The Worn & Wound Team’s Favorite Purchases of 2022

It was a wild year of watch buying for the Worn & Wound crew. Grails were acquired, collections greatly expanded, watches were flipped, and there were plenty of surprises along the way. As the year comes to an end, we think we’re just about done with #NWAs until at least January (right?) so we’re being wildly adventurous and bringing you our selections for our favorite purchases of 2022 a little over a week before Christmas. Depending on what’s under the tree, these selections might need some slight revisions. But as of now, these are our favorite pickups of the year. 

Blake Buettner

There were a few additions to my collection this year that particularly stand out, and still bring a smile when grabbing them out of the box. The Seiko SPB317 is the most recent among them, and it’s a watch that, as much I liked it when I picked it up, has somehow managed to grow on me further still in the time since. It’s just great. But, it’s not my fondest pickup of the year. 

That honor falls to the Black Bay Pro, a watch that was released earlier in the year at Watches & Wonders. This too is a watch that managed to get under my skin after a somewhat lukewarm initial impression. After some time living with it, the watch really began to come into its own for me. I now consider a stable cornerstone of the collection, and it’s a watch I find myself recommending often. 

We’ve said a lot about the Black Bay Pro since its release, both in its introduction, and in my owner’s review, and I’ve found the watch to be remarkably consistent in the intervening months. It’s such an easy watch to grab and go, and despite its thickness, I’ve never once found myself encumbered by it. Overall it’s got a great footprint and wears amazingly well, all things considered. 


It’s not the only GMT in my collection, but it could be and I wouldn’t complain a bit about it. More than anything, it gets me excited about what Tudor is doing, and this watch, along with the FXD (perhaps my favorite purchase of 2021) paint a rosy picture of where Tudor is at the moment, and where I hope to see them continue shine in 2023. 

Zach Weiss

My favorite purchase from this year was also perhaps my favorite release of the year – the Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto. I’ve already written about it once, recorded a video, and did a spot on A Week in Watches, but there’s still a lot left to say about the C1 Bel Canto. Next year, after a few months of wear, I’ll do an Owner’s Review, but until then, suffice it to say, I’ve been very happy with it.

A couple of weeks ago, the team got together to pen How to Buy a Watch: Practical Advice From the Worn & Wound Team. I semi-joked about the process of getting obsessed (semi-joked because that’s how I usually am) and ended it with a quip about buying impulsively as well. The Bel Canto is not a watch I, or anyone else, could have planned for (ok, I knew it was going to come out because I had reviewed the prototype, but I didn’t expect it). It wasn’t just a new, hot release, it was a new concept, in some sense. A type of watch that wasn’t on the radar of most, myself included. When I saw it, I knew instantly that I had to have it. I regret nothing.

If you had asked me at the beginning of the year if I planned on buying a watch that chimes at the top of the hour, I would have given you a funny look. But here we are, I did just that, and it’s my favorite purchase of the year because it was so unexpected. There is no redundancy with the Bel Canto. Like an unknown element or sense, its existence is singular and likely to not be repeated any day soon. As a seeker of new horological experiences, this excites me tremendously. My ideal collection is perhaps one of watches where no two watches has anything in common… I’ll have to get to work on that.

And it looks rad but not just for the sake of it. The elaborate arrangement of components, including the offset hour and minute dial, though certainly stylized, is by necessity to allow for the hourly chiming mechanism. The deep, radiant blue plaque (made by Armin Strom) offsets the beautifully finished components above (by Chronode) which shimmer in all the right ways. Set within a 41mm grade 5 titanium case which is competently, if not elaborately finished, on the wrist it’s the right balance of bold and unusual, and surprisingly comfortable.

So, yeah, that’s my purchase of the year, and it’s been a solid year. Sorry Tudor Black Bay Pro, you were a close second (and would win for most worn), but the chiming C1 Bel Canto takes the gold. 

Zach Kazan

My favorite purchase of the year is the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 Top Gun Ceratanium. I didn’t buy many watches this year, but even so, coming to this conclusion was incredibly easy. That said, before laying eyes on it, I never would have thought I’d be drawn to it at all, let alone that it would hold such a special place in my collection. 

Ahead of Watches & Wonders, we received a press packet from IWC detailing their big releases at the upcoming show. The marquee watches, you might remember, were a pair of ceramic chronographs, one in green, the other in white, Somewhat buried in the mountain of press info was another entry in the Top Gun collection, a full Ceratanium pilot’s chrono in the newer 41mm case shape that had been introduced the previous year. I glazed over it, thinking it looked like a somewhat pedestrian blacked out chrono that wasn’t really my bag at all. 

Then I saw it in Geneva at my meeting with IWC, a meeting I almost didn’t attend as it was late in a long week (my second to last meeting, if I remember correctly) and my colleagues had already met with the brand previously. In other words, I didn’t really need to be there. I was filling in some blanks, trying to network and see as many watches as I could in person. I remember specifically that I was interested in seeing those ceramic chronographs, which were very nice but simply too big for me, personally. Laid out next to them, though, was the newest 41mm pilot’s chronograph. A more palatable size, and in Ceratanium, IWC’s proprietary titanium alloy, fired at a high temperature, giving it ceramic-like scratch resistance and a beautiful dark gray color tone. It’s  a material I’d been curious about for years. 

I tried it on and it wore great, light as you’d expect given it’s essentially a titanium case, and with proportions that worked well on my wrist. But what blew me away was that this didn’t look at all like the renders I saw in the IWC press release. That watch had a “murdered out” look that was once all the rage but has thankfully been mostly retired, while the watch now on my wrist had plenty of contrast with a case and dial that read as dark gray to my eye, and hour markers and accents in a much lighter shade. Not only was it not black on black, it was remarkably easy to read, and it felt sleek and fun to wear. I was immediately smitten. 

