What’s new in the world of horology? Here are all the new luxury watches and updates this month.
In the realm of timepieces, January 2022 was dominated by LVMH Watch Week as collectors were spellbound by ethereal creations from the likes of Hublot and Zenith. This year might whiff of serendipity as icons such as the Royal Oak celebrate major milestones. More on that below along with this selection of new luxury watches hitting the market.
New luxury watches unveiled and other noteworthy watch news:
Among the largest and most reputable retailers in Asia, Cortina Watch marks its 50th anniversary this year. To celebrate its golden jubilee, Cortina will be introducing several special editions with longstanding partners including Patek Philippe, Chopard, Corum, Franck Muller, H. Moser & Cie., TAG Heuer and Blancpain throughout the year. The first watch from the celebratory occasion has been unveiled in February 2022.
The creation laced with symbolism is the Patek Philippe Ref. 5057G-010, a new interpretation of the Ref. 5057R-001 created for Cortina Watch in 1997 to celebrate the retailer’s 25th anniversary. Limited to 100 pieces, the commemorative piece is arrayed with the triple-guilloched bezel, also found on the 25th anniversary piece. Studious collectors will be cognisant that a typical Calatrava such as the Ref. 6119 only comes with two rows of hobnails. In addition, the sapphire caseback is subtly inscribed with “Cortina Watch 50th Anniversary Since 1972”.
But that’s not all. When Patek Philippe held the groundbreaking Watch Art Grand Exhibition in Singapore, guests were disarmed by the ethereal assemblage of colourful dome table clocks. To celebrate the cordial relationship with Cortina, Patek Philippe introduces the Ref. 20145M-001 “Singapore Skyline”, complete with Grand Feu cloisonné enamel reflective of Singapore’s cityscape such as the Merlion and Gardens by the Bay.
Iconic is an expression often exercised inaccurately to elevate an ordinary product or to endow an unremarkable item a scarcely deserved superlative. But if there is a watch categorically earned the right to be called an icon is the Royal Oak. Its revered aesthetics revolving around the octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet bisected opinions when the watch debuted half-a-century ago, but in the ensuing decades, the watch became highly sought after and begat numerous interpretations from sporting the Tapiserrie dial, to festooning with a miniature Marvel superhero sculpture, to melding the frosted finish.
For the 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet revisits the most identifiable rendition and gives it a fitting face lift. Beyond just the introduction of new 37mm self-winding hour, minute, second and date models, as well as new 38mm and 41 mm self-winding chronographs, is the design evolution. How much can you tweak something that is close to flawless? A lot apparently – but only if you know where to look.
For example, the latest 39mm Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin (Ref. 16202) is now powered by the new self-winding in-house extra-thin movement Calibre 7121. With that comes the improved power reserve to 55 hours. The rotor also bears extra significance as it flaunts a 50-year commemorative oscillating weight. In fact, the special rotor is reserved for other Royal Oak editions released this year even where a different self-winding movement might be used. Subtle changes have also been made on the case, bracelet and dial’s mise-en-scène.
I am particularly taken by the premiere of the Royal Oak Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Openworked. The 41mm stainless steel piece beats the brand’s first-ever self-winding flying tourbillon open-worked mechanism in the shape of Calibre 2972. Anyone smitten with skeleton watches would relish at this prospect.
In honour of Year of the Tiger, Hublot presents the Spirit of Big Bang Carbon Gold Tiger, a barrel-shape watch whose case is sheathed in Frosted Carbon and 18K yellow gold. Developed by Hublot, the composite teems with glistening streaks amidst an ebony core not unlike the majestic stripe of the tiger. The nucleus is a Hublot skeletonised movement derived from the high-frequency El Primero calibre which paved the way for modern Swiss made chronographs, but upgraded with contemporary components such as a silicon regulator. Limited to 200 pieces worldwide, the chevron-pattern black rubber strap features Hublot’s patented One-Click System, enabling the owner to swap it out with ease for a supplied yellow-gold Velcro fabric strap.
