At the end of the year, it’s time to note our favorite 2022 debut watches. Through the end of the week, we’ll re-acquaint you with our top timekeepers of the year.
Below is the third installment of our four-day review of our favorites, in no particular order.
Zenith: Gold Chronomaster Sport
The second Zenith that makes our favorites list this year is a gold edition of its very hot Chronomaster Sport, which has become a top seller for the brand since its introduction last year. Zenith now offers the Chronomaster Sport in rose gold (including the bracelet and engraved bezel with 1/10th of a second scale.)
Available with either a black or white dial with the signature El Primero three-color counters, golden hands and applied markers. Price: $38,200.
TAG Heuer: Carrera Red Dial Limited Edition
TAG Heuer heated up its Carrera collection in 2022 with the new TAG Heuer Carrera Red Dial Limited Edition, a crimson-red-dialed Carrera that echoes the watchmaker’s long-standing role as a watch of choice among professional race car drivers.
Seen infrequently within the full TAG Heuer collection today (with the exception of a few Formula 1 models and this stunning bronze-cased Autavia watch), red has long been a favorite accent color for the watchmaker. A red tachymeter scale dominated many Carrera models in the 1960s. Similarly, we’ve also seen bright red hands for decades on the Heuer Monaco. More recently, a few of you might recall the 2010 remake of the stunning 1974 Heuer Silverstone.
This newest red-dialed beauty features a brushed sunray dial with nicely snailed chronograph counters that allow light to reflect and refract.
Inside, TAG Heuer places its excellent Calibre Heuer 02, which boasts eighty hours of power reserve, a (red-tinted) column-wheel and special engraving that extol the limited nature of this new watch, which TAG Heuer is offering as a limited edition of 600 pieces. Price:$6,750.
Detroit Watch: M1 Sport Chrono Exhibition 24 H Legends 98
Detroit Watch Company expanded ts hot-selling M1-Woodward Sport Chrono Exhibition collection with racing livery with two new models emblazoned with number 98 on the dial.
The number references the 1966 winning GT40 at Daytona driven by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby as well as the Cobra Daytona coupe designed by the legendary American designer Peter Brock.
The new line retains the M1 Sport Chrono Exhibition collection’s steel-cased design, but now features the new 98 dial with either red or blue accents on tachymeter internal bezel. Inside the brushed and polished 42mm case you’ll find an ETA Valjoux 7750 chronograph with a customized Detroit Watch decoration visible through a sapphire back.
Prices: $2,200, $2,350 (black DLC edition)
Franck Muller: Colorado Grand Vanguard
Franck Muller debuts four new colorful Vanguard watches to commemorate the 1,000-mile vintage car rally known as The Colorado Grand.
As the event’s exclusive watch sponsor, Franck Muller designed each model to represent an emblematic automobile: pine green for the Bentley; fire red for the Ferrari; “French blue” for the Bugatti; and stunning silver for the Mercedes. Each is also created using different case material. These are: polished steel (red dial), rose gold (blue dial), titanium (green dial) and micro-blasted steel (silver dial).
The four models will be made in limited editions of thirty-three to honor the 33rd running of the Colorado Grand. Prices: $23,500 (rose gold case), $16,500 (micro-blasted steel case), $14,500 (titanium and polished steel case).
Greubel Forsey: GMT Balancier Convexe
Greubel Forsey moves its titanium globe to the center of its new GMT Balancier Convexe, altering its long-standing dial-borne universe in the process.
The globe, an eye-catching component of the watchmaker’s GMT, GMT Earth, GMT Quadruple Tourbillon and GMT Sport, appears at the heart of the 46.5mm titanium watch. In those earlier GMT models, the globe rotated along the edge of the case.
The new GMT Balancier Convexe joins six existing models within the independent watchmaker’s relatively new Convexe collection.
The centrally located globe isn’t the only premiere here. For the first time within a GMT model, the watchmaker’s signature 30-degree inclined balance wheel vibrates nearby, held by a flat black-polished and barrel-polished steel balance wheel bridge on polished steel pillars. Adjacent to this, note the small seconds, displayed with a blue gold hand.
Where the dial-side of the new watch is impressively redesigned, the back of the watch retains Greubel Forsey’s signature disc with 24 time zones indicating the UTC time. The only variation here is a minor one: the UTC of Paris has been replaced by La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, home for Greubel Forsey.
All this drama is framed by Greubel Forsey’s unusual convex case, with its curved geometry and undulating lines that, along the top, are higher on the sides and lower at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions. The case itself is also asymmetric, with a diameter of 46.5mm around the bezel and 43.5mm around the case band. This means it nicely hugs the curve of the wrist.
Greubel Forsey will make sixty-six GMT Balancier Convexe timepieces at the rate of twenty-two per year between 2022 and 2024. Each is available on either a titanium bracelet or a textured rubber strap. Price: CHF 350,000.
Grand Seiko: GMT Sports Models
One model, SBGN029 features a blue sunray dial with red accents—-most notably a red GMT hand to indicate a second time zone. The other debut, SBGN027 features a black sunray dial with monochromatic highlights.
Using the clearly differentiated GMT hand, the wearer of either model can quickly note the second time of choice using the 24-hour dial ring, which is divided into two 12-hour sections for AM and PM.
Both watches offer hands and dial indexes with generous Lumibrite coating for superior visibility in darker conditions. In addition, each watch is rated to 100 meters of water resistance and features a screw-down crown and a dual-curve sapphire crystal.
Grand Seiko supplies both models with its well-known three-row steel bracelet with high-end Zaratsu-polished surfaces .
Grand Seiko collectors are familiar with Caliber 9F series, which the watchmaker created as the “ultimate quartz watch.” This Caliber 9F86 provides extremely high accuracy, with a rating of +/-10 seconds a year. And critically for a travel watch, the movement allows the wearer to adjust the hour hand without interrupting the timekeeping.
Maurice Lacroix: Pontos S Chronograph
Maurice Lacroix unveiled the latest version of its popular Pontos Chronograph with the new Pontos S Chronograph, a sporty-elegant duo with dominant chronograph sub-dials along the vertical axis and a slim, almost retro ceramic tachymeter bezel.
With two new sandblasted white or dark blue dials, the new look is somewhat sportier than earlier editions but retains the collection’s touch of class.
You’ll now find a day-date indicator at 3 o’clock rather than the date at 6 o’clock on this new Pontos chronograph, while the small seconds sub-dial is still at 9 o’clock.
However, note the almost panda-like contrast with the newly styled chronograph indicators and the very sharp dial finishing here. Maurice Lacroix has purposefully endowed both with sandblasted sub-dial centers framed by snailed measuring tracks. A choice of faceted hour markers adds a retro feel to the dial as well.
Maurice Lacroix retains the Pontos collection’s existing design elements, namely its elongated pushers, double-stepped lugs, and a satin-brushed and polished 43mm steel case. On the back the wearer can spy the back of the ETA-based automatic ML112 chronograph caliber, decorated with a combination of Côtes de Genève, perlage and sun-brush finishes.
The watchmaker is supplying the new Pontos S Chronograph with a color-coordinated M-branded nylon strap lined with nubuck leather. The watch is also available with a three-row steel bracelet. Owners can also swap between the strap or bracelet without the need for tools.
Prices: $3,250 (silver-white or dark blue sandblasted dial with stainless steel bracelet.
$3,100 (nylon strap) or $3,380 (special package with steel bracelet & nylon strap).