With New Years Eve just days away, we thought what better way to round up the last twelve months than to take a look back at some of the best watch releases of 2022. Narrowing these down to a do-able number was no easy feat – trust us – but we are pretty pleased with our final top 10. We’d love to know what you guys think in the comments, let us know your thoughts on our 10 best watches of 2022 and whether you think we missed any major front runners. In the meantime, enjoy and have a Happy New Year!
The Bremont Supernova Watch
You’ll spot a couple of integrated sports watches in today’s run down of the best watches of 2022, and the first of the lot is the Bremont Supernova. Launched as part of the British watch brand’s H1 Generation collection, the design is fitted with their ENG300 manufacture movement series and as such as been tested under their H1 Timing Standard. This is ultimately Bremont’s own version of a chronometer test ensuring high levels of precision and reliability. While the chronometer-standard movement is a nice touch, it’s the exterior or the Bremont Supernova watch that does it for us. The beautifully fluid, integrated architecture of the 40mm case is machined using their Trip-Tick case construction and maintains a highly polished finish. There’s also a 100 metre water resistant rating, sapphire crystal glass and a choice of three dial colours: black, blue or white. The Bremont Supernova watches are completed by an integrated bracelet with a unique t-link construction – trust us when we say this design is a pleasure to wear.
The Longines Master 190th Anniversary Collection
Some of the biggest selling watches of 2022 was the trio of designs Longines launched to celebrate their 190th anniversary. The Longines Master 190th Anniversary watch collection included two limited edition gold models and a permanent piece in stainless steel, all three measuring to 40mm in diameter and 9.35mm tall. Wholly elegant and a worthy timepiece for a formal occasion, the cases are highly polished, water resistant rated to 30 metres and boast sapphire crystal glass back engraved with a decoration in celebration of the brand’s birthday. Contrasting to the polished cases is the matte dials of the Longines Master 190th Anniversary watches, sandblasted in silver, anthracite or grey and dressed with engraved Breguet numerals and leaf-shaped hands. Like so many of the designs in Longines’ Master line, the automatic winding movement powering the anniversary trio is the Longines calibre L888.5 with gorgeous Cotes de Geneva decoration and a 72 hour power reserve. At the time of writing this, the two limited edition Longines Master 190th Anniversary watches are almost completely sold out, so if you want them, act fast!
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Top Gun
There are several IWC watches that we want to include on this list, the IWC Ceratanium being one of them. For us though, the IWC Big Pilot’s 43 Top Gun watch just scrapes the win for its more accessible price point. The design was unveiled at IWC’s Watches & Wonders 2022 showcase and exhibits the Swiss watch brand’s talent with ceramic. The deep black matte ceramic case sits on the wrist at 43mm and is joined by a titanium case back and crown. The crown is screw down to allow for a 100 metre water resistant rating and is engraved with the famous Top Gun logo. The IWC Big Pilot’s 43 Top Gun watch continues its monochromatic aesthetic on the dial, also matte black and generously adorned with Superluminova across the numerals and hands. Powering the pilot’s watch is the IWC-manufactured 82100 calibre equipped with several ceramic components on the Pellaton winding system, a soft iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields and a power reserve of 60 hours.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Diver Watch
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer has been the subject of much attention over the past few years, updated as part of the Aquaracer Professional 300 series and again as the Professional 200 series. For 2022 however, the brand surprised us with the release of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Diver watch with its whopping 1,000 metre water resistant rating and a special movement developed by Kenissi Manufacture SA. Starting with the latter, the Calibre TH30-00 movement has been manufactured exclusively for TAG Heuer offering COSC certification, an extended warranty of up to 5 years and a 70 hour power reserve. The movement is protected within the 45mm grade 5 titanium equipped with a black DLC helium escape valve which allows for the 100 bar water resistance and ISO 6425:2018 certification. Other features of the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Diver watch include a black ceramic 12-sided unidirectional rotating bezel, sapphire crystal glass, a three-row link steel bracelet and a black grooved dial with Superluminova hardware.
The Bell & Ross BR-X5 Watch
A watch we knew would make it into our top 10 best watches of 2022 was the Bell & Ross BR-X5. As you’ve probably realised by now, integrated sports watches are a favourite of ours and although there are many around, there are few luxury watch brands that do it right. Bell & Ross, the “circle-within-a-square” brand is one of these few. The Bell & Ross BR-X5 watch’s case is much like the BR-05 models launched back in 2019, offering a multi-component structure with sharp angles, curved lugs and a four screw bezel. The cases measure to 41mm and are engineered from stainless steel. The real change in the design comes from the dial which is significantly more technical compared to the BR 05 watches, boasting a large curved date aperture at 3 o’clock and a rounded power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock. There’s also a complete lack of Arabic numerals giving the Bell & Ross BR-X5 a whole new identity. As if the visuals weren’t enough, the collection houses the chronometer certified BR-CAL.323 automatic winding movement which has been exclusively manufactured by Kenisii. The movement boasts a 70 hour power reserve which can be monitored on a ice blue or black dial.
