Tick List: The 2022 Timepieces to Covet

T Australia’s watch expert asked four top retailers to reflect on this year’s emerging trends and pick their three favourite styles — narrowing your options in the best possible way.

Article by Luke Benedictus

WATCH 1Cartier Privé Tank Chinoise. Price on request, cartier.com.

Digital Marketing Manager, The Hour Glass

The trend: We’ve noticed an evolution in watch collecting in Australia and growing enthusiasm not only for the product but also for the story, heritage and artistic merit of watches. The growth of interest in independent brands, for example, over the last 24 months is astounding. We’re also seeing people circumvent the traditional route of collecting and jump straight into avant-garde horology or watches with a more contemporary design.

1. Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Pink Gold & Onyx
Revamped in 2016, the Laureato has been subject to a lot of experimentation, but that’s really been supercharged here. The onyx dial is shaped and polished 15 times to achieve that mirror finish. In terms of aesthetics, the contrast between that deep-black dial and the 18-karat pink-gold case is incredible. $80,200, girard-perregaux.com

2. Tudor Black Bay Pro
Essentially, this is a tool watch designed for professional use, and the matt dial, contrasting yellow GMT hand and blocky hour markers all play into that spirit. At 39 millimetres it’s the perfect size, while the fun splash of yellow gives it a slightly quirky edge. Functionally, with 200 metres’ water resistance and a 70-hour power reserve, it has everything you need. $5,430 (steel-bracelet model), tudorwatch.com

3. Patek Philippe Calatrava 5226G
The Calatrava has been the quintessential dress watch since the 1930s, but here we’re seeing Patek Philippe target a more contemporary aesthetic. With its masculine lugs, hobnailing on the flanks, grey/black gradient dial and off-white lume, this feels like a gentleman adventurer’s dress watch. Another nice little detail is the dial’s texture, which was partly inspired by the pebbled-leather finish on vintage cameras. $55,200, patek.com

Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42mm Pink Gold & Onyx. $80,200, girard-perregaux.com.
Tudor Black Bay Pro. $5,430 (steel-bracelet model), tudorwatch.com.

General Manager, J Farren-Price

The trend: We’re seeing more people considering how they store their timepieces and investing in luxury safes. During the pandemic, a lot of people were renovating their homes and began considering safes from brands like Buben & Zörweg with built-in watch winders and jewellery drawers.

4. Patek Philippe Grand Complications 5270P-014
I have always loved the combination of a perpetual calendar chronograph — I just think it has a nice balance of something sporty yet really classic and elegant. Housed in a platinum case, the gradated dial is really interesting with its spectacular colour that goes from green to almost black. $299,300, patek.com

5. Greubel Forsey Balancier Convexe S2
An entry-level Greubel Forsey used to be about $800,000, but this is positioned at a lower price point. It’s still a lot of money, but it’s got that really characteristic Greubel Forsey aesthetic, with a lot of negative space and beautiful finishing. The shape of the curved case makes it sit perfectly on the wrist. From $337,000, greubelforsey.com

6. Grand Seiko Evolution 9 SBGE285 GMT
We now get a lot of serious collectors and watch connoisseurs calling up about Grand Seiko. They love the finishing, the details and, of course, the dials that really set the brand apart. This off-white piece is like Grand Seiko’s “Snowflake” dial on a misty morning, and the titanium case makes it comfortable to wear. $12,500, grand-seiko.com

Patek Philippe Grand Complications 5270P-014. $299,300, patek.com.
Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture. Price on request, greubelforsey.com.

Global Commercial Director, Kennedy

The trend: We’re just seeing huge demand. With certain brands it’s so competitive it’s forcing customers to look to other brands. Now we have waiting lists for multiple watches from IWC, Panerai and Omega. In fact, for almost every brand we carry, a handful of models have a waiting list, which was not the case even 12 months ago.

7. Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Skeleton
This watch has an amazing design aesthetic and such a beautiful execution. So much thought has gone into the movement that you can see through the openworked dial — it’s almost entirely monochromatic, to the point that it even includes colourless rubies. The bracelet is so supple and comfortable, too. It sits perfectly on the wrist. Approximately $132,300 (rose-gold model), parmigiani.com

8. Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222
This remake is almost identical to the original and I love how it still sits at 37 millimetres — they haven’t enlarged it to fit in with today’s modern watches. Only releasing this in yellow gold is another interesting choice at odds with the trend of steel sports watches with integrated bracelets. It’s such a nice design that, in retrospect, it seems strange it hasn’t remained in production since its 1977 release. $102,000, vacheron-constantin.com

9. Cartier Privé Tank Chinoise
Every year, I must admit, I hang out for the new Cartier Privé release. They’re always elegant, always tasteful. This piece has a yellow-gold skeleton design with a sort of Chinese architectural window effect that has red lacquer going through the centre. It’s a fabulous reinterpretation of the original and just so visually striking. Price on request, cartier.com

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Skeleton. $132,300 (rose-gold model), parmigiani.com.
Grand Seiko Evolution 9 SLGH017. $15,500, grand-seiko.com.

General Manager, Monards

The trend: Over the last two years, watch consumers seem to have become more educated than ever — during lockdown, they just absorbed so much watch information. In the past few months, we’ve been selling a lot more interesting pieces, with more people looking for uniqueness or anything with complications.

10. Breguet Marine Hora Mundi
The idea is that it’s a world map, but instead of showing you all the time zones, it shows you just one. Then, at the touch of a button, it instantly flicks to the next time zone, doing so with a sensation that is just so flawless and buttery. It’s an amazing feeling, although it does come at a price. We’ve sold two of these in the past few months. $105,900 (rose-gold model with leather strap), breguet.com

11. Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Architecture
There are two principles Greubel Forsey won’t compromise on. Firstly, each release must be a reinvention or feature some new development. Secondly, it must be done at the highest level the industry can deliver. When you put this watch on, your brain at first struggles to process the sheer depth of the dial and the horological architecture that gives it its name. Price on request, greubelforsey.com

12. Grand Seiko Evolution 9 SLGH017
The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up this watch is how light it is, because the case and bracelet are made of high-intensity titanium. But I also enjoy how the dial employs so much texture — one of Grand Seiko’s signature details. The movement is excellent, too, with a power reserve of 80 hours. $15,500, grand-seiko.com