Rolex oyster perpetual yacht master 42

Best Watch Releases of Watches & Wonders 2022 – Part 1

It’s finally here. After two years of setbacks and digital-only events, horology’s biggest event, Watches & Wonders 2023: A Complete Guide to the Watch Trade Show has landed in Geneva. A gathering of the biggest names in watchmaking and jewellery, the trade show offers a rare glimpse at the incredible novelties set to hit showrooms in the coming months, alongside a host of one-off pieces you won’t be able to find anywhere. From outrageous new GMT models from Rolex to the diamond-encrusted TAG Heuer, Watches & Wonders 2022 has already made a big splash and we’re only one day in. With the event running from March 30 – April 5, there will be a host of impressive new pieces unveiled and we’ll be taking care of all of them. Here, we’re charting the very best watches from Watches & Wonders 2022, but you can keep up to date with our rolling coverage here. Let’s dive in.

Rolex gmt master ii ref 126720vtnr
Image: Rolex

Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126720VTNR

Not even 24 hours into the event and Rolex has already delivered a standout piece. The new GMT-Master II isn’t just a refreshed version of the iconic timepiece, which was reintroduced last year alongside steel models with Oyster bracelets, it’s a mirror image. That’s right, this handy little piece is designed for the lefties. Looking at the timepiece, you can see the crown protruding from the left side of the case, meaning the new Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126720VTNR is designed for those who wear a watch on their right hand. Outside of the obvious change, Rolex has also bumped the new watch up with a green and black bezel to support the bi-colour Cerachrom bezel and cyclops magnified date window. From a technical perspective, the piece is powered by the ref. 3285 – the 4Hz, 70 hour power reserve in-house calibre.

RELATED: You can check out our rundown of Rolex’s full lineup for Watches & Wonders 2022 here.

Brand: Rolex
Model: Oyster Perpetual GMT Master II
Reference Number: 126720VTNR
Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Oystersteel
Water Resistance: 100m
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Price: CHF 10,500 (AUD$15,500)

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Tag heuer carrera plasma
Image: TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma

Watches & Wonders may be an opportunity for brands to show consumers their latest and greatest, but it also marks a rare chance to think outside the box. For TAG Heuer, that meant dropping around 12kt of lab-grown diamonds into the new Carrera Plasma. The new timepiece features a 44mm sandblasted anodised aluminum case, which houses TAG Heuer’s H02 Tourbillon Nanograph movement. A unique piece of horological innovation, the movement is comprised of a hairspring made of carbon nanotubes, but that hardly factors into your mind when you catch a glimpse of the watch.

A total of 48 lab-grown diamonds totalling 4.8kt have been set into the case, while the crown itself is a single piece of lab-grown diamond weighing 2.5kt. From there, the Carrera Plasma’s polycrystalline dial shines through, courtesy of the multiple diamond crystals emblazoned across the structure. While TAG Heuer CEO Frédéric Arnault was hesitant to announce just how many of the new pieces would be made, you can bet your bottom dollar they won’t come cheap. The new TAG Heuer could set you back AUD$518,900. Bargain.

RELATED: You can check out our rundown of the new TAG Heuer Carrera Plasma D’Avant Garde here.

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Brand: TAG Heuer
Model: Carrera Plasma Tourbillon Nanograph
Reference Number: XCBN5A90.FC8315
Diameter: 44mm
Calibre: In-House Heuer 02T
Power Reserve: 65 hours
Price: AUD$518,900

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Vacheron constantin les historiques 222
Image: Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques 222

All that glitters really is gold, according to Vacheron Constantin. For Watches & Wonders 2022, the horological icon has gone back to the archive books, releasing a new version of the classic 222 model in stunning yellow gold. Complete with the distinctive, hexagonal integrated bracelet, the retro-inspired timepiece appears to be the perfect homage to days gone by, albeit with a few modern touches. Where the 1970s original made use of the Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 920 movement, the new iteration is powered by Vacheron’s in-house calibre 2455/2. At 37mm, the new Les Historiques 222 plays up to its vintage-inspired dimensions and for that, we’re eternally thankful.

RELATED: You can check out our rundown of the new Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques 222 here.

Brand: Vacheron Constantin
Model: Les Historiques 222
Reference Number: 4200H/222J-B935
Diameter: 37mm
Calibre: Vacheron caliber 2455/2
Power Reserve: 40 hours

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Breitling navitimer
Image: Breitling

Breitling Navitimer

The iconic Breitling Navitimer was born 70 years ago and in 2022, it’s making a serious comeback. The celebrated design has been reborn at Watches & Wonders 2022 with an entire range of new Navitimers, arriving in 46mm, 43mm, 41mm, in stainless steel, and red gold. Best of all, there are 13 unique dials to satisfy even the pickiest of watch fans. All of the new pieces are powered by the Calibre 01 and are water-resistant to 30 metres, however, there are some standouts. The 46mm stainless steel model with blue dial is perhaps the truest to the original design, with new additions such as the 18k red gold model with silver and black panda dial are certain to turn heads.