Building upon the brand’s aspirational lifestyle offerings, Breitling unveils a new watch in the shape of the Top Time Triumph to mark the partnership with the motorcycle maker amidst the latter’s 120th anniversary. The Top Time collection through the ages has always exuded a sense of cool and the new creation is no different. The “Zorro” dial here is done in a more unison approach instead of the customary bi-colour. The blue colour is a reference to the blue Triumph Thunderbird 6T from 1951, and a rare, blue-dialed Breitling Top Time Ref. 815 from the 1970s. At 41mm, the chronograph is intended to be unisex.
In conjunction, Triumph is launching 270 units of co-branded motorcycles—the Speed Twin Breitling Limited Edition.
Roger Dubuis once again taps into the avant-garde for the Excalibur Monobalancier. A pristine-looking skeleton watch, the 42mm case is crafted from Mineral Composite Fibre (MCF), engineered from 99.95% silica and made via a Sheet Moulding Compound (SMC) process.
At 2.5 times lighter than ceramic and 13% lighter than SMC carbon, the cutting-edge material allows the brand to push the envelope a little farther in the creation of the watch. Its unique properties being highly resistant to UV, artificial and natural light guarantee the watch stays remarkably white, unbesmirched by the elements and time.
The 60-hour power reserve RD820SQ calibre is adorned with the brand’s signatures such as a micro-rotor and a star-shape skeletonised bridge that is as beautifully finished as it is robust. The watch is produced in 88 pieces.
A sign of the times and of progress as we have cycled through vinyl records, cassettes, CDs, mini discs, MP3s, streaming… and now the resurrection of vinyl. Likewise, Girard-Perregaux dusts off its archives to release the quirky Casquette 2.0. The principle behind the watch isn’t high watchmaking but irreverence. It is a watch best described as iconoclast and we love it. The original Casquette was produced in 8,200 pieces throughout its tenure, while the 2.0 is made available in 820 pieces. You don’t have to worry about its longevity. Encased in ceramic and Grade 5 titanium, and powered by a modern quartz movement, this watch is made to last.
With Watches & Wonders 2022 happening between March 30 and April 5, Piaget steals the march by letting loose two new luxury watches in the form of the Polo Skeleton and Limelight Gala Aventurine. A showcase of the maison’s mastery in gem setting, the Polo Skeleton is generously paved in diamonds, totalling 1,746 brilliant-cut gemstones that are impossible to take your eyes off, while the Limelight Gala Aventurine set with 62 diamonds features an enchanting dial reminiscent of the midnight sky illuminated only by a constellation of twinkling stars.
The latter’s Milanese mesh bracelet consumes in excess of 100 hours of craftsmanship as 366 spirals consisting of gold threads are woven into perfection. The Limelight Gala Aventurine is produced in 300 pieces, while the Polo Skeleton being a high-jewellery timepiece is customarily limited by demand.
The popular Legend Diver collection is joined by several new watches this month – this time in vivid burgundy, sand beige, ash grey and royal blue. Since its launch in 2007, heralding a renewed appreciation of vintage-style dive watches, the collection has been expanded plenty times.
However, the new models could prove to be the most alluring yet, thanks to the regal palette. The compressor aesthetics and box-shape sapphire continue to be the watch’s signatures. The 42mm models are offered in sand beige or ash grey gradient dials and delivered with tone-on-tone fabric straps. The new 36mm references are interpreted in vivid burgundy and sand beige with matching fabric straps. The royal blue number is presented with a sympathetic leather strap.
The endearing watch brand from Japan seeks past inspiration for its latest rendition of King Seiko – a discontinued collection with a cult following. The revival of King Seiko counts 5 models, all of which share a distinctively angular aesthetic inspired by the 1965 King Seiko KSK.
They differ in dial colours – silver, light grey, charcoal grey, brown and red. The ‘60s influence is especially prominent on the stout lug contrasted with a sharp facet. The retro-revival theme continues onto the box-shape sapphire crystal, while for the bracelet, a beaded design pays homage to the original King Seiko series.
All images by respective brands.
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur.