April has been a hectic month mainly because of Watches and Wonder 2022. It’s exciting because it was the first major in-person watch show since the pandemic. And mostly, it did not disappoint. The show was a success not only because of the attendance but also because of what brands brought to the table. To recap, this month’s roundup features the most hard-hitting stories and new releases from the event.
Aside from Watches and Wonder 2022, we also have the remarkable story of Panerai quietly making changes to one of its most used movements, the P.9010. We also get up close with Patek Philippe’s new Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G. And we round things off with a look at some of the most famous engraved watch casebacks.
1. MY THOUGHTS ON WATCHES & WONDERS GENEVA 2022: RECAPPING THE WATCH INDUSTRY’s NEWEST BIG TRADE SHOW
It’s been three years since Switzerland held a big watch trade show. And quite amusingly, people are beginning to forget that it wasn’t the pandemic that killed SIHH and Baselworld. Instead, it was a combination of greed and the resource-intensive nature of such events that caused brands to re-examine their objectives for such shows. Regardless, Watches & Wonders 2022 was a breath of fresh air — and for the most part, a resounding success. Read our founder’s thoughts on the event, his outlook for the industry, and what can we expect from trade shows going forward.
2. TEAM ABLOGTOWATCH’S TOP PICKS FROM WATCHES & WONDERS 2022
It’s always hard to name favorites from a major watch show — much less the biggest, most important one, and the first to be held in person in years. Because of the pandemic, Watches and Wonders 2022 will forever remain special to enthusiasts and especially to folks who work in the industry. Still, we must be judicious and objective. So here are our favorite new releases from Watches and Wonders 2022.
3. HANDS-ON: ROLEX GMT MASTER-II REF. 126720 VTNR ‘DESTRO’ LEFT-HANDED WATCH
Did anyone see this coming? I don’t think so. Every new watch from Rolex is a big deal, but there’s a very good chance that the new Ref. 126720 VTNR GMT-Master II might just be the most talked-about watch from Watches and Wonder 2022. It’s a GMT-Master, of course, but with the crown on the left. And if that’s not enough, it also has a green and black bezel. This combination is enough to send Rolex lovers into a frenzy. And that’s exactly how collectors have reacted. Sure, a good number think it’s a bit disorientating. But trust me, this will sell like hotcakes.
4. HANDS-ON: NEW FOR 2022 BREITLING NAVITIMER B01 CHRONOGRAPH 41, 43, & 46MM WATCHES
The Navitimer must surely be one of the most iconic and easily recognizable chronographs in the world. And for 2022, Breitling is giving it a thorough update. The Navitimer will now come in three case sizes and in a variety of dial colors. There’s bound to be something for everyone. Crucially, the Navitimers now come in a thinner case. Thanks to a redesigned slide-rule bezel system, the Navitimers now range from 13.6mm to 14mm-thick. It’s not as svelte as a Speedmaster or Daytona, but it’s certainly more wearable than its predecessor. Continuing to power the watch is Breitling’s B01 calibre, a high-end self-winding chronograph movement with a column-wheel vertical clutch and very handsome finishing. Get a closer look at the new Navitimer in the link below.
5. HANDS-ON: CARTIER PRIVÉ TANK CHINOISE WATCH COLLECTION BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO A CLASSIC
It’s 2022 and that means it’s the 100th anniversary of the Tank Chinoise. The Chinoise was introduced in 1922 alongside the legendary Tank Louis Cartier. Its genesis was led by a surge in interest in East Asia, particularly Chinese arts, hence the name Chinoise. The telltale signs were the inclusion of two additional brancards above and below the case. There were meant to evoke the gates of East Asian temples. And for 2022, Cartier is releasing no fewer than six new models. The highlight for me has to be the open-dial versions which really evoke the looks and feel of East Asian temples.