The top watches of 2021

Ruhi Gilder
2021 has indeed been a stellar year for watches. From Bvlgari’s thinnest watch to Rolex’s diamond studded classic, we’re listing the hottest drops in the world of watches from the past year.
Audemars Piguet’s The Royal Oak Concept “Black Panther” Flying Tourbillon
Photo Courtesy: Audemars Piguet
Photo Courtesy: Audemars Piguet
In April 2021, luxury watchmaker, Audemars Piguet kicked off their partnership with Marvel Entertainment by introducing a Black Panther themed timepiece. The futuristic-looking Flying Tourbillon is a limited-edition collection of 250 pieces, and is inspired by the superhero’s dark, cutting-edge suit. The watch is made with a titanium and black ceramic octagonal bezel. Thirty hours of engraving and painting by a team of four specialised hands-engravers and four painters resulted in the white gold Black Panther character on the dial.
Case size: 42 mm
Case material: Titanium
Strap: Purple rubber
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Water Resistance: 60 m
Price: $161,824
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar
Photo Courtesy: Bulgari / Instagram
Photo Courtesy: Bulgari / Instagram
At the finale of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, this particular watch was awarded the “best in show”prize. Known as “Aiguille d’Or” it is an honour reserved for the finest watch across all categories. The Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar has also set a world record for thinness, with a 5.80mm case. Bvlgari has loaded the watch with added technology that it needs to keep the perfect time until February 2100, 180 years into the future. A staggering 408 components are encompassed in this slim horological masterpiece.
Case size: 40 mm
Case material: Sandblasted titanium
Strap: Titanium
Power Reserve: 60 hours
Water Resistance: 30 m
Price: $59,000
Breguet Reine de Naples 8938
Photo Courtesy: Breguet
Breguet’s signature blued steel hands accentuate this new model from the Swiss watchmaker’s Reine de Naples collection. The entire collection is inspired by an early bracelet watch the founder of Breguet created for Bonaparte’s sister Caroline, the Queen of Naples. It was first debuted in 2006 and has since become one of Breguet’s flagship collection for women. This particular model’s dial is embedded with snow-setting, or random pavé, almost 384 close set diamonds are spread across it. The bezel is adorned with another 161 diamonds, while the gold triple blade folding clasp is set with 28 diamonds.
Case size: 36.5 x 28.45mm
Case material: 18 karat gold
Strap: Leather
Power Reserve: 45 hours
Water Resistance: 30 m
Price: $55,842
Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges 
Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges  
Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges
In honour of their 230th anniversary, Girard-Perregaux has revisited their most iconic models, and releasing updated versions. First unveiled in 1867, Girard-Perregaux’s ‘Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges’ revealed the usually hidden three bridges, making them an aesthetic element of the watch. This updated version of that landmark timepiece features all-new pink gold bridges. An all-black version of this watch was also released in a limited-edition collaboration with luxury carmaker Aston Martin.
Case size: 44 mm
Case material: 18 karat pink gold
Strap: Black alligator
Power Reserve: 60 hours
Water Resistance: 30 m
Price: $156,000
Hublot Takashi Murakami
Photo Courtesy: Hublot
Art lovers will love this second timepiece from the collaboration between Hublot and eminent Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. While the first watch was an all-black version of the same smiling flower, this colourful edition was released in December 2021. The Classic Fusion Takashi Murakami Sapphire Rainbow is a whirlwind of petals that rotate around the face. The dial is studded with 487 stones, including rubies, pink sapphires, amethysts, blue sapphires, tsavorites, yellow and orange sapphires. The watch is available in a limited edition of 100 numbered pieces.
Case size: 45 mm
Case material: Polished sapphire crystal
Strap: Transparent lined rubber strap
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Water Resistance: 50 m
Price: $106,000
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185
Photo Courtesy: Jaeger LeCoultre
Photo Courtesy: Jaeger LeCoultre
Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrated the 90th anniversary of its legendary Reverso watch, with a record-holding four-faced Reverso Hybris Mechanica Caliber 185 Quadriptyque watch. Unveiled at Watches & Wonders Geneva 2021, the timepiece had been six years in the making and is endowed with 11 different complications, 12 patents and is one of the most complicated watches the brand has ever created. Interestingly enough, the Reverso’s history dates back to India, from where a request came in for a watch that could be worn during polo matches without damage.
