The A to Z of the Most Marvelous Novelties of Watches & Wonders
Watches & Wonders, formerly Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), has faced challenges in the past year, as have we all. However, the challenge of not being able to gather people from all over the world in one place for the watch world’s most prestigious conference, was swiftly solved by moving the experience online. This “phygital” presentations haven’t changed the race to develop the best complications, innovations, and watch novelties by the world’s leading artisans of time. To discover all of the marvels of Watches and Wonders 2021, scroll below or check the sidebar and skip to the brand of your choosing.
A. Lange & Söhne
For Watches & Wonders 2021, A. Lange & Söhne proved their proficiency in complex watchmaking with three extraordinary timepieces. A testimony to A. Lange & Söhne's march toward precision, the newly debuted 'Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar' watch, the 'Little Lange 1 Moon Phase' watch, and 'Triple Split' watch are horological treasures with unique time measurement capacities.
A. Lange & Söhne's 'Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar' is – as the name suggests – an eternally ticking calendar that you can wrap around your wrist. The self-winding caliber L.021.3 masterpiece fuses 620 minuscule parts into a diameter of 41.9 mm. The remarkable design features a peripheral month ring – imagined especially for this style – which is complemented by the Lange outsize date, a retrograde day-of-week display, and a leap-year indication. The unique design is completed with a special moon phase display complete with a day/night feature. This horological wonder is available in pink gold with a grey dial as well as – in a limited 150 piece edition – white gold with a pink-gold dial. Photo: Courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne
For 'The Little Lange 1 Moon Phase' watch, A. Lange & Söhne imagine a starry night sky on a case with a diameter of 36.8 mm. The dark blue gold-flux coated dial makes the base on which thousands of tiny stars appear to twinkle. Finished with a glossy leather strap and a complementing solid white gold buckle, the luxury timepiece is designed to exude elegance. The iconic Lange outsize date stamp sits on the top right of the dial as four rhodium gold hands – stuck in an eternal rotation – orbit to indicate the time. The horology gem – which is also available in a version with 56 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel of the case – is devised to precisely calculate moon phases to an accuracy of 122.6 years. Photo: Courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne
A. Lange & Söhne's unique 'Triple Split' timepiece is the only mechanical split-seconds chronograph that allows multi-hour comparative time measurements – with an accuracy of one-sixth of a second. 567 parts of the manually wound caliber L.132.1 work together in precision to bring this unparalleled horology masterpiece to life. Molded into being using solid silver, the rich navy blue dial covers a diameter of 43.2 mm. Photo: Courtesy of A. Lange & Söhne
Before Watches & Wonders 2021 began, the horological community was already buzzing about one release in particular. For weeks, Audemars Piguet had teased an upcoming collaboration with Marvel, leading many to speculate which superhero would be featured. Thor? Hulk? Captain America? It’s not the first time high-end timepieces had ventured into the pop culture universe, and it certainly won’t be the last. In fact, the very person, Gerald Genta, who created Audemars Piguet’s flagship ‘Royal Oak’ watch had once created his own Mickey Mouse-themed watch in the 1980s, which still fetches a pretty penny on the secondary market. It was with shock and awe that the unveiling of the Audemars Piguet x Marvel collaboration landed from the secret enclave of Wakanda. The new ‘Black Panther’ watch is as bold a disruptor as its progenitor, who first appeared in the Marvel universe in 1961. Contextually, this is a time in the United States when the Civil Rights Movement was coalescing, which provides a fascinating backdrop for the first appearance of a black superhero in the pages of a Marvel comic book.
While the craftsmanship of the Audemars Piguet ‘Black Panther’ watch are marvelous (forgive the pun), what’s equally fascinating about this watch is that its collaboration was conceived before the film was created (and subsequently before it became a global billion dollar box office success). In homage to the Vibranium material that powers Wakanda and its incredible citizens, the Audemars Piguet ‘Black Panther’ watch comes in a sturdy 42mm sandblasted titanium case, and features a black ceramic bezel and crown. Its dial features the superhero in a crouched position, made from an intricately worked laser cut and engraved surface. Photo: Courtesy of Audemars Piguet
For Watches & Wonders 2021, Bvlgari is breaking records. This year, they have the honor of taking home the record for engineering the slimmest perpetual calendar model in the history of horology with the new ‘Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar’. The luxury house has also unveiled two new watch styles on the opposite ends of the spectrum. The first is a sleek, noir limited edition ‘Octo Finissimo Tadao Ando’, constructed in collaboration with the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. On the other more colorful end of the Bvlgari craft story are the dazzling ‘Allegra’ and ‘Divinissima’ watches for women, which are embellished with jewels and speak to the maison’s reputation as the “Master of Gemstones”.
