- Daily Zen
Timepieces with a splash of luxury.
Last year, Watches and Wonders was given a test. The Swiss show had only rebranded from Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), and the entire celebratory kit n kaboodle — when the gem in the crown of the Foundation de la Haute Horlogerie — had been jostled online. However, brands, experts and organizers all joined hands to defeat the deterrents and accidentally set the digital blueprint for the 2021 show.
Furthermore, this year, the test is our own. With each brand online, we’re seeing considerably daring presentations — and more intriguing and experimental watches than any time in recent memory. Things being what they are, with such a range of new models, how are we meant to sort mind-blowing timepieces from the average? It appears to be an unimaginable task.
Fortunately, INDUSTRY LEADERS is here to help. We have scrutinized each watch displayed at Watches and Wonders 2021, discovering hidden gems and choosing which timepieces are worth our time and money. Here are the 10 most luxurious watches you can buy right now.
How about we start with a brand close to our hearts; Vacheron Constantin. Horologists have long respected the Swiss watchmaker’s eye for innovation — and no place is the shape breaking more obvious than in the vintage-inspired, corner-crowned Historique American 1921 collection.
This new addition to the retro-collection is a 40mm 18-karat white gold model. With a white dial, numerals painted dark and that saucy little seconds sub-dial, it’s a fabulous, Gatsby-looking thing. Furthermore, on account of a 65-hour power hold and strong, attractive earthy colored calfskin lash, it has an extreme edge, as well.
There’s something alluring and shapely about Cartier’s Ballon Bleu watches. Launched in 2007, the models are flawless, delicate and exquisite — yet that encased crown gives them a design edge. It’s sudden, dazzling and highlighted in striking blue on this most recent model from the famous French brand.
This bold creation is made of 18-karat pink gold and the sunray-impact dial has been lacquered and finished with silvered flinqué. The calibre 1847 MC automatic development is completely dependable — and those blued steel blade formed hands do some incredible things to complement the striking shade of the crown.
IWC has consistently been a watchmaker to keep up with the changing times. The brand crafted a digital watch in 1885, and was one of the primary significant watchmakers to support eco-friendly initiatives. Yet, the brand’s most recent delivery is an alternate kind of green; an emerald-dialed, somewhat more modest Pilot’s Automatic Chronograph.
Cutting the case from 43mm to 41mm could prove a masterstroke, as this chronograph feels impressively neater and snugger on the wrist. There’s less distance for that second hand to travel, the sub-dial decipherability doesn’t suffer and, above all, that punchy new color doesn’t feel too domineering on a more modest, subtler scale.
There are not many watches with the famous shape and standing of Piaget’s Polo. The latest watch by Piaget, adding an automatic chronograph movement into the stainless steel case, has raised this timepiece considerably higher in our list. Sitting at 3 and 9 o’clock, the striking blue sub-dials pair perfectly with the elastic strap. Also, those stainless steel hands, with lashings of lume? Guaranteed to draw focus even against the tried-and-tested ridged grey dial. A noteworthy spin on a cherished work of art.
Montblanc’s 1858 collection is all about the experience. From the globe-running 24H model to the limited edition honoring climber Reinhold Messner, these are watches built for the ultimate adventurers. Yet, the most recent Geosphere has slipped the mountain — and wound up solidly in the desert. Flaunting a sandy smoked brown and beige dial, it still resembles a 1858 Geosphere — retaining the dual times zones, northern and southern side of the equator globes and 24-hour scale. However, with its bronze case, earthy colored calfskin lash and dusty embellishments, it’s an entirely different design heading for aficionados to explore.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso — the polo-playing, hard-wearing watch celebrates its 90th anniversary. It’s a design that has survived the test of time (also many, many swings of the polo hammer) which is as it should be. So we’re glad to see the watchmaker celebrating in a shocking style.
Truth be told, the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds is eating our heart out. And, is there any good reason why it wouldn’t? From the sunray-brushed lacquer dial and matching strap to its Swiss-made manually-wound movement, this model is a timekeeping treat.
There is something peculiar about the bronze color of Panerai’s latest Submersible that gives it an idealistic quality. It’s unquestionably calling for adventure. However, that is nothing unexpected; given the Italian brand’s history with yacht racing and naval support, it’s a watch built with solid legacy and history. With 300 dim meters of water resistance, a dim blue non-intelligent dial and Panerai’s licensed crown guard system, this ‘Abisso’ programmed (with three-day power reserve) is as valuable as it seems to be striking.
Any guesses what ‘graphene’ is doing in the watch? No? That is OK, we didn’t know either. Graphene is a super-solid carbon-based material, made by assembling a strong honeycomb attice on a nano level. It’s what Hermès has used to make the most covetable and innovative model of its new H08 collection.
Super-light and super-dark, this automatic timepiece features a polished black ceramic bezel and crown, with black gold-covered dial and dark rubber strap (with titanium clasp). It has a utilitarian flavor to it — yet a display case-back gives a false representation of its inner magnificence; a heart that ticks with the amazing automatic movements.
The skeletonized Excalibur Flying Tourbillon Limited Edition is a sight to behold. It’s equipped with star-like angles stretching out to the edges of the 18-karat pink gold case. A seconds sub-dial is placed around 8 o’clock and the Swiss-made type D512SQ automatic movement that makes the entire thing work is on delightful, bejeweled show for the audience. It’s costly, luxurious — and extraordinary.
Moser & Cie’s latest watch is a ticking homage to a long-lasting partnership between gemstones and gold. And what a celebration; on the dial is a chatoyant gemstone ‘Ox’s Eye’ that gives it a striking design. In a deep crimson, those horizontal lines are completely natural — and mean each model delivered is a stand-out.
Inside the 18-karat red gold case, a Swiss-made automatic tourbillon ticks — displayed beneath those brilliant hands and through that tastefully crafted round window at 6 o’clock. Flip the watch over and you can see the movement, through a show case back, in all its mechanical glory.