Feature: The 10 BEST Watches From W&W
Now that Watches & Wonders has come to a close for yet another year, let’s take a look back at some of the best and most exciting releases from the past week in what has been a masterclass in horology. So, let’s get stuck in, shall we?
Rolex GMT-Master II
As predicted, Rolex has updated one of its models with yet another new colourway. This time it’s the GMT-Master II which has benefitted from a fresh new green bezel that we reckon is destined to be affectionately nicknamed ‘the Sprite’. What wasn’t so predictable was the fact that this is a right-hander, with the crown and date window on the left, as well as the offering of both an Oyster and Jubilee bracelet. As with all Rolex launches, this is set to be a desirable watch indeed.
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time
Now this is a pretty special Patek watch as it marks the first time the brand has combined its Annual Calendar and Travel Time complications in one piece. With these two useful functions on board, this Patek can read two time zones via the Travel Time, as well as display the day, date and month thanks to the Annual Calendar. Not only that, it looks great too, featuring a sleek Calatrava case and a textured grey dial that’s reminiscent of old photo cameras, giving this watch a romantic vintage charm.
Tudor Black Bay Pro
If this is your first sighting of Tudor’s Black Bay Pro, we can only assume you’ve spent the past few days living off-grid on the fringes of civilisation. This GMT will delight anyone who’s always hankered after a sought-after vintage Rolex Explorer II reference 1655, the so-called ‘Steve McQueen’ model—even if there is zero evidence he ever wore one. Similar in looks to that Rolex, this is Tudor’s hot ticket for 2022.
A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Minute Repeater
The minute repeater is one complication that’s certainly no mean feat but A. Lange & Söhne have, of course, pulled it off. Limited to 50 pieces, this Richard Lange Minute Repeater is sure to woo watch aficionados everywhere visually and acoustically, as the hours sound at a lower pitch, the quarter hours with a double tone, and the minutes that have elapsed since the last quarter hour with a higher-pitched tone. What’s more, you can watch the gong hammers and chiming mechanism at work via the open caseback in a captivating display.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton
Vacheron Constantin decided to update its beloved Overseas model by stripping it back revealing a skeleton dial—oh, and by adding a tourbillon for good measure. What’s more, this is the first VC model ever made entirely from lightweight titanium, giving it a contemporary feel. The open caseback reveals a new redesigned version of the calibre 2160 which boasts a stunning gold oscillating weight with guilloche work and the Vacheron Constantin name.
Patek Philippe World Time
Patek Philippe added to its prestigious World Time series with its Reference 5230P-001, the first time the brand combined a platinum case with a blue dial and matching strap. It also boasts a new-look dial with a manually guilloched centre. This incredible luxury watch keeps track of 24 time zones thanks to an ingenious mechanism patented in 1999. Other World Time models released at Watches and Wonders included one with a cloisonné dial and a green Ladies World Time with diamond-set bezel.
Rolex Air King
In the run-up to Watches and Wonders there was speculation that Rolex would dump the Air King like an unfaithful spouse. Some overly excitable types even suggested it might get an extensive design overhaul. In the end, it did neither, simply tweaking the dial to give it more balance—changing the ‘5’ to ‘05’—and adding a crown guard. Small changes, yes, but did they improve the watch? Absolutely.
Grand Seiko Kodo Constant Force Tourbillon
If anyone doubted Grand Seiko’s ability to compete with the upper echelons of high-end Swiss watchmaking, this skeletonised tourbillon will have convinced them otherwise. The only Japanese brand at Watches and Wonders, Seiko wowed attendees with its exquisite finishing and technical prowess. Grand Seiko was late to the tourbillon game, not producing one until a couple of years ago, but you’d never think it on this evidence. Getting your hands on one of the twenty pieces made will be no easy task.
IWC Ceratanium Chronograph
IWC’s amalgamation of titanium and ceramic, Ceratanium, could quite easily have been called ‘Titanic’, but there’s nothing doomed about this watch. It made perfect sense to use this super-tough and lightweight material for one of their iconic pilot’s chronographs, and with its metallic grey tone it looks every inch the heavy-duty military timepiece. IWC’s offerings at Watches and Wonders were dominated by pilot’s watches, including a white ceramic model, but this was arguably the stand-out model.
Panerai Luminor Goldtech Perpetual Calendar
Panerai unveiled this stunning Goldtech (the brand’s own version of rose gold) perpetual calendar version of the Luminor at Watches and Wonders, proving there’s nothing incongruous about putting one of horology’s most revered complications inside a watch that was originally made for naval divers. Executed superbly, this is a watch the so-called Paneristi will welcome with open arms, even if most of them will never see one in the metal, let alone own one. This is limited to just 33 pieces.
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