To understand why Bvlgari's record breaking 'Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar’ watch is so remarkable, you have to dive into its details. Taking two years to get it right, this remarkable feat of engineering contains 408 components assembled into a movement that’s only 2.75 mm high, which is then contained inside a case that’s 5.8 mm. As thin as it might be, it’s a solid piece of machinery that works well for both men and women. Photo: Courtesy of Bvlgari
Celebrating the joy of colors the Bvlgari ‘Allegra’ watch combines a kaleidoscope of gemstones: citrines, amethysts, peridot, cabochon-cut blue topaz, and rhodolite, and comes in both a white gold and a rose gold version. Photo: Courtesy of Bvlgari
‘Divissima’ is another jewelry watch offering from Bvlgari that demonstrates its mastery of gemstones. One version comes with round brilliant-cut diamonds, set with diamonds and brilliant-cut emeralds. Finishing its emerald essence is a green alligator strap. The other version is all diamond, finished with a black alligator strap. Photo: Courtesy of Bvlgari
The Director of Chanel's watchmaking division Arnaud Chastaingt turned to an unusual source of inspiration for his Watches & Wonders 2021 novelties: 90s electronic music culture. Rainbow-brite ombre sapphires, rainbow leather interwoven chain straps, and neon quilted cuffs add vivid visual surprise to Chanel’s classic line-up of ‘J12’, ‘Code Coco’, and ‘Boy-Friend’ watches. This highly energetic watch launch offers multiple moods for the enthusiast to indulge in. From the nightlife appeal of the black ceramic ‘J12 Electro Dream’ watch to the intensity of the ‘Code Coco Electro’ watch-cuff, these pieces make you want to get up and dance. On the more subdued side of things, we also find the ‘Boy-Friend Skeleton’, which reveals its Caliber 3 manual-winding mechanisms as a series of layered circles.
The 'J12 Electro Dream' watch makes an instant impression. Rainbow elements have decorated luxury watches before, but the use of black ceramic as the backdrop really makes the colored sapphires on the bezel pop.
Carrying through the rainbow theme, the 'Première Electro' makes a gorgeous impact. A rainbow leather laced chain wraps around the wrist, and is finished by a smooth rectangle case, bringing together maximalism and minimalism.
The eye-popping 'Code Coco Electro' watch is meant for those who want to be seen. In a hard-to-ignore shade of electric pink, the watch's cuff is amplified further with quilted padding, and has a case divided into one square holding a princess-cut diamond and another holding the dial. Modeled after the classic '2.55' bag, this watch makes a modern statement.
The refined beauty of Chanel 'Boy-Friend' watch has gotten a cool mechanical update thanks to the fascinating beauty of the skeleton design. Skeleton designs expose the inner workings of a watch, and this one is shown in beautiful geometric form with the mechanics composed of interlocking spheres.
At Watches & Wonders 2021, Chopard truly wowed with an astonishing line-up of jewelry watches that took craftsmanship to the next level. From the dancing diamonds and hide-and-go-seek nature of the ‘Happy Diamonds’ watch to the emotive floral beauty of the ‘L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony’, Chopard flaunted a superlative flare for glamour. But it’s not just form that enticed us, but also function, in the form of the ‘Imperiale Moonphase’ timepiece, which featured an impressive in-house made 96.25-C movement with automatic winding is certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) and a generous 65-hour power reserve.
We were uniquely enchanted by the ‘Happy Diamonds’ watch, with its 15 dancing diamonds around the dial, and the ingenuity of its secret passage between nine and three o’clock. It’s there that you’ll find a hidden gallery where diamonds emerge from the passage and cascade down the dial in an endless game of hide-and-seek. Photo: Courtesy of Chopard
The stunning emerald-drenched ‘Esperanza’ watch was made to be noticed, which is why its part of the Chopard Red Carpet Collection. Accompanied by 74 jewelry creations – in annual partnership with Cannes Film Festival – the ‘Esperanza’ is the inaugural piece from this new collection, proving Chopard’s boldness as a jewelry design house. Photo: Courtesy of Chopard
This cushion-shaped Chopard ‘L'Heure du Diamant’ watch is an excellent example of the coming together of traditional watchmaking with a 09.01-C self-winding movement and jewelry expertise with its big diamond trim and mother-of-pearl dial. While the diamonds surely dazzle, is the textured gold bracelet, etched and sculpted to resemble tree bark that really makes this piece standout. Photo: Courtesy of Chopard
The peony, a longtime inspiration for the house of Chopard, is the centerpiece of this limited edition ‘L.U.C XP Esprit de Fleurier Peony’ watch collection. Relying on the skills of its enamelling artisans, bright pink peonies bloom against a verdant backdrop. Photo: Courtesy of Chopard
With precise astronomical accuracy, the Chopard ‘Imperiale Moonphase’ timepiece, is a splendid look at Chopard’s attention to detail. An aventurine glass dial plays host to the moon, the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Draco constellations represented by diamonds that sparkle like the stars at night. Photo: Courtesy of Chopard
The world of Haute Horologie used to belong only to Geneva, but there are newcomers and disