It is always an interesting exercise to select the top watches of the previous year. There are top watches in every category and often watches tie for the best of the best. We know that the Holy Grail brands like Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, and a few others always make the cut. So, for these purposes, we opted to bypass the greats and take a look at some of the brands that just might be a little off the beaten path. Here we look at just 10 of the top watches of 2021 that range in price from hundreds of thousands of dollars to just a couple of thousand dollars. Keep in mind, we could have picked 100 – the choices were that great.
Yachting – Ulysse Nardin Marine Mega Yacht
Sometimes, a watch just has to follow its DNA and in the case of Ulysse Nardin’s Marine Mega Yacht watch that is definitely the case. The flying tourbillon timepiece is inspired by the brand’s rich marine roots but is a deft blend of visionary looks and pioneering mechanics. The 44mm watch is powered by the UN 631 manual wind movement with 80 hours of power reserve. It boasts a mechanism that displays the height of the tides in real relation to a specific location and indicates seasons coefficients, among other nifty information. Just 30 pieces in rose gold (with a yacht-fan motif at 6:00) will be made.
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Chiming watch – Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater
A masterpiece created in a limited edition of just 10, this Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Minute Repeater honors the 90th anniversary of this iconic watch. It also pays tribute to the Swiss brand’s extreme prowess in chiming watches. The manual wind Caliber 944 is meticulously skeletonized and features new patented hammers and gongs made of sapphire. The watch is crafted in 18-karat rose gold.
Car Related Watch – Richard Mille RM 07-01 Automatic Racing Red
Richard Mille has an intricate and intimate relationship with the world of automotive sports and regularly creates watches that tie into racers, races, and more. It’s new RM 07-01 Automatic Racing Red watch with high-tech carbon and other nanofiber materials and technology is one of the brightest examples of 2021. Just 50 pieces of this watch, with CRMA2 in-house-made automatic caliber, will be made.
Price: Approximately $110,000
Jewelry Watch – MB&F X Bulgari LM FlyingT Allegra
Combining the finest skills from MB&F and Bvlgari, this LM FlyingT Allegra made quite an impression when it launched during Dubai Watch Week in November 2021. The fully reimagined case boasts a domed sapphire crystal that allows for viewing of the vertically stacked automatic movement with a flying tourbillon on top. The watch dial of the 39mm piece is offset at an angle so only the wearer knows the time. The stunning diamond dial boasts five cabochon-cut large gemstones in typical Bulgari style.
Precise Design Watch – A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Honey Gold Lumen
German brand A. Lange & Söhne deftly sported a combination of its beloved Zeitwerk watch with symmetrical hours and minutes display and paired it with its own proprietary Honey Gold material for the case. It also added super luminosity for the final Zeitwerk Honey Gold Lumen watch. Just 200 pieces of the manual-wind 41.9mm 18-karat gold watch will be made. It is powered by the in-house-made Caliber L043.9 movement with 72 hours of power reserve.
Pilot Watch – IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Top Gun Ceratanium
Boasting a long and storied past in the world of aviation watches, IWC Schaffhausen was the first to conquer the concept of anti-magnetism in the early 1930s when it protected the movement using a soft inner iron case. Now, the brand takes new materials to another level with the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Top Gun Ceratanium, created in a limited edition of 500 pieces. The w 46mm watch is crafted in the brand’s proprietary Ceratanium (ceramic and titanium) and houses an automatic movement, Caliber 82760, made in-house and offering time around the world.
Women’s Watch – Chopard Happy Sport Golf Edition
Not every woman’s watch has to be about high jewels and elegance. Sometimes it is fun to mix a little bit of diamonds with a sporty-chic appeal. That is exactly what Chopard did with its Happy Sport Golf Edition watches with green dials that emulate the grass greens and dancing diamonds that move with every swing. Powered by an automatic movement, the 36mm time and date watches boast 42 hours of power reserve.
Price: $9’700 – $19,700
Chronograph Watch – Breitling Super Avi B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Curtiss Warhawk
Breitling’s new Super Avi collection launched late in the year and clearly put a spotlight on the world’s most famous planes and vintage pilot watch inspiration. This Super Avi B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Curtiss Warhawk watch is one of a series of four pieces – each named for a vital World War II fighter plane. The watch is powered by the Breitling B04 automatic movement created in-house and offering 70 hours of power reserve.
Affordable Watch – Tutima M2 Seven Seas
This Tutima M2 Seven Seas watch is what we would call the whole package at a great value proposition. The stainless steel timepiece measures 44mm in diameter and boasts an automatic movement, the Caliber Tutima 330 made in-house. It offers 38 hours of power reserve. The watch is water-resistant to 50ATM and boasts a rotating bezel with a triangular locator for 12:00 with a luminescent dot. It offers hours, minutes, seconds with red hand and date indication.
Colorful Watch – Meistersinger Perigraph Mellow Yellow
German brand Meistersinger is known for its one-handed watches – a trademark signature that makes everyone do a double-take. The brand regularly plays with color and concept and its Perigraph Mellow Yellow 43mm automatic watch is no exception. Housing a Sellita movement with 38 hours of power reserve, the watch features a yellow strap and yellow date ring and outer minute chapter ring against a blue background. Crafted in steel and with just 200 pieces being made, this is a sure-fire hit.