Case size: 51.2 mm
Case material: 18 karat white gold
Strap: Alligator leather
Power Reserve: 50 hours
Water Resistance: 30 m
Price: 1.35 million Euros.
MB&F x Bvlgari Legacy Machine FlyingT Allegra
Photo Courtesy: MBandF
When two design and innovation powerhouses collaborate the result is this gorgeous Flying T Allegra. The watch’s design meets at the intersection of Bvlgari’s jewellery like aesthetic and MB&F’s conceptual-style timepieces. It has been launched in two limited editions of 20 pieces each, with white and red gold diamond-set cases. The dial is dotted with tourmaline, tsavorite, diamonds, rubellite, amethyst, tanzanite and topaz stones. With the Flying T Allegra, the time can exclusively be told by the wearer of the watch, due to its subdial tilted 50°.
Case size: 47mm
Case material: 18K white or red gold
Strap: Alligator leather
Power Reserve: 100 hours
Water Resistance: 120 m
Price: $185,000
Panerai Submersible S Brabus Black Ops Edition 
Photo Courtesy: Panerai
Panerai and Brabus, a German luxury engineering brand focused on high-performance vehicles, collaborated to launch a limited-edition marine timepiece. The watch is the first-ever Panerai with a skeleton automatic calibre. The 100-piece watch was developed after three years of research and development. The P.4001/s features an off-centre oscillating weight that allows for bi-directional winding, and the two spring barrels wind up while the watch is worn. As a tribute to both brands’ frequent use of innovative and high-end composite materials, the Submersible watch was made with a dark grey Carbotech watchcase. 
Case size: 47mm 
Case material: Carbotech™  
Strap: Bi-material with grey fabric 
Power Reserve: 3 days  
Water Resistance: 300 m 
Price: $50,937 
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711 Tiffany Blue
Patek Philippe
Photo Courtesy: Phillips
Watch aficionados will drool over this Tiffany Blue® dial Patek Philippe, from the now discontinued Nautilus Ref. 5711 collection. The 170-piece limited edition watch is symbolic of 170 years of partnership between Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co. It is the only Patek Philippe dial that holds the name of an outside retailer, making the piece highly sought after. The first timepiece of the limited series went to auction and was sold by Phillips for an astonishing $6.5 million, while its market value is $52,635, a considerably lower amount. The stainless steel watches will be available exclusively at Tiffany locations in New York, Beverly Hills, and San Francisco.
Case size: 40 mm
Case material: Stainless Steel
Strap: Stainless steel
Power Reserve: Maximum 45 hours
Water Resistance: 120 m
Price: $52,635
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust
Photo Courtesy: Rolex
Photo Courtesy: Rolex
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and this new Rolex is studded with 1089 of them. The Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust in 18 karat yellow gold features a diamond-paved dial and a diamond-set President bracelet. This 2021 Rolex timepiece is yet another addition to a popular model by the Swiss watchmaker.
Case size: 28 mm
Case material: 18 karat yellow gold
Strap: 18 karat yellow gold and diamonds
Power Reserve: 55 hours
Water Resistance: 100 m
Price: $131,100.
Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Féerie
Photo Courtesy: Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Féerie
Photo Courtesy: Van Cleef & Arpels Lady Féerie
Ethereal is probably the best word to describe this timepiece from Van Cleef & Arpels. A recurring motif of the brand is the fairy, that is perched delicately on a mother of pearl cloud in this watch. Set with diamonds and sapphire, the fairy is sculpted in white gold. The Montre Lady Féerie watch also won the award for Ladies’ Complication Prize at the prestigious 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). The prize is awarded to “women’s watches that are remarkable in terms of mechanical creativity and complexity”, a category that Van Cleef has historically dominated. In its nine years, the brand has won four times.
Case size: 33 mm
Case material: 18 karat white gold
Strap: Alligator leather
Power Reserve: 36 hours
Water Resistance: 30 m
Price: $131,100.
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