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The best new Swiss watches for 2022

Published May 17, 2022 9:00 pm Updated May 19, 2022 12:08 pm

After two years of uncertainty, the Swiss luxury watch industry relaunches with a boom of exciting innovations and updated timepieces.

At the forefront of this explosion is Watches and Wonders, one of the most important luxury watch exhibitions in the world.

Formerly known as the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), Watches and Wonders, alongside new collection launches of other luxury watch brands on various online, private and pocket events, is still the place to see the latest trends and innovations in the watch industry.

It is an exciting time for watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs. To give you a taste of what the year has in store, here are some of the most exciting timepieces launched this year so far.

Rolex Air-King

Initially released in 1958, the Air-King is back with distinctive changes. Most noticeable is on the black dial: it reads ‘05’ instead of just a ‘5’, giving better symmetry to the dial. Larger numerals mark the 3, 6, 9 o’clock positions, and the legible, albeit smaller, numerals complete the minute track, making navigational time readings easier.

The 40mm case and the Oyster bracelet are of Oystersteel, Rolex’s own alloy, similar to the steel used in aerospace and chemical industries. One of the best things about the Air-King, however, is its self-winding perpetual movement, the Calibre 3230, which was developed and made entirely in-house. The movement has a 70-hour power reserve, and drives the watch’s center hour, minute and second hands, as well as the stop-seconds.

Rolex GMT-Master II

The GMT-Master II is making waves this year by moving the crown, crown guard, date aperture and Cyclops lens to the left side. This isn’t just a matter of shifting the parts, but also a matter of technical adaptations to the testing for Superlative Chronometer certification, guaranteeing that the GMT-Master II for lefties is as precise and accurate as all the other Rolex watches.

The GMT function allows the display of two time zones—the local time, and either the reference time, or that of an alternative time zone. The times are indicated by the central hour, minute, and seconds hand, and by a triangle-tipped 24-hour hand, and a bi-directional rotating bezel.

The GMT-Master II’s 40mm Oystersteel case houses the self-winding Calibre 3285 movement. The 24-hour graduated bezel is a green and black Cerachrom insert, and an Oystersteel Oyster bracelet secures the watch on the wrist.

Tudor Black Bay Pro

The Tudor Black Bay Pro is a serious tool watch for the hardcore adventurer. Its 39mm steel case features a fixed bezel with 24 hours, also in steel, and flows to a riveted steel bracelet (it’s also available with a fabric strap, or a hybrid rubber and fabric one).

The main draw is the dual time zone feature, keeping track of the local time, as well as a second time zone, indicated by a yellow 24-hour ‘Snowflake’ hand. This is powered by an in-house movement, the Calibre MT5652, which has a 70-hour power reserve. An aperture at 3 o’clock shows the date, which is always in sync with the local time.

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43

In 1952, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) declared the Navitimer (a portmanteau of ‘navigation’ and ‘timer’) its official timepiece. This year marks the 70th anniversary of that partnership, and Breitling pays homage to the original Navitimer with a new range of watches that have modern flair and the in-house Caliber 01 self-winding chronograph movement.

Coming in three case sizes, two case metals, and a variety of dial colors, the new Navitimer also features a 70-hour power reserve; a date aperture; and ¼ second, 30 minutes, and 12-hour chronograph. The bezel is the classic bidirectional slide rule, flattened for a sleeker profile. This 43mm stainless steel Ice Blue model, as with all the other models, returns the AOPA wings to the dial at 12 o’clock, again a nod to the original.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time 5326G-001

For frequent travelers who can’t be bothered to adjust the date on their watches, Patek Philippe has the perfect solution: a watch that displays a second time zone, and only needs to be reset on the first of March every year. The Annual Calendar is controlled by the Travel Time function, so the date will always match the local time.

A three-position crown allows for the easy setting of the local time, indicated by the solid hour hand. Home time, which is also set via the crown, is indicated by the pierced hour hand. The charcoal gray dial shows the date, day, and month; night/day for both local and home times; and the moon phases. The new self-winding Caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H, which has a power reserve of up to 48 hours, powers all the functions. A 41mm case made of 18K white gold, the signature hobnail motif in the circumference of the middle case, and a beige calfskin strap make a statement of timeless elegance on the wrist.

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5320G-011

Patek Philippe’s classic Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5320, launched in 2017, takes on a new salmon dial in the refreshed Ref. 5320G. The dial sets off the charcoal gray hour and minute hands and the white gold applied hour markers with white luminescent coating. A 40mm white gold case and a hand-stitched chocolate brown alligator strap complete the sophisticated look.

The self-winding Caliber 324SQ holds a maximum of 45 hours of power reserve, and runs all the indications for the day, date, month, leap year, day/night, and moon phases. This movement is so precise that the calendar needs to be corrected only once every century, and the moon phase, only once every 122 years.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Ultra Deep

In 2019, a trio of Ultra Deep watches went down to the Mariana Trench, deeper than any other watch has gone. This year, the Ultra Deep collection has been made available to civilians, divers and landlubbers alike.

