Between the January digital LVMH Watch Week, the online Watches & Wonders Geneva 2021 exhibition in early April, and the in-person Watches & Wonders Shanghai show, we have witnessed a host of new watch trends come to life. Despite the pandemic, people still care about time and the watch on their wrist, and sales are up.
One category, in particular, that is going strong is the sports watch arena. While this has always been a robust playing field for watch brands and watch lovers, it has become a much more visible area as more and more people go outside to engage in socially distanced activities like flying, diving, running, climbing, biking, and even just walking. With spring here and summer around the corner, you’re sure to find the perfect sports watch for 2021 that can keep you company in all your endeavors. Maybe even more than one. Here we take a look at some of the best sports watches of 2021, so far.
Hublot Big Bang Unico Yellow – Price CHF 24’900
This new 42mmHublot Big Bang Unico Yellow watch boasts a case made of yellow ceramic, a material developed in Hublot’s laboratory on-site in Nyon, Switzerland. Hublot is a master at materials and this bright yellow ceramic continues the saga. It is fitted with a yellow rubber strap and the skeletonized HUB1280 automatic movement offers 72 hours of power reserve. Yellow accents adorn the dial to finish the look. Water-resistant to100 meters, the watch boasts chronograph functions.
Unveiled very late in the year 2020, the Titoni Seascoper 600 dive watch is destined to be a hot timepiece this year, especially with serious divers. The 42mm stainless steel watch is water-resistant to an incredible 600 meters. It boasts a helium escape valve and is a certified chronometer. The black dial features luminescent hands and markers for underwater legibility, and the black ceramic bezel has a luminescent dot on the triangle for underwater orientation. The timepiece is available in two black dial versions and one blue dial.
This TAG Heuer 43mm stainless steel Aquaracer watch may not have all the bells and whistles of a sports watch, but it can go the distance. It is water-resistant to 300 meters and offers hours, minutes, central seconds, and date. It is definitely a watch you can take diving with you. The ceramic bezel has the triangle at 12:00 for orientation underwater, and the sunray blue dial boasts luminous hands and markers. There are seven different versions, as well as the Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 Calibre 5 Automatic Limited Edition. $3,246.
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona – Price CHF 32,500
Luxurious sports never looked so good as with this new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona in 18-karat white gold with a gray striated meteorite dial. You could say it is out of this world. The rarity of the meteorite dial increases the price of the watch, and the production, as well. It is powered by the in-house-made Rolex caliber 4130 with 72 hours of power reserve. The Superlative Chronograph officially certified chronometer is water-resistant to 100 meters, but this watch is meant to soar.
Color never looked so good as with the new Divers Sixty-Five Cotton Candy editions from Oris. Created in bronze with cotton-candy colored dials in pink, pale green, and soft blue, While you can snorkel with them — technically you can’t dive deeper than 100 meters (300 feet) – you’ll get a lot more mileage out of them on the wrist on land, where you can boast about the great colors and the automatic Oris 733 movement inside the 38mm watch. With the bronze bracelet, this Oris a sure-fire winner.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 18K – Price CHF 16’000
Inspired by the Tudor Black Bay of the 1950s, this newest rendition of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight is crafted in 18-karat yellow gold. The boldness of the yellow gold is accentuated thanks to the army green-colored dial and matching strap. Even the matching green aluminum bezel boasts yellow-gold numerals. It is powered by an automatic COSC-certified chronometer movement that offers 70 hours of power reserve and is water-resistant to 200 meters.
Maurice Lacroix Aikon Automatic Chronograph – Price CHF 3’950
For a more subdued yet bold look, you may want to don the 44mm titanium Maurice LacroixAikon Automatic Chronograph watch that offers 48 hours of power reserved. The great monochrome color scheme with a gray dial and embossed opaline sunray finish make this watch an eye-catcher. It is crafted in titanium with an interchangeable strap. $4347.
Think pink and go bold with this Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear Pink Panther watch. Created in a limited edition of just 50 pieces, the 41mm watch looks great on any wrist. It is crafted of black DLC stainless steel and boasts a pink guilloche’ dial that offers amazing pop. The watch is powered by a skeletonized automatic movement and offers a stop-seconds function. It is water-resistant to 100 meters and is sold on a rubber strap.
Zenith Defy Extreme – Price CHF 21’900
As its name suggests, this Defy Extreme watch from Zenith is all about perfect timing. The chronograph functions to an incredible 1/100th of a second thanks to the in-house-made El Primero 9004 automatic movement. With 50 hours of power reserve, the 45mm is water-resistant to 100 meters, boasts an interchangeable strap/bracelet system, and is crafted in titanium with a rose gold bezel and open case back for viewing the movement.
Perhaps a bit on the more expensive luxury sports watch side, the new Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins watch is a reinterpretation of an early 1930’s Villeret chronograph. The new 46mm version is crafted in bronze with a black lacquered dial and chronograph functions working off of the single pusher. It is ready to time your runs, laps, or other events with impeccable precision thanks to the in-house-made manual-wind caliber MB M16.29 with 50 hours of power reserve. Water-resistant to 30 meters, it boasts an officer-style half-hunter case back.
Panerai Submersible e-Lab-ID – Price CHf 60’800
With a sandwich-style dial and gray/pale blue color scheme, this Submersible e-Lab ID watch from Panerai is crafted in brushed EcoTitanium with a textile strap. Made of 98.6 percent recycled materials (including recycled Super-LumiNova), the watch sets a new industry standard for recyclability. In fact, even the silicon in the movement is recycled. Water-resistant to 300 meters, this watch will be built in incredibly limited numbers. $60,000.
About the Author
Roberta Naas is a veteran watch and jewelry journalist who began her career in the early 1980’s, and was the first female watch journalist in the United States. She is the editor and founder of the authoritative watch blog, ATimelyPerspective, has written six books on watches, writes for numerous consumer publications (including Forbes and Elite Traveler) – and always brings forth in her work the essence of what makes watches tick. She tirelessly travels the world in search of watch news and stories that she turns into compelling and enlightening articles.