Brand: Breitling
Model: Navitimer
Diameter: 46mm, 43mm, 41mm
Water Resistance: 30 metres
Calibre: Breitling Manufacture Calibre 01
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Price: USD$9,400-USD$39,500

Rolex deepsea
Image: Rolex

Rolex Deepsea Ref. 136660

While it might not receive the same fanfare as its GMT sibling, the Rolex Deepsea also copped a refresh for Watches & Wonders 2022. Bearing a striking similarity to the former model, the new addition still features the same 44mm stainless steel design on Oyster bracelet, arriving with either a black dial configuration or a gradient/green text version. The differences are subtle, but they are there. For instance, the bezel has been slimmed slightly, while the date window has been increased to give more precedence to the function. Outside of that, you’ll notice the Fliplock dive extension on the bracelet is also gone, but that’s no big loss.

RELATED: You can check out our rundown of Rolex’s full lineup for Watches & Wonders 2022 here.

Brand: Rolex
Model: Deepsea
Reference Number: 136660
Diameter: 44mm
Water Resistance: 3,900m
Calibre: 3235
Power Reserve: 70
Price: CHF 13,500

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Zenith chronomaster open series
Image: Zenith

Zenith Chronomaster Open Series

Perhaps one of the most influential timepieces ever created, the Zenith Chronomaster is a marvel of modern watchmaking and for 2022, the Swiss Maison has raised the stakes. After putting a wealth of time and effort into the Defy line, Zenith has bolstered the Chronomaster with the El Primero calibre 3600, an updated version of the original 1969 El Primero calibre 400. The headline announcement is the new Chronomaster Open series, a stunning piece that features an exposed escapement, which arrives in variations. The 39.5mm timepiece is a little smaller than previous models, however, it does throw back to the late ’60s era watch dimensions from which the El Primero was born. Within that slender frame, the new Chronomaster Open series packs 16 total components and a power reserve of 60 hours.

Brand: Zenith
Model: Chronomaster Open
Diameter: 39.5mm
Water Resistance: 100 metres
Calibre: El Primero 3604
Power Reserve: 60 hours
Price: CHF9,900-CHF37,900

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Cartier collection prive tank chinoise
Image: Cartier

Cartier Collection Privé Tank Chinoise

French fine-jewellery brand Cartier has announced it is bringing one of its rarest timepieces back from the dead, with the reintroduction of the Privé Tank Chinoise. Exactly 100 years since it debuted, the ground-breaking watch has been reborn with a skeletonized dial to reveal the movement underneath. This time around, the classic horizontal bar pattern, reminscent of traditional windows, still takes precedence, however, there is a unique modernity to this new release. The dial itself is intact and encased in gold, rose gold, and platinum and marks a welcomed return to bold design language for Cartier.

Brand: Cartier
Model: Privé Tank Chinoise
Diameter: 39.5mm
Calibre: Cartier calibre 430 MC/Cartier skeletonized calibre 9627 MC
Power Reserve: 38 hours

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Tudor black bay gmt s g
Image: Tudor

Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G

You can mark 2022 down as the year of the GMT. After Rolex made its powerful left-handed move, stablemate Tudor followed suit, unveiling the new Black Bay GMT S&G. The 41mm stainless steel timepiece features an eye-catching yellow gold screw-down crown, set on the 48-notch bidirectional rotating bezel in yellow gold with 24-hours graduated matt brown and black anodised aluminium disc. Inside, Tudor has kept things pretty standard, powering the new design with the same ​​manufacture calibre MT5652 that has done the heavy lifting since 2018.

Brand: Tudor
Model: Black Bay GMT S&G
Reference Number: M79833MN-0004
Diameter: 41mm
Water Resistance: 200 metres
Calibre: Manufacture Calibre MT5652
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Price: AUD$5,850

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You’ll also like:
Best Watch Releases of Watches & Wonders 2022 – Part 2
Best Watch Releases of Watches & Wonders 2022 – Part 3
Best Watch Releases of Watches & Wonders 2022 – Part 4
Watches & Wonders 2023: A Complete Guide to the Watch Trade Show

1 rolex oyster perpetual yacht master 42
Image: Rolex

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42

From superstars like Lionel Messi to your stock-standard desk driver, the Rolex Yacht-Master is a grail watch for so many different types. For 2022, the Swiss icon has unveiled two new iterations – one in white gold with a Falcon’s Eye dial, while the other is a Rolex Yacht-Master 42 in yellow gold. According to the brand, both versions will be powered by the same Rolex in-house calibre 3235 that has served the watch since 2019. A little bit more elegant than the usual sporty line, this new version is certain to turn heads on and off the water.

