At the end of the year, it’s time to note our favorite 2022 debut watches.
Below is the fourth and final installment of our four-day review of our favorites, in no particular order.
Hublot: Classic Fusion 45mm Brown Bronze
For U.S. collectors, Hublot offers its 45mm Classic Fusion three-hand date model with a new brown dial and limited edition bronze-cased dress.
The handsome dress model, one of the watchmaker’s most unadorned watches, is simplicity at its core, with a classical time and date display framed by a hand-brushed bronze case and matching bezel.
Strapped to a chocolate brown alligator strap and powered by Hublot’s own Caliber HUB1112 automatic movement, the Classic Fusion 45mm Bronze Brown is available only through Hublot.com to customers in the United States of America. Hublot will make thirty watches with this unusual combination of materials and colors.
Hublot explains that the limited edition launch is meant as “a celebration of the intrepid lifestyles (that were unexpectedly put on hold for so long) and a demonstration of Hublot.com keeping pace with their clients and their adventures and pursuits.”
Ulysse Nardin: One More Wave Diver
Ulysse Nardin commemorated Veteran’s Day in 2022 by launching the Diver Chronometer 44mm One More Wave, the second watch built in collaboration with One More Wave, a non-profit organization that assists wounded veterans through surfing and artistic therapy.
Rather than the 1,000-meter-water-resistant, 46mm Deep Diver with helium valve we saw in 2019 with the premiere One More Wave model, the new watch offers an ‘everyday wear’ option to buyers.
It draws from the watchmaker’s Diver collection of 44mm, 300-meter models with more classical crown placement and no helium valve. Ulysse Nardin outfits the new watch with its excellent in-house UN-118 automatic movement.
The Diver Chronometer 44mm One More Wave also more prominently displays the One More Wave iconography and features the organization’s distinctive turquoise color on its hands, the top of the bezel and on the lower strap connector (on the OMW logo). The watch’s black DLC titanium clear sapphire caseback is also engraved with the One More Wave logo.
Jean-Christophe Sabatier, Ulysse Nardin chief product officer, explains that for the new watch, Ulysse Nardin worked closely with One More Wave founder and former U.S. Navy SEAL Alex West and his members to strongly emphasize the organization.
“I particularly like the way the hands line up perfectly with the 0 at the top of the bezel and with the logo just below the case, all with the same color,” Sabatier says.
The San Diego-based One More Wave has been assisting disabled veterans since 2015 and owns and operates its own surfboard factory to make custom surfboards for wounded and disabled veterans.
Now supporting 600 veterans, the organization aims to support 2,500 veterans with its ongoing fund-raising efforts. “We would not be the same organization we are today without the support from Ulysse Nardin,” says West.
The Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronometer 44mm One More Wave is a limited edition of 100. Price: $11,500.
Bell & Ross: BR 05 Copper Brown
Bell & Ross added a fourth dial color, copper brown, to the BR 05 collection, the watchmaker’s series of round-corner square-case watches with round dials and integrated bracelets.
The new BR 05 Copper Brown watch joins existing models in the collection with black, silver grey and navy blue dials.
Bell & Ross introduced the BR 05 in 2019 as a contemporary version of its well-known square-cased BR 03 collection. BR 05 signaled the brand’s entry into the expanding field of Swiss-made 1970s-style steel watches with integrated bracelets.
The new watch’s golden-brown dial is finished with a sunburst pattern. Made specifically for the new model, the dial finish and color requires Bell & Ross artisans to micro-engrave the metal plate of the dial in a circular pattern. Then, technicians add several coats of transparent brown varnish to the metal plate, creating a sense of depth.
Bell & Ross then adds the same metallic color to the indexes, which creates “the effect of a block of metal simply adorned by its sunburst brown dial,” according to Bell & Ross. The dial’s hands, indexes and numerals are coated with SuperLuminova.
The watchmaker will offer the BR 05 Copper Brown with either an integrated polished and satin-finished steel bracelet or on a sporty brown rubber strap.
Bell & Ross powers the watch with its Sellita-based BR-CAL 321 automatic movement. With the watch’s sapphire case-back the owner can view the caliber’s oscillating weight with sports-car-rim-inspired design.
Prices: $4,600 on rubber strap and $5,100 on a steel bracelet.
Parmigiani Fleurier: Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante
Parmigiani Fleurier debuted a terrific world-first complication at Watches and Wonders 2022 with the Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante. It conveys flyback capability to a subtle GMT hand, all powered by a new in-house PF051 caliber with a 48-hour power reserve.
The new watch nicely extends the sartorial approach to dial and case design embodied within the entire Tonda PF collection, which Parmigiani Fleurier debuted last year to much acclaim.
The new complication makes it a simple task to set and read two time zones. With two hour hands initially superimposed, the wearer need only press the pusher at 8 o’clock to advance the upper rhodium-plated gold hand dedicated to local time. Each press moves the hand one hour forward. This action reveals the rose gold hour hand, which displays time in the wearer’s home time. The watch is then set, and both hour hands will convey the time in both locations with no additional intervention.
