Continuing our annual recap tradition, today we look back at a handful of innovative and impressive releases that broke onto the scene in 2022. Today we’re covering quartz watches, a category of timepieces not always top-of-mind, but one nonetheless worth its weight when it comes to making waves in the world of watches, especially in the entry-level price range. Let’s jump in.
Citizen x Nissan Z / Fairlady Z
Kicking off our list is a collaboration piece between two Japanese powerhouses: watchmaker Citizen and automaker Nissan. The Citizen x Nissan Z / Fairlady Z takes direct design cues from the Nissan Z sports car, better known casually as the Fairlady Z. The 42mm steel model is available in two distinct colors that match Nissan Z paint offerings, the first is Serian blue (AT8185-97E) while the other is Ikazuchi yellow (AT8185-89E). Inside, the Citizen caliber H804 quartz movement is powered by the watchmaker’s innovative light-powered Eco-Drive Radio-Controlled technology, allowing for both solar charging and quick time zone changing.
The Citizen x Nissan Z / Fairlady Z retails for $2,495 and is limited to 2,700 pieces.
Q Timex GMT
In the first half of the year, Timex introduced the latest take on its featured Q Timex with the debut of the model with GMT functionality. The watch maintains the barrel-shaped case that is consistent with the rest of the collection, though it is now slightly upsized from its predecessors with a diameter of 38mm and a height of 12.5mm. Solidifying the watch’s GMT capabilities, the familiar 12-hour bidirectional rotating two-tone aluminum bezel insert is replaced with one sporting a 24-hour scale instead. Ticking inside the watch is a Swiss-made Ronda 505.24 that offers an independently adjustable 24-hour hand for the second time-zone functionality.
The Timex Q Timex GMT retails for $199 on a synthetic rubber strap or $219 on a steel bracelet and is available in three options: a red and blue bezel presented on a bracelet, a black and blue bezel on a bracelet, or an all-black bezel on a rubber strap.
Cartier Tank Must Black
The Cartier Tank Must collection was first developed in the 1970’s to cater to a wider ranging potential audience as a more affordable, quartz dress watch option, with the series re-introduced in 2021 with much the same attitude. This year Cartier expanded the line, introducing a new all-black, steel version featuring the same Tank Louis Cartier-inspired case design and minimalist aesthetic. Opting for a characteristic numeral-free dial, the display is entirely black with only two sword-shaped hands to indicate the hour and minute. The watch is available in two sizes, large and small, each with a height of 6.66mm and presented on a black alligator strap, while inside the timepiece a quartz movement powers the hands of both the small and large models.
The Cartier Tank Must is available in the large size for a price of $3,050 while the small version retails for $2,900.
Omega Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer
Taking hints from the Skywalker X-33 released in 2014, Omega introduced a new Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer this year that is specifically designed for travel to Mars. The design influence of the red planet is visible through a red-brown bezel, while the dial display is full of unique functionalities specific to space travel. Not only does the model display standard 24-hour time, but it also displays Martian time, which includes an extra 39 minutes per day. Users can switch between the two time zones, and a celestial body icon on the digital screen will indicate which time zone is currently being displayed. Inside the 45mm titanium case is an upgraded quartz caliber tested by the European Space Agency to ensure its reliability in any conditions.
The Omega Speedmaster Marstimer retails for $6,400.
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph
At Watches and Wonders this year, TAG Heuer introduced its first-ever solar-powered watch: the Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph. On the exterior, the brand opts for a 40mm steel case with a black DLC coating and bezel inserts made from a blend of carbon and green Super-LumiNova. The inside of the watch is most notable, with a quartz TH50-00 caliber made exclusive for TAG Heuer that recharges with the sun or artificial light using “Eco-Drive” solar dial technology. With only two minutes of sunlight, the watch can run for an entire day. When fully charged (20 hours under the sun) the watch can run for six months.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph retails for $3,050.
Bulova Computron D-CAVE
Closing out our recap is an electronic watch coming out of a collaboration between watchmaker Bulova and digital innovator D-CAVE. Bridging the gap between the metaverse and the physical world, the Bulova Computron D-CAVE sports a steel case accented with luminous green accents and LEDs. Two versions of the watch were released, one put into serial production and the other that only became available to buyers via a D-CAVE NFT drop. Inside the watch, the quartz-powered movement is capable of indicating a dual time zone, date, minutes, hours, seconds, and it includes an AM/PM indicator.
The Bulova Computron D-CAVE retails for $450, and for the first time in the brand’s history, Bulova will accept cryptocurrency as payment.
Honorable Mention: Apple Watch
Before we leave you with this list, one honorable mention to include is the Apple Watch, which saw significant updates to its technology this year. The watch is not technically powered by a quartz movement like the aforementioned, but it has in common the obvious digital capabilities that are common amongst quartz watches. The new watchOS 9 update offers a medication tracker, expanded sleep metrics, and improved and customizable health data tracking. Aesthetically, Apple introduced three new screen settings, dubbed Metropolitan, Lunar, and Playtime that each correspond to different resting screen designs, with the Metropolitan option being inspired by a traditional analog timepiece dial.
Pricing for the Apple Watch begins at $249.