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2022 has been an exceptionally successful year for the Haute Horology brands worldwide. In the month of September, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry announced that its recorded exports for September, 2.2 billion francs, represented a 19.1% increase in exports compared with September 2021. A variety of factors indicate that the swiss industry appears o be headed for a record year. In September, the total annual exports stand at 18.1 billion francs, 12.6% higher than the first nine months of 2021, which was itself a record year.
While this success can be attributed to a variety of factors, today we will have a look at the 5 most unique releases of the most prominent luxury watch manufacturers in 2022.
In the past, we have tackled both H. Moser & Cie and MB&F as independent brands that continuously innovate with obscure and modern watch designs. Honoring both brands' 15th anniversaries, the companies came together to create a fumé-focused set of limited edition models which incorporate the aesthetical and technical elements of these swiss manufacturers.
The Endevaour cylindrical Toruboullion won the GPHG (the Oscars of the watch industry) prize for Audacity through its highly technical Endeavor Cylindrical Tourbillon. this fun-loving collaboration is born of mutual respect and longstanding cooperation between H. Moser & Cie and MB&F. To create this watch, the makers not only considered a top-down view of the watch, which is probably how most people read the time but allows them to look at the time from multiple viewing angles. Given the three-dimensional design of the watch, it features a highly domed sapphire crystal which brings the watch to a thickness of 19.5mm.
Since its founding, Richard Mille has prioritized the creation of watches that incorporate the most advanced technology and materials available. Their designs have the signature tonneau case shape, which can be easily recognized on the wrists of the most well-known athletes in the world such as Rafael Nadal, Odell Beckham Jr., or Wayde van Niekerk. Often called the lightest split-seconds chronograph tourbillon in the industry, Richard Milles RM 50-03, designed in collaboration with McLarens Formula 1 team, has a total weight of 38 grams with its strap. How is this possible you might rightfully ask! The watch's designer used various ultra-lightweight materials such as titanium, carbon, and the brand-new Richard Mille material called Graph TPT. Combining the unique design language of its F1 partner, the watchmaker created one of the most unique-looking watches currently available. However, at a price of around one million US dollars, the watch is reserved for the financial elite.
Continuing with another striking release the Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillion is on the exact opposite side of the horology spectrum. This exceptional piece created by the Japanese watchmaker Grand Seiko was introduced during the Watches and Wonders event earlier this year. At the heart of the watch is a uniquely innovative movement that delivers a level of stable accuracy had been unprecedented for the brand. The combination of a tourbillon movement and a constant-force mechanism as one unit on a single axis was realized for the first time in watchmaking history. The name of the watch “Kodo” comes from the Japanese word for a heartbeat and refers to the vitality that the unique appearance of its motion and its carefully designed sound delivers through the open-work design.
Last but not least we present the Cartier Masse Mystérieuse. During the process of developing and creating this latest edition of the final watch, the experts at Cartier built five different constructions before launching an initial prototype. This prototype was then followed by two further prototypes to refine the caliber into its final configuration. However, the hard work of the development team paid off as at the 2022 Watches & Wonders the timepiece surpassed all expectations. But what makes this timepiece so special? While you might know that automatic timepieces use an oscillating weight to wind up the mechanism this watch incorporates a gravity-defying caliber into the oscillating weight and makes it completely visible through the skeletonized design. The caliber of the timepiece was nearly eight years in the making and literally defines the entire watch's DNA.
Another exceptional Haute Horology brand, Jacob&Co, has prevailed in 2022 with truly unique designs. The 50th Anniversary of the movie “The Godfather” had a special meaning for the founder Jacor Arabo and the current CEO Benjamin Arabov. Being the first movie the creator of the company saw in an American theatre after coming to the US from Uzbekistan, the Jacob & Co. Opera Godfather 50th Anniversary pays tribute to the early days of the founders' life. By incorporating numerous different anecdotes from one of the most prominent movies in history such as a miniature grand piano, a black PVD-pink gold plate “The Godfather 50 Years” with the iconic puppet string logo, and a 3D kinetic sculpture of Marlon Brando who played the character of Don Vito Corleone. Not only does the watch persuade visually with its highly technical and complicated movement but also audibly as a musical mechanism plays Nino Rota’s “Love Theme from The Godfather”. The mechanism is equipped with a pair of drums that is set with 120 pins that are individually hand riveted. To work properly these must be positioned with exact accuracy to hit the comb’s blades in order to play the 120-note iconic Godfather melody. The twin cylinders feature 13 original Godfather quotes that are one by one revealed as they rotate. The musical mechanism is driven by the rotation of the entire movement which turns by 120 degrees every 30 seconds!