RELATED: You can check out our rundown of Rolex’s full lineup for Watches & Wonders 2022 here.

Brand: Rolex
Model: Yacht-Master 42
Diameter: 42mm
Water Resistance: 100 metre
Calibre: 3235
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Price: CHF 27,000

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Grand seiko spring drive diver ref slga015
Image: Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver Ref.SLGA015

Much has been already discussed about Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive timepieces, but the brand isn’t resting on its laurels. For Watches & Wonders, the brand has introduced a new Spring Drive calibre 9RA5, arriving in a high-intensity titanium case that makes use of the new Grand Seiko Evolution 9 silhouette. AS the brand has a habit of doing, Grand Seiko has adorned this new timepiece with a truly stunning dial that features a Black Stream dial texture that Grand Seiko claims is inspired by the Kuroshio Current. At 43.8mm, the new Spring Drive isn’t the slimline release some fans had been calling for, but the new form factor certainly lightens the load.

Brand: Grand Seiko
Model: Spring Drive Diver
Reference Number: SLGA015
Diameter: 43.8mm
Water Resistance: 200 meters
Calibre: Spring Drive 9RA5
Power Reserve: 120 hours
Price: AUD$17,300

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1 patek philippe annual calendar travel time ref 5326g
Image: Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G

Luxury watch brands don’t get much bigger than Patek Philippe and for Watches & Wonders 2022, the Swiss icon didn’t disappoint. The new Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G, an exquisite new timepiece that fuses the Travel Time complication with the annual calendar. It features a moonphase display, alongside an indication for local or home time, with date, day of the week, and month windows. Inside the 41mm white gold case, it’s Patek Philippe all over. The new Travel Time is powered by the new calibre, 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H, which allows for a solid 48 hour power reserve.

Brand: Patek Philippe
Model: Annual Calendar Travel Time
Reference Number: 5326G-001
Diameter: 41mm
Water Resistance: 3 bar
Calibre: 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Price: $76,882.

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Grand seiko spring drive chronograph gmt
Image: Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT

Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive Diver might be our favourite release from Watches & Wonders 2022 (so far), however, the new Spring Drive Chronograph GMT isn’t far behind. Similar to its sibling release, the new timepiece cops a renewed form factor inspired by the Evolution 9 design language, meaning it’s a bit bigger, bolder and sharper than ever. Listed at 45.3mm, there’s no missing the new Chronograph GMT, however, the streamlined twin chronograph pushers and three o’clock crown have certainly been slimmed down to make room. What is really interesting is the new bidirectional external 24-hour bezel with a sapphire crystal insert, a seriously impressive addition that turns this watch from interesting to excellent.

Brand: Grand Seiko
Model: Spring Drive Chronograph GMT
Reference Number: SBGC249; SBGC251
Diameter: 45.3mm
Water Resistance: 100 metres
Calibre: 9R96, SBGC249; 9R86, SBGC251
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Price: AUD$18,500

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Tudor black bay pro
Image: Tudor

Tudor Black Bay Pro

A completely new GMT model, the new Tudor Black Bay Pro is a 39mm sports watch with some serious upside. Featuring a fixed steel 24-hour bezel, the new release comes complete with the MT5652 movement and a domed matte black dial set in a satin-finished steel case.

Brand: Tudor
Model: Black Bay Pro
Reference Number: 79470
Diameter: 39mm
Water Resistance: 200 metres
Calibre: Tudor Manufacture MT5652
Power Reserve: 70 hours
Price: AUD$5,430

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General FAQs

What is Watches & Wonders?

Watches & Wonders (formerly Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, SIHH) is the largest watch and jewelry industry trade show in the world. It is organized by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) and takes place at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland.

Who is at Watches & Wonders 2022?

For Watches & Wonders 2022, there are a total of 38 exhibitors including: A. Lange & Söhne, Angelus, Armin Strom, Arnold & Son, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Chanel, Chopard, Cyrus Genève, Czapek & Cie, Ferdinand Berthoud, Grand Seiko, Hermès, Hublot, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Laurent Ferrier, Montblanc, H. Moser & Cie., Oris, Panerai, Parmigiani Fleurier, Piaget, Rebellion Timepieces, Ressence, Roger Dubuis, Rolex, Speake-Marin, TAG Heuer, Trilobe, Tudor, Ulysse Nardin, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Zenith.

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Nick Hall

Nick Hall

Nick Hall is an award-winning journalist and the current Editor-in-Chief of Man of Many. With an extensive background in the media industry, he specialises in feature writing, lifestyle and entertainment content. Nick is the reigning Mumbrella Publish Awards ‘Editor of the Year’ and B&T ‘Best of the Best - Journalist’, courtesy of his work with Man of Many.

Prior to working at the men’s lifestyle publication, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting.