VIDEO: The top 10 watches of 2021 between $10k-$20kFergus Nash
Now we’re getting to the pointy end of the 2021 roundup, and there isn’t a single watch listed here that doesn’t mean serious business. Between $10,000 and $20,000 USD lie some people’s grail watches, culture-changing icons, or if you’re lucky, just more nice watches for your collection. Here are some of the best releases of 2021.
IWC Pilot’s Chronograph 41
Received with a collective sigh of relief from smaller-wrist watch enthusiasts, IWC have taken their Pilot’s Watch Chronograph down to a proportionate 41mm. In addition to that wonderful fact, it’s available in two shades of pine green or slate blue, each offset by the red-filled running seconds hand at 6 o’clock. With 100m of water resistance and a screw-down crown, the versatility of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph has increased exponentially.
Bulgari Octo Roma Worldtimer
With travel becoming relevant once again in our lives, Bulgari have expanded their Roma collection with two new world timers. While thicker than the popular Finissimo line, the extra real estate allows the Roman Jeweller of Time to work with more complications. Whether you fancy the blue dial with a steel case and bracelet, or the black dial and black DLC steel case on a strap, you really can’t go wrong either way.
Grand Seiko SLGH005 White Birch
The first real challenger to the Snowflake has entered the arena, and its name is the White Birch. With a tight 40mm steel case, a brand new Hi-Beat automatic movement in the 9SA5 and, of course, that spectacularly gouged white dial capturing the birch trees near Grand Seiko’s artist’s studio, the SLGH005 offers a much more characterful wear than the Snowflake, suiting mechanical purists ,or just those who love Grand Seiko.
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43
With its wrist-spanning dimensions and undeniable legibility, IWC’s Big Pilot has been the definitive pilot’s watch for decades. Now, with its classic riveted strap including a quick-change system, the case having 100m of water resistance, and the in-house calibre 82100 bolstered with ceramic parts for 60 hours of power reserve, the new iteration is ready for the latest generation of watch enthusiasts. Its sunburst blue dial and softened numerals are sure to make a versatile daily wear.
Zenith Chronomaster Sport
Zenith’s new Chronomaster Sport epitomises the architecture of the modern sports chronograph, paying homage to the history of the El Primero movement while pushing the envelope with its silver, grey, and blue sub-dials. The El Primero 3600 movement is as gorgeous as it is impressive too, with its blued column-wheel a particular eye-catching component and its high beat-rate allowing chronograph accuracy to within 1/10th of a second, as boasted on the glossy ceramic bezel.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Monoface Small Seconds Collection
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso has always been the watch when thinking about 1930s fashion. Wristwatches were still a fairly new trend, but JLC were already creating a lasting impact with impeccable style and attention to detail. These three Tribute watches harken back to some of those early designs, leaning even more into the art-deco before livening it up with rich colour — released in a deep, shimmering sapphire blue, sumptuous oxblood red, and a deep watermelon green.
Zenith Chronomaster Revival Safari
Zenith aren’t satisfied with 2021’s green dial trend, instead recreating their 1969-inspired Chronomaster Revival in a way that makes it look totally ready for the jungle. The Safari edition has a palm-green dial with a matching rubber strap that’s textured like Cordura, and a microblasted titanium case which keeps it light on the wrist as well as looking utilitarian. It also has a colour-matched green date wheel at 4:30.
Grand Seiko SPGY007
Representing the snow-covered surface of a frozen Lake Suwa, Grand Seiko have created this beautiful ice-blue dial with a crisp and delicate texture. Most complaints regarding Spring Drive watches were regarding their asymmetrical power reserve indicators and large diameters, which is remedied in the hand-wound SPGY007. Its svelte 38.5mm proportions and clean dial exude elegance, as does that gently sweeping seconds hand that is the Spring Drive’s signature.
Louis Vuitton Tambour Street Diver
Louis Vuitton are one of few fashion brands that are steadily gaining respect in some serious watch aficionado circles, and the Tambour Street Diver range is one example of the Parisian powerhouse knowing what people want. Although the RRPs are inflated because of the name, this is no different to any other luxury watchmaker, and the highly modern and vibrant take on the compressor-style dive watch is a welcome shake-up in catalogues.
Breitling Premier B25 Datora 42 Copper
Breitling have never had an issue when it comes to being classy, yet the Premier B25 Daytora 42 with its luxurious warm dial is on another level. Despite the amount of information available from the tachymeter, weekday and month display, and the moonphase surrounded a pointer date complication, the layout is kept classic and legible. The moon on the display is portrayed with a sleeping face, just adding to the vintage quirkiness.