Rated for 6,000 meters, the 45.5mm Ultra Deep case is made from Omega’s own O-MEGASTEEL, which has twice the strength of the regular steel alloys. The domed sapphire crystal is also designed to withstand the pressure of the depths as well, as is the crown guard. A ceramic bezel with a Liquidmetal™ diving scale and a gradient blue-to-black dial with 18K white gold hands and indexes complete the rugged look. The self-winding Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8912 powers the watch, and has a power reserve of 60 hours.

Longines Spirit Zulu Time

A nod to the very first dual time zone watch created by Longines, the Spirit Zulu Time also is the first GMT complication in the popular Spirit collection.

The 42mm steel case encloses a self-winding in-house caliber with 72-hour power reserve. The L844.4 movement allows local time to be quickly set independently of the GMT indicator, making it perfect for travel. A rotating ceramic bezel with an engraved 24-hour scale matches the dial. The dial itself is understated elegance, with a raised seconds track and an inner gilt ring with a diamond shape accenting each of the applied Arabic numerals. The Spirit Zulu Time can be worn with a stainless steel bracelet, which can be interchanged with a leather strap.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Woodland”

IWC’s latest addition to its TOP GUN line combines both stellar performance and bold style. Inspired by the color of the naval aviators’ flight suits, the Edition “Woodland” boasts of a dark green ceramic case and dial, and a case back, crown, and pushers in matte black Ceratanium®.

IWC’s self-winding Calibre 69380 powers the chronograph (hours, minutes, seconds), and day/date functions and stores enough power for 46 hours. A dark green rubber strap with textile inlay holds the 44.5mm watch on the wrist. There are only 1000 pieces of this created.

Panerai Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel™

The Submersible QuarantaQuattro eSteel™ is Panerai’s tangible commitment to sustainability. All models in this collection use 52% eSteel™, which has the same properties of regular steel but is made from recycled materials. The two straps that come with the watch are also recycled from PET fabric, and from rubber. Also a first for this model is the use of polished ceramic on its rotating bezel, in striking colors that match the dial, which is equally striking due to its polished finish and color gradient.

The 44mm case holds the P.900 automatic caliber, which supports a date indication and stores enough power for three days. This model comes in three colors: Grigio Roccia (gray), Verde Smeraldo (green), and this Blu Profondo.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar

Making its debut in the popular Polaris line is the perpetual calendar powered by the newly developed in-house movement, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 868AA. Housed in a 42mm steel case, the Polaris Perpetual Calendar gives an elegant twist to the sporty wristwatch.

It’s sturdy, as you can expect of a Polaris watch. Yet details like the gradient-blue lacquer dial and the display of its complicated calendar functions give the watch a sophisticated air. Four slightly recessed sub-dials show the date, month and year, day, and the moon phases for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The watch comes with two sporty strap options—a steel link bracelet, and a textured rubber strap.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222

Vacheron Constantin’s new addition to the Historiques collection is the re-issue of the 222 “Jumbo.” The original 222, launched in 1977, was the brand’s first sporty watch, and this re-edition remains faithful to that DNA, with a few improvements for comfort and reliability.

The 37mm case is of solid yellow gold, flowing into a more ergonomic articulated yellow gold bracelet. The case has the Maltese cross emblem engraved at 5 o’clock, and the gold-toned dial has a yellow gold Maltese cross, as well as yellow gold hour markers and hands, and a date aperture at 3 o’clock. A sapphire case back—not found on the original—gives a glimpse of the mechanical self-winding Calibre 2455/2, which has a 40 hours power reserve, and was developed and crafted in house. The finishes of each component of the Historiques 222 also show the attention to detail that makes this an exquisite timepiece to be valued by the collectors.

Hublot Big Bang Integral Time Only

Hublot is known for its innovative and avant-garde designs, but this time it distills the essentials in a “time only” collection of three watches (it does have a date feature though). It still, however, remains impressive.

A 40mm case in either titanium, black ceramic, or yellow gold holds the automatic MHUB1710 movement. While the movement can be seen through the sapphire case back, the open-worked dial through which you can catch a glimpse of it is the highlight. The hands and indexes contrast with the dial, making it highly legible. A cut-out date wheel circumnavigating the dial, with the actual date showing in the aperture at 6 o’clock adds modern flair to the watch. As the watch name implies, the iconic three-link bracelet is integrated with the case, securely fastening the watch to your wrist.

A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Titanium

The new Odysseus Titanium comes in the same 40.55mm size as the previous ones in stainless steel and white gold, but is so much lighter. Both the case and the bracelet are of titanium, which is 43% lighter than stainless steel but extremely strong, making it an easy watch to wear.

