10 of the Best New Watches from Watches & Wonders 2022
The best new everyday watches from the watch world’s biggest week
When I do posts summarizing new releases, I like to focus on wearable watches. Watches that you just throw on and don’t really have to think about — they’re durable, go with any occasion, and look d*mn good. People often call them everyday watches or “GADA” (go-anywhere-do-anything) watches; I think of them as nightstand watches. Watches that you seem to always find on your nightstand because you just can’t stop wearing them.
Perhaps it’s the bias of my day-to-day lifestyle and the type of watches I prefer, but releases that fit into this category of everyday watches are always the most exciting for me. Let’s take a look at some of the best new everyday watches from Watches & Wonders 2022. Sure, this list may use a more liberal definition of everyday watch, but half the fun is dreaming.
The best new watches of 2022 from Rolex, Tudor, Cartier, and more
Tudor Black Bay 36 S&G
I’ve made no secret of my love for the Tudor Black Bay 36. It’s one of the best entry-level luxury watches you can buy for a couple thousand bucks. This year, Tudor introduced the Black Bay S&G 31/36/39/41. There are a variety of dial and bezel options across the four case diameters, with Tudor even bringing some diamond options to its “entry-level” Black Bay line.
The most exciting part of this release for me was the news that Tudor is bringing an in-house caliber to the Black Bay S&G lineup. Right now, the standard steel Black Bay 36 still uses an ETA movement, but with this news, it seems that won’t be the case for much longer.
One Black Bay S&G in particular caught my eye: the Black Bay 36 S&G with a simple black dial. It’s an obvious alternative to the two-tone Explorer that Rolex introduced last year, at about half the cost. That two-tone Explorer got all types of headlines, and I think this Black Bay 36 S&G deserves them too. It features an MT5400 COSC-certified automatic caliber, a jubilee-style bracelet, and a deep black dial with gold accents that give the watch a glowing, vintage-like charm.
Vacheron Constantin 222
A solid gold watch and bracelet might not be an “everyday” proposition for most, but we’ll make an exception for one of the most exciting releases of Watches & Wonders 2022. This is the Vacheron Constantin 222, a faithful recreation of the original 222, a 1970s icon along with the Nautilus and Royal Oak. It’s thought that less than 1,000 original 222s were made: 500 in steel, 150 in gold, and less than 100 in two-tone.
The new Les Historiques 222 appears to largely replicate the original, with a new caliber inside. The yellow gold case measures a svelte 37mm x 7.95mm — huge credit goes to Vacheron for resisting the modern temptation to upsize this perfect vintage case design.
Vacheron introduced the original 222 amidst the integrated sports watch hype of the 70s, and it often feels like the wrongly-forgotten cousin of its more famous predecessors. With this release though, it doesn’t seem like that will be the case much longer. A faithful reinterpretation like this will only increase interest in the original, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some big auction results for original 222s this coming auction season (Phillips has already teased a yellow gold 222 at its May Geneva auction, so watch out!).
Sure, heritage releases are hot and the Les Historiques 222 falls firmly in that trend, but you’ve got to tip your cap to VC’s heritage department. They’ve done well to promote the brand’s history with their Les Historiques line, while also celebrating actual vintage pieces with their Les Collectionneurs efforts.
For more info on the 222, visit Vacheron. They haven’t revealed pricing information yet, but the Les Historiques 222 will be available only at VC boutiques.
Cartier Tank Must (Black)
In 2021, Cartier brought back its Tank Must line, intended as the budget option to the more expensive Tank Louis Cartier. It was an absolute banger. The simple stainless steel Tanks with minimalist, colorful dials are absolutely gorgeous, and more than enough watch for most people who just want a Tank.
For Watches & Wonders 2022, Cartier’s back at it again. This year’s addition to the Tank Must line is all black. It comes in both the “Large” and “Small” Tank size; the Large measures 33 x 25mm while the Small measures 29 x 22mm. As a tangent, I believe the “correct” Tank size is the classic 30 x 23mm, so either size of this new Tank Must works for any gender.
The original Tank Must line was introduced back in the 70s as a lower-priced quartz option to save a faltering Cartier. Obviously, it worked and Cartier watches were on the wrists of all kinds of fashion and Wall Street types by the 1980s. Fast forward to today, and Cartier’s watchmaking department has experienced something of a rebirth the last few years by revisiting Cartier’s classic shape watches. So I love that the Must line is again being used to make Cartier design and watchmaking more accessible to everyone. The all-black dial with a steel case is about as chic as it gets, and I’m pretty sure I like this iteration more than last year’s colorful blue, green, and red options. It feels more simple and classic; more Cartier.
Price for the new Tank Must line is TBD. For more, visit Cartier (last year’s Tank Must releases cost $2,730).
Rolex Day-Date Platinum 36
A platinum Day-Date as a daily driver? Sure, why not! Rolex updated its platinum Day-Date options this year, bringing a fluted bezel to the classic Presidential. It might sound like a small update, but it’s actually quite impressive to work with platinum to produce a fluted bezel like this — it’s a notoriously difficult and “sticky” metal to work with, making it hard to machine those little grooves. I’m not bold enough to suggest the new platinum Day-Date in 40mm would work as an everyday watch — surely it must weigh a couple kilos; but I love the idea of wearing a platinum Day-Date with its recognizable ice-blue dial every. But hey, maybe that’s just me.
