by Karishma Karer
2022, what a year it has been for the watch fraternity. Every year, we gather around over a glass of wine and look back at the year that was. This could have been better? That was spectacular? Did they really do that? For me personally, it was a good year. From new watch launches, introduction of new materials and technologies to a series of events that put India on the map, giving the country the true recognition it deserves. As we approach the end of 2022, we have put together a few highlights that have made 2022 a year to remember.
A topic we just ignore this year is the rapidly growing pre-loved market. A recent report published by Deloitte claims that by 2030 the pre-owned market is likely to grow to CHF 35 billion and make up more than half of the primary watch market. This growth will be supported by brands launching new preowned offerings, the expansion of existing channels and consumers looking for discounted and discontinued timepieces.
And they were right. Recently Rolex announced its very own Certified Pre-Owned programme. The Rolex Certified Pre-Owned seal that comes with your watch will symbolise its status as a certified second-hand Rolex watch. This exclusive title attests to its authenticity on the date of purchase and proper functioning, and is accompanied by an international two-year guarantee. We even caught up with Industry expert Patrik Hoffman, Executive Vice-President at Watchbox to help us dissect the many layers of the pre-owned watch market.
From pre-loved to keeping up with the digital age, the watch industry may take its time but surely catches up with every evolutionary step of the internet. Chronoswiss recently launched its very first Metaverse watch in the brands virtual Atelier, Decentraland ! Meeting the challenge of web3 head on with a 100 piece limited edition Open Gear RecSec Sugar Rush digital wearable watch. Let’s see how that plays out.
2022 has also been a year full of milestones and celebrations !
Besides gloriously celebrating 75 years of India’s independence, 2022 marked a milestone for many
- 50 years of Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak
- 60 years of TAG Heuer’s Autavia
- 70 years of the Breitling Navimeter
- 90 years of the Patek Philippe Calatrava
2022 Watches Round Up
Besides the varied events, 2022 saw a series of launches that caused quite a stir amongst watch hobbyists globally. Let’s look at a few highlights :
1. Oris Walks Away With A Bronze : The Big Crown Pointer Date
The Big Crown goes bronze. Did you know that the Big Crown Pointer Date is Oris’s longest-serving design, a cult watch that has been in continuous production since 1938. It is an Oris signature and a byword for timeless watch design, with its large crown, red crescent-tipped pointer date hand, and fluted bezel. The style is unmistakably retro, yet it continues to be popular today.
2. Omega Speedmaster 2022: The Speedy Gets Slimmer
As a testament to the fact that size does indeed not matter, Omega drops a slimmed-down ’57 that is most certainly big on performance. This year the professional chronograph is on track to gain a new generation of Speedy fans – The Omega Speedmaster ’57 Calibre 9906
3. Tissot PRX Returns: A Chronograph & 35MM Case
After being quite a commercial and critical success, Tissot has embarked on the next thrilling chapter in its PRX story. After simple time and date introductions last year, a chronograph seems like the obvious way forward, well now that the PRX has quite a fan following of its own. New automatics with upmarket gold bezels, a high-end automatic chronograph, and a new interpretation of the design with a 35mm case, all inspired by 1978 original, will join the attractive collection.
4. Omega x Swatch: The Speedmaster Swatch, The MoonSwatch is here
We’d only ever heard of space companies and their missions to the planets. But did you ever imagine a timepiece reaching for the planets? This year Swatch and Omega have done just that with their new Bioceramic Moonswatch collection. A unique take on the legendary Speedmaster Moonwatch.
5. Jaeger-LeCoultre – Shooting for the Stars with the Rendez-Vous Dazzling Star
After dazzling us with the moon and a day and night complication, this year at Watches & Wonders 2022, Jaeger-LeCoultre ignited all senses with a romantic new Rendez-Vous Dazzling Star. The Manufacture has actually recreated the mystique and magic of a shooting star on your wrist. Depending on the movement of your wrist, a shooting star will appear on the dial at random moments – usually four to six times per hour – its unpredictability making it even more special. Intrigued aren’t you?
