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The watch world keeps on ticking at a frenetic pace, and that’s true whether you’re a newfound watch enthusiast or you’re keeping a sharp eye out for the best 2022 watch trends. For something as age-old and time-honored (pun intended) as a stylish wristwatch, there are, indeed, as many watch trends out there as you’ll find in the worlds of fashion, home goods, design and footwear. It’s all about finding a watch that works for you and yourself, though, be it one of the best digital watches or something made with more luxurious stylings in mind.
The best watch trends of 2022 are, for now, going to look a lot like what we saw in the watch world in 2021. Think increasingly rare, nearly one-off designs from boutique brands, plus a focus on vintage watches and even retailers you know and love (like J.Crew and Todd Snyder) selling watches in their own right. What are the best, most on-trend watches to get on your wrist in 2022 and beyond? We’re glad you asked. These are some of our favorite picks for what’s new and what’s next.
Menswear Meets Watches
1. Timex + Todd Snyder Watches
BEST OVERALL TREND
Designer Todd Snyder is one prominent example of a menswear brand teaming up with a respected watch brand, seeing as Rowing Blazers partnered with Seiko in 2021. Those watches sold out quickly, and the NYC-based Snyder’s ongoing partnership with Timex (moving into its sixth year in 2022) continues to gain serious traction. Snyder does it arguably the best of anyone in the business, using his uniquely all-American, Midwest-meets-NYC aesthetic to scour the Timex archives and produce covetable, affordable watches.
These watches run the gamut from crisp leather dress watches to racing-inspired timepieces on fabric straps through the years. Again, that’s just scratching the surface, believe it or not, but we can’t get enough of what designers like Snyder intend to do when given access to an entire treasure trove of stylish watches that they can make their own.
2. Analog: Shift Vintage Rolex Datejust
BEST THROWBACK WATCH TREND
You might call this trend a continuation of the “menswear meets watches” approach we described above, seeing as long-running and ever-popular retailer J.Crew now stocks and sells a wide array of vintage watches. The preppy retailer has implemented a one-stop-shop approach that makes it easier than ever for stylish guys to get classic watches. Dapper dudes out there can now pick a classic timepiece to go with a covetable selection of chambray shirts, expertly faded denim, rugged leather boots and more (at least, that’s what we’d recommend you shop for at J. Crew alongside this vintage Rolex). We’ve also seen retailers partner with specialty shops to create a “shop-within-a-shop” experience, and in this case, J. Crew teamed with Analog: Shift, vintage watch experts, to curate this offering. These prices are genuinely splurge-worthy and incredibly limited, so act quickly if you want to own (and wear) a piece of history.
All-Black for Sleek Style
3. Nixon Porter Leather Watch
BEST WATCH TREND EVERYONE CAN TRY
One thing we saw more and more of across 2021, and one thing we expect to continue this year? Watches done up quite literally with “all black everything” designs, from the strap to the hardware to the dial, the markings and even details on the crown and watch pushers (in the case of chronograph watches).
This trend is an offshoot from watches designed for tactical functionality, the sort of watch that needs to blend in rather than stand out, hence the all-black design for minimal style. But now, that trend has made its way onto the streets and onto your wrist and watches best exemplify it at all price points. For our money’s worth, and yours, this affordable Nixon watch is a stone-cold stunner of a timepiece that looks great and wears well with just about anything you can imagine, including (wait for it)… black jeans, beat-up black boots, a crisp black tee and a black leather jacket. Try this trend now, and thank us later.
Back to Bronze
4. TUDOR Black Bay Fifty-Eight Bronze
BEST UNIQUE WATCH TREND
While plenty of watchmakers continue a trend of bold innovation in materials and design, there are few that dive in (quite literally) in the way that TUDOR does. The revered watchmaker is serving up the best example of a burgeoning trend that of crafting watches from unique materials beyond just stainless steel titanium especially dive watches. In the case of this watch, TUDOR used a particular and proprietary high-performance aluminum bronze alloy material to deliver a watch that develops a patina unique to your own wearing habits. Other brands, like Hamilton, offer up similarly rugged field watches with bronze cases set on field-ready fabric straps. Still, if you want to embrace the all-bronze trend, a watch made quite literally from bronze alloy is as fitting a way to do that as any on the market.
Square Up in Style
5. Shinola Guardian Watch
BEST ON-TREND WATCH SHAPE
Watch trends certainly come and go, just like the ticking of a clock or that timepiece on your wrist. One trend we’re embracing and excited to see more of in 2022, however? That of uniquely throwback, refined and handsome watch shapes, like this pleasingly squared-off, not-severe dial design from Shinola. Elegant square watches like the famed Cartier Tank have always been a reliable style move for a watch with a square or rectangular design. This Shinola Guardian Watch is a slightly larger, more modern take on the silhouette. It calls to mind the Guardian Building in Detroit and Art Deco architecture, never a bad trend to emulate if you want a style that’s at once timeless and yet of the moment. Think of a watch in this style as both a bold dress watch and a crisp casual watch, the kind you can wear with a rugged field jacket or your finest suit.