D.as were the times. The watch specialist attended two major Swiss trade fairs earlier this year, so you knew what would happen next year. But times have changed. The largest of these fairs, Baselworld, has now been abolished due to persistent mismanagement. The Geneva fair, now called Watches and Wonders, is still around and has seen some major additions. However, the whole world of watches doesn’t come close to this.
Many watch brands, first and foremost Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille, completely renounce attending trade shows because they are not part of their marketing strategy. Others simply do without it for economic reasons. Instead, you experience a new product presentation every week, mostly virtual, sometimes in person. It has become calmer in the last few days. A good time to give a first big overview of the 2022 year of the watch.
This year promises to be colorful. Instead of developing complex technology in uncertain times, manufacturers in many places simply give their watches colored straps, dials or cases. The latter can be technically challenging if ceramic is used for the central part of the case. IWC Schaffhausen has decades of experience with ceramics. So far it has been mostly black zirconium oxide, but now the German-Swiss company is presenting its pilot chronograph in white, fir green and beige with the beautiful model names Lake Tahoe, Woodland and Mojave Desert, available for 11,200 euros each.
Hublot charges more than double, 23,800 euros, for its Big Bang Integral Blue Indigo chronograph. This watch also has a blue ceramic link bracelet that matches the case. This is also available from Rado, but in olive green and much cheaper. The Captain Cook Hightech-Ceramic retro diving watch is cheap for 3450 euros. If it’s still too expensive for you, go to the Swatch subsidiary. There, ceramic was mixed with plastic and the design was based on the Omega Speedmaster Professional. Swatch is authorized to do so, after all Omega is also part of the large corporate family. The Moonswatch is available in ten variants at 250 euros each. However, the person concerned needs patience. The first batch was literally snatched from the hands of retailers and now Swatch is producing.
Maurice Lacroix’s new Aikon #tide can be delivered directly for € 690. Its housing comes in many caramel colors and is made from a blend of fiberglass, colored pigments, and recycled plastic waste from our oceans. The topic of upcycling is not entirely new. Danish design brand Skagen also builds quartz watches from granular plastic waste, major brands like Breitling and Oris have long been offering bracelets made from discarded and reworked fishing nets. Panerai also has straps made from former PET bottles in its range. But not only. Swiss of Italian origin, for example, attach importance to the fact that they also use regenerated steel in their so-called E-Steel models and that more than half of the watch is made from recycled material. The Submersible Quarantaquattro E-Steel proves that avoiding waste can also be very interesting. But not cheap. 10,800 euros are to be invested for the diving watch, whose dial and bezel are typically emerald green.
Rolex prefers spruce green, not only as a corporate color, but also on the bezel of its new GMT Master II, which is the first Rolex to wear the crown on the left. No problem, just rotate the case 180 degrees, print a new date ring and the model is ready. This is what we call sustainable development.