What’s the name for a 14-sided polygon? A tetradecagon. Didn’t know? Don’t worry. I had to look it up, too. But Retter Watches is banking on its tetradecagon to change all that. The Retter 22 is the brand’s debut timepiece and it opens for presale today.
The Retter 22 is a melding of design cues from some of the greatest integrated sports watches of the past and present. In particular, it draws inspiration from Gerald Genta’s seminal Royal Oak, but also from the bracelet in Jorg Hysek’s Vacheron 222. In fact, the name of the Retter 22 is a nod to that latter influence, as well as being a celebration of the year in which the brand launches its own first watch.
Fashioned in 316L stainless steel, the 40mm case seeks the sweet spot for sizing. Its conservative lug to lug of 46mm also means that the watch looks balanced, while its fixed endlinks and integrated bracelet provide a seamless drape that hugs the wrist. Designed first and foremost as a sports watch, it would not be hard to imagine the Retter 22 doubling as a dress piece as well. The carefully curated multifaceted planes offer a fine synthesis of finishes from brushed to polished that both catch and reflect light in turn.
The bracelet, in particular, has a definitive shimmer. Its elongated hexagonal centre links, which provide a smooth curvature, also glint as your wrist is turned. A fine beveling of the bracelet edges also help in this respect, in addition to providing a comfortable fit. Fastening the watch in place is a custom butterfly clasp which provides an unbroken visual continuity, as well.
Aside from its good looks, however, the Retter 22 is a solid contender for your GADA (go-anywhere, do-anything) watch. With its screw-down caseback and crown, it provides a robust 200m of water resistance. The signed, extended crown is also easy to manipulate and it melds well with the overall design, due to its use of octagonal planes, rather than knurling.
The Retter 22 employs scratch-resistant, sapphire glass with an anti-reflective undercoating, behind which you can see the smooth, white bead-blasted dial—though a radially brushed blue reference is also available. The indices are applied, elongated hexagons which thoughtfully mirror the centre links in the integrated bracelet. The modified pencil handset does the same. Both dial elements have been treated with an icy blue X-1 Super-LumiNova.
Retter has chosen the SW400-1 (a slightly larger version of the SW200) to power the 22. It is an automatic 4Hz movement with a power reserve of 38 hours. The option of a larger date wheel in the SW400 was a deciding factor, so that it would balance out the dial. The brand is also promising to regulate the watch to four positions in-house, at their atelier in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, prior to shipping.
|Case||316L Stainless Steel (Bead-blasted)|
46mm Lug to Lug (49mm /w fixed endlinks)
21mm Lug Width
Screwed Down Case Back & Crown
200m Water Resistance
|Dial & Crystal||Sapphire /w AR Undercoat|
Regulated to 4 Positions (In-house)
40-Hour Power Reserve
|Strap||Integrated Brushed Stainless Steel Bracelet|
/w Custom Deployant Butterfly Clasp
PLUS: Complimentary Rubber Strap
for First 250 Orders
Retter has been refreshingly up front about the origins of the 22. While produced in Switzerland, and rightfully bearing the “Swiss Made” designation at the base of the dial, the Retter 22 makes no bones about its use of parts from a variety of manufacturers in both Europe and Asia. From the beginning, brand founder, Deep Ghosh, sought to keep the retail cost of the 22 under $1000USD through efficiencies in its supply chain without sacrificing its quality. Indeed, the preorder price of the Retter 22 will be $895USD, with an in-stock price increase down the road.
The preorder period (which begins today) remains open for two weeks, or until a minimum run quantity is fulfilled. Watches are expected to ship from US warehouses later in the year, or early 2023. Each timepiece will have a two-week return period, as well as a two-year, limited warranty from the manufacturer. The Retter 22 will arrive in an attractive leather carrying case.
The model under review here is a prototype. While close to the final rendering, some improvements and changes are currently underway. The application of lume, the quality of brushing, and level of bracelet suppleness are some focuses of the brand as they move toward production. Indeed, at the moment, the bracelet is a little tight out of the box, and might prove an issue when sizing below 61/2 inches. However, after only a few days on wrist (sized to 63/4“), I found that the bracelet “opened up,” and was quite comfortable–perhaps among the most comfortable in my own collection.
The closest most people will ever come to an AP Royal Oak or a vintage Vacheron 222 is through the glare of a plate glass showcase. But increasingly, through diversified supply chains and a lack of retail markup, microbrands are providing viable alternatives that move beyond homage, offering the design language enthusiasts are after, but is otherwise out of reach. The Retter 22 is a striking build. It is difficult to communicate just how solid and balanced it feels on wrist. The bracelet is a dream of a design, and the fixed endlinks are an inspiration. With a screw-down crown, 200m of water resistance, and a workhorse Swiss calibre, it offers a lot for very little. For those after that elusive one-watch collection, you could do worse than the Retter 22. Whether in the boardroom, the ballroom, or behind the helm of your boat, its hard to to imagine the Retter 22 won’t make waves.
As mentioned earlier, preorder pricing is set at $895USD. As a bonus, the first 250 timepieces will come with a second rubber strap option. For more information, please visit the brand website.
About the author
Off The Cuff articles are full-length, hands-on reviews of the watch (or strap…) in question and represent the opinion of the author only. All photos are original, unless specified otherwise. If you would like to have your watch reviewed on this site, contact us here.
Please understand that using any links to products on this site might result in us making money.