Watches & Wonders is the premier online event in the watch world, where some 40 brands from across the globe turn up in a show of force to showcase their latest and greatest. 2020 was a stellar year for the event, and the shift to an online platform has given the world unprecedented access to new watches that previously only the media and a privileged few were allowed to see first. Watches & Wonders 2021 is primed to be one of the best online watch shows the industry has ever seen with maisons like Rolex, Vacheron Constantin and Cartier dropping hit after hit.
Dozens upon dozens of watches have been or are about to be released as part of Watches & Wonders 2021, so instead of inundating you with an overload of new watches, we’ve decided to split our coverage into several parts to give you a glimpse into what we thought were some of the best watches of the show.
A. Lange & Söhne
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar
When A. Lange & Söhne arrives at any show, you’d best stop what you were doing and pay attention. Lange released a handful of new watches, including the superb Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar. Available in either pink or white gold, the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar continues on with the maison’s asymmetrical theme consistent with the Lange 1 family of watches.
A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split in Pink Gold
Lange’s mighty Triple Split is back and it’s better than ever. Now featuring a pink gold case with a gorgeous blue dial, the Triple Split is endowed in even more lustful beauty while still retaining its innate mechanical complexities.
A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moon Phase
Next up is the Little Lange 1 Moon Phase. Don’t be swayed by its name, the Little Lange 1 Moon Phase is still a serious bit of kit. This model features a dark blue gold flux dial, offset by a lovely white gold case which you can option up to include diamonds on the bezel. Because why not, right?
Panerai Submersible Bronzo Blu Abisso
Not a limited edition per se, but limited to only 1,000 production pieces per year, the Panerai Submersible Bronzo Blu Abisso beautifully balances aesthetics with charisma and sheer brute-like qualities to create one of the coolest packages of Watches & Wonders 2021 so far.
Panerai Luminor Marina Steel
Panerai’s Luminor Marina eSteel is an interesting timepiece, where it can confidently lay claim to the fact that over 50% of its mass is composed of recycled-based materials. We’re in line to see more of this recycling in future models which is both an intriguing and novel concept.
Panerai Submersible eLAB-ID
Panerai has outdone itself at Watches & Wonders 2021. Focusing on the visceral as opposed to the mechanical often doesn’t work well in the watch community, but in the case of the Submersible eLAB-ID, all is well! The Submersible eLAB-ID also features recycled materials in its construct, and where the Luminor Marina eSteel looks slightly low-key, the Submersible eLAB-ID brings back the notion of a heavy-duty diver’s watch. Love it.
Montblanc Heritage Manufacture Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition 100
Montblanc’s Heritage Manufacture Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition 100 brings to life the notion of classicism in a time where novel materials, insanely complex movements and openworking seems to be the “in thing”. The Heritage Manufacture Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition 100 is a lovely rendition of a vintage-inspired perpetual calendar, complete with a stunning caramel-coloured dial encased in rose gold.
Montblanc Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon
Montblanc knows how to turn it on, and where the Heritage Manufacture Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition 100 is all about heritage and class, the Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon is all about balls-the-wall hardcore haute horlogerie. With its one-minute suspended tourbillon, the Star Legacy Suspended Exo Tourbillon truly is a remarkable undertaking that really brings to light the calibre-making prowess that Montblanc has.
Hermès H08 Collection
The new Hermès H08 collection introduces the world to five wonderful versions of the base model. From a graphene composite model to a satin-brushed titanium model, the H08 collection has something for everyone. The model itself is a sporty-cross-ultra-luxe watch that is somewhat polarising but all in all quite quirky. I really like the orange-tipped seconds hand, as well as the overall look of the dial and case construct. Definitely not for everyone, but it’s a piece that I think will look even better in the metal.
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43
IWC has had a stellar showing this year, with the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 a prime example of the maison listening to its community. A smaller case and a cleaner dial give the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 a fresh new look that is super appealing. Available on a variety of strap and bracelet options, the Big Pilot’s Watch 43 promises to be a sell-out.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41
IWC also slimmed down its Pilot’s Watch Chronograph, reducing it to 41mm in diameter. Available with either a blue or green dial, and on either a calfskin leather or stainless steel bracelet, this smaller version of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41, like the Big Pilot’s Watch 43, promises to be a real crowd-winner.
IWC Pilot’s Watches Mojave Desert Limited Editions
IWC’s Mojave Desert themed Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition has long been well received within the watch community. And now we have two brand new Big Pilot versions to add to the Mojave Desert Limited Edition collection. The Big Pilot’s Watch TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert” and the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN Edition “Mojave Desert” enter the world as two of the most desirable watches not only within the IWC atelier but also from Watches & Wonders 2021. I’ll take the perp, thanks.
Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept “Tribute to La Côte-aux-Fées”
The Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept “Tribute to La Côte-aux-Fées” is the first of a handful of outstanding pieces. With six years of development behind it, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept “Tribute to La Côte-aux-Fées” boasts a paper-thin 2mm thick case. Yes, that’s the WHOLE case.
Piaget Polo Skeleton
The openworked versions of the Polo leaves little to the imagination, where the world of micro-mechanics is on full display. Add to that a rose gold case and what you have is one of the most delectable watches of the show. Stunning.
Piaget Polo Skeleton High-Jewellery
Costing a whopping $730,000 (or $310,000 without the diamond-encrusted white gold bracelet), the new Piaget Polo Skeleton High-Jewellery is an especially interesting watch, on a few fronts. The first is that it is set with an eye-watering amount of diamonds, including1 48 brilliant-cut diamonds and 132 baguette-cuts set on the case and flange, plus another 292 brilliant-cut diamonds and 11 brilliant-cut sapphires decorating the white-gold, skeletonized 1200D1 movement. That’s not including the bracelet mind you, which in itself is fully set with 184 baguette-cut diamonds and 1,258 brilliant diamonds. Yikes
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando Limited Edition
Crafted out of matte black ceramic with a textured and sandblasted finish, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando Limited Edition can lay claim to being one of the most contemporary-looking watches of the show so far. Its blue coloured dial features lacquered finishing and is topped off with a yellow gold crescent. Delightful.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar
Bulgari has continued its reign on the ultra-thin market with its latest piece, the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar. Available in either titanium or platinum, the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar in both versions measures a measly 5.80mm in thickness (where its perpetual calendar in-house calibre BVL 305 measures only 2.75mm in thickness). These eye-watering dimensions are completely out of this world. Can’t wait to see what Bulgari comes up with next!
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300
TAG Heuer made some waves at Watches & Wonders 2021 with the introduction of its latest diving piece, the Aquaracer Professional 300.
Featuring 8 new models including one limited edition piece, the new Aquaracer Professional 300 collection features a variety of size and colour variations, including 43mm models in black, blue, silver and green, 36mm models in blue, silver and black as well as a 43mm “Tribute to Ref. 844” limited edition. Definitely something for everyone.