We’ve just finished bombarding you with news coming from Switzerland’s capital of watchmaking, Geneva, for the entire week as the 2022 edition of Geneva Watch Days returned to the shores of Lac Leman. And it’s perfectly understandable if, at some point, you felt overwhelmed by it all as there were more than 20 brands participating in this year’s celebration of watchmaking. All this meant more watches, appointments and moments of sheer joy seeing and handling novelties. So with that in mind, here’s a retrospective of the event through five watches we feel really stood out!
BUlgari Octo FInissimo Skeleton 8 Days
We’ve said it in the hands-on article we published early this week, and we’ll happily repeat it: the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days might not be a record-breaking entry in the Octo Finissimo saga, but it is a very imposing watch nonetheless. The signature square case, this time around constructed in rose gold with a 40mm diameter and just 5.95mm thick, is home to an incredibly complex and powerful movement. The fully openworked construction reveals all the intricacies and, most notably, the massive single barrel that delivers the 192 hours, or 8 days of power reserve. Worn on a brown alligator leather strap, it retails for EUR 38,500.
For more information, please visit Bulgari.com.
Quick Facts – 40mm x 5.95mm – rose gold case, satin-brushed and polished – sapphire crystal front and back – screw-down crown – 100m water-resistant skeletonised movement with anthracite finished bridges and plates – rose gold markers and hands – calibre BVL 199 SK, ultra-thin manual wound movement – 33 jewels – 21,600vph – 192 hours (8 days) power reserve – central hours and minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator – brown alligator leather strap with rose gold pin buckle – EUR 38,500
Doxa Army Steel & Bronze
It was not just outrageously expensive watchmaking that stole the show during this year’s Geneva Watch Days. Priced slighlty above the 2k mark, the Doxa Army is a formidable new dive watch following the successful black ceramic limited edition released earlier this year. The best of the two available combinations in our book is the steel and bronze version, fitted with a green ceramic bezel insert and green FKM rubber strap. The diver looks very close to the 1966 original, and as such, will satisfy every retro watch enthusiast out there. The 42.5mm diameter and that rather unique dial design with large orange hands give it loads of wrist presence. And best of all, it’s part of the permanent collection!
For more information, please visit DoxaWatches.com.
Quick Facts – 42.50mm x 45.5mm – helmet-shaped stainless steel case, brushed and polished – bronze unidirectional diving bezel with green ceramic insert – sapphire crystal – screw-down crown and caseback – 300m water-resistant – matte beige dial with black markers and Super-LumiNova – oversized orange hands with Super-LumiNova – ETA 2824, automatic – 25 jewels – 28,800vph – 42h power reserve – central hours, minutes and seconds, date – green FKM rubber strap with stainless steel folding buckle and diver’s extension – EUR 2,150
MB&F Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO
Any MB&F is a sight to behold, so it’s always a much anticipated moment when new models are revealed. New for 2022 is the Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO, a more robust version of the LM Split Escapement. Available in two versions, to us, the Icy-Cool is the winner with its marvellous sunray-brushed pastel blue canvas behind dark grey sub-dials. For the Split Escapement EVO, the entire display is rotated 30 degrees, and as a result, the crown is repositioned to 4:30. Th star of the show remains the 14mm-wide balance wheel suspended under polished arches. The Icy-Cool version is part of the permanent collection, although you should keep in mind that MB&F’s production capacity has its limits. The watch retails for CHF 75,000 / USD 80,000 / EUR 75,000.
For more information, please visit MBandF.com.
Quick Facts – 44mm x 17.5mm – grade 5 titanium case, polished – ultra-domed sapphire crystal – sapphire crystal caseback – 80m water-resistant – pusher for quick-set date – FlexRing annual dampener for shock protection – pastel blue sunray-brushed dial – dark grey sub-dials – Super-LumiNova markers and hands – movement developed with Stephen McDonnell – split-escapement with suspended balance wheel and anchor under the movement – double barrels for 72h power reserve – 298 components – integrated rubber strap – non-limited edition – CHF 75,000 / USD 80,000 / EUR 75,000
De Bethune DB25 Perpetual Calendar
The DB25 range by De Bethune is considered the more classical face of the brand, although it is still a collection of extremely desirable watches. During Geneva Watch Days 2022, De Bethune introduced a new member to the family in a more compact 40mm size. The new DB25 Perpetual Calendar features all the hallmarks that make a De Bethune such an enticing brand, like blued elements on the dial, a spherical moon phase, an intricate polished titanium case and, of course, an incredible movement. The DB2324V2 calibre uses De Bethune’s in-house made balance spring, a silicon escape wheel, a titanium and white gold balance wheel and a titanium and white gold rotor. Priced at CHF 125,000, only 15 pieces per year will be made.
For more information, please visit DeBethune.com.
Quick Facts – 40mm x 11.5mm – polished grade 5 titanium case – hollowed lugs – sapphire crystal front and back – 30m water-resistant – blue and silver dial with guilloché decoration – mirror-polished steel hands – calibre DB2324V2, in-house automatic – 423 components – 48 jewels – 28,800vph – 120h power reserve – De Bethune balance spring – silicon escape wheel – blued titanium bridge – hours, minutes, date, day of the week, month and spherical moon phase – alligator leather strap with additional grey fabric strap – limited to 15 pieces per year – CHF 125,000
H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Tourbillon Vantablack
For sure, one of the more evocative, luxurious and sub-zero cool novelties from the Geneva Watch Days was the H. Moser & Cie Streamliner Tourbillon Vantablack. Dressed in sumptuous red gold, it features a dial made of the blackest black available in watchmaking. Made from juxtaposed carbon nanostructures, 99.965% of all light is absorbed. The resulting look is unique, as the dial seems empty yet captivating. The markers are filled from the back and finished on the same level as the dial. The tourbillon that regulates the calibre HMC 804 shines through thanks to the aperture in the bottom. The integrated red gold bracelet is brushed with subtle polished touches for a unique look. At CHF 109,000, it certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s oh so delicious!
For more information, please visit H-Moser.com.
Quick Facts – 40mm x 12.1mm – red gold case, brushed and polished – bevelled sapphire crystal – screwed sapphire caseback – screw-down crown – 120m water-resistant – Vantablack dial with sandwich construction – hands with Globolight inserts – calibre HMC 804, in-house – automatic winding – one-minute tourbillon escapement with double hairspring – 21,600vph – 72h power reserve – 18k red gold rotor – hours and minutes – integrated red gold bracelet – CHF 109,000