Mike’s Watch Wishes For 2022 — Rolex, Omega, Breitling, And More
It’s that time of year when we’re all either looking backward or looking ahead into the next year. 2021 is gone (thankfully) and 2022 is here (fingers crossed about this one). So, let’s spend some time talking about some watch wishes for 2022 from a selection of brands.
The new year ahead of us means a whole 12 months of watch releases to come and possible new trends. I have no clue what the color of choice will be this year, but I suppose the recent emergence of light blue will hang around for a while. Plus, I’m sure that limited editions, collaborations, and the retro trend are here to stay. But those things won’t make my list of watch wishes for 2022. Instead, I’ll mention some hopeful releases from some of the more popular brands. Some of these are probably obvious (models that are in need of a refresh), while others are certainly long shots. As always, if you have any ideas or hopes, let us know in the comments section!
Watch Wishes for 2022 — Breitling
It’s hard to complain about anything that has occurred at Breitling over the past several years. The brand is seriously back, and along with stylish, welcoming boutiques, Breitling is making some truly wonderful watches. Honestly, look at something like the manual-wind Premier Chronograph 40 and tell me that it isn’t a fabulous release — you can’t! If we look at all the updates from Breitling, there’s one line in need of a refresh that stands out as one of my greatest watch wishes for 2022 — the Navitimer. The current Navitimer lineup is made up of some really nice watches with modern movements. However, I’m hopeful that the brand will bring this iconic chronograph into line with the rest of its models. It’s high time that this legend re-enters the conversation when it comes to sporty, luxurious chronographs.
The year 2021 was truly a funky one for Tudor. We saw some unexpected releases in the Black Bay lineup (gold, silver, and ceramic — oh my!) and then a real wild card with the Pelagos FXD. What boggles my mind is that Tudor hasn’t done much with the Black Bay GMT. Well, perhaps the brand has addressed the date change issue with the movement, and that’s a good thing. Still, while so many people want to see a Coke version of this watch, one of my greatest watch wishes for 2022 is a Root Beer variant. Rolex seemingly lacks the intestinal fortitude required to release a brown-dialed GMT-Master II these days, so perhaps Tudor will come to the rescue. Tudor already makes a two-tone chronograph, so why not make a two-tone GMT too? Add a chocolate dial, and I think this watch would be a real winner.
We cover a lot of Omega here on Fratello, and in looking at its current lineup, there’s a lot that’s new or recently redone. That makes it tough to figure out some watch wishes for 2022. Last year, very early on, we saw the new Speedmaster Professional, and that makes 2022 a very hard act to follow indeed. I seriously doubt this will occur, and I’ve mentioned this on a podcast, but I’d really love a new white-dialed Speedmaster Professional. Furthermore, I’d love to see it as a regular production offering with a Hesalite crystal. I think it would look fantastic and, hey, there’s another highly desirable chronograph out there with both a black and a white dial choice. Just saying… Aside from that, one can always dream of a Speedy Tuesday 3!
I suppose watch wishes for 2022 are more like wishful thinking — related to something actually happening and then being able to find it. Like a lot of other brands, Rolex has recently updated most of the watches that people heavily discuss. I suppose pieces like the Cellini, Yacht-Master II, or the Milgauss could receive updates in 2022. Sadly, those probably wouldn’t shake me. I’ve really gotten into Datejusts lately, and one watch that I miss seeing is the Turn-O-Graph/Thunderbird. I actually think that Rolex could do some neat things with the bezel to help differentiate it from prior models. I’d hope the brand would offer it in a couple of sizes and in a variety of materials. It’s time for this cult classic to return once again!
We can file this entry of watch wishes for 2022 in the “not gonna happen” drawer. I think I speak for loads of people who want a proper Submariner killer from Grand Seiko. The reasons this almost certainly won’t happen, though, are in the form of the SBGH289 and SBGH291. These new divers came out in September 2021, and therefore, I see little new on the horizon. When I see these newest watches, I still come away thinking about the 43.8mm diameters and 51mm lug-to-lug lengths. I don’t want to hear that they “wear better than their measurements.” I simply want a watch that hovers in the 40mm range, has a thickness around 13mm, and maybe eschews the non-sporty cathedral hands. Please, Grand Seiko, don’t go retro, keep the Hi-Beat, and BRING IT! We want it, you can do it, and it will sell.
Our friends over at Worn and Wound just published a really great article about why this year’s SSC819 is their choice for Sleeper Chronograph of The Year. Here’s the thing — I agree completely with their thoughts. This 39mm × 46mm solar-powered chronograph is an absolute dream on the wrist. It’s everything that a chronograph buyer should want in terms of size and layout. I’m even OK with the date window! So, here’s how this ties into my watch wishes for 2022 — I want a mechanical version of this chronograph. More so, I want the watch to retain the same sizing, and that includes something around the same 13.2mm thickness. It doesn’t need to have a column wheel, it just needs to be automatic and retail somewhere around €1,500. Just like with Grand Seiko, Seiko can do this if it wants to. We’re waiting…
If there’s a serious layup to be had in the watch world, then IWC is somehow refusing to take that shot all day long. Go have a look at the current Ingenieur, and you’ll see what I mean. This is a perfectly fine watch and brings looks from the first generation to the game. That’s cool, and maybe it makes sense to keep it around as the “Ingenieur Classic” or something similar. However, while the rest of the luxury watch world prints cash with their Genta-designed-or-inspired pieces, IWC lies dormant. Back in 1978, IWC asked Genta to design its Ingenieur Jumbo SL, and the watch then went on to inspire generations of follow-up models. Some were successful, and then they became rather large and bloated. Now, IWC has the chance to grant one of my watch wishes for 2022 by bringing out a stunning, highly finished example without all the chunkiness. Take the easy shot, IWC — scoring two points will have never felt so good.
What would you like to see?
Folks, those are my top watch wishes for 2022. Like I said, some are a bit obvious, while some are fairly far-fetched. They’d require new movements, a change in strategy, or the replacement of a recent release. What do you have in mind for 2022? Let’s get the dialog going in the comments section below!