What are the best watches of 2022? And from which categories? Well, picking the best can be a challenging task, especially when you’re spoilt for choice. From stunning dress watches to innovative collaboration timepieces, there were options galore.
This year, brands dealing in luxe watches put forth some of their most imaginative creations to date — some were lauded for fine artistry, some for technological wizardry and others for seamlessly combining art with technology.
While such collaborations as the Omega X Swatch MoonSwatch were hailed for their fresh approaches to already iconic timepieces, some bold experimentations might have remained under-the-radar.
So, GMT India has curated a list of the best watches in different categories after several rounds of deliberations. Read on.
All that Glitters: Jewellery Watches
Brands like Cartier and Piaget have once again showcased their expertise in making intricate gem-set watches. Bvlgari’s Giardino Dell’eden Tourbillon (103677) recreates the ‘Garden of Eden’ with 6,500 stones on the wearer’s wrist. The MB&F x Emmanuel Tarpin Legacy Machine Flying T ‘Ice’ & ‘Blizzard’ models were an unexpected entry into the world of high jewellery watches. Emmanuel Tarpin, a French jewellery designer, known for Rihanna’s seashell earrings, drew from his childhood experiences in the Alps and put together these beautiful pieces, using rare gemstones like blue matte lapis lazuli and rare turquoise Paraiba stones.
Artistry and craftsmanship are revered in Swiss watchmaking. Brands like Vacheron Constantin keep on pushing the envelope with their technical brilliance. Van Cleef and Arpels’ flora- and fauna-inspired Montre Lady Arpels Heures Florales Cerisier blends diamonds with miniature paintings. Jaeger-LeCoultre also features decorative crafts, such as miniature-painting, lacquer work and gem-setting for their Rendez-Vous Sonatina ‘Peaceful Nature’.
The new Cartier Libre is a completely reversible watch; it works as a bracelet when worn from the other side. The strap uses continuous triangular links that directly integrate diamonds into the case, mirroring a spring-like structure.
Bovet went one step further with Miss Audrey Sweet Art, experimenting with a dial made from pure sugar to capture the sweetness and purity of a child’s desire.
Watch brands continuously explore depths with regard to water resistance. While some brands like Hublot experiment with connected watches, others like Breitling focus on precision. The Breitling Superocean Automatic 44 indicates the chronograph mode, which turns white when active, less white when paused and black when inactive. The latest Omega Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer,in collaboration with the European Space Agency, 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.
Watch brands have often partnered with brands from other fields to come up with something unique. The year 2022 was no exception. The Bvlgari Aluminium Ducati Special Edition watch, a much loved collaboration between two renowned Italian brands, features a striking red dial with bar-shaped hour markers. IWC also continued its partnership with Porsche for the IWC x Porsche Chronograph. Zenith collaborated with independent watchmaker Kari Voutilainen to restore its iconic Calibre 135-O movement and handcraft limited-edition pieces.
Dress watches are statement pieces and add understated elegance to a formal look. This year, we saw some brands upping their game with dress watches. The Cartier Santos-Dumont’s stylish 18 ct rose gold case, matched with a grey alligator-skin strap, can definitely be the topic of conversation at any soiree. The IWC Portofino Chronograph 39 features a Laureus blue dial with rhodium-plated hands and appliques, a contrasting yet complementary detail. The Moritz Grossmann Hamatic Vintage Cream features a cream-coloured dial, made from solid silver, and when paired with violet stylistic elements, it looks contemporary yet vintage.