2021 was a big year for luxury watches after a slower year in 2020. Brands unveiled complicated movements that were years in the making, as well as special, limited-edition timepieces that would entice shoppers back into boutiques. We’ve rounded up six of the most impressive watches of the year, ranging from a smart $10,000 chronograph to a diamond masterpiece with a tourbillon.
Brands unveiled complicated movements that were years in the making, as well as special, limited-edition timepieces that would entice shoppers back into boutiques.
A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk
A. LANGE & SÖHNE ZEITWERK HONEYGOLD LUMEN
A. Lange & Söhne is one of the most innovative and technologically impressive watch manufactures in the world. Not only are its dials instantly recognizable due to the unique designs, but they feature exclusive, in-house movements with components and technology that you can’t find anywhere else. The new Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen is a perfect example of its ingenuity and impeccable craftsmanship. This new watch features the brand’s proprietary gold blend, named Honeygold, for its warm, honey hue, and it has an exceptional new movement.
The Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen has a proprietary semi-transparent dial that showcases the inner workings of the movement. The jumping numeral discs peek out beneath it, so you can fully appreciate each jump of the single minutes, tens of minutes and hours. It’s most impressive every hour when each of the three numbers switches simultaneously. Jumping numerals require a lot of power to precisely make each jump, so this movement is powered by two mainspring barrels. Thanks to a newly updated caliber, it now boasts an astonishing 72-hour power reserve. The Zeitwerk Honeygold Lumen is limited to 200 pieces. $145,000.
ZENITH CHRONOMASTER SPORT
This year, Zenith unveiled a new Chronomaster Sport that would give even the most devoted Daytona fans a reason to take a second look. The watch features Zenith’s famous El Primero caliber, which can measure time accurately up to one-tenth of a second. It has sleek, sporty stylings. The stainless-steel case has a black ceramic bezel with one-tenth of a second measurements, which contrasts nicely with the white dial and multi-colored chronograph counters. The three counters are light grey, dark grey, and blue. It’s a handsome and unexpected combination. It comes on a stainless-steel bracelet for a classic look or on a rubber strap for something more sporty. There’s also a version with a black dial if you prefer a darker look. $10,000.
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GREUBEL FORSEY GMT EARTH
The third and final edition of Greubel Forsey’s GMT Earth embraces the dark side. It has a black titanium case, black subdials, and a black 3-D model of the Earth. This highly complex watch shows the time anywhere on earth visually through the laser-engraved globe surrounded by a sapphire ring that serves as a day/night indication. The globe on this luxury watch makes a full rotation once every 24 hours and is visible on the front and on the back of the watch. Despite its complex movement, the watch is ultra-light, weighing just 117 grams thanks to the new titanium case, bridges, crown, push-piece, and folding buckle. The dial has a black finish, as well as all of the fine finishing details expected from Greubel Forsey. Price on request.
The watch has a cushion-shaped case, and the dial is set on a diagonal, which makes it easy to read while driving.
VACHERON CONSTANTIN HISTORIQUES AMERICAN 1921
This year, Vacheron Constantin celebrates the 100th anniversary of its iconic American 1921 timepiece. To celebrate the occasion, it unveiled three new models. The watch has a cushion-shaped case, and the dial is set on a diagonal, which makes it easy to read while driving. It’s unusual today and was certainly unusual when it debuted in the Roaring Twenties. The new 36.5mm version has an 18K white gold case accented by a silver-toned dial and a small seconds subdial. It has a 65-hour power reserve and is water-resistant to 30m. $30,400.
H. MOSER STREAMLINER PERPETUAL CALENDAR
Typically, perpetual calendars are instantly recognizable due to an indication that shows the leap year function. H. Moser & Cie turned that notion on its head when it first debuted the Perpetual 1 movement, which only has one window that displays the date. The month is discreetly shown by a small red and white central hand. The leap-year indication is hidden on the back of the watch. To the untrained eye, it looks like a simple date watch, not one of horology’s most impressive complications. This year, H. Moser introduced an updated movement and added it to the new Streamliner collection. This collection is beloved for its fantastic integrated bracelet, which is ultra-comfortable. CHF 49,000.
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BULGARI OCTO ROMA TOURBILLON LUMIERE
Bulgari’s Octo collection is known for its ultra-thin, record-breaking movements and unique octagonal case. Now, Bulgari introduces a gem-set version with a smaller 38mm case and a stunning open-worked movement with a tourbillon. The white gold movement has been skeletonized and decorated by hand. The fine craftsmanship is on full display. The bezel is set with baguette-cut diamonds, as are the crown and lugs. The clear dial is surrounded by a semi-circle of diamonds and blue sapphires, which serve as hour markers. This exceptional watch is limited to just 30 pieces. $3,137,000.