Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31
If you’re looking to add to your collection a Rolex with a difference, this timepiece will do nicely—if only because its instantaneously recognisable form comes with a very obvious distinction: A new dial comprising 24 graphic flowers in three finishes (matt, sunray and grained) and each with a diamond centre for added play of light. And it’s not just looks that the watch has going for it. This revamped classic is equipped with the in-house calibre 2236 (which has been the movement of choice for the collection since 2018), an automatic Superlative Chronometer-certified movement, with a power reserve of roughly 55 hours, that promises excellent performance. Plus, there’s a choice of three executions to suit your style needs: An Oystersteel and white gold Rolesor with an azzuro blue dial and fluted bezel; a gold version with olive green dial and diamond-set bezel; and a Everose with silver dial and diamond-set bezel.
Cartier’s Coussin de Cartier
Cartier has a reputation for going above and beyond with their product offerings and 2022 is no different in this respect. There are haute joaillerie bedazzlers that pay homage to Cartier’s rich heritage, technical numbers that showcase the brand’s horological prowess, metier d’art creations that speak to discerning artistic souls and, of course, extensions to existing collections for added variety. (Read our interview with Creative Director of Watchmaking Marie-Laure Cérède next month for more details on Cartier’s 2022 line up.) What’s different, however, is the introduction of a new mainstay collection that melds Cartier’s haute joaillerie and horlogerie expertise into one neat and petite bundle. Bearing a charming cushion shaped case in two sizes (30.44 by 33.78mm and 27.13 by 27.66mm), the Coussin features a spiral patterned bezel set with graduating sized gems and a variety of models that span effortless elegance to rock ‘n’ roll edge. Perfect for aristocrats who love an after-party.
Chanel’s J12 Diamond Tourbillon
While Chanel’s beloved icon has been graced with tourbillons in the past (2010’s Rétrograde Mystérieuse and the Skeleton Flying Tourbillon of 2015 come to mind), this year’s J12 Diamond Tourbillon stands out for being equipped with the House’s first in-house Flying Tourbillon movement, the Calibre 5. Turn the 38mm manual-wind watch around and you’ll see the emblem that denotes this: The lion head that marks all Chanel’s in-house movements sits serenely at the nine o’clock position. The beautiful architecture of the exposed movement at the back is well matched with a captivating face at the front: The spinning 65 faceted-cut solitaire diamond found in the centre of the flying tourbillon cage will truly fascinate with its ever-twinkling lights. Two versions are available: Matt black ceramic, and a glossy black ceramic with a baguette-cut diamond bezel. Both are of a limited edition of just 55 pieces for women who refuse to settle for anything less.
Chopard’s Imperiale Flying Tourbillon
It may have taken Chopard 28 years to introduce a flying tourbillon to its Imperiale collection, but a glance is all it takes to convince that the wait is worth it. A delicate mother-of-pearl marquetry lotus blossom sits beneath a twinkling aventurine night sky. In the midst of its lush, unfurled petals lies a flying tourbillon, courtesy of Chopard’s in-house L.U.C Calibre 96.24-C self-winding movement. It’s a remarkable piece of technology that Chopard first introduced in 2019 and here, the slender movement is put into good use: 194 components have been compressed into a space no bigger than 27.4 by 3.30mm, making it a perfect fit for its 36mm ethical white gold case. Furthermore, the movement is Chronometer-certified and bears the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark for the utmost sophistication that’s limited to just eight pieces.
