Retter 22 Review

The Vacheron 222 for the rest of us

Alright, friends, let’s be the first website to introduce the Retter 22 to the watch community. Not only are we introducing a new brand but also its very first model. Retter is a US-based brand in the market of what is commonly referred to as “affordable luxury.” What the brand wants to achieve is to make great design and high-quality manufacturing accessible to the masses. And although this is only my opinion, I think the model 22 does a great job on both accounts, as we will see below. 

Before we get into the weeds of the 22, let’s first address the glaring elephant in the room. As Retter explicitly indicates on its website, the 22 takes design cues from Jorg Hysek’s Vacheron Constantin 222 and Gerald Genta’s Royal Oak and Nautilus iconic models. The Model 22’s bracelet and clean dial design, as we will see, pays tribute to the Vacheron 222, while the bezel and some elements of the dial to Genta’s masterpieces. (As you could have already gathered, the 22 is named after the 222.) It’s refreshing to come across a straightforward brand about this. 


On the Wrist 

I’ve got a confession: the Model 22 is the first integrated bracelet watch I’ve ever tried. I was skeptical about trying one on because I was under the impression that this type of watch generally wears larger than its dimensions would indicate. (As in commands, too much wrist presence.) I formulated this thought based on reviews of other integrated bracelet watches I’ve seen on the World Wide Web. Popular and iconic models such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, for example. My mind was immediately put at ease when I first strapped the Model 22 on my wrist: it wears great on my 16cm (6.25”) wrist for a few reasons. 


First, the 22 has excellent dimensions, making it comfortable to wear and pleasant to look at on the wrist. It only requires a reasonable amount of real estate. The case diameter comes in at 40mm, a lug-to-lug distance of 46mm (49mm including the end links), and a thickness of 11mm. The lug-to-lug feels 46mm and not 49mm because the end links shoot down from the wrist dramatically. I wore many watches with 49mm lug-to-lug distances, and their wrist presence is much more substantial than the 22’s. What contributes to the excellent wearing experience of the 22 is the case + bracelet design. 


The model 22 is full of angular shapes that merge into each other graciously. Although we will talk about this in detail later, I invite you to look at the watch’s overall design to see how the case flows nicely with the bracelet—and vice versa. I now understand the point of integrated bracelets as they perfectly match the case’s design and create a holistic approach to the watch design. For all of the iconic models mentioned above, I prefer the way the Vacheron Constantin 222 looks, as its case-to-bracelet transitions are flawless and seamless. The design of the Retter 22 echoes this flow. 


Retter 22 Specs

Case Width




Case Thickness


Lug Width


Water Resistance



Integrated Bracelet






Sellita SW400



Dial Details 

The Model 22 borrows from all of the watches mentioned above is legibility. The dial is functional and elegant. The multifaceted applied markers are oblong and polished, and their proportions match the ones of the hands, which are simple in appearance. The hour hand reaches the hour markers, and the minute and second hands reach the minute track. A large date window at 3 o’clock is well integrated within the dial design. This is one of the few cases where I do like having a date with a white disk as it matches the lume color on the applied markers and hands. 


The dial comes in blue or white and has a sunburst finish, reflecting lights differently from different angles. I prefer the blue dial as it reminds me of what you can see in the ocean when the sun’s rays penetrate the water and shimmer. The white dial is also beautiful; however, the sunburst effect is not as pronounced. I appreciate the multiple appearances of polished surfaces on the date window, markers, and hands. It gives this watch an additional air of elegance that matches that of the case. 


Lastly, Retter went with minimal text on the dial: below the 12 o’clock, we find the brand’s logo (that looks like a stylized hourglass) above the brand’s name, and the words “automatic” below the pinion and “Swiss Made” furthest south on the dial. Yes, the Model 22 is assembled in Switzerland and, more specifically, in the Mecca of Swiss horology: Neuchâtel. Looking at the dial, we find some defining elements of the brand’s philosophy: elegance and simplicity. 



Case, Strap, and Movement 

The case and bracelets are beautiful. I would argue it’s okay that Retter took design cues from other brands, as it would be dishonest to say this is an uncommon practice with independent brands. I could quickly put together a list of brands that borrowed design elements from others, be it in the hands, case, or bracelet. For example, many independent brands make “oyster-style” bracelets. However, we don’t often hear critiques going up in arms about it. What attracted me to the 22 is this amalgam of attractive design elements that can be had for less than $1,000. 


I’m no designer, but I can only imagine how hard it must be to come up with entirely original designs that are wearable. There are many funky and outlandish designs out there that don’t make for suitable daily wearers. No, I won’t name brands because I like to remain positive. My point is that the Retter 22 has an exciting mix of things that resonate with each other quite well. The bezel, for example, displays strict angular corners that are highly polished, while the top of the bezel shows a vertical brushing. Furthermore, the top section of the mid-case is round, although it faithfully follows the bezel’s dimensions. 


The end links have arrow-shaped elements that point away from the case and down the bracelet, around the wrist. The bracelet shows a dual construction of h-links and oblong pieces that have the same shape as the markers and meet at the butterfly-style clasp. The bracelet, which has a slight taper toward the clasp, is thin and easily adjustable (one of the easiest bracelets to adjust I’ve ever come across.) It flows nicely with the case design, as it should for an integrated bracelet type of watch. The Vacheron Constantin 222 vibes are strong here, and I love it. 


Perhaps one of my favorite parts of the entire watch is the crown: it’s geometric but easy to grip. (I’m pointing that out because I have a watch with a similar-shaped crown that is much harder to grab and operate.) The brushed crown’s top portion is polished and engraved with the brand’s hourglass logo. The 22 has 200 meters of water resistance thanks to its screw-down crown and caseback. 


The model 22 is equipped with a rarely seen Sellita SW400, the bigger brother of the popular SW200. What does that mean? It means the movement is physically bigger than its sibling so that it fits better inside larger cases and therefore eliminates the need for large plastic or rubber spacers to hold the movement in place. Going this extra length is one of the many factors that make this watch enjoyable to me and shows that Retter put a lot of effort into their first model. What’s more: the SW400 is regulated (the models we were loaned run within COSC specifications,) beats at 28,800 BPH (4Hz), and offers 38 hours of power reserve. 


Final Thoughts 

I know that the Model 22 will create controversy within the watch community due to its resembling the 222, Royal Oak, and Nautilus in several aspects. However, I would argue that Retter did a great job making this design their own while offering some solid specifications. The watch is very well finished: the brushing on the case flanks, bezel, and bracelet is delicate, and the polish has a mirror-like finish. The strengths of this watch—price, finish, specifications, design—could be for certain people its weaknesses: it’s a lot to put in one watch. It is, in many aspects, a dress watch but one that can take a beating and be used in various scenarios. Before I forget: it also has a sapphire crystal with numerous layers of anti-reflective coating. Not bad, not bad at all, Retter! 

The Retter 22 will be available for pre-orders on August 1, 2022, at 12:00 A.M. EST and will retail for $895. 

Check out more sports watch reviews at The Watch Clicker here

Check out the Retter website here

More Images of the Retter 22

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