By Karishma Karer
Two days in and what an exhilarating experience. I can’t feel my feet (as usual) but you won’t catch me complaining this time around. Watches & Wonders 2022 has certainly lived up to all my expectations. From the brand launches of luxury watches to the hospitality of the salon everything has just been on point. Barring all the scepticism of the pandemic, Geneva is yet again bustling with watch lovers and an exquisite display of haute horlogerie at its finest.
While I still have a few more days to go and many more brands to visit, there are a select few timepieces that had me at hello! So here goes, in no particular order…
1. Parmigiani: The Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante
This one’s a world premier, and what a spectacular one it is. Here is a GMT with a rattrapante function associated with a split-second chronograph to a second timezone hand. Sounds complicated and although extremely innovative it is one of the most simple-to-use mechanisms I have ever seen.
The Tonda PF GMT RattrapanteThe watch features two superimposed hour hands: one in rhodium-plated gold and the other in rose gold. By pressing the pusher at 8 o’clock the upper rhodium-plated gold hand that is dedicated to local time will jump one hour forward, thereby revealing the rose gold hand which displays your “home time”. Once the second timezone information is no longer required, press the crown -integrated rose gold pushbutton at 3 o’clock and it will reposition the rhodium-plated hand on top of the rose gold hand in the same manner as a split- seconds chronograph hand. That’s what I’d call a subtle and beautifully executed user-friendly complication.
2. Rolex: New GMT Master II
I have to admit, I was not expecting this. Now although I wear my watches on my right wrist and no I’m not a lefty, there is something different about this watch. A series of firsts for Rolex on this one, the most obvious one being the crown and crown guard on the left of the watch case. The date aperture and the Cyclops lens have also been moved to 9 o’clock. Another first here is the colour pairing on this model – a two-colour monobloc Cerachrom bezel inserts in green and black ceramic. This new version of the GMT-Master II is fitted with calibre 3285 giving you a 70-hour power reserve. Fitted with an oyster bracelet, this 40 mm green beauty sits very comfortably on the wrist and contrary to belief, the left crown is no interference whatsoever. Once you have it, you’ll certainly adapt to its ways, after all, it is GMT Master II. The availability, well that’s a can of worms I will not open.
3. Patek Philippe: Calatrava Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref 5326G-001
The Calatrava brings together two very useful complications – an annual calendar and a travel time in a specially created 41mm white-gold case. The challenge here was to ensure that the displayed date corresponded with the local time, hence the time at the location of the wearer of the watch. This has been possible with the new caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H. The Annual Calendar is controlled by the Travel Time function and it is the local-time hour wheel that drives the calendar. Can we just take a moment to admire that charcoal gray dial with a granular structure and that beautiful gradation? Delivered with two interchangeable straps, a beige calfskin with nubuck texture and a black calfskin, the new Calatrava Annual Calendar Travel Time is truly a perfect combination of haute horlogerie balanced with elegance.
4. Jaeger-LeCoultre: The Rendez-Vous Dazzling Star
In every sense of the word, this watch is breathtaking. I read the press release and saw the stock images and thought to myself – wow! Then I saw the watch and witnessed the swift flow of the shooting star across the dial on my wrist and thought to myself – holy smokes!
Ladies, this is certainly one of my highlights of 2022. While you will find the details of the watch here, this is one watch I’d recommend you should witness in action. The shooting star appears every now and then, depending on the movement of your wrist. I don’t know about you but I could just keep staring at my wrist, hoping all my wishes do come true!
6. Cartier: The Masse Mystérieuse
A mobile calibre condensed into a skeletonised oscillating weight. Yes, that is the mystery of this enigma – the Masse Mystérieuse. As you move the watch, that mysterious mass or as we know it, the calibre here moves with you. One may wonder if the effects of gravity will impact the accuracy of the chronometer. Honestly, I read up on the watch (here), and yes it all made theoretical sense, but when I strapped it on my wrist and moved it around, I was flabbergasted.
Voila! Just a few highlights after two long days at Watches & Wonders 2022. I do still have a long way to go and many touch and feel sessions and presentations to visit. From the Richard Lange Minute Repeater to the much spoken of Vacheron Constantin 222, I can’t wait to see how the next few days unfold. Stay tuned…