Our Favorite Collaboration Watches of 2022

Collaborative watches aren’t going anywhere. There were almost too many to track in 2022, and the continued prevalence of these watches in the space (and the fact that people seem to be buying out the limited runs almost as soon as they’re released) would seem to indicate that the collab watch isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That’s fine with us. When watch brands partner with other brands (whether they’re watch brands, apparel companies, or video game plumbers) it helps get people excited about the hobby, which is kind of what we all want. And when the collaborations really work, it allows for watch brands to flex their creative muscles in different and exciting ways. Here are some of our favorites from 2022. 

Blake Buettner

Earlier in the year I found myself at a rather formal dinner (gala?) with the Horological Society of New York, surrounded by industry professionals, collectors, and colleagues. Not exactly my scene, truth be told, but I was fortunate enough to be seated near Nicholas Bowman-Scargill, the managing director of historic British brand, Fears. If you had the chance to meet him at our Windup Watch Fair in New York this year, you know just how pleasant he is to be around. On his wrist was a watch I hadn’t seen before, and it quickly drew my attention. It was the forthcoming collaboration with fellow British brand Garrick, the fittingly named Fears Garrick, which we wrote about here.


I’ll note that I am not fond of open dial or open heart watches, but when they work, they really work. And the Fears Garrick, really works. The oversized balance dominates the southern portion of this dial, and the design of the bridge holding in place is sublime. The mechanical marvel that Garrick brought to the table jives beautifully with the Fears aesthetic, which include the open hands and applied numerals against a stark white dial. A power reserve and running seconds occupy sub dials at the top of the dial, in rather unusual positions at that, but they work. 

This is an unexpected collaboration and it remains firmly present in my mind as the best collaboration of the year. Not many are being made, and they aren’t cheap, but it’s a sight to behold and it represents a true collaboration of watchmakers, which is a rare thing these days. Now, if only we can get Garrick into the Windup Watch Fair…

Zach Kazan 

Ressence watches are favorites of mine for their pure ingenuity and originality, and this year they took part in the launch of Grail Watch, a new project from Wei Koh that promises nothing less than to make dream watches a reality, with a pretty special collaboration with Alain Silberstein. Silberstein’s work has been newly appreciated as of late, as his designs have shown up in a handful of successful collaborations with Louis Erard, but the “Carpe Diem,” otherwise known as Grail Watch 1, stands alone

The Carpe Diem watch combines Ressence’s proprietary ROCS module, a series of discs that move around the dial to tell the time, with Silberstein’s whimsical, Bauhaus inspired graphics. But these aren’t the geometrical shapes most often associated with Silberstein’s designs – instead we get a rose and a skull, inspired by a well known Philippe de Champaigne painting that illustrates the concept of a “memento mori,” or a reminder of the inevitability of death. 

I love the ambition of the Carpe Diem watch, and that it makes an honest attempt to link fine art to watchmaking, and that this link is based around the idea of the limited nature of time itself. It also just looks great, with a bright blue dial and plenty of color incorporated into the flower hiding within the hour disc, which is itself rendered in bright red. The Carpe Diem is certainly among the most high concept releases of the year, and while I don’t always love a watch that requires an explanation, I think this particular collaboration works on every possible level. 

Thomas Calara

My favorite collaboration of 2022 without a doubt is the H. Moser x Undefeated Streamliner Chronograph. The collaboration between the involved brands in itself was unexpected to say the least. On one hand, you have a contemporary independent watch manufacturer in H. Moser, and on the other, you have an enduring streetwear brand in Undefeated. Two brands on opposite ends of the product spectrum. But somehow, the H. Moser x Undefeated Streamliner Chronograph works on all fronts. 

The only thing that remains the same with this collaborative piece is the H. Moser Streamliner case form and bracelet. The dial gets treated with Undefeated’s signature black tiger camo that’s laser engraved using a series of horizontal and diagonal cuts. Aesthetically, the dial is sportier with the addition of the 3-6-9 numeral configuration, Undefeated tally logo at 12, and a minute track demarcating every five minute intervals. The steel two-part case and distinct integrated bracelet gets dressed in an anthracite gray DLC coating. 

I thought this watch was cool from the press photos, but man, handling the watch in the office took my appreciation for the piece to another level. The detail from the laser engraved dial is superb and the fact that I’m a sucker for a 3-6-9 dial only heightened my adoration for the watch. The case, and more specifically the integrated bracelet is something that I’ve never experienced in person. The whole design, from the aesthetic to how the links articulate, is its own thing and separates itself from the sea of integrated steel sports watches that are cut from the same cloth. 

I think in general these types of collaborations are healthy for the watch industry. It allows brands to experiment outside of their comfort zone and incorporates different niches that intersect the world of watches. It brings in new eyeballs and potentially new people into the hobby. Now I don’t think newcomers are going to spend $55,000 on a watch to start a collection, but it’s similar collaborations that are more affordable and in the same vein like the Seiko x Rowing Blazers collaboration (my runner up for best 2022 collab) that embody the same exact maturation of the hobby.

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