After Geneva Watch Days 2022, I started thinking about all the watches I tried in those days and I find it absolutely inspiring to be able to see so many watches up close, in such a short time. My feeling is that in these events, fun comes first, being in contact with the people who are part of the brands and this is how I understand more and more of how much this environment is made up of people, than they are much more than simple clocks that mark the time on our lot, but which represent human beings.
Perspective that was lost during the covid and although the sector has grown in that situation, the distance with people has certainly flattened that feeling of euphoria and fun that is perceived according to the Geneva Watch Days.
I want to start by saying that I have not created a list in a specific order, but I want to select five watches that have impressed me the most, in every price range and of every different type.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Yellow Gold Limited Edition
I start talking about the Bulgari Octo Finissimo of Yellow Gold, limited to 50 units for the North American market. The new finish that Bulgari has combined with this precious material makes the Finissimo extraordinary on the wrist.
Combined with the brown dial with a soleil finish, a warm and “Italian” look is really achieved, pass me the term. And it is precisely this feeling that makes me understand that behind the Octo Finissimo there is an Italian name, that of Fabrizio Buonamano Stigliani. Unlike many other competitors with an integrated bracelet, it remains extremely elegant and fascinating. A prerogative that represents, sorry if I exaggerate, the Italian good taste in design.
Another aspect, which I add to conclude, that made me select the Finissimo in Yellow Gold is the fact that it seems to wear a completely different watch from all the other Octo's, thanks to the fact that this design is so innovative and versatile that every time , by playing with materials and finishes, a new concept of Finissimo is obtained.
I change genre, I change the price range and I'm talking about the new Doxa Army in steel, but with a bronze ferrule. A watch that after 50 years celebrates its history with a timepiece that was destined for the elite of the Swiss Army divers. Although it may seem simple and similar to other Doxa 300s, here we have a case with a helium valve that creates a small “step” in the side carrure.
The aspect that most intrigued me is the layout of the dial, particular and well legible. In addition, the addition of bronze on the bezel offers a touch of color that I particularly like. To conclude, I must say that on the wrist it proved to be really comfortable, thanks to the cushion shape and the fantastic rubber strap.
Arnold & Son Nebula Steel 41,5mm
Now something that surprised me, just because I had never had the opportunity to try one. The Nebula line by Arnold & Son expands in a new 41,5mm steel version that joins the family of two rose gold models. The 38mm rose gold is something spectacular, but this steel is much more affordable and the blue details make this case incredibly sporty which is very elegant.
In general, this combination of a classic watch with a leather strap and sports materials with such an "important" skeletonization pleasantly surprised me. Also on the wrist it is perfect, comfortable despite the size slightly out of my standards.
Krayon is a brand that I don't think has any introduction. Anywhere is the second creation of Remì Maillat's independent brand and I can say nothing but: “wow”.
More "simple" than Everywhere, this model is all about ease of reading. But in reality it is far from simple. In fact, we have the ability to read the exact position of the sun, based, clearly, on our latitude. Coming to this equation, producing the caliber that allows you to do it, in 39mm is mind-boggling. Extreme quality, this is what I felt when trying this watch. In addition, talking with Remì himself was a real pleasure, a true genius of the sector.
MB&F Legacy Machine Split Escapement EVO
To conclude this article, here is the new MB&F LEGACY MACHINE SPLIT ESCAPEMENT EVO. Probably the least conservative watch of the ones I brought you in this article. MB&F wanted to evolve their main project by bringing it into a sportier guise.
In fact, MB&F has decided to bring their most iconic model in a more suitable for use as a "soft-sport". With this new Legacy Machine, the brand has pushed itself towards an audience looking for a simple, everyday watch that is more robust and suitable for sports life. Here we find, precisely, 80 meters of water resistance, screw-down crown and case in grade 5 titanium. Its simplicity captivated me, although it is not a simple project to carry out, the fantastic finish of the dial and of the movement have a very high degree of care . Once on the wrist it conveys a unique sensation of its kind. I had the pleasure of trying their double chrono or perpetual calendar, extremely refined and complicated watches, but the simplicity of this new titanium model captivated me.
Geneva Watch Days, the missing event
There are many other watches to tell, but these, reflecting on everything I tried at the Geneva Watch Days 2022, are the watches that most impressed me. I invite all of you readers to become aware of how the independent brand market is growing, of how more and more collectors (young and old) decide to try their hand at this passion through brands such as MB&F, Bulgari and others mentioned. Maybe these are the real years of the industry's rebirth? I do not know. The only thing I feel, speaking directly with these realities, is the passion they put inside their watches. There are no choices that follow pure marketing (which is not wrong, on the contrary), but I feel so much more the desire to dare, the desire to use one's intellect to create unique and wonderful watches. And as long as these flames are lit, as long as these sensations are tangible through these watches, then the luxury watch industry will remain on its feet thanks to passion, and not just money.