The Garmin Fenix 7 Smartwatch
It was a tough call between the new Garmin EPIX 2 and the Garmin Fenix 7, but it was the solar-powered dial and integrated flashlight feature of the latter that allowed the Fenix to make its way onto our best watches of 2022 list. It’s pretty hard to give a brief description of the Garmin Fenix 7 smartwatch since the list of specifications on it feels never ending, but in brief, these high-end wearables have set the bar for all smartwatch manufacturers with their lightweight titanium cases and impressive sapphire crystal-protected, solar-powered displays which allow for a battery life of up to 37 days in smartwatch mode. The integrated flashlight which shines from the side of the case is also a lovely added feature as are new apps like the real time stamina function, visual race predictor, preloaded TopoActive maps, improved physiological training metrics and an UpAhead feature. You also still get all the classic Garmin technologies like the wrist based heart rate monitor, Pulse Ox sensor, Garmin Pay, music storage, advanced GPS, ABC sensors, golf and ski maps and so much more.
The Breitling Superocean Watch Collection
Breitling have had a really fantastic year. We’ve seen a new batch of Breitling Navitimer watches, a range of Breitling Chronomat GMT watches and several collectible limited editions in 2022 alone. Our favourite of them all however is the new Breitling Superocean watch collection which sees the contemporary diver’s watch reimagined into a retro watch lover’s dream. Taking inspiration from the original Superocean Slow Motion from the 1960s and 1970s, the new Breitling Superocean watches come in a variety of sizes including 36mm, 42mm, 44mm and 46mm with a bold selection of dial colours and three different case metals (steel, steel-gold and bronze). All of the designs are gorgeous, with 300 metre water resistant ratings, scratchproof ceramic inlay bezels and automatic winding movements with power reserves up to 38 hours. The best trait for us is the Slow Motion’s distinctive square minute hand which makes a comeback on the dials of all the Breitling Superocean watches alongside the Superluminova inserts and retro-inspired box-shaped hour markers.
The Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 Watch
Launched as part of Oris’ Watches & Wonders 2022 releases, the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 watch combines elements of their famous Big Crown ProPilot with a sporty metal bracelet and clean dial. Seriously technical-looking, the Oris ProPilot X Calibre 400 watches are engineered from titanium with 39mm sized cases, coin-edged bezels and oversized screw down crowns. The latter pairs with domed sapphire crystal glass and a screw down case back to ensure a 100 metre water resistant rating. Continuing its edgy styling, the design boasts a simple yet unmissable dial in monochromatic grey, salmon pink or turquoise blue adorned in grained textures, needle hands and classic stick markers. To top it off, the Oris ProPilot X watch is powered by the Swiss watch manufacturer’s latest in-house manufacture movement, the Calibre 400. COSC-certified and kitted out with a twin barrel mechanism for a 5 day power reserve and a silicon balance spring for anti-magnetism, this movement is Oris’ best of all time.
The King Seiko Watch Collection
A launch Seiko watch collectors have been anticipating for more than half a century, the King Seiko watch collection is finally here, reviving the unmatched beauty and innovation of the original King Seiko line-up from the 1960’s. To fully appreciate the importance of this release, it’s worth taking a quick read of our review here which covers the watch’s history, but ultimately, the King Seiko attempts to match the precision and aesthetics of the significantly more expensive Grand Seiko collection. As it stands, there are five King Seiko watches to choose from, each 37mm in diameter and made from stainless steel with gorgeous sharp angles, faceted lugs and a height of 12.1mm. The King Seiko logo appears on the screw down crown at 3 o’clock as well as on the dial available in silver, light grey, charcoal grey, brown or burgundy. The dials are adorned in Zaratsu-polished and faceted hands and there’s not a single date window in sight! Powering the hours, minutes and seconds function is the in-house Calibre 6R31 automatic winding movement with a power reserve of 70 hours and an accuracy of +15/-25 seconds per day.
The NORQAIN Wild One Watch Collection
Last but not least in our run-down of the 10 best watches of 2022 is the NORQAIN Wild One watch collection. NORQAIN is a brand that has really caught our attention this year and it all started when the Swiss watch manufacturer announced Jean-Claude Biver as Advisor to the Board. Shortly after this news, NORQAIN unveiled a range of Wild Ones watches engineered from a patented material named NORTEQ. This innovative material is created using carbon fibre and a polymer matrix of 60% castor oil allowing for a weight three-and-a half-times lighter than titanium and six times lighter than steel. Each NORQAIN Wild One watch weighs in at only 84 grams and thanks to its rubber shock absorber which surrounds the movement’s titanium container, the designs can withstand shock tests conducted at 5000G. There is a wide range of NORQAIN Wild One watches to choose from including a limited edition designed in collaboration with international ambassador, Dean Schneider and a unique model with a burgundy NORTEQ case. Alongside their ground-breaking cases, the watches also showcase textured dials, 200 metre water resistant ratings and the Kenisii-manufactured Calibre NN20 with a 70 hour power reserve.