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The Most Talked-About Chronographs of the Geneva Watch Week

Some of the best and hotly debated chronograph watches presented in Geneva last week.

| By Robin Nooy | 8 min read |
Patek Philippe Chronograph 5172G Salmon Dial

Outside of Watches & Wonders 2022, there was plenty more going on in the heart of Geneva. While close to 40 brands exhibited at the Palexpo complex, several other brands were present at Time to Watches or the Masters of Horology venues in the city, or even spread around some of the lakeside hotels. With so many new watches being presented, we take a look at some of the most talked-about chronographs presented during what we labelled the Geneva Watch Week.

Jacob & Co Jean Bugatti

Jacob & Co is known for over-the-top, ultra-complex watchmaking spectacles, yet the new Jean Bugatti Chronograph feels, different. It is still an extremely complex watch but with a more restrained exterior. The innovative double retrograde chronograph is paired with a twin-flying tourbillon escapement. The chronograph display is quite different from traditional ones, with a dashboard-like design. The elapsed seconds are shown by a pair of retrograde hands, indicating the tens and single units. The minutes are indicated by a jumping disc through an aperture below the Bugatti logo. Normal time is shown by two red pointers that come from underneath the dial on the outer perimeter. The two mechanisms are completely independent of each other. The movement is extremely complex, with 470 components in total. It’s limited to 57 pieces per colour, with a price of USD 250,000.

Jacob & Co. Jean Bugatti Chronograph Double Tourbillo

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Quick Facts – 46mm x 16mm – 18k white or rose gold case, bezel, crown and pushers – sapphire crystal front and back – 30m water-resistant – cream-white or blue dial – rose gold-plated chronograph counter appliques and Arabic numerals – smoked sapphire over the tourbillons – Calibre JCFM09, manually wound – 21,600vph for the tourbillon, 5Hz for the chronograph – 470 components – hours, minutes on the periphery of the dial – double-retrograde chronograph seconds – jumping disc chronograph minutes – twin flying tourbillon escapement – 48h power reserve for timing indications, 2h for chronograph indications – 57 pieces per colour – USD 250,000

IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 TOP GUN Ceratanium

IWC’s classic pilot’s chronograph watch has received a full Ceratanium upgrade long with the TOP GUN treatment. It’s the little brother to the IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph TOP GUN Ceratanium, with a little less complexity in a similar style but smaller package. The TOP GUN subcollection started in 2007 and this new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 follows suit. The case is entirely made of Ceratanium, IWC”s innovative high-tech material with high scratch resistance and a very tactile feel. Updates on the dial and hands set it apart from previous models, but the differences are subtle. Inside beats the in-house made 69385 calibre, a column-wheel chronograph movement based on the architecture of the Valjoux 7750. It ticks at a frequency of 28,800vph and provides 46 hours of autonomy. The movement can be seen through the tinted sapphire crystal caseback. Strapped to a black rubber strap with textile inlay, it retails for EUR 13,500.

IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph 41 TOP GUN Ceratanium IW388106

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Quick Facts – 41.1mm x 14.5mm – black Ceratanium case, crown, pushers and caseback – sapphire crystal on top protected against displacement in air-pressures – partially tinted sapphire crystal caseback – screw-in crown – 100m water-resistant – matte black, grained dial – black hands with grey luminous inserts – grey-painted markers and tracks – Calibre 69385, in-house – automatic column-wheel chronograph – 33 jewels – 28,800vph – 46h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds (hacking), chronograph with 30min and 12h counter – black rubber strap with textile inlay – EUR 13,500

Patek Philippe 5172G Salmon

The chronograph has been a pillar-like complication for Patek Philippe for decades, with the 5172G being one of the more profound current examples. During Watches & Wonders 2022, the Maison presented the latest iteration, with a sumptuous salmon-coloured dial. It combines the already dashing 5172G design with a dial colour that’s a favourite among the MONOCHROME editorial team. The 18k white gold case has the familiar Art-deco style stepped lugs and guilloché decorated pushers. The salmon dial has applied numerals and hands with luminescent material. The recessed subdials are pushed a little downwards to not impede legibility and on the outside perimeter of the dial is a black tachymeter scale. The movement, Calibre CH 29-535 PS, uses 270 components and is of course superbly finished and bears the Patek Philippe seal. The Patek Philippe 5172G with salmon dial retails for CHF 68,000.

