Three experts from the world of horology give the inside track on their favorite timepieces from 2022.
The first woman watch journalist in America, Roberta Naas, has authored six books on watches, founded her own site, ATimelyPerspective.com, and continues to travel the world for exclusive behind-the-scenes stories for Forbes, Bloomberg, and other publications.
Elizabeth Doerr is the editor-in-chief of QuillAndPad.com, and a veteran watch journalist with more than 30 years of experience writing about the watch industry.
Susanne Samuelsson is a veteran publisher from the world of watches and luxury. She is the founder of TheWatchPages.com, a consumer website designed for watch lovers worldwide.
Both Elizabeth Doerr and Susanne Samuelsson include the Hermès Arceau Le Temps Voyageur in their curated collections. “This is a very useful complication in a very clever execution that has a wildly imaginative imaginary backstory and is incredibly simple to use and read: simply press the pusher to rotate the hour-and-minute subdial around the dial periphery to the selected city to set a time zone,” says Elizabeth. “The time on the dial adjusts automatically. But the best thing is that it’s a pleasure to watch the subdial orbit the dial.” Susanne agrees, “Hermès makes watches that are different, and the latest Arceau Le Temps Voyageur is no exception. This surprising travel time watch features a turning satellite sub-dial that travels over a magical imaginary equestrian map dial. A pusher on the case side allows you to move the subdial along the 24 different cities, and the hour hand of the local time is automatically updated in the process. Housed in a 38 mm stainless steel case with a blue lacquered dial, the Arceau Voyageur is the ideal travel companion.”
The Patek Philippe Ref. 5470P-0011 is a top pick for Roberta Naas’s curated collection of favorites. “At first glance, this new 1/10th of a Second Monopusher Chronograph might not look like it should be a favorite (other than the fact that it is a Patek Philippe watch),” says Roberta. “However, a closer look reveals how technically advanced the watch is. The 396-part movement was ten years in the making, holds 31 patents, and is the brand’s first high-frequency (5Hz) caliber. The display of 1/10th of a second on the dial is mesmerizing, but the technology inside is mind-boggling.”
Both Elizabeth Doerr and Susanne Samuelsson were also in agreement in picking Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Rendez-Vous Dazzling Star as a top pick. “The not-yet-seen horological complication inside this gorgeous timepiece randomly shoots a star across an exquisite blue aventurine dial, thereby capturing the unpredictability of the natural shooting star,’ says Elizabeth. “Activated by the movement of the wrist (just like winding the movement), the shooting star appears on the dial at random moments, usually four to six times per hour.”
Samuelsson adds, “Have we not all looked up at the night sky hoping to see a shooting star? Jaeger-LeCoultre’s new 36 mm Dazzling Star makes this wish a reality with a unique complication that recreates this fascinating celestial phenomenon. Activated by the movement of your wrist, a shooting star traces an arc across the middle of the aventurine dial at random, usually four to six times an hour. The star may also be invoked on-demand by turning the crown several times. The rose gold 36 mm case and dial are set with 181 diamonds for 3.48 carats.”
Elizabeth Doerr also selects the A. Lange & Söhne‘s Richard Lange Minute Repeater as a top pick for its minimalistic perfection. “This watch is perhaps the purest essence of A. Lange & Söhne distilled into one watch despite the incredible complication housed within,” says Elizabeth. “The time and the chimes are driven by a sensational new and perfectly finished movement with nothing extraneous. It’s so svelte that it looks like an unassuming dress watch until it begins to ring the time.”
“Billing its newest caliber as a vertical odyssey, Ulysse Nardin’s Freak S watch resembles a spaceship with twin reactors and is the world’s first automatic double-oscillating watch with differential,” says Roberta Nass. “The unique Grinder system is patented and is twice as efficient as traditional automatic winding systems. With no crown, the vertically built movement is set with the turn of the bezel. Just 75 pieces will be made.”
Susanne Samuelsson final pick is a classic. “As a big fan of men’s sports watches, this Audemars Piguet is at 38 mm, perfect for both men and women,” says Susanne. “The iconic Royal Oak, first launched in 1972, saw a redesign for its 50th anniversary this year. This new chronograph version features a stainless steel case and bracelet and the reintroduction of the stunning Bleu Nuit Nuage 50 Grande Tapisserie dial. This version is powered by an automatic in-house movement and is also available in several dial variations such as silver, gray, and a super cool ice blue.”
Cartier’s Masse Mysterieuse is another favorite for Roberta Naas. “Definitively a headliner, this watch is a world’s-first timepiece, with its entire 435-part 9801 MC movement compacted and placed within the automatic winding oscillating weight (rotor). More than eight years in the research, development, and design stages, the new caliber has a patent-pending. On the technical side, this is a mind-boggling feat, and just 30 pieces will be made.”