The Best Luxury Timepieces 2021 | Illustration by Briana Murphy for The Market Herald

Horology Insight: The Best Luxury Timepieces of 2021 (So Far)

For those who value the highest quality watch, 2021 is presenting an exciting year. No matter what you want your timepiece to say about you, this year’s new luxury watch releases include timeless classics, statement styles and modern masterpieces.

We’ve experienced some of the most established Swiss brands like Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breitling and Tudor all launch new timepieces. And with the finest watches now proving to be a safe-haven asset, there’s hardly a better time to invest in a high-quality timepiece.

Whether you’re looking for a piece of art with long-term profit potential or an everyday luxury accessory, here’s a look at the best watches of 2021.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is still one of the most iconic watches today – even, 50 years after its launch. In 2021, the Swiss watchmaker released a new model dubbed the ‘rainbow’ thanks to a bezel set with 32 baguette-cut rainbow-coloured sapphires. The gems are housed in a shimmering 18k Frosted Gold case and bracelet and the open-worked dial features pink gold applied hour-markers and Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating.

The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak presents a unique combination of bling backed by technical credentials. As with any Royal Oak, the limited supply meeting a high demand will likely generate a premium price hike on the secondary market.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak rainbow
Source: Audemars Piguet

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-014

With a waitlist close to 10 years, there’s no doubt the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 is one of the most coveted watch models in the world. So, when Patek Philippe announced its Green Dial Nautilus earlier this year, watch collectors and timepiece enthusiasts were suitably captivated by the iconic sports watch.

The 2021 example of the cult favourite features the same beloved silhouette but comes with a brand-new sunburst olive-green dial. The watch is so sought-after even family members of the Patek Philippe President, Theirry Stern, can’t get their hands on one with one selling at a Monaco auction for over A$641,000 in July this year.

Rolex Explorer II ref.216570

Ever since the first Rolex Explorer in 1963, the model remains a watch for the extremes. The Swiss brand, synonymous with luxury, maintains the Explorer II offers “reliability in the toughest conditions.” It’s equipped with a date display, an additional orange 24-hour hand and a fixed bezel with 24-hour graduations, enabling day to be distinguished from night – making it a popular choice with explorers.

The case and bracelet are fashioned in highly resistant Oystersteel making it both robust and comfortable and its hour markers and hands feature a highly-legible Chromalight display with long-lasting blue luminescence. Its timeless style and industry-leading technology, ensure the Oyster Perpetual Explorer II is the ideal companion for far corners of the globe.

Source: Rolex

Breitling Top Time Collection

Celebrating American automotive culture, the Breitling Top Time Collection pays tribute to three mid-century muscle car icons – the Chevrolet Corvette, the Ford Mustang, and the Shelby Cobra. The luxury Swiss watchmaker adopts design features from the cars, namely its signature colour and a stamp of the car’s insignia.

In typical Breitling fashion, the three watches have the latest custom chronograph workings under the hood blended with period-correct design touches from the 1960s. Each timepiece is uniquely styled to match its parent car with two and three dial configurations, stainless steel cases and leather straps.

Source: Breitling

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18k

Named after the year in which the first Tudor divers’ watch was introduced, the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight features characteristics of the famous historic watch. It’s the same 39 mm diameter case as the 1950’s version albeit in an 18k yellow gold case. The angular hands are familiar to the original models, called snowflakes by collectors, and as the first diver’s watches, the Fifty-Eight is waterproof to 200 m and fitted with a large screw-down winding crown.

The new watch looks elegant in a rich “golden green” tone with matt gold details and is designed to ensure robustness, longevity and reliability. The open case-back with sapphire crystal displays the inner self-winding Manufacture Calibre MT5400 with a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.

Source: Tudor

Arnold & Son Luna Magna Platinum

The Swiss watchmaker Arnold & Son is known for its moon theme producing various moon phase watches over the years. Its latest the Luna Magna, now gets a platinum rendition limited to a series of only twenty-eight pieces. Featuring the brand’s first three-dimensional moon made of grey marble and blue aventurine glass, the new 44mm platinum case brings a colder and more majestic aura to the watch.

The sparkling aventurine dial features a smaller mother-of-pearl dial at 12-o’clock showing the time using Roman numerals. Inside is a manual-winding A&S1021 calibre developed at Arnold & Son’s manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland with a 90-hour power reserve. The sophisticated moon-phase function is what makes the watch a true stand-out. Engineered to replicate the precise, real-life lunar cycle the movement doesn’t need adjustment for 122 years.

Arnold & Son Luna Magna Platinum | Source: Arnold & Son

Bvlgari Octo Perpetual Calendar 

The Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar from Bvlgari is simply a record-breaking watch. It’s the slimmest perpetual calendar watch on the market – only 5.80mm thick overall and its movement, the calibre BVL 305, is only 2.75mm thick. The innovative timepiece is available in two variations – Bvlgari’s signature titanium interpretation and a platinum version, a first for the Italian brand. In typical Octo Finissimo style, the watch has a hard, angled case, a short-linked bracelet and a round bezel with an octagonal opening.  

Source: Bvlgari

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra Thin

This year marks Audemars Piguet’s first-ever fully platinum Royal Oak “Jumbo” with a green dial. The new version of the brand’s beloved Royal Oak comes in a gorgeous green dial with a sunray pattern base, luminous 18k white gold hour-markers and Royal Oak hands and a date window and black date wheel.

The new dial is a stunning contrast against the 39mm full-platinum case, although it adds a little weight to the stainless steel version. Like previous Audemars Piguet Royal Oak’s, lauded as the ‘best luxury sports watch in the world,’ the new watch is limited to just 100 pieces.

Source: Audemars Piuget

Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire

2021 is a big year for Hublot with a few big releases to keep watch fans on their toes. The best of an incredible bunch might be the Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon – an almost completely transparent timepiece machined in full sapphire.

The integrated case and bracelet features almost no screws and an overhauled geometry including reworked bridges and main plates. The result is a 43mm case with only 37 components that presents the illusion of the parts floating and a seamless flow between bracelet and case. Limited to just 30 pieces, the Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire is fitted with the Hublot’s HUB6035 automatic tourbillon movement.

Panerai Submersible e-LAB ID 

Panerai is making a significant breakthrough in luxury watchmaking sustainability with the Submersible eLAB-ID – constructed from 98.6 per cent recycled-based materials by weight. The case, sandwich-style dial, and movement bridges are produced of EcoTitanium, a recycled titanium alloy, the hands are constructed in recycled gold and the sapphire crystal on the grayscale dial is also recycled.

The 44mm Submersible watch is good to a water resistance of 300 meters and protects a Caliber P.900e movement inside. Limited to only 30 pieces, the accompanying strap is made of recycled Grigio Roccia fabric with light blue stitching.

Panerai Submersible e-LAB ID
Source: Panerai

If you’re investing in a high-quality watch then you’ll need to know how to keep your luxury timepiece ticking for life.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Love our content?

Share this post with your friends!