Which watch brand won 2022? Ricardo picks Vacheron Constantin – here’s why…Ricardo Sime
Editor’s note: During one of our final editorial meetings of the year, the question was posed: which watch brand won 2022? This then raises the question of what it means to win. Is it total revenue? Likes on social media? Page views on our site? The number of watch spots in the wild? There is no one way to answer, so each team member was tasked with picking their watch brand and making the case. My selection is Vacheron Constantin and here is why…
Exhibit A: The Prologue
An entrée will only reach certain heights without the assist of a great appetiser.
Though many would look at 2022 and say the 222 is what solidified Vacheron’s rightful place in the holy trinity, it was this release from 2021 that set the stage for the brand. One of the hottest releases that year, the Overseas “Everest” Chronograph and Dual Time Limited Editions were marquee releases that reminded everyone just how great the brand could be. Suddenly the Overseas collection had an edginess to it that many welcomed. And it was a reminder that in the race for a luxury sports watch, the Overseas was no slouch.
Exhibit B: The 222 steals the show
I remember when we arrived at Watches and Wonders and the conversations started. “Have you seen the 222?” “VC really hit this out the park.” “Finally.”
As someone who was unfamiliar with the history of the 222, I couldn’t understand why its release was making so much noise. However, even without a history lesson, that first moment I tried the reference on, everything made sense. It’s a gold watch that is designed with humility in mind, stepping away from the loud and shiny thoughts one might have when you think of gold. Instead, Vacheron gives us a masterclass in finishing, with the brushed surfaces throughout toning down the gold’s lustre.
Add to that a simple, legible dial with just the right amount of lume and the comfortable, well articulated bracelet and the result is arguably the best luxury sports watch released in 2022.
Exhibit C: The sides are
Many would agree, the 222 was Vacheron’s well-aged, perfectly cooked steak for 2022. However, that doesn’t mean the sides released throughout the year are at all “less than”.
There was the Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton, which beautifully incorporates the Maltese Cross in the tourbillon. Another great example of just how versatile the Overseas case can be. Whether cast from gold or titanium. And if you were looking for something a bit more artsy, the Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Tribute set displayed the brands prowess when it comes to creating sculpted dials. It’s reminiscent of the days when pieces uniques were commissioned by royalty. Something a brand as old as Vacheron has actual experience doing.
When we first started floating the idea of picking the brand that won 2022, my mind initially leaned towards brands that made the most noise. Yet, after stepping back and reviewing the year, I instead focused on individual brands and their goals. For Vacheron, the goal for years has always been brand awareness. And looking at 2022, they accomplished that goal in spades. Mainstream recognition. Pop culture status. A reference on the cover of multiple magazines. Furthermore, they have proven why their place in the holy trinity is warranted. It doesn’t simply exist because they are the industry’s oldest brand. It’s because they unequivocally make some of the best watches out there.