Watches & Wonders 2022 has come and gone, but amid the obsession with Rolex, Tudor, and Patek Philippe, we managed to overlook all the best stuff from the biggest new model event of the year. Complications, haute horlogerie, independent brands, and limited editions flew under the radar while we obsessed over a lefty GMT. Todays show covers the best watches of 2022 including the Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222 and the Chopard Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon.
Since 1996, the Vacheron Constantin Overseas has been the flagship sports watch at Switzerland's oldest watchmaker. But for 2022, the Vacheron Overseas gains an in-house rival in the form of the revived Historiques 222 reference 4200H/222J-B935. When the "Historiques" collection was launched in the late 1980s, it was among the first factory-backed programs to re-issue celebrated vintage watch models. Now, with the Vacheron Constantin 222, watch collectors have received the most demanded discontinued Vacheron Constantin watch.
While the Overseas collection includes modern watches inspired by the 1977 Vacheron Constantin 222, the new 222 offers a literal recreation of Jorg Hysek's most famous design. At 37mm in diameter in yellow gold, the new 222 is identical in size and almost identical in thickness at just 7.95mm. From 1977 to 1985, Vacheron Constantin produced approximately 500 steel 222s, 150 in yellow gold, and less than 100 in steel-gold two tone. Today's 222 likely will be produced in comparably limited volumes. Expect steel, rose gold, and event steel-gold and platinum versions of this watch to be offered in future model years. The 2022 Vacheron Constantin 222 will retail for $62,500
Chopard launched its Alpine Eagle XL in 2019, and to put it mildly, initial response from media and watch buyers was muted. However, the model has gained respect in the years since its launch, and robust demand for the automatic and Alpine Eagle chronograph models has inspired an expansion of the collection. The 2022 Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon is the most elaborate Chopard sports watch to date, and it compares impressively to the 2022 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Extra Thin.
The 41mm stainless steel Alpine Eagle is an integrated bracelet sports watch that retains the basic model's hardened "lucent" steel and 100-meter water resistance.
The celebrated "eagle's eye" dial returns in blue, but the flying tourbillon at six o'clock marks this as a flagship model. The dial remains luminescent in this haute horlogerie Alpine Eagle, and Chopard even puts luminescent paint on the one-minute flying tourbillon. Automatic winding by caliber L.U.C 96-24L energizes a power reserve of 65 hours. Impressive refinements include Geneva Hallmark movement finish and a COSC Swiss chronometer certification. Finishing of all movement parts is high horology, and the Geneva Seal also marks the case as a product of superior craftsmanship.
The 2022 Chopard Alpine Eagle Flying Tourbillon has a retail price of $112,000
Relevant watch references include 4200H/222J-B935; 5500V/110A; 6000V/110A; 4500V/110A; 7900V/110A; 5510V/000T; 6000V/110; 5000T/000P-B975; 298616-3001; 298609-3003; 298609-3004; 298609; 298609-3001; 298609-3002; 298600-3005; 298600-3001; 298600-3002; 298600-6001; 295363-5001; 5711/1a-001; 5711/1a-010; 5711/1a-011; 5711/1a-014; 5711/1a-018; 15202st; 16202st; 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01; 16202ST.OO.1240ST.01; Vacheron Constantin watches and Chopard watches.
All of this plus watch collector wrist shots will be featured in this episode of "Watches Tonight!"
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