Last week’s Daylight Savings time change wreaked havoc on many people’s internal clocks, underscoring the importance of keeping a personal timepiece within easy glance. Of course, apart from their practical benefits, the best modern watch designs can also serve as a bold fashion statement. You can tell a lot about a person from the shape, size and materials of their watch — not to mention the typeface used for its digits.
For those still moving through life bare-wristed, today’s top Swiss brands offer no shortage of distinguished modern watch designs to help you stay on time for your meetings. (And if you’re more of a smartwatch person, we’ve got a recommendation for one of those, too.) Here are six of our favourite 2022 timepieces.
Introduced in 1962, Rado’s DiaStar departed from convention by using scratch-proof tungsten and titanium rather than the fragile gold favoured by much of the industry. To celebrate the watch’s 60th anniversary, Rado tapped Swiss designer Alfredo Häberli to envision a new edition with a few select tweaks. A sapphire crystal dial marks the decades since the original’s release with six subtle facets, while a streamlined bezel made of Rado’s proprietary Ceramos material promises to be every bit as long-lasting as the alloy that defined the 1960s edition.
$2,500 at rado.com
Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza appeals to minimalist sensibilities with this timepiece set apart by an understated yet nevertheless unexpected detail: its subtle forked hands. The pared-back design is further elevated by its sophisticated material palette: an Italian leather bracelet complements a stainless steel case with a durable sapphire glass face. Two distinct dial options — one with a white face and the other with a mirrored finish — and two sizes appeal to a range of tastes and wrist proportions. As an added bonus, Siza’s signature is inscribed on the back of the case — perfect for young architects looking to channel the Pritzker winner as they work on their sketches.
€175 at cauny.com
Astrologists and graphic designers alike will surely be drawn to Claesson Koivisto Rune’s aeronautical chronograph design, which manages to pack a lot of information into an orderly dial that evokes the starry night sky. Boasting a sleek titanium case, the design includes date and chronograph complications as well as an outer ring designed to assist pilots with complex fuel consumption calculations. Adding to the unique watch’s appeal, Ikepod only produced 50 editions of Skypod: 25 each of the blue- and black-dialed versions.
$8,900 USD at ikepod.com
Typography enthusiasts may be especially drawn to the bold numerals on this release, but the design’s real strength lies in its versatility — it looks professional enough to wear in the boardroom by day, but also conveys a sense of playful personality during off-duty drinks at night. Nomos used its classic Tetra model as the watch’s foundation, but remixed the thin, square-dialed design with bolder, more contemporary colour combinations. Each of the four models in the capsule collections includes a brown Horween shell cordovan leather strap and is limited to an edition of 175.
$5,180 at nomos-glashuette.com
A primary colour scheme gives the hands on this watch some Bauhaus flavour, but the clear design also throws back to Swatch’s similarly see-through Jellyfish from 1983 (not to mention the subsequent surge in transparent designs during the Y2K era). Despite all these retro influences, the end result looks decidedly of-the-moment. In fact, in an especially forward-thinking twist, the case is made from bio-sourced plastics derived from plants.
$110 at swatch.com
Along with keeping track of your emails and TikTok notifications, Apple’s smartwatches have always boasted a whole suite of tools for monitoring and logging important health data. But the company’s extra-rugged new Apple Watch Ultra takes things a step even further in the exercise department, adding in new functionality to assist during extreme sports like scuba diving or mountain climbing. The timepiece’s tough titanium case and 36-hour battery life add to its outdoorsy credentials, while bold orange accents introduce a welcome dose of gorpcore design.
$1,099 at apple.com/ca
Stay punctual and stylish by adopting a timepiece that conveys an appreciation for elegant proportions, clean typography and sophisticated materials.