The ice-blue dial is a work of art on its own. Guilloched grooves in the hour ring create a 3D effect, which is also echoed in the subsidiary seconds dial. The layout of the dial of typical Lange, providing visually-pleasing clarity. Under the dial is the exquisitely finished L 155.1 DATOMATIC movement, which can be admired through the sapphire case back. This movement, which was developed specifically for the Odysseus line, has 50 hours of power reserve.

This limited edition of the Odysseus Titanium has a run of only 250 pieces.

Zenith Defy Skyline

Perhaps the most striking detail of the Zenith Defy Skyline is its dial with perforated starry sky pattern, popping out from the 41mm stainless steel case. The rest of the dial is understated, with black ruthenium-plated hour markers and hands, all coated with Super-LumiNova. There are no numerals apart from the date, which is visible through the aperture at 3 o’clock. The other highlight of the dial is the 1/10th of a second subdial at 9 o’clock, the steadily moving hand making a complete revolution every 10 seconds. This precise motion is powered by the automatic El Primero 3620 movement.

A stainless steel bracelet and folding clasp complete the sporty look of the watch. It also comes with a khaki green runner strap with a starry sky pattern, matching the dial.

Philip Stein Signature Evolution

Philip Stein prides itself on its scientifically proven Natural Frequency Technology® which promotes overall wellbeing, reduces perceived stress, and improves mood, cognitive functions, and sleep. The new Signature Evolution collection riffs off the original Signature collection, but with a more modern look with its thicker case and fewer curves.

The Signature Evolution still has the iconic dual time zone display on the dial, finely detailed in rose gold and mother-of-pearl. The slightly oversized steel case, naturally, contains the quartz movement and the vaunted Natural Frequency Disc. Interchangeable natural rubber straps keep this piece of wearable wellness securely attached to the wrist.

Tissot PRX Chronograph Valjoux

Taking the PRX retro vibes one step further is the first chronograph watch in Tissot’s PRX collection: the PRX Automatic Chronograph. The Valjoux A05.H31 movement, which is visible through the exhibition case back, has a 60-hour power reserve, and runs the hours, minutes, seconds, date, and chronograph.

On the dial, the chronograph is in the typical 3, 6, 9 o’clock configuration, but with the ‘reverse panda’ effect where white subdials starkly contrast with a dark background. The dial itself comes in silver or blue, and has applied hour markers, and baton hour and minute hands coated with Super-LumiNova®. All this is contained in the 42mm steel case, completed by a single link steel bracelet.

Chopard Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon

The Alpine Eagle collection is Chopard’s contribution to the sporty/chic watch genre, and the Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon is the first complication in the collection. The ultra-thin L.U.C 96.24-L movement allows the flying tourbillon to shine on the dial unencumbered.

The slim movement also allows the 41mm case to be only 8mm thick—no small feat given functions of the watch. It has a central display of the hours and minutes, the small seconds at 6 o’clock on the flying tourbillon carriage, and a stop-seconds function.

The dial is gold stamped in Aletsch Blue, with a pattern inspired by the eagle’s iris. White gold is used for both the baton-type hour and minute hands, and the triangle-tipped small seconds hand; all hands are coated with Grade X1 Super-LumiNova®. The case and bracelet are made from Chopard’s own Lucent Steel A223, a steel alloy that is robust and hypoallergenic.

Blancpain Ladybird Valentine’s Day 2022

Because love should not just be celebrated on Valentine's Day, Blancpain presents this token of eternal love. All the details are testament to the labor of love that goes into this watch: strikingly red numerals on the mother-of-pearl dial, a white gold case adorned with 58 diamonds on the bezel and lugs, the rose-cut ruby set on the crown, and the red alligator leather strap with a diamond-set pin buckle that holds this beauty securely on the wrist. The seconds hand, a heart seemingly pierced by Cupid’s arrow, sweeping across the dial in perpetuum adds a playful touch.

For all its delicacy, inside its 34.9mm case beats the powerful 1153 self-winding movement, which has an amazing four-day power reserve. The movement is as meticulously finished as the other components and can be seen through the sapphire case back. All these details speak of a passion for both exemplary watchmaking, and for women.

Glashütte Original SeaQ Panorama Date

There can be nothing more perfect for the intrepid adventurer than to connect with nature, whether outdoors—or on your wrist. With the SeaQ Panorama Date now in a lush reed green, you can have that sense of oneness with nature, whether indoors, or out.

The hardy 43.2mm stainless steel case features a reed green ceramic unidirectional bezel, framing a dial of the same color. The dial sets off the Super-LumiNova coated hands, markers, and numerals, creating legibility. Also highly legible is the iconic Panorama Date is at 4 o’clock. The 36-13 mechanical movement is shockproof, water resistant to 300m, and has a power reserve of 100 hours, making it perfect for any quest. A synthetic fabric strap ensures that it stays on your wrist.

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Editor’s Note: This article was provided by LUCERNE.