All good things must come to an end, and Watches & Wonders is sadly no exception.
Having had a bit more time to get familiar with the latest releases from brands like Vacheron Constantin, Tudor, Grand Seiko, and Jaeger-LeCoultre, it’s now time to touch on a few more pieces that truly wowed us, along with a handful of newly discontinued watches from Rolex which we’re sad to see go.
Following a year in which the demand for pieces from Vacheron Constantin experienced a sizable uptick, the “holy trinity” manufacture has delivered yet again with another collection of novelties that collectors already can’t wait to get their hands on. The stand out picks from their latest releases are without question the new Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton, offered in both grade-5 titanium and 18k pink gold, along with the Les Historiques 222, faithfully honoring the design of the brand’s most celebrated ‘70s design that later inspired the Overseas. Together, these two releases truly cement that the Overseas is so much more than just the next best thing after a Nautilus or Royal Oak, and in fact an icon in its own right.
On a slightly different and more accessible note, Tudor surprised us with the introduction of the Black Bay Pro – a new GMT-equipped model in the Black Bay line that draws inspiration from early examples of Rolex’s Explorer II. Sharing a familiar orange GMT hand and a fixed, brushed steel bezel, the new model measures 39 mm across, making it highly versatile and suited for a range of different collectors. This is arguably one of the better vintage-inspired models to come to market to date, and coming from Tudor, the new model is all the more unexpected and compelling.
While on the topic of unexpected releases, Grand Seiko furthered their reputation as a serious watchmaker of the highest degree through the release of their Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon SLGT003, offering up a welcome bit of complication from a brand best known for their simpler timepieces. Cased in an exotic alloy mixing titanium and platinum, the new model combines a constant-force mechanism, a tourbillon, and a dead-beat seconds complication, all in fully skeletonized glory. If this complicated piece is any indication of what’s to be expected from Grand Seiko releases to come, we’re excited to see what’s on the horizon.
Also looking towards the future and departing from what’s to be expected were Jaeger-LeCoultre’s novelties for 2022. Out of all the new models, it was the Polaris Perpetual Calendar that had us swooning, with its perfect combination of sporty and sophisticated elements. Though it’s definitely unnecessary to take a rose gold perpetual calendar in the pool, it’s pretty neat to think you could do so with this watch on its blue rubber strap, which matches the “oceanic blue” dial perfectly.
While all eyes were on the latest and greatest, we also made the effort to look into which of our favorite watches from Rolex had been discontinued this year. Most notably, the Swiss watchmaking powerhouse made waves through the announcement that the range of colorful Oyster Perpetual models is now a few references smaller. Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened, as all sizes of the yellow and coral red dial Oyster Perpetual models have been discontinued, in addition to the Tiffany-esque turquoise blue dial Oyster Perpetual 41.
Though each size of the Oyster Perpetual remains in production, it’ll only be available with a turquoise blue dial in 31 mm, and 36 mm sizes, just as the pink dial will only be available in the 36 mm variant of the model. Similarly, the introduction of fluted bezel fitted Day Date models in platinum has resulted in Rolex no longer offering the platinum Day Date with a smooth bezel. All this to say, you can likely expect all of the aforementioned Rolex watches to command further premiums going forward.
All things considered, it’s been quite the strong year for all of our beloved brands presenting in Geneva at Watches & Wonders. With a solid mix of accessible and more heavy hitting pieces on display, it’s definitely an exciting time to be a watch collector no matter what your budget may look like.
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