Step aside stainless steel, titanium is the new “it” metal in the watch world! Watches & Wonders 2022 brought us many stunning cosmic-inspired timepieces. However, another intriguing aspect of the event was the great number of titanium watches.
Lightweight, sturdy and sustainable are just some of the characteristics that have been drawing watchmakers to titanium. As was evident during Watches & Wonders 2022, titanium ruled the roost when it came to show-stopping watches. From A. Lange & Sohne to Vacheron Constantin and more—horologists have embraced this metal wholeheartedly, with many using it for the very first time. Here’s a look at some titanium timepieces that caught our eye:
A. Lange and Sohne Odysseus
In a first for the watchmaker, the sporty Odysseus timepiece was launched in a titanium case with a matching bracelet. Sitting snugly on your wrist, the large case diameter features enhanced readability while being supplemented by the lightness of the metal. The timepiece is corrosion-resistant, ideal for the adventurer, and comes in a novel ice-blue hue. With a multi-part dial with a date and day display, the timepiece creates a three-dimensional effect thanks to guilloche grooves creating distinctions. Featuring Lange’s characteristic leaf-shaped hour and minute hands and colour accents (read: the red-printed 60), the Odysseus succeeds in being bold and ever-so beautiful.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton
This complex travel watch resembles many firsts for Vacheron Constantin. For one, it is the first skeleton tourbillon watch in the Overseas collection. Secondly, it is the watchmaker’s first model made entirely of titanium, with the metal being present in the case, crown, bracelet, and bezel! The lightness of titanium is supplemented by the fact that the skeletonised movement is open-worked, thus reducing the weight further by 20 percent. Besides using grade 5 titanium, the watch is powered by Manufacture Calibre 2160 SQ which has been redesigned by the Maison. Boasting 186 carefully curated elements, the Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton has a new balance-spring and a sapphire crystal dial displaying the complete movement in all its glory.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “Woodland”
Featuring a noteworthy form in matte black and dark green, the 41 mm Top Gun timepiece boasts Ceratanium, a metal alloy of ceramic and titanium. It combines the best of both materials—the toughness and scratch-resistance of ceramic and the light-weight demeanour and strength of titanium. The pushers, crown and case feature Ceratanium. This pilot’s watch is powered by calibre 69385 and features a mechanical chronograph movement. Plus, as should be the case with watches that can take flight, the glass is protected against displacement owing to drop in air pressure.
Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Spring Drive
Featuring a high-intensity titanium case and bracelet, the Grand Seiko Chronograph GMT Spring Drive—along with the other four newly launched timepieces—is one to watch among aficionados. Marking the Evolution 9 collection’s foray into sports, this sturdy timepiece has all the trappings of a sophisticated yet adventurous watch. Wider lugs and a sturdier bracelet make this watch extremely comfortable for the wearer. Along with that, the numerals on the bezel are in a new font, enabling improved readability. To round up, the watch features the iconic Spring Drive movement which embodies the noiselessly-passing-us-by nature of time
Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400
A display of pure joy, this timepiece features a 39 mm titanium case and bracelet and smile-inducing dials. The Oris ProPilot is a mechanical watch—as is the case with Oris watches—inspired by the watchmaker’s aviation legacy. It features Oris’s characteristic bezel and satin and sand-brushed angular lines. What’s more? The hues are as fresh as they come, letting the wearer choose from vibrant grey, blue or salmon dials. There’s also a titanium case back with a satin and sand-blasted finish and see-through sapphire crystal frame for those interested in witnessing the movement behind the timepiece. Finally, the elevated anti-magnetism ensures accuracy and reliability.
Ressence Type 8
Taking minimalism to a whole new level, at Watches & Wonders 2022, Ressence introduced its lightest watch yet: Type 8. Weighing only 42 grams, the grade 5 titanium timepiece embraces your wrist comfortably, almost transforming into a second skin. It is fashioned to be clear, simple and wearable by all—a feat it accomplishes with its ambidextrous design made possible with hidden lugs and crown. The wearer must use the titanium case back to set the time. On the matt cobalt blue domed titanium dial, the main dial rotates to tell the minutes while the subsidiary one tells the hours. Plus, the hours, minutes and hands are filled with blue Superluminova material to ensure readability in the dark, too.
Titanium has caught the fancy of the watchmaking universe; after all, it offers a host of benefits. Given that, we can’t help but wonder whether this metal will become commonplace and, one day, replace stainless steel for good. Only time will tell.