2022 has just begun! We’ve only been 96 (and a few more) hours into it; still in our festive moods after the long suffocating days of 2020; extending well into 2021and since then, been fading until Omicron reared its dirty little head. However, good news is, people are saying Omicron isn’t as bad as we thought it to be earlier.
That doesn’t make it any easy predicting what’s in store for the world; especially following 2020’s muted and cautious mood. This also applied to the horological world, which is lifted now. 2021 was quite a sharp contrast to its previous year; bolder and brasher and more determined to face 2022 with a defiance and impudence directed towards all adversities.
We’ve already seen safe and classic designs slowly giving way to more extreme approaches since the last quarter of 2021; not just in the premium segments but also with high-end, affordable luxury. That’s again a new classification: Affordable luxury splits into high-end and low-end and perhaps, is a better way to discriminate than fashion watches and real watches. There’s no middle way to it! Premium watches are always high-end; there’s no need for an additional mention.
It’s a no-holds-barred spirit that shows some exciting watch trends to be expected this year; there are no signs of slowing down despite Baselworld giving way to Watches and Wonders, Bremont’s Townhouse and the Grand Seiko Annual Summit. The 103 years old show started in 1917 (as a part of another show) and grew till 2013, attracting roundabout 1500+ exhibitors and 120,000 visitors every year. The decline began the following year and by 2017, number of exhibitors went down to just 650. The 2020 postponement for COVID was the final blow. As of now, the fair’s website states, “Baselworld, scheduled for spring 2022, will therefore, not take place.”
That however; didn’t stop the watch industry from rolling forward. With design collaborations now being a vital part of almost every industry, the watch industry now focuses upon transforming classic (read vanilla) shapes to surrealistic ones; strong, geometric shapes are trending and also attempts to fit more circles within a large square or the vice versa. Sleeker proportions are moving in along with wilder designs and concepts, which we’ll be able to see at the global, transversal Watches & Wonders show, formerly SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) organized by the Fédération de la Haute Horlogeriep. This colossal, multichannel, all-encompassing event will showcase all the heavyweights from LVMH and Richemont groups, with brands like Rolex, Patek and Grand Seiko expected to steal the limelight.
New product launches
The trend for green (eco-friendly) watches continue and retro-styled, robust, sports luxe tool watches are catching up fast; it was noticed since the end of 2021. So Certina and Tudor (more suitable for technical purists); Doxa and Vertex (the historic military watch) – all have revealed their arsenals along with Oakley to make a splash in 2022.
There’s also no doubt that we’re fully into vintage reissues mode since the end of 2021. We’ve seen the 1960s, the ’70s and the ’80s peep through, establishing some sort of a continuum. Such reissues will keep coming up, branching up in multiple rather than in a fixed direction or following a set definition. Needless saying such watches will be incredible; marvels on their own merit!
But let’s not forget; despite many sitting on the cutting edge of watch technology, there are also some that turn heads easily with their simplicity. That proves, the coolest of watches always don’t need to be groundbreaking – technologically or culturally – but rather, should stand out as combinations of fine watchmaking skills with well-proportioned aesthetics.
Brands to lookout for
- VACHERON CONSTANTIN (NEW TRADITIONNELLE COMPLETE CALENDAR OPENFACE): White/Pink Gold; Mississippi Alligator Leather, Automatic VC CALIBRE 2460 QCL/2, Triple Calendar w/Moon phase, 27-Jewels, 4 Hz, 40-hour Power Reserve
- LUDOVIC BALLOUARD (UPSIDE DOWN): Rose Gold/ Platinum, Mother-of-Pearl, Aventurine Glass; Curved, Blued-Steel Feuille hand, CALIBRE B01 (3 Hz. 51 Jewels, 228 components)
- FRANCK MULLER (CRAZY HOURS): Rose gold Cintrée Curvex case, uncoordinated jumping hours and minutes, MVD FM 2800-CHR automatic movement with 42 hours power reserve, 274 components, 19 jewels and 28,800 bps.
