Ian’s Top 7 Watches of 2022: Featuring Tourbillons, Chronographs, A Fun Watch, Exceptional Mechanics, And Even A (Relatively) Affordable Watch
by Ian Skellern
Here’s my list of the six best and/or most interesting watches that caught my eye in 2022. And I know you are busy so let’s dive straight in.
MB&F LM Sequential EVO Dual Chronograph
There are two chronographs in this in-house, integrated movement (no module on top of a base movement), both sharing a single, double mainspring and escapement (with a high, aerobatic, central flying balance wheel). But it’s the Twinverter pusher that creates both the magic and versatility of this ground-breaking chronograph.
Further reading: MB&F LM Sequential EVO Dual Chronograph: An Ingenious Application Of A Simple Idea (That Nobody Had Thought Of Before)
Quick Facts MB&F LM Sequential EVO
Case: 44 x 18.2 mm, zirconium
Movement: hand-wound caliber developed by Stephen McDonnell with Twinverter switch, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, 72-hour power reserve, double mainspring, flying balance wheel, 585 components
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; dual chronographs
Price: CHF 160,000 / €160,000 / $180,000 excluding applicable taxes
The Hermès Arceau Le Temps Voyageur was another stand-out star at the 2022 GPHG, winning not one but two awards: Best Men’s Watch and Best Ladies’ Watch.
The Le Temps Voyageur blew us away at Watches & Wonders 2022, and it wasn’t simply the clever way that it displays two time zones by rotating a miniature earth disk around the dial, but also because of the radiant joy it inspired in the faces of all (including me) who operated the innovative GMT mechanism.
Quick Facts Hermès Arceau Le Temps Voyageur
Case: 41 mm (platinum/titanium) or 38 mm (steel)
Movement: automatic Hermès Caliber H1837 with Chronode module; 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency
Functions: hours, minutes; worldtime, second time zone
Price: €18,000 (steel) or €23,000 (platinum/titanium)
As part of its 25th birthday celebrations in 2022, Urwerk partnered with American contemporary artist Cooper Jacoby for the unique piece Urwerk Cooper Jacoby X UR-102 “Reloaded.” And it did the most a watch can possibly do for me: put a big broad smile on my face!
Unfortunately, even if you have a deep enough pocket this one-off watch isn’t for sale: URWERK donated this first model is a new UR-102 “Reloaded” series to the Swiss Institute of New York, an independent non-profit contemporary art institution. But hopefully we will see something like this in future production series.
For more information, please visit https://www.urwerk.com/press/ur-102-x-cooper-jacoby
There are extremely few truly hand-made watches out there and the Vincent Deprez Tourbillon Classique Souscription Edition is one of the very best.
Deprez makes and finishes nearly everything himself, including the movement, case, and enamel dial. I thought that the finishing of his prototype movement was excellent, but the hand finishing on his production watch is sensational. He has completed his first two watches on schedule and unfortunately for anyone interested in getting their hands on one, Deprez’s Tourbillon Classique Souscription Edition series of ten watches has already sold out. Watch this space for future developments.
Quick Facts Vincent Deprez Tourbillon Classique Souscription Edition
Case: 39 x 11. 3 mm, 316L stainless steel, 30-meter water resistance
Dial: dark blue or cream-colored oven-fired enamel, 18 mm diameter
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (indicated around tourbillon cage)
Movement: manually wound hand-made caliber with one-minute tourbillion, high-level finishing, tourbillon cage 12.6 mm, tourbillon bridge 22.8 mm, balance spring with Breguet overcoil, 2.5 Hz/18,000 vph, 52-hour power reserve, handmade by Vincent Deprez using traditional tools and machines
Limitation: 10 pieces in stainless steel; movement will be limited to just 20 pieces overall
Price: 89,500 Swiss francs (excluding shipping and any taxes)
Remark: Souscription Edition in stainless steel sold out
The Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf isn’t just the best traditional two-pusher chronograph of 2022, in my opinion it was one of the very best watches of the year.
And it’s yet another (but not the last) 2022 GPHG laurate in my list having taken the prize for Best Chronograph of the year that was. The movement is sensational and the dial-side regulator that limits the speed of the resetting chronograph second hand is a great innovation. Unfortunately, if you are in the market for a Grönograaf, you will have to make do with drooling over photos as it’s sold out.
Quick Facts Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf
Case: 40 x 11.3 mm, stainless steel or tantalum
Movement: manually wound Caliber G-04, lateral clutch column wheel chronograph, soft reset mechanism with centrifugal governor and ruby-jeweled reset hammers; 53-hour power reserve, 3 Hz/21,600 vph frequency, variable inertia free-sprung balance, 408 components including 45 jewels, some set in gold chatons
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; chronograph with instant jumping minute counter
Strap/bracelet: buffalo leather, 20 mm tapering to 18 mm, steel or tantalum pin buckle to match case
Limitation: 188 pieces in stainless steel, 25 pieces in tantalum
Price: €155,000 (steel); €165,000 (tantalum)
Remark: tantalum edition sold out, no longer taking orders for the stainless steel limited edition of 188 pieces
Ferdinand Berthoud is a boutique brand that brings out one sensational model after another, and the FB 2RSM.2-1 is no exception.
The layout and complications of the FB 2RSM.2-1 are inspired by a 18th century marine chronometer made by one of Berthoud’s early apprentices. The FB 2RSM.2-1 features a one-minute tourbillon and chain-and-fusée constant force mechanism as well as superlative hand finishing, all of which help explain why it well deserved the Mechanical Exception prize at the 2022 GPHG. Further reading: Ferdinand Berthoud FB 2RSM.2-1: A Sensational ‘Apprentice Piece’
Quick Facts Ferdinand Berthoud FB 2RSM.2-1
Case: 44 x 14.3 mm, pink or white gold
Movement: manually wound constant force Caliber FB-T-FC. RSM with one-minute tourbillon and chain-and-fusée device, variable inertia balance, 53-hour power reserve, 21,600 vph/3Hz frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, deadbeat hacking seconds; power reserve indicator
Limitation: 20 pieces of each variation
Price: CHF 270,000
While the Tudor Black Bay has garnered most of the brand’s attention (and awards) over the last few years, the Pelagos collection has quietly gone from strength to strength.
While considering his 2022 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève predictions, Joshua Munchow rediscovered the Tudor Pelagos, specifically the Pelagos FXD, a very practical and attractive watch. And it has caused him to reevaluate his position on Tudor and thinks that this one would look pretty darn good on his wrist. And it wasn’t just Joshua and myself who thought the Tudor Pelagos FXD was a fantastic watch offering excellent value for money, so did the GPHG jury in awarding it the prize for Best Diver’s Watch 2022.
Quick Facts Tudor Pelagos FXD
Case: 42 x 12.75 mm, titanium
Movement: automatic Caliber MT5602 with official C.O.S.C. chronometer certification, 70-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; counterclockwise countdown bezel
What were your favorite watches of the year? Let us know in the comments below.
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