From Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Skelet-One to Hublot Big Bang Integral Ceramic, here are the best watches of 2021.
JAQUET DROZ GRANDE SECONDE SKELET-ONE
The watch, with the iconic ‘8’ figure formed by the sapphire dial with indexes and hands in 18K gold suspended above a brushed hours and minutes ring, is now available in three new variations: green, sky blue, and yellow, in limited editions of 28 pieces each. The colours make their way to the handmade straps, watch hands, and the dial’s rail track. The index and screws on both the green and sky blue versions are made from 18K white gold. The 41.5mm case is in black ceramic. The yellow version features a red gold index and screws, white gold hours and minutes ring, and a plasma ceramic case. The hand-crafted movement has a power reserve of 68 hours.
BLANCPAIN TRIBUTE TO FIFTY FATHOMS NO RAD LIMITED EDITION
This watch is an identical replication of the legendary Blancpain diving watch from the early 1960s, which was targeted at people who were worried about the effects of radiation from radium that was commonly used on dials for better visibility in the dark, in those days. Besides its more-than-obvious name, the dial of the watch also carried a prominent yellow and red stamp with a cross against a trefoil, the well-known international symbol for radiation, and the term No Radiation. The 40.3mm case is in steel. Like other Blancpain diver’s watches, the bezel insert is made from sapphire. Powered by an automatic movement. Limited to 500 pieces.
BVLGARI OCTO ROMA CARILLON TOURBILLON
This Bulgari minute repeater combines a tourbillon with a three-hammer set of gongs that strike the chimes of Westminster. The 44mm black DLC coated titanium case has been designed to maximise the sound effect. The middle case has hollowings to reduce the amount of metal between inside and outside, and three openings (corresponding to the three chimes) that allow sound to exit from the chamber. The white gold crown is set with a black ceramic insert, while the white gold push button at 9 o’clock activates the chime. The skeletonised manual winding movement is equipped with two barrels — one for the sound mechanism that winds automatically when the bell is triggered, and the other that guarantees a power reserve of at least 75 hours at full charge. Limited to 15 individually numbered pieces.
ZENITH DEFY 21 FELIPE PANTONE
A collaborative effort between Zenith and Felipe Pantone, the young Argentinian-Spaniard who is among the best known contemporary artists working in Europe. Known for his graphic and installation art that blends geometric shapes with neon colours and whites and blacks, his first assignment for Zenith last year was to paint the façade of its main building in Switzerland. He uses the basic principles behind the transmission of light in creating the art on the face of this watch. The moiré optical effect produced by thin alternating white and black bands, a recurring theme in Pantone’s paintings and sculptures, has been miniaturised and reproduced on the top bridges and portions of the dial using laser-engraving and lacquering techniques, so precise that they provide an optical illusion of fluidic movement in the contrast of the stripes. The chronograph’s open dial is a mix of gradient and block colours on the markers and counters. The central hour and minute hands feature an intentionally distorted look, resembling the lightning bolts that figure in much of his work. Three-dimensional PVD with silicon particles has been used as a surface treatment on the movement to produce a spectrum of transitioning colours. While the process has been standardised, each piece takes on slightly different colours, becoming a unique work of art. The case is in black ceramic. Powered by the automatic El Primero 9004 movement with a power reserve of 50 hours. Limited to 100 pieces.
HUBLOT BIG BANG INTEGRAL CERAMIC
Following its debut in black ceramic, Big Bang Integral is now available in three new colours — white, navy blue, and grey — all with built-in scratch resistance, durability, and hypoallergenic properties. The name comes from its monobloc architecture, where the integrated bracelet is fused with the 42mm case. The HUB1280 UNICO self-winding chronograph flyback movement has a power reserve of 72 hours.
IWC PILOT’S WATCH TIMEZONER EDITION LE PETIT PRINCE
This limited-edition (1,500 pieces) watch, with a Timezoner function, comes in a 46mm stainless steel case with a midnight-blue dial that features a city ring made of blue ceramic and white luminous coated numerals and hands. The Timezoner function enables the change of time zones by pressing down the bezel, and turning it to the desired location. The automatic movement has a power reserve of 60 hours.
BREITLING TOP TIME DEUS LIMITED EDITION
Co-designed with Australian lifestyle brand Deus Ex Machina, this retro-style chronograph is a nod to Breitling’s original 1960s edition. The silver dial features yellow and orange details and squircle-shaped chronograph counters. The Deus logo and tagline ‘in benzin veritas’ (In petrol we trust) are offset in white on the black tachymeter scale. The back of the 41mm stainless steel case bears the artwork of a retro-looking motorcyclist. The racing theme extends to the calfskin leather strap. The self-winding chronometer movement has a power reserve of approximately 48 hours. Limited to 1,500 pieces.
