Watches and Wonders 2022 : Highlights and revelations
More than expected, the 2022 edition of Watches and Wonders in Geneva sounded like a return to the roots for the watch industry. With a rich program, international media, top conferences and discoveries of the latest innovations, this watchmaking "fashion week" offered us a show under the sign of sharing, innovation and know-how. The last two digital editions of Watches and Wonders 2022 have succeeded in whetting curiosity and arousing desire, and this year the show will be even more revealing.
Arts and crafts and high jewelry
Far from the NFT and the race to digitalize, it is a vibrant tribute to the talents of artisans and the work of goldsmiths that the brands wanted to pay through works dedicated to "craftsmanship". At Van Cleef & Arpels, we are captivated by the collection of Objets Extraordinaires... Poetic creations, sparkling automatons, combining music, noble materials, jewelry and watchmaking. Remarkable by their dimensions and by the work combining precious stones and technical prowess. It is an enchanting universe based on the beauty of nature that Van Cleef & Arpels pursues its history, always as singular and marked by romanticism.
On the Piaget stand, diamonds are in the spotlight, notably with the Piaget Limelight Gala Haute Joaillerie. Made of 18-carat white gold, this watch is set with 15-carat diamonds of various shapes and sizes and highlights the exceptional goldsmithing and setting work of Piaget (more than 175 hours of work are required to make a single watch). This expertise extends to the bracelet, which is perfectly articulated to rest on the wrist like a second skin. Asymmetrical bars and rows of marquise-cut diamonds are simply exceptional pieces.
A taste for excellence in craftsmanship and signature know-how is confirmed at Vacheron Constantin with the Les cabinotiers collection. Here, the range of artistic skills such as guilloche workers, enamellers, engravers and jewel setters proudly perpetuate age-old traditions and contribute to bringing to life grand complication timepieces, unique in the world.
Innovations and technical prowess
Alongside the age-old traditions of watchmaking, technological and digital prowess are at the heart of the concerns of the brands. From NFT to augmented reality and digital customer service, this year the focus was on pushing the limits of innovation to surprise, reinvent and seduce an increasingly connected clientele. An example is augmented reality at Baume & Mercier: a function that allows buyers to see what the Riviera watch would look like on their wrist via their cell phone. For IWC Schaffhausen, it is the Cyberloupe 2.0 that is highlighted. An innovation that aims to improve the customer experience by allowing them to have a front row seat to discover the skills and talent of IWC watchmakers.
Another innovation and star of the show is the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver watch. Calibrated to reach a depth of 1,000 meters, this watch is a real technical feat. Helium valve, titanium dress and the ultimate detail: a more robust crown that hides an orange gasket once unscrewed to better warn divers that the water resistance of the watch is no longer guaranteed.
Tag Heuer also presented the Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph, its very first solar-powered watch. As Thibaut de La Rivière, director of Sup de Luxe, concludes: "Creativity, commitment and unique know-how, although rooted in tradition, watchmaking also adopts new technologies for a perfect marriage between technical disruption and temporal precision".
See you next year…