Hermès’s Arceau Les Folies du Ciel
To set the scene for its dial designs, Hermès is not above dipping into its impressively rich archive of scarf designs. But what the House does to reinterpret said scarf design never disappoints. This year, it’s Loïc Dubigeon’s “Les Folies du Ciel” scarf motif of 1984 that has its turn in the spotlight for a 24-piece limited edition collection. And what a delight it is. (Not that we’d expect anything less; no one takes the concept of play as seriously as Hermès, after all.) Engraving and miniature-painted applique bring to live a three dimensional scene that pays homage to the early days of air travel on a mother-of-pearl dial. And at 12 o’clock: An animated balloon that spins on its axis with the wrist’s slightest move to finish the pastel vision with whimsical finesse.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Rendez-Vous Dazzling Star
“Stellar Odyssey” are two words that Jaeger-LeCoultre has used to describe its creations for the year ahead and a journey to the stars is indeed what this watch promises its wearer. Its clean three-layered aventurine dial holds a delightful secret that captures the awe, wonder and delight that comes with seeing a shooting star—all in a space no bigger than 36mm. This is thanks to the new in-house automatic calibre 734 that incorporates a mechanism for “unpredictability”. Activated by the wrist’s movement, the watch’s shooting star arcs across the dial at random timings at a frequency of about four to six times an hour (though it can be activated on demand through the winding crown) before disappearing once again without a trace, much like its muse in real life. Available in a leather strap or diamond-set pink gold bracelet for added panache.
Patek Philippe’s Ladies Calatrava Moonphase Ref. 7121/200G-001
There are few brands that can get you as many nods of approval as having a Patek Philippe strapped to your wrist. Likewise, there are arguably few complications that women gravitate to as much as they do a romantic moon-phase indicator. Enter Patek’s revamped Calatrava Moonphase for ladies. Equipped with the manual-wind Caliber 215 PS LU (the brand’s smallest complicated movement) as with its 2013 precursors, this 33mm timepiece now comes in white gold and a sunburst blue dial encircled with a double row of 132 diamonds. Gold applied Breguet numerals and spade watch hands complete the picture with elegance and polish for a watch that will have you gladly checking the time through the day.
Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony self-winding
Vacheron Constantin has never been one to give in to tokenism when it comes to their timepieces for women. And with six new models joining the ranks of its Patrimony and Traditionnelle collections (the latter in the form of an impressive perpetual calendar), the watchmaker has reaffirmed its commitment to offering women the best of its endeavours. The Patrimony self-winding makes this list for one simple fact: It’s the ultimate classic dress watch offers understated elegance with an impeccable eye for detail. The lines of 36.5mm case have been redrawn for added sleekness while a slightly domed dial sits above a gradient dial. Available in four different executions in white gold with a deep blue dial or pink gold with a blush pink dial, we especially love the gold pearl minute track that runs along its circumference in the diamond bezel models.
Van Cleef & Arpels’ Lady Arpels Heures Florales
In 2018, Van Cleef & Arpels announced that it would no longer be participating in future installations of the watch fair but this year saw its return—and what a return it was. The Maison captured hearts and imaginations with an impressive array of automaton creations for the home as well as wrist. The Lady Arpels Heure Florales, for one, is exemplary of House’s insistence on the telling of time through poetry, with a 3D floral dial that bears 12 corollas that open and close to mark the arrival of each new hour (the number of flowers that open correspond with the hour; while a retrograde minute track can be found on the side of the case). Close to 230 elements can be found on the dial alone, while up to 166 elements are set in motion to bring the dial to life. The results are pure artistry and magic delivered in true Van Cleef & Arpels fashion.
Zenith’s Chronomaster Sport
If you’ve been seeking a sporty-luxe piece, then this is the one for you. The year that it was introduced, this watch was awarded the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2021 “Chronograph” prize, adding yet another accolade to the already storied tale of El Primero. Launched in 1969, it was the world’s first high-frequency, fully integrated, automatic chronograph calibre (its name means “the first” in Spanish) and in 2010, it was the first automatic movement capable of measuring and displaying 1/10th of second. This year sees Zenith releasing its revered chronograph in three new versions: The 41mm Chronomaster Sport now comes in rose gold with a black or white dial; a “two-tone” steel and rose gold version; and a boutique edition in steel with an engraved ceramic bezel coloured with the El Primero’s signature colours of grey, anthracite and blue.