We took some time with collectors in our community to highlight the watches they were most excited about adding to their collections this year.
2022 was an exciting year in the world of watch collecting, where we saw unprecedented enthusiasm and demand for accessible favorites, iconic watches, complicated heavy hitters, and more. With all this in mind, we thought we’d take some time with collectors in our community to reflect on the past year in watches, spending a few moments to highlight the watches they were most excited about adding to their collections this year.
My favorite addition to my collection in 2022 is a vintage Rolex Submariner from 1960. I haven’t had a Submariner since my MK6 red was unfortunately stolen back in 2018. Since then, I’ve kicked the tires on many examples of the same reference. However, in my heart, I’ve always loved the earlier small crown reference 5508. When my friend Adam of Menta Watches posted one on Instagram the other day, I quickly messaged him and asked if it was as good as it looked. He replied “better!” I asked for a few more pictures and knew I was sold.
The case is exceptional, its patina is perfect, its dial still very glossy, and it appears to be all original down to the crystal and tight bracelet. Super happy to have picked this up just a few days ago and am just upset I can’t wear it swimming on vacation.
I was lucky to add this A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Chronograph to my collection this year.
I think this reference could end up being a cult classic within the Lange catalog, and in my opinion, the movement is the finest serially-produced chronograph movement in the world.
Deadbeat seconds: Perhaps my favorite complication. It’s so straight forward yet so avant-garde, crushing our preconceived notions of what defines a mechanical watch: sweeping seconds. I have been infatuated by this complication ever since learning of its existence. It seems so basic too; tracking true seconds along with hours and minutes. But it’s often not even something one considers in a mechanical watch, let alone covets. My infatuation led me to learning of Habring2 many years ago. A power couple from Austria specializing in utilitarian modular complications.
I've been in contact with them for at least 4 years trying to work out a special custom ‘Erwin’ in a 36 mm case used for what they dubbed the “little Habring,” but the model has since been discontinued and is now only available in a 38.5 mm case. I tend to be a bit ambitious in my designs. The 36mm titanium case works nicely on my small wrist and helps balance the thickness of the movement. I made a few changes requesting leaf style hands and a red seconds hand which they happily accommodated. I received the watch just in time for Christmas and I’m very pleased with how it turned out.
I was fortunate to add a Rolex 126720VTNR, colloquially known as the Sprite. As a lefty, the watch has become one of my favorite modern watches. This unique GMT is a watch of firsts: the first time Rolex has produced a left-hand wind watch with the date window also on the left side.
To this, add the fact that it carries a unique colorway and reference number; it’s extra special to me. I believe this will be a short-production run watch; if so, it will be extremely coveted and collectible. In the meantime, I’m happy for it to accompany me on my international travels.
I picked up this Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, Ref. 25686ST earlier this year. It was fitted with an “Yves Klein” blue dial, and in the pictures provided by the seller, it looked just that - blue. Imagine my surprise when I got the watch, that due to poor photography, the watch had actually aged to a stunning tropical purple color.
These watches are the ultimate grails for me - arguably Genta’s best design (the Royal Oak), in a jumbo case, and with a perpetual calendar complication. What more do you need?
I’m a sucker for good patina and have never seen anything quite like this. That’s the thing about vintage watches, they all tell a story of their past that is unique to them.
You cannot replicate this, nor should you. Each piece is unique and speaks to everyone in a different way. To me, this watch says buttered pancakes. And I do love breakfast.
2022 was supposed to be a quiet year on the watch front but it got out of hand quickly. While there are probably 4 watches that were in serious contention, I have to go with the FP Journe Tourbillon Souverain in platinum as my favorite of the year. This is a watch I have salivated over for many years but missed my opportunity to buy before the Journe market took off in late 2019. Every few months I’d say say to myself “it’s going to come back down, let’s hold off” and every month the price would go up 10%.
Eventually I sucked it up and paid an outrageous amount of money for the watch this year - almost 300% more than what it would have cost me back in 2019, but c’est la vie. Better late than never and this is a watch that I have loved for a long time and will always love no matter how much time passes. Sometimes you feel like a fool for not having bought a watch when it was cheaper and it can take away from the purchase, but you simply cannot put a price on the joy I get from looking at the tourbillon cage rotating on this watch. This is a piece that will be in the collection forever without a doubt.
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