6. Grand Seiko- Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon Marks A New Milestone
The Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon, the brand’s first mechanical complication watch, was unveiled marking a new milestone in the brand’s sixty-two-year existence. Its core is a really novel movement that, for the first time in horological history, combines a tourbillon with a constant-force mechanism as one unit on a single axis, delivering a level of consistent precision unmatched for Grand Seiko.
7. Wild Card: Cartier Métiers d’Art Crash Tigrée Métamorphoses
This year, the Crash comes back once again with an artistic twist, say hello to the latest Crash on the block: Cartier Metiers D’Art Crash Tigrée Metamorphoses. Seeking inspiration from the wildlife of Africa hued in the painterly hues of turquoise, green and midnight blue, the new Crash Tigrée is truly a piece of art. Dubbed very quickly as ‘the most striking timepiece at Watches & Wonders 2022’ the creation features a cocktail of diamonds, 18k gold and stripes of champlevé enamelling.
8. The Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222 : From Past To Present
The magnificent reappearance of the Vacheron Constantin 222 was the most anticipated Watches & Wonders release this year. The new Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222 will undoubtedly reignite interest in this luxurious sports watch.
9. MB&F Introduces Its First-Ever Chronograph- Legacy Machine Sequential Evo
Legacy Machine Sequential EVO, the first chronograph timepiece from MB&F, features the premiere appearance of MB&F’s 20th movement. It is, in fact, the world’s first chronograph wristwatch.
10. All-New Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet: Best Of Both Worlds
This time the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet model has two new interpretations: One in red gold with a blue-gradient dial and the other in titanium with an anthracite dial. These new models bring together two iconic Blancpain universes: the sporty DNA of the Fifty Fathoms diver’s watch, and the classic calendar with moon phases.
11. Panerai Gets Complicated: The New Luminor Due Luna
This year Panerai dropped mother-of-pearl dials with a moonphase in a lean 38mm Due case – The new Luminor Due Luna’s, Luna being the Italian word for the moon. Originally a time only model, the Due has got quite a facelift as the watch now is equally suited to casual wear and elegant environments that call for elevated dressing.
12. De Bethune Celebrates its 20th Anniversary With its 30th Calibre : The DB Kind of Two Jumping GMT
Two decades dedicated to the execution of century-old know-how and the tireless search for innovation. On the occasion of SIAR 2022, the Manufacture unveiled its 30th in-house calibre with the release of the DB Kind of Two Jumping GMT.
13. Rolex Deepsea Challenge: An Experimental Watch Turns Into A Desirable Underwater Tool
As new worlds emerge at greater depths, the Oyster Perpetual Deepsea Challenge, watertight to a depth of 11,000 meters (36,090 feet), is ready to accompany you.
The Deepsea Challenge is a significant step forward in the collaborative human and technological journey between Rolex engineers and deep-sea explorers.
14. Louis Moinet’s Time To Race : Not A Limited Series, A One-Of-A-Kind Creation
With the invention of the Chronograph in 1816, Louis Moinet is the official holder of the title of «World’s First Chronograph», awarded by the Guinness World Records organisation. This name packed with history has most recently introduced the ultimate embodiment of an essential theme in contemporary watchmaking: personalisation. Yes, your very own personalised chronograph by Louis Moinet.
And finally, as we say it is all about the people eventually and 2022 for us was all about the people who make the watch fraternity what it is. From next-gen watch enthusiasts like Amandine, the renowned auction hero Aurel Bacs to our very own Godfather of the Indian watch fraternity – Yajnanarayana Kammaje – MD At Sona Group, we brought you candid, yet insightful conversations through the year.
Whilst almost everyone could find something to cheer about this year, we did witness some geopolitical uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine and of course the tensions between China and US. As per Deloitte, the US , which is already the most important market for the Swiss Watch Industry in terms of export volumes, will be the next big growth market, followed by India and China. Here here…
As we revel in the year that was, one can’t help but wonder what 2023 has in store for us. Stay glued as we bring you a few details and predictions for 2023. Until then, here’s wishing you and your loved ones a spectacular year ahead. Happy Holidays.