Patek Philippe Chronograph 5172G Salmon Dial

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Quick Facts – 41mm x 11.45mm – 18k white gold case, polished – sapphire crystal top (box-type) and caseback – 30m water-resistant – salmon-pink varnished dial – white gold applied numerals – tachymeter scale – white gold fine-tipped baton hands – bi-register chronograph subdials – Calibre CH 29-535 PS, in-house – manually wound chronograph movement – 270 components – 28,800vph – 33 jewels – 65h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds and chronograph with instantaneous minutes – Patek Philippe Seal – brown alligator leather strap with gold fold-over clasp – CHF 68,000

Zenith Chronomaster Sport Tri-Colour Boutique Edition

The Chronomaster Sport by Zenith is arguably one of the best chronograph watches in recent times, with a powerful movement and a very good-looking habillage. We’ve already seen a fair few adaptations on the Chronomaster Sport platform, with the Tri-Colour Boutique Edition being one of the more interesting ones for sure. The 41mm wide steel case is topped with a ceramic bezel in three colours, carried over from the signature blue/grey/silver subdials. The ceramic bezel is constructed out of three separate, solid-coloured bezels (one blue, one grey, one silver) which are then mated together. This gives a sharp contrast between the three colours, resulting in a rather unique look. Power comes, as always, from the El Primero 3600 calibre, which can measure elapsed time down to 1/10th of a second. Worn on a steel case with a folding clasp, the Zenith Chronomaster Sport Tri-Colour Boutique Edition retails for CHF 11,900.

Patek Philippe Chronograph 5172G Salmon Dial

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Quick Facts – 41mm x 13.60mm – stainless steel case – tri-colour ceramic bezel with engraved 1/10th of a second scale – steel crown and pushers – sapphire crystal on both sides – silver-toned dial with signature tri-colour subdials – rhodium-plated applied faceted hour indices and hands – Super-LumiNova – El Primero Calibre 3600, in-house – automatic winding – 35 jewels – 319 parts – 36,000vph – 60h power reserve – central hours and minutes, running seconds, 1/10th of a second central chronograph hand, 60-minute counter, 60-second counter, date – stainless steel bracelet – CHF 11,900

Vacheron Constantin Tradition Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

During Watches & Wonders 2022, most of the fanfare caused by Vacheron Constantin was (understandably) due to the return of the famous 222, now part of the Historiques collection. However, despite outshining some of the other news, the updated Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph should not be overlooked. This complex and highly refined piece is an absolute masterpiece, with a lovely salmon-pink dial (again, sorry!) Set in a full platinum case, the dial portrays the chronograph and perpetual calendar indications. From top to bottom we start with a day of the week and month indication, a leap year indicator, the chronograph and small seconds subdials, and then the moon phase with date display. The sapphire crystal caseback reveals the movement driving this masterpiece. The finishing is superb, as proven by the Geneva Seal that adorns it. Worn on a blue alligator leather strap with platinum folding clasp, it is a boutique exclusive, priced at EUR 121,250.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Salmon Dial Platiinum


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Quick Facts – 43mm x 12.94mm – 950 platinum case, polished – sapphire crystals front and back – 30m water-resistant – salmon-coloured opaline dial – 950 platinum moon disc – 18k white gold applied indices and hands – blued steel chronograph and date hands – painted tachymeter scale – Calibre 1142 QP – hand-wound – column-wheel with horizontal clutch chronograph and QP module – 21,600vph – 21 jewels – 48h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph and perpetual calendar with moon phase – Hallmark of Geneva – dark blue alligator leather strap with platinum folding clasp – Vacheron Constantin Boutique Edition – EUR 121,250

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic Steel

The Octo Finissimo range needs very little introduction, as we’ve covered it extensively. And for good reason, as it has solidified Bvlgari’s watchmaking credentials in recent years. No less than 8 record-breaking creations in the span of just as many years are no mean feat, and this included the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic in 2019. New for 2022 is the introduction of a full-steel version of this award-winning piece, which dramatically changes its looks. Gone is the subtle matte finish of titanium, and in comes the sportier shine of steel. From a technical standpoint, nothing changes, as you still get the formidable, angular shape of the Octo Finissimo in a 43mm wide and 8.75mm thin package. It is still powered by the in-house made BVL 318 calibre. This ultra-thin, integrated column-wheel chronograph movement has a peripheral rotor and offers GMT-functionality next to running time and elapsed timing indications. It’s priced at EUR 17,700.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic Steel Grey Dial 103661

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Quick Facts – 43mm x 8.75mm – stainless steel case, radial brushed, satin-finished and polished – sapphire crystal front and back – 100m water-resistant – silver sunray-brushed dial with silver-coloured GMT, chronograph and seconds counter – silver-coloured hands and applied indices with Super-LumiNova – Calibre BVL 318 – ultra-thin integrated column-wheel chronograph with a peripheral rotor – 37 jewels – 28,800vph – 55h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, GMT, chronograph with 30min counter – integrates stainless steel bracelet – EUR 17,700

3 responses

  1. IMO Patek had a couple of mishaps and I really disliked several of their recent releases. However, the 5172G is stunning and sublime. Not convinced it’s worth >60k, but it’s an awesome time piece

  2. I would add the Czapek Rattrapante (ice blue). Stunning piece from this independent watch maker.

  3. I like all those. The J&Co is pretty cool and I’m normally wary of their usual designs. The PP is absolutely lovely.
    The one I’m surprised at is the VC. A brand I love. That’s the most scrunched up miss proportioned dial I’ve seen for a while.
    Some lovely watches.

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