The new platinum Day-Date 36 costs $58,950. For more, visit Rolex.
Patek Philippe Travel Time Annual Calendar ref. 5326G
Patek’s unique implementation of a “Travel Time” functionality has always been a favorite of mine, so combining it with an annual calendar (a signature complication of Patek in its own right) in a new Calatrava case caught my eye. The new Patek Annual Calendar Travel Time features a new caliber, the Patek 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H, and a new 41mm white gold case. A hobnail pattern on the mid-case adds interest and texture to the round Calatrava case. According to Patek, eight patents are incorporated into the new movement. Perhaps most importantly, the travel time can now be set with the crown itself, which means Patek didn’t have to add any additional pushers to the case (remember those large pushers on the old Travel Time?). It’s these types of subtle, incremental technical improvements that make Patek Patek.
Like the case, the dial also has an interesting texture, evoking a certain vintage aesthetic, especially with the syringe hands. I also like this new release for what it’s not — namely, another steel sports watch. Of course, a complicated Patek like this will cost you. In this case, the 5326G’s MSRP is $76,882.
Nomos Club Campus
Sure, colorful dials are hot nowadays. But Nomos has been doing it for a while, so it doesn’t feel like chasing a trend with them. This year, they’ve brought a pink and blue/purple dial to their youthful Club Campus lineup. A Club Campus was one of my first “luxury watches”, and I still maintain its one of the best first luxury watches out there, and these colorful new dials don’t change that. The dials are offered in the Club Campus 36mm and 38.5mm cases.
I’ll be going hands-on with this one too, so look for more on the new lineup of Nomos Club Campus dials soon.
The new Club Campus starts at $1,500; check out Nomos for more.
Grand Seiko SLGA015 Diver
Grand Seiko makes great watches. This we know. If anything, they skew a bit on the dressy side. But not the new Grand Seiko SLGA015 Diver, which features a Spring Drive caliber. It’s got a titanium case and uses Grand Seiko’s Evolution 9 design language, a play on the brand’s classic 44GS case.
Of course, you also come to Grand Seiko for the dials. The SLGA has what the brand calls a “Black Stream” dial, which it says is inspired by an ocean stream in the Pacific Ocean around Japan. It’s still a big diver at 43.8mm x 14mm thickness, but the Evolution 9 has a wearable profile that should help a bit.
The new Grand Seiko SLGA015 is priced at $11,600 and will be available at Grand Seiko boutiques and dealers this summer.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph ‘Lake Tahoe’
It’s an IWC Pilot’s Watch, so it’s big — let’s get that out of the way upfront. 44.5 mm x 13.7mm in thickness big. But that doesn’t make the new Lake Tahoe Pilot’s Watch Chronograph any less cool. This is IWC at its best: a bold pilot’s watch chronograph in ceramic. I loved the whole Pantone vibe from IWC this year — it released watches in a “Woodland” green, and blacked-out Ceratanium too. But this white “Lake Tahoe” was the standout for me. I recently wrote about my love for 1990s IWC, and recently it feels like the brand has been getting back to its cool, industrial roots. And I couldn’t be more pumped about it.
No doubt, showing up with an all-white ceramic watch is a look. But for the right person, this would look amazing on the wrist.
Oris Pro Pilot X Calibre 400
This is one of the most affordable on this list of “10 everyday watches from Watches & Wonders 2022.” The new Oris Pro Pilot X Caliber 400 falls right in that sweet spot of “I want to treat myself to a nice luxury watch, but want something that’s cheap enough I can still wear it without worrying.” A long way of saying: It’s tough to beat an integrated bracelet watch in titanium with an in-house movement for $4,300. I can totally see myself buying this watch (the gorgeous pink dial, for the record).
At 39mm, the specs of the Oris Pro Pilot X Caliber 400 seem downright wearable, even for my modest wrist. Sure, this watch is rooted in Oris’ long history of making pilot’s watches, but it feels thoroughly modern and exciting. When an independent like Oris is able to release this much watch at $4,300, it can make you wonder what the other brands are doing.
The Oris Pro Pilot X Caliber 400 MSRP is $4,300.
Czapek Antarctique S
Sure, stainless steel integrated sports watches are hot right now. Czapek feels a bit different though. The brand re-launched in 2015, taking its name from the Polish watchcmaker who co-founded a certain Patek, Czapek and Cie in 1839. The revived Czapek is focused on a more accessible approach to haute horology, an ethos I’ve always appreciated. This year, they launched their Antartique S in a slimmed-down 38.5mm case, with two dial options: the salmon Passage de Drake S and the textured blue Frozen Star S.
That said, this release wasn’t just a matter of shrinking down the case size of the original 40mm Antarctique. Take a look at the case lines and you’ll notice how Czapek has changed the architecture of the case to make sure the smaller diameter wears well for slimmer wrists.
The new Antartique features an SXH05.01 caliber with 60 hours of power reserve. Czapek is also somewhat unique in this respect — it’s open and transparent about the fact that this automatic movement is designed in-house, but they work with a number of Swiss manufacturing partners in production. It’s this type of transparency that the watch industry could use more if. The Passage de Drake is priced at $22,000, while the gorgeous Frozen star S, featuring a dial made of the rarest mineral on Earth, osmium, will set you back $85,700
For more, visit Czapek Geneve.
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