hour markers, a single bar-shaped marker for 6 o’clock, double bar-shaped markers for 12 o’clock and sword-shaped minute and hours hands
The Time to Target countdown is activated when the wearer pushes the button at 4 o’clock to set the central chronograph hand at the desired interval. The button at 10 o’clock starts and stops the chronograph function. Turning the watch reveals ‘Panerai Experience’ on the screwed titanium caseback. The watch has Panerai’s signature titanium with DLC coating safety lock crown protection device.
Powering the watch is the automatic mechanical Calibre P.9100/R movement with 72 hours of power reserve. The watch sits on a Strap: Caoutchouc Camouflage Giungla strap. The timepiece offers 300 metres of water resistance.