On April 5th, the annual watch salon Watches & Wonders ended in Geneva, Switzerland. After a two-year break due to the pandemic, the exhibition resumed its work in a full-time format. However, for those who could not come in person, we would like to highlite the main interesting novelties that undoubtedly deserve your attention.
Due to the pandemic, Watches & Wonders was held exclusively online. And finally, on March 30, 2022, the doors of the new salon opened physically. The watch industry has not seen such unity for a long time.
22,000 unique visitors, including about 1,000 journalists, 38 brands represented, including 19 newcomers, and at least 10 general trends in the development of the watch industry for the coming year – we will talk about them in more detail.
Green is still one of the main watch colors of the season. IWC made the case of the new chronograph from green ceramic, and Hublot also made the bracelet. Panerai and Patek Philippe added matching straps to the green dial. Chopard and Piaget choose the green color scheme for the most expensive and complex jewelry models. Green is also approved by Rolex – half of the bezel of new models is painted in it.
Although most of the novelties of the watch salon are made in green, this shade is not the only one in the bright palette of the season. Hublot, recognized as the pioneers of colored sapphire, offer their fans a translucent lilac model. Van Cleef & Arpels melted the ice in the hearts of the most serious watch journalists with soft pink flowers on the dial, which also tell the time – the number of open flowers means what time it is. And Chanel and Parmigiani opted for a rich red color.
The world of fauna for jewelry art is one of the main sources of inspiration. But on watch dials, animals appear less often – as a rule, in honor of the Chinese New Year or symbolizing the totems of strength (crocodile), courage (lion), vigilance (eagle). This year, masters of Chopard, Hermès, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Vacheron Constantin turned their attention to giraffes, hares, turtles, and birds. Perhaps this is an attempt to draw our attention to the problems of wildlife, although the brands themselves do not talk about it directly.
Space and planet
In this category, Van Cleef & Arpels is undoubtedly the leader – the most complex automaton in the history of the house was dedicated specifically to the space theme. Jaeger-LeCoultre follows with a complication of a shooting star flying across the dial and a multi-layered dial painted in the form of clouds and celestial bodies. Hermès is also up to the challenge in the space race: a model with a dial based on a silicon semiconductor wafer with a Crepuscule (Twilight) pattern.
Well, and my personal favorites.
Jacob & Co
OPERA GODFATHER MINUTE REPEATER
With the Opera Godfather Minute Repeater, clients don’t have to choose between chiming out the time and playing music. This new grand complication timepiece combines a minute repeater, which chimes out the hours, quarters of hours, and minutes, with an on-demand two-comb, two-cylinder Swiss music box, playing the iconic theme from The Godfather. Jacob & Co. has the exclusive rights, in partnership with Paramount Pictures, to use The Godfather logo and the haunting melody in this amazing Opera timepiece. The Godfather is widely recognized as one of the top five greatest movies ever made, introducing iconic characters.
Unlike the other timepieces in the Opera Collection, the dial is static, the skeletonized hour and minute dial appearing to float in the center of the timepiece. Managing the power of the watch is critical, as now the timepiece adds a minute repeater, so the 758-component movement has to be robust enough to power the triple-axis tourbillon, the Swiss music box, and the minute repeater, while also being precise enough to manage the timekeeping and the coordination with the chiming of the minute repeater. The Opera Godfather Minute Repeater adds yet another Grand Complication to the Jacob & Co. collection. Combining the Swiss Music Box with a triple-axis tourbillon, and a minute repeater could just be an offer you can’t refuse.
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