- P. JOURNE (ELEGANTE Titanium): Quartz FPJ 1210 movement w/power saving mode, Titanium case.
- JAEGER-LeCOULTRE (GEOPHYSIC TRUE SECOND): Automatic, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 770 with jumping seconds.
- CARTIER (CRASH SKELETON): Cartier 9618 Mechanical caliber of the same shape as the case.
- RICHARD MILLE (RM 50-03): Lightest split-seconds tourbillon chronograph; automatic calibre RM 50-03 movement, designed in collaboration with the McLaren F1 Team, 38 grams (with strap). Made from titanium and carbon (Graph TPT).
- BVLGARI (Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater Carbon): Incredibly thin and impressively finished with BVL 362 automatic caliber; minute repeater, two hammers and gongs, BVL 362 caliber with maual winding, 40 mm Carbon CTP & Peek case and transparent back, Carbon CTP & Peek skeletonized dial with openings instead of indexes, carbon CTP & Peek bracelet and titanium three-blades folding buckle, with black DLC treatment. Limited edition of 50 pieces.
It is very natural to feel elated after you’ve gone through the above list until you see the price tags that stay associated. This is where most of us falter and start looking for watches that you can actually use without travelling in a Rolls or a Bentley.
Sure, they don’t have the wizardry of the premium pieces. But they are wizardry when it comes to use in the practical fields.
- Orient Mako Kamasu Stainless Steel Automatic Diver: A great affordable dive watch offering exceptional value for your money; so much that we would dare say it is an affordable option for atrociously priced dive watches on the market today. It’s a watch that’s great in every aspect, from movement and design to finishing and its build quality.
- Orient Star Power Reserve Automatic: A classic that wears very well as a dressy watch! It is very comfortable and qualifies every bit as a daily wear. The domed crystals are something not to be found easily in such inexpensive watches. Additionally, it works up the vintage aesthetics nicely.
- Seiko 5 Sports Guccimaze Limited Edition Automatic: Artwork created
expressively for the two models! 3D typographic forms convey tangible sharpness within vivid, venomous color schemes.
- Seiko Presage Sharp Edged GMT Limited Edition Automatic: A dressy sports watch with exclusive materials and a price well below the models existing in the top tier Grand Seiko family!
- Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Chronograph Automatic: A solid entry from Hamilton, it looks stunning and is a solid tool watch capable of overcoming the limitations of almost all of its competitors.
- Hamilton American Classic Intra Matic Automatic Chronograph: Carrying the DNA of the first batch of the automatic chronographs in 1969, Hamilton’s latest acquisition of Swiss-maker Buren in charge of the base caliber while module specialist Dépraz came out with the chronograph mechanism. Hamilton, with two other- Heuer and Breitling – assembles the movement of their chronograph watches. A tough, wartime option!
- Citizen Eco-Drive Stilleto Super Thin: Very long lived if compared to other watches, it’s an ultra-thin watch that is not a averse to casual usage. If you’re wondering how often an Eco-Drive watch needs to be opened, the answer is – practically never! The STILLETO is something with that and some very advanced technology, and some real fine watchmaking to boast about.
- Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive JW0125-00E Chronograph: The redesigned CITIZEN Promaster SST (Split Second Timer) is like staring into the dashboard of a racing automobile! This timepiece features a world time, 1/1000 second chronograph, recall of up to 20 lap times, ani/digi display, 99-minute countdown timer, average speed calculator and month/day/date.
You want something that you can use, free from any sort of apprehension? That’s exactly what you get from the brands mentioned above! Dirt, dust or mud; the alternatives to meaningless luxury are suggested in the above section. Following the post-pandemic world, the main idea is to get something worthwhile for a sum that’s not worthwhile when it comes to your savings.
That’s where brand like Citizen, Seiko, Orient and Hamilton come in with all the pleasures and marvels of luxury but without the tag! Sure, they do not comprise of gold and platinum every now and then but give you anything that you might need in a busy, urban life; requiring more than just plain sophistication. And this is where they win!
Keep dropping in to leave your replies below. State which one from the abovementioned you’d like to go for the most and also, for what?