ULYSSE NARDIN SPARKLING FREE WHEEL
This jewellery watch represents the apotheosis of the art-of-diamond setting. Using the complex technique of ‘snow-setting’, it is bathed in 2251 pave diamond stones weighing 5.9 carats. The grey gold dial, horns, barrel cover, and even the black alligator band’s clasp are all studded with diamonds. The other standout features are the dial’s tourbillon bridges, and the seven-day power reserve indicator at four o’clock, shaped like boomerangs that seem to float in the air along with the other components like the hour and minute indicators and gear trains. They are all housed in a sapphire glass box. Even the case back is in sapphire. UN176, the manual winding mechanical movement, has a power reserve of seven days. Limited to eight pieces.
OMEGA SEAMASTER DIVER 300M AMERICA’S CUP CHRONOGRAPH
This chronograph celebrates the 36th American Cup that concluded last month in Auckland, New Zealand, where Omega was the official timekeeper. The 44mm stainless case comes with a blue ceramic dial and bezel ring, with a white enamel diving scale and soft-touch rubber pushers that work efficiently in wet conditions. The laser-engraved wave-pattern dial features a ‘regatta countdown indicator ring’ in red anodised aluminium with an hour disc underneath the sub-dial, and red anodised aluminium minute and rhodiumplated small seconds hand, inspired by the shape of a boat hull. The central seconds’ chronograph hand, also in red anodised aluminium, carries the America’s Cup replica on the counterweight. The case back features engravings filled with blue lacquer that spell out ‘36th America’s Cup’ and ‘Auckland 2021’. Powered by Omega’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 9900.
TAG HEUER CONNECTED GOLF EDITION
This new version of the brand’s third-generation connected watch is targeted once again at golfers, following a similar watch in 2019. It is packed with features to help master the golf course, such as 3D mapping, hazards distance, shot tracking, scorecards, pro stats, and a new driving zone feature. Comes in an ultra-lightweight 45mm black titanium case with a matte black ceramic bezel that features 18 engraved and lacquered graduations, which serve as a reference for the performance at each hole. The two functional pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock are used to record shots and shot distances with optimal precision in action. The watch works in sync with the TAG Heuer golf app, which displays 99 per cent of golf courses worldwide (40,000 maps) with precise 3D mapping technology and regular updates. Comes with typical functionalities like a heart rate monitor, compass, accelerometer, gyroscope etc. The battery lasts for a full day for standard use, and six hours of sports use.
PANERAI LUMINOR MARINA 44MM GUILLAUME NÉRY EDITION
Named after the famous French free diver and Panerai brand ambassador, this watch comes in a 44mm sandblasted DMLS titanium case, and is water-resistant to 300 metres. The titanium bezel, crown, and bridge lever feature rubberised coating. The black dial has a dégradé effect. The strap is made from black recycled PET material with white stitching. A white rubber technical strap with luminescent ‘Officine Panerai’ personalisation is also included with each watch. The self-winding movement has a power reserve of three days. Limited to 70 pieces, each watch comes with a 70-year warrant.
ARMANI EXCHANGE HAMPTON AUTOMATIC
A multi-layered skeleton automatic watch with a stainless steel case and a 3-link bracelet is available in four colourways. The dial features the signature Hampton logo bar, seconds track, and stick indexes.
CASIO G-SHOCK GST-B300 G-STEEL
Part of the series of special models that G-Shock has issued since the 1990s in support of environmental organisations. This limited-edition watch supports Wildlife Promising, a non-profit corporation that works for wildlife and humans’ coexistence in Africa. The design is inspired by the skin pattern of the endangered African rock python, the continent’s largest snake. The back sports the logo of ‘Love the Sea and The Earth’, the brand’s theme for these special models. It comes with all the regular G-Shock features, including superior shock resistance, rigidity and durability, world time setting for 300 cities, automatic time adjustment via Bluetooth, indicator at 6 o’clock for current mode and charge level, etc.
DANIEL WELLINGTON ICONIC MOTION
This first Daniel Wellington watch, water resistant upto 100 metres, targets those with an active lifestyle. It features contrasting rose gold or silver accents, and comes with a strap made from FKM rubber, a material that is soft, comfortable, durable, and resistant to stains.
FOSSIL FS5790 NEUTRA CHRONO
Part of a new collection of watches in eight distinct styles, but with a standard colour palette of navy blue and gold, this chronograph comes in a 44mm case, with a blue sunray dial and navy leather strap.