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Five Top Watches From Watches & Wonders Geneva 2022 (Cartier, Patek, Grand Seiko, Parmigiani, Ulysse Nardin)

 Ulysse Nardin booth at Watches & Wonders Geneva.

Outside the Ulysse Nardin booth at Watches & Wonders Geneva.

There were a lot of watches to be seen during Watches & Wonders Geneva 2022. Exactly 38 brands at the show, and then dozens more outside the show. Today, we focus on 10 of the best watches we saw inside the PalExpo convention center. Later this week, we will post another five from other exhibitors both inside and outside the show. Meanwhile, here is a look at five of the best watches unveiled so far this year.

Cartier Masse Mystérieuse

Cartier Masse Mystérieuse

Rotonde de Cartier watch, Masse Mystérieuse skeleton, mechanical movement with automatic winding, caliber 9801MC. Case in platinum 950/1000, beaded crown in platinum 950/1000 set with a ruby, brass dial with white gold 750/1000 appliqués, sword-shaped hands in polished gray steel, sapphire crystal and case back. Two straps in black and dark gray alligator leather, deployant buckle in white gold 750/1000.
Movement consisting of 435 parts including 43 rubies. power reserve approx. 42 hours.
Case diameter: 43.5 mm, thickness: 12,647 mm. Limited edition of 30 individually numbered timepieces.

There were just so many great new watches from Cartier this year that it is challenging to pick just one.  In fact, this brand hit home runs with almost everything it introduced, from highly technical to sublimely beautiful. That said, being the lover of technical watches as I am,  I have to go with the Masse Mysterieuse watch. While just 30 will ever be made, and each will retail for approximately $276,000, this is a mind-boggling feat of miniaturization, skeletonization and innovative technology. Eight ears in the R&D stages, the watch features a new climber 9801 MC chocked with 435 components — all packed within the automatic winding oscillator (rotor).

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, Ref. 5270

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, Ref. 5270

Just a few days after the fair ended, Patek Philippe unveiled one of its most patented watches to date, with 31 patents and 10 years of R&D for a 5Hz monopusher chronograph displaying 1/10th of a second timing on the dial. However, to be fair, that watch didn’t make its debut at the show. But the Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, Ref. 5270, did — this time in a platinum case with a bold green lacquered dial. The complicated watch boasts six patents and carries a price tag of just about  $210,000.

Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon

Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon SLGT003

Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon SLGT003

Grand Seiko’s first mechanical complicated watch that does not incorporate the brand’s famed Spring Drive, is the Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon SLGT003. The watch was several years in the development stages, with a concept version being released in 2020. It is the world’s first tourbillon and constant-force mechanism to be placed on a single axis as a single unit. The new caliber, 9ST1, has no loss of torque as it transmits the power from the constant-force mechanism to the balance wheel — resulting in ultra-consistent power release. The case is crafted in platinum and the brand’s proprietary Brilliant Hard Titanium. It should retail for about $390,000.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante

For the first time, Parmigiani Fleurier uses the concept of a Rattrapante hand (usually found in a split-second chronograph)and incorporates it into its newest Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante watch so that it can act as the second time zone indicator on the watch, and then fly back into its “tucked away” position beneath the other hour hand when the wearer returns to his or her home time. Additionally, the watch is equipped with a feature that allows the hand to return to its hidden position by going either forward or backward — whichever is closest to the other hour hand. The new PF051 movement incorporates 207 parts. The watch will retail for just about $29,000.

Ulysse Nardin Freak S

Ulysse Nardin Freak S

Ulysse Nardin Freak S

Ulysse Nardin makes history again with its much-coveted Freak watch, this time wit the Freak S vertical odyssey. The three-dimensional movement inside this watch is built vertically and so it resembles a space  ship with twin reactors. It also represents the first automatic double-oscillating watch with differential and with a patented in-house-developed Grinder system that  is two times more efficient than traditional automatic winding systems. With no crown, the watch is set with the turn of the bezel. Just 75 pieces will be made, each retailing for just about   $137,000.

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