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April 01, 2022
Watches and Wonders 2022 Recap
Watches & Wonders is the fair we all want and need in our lives. After two years of travel restrictions thanks to Covid-19, the mood at Geneva’s Palexpo has been one of palpable excitement. Mechanical mastery, ingenious invention and astonishing aesthetics – it’s all here to dive into.
“It’s the first time in three years that we have a physical salon in Geneva and it’s the biggest we’ve ever organized,” says Watches and Wonders Emmanuel Perrin, President of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. There are 34 brands exhibiting in total in 2022. The hybrid ‘phygital’ program in 2022 is highly digitalized, allowing a global audience to feel connected, informed and up-to-date like never before to the physical event in Geneva.
With a veritable array of exciting novelties being unleashed during the fair, here’s a roundup of some of the highlights…
Chopard Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon
With its eye-catching Aletsch blue dial inspired by the eye of an eagle, Chopard’s ode to blue steel gets its first update featuring a proper complication – a flying tourbillon that can be admired through an opening on that blue, blue dial. Made from Chopard’s proprietary Lucent steel, this ultra-lustrous timepiece is sporty, sophisticated and a brilliant expression of the absolutely mastery of Chopard’s watchmaking capabilities.
Laurent Ferrier Sport Auto
Designed by ex-racing drivers, this novelty is an ode to the spirit of streamlined, precise automotive design. The watch feels sleeker than a freshly groomed cat thanks to the interplay of curves, lines and impeccably finished surfaces: from the irresistible arc of the domed sapphire to the ergonomic lugs and links, everything about this exquisite piece has been designed and refined to perfection.
Rolex Yacht-Master 40
Hotly anticipated novelties from Rolex include this white gold bejeweled Yacht-Master, the first time the model has been cast in this precious metal. Along with diamonds, pink, purple, and blue sapphires encircle the black dial, while the watch has been teamed with a black rubber strap – it’s a yes please from us.
Rolex GMT-Master II
Out of left field, literally – this is a wristwatch for left-handed Rolex fans. The green and black bezel and the crown protruding from the left side of the case makes it designed for those who wear their watch on their right wrist. A ‘spritely’ addition and destined to be as highly desirable as anything Rolex is creating these days.
Day Two of Watches and Wonders presented the opportunity for us to dive straight into the wonderful world’s of some of the brands that have a home in the Middle East within our Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons boutiques – seeing the novelties in Geneva before they start making their way to the UAE is always a very special and exciting time and we’re keen to share our excitement with you, so here are some of the ‘ones to watch’ before these exceptional masterpieces begin their journey to Dubai.
We are completely enchanted, entranced and charmed by the novelties at Van Cleef & Arpels – its Poetic Complications unfurled with the joyous Lady Arpels Heures Florales, whos flowers open and close on the hour. The watch is available in two colour versions – a blue and a pink one.
Meanwhile, we’re also fascinated by Ressence, which released its Type 8, representing a new entry level for the brand. This means more people can wonder at its ingenious interpretation of modern watchmaking: a case filled with oil and with discs for the dial – it’s amongst their many intriguing developments that redefine what is possible in contemporary watchmaking and we love it!
De Bethune, a formidable indie brand, revealed its DB28GS JPS, an ode to Formula 1 in the 1970s and everything that is superlative about mechanical and aerodynamic research - if you love the design and tech aspect of fast cars, this one is for you.
Bulgari steals the show with yet another world record – the word’s thinnest mechanical timepiece at 1.8mm from the case-back to top of sapphire crystal. It’s ten years since Octo entered the world of fine watchmaking and took an Italian leather good and jewellery house straight to the top of the watch world.
Meanwhile, our favourite masters of colour, Moser, present a typically minimalist-lookin watch – the new Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept, in glorious, vivid lime. A fresh take on Grand Feu, this hammered, enameled green hue is as eyecatching as the impressive movement within is complex and sophisticated.
A roller-coaster of big watches, big statement pieces and big emotions at Watches and Wonders this Friday – no one is getting fooled here today thanks to the audacious mechanical mastery of the world’s best watch brands.
We just cannot get enough of Rolex this week – its stunning GMT Master II in green and black and Yacht-Master 40 with sapphires and diamonds are headline-grabbing acts for a globally known-brand. What’s wonderful about the fair is how independent brands get to showcase their astonishing achievements alongside the big players and we’ve been enamoured this week about quite a few:
Urwerk offers up a completely different interpretation of time thanks to its new family, the Time and Culture Line, that looks to the past – the ancient past – for inspirational stories of early timekeeping. The Aztec’s famed Sun Stone has been recreated in stunning miniature for the wrist in its first exploration of the history of time, the UR-100V.
“This line is about history, culture, our place beneath the stars, the research and observations that have been conducted around the world using the same sky above our heads as a source of knowledge. I am always fascinated to see that these unique observations, made thousands of kilometres away, have given birth to a universal language, that of time”, explains URWERK co-founder Martin Frei.
We’ve also caught up with Laurent Ferrier today, whose Sport Auto in platinum elevates the sports watch to ultra-luxe.
Watches and Wonders continues apace and the Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons team has been busy catching up with some of the brands that we retail in our boutiques in the Middle East.
We’re absolutely entranced by the sporty architecture of Corum’s new Admiral, a luminescent launch we can’t wait to show you in Dubai – it’s sure to light up your faces as much as it lights up ours. This incredible 45mm timepiece has been made from ultra-light black carbon and glows with intriguing brightness thanks to the luminescent green inclusions that reveal themselves in darkness. Meanwhile, an in-house openworked movement – developed in-house - allows a deep view of the mechanism within, allowing the wearer to admire the meticulous finishing.
Meanwhile, amidst the third day of the fair, which has been rich in novelties, seminars and all manner of horologically themed discussions and debates. For centuries, watchmakers have tried to recreate the cycles of the universe and planets into watches – a perpetual quest to measure time accurately. There was also a more eco-conscious vibe at Watches and Wonders – sustainability in the industry has become a more crucial issue, with brands such as Chopard trailblazing in terms of choosing ‘greener’ materials – such as its revolutionary Lucent Steel that is made of recycled materials - and ethical ways of producing watches and jewellery.
One of the attendees today, Nobel Prize Winner Didier Queloz, reminds us perfectly in saying: “Yes there are many planets and stars in the universe, but only one where we can safely live.” The importance of producing sustainably is more important than ever. Zenith CEO Julien Tornare said “If you look around, you can ask yourself how many objects will still potentially working in 400 year? Not many. But a mechanical watch , maybe yes. The message to younger people is that this is a product that could last forever.” Sustainability actions are certainly changing the industry – good news for our planet, too.