When I got back to the US, I gave it some thought and put my name on a list to register interest. My number, surprisingly, came up later that summer, and I sold several pieces to help fund the new one, a decision I’m glad I made. It’s a watch that’s easy for me to wear everyday, slotting into my life just about seamlessly. 

Thomas Calara

My adoration for Doxa has been expressed multiple times here on the pages of Worn & Wound. I love the history of the brand and its ties to the innovation of the dive watch and oceanic exploration. The Doxa Sub 300 was always the watch that spoke to me the most. It has this quirky aesthetic, and wears unexpectedly well given its larger case build. Plus there’s the whole Jacques Cousteau element of the watch. Seeing images of Cousteau wearing the Sub 300 aboard the Calypso still sticks with me to this very day. 


I used to own a 50th Anniversary Doxa Sub 300 Searambler ‘Silver Lung’ edition. It’s a cool watch, but after some time with it, I couldn’t get over the Aqua Lung badge in the lower left quadrant of the dial. It visually threw off the balance of the dial, and honestly, it wouldn’t be authentic to the Doxas that Cousteau and his merry band of explorers wore during their expeditions at sea. So I turned my sights to the 50th Anniversary Doxa Sub 300 Sharkhunter, aka the ‘White Shark’. This particular model has a black dial sans the Aqua Lung badge, a white minute hand as opposed to the traditional orange minute hand on regular production models and a ‘DOXA’ signed crown that substitutes the Jenny fish logo. 

Staying true to my “How to Buy a Watch” advice, I stayed patient. I created alerts on all the watch buying platforms and scoured the internet nightly for the ever-elusive ‘White Shark’. It wasn’t until April of this year that one finally surfaced. The photos provided were average at best, there wasn’t a whole lot of information from the seller, and the watch was located overseas. Also, the price being what it was, this Doxa seemed like it was too good to be true. So I approached the seller in a very calm and cool manner. Every question I asked was answered and every photo that I requested was sent over, and then meticulously cross referenced with existing photos of the watch. All my concerns were put to bed. I bought the watch.

Fast forward to today, I can easily say that the 50th Anniversary Doxa Sub 300 ‘White Shark’ is my favorite purchase of 2022. The watch is its own thing on the beads of rice steel bracelet and wears like a gem on a NATO. It’s definitely occupied the most wrist time since I’ve purchased the watch and it’s been a joy to share my enthusiasm for the brand and this particular reference with other Doxa enthusiasts. 

Kat Shoulders 

My favorite purchase from 2022 was a watch that I’ve owned not once, but twice before. To say that I have a complicated relationship with the Grand Seiko SBGM221 is an understatement. To those who may not know, watches tend to come and go quite frequently in my collection, I want to own as many as I can before I leave this place called earth and well, since I don’t have unlimited funds, hard choices have to be made about which ones I say goodbye to. 99% of the time, I give no thought to the watches I send off to their new owners, I’m actually happy someone else will enjoy them. But the SBGM221 had a different effect on me. I immediately started regretting my decision to get rid of the piece because it didn’t have enough water resistance or that it was too dressy to wear around the house now that I work from home. I really…missed it

So when that gut feeling of regret returned this year and I started daydreaming about my previous time together with the Grand Seiko, I knew I had to get it back. I’m a huge fan of GMT watches in general and this one is just everything romantic you’d want in a GMT. The dreamy cream dial, the blue steel GMT hand, and the zaratzu polished indices. I can stare at it all day long and never grow tired of it. Grand Seiko lists this watch under their Elegance Collection, and describes it as “understated” and “quintessentially Grand Seiko” and I have to agree. One thing I love so much about the brand and this watch in particular is that it reminds me of the 60’s, a time when Grand Seiko was really coming into its own. Some of that DNA has certainly carried over into this piece, albeit the sizing that is far more normal at 39.5mm for today’s standards.


Another attribute this watch has that I can gush over all day long is the case shape. It’s not incredibly thin at 13.7mm, but there’s this bubble-like shape that I honestly just fell head over heels for. One of my favorite things about wearing a watch is looking at that side profile and the SBGM221 just really catches your eye at a quick glance. All this gushing makes me wonder why I ever sold it in the first place, but I’m happy to say it’s here to stay for good and I’m incredibly happy it came back into the collection this year. 

Ed Jelley 

I’ll make this brief – I sold one watch in 2022 and I bought one watch in 2022. It was a year of (mostly) just enjoying my collection. I let my Doxa Sub 200 Sharkhunter go and brought in a Seiko SPB143. It’s almost like I wrote an article about this exact thing and pretty much called myself out saying that I’d own the Seiko someday. One thing I was wrong about was that I’d keep both in my collection. They ended up feeling too similar and I think it was time to give the other one a shot. I wore the SPB on a ton of fishing trips throughout the year, even some particularly memorable ones where I landed my first sizable saltwater fish from the shore. I spent more time in the salt water this year than ever in my life, and the SPB143 felt right at home. 

Moving one watch and adding one watch is a pretty minimal year for me. I’m in this place where I feel pretty content with my collection. Sure I’d love a 41mm Sub no-date, but the idea of dropping over $10k on a watch just doesn’t feel right for me at the moment. By taking a more zen approach, I’ve made it a point to enjoy what I have and it’s been kind of nice to not worry about flipping watches to make room for that next #NWA. Like most markets, I’m sure my personal watch consumption will correct in 2023 and next year’s roundup will be a whole heck of a lot more exciting. 

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