Once the wearer returns home, he or she simply presses the crown-integrated rose gold push button to instantly ‘fly’ the gold hand back underneath the rhodium-plated hand.
These simple gestures engage a sophisticated flyback mechanism that on most watches operates a chronograph seconds hand, which here does not exist. Instead of timing two separate events, the job of traditional flyback complications, this patented Parmigiani Fleurier invention is employed to clear the dial of its third hand.
This enables an even clearer view of the hand-wrought barleycorn guilloché pattern blue dial framed with a sandblasted minutes track. As with every steel-cased watch within the Tonda PF collection, this GMT is also further framed with a finely knurled single-piece platinum bezel.
For many at Watches and Wonders 2022, this Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante was among the show’s highlights. It is certainly the purest GMT we’ve seen and a welcome display of restraint amid a torrent of grander world-timers and dual-timers displayed across Geneva. Price: $26,800.
Bulova: Avigation Hack A-11
Bulova expanded its vintage-inspired collection of military watches with the new Avigation Hack A-11, an updated version of the WWII-era Bulova A-11 watch.
The original Bulova Avigation Hack A-11 watch was issued to U.S. soldiers during WWII and was one of the first watches of its kind. Its dial was highly legible with luminescent numerals, hands and markers while its large crown and solid one or two-piece straps were ideal for constant wear.
The watch and many others like it were known as ‘hacking’ watches because soldiers could pull out the crown and stop, or ‘hack’, the seconds hand at the 12 o’clock position to synchronize their watches. With a now-small 32mm case, the original A-11 was specially made for navigation.
The new model retains the original’s clean dial and distinctive coin edge case while expanding its color options and, literally, its case size (now at 37mm). Bulova is purposefully differentiating the new Avigation A-11 Hack watch from the many other military watches in its collection with a more contemporary color combination, namely a blue dial with red accents on a brown NATO strap.
Bulova stamps the back of the new watch with the same Military Spec information seen on the original A-11. Inside the new Avigation Hack A-11 you’ll find a reliable automatic movement (Miyota 82S0 3-hand movement with hack feature) boasting a 42-hour power reserve. Price: $450.
Tutima: Patria Small Second
Tutima expands its high-end Patria collection with a 43mm rose-gold-cased Patria Small Second model topped with rich blue dial—a new combination for the series.
The Glashütte-based watchmaker reserves Patria for its dress-watch designs fitted with its in-house Caliber 617, a stunning hand-finished manual-wind movement.
Visible through the sapphire caseback, Caliber 617 displays classic Glashütte-style assembly that includes a three-quarter plate, here set with three ruby bearings set in gold chatons.
Note too the very nice sunburst finish on the winding wheels set with a special ratchet with steel springs polished by hand. And Tutima tradition calls for polished rather than Swiss-style blued screw heads, all of which are also quite visible through the clear back.
A beautifully polished and skeletonized balance cock adds symmetry and technical strength to the scene, holding a balance that oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vph.
While we’ve seen a blue dial in the existing Patria collection, that model is framed in a steel case and appears to reflect a slightly lighter blue hue. With its more luxurious aspect, this newest blue-dialed model serves as a background for hand-polished golden hands and indexes—including those within the seconds subdial.
The Patria series reminds collectors that Tutima’s style of Glashütte manufacturing reaches beyond the sporty and military models for which it is best known. This newest model again convinces us that alongside its tough timepieces Tutima also produces technically astute, richly finished dress watches.
Louis Vuitton: Tambour Twenty
To celebrate the importance of the Tambour collection to its success as a high-end watchmaker, Louis Vuitton earlier this year launched the Tambour Twenty, a limited edition chronograph of 200 pieces that pays tribute to the original Tambour.
For the limited edition, Louis Vuitton revives the original Tambour’s deep, flared steel case that widens at its base (tambour is French for drum). The celebratory watch is again engraved around its 41.5mm case with the twelve-letter Louis Vuitton name, with each letter corresponding to each hour marker.
And as on the original series, the new limited edition model features a sun-ray brushed brown dial that displays seconds with a long yellow hand colored to echo the threads Louis Vuitton utilizes in much of its leatherwork.
While ETA-based movements powered the original Tambour time-only and GMT models in the premiere series twenty years ago, Louis Vuitton strategically teamed with its sister company Zenith to supply the base movement for the first Tambour chronograph.
That movement, the LV277, based on a Zenith El Primero caliber, again powers the new watch, offering the high-frequency, tenth-of-a-second precision built-in to Zenith’s famed series. Louis Vuitton has placed a 22-karat-gold rotor on the movement, which offers fifty hours of power reserve.
Louis Vuitton offers the Tambour Twenty as a limited edition of 200 watches, each priced at $17,800.
Happy New Year!