On the penultimate weekend of October in New York, watchers looking for the new and unique were treated to a veritable viewing smorgasbord. Exhibitions WindUp and WatchTime was held simultaneously and was packed with collectors, casual fans, media and industry professionals. Of course, the tables, booths, and display cases were also filled with watches—new and recent releases that collectively reflect the evolution of the industry.

What both shows have in common is an emphasis on watches that you don’t often get the chance to see in person: WindUp featured a lot of micro-brands and startups that sell online and don’t have physical stores where you can try them on. (Claire Danes was rumored to be in attendance, discreetly browsing the available micro-brand watches with her husband.) Meanwhile, about 18 blocks away, WatchTime had some of the most exotic and stunning high-end timepieces made today.

We got to see and try on a ton of cool new watches, as well as talk to the brand’s founders, owners and representatives. Takeaway? It wasn’t so much a show trends (although GMT clockcolorful dials and integrated bracelets are still going strong), and all the more a reflection of a healthy, confident and diverse industry.

A number of brands once focused on affordability are looking to up their game by improving their products, improving their branding, pushing into the high-end market, and even investing in their own mechanisms. There were even a significant number of prototypes of future watches that we can’t show you yet, but we’re excited to share them with you when they’re ready.

In the meantime, the watches below have left us in awe, and we’d even venture to say they include some of the most notable of the year.

Brew Method Chronograph

As always, Brew brings a playful, designer approach to affordable watchmaking with its Method Chronograph. Like all Brew watches, its concept is built around coffee. And like some of them, it requires an approach to the largely anachronistic functions of a chronograph to make it useful in modern life—especially if you’re a barista (or an avid coffee drinker). Yes, not typical tachymeter or similar, the spiral scale on the dial here will help you time the various espresso, french press, pour over and cold brew methods. It comes in yellow and blue dial options.

  • Diameter: 40 mm
  • Movement: Sellita SW220-1 automatic
  • Water resistance: 100 m

    So Labs Layer Two

    Of all the watches at the shows, I keep thinking about this one—like an 80s pop song that gets stuck in your head, in a good way. So Labs is an offshoot of Chicago microbrand Astor & Banks, and it was conceived a couple of years ago with a similar design to what you see here, but as fun quartz watches with clear plastic cases and a $175 price tag. The design was striking, but now it’s done in metal with Swiss automatic movements, and the result is unlike anything else. They are available in five bright colors, each of which is captivating. I’m particularly impressed with the black model of the Obsidian Frost DLC.

    • Diameter: 40 mm
    • Movement: Sellita SW220-1 automatic
    • Water resistance: 100 mln

      Ceramic Zodiac Super Sea Wolf

      Ceramic Zodiac Super Sea Wolf

      zodiacwatches.com

      US$1,695.00

      1700 dollars. That’s really not bad for a dive watch with an all-ceramic case, let alone one that looks this good. It still has the vintage dive watch vibe that Zodiac is known for, but sleeker. Inside the ceramic case is a steel inner case for structural support, and inside that is the STP 1-11 automatic movement. Ceramic feels different than, say, a DLC-coated black steel case: it’s very comfortable, light and silky smooth. Ceramic is typically a premium material in watchmaking, not something you see from smaller brands like Zodiac.

      • Diameter: 40 mm
      • Movement: STP 1-11 automatic
      • Water resistance: 200 m

        Yema Wristmaster Traveller

        Yema Wristmaster Traveller

        yema.com

        If you’ve been paying attention to Yema, her Wristmaster Traveler watch with integrated bracelet might look familiar. But the noticeable novelty is what’s inside. We’ve seen prototypes of the brand’s new movement, which it calls “manufactory,” which features a micro-rotor and even colored DLC plates that match the different colors of the dial. He describes the movement as 80% French and 20% Swiss, the escapement being the only part not made locally. This would be a big step for a brand like Yema and yes, it would cost more than their current collections. But one cool thing that micro-rotors mean is slim watches, and we always love that.

        • Diameter: 39 mm
        • Movement: Yema Morteau 20 automatic
        • Water resistance: 100 m

          Bell & Ross BR-X5

          Bell & Ross has announced that it is joining a small but growing group of brands using movements made by Tudor movement maker, Kenissi. However, these are not standard Kenissi movements, but made exclusively for Bell & Ross to their specifications. Some of the characteristics of the movements are visible right on the dial with a prominent power reserve indicator of 70 hours. It is also noted on the dial that it was The chronometer is COSC certified, a first for the brand. It’s all part of the latest generation of Bell & Ross’ “urban” collection, the BR-05, and while there are some cool options, we’re particularly drawn to the blue dial and matching rubber strap.

          • Diameter: 41 mm
          • Movement: BR-CAL.323 automatic
          • Water resistance: 100 m

            Seiko 5 Sports Ultraseven SRPJ79

            Seiko 5 Sports Ultraseven SRPJ79

            OK, there were a lot of great Seiko watches at the show, but to avoid the heavy lifting of Seiko, we’re just highlighting this very cool new option Seiko 5 Sports. It’s an homage to a 1960s Japanese superhero series, but you don’t have to be a nostalgic middle-aged Japanese salaryman to find the watch itself pretty cool. It’s just another example (also see its Honda and Rowing Blazers collaboration) of the great things the brand is doing in its entry-level range.

            • Diameter: 42.5 mm
            • Movement: 4R36
            • Water resistance: 100 m

              Vulcan cricket

              Politeness

              The Vulcain Cricket is an absolute watchmaking legend. It’s been around for decades and reissues are nothing new, but the brand is recently under new management, the same people who also recently revived the Nivada and Excelsior Park names. What they do best is direct reissues of vintage watches, and that’s what these (technically) new Crickets are. They come in two collections, Tradition and Classique, both in different variations, 36mm and 39mm – and true vintage movements with Cricket’s defining feature: the mechanical alarm.

              • Diameter: 36 mm, 39 mm
              • Movement: The Vulcain Cricket is powered by a manual V-10
              • Water resistance: 50 m

                Serica 8315 GMT Chronometer

                Serica 8315 GMT Chronometer

                serica-watches.com

                1.00 euros

                A field watch, a diver, and now a GMT: every watch produced by Serica feels carefully crafted—and we’re fans of each one. The GMT is the latest and is based on the design of the brand’s diving watches as well as some traditional GMT features. Still, like other Serica watches, it feels completely unique. Yes, it has a two-tone bezel (ceramic), but in black and white, it has a striking look on the wrist that’s unlike anything else that readily comes to mind. It also features a COSC chronometer certified automatic movementa first for the brand.

                • Diameter: 39 mm
                • Movement: Soprod C125 automatic
                • Water resistance: 200 m

                  Farer Chrono Classic

                  It’s hard to even keep up with Farer’s steady stream of solid releases. One thing we love about the brand is that they don’t just release updated versions of their existing watches, but regularly introduce brand new designs. And they tend to be pretty damn good, not least because of the brand’s signature color. All this is presented in the new (officially launched on November 11) Chrono Classic by Farer. It’s a throwback to vintage chronographs with just two extra dials, but brought to life with bright and modern touches. It is powered by a Dubois Dépraz Top Grade automatic movement.

                  • Diameter: 39 mm
                  • Movement: Dubois Dépraz DD2022 automatic
                  • Water resistance: 100 m

                    Minase Divido 2.0 Ice Blue

                    Minase Divido 2.0 Ice Blue

                    minasewatches.ch

                    US$4120.00

                    Minase tries to carve out a space among the modern Japanese watch brands. It competes at a price of around several thousand dollars, uses Swiss movements, prides itself on its case finish and offers a unique look centered around a case architecture that leaves the windows open for the dial and movement. It builds on these core principles with an interesting dial execution, and the Divido 2.0 Ice Blue has a fascinating effect on its dial that is reminiscent of some of Grand Seiko’s nature-inspired creations. It has hand painting Urushi a dial with a texture that almost looks like brushstrokes.

                    • Diameter: 40.6 mm
                    • Movement: ETA 2892 automatic
                    • Water resistance: 50 m

                      Laco Flieger-Chronograph Kiel.2

                      Laco Flieger-Chronograph Kiel.2

                      laco-watches.com

                      $2,650.00 USD

                      German watchmaker Laco, one of the traditional pilot watch brands, brings more aviation goodness. The Flieger-Chronograph Kiel.2, as the name suggests, is a pilot’s chronograph with a historic look and layout derived from the familiar Sellita SW500 automatic movement. Despite its larger diameter, its case has been slimmed down and we found it very wearable. It comes in the traditional black version, but the bright white dial is striking and highly legible.

                      • Diameter: 43 mm
                      • Movement: Sellita SW500 automatic
                      • Water resistance: 100 m

                        Monta Skyquest

                        We just had to check out their controversial new version of the Skyquest GMT. This is controversial because it visually brings the collection closer to the obvious Rolex inspiration, but Monta has always been clearly inspired by Rolex. That doesn’t just mean aesthetics, though, the quality and detailing is what we’ve come to expect from one of our favorite micro-brands.

                        • Diameter: 40.7 mm
                        • Movement: ETA 2893-2 (or Sellita SW330-1) automatic
                        • Water resistance: 300 m

                          Original Glashütte SeaQ Chronograph

                          Original Glashutte SeaQ Chronograph

                          Those who have followed the German watchmaker Glashütte Original for many years do not often associate the brand with sports diving watches or tool watches. But the SeaQ line, announced in 2019, began to change that. The SeaQ now becomes even sportier with the addition of the Flyback Chronograph. Both types of watch tend to have chunky proportions, so it’s no surprise that when combined, the result is substantial on the wrist. Tall but wearable, even on my bony 6.5″ wrist. Its quality and solidity are impressive, and you can see its beautiful, silicon-spring-equipped in-house movement (what you’re paying for) through the sapphire caseback.

                          • Diameter: Glashütte Original 43.2 mm
                          • Movement: 37-23
                          • Water resistance: 300 m

                            Montblanc Star Legacy Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph

                            a man with a montblanc watch and reading a newspaper

                            Politeness

                            Montblanc’s unique take on the chronograph is a tribute to the inventor of the chronograph, Nicolas Rysek. It is made as a reference to the original Rieussec device, using two rotating sub-dials to record elapsed time – a very different method to that used in most modern chronograph watches, which of course use hands. It is extremely easy to use and read. The collection has existed before, but the new versions have significantly reduced the case size from a rather bold 44.8mm to a much more wearable 43mm. It also offers dual time zones. So it’s a complicated watch with its own movement, which makes its price seem quite reasonable.

                            • Diameter: 43 mm
                            • Movement: Montblanc MB R200 automatic
                            • Water resistance: 50 m

https://www.gearpatrol.com/watches/a41743752/windup-watchtime-2022-best-watches/

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