Watches Wonders IWC Tag Heuer Panerai Montblanc

01: IWC — Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “Woodland”

In 1986, IWC presented the world’s first ceramic watch, the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Ref. 3755. Since then, the manufacture has followed up with timepieces crafted from a variety of coloured high-tech ceramics. This year, IWC takes inspiration from the training-ground landscapes and uniforms of the US naval aviators it works with for its Top Gun pilot’s watch family to create two new ceramic colours — Woodland Green and Lake Tahoe White.

The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “Woodland” is housed in a 44.5mm case in a dark olive green. IWC worked with colour experts Pantone to ensure the colour used for the case could be adapted to other components made from different materials — the dial, hands, lume, and rubber strap and strap textile inlay. Inside the watch beats the in-house self-winding 69380 calibre with a column-wheel chronograph.

02: Montblanc — 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date

Now, we are the first to admit that we are more desk than ocean divers, but Montblanc timepiece division MD Laurent Lecamp certainly walks the talk. In Montblanc’s pre-recorded video presentation online, Lecamp addressed viewers from the snow-capped and windy environs of the actual Mont Blanc. It certainly drove home the brand’s inspiration for 2022: The glaciers and icy lakes of the mountain after which the brand is named. 

Comprising three different dial colour options, the 1858 Iced Sea Automatic Date is the brand’s first certified diving watch and conforms to ISO 6425 standards. The watches also undergo the Montblanc Laboratory 500 Hour Test to ensure that they are resistant to shocks, magnetism, thermal shocks and, of course, water (to 30 bar, or 300m). The glacier inspiration is demonstrated via new dial finishes, created in-house, that evoke the texture and depth of glacial ice with its interlocking network of crystals.

03: Panerai — Submersible QuarantaQuattro

It has become de rigueur for brands to offer key models in a a variety of sizes to capture wrist sizes across the spectrum, and Panerai now does so with its Submersible dive watch by adding a 44mm iteration. The Submersible QuarantaQuattro — Italian for forty-four — joins the existing 42mm and 47mm models, an addition that was apparently the result of popular demand.

There are a trio of new regular-production models, including one in Carbotech (a carbon fibre-based composite) and two in brushed steel. Our favourite is the Carbotech “Blu Abisso” model: The lightweight black case has a subtle variegated finish, a black DLC-coated titanium crown, and a dial and straps in a deep blue. The watches are powered by the automatic P.900 calibre with a power reserve of three days.

04: Tag Heuer — Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver

Watch brands must be expecting a growing interest in deep-sea diving: Omega recently presented a timepiece that can go 6,000m underwater, and now, Tag Heuer launches its Aquaracer Professional 1000 Superdiver. It is the first watch by the brand to use a calibre — COSC-certified TH30-00 — made by high-end movement manufacturer Kenissi. However, it’s not the first Tag Heuer watch for professional divers: The brand also created the Super Professional 1000M in 1984 and the Aquagraph 500M in 2003.

Crafted from grade 5 titanium, the Superdiver’s case is 45mm wide and 15.75mm thick. Case-wise, one of its improved features is a more substantial crown guard, which helps to keep the crown safely screwed down during dives, preventing water from getting into the watch. As with the Aquaracer Professional 300, the extreme Aquaracer features improved features such as an updated bezel design that delivers a more satisfying sound and feel when turned.

Vibrant orange is used as an accent colour — found on the minute and second hands, as well as the first quarter of the ceramic bezel — for high visibility. To ensure that the watch can be read even in dark aquatic depths, the highest grade of Super-Luminova, SLN Grade X1, is used for its indexes, hours and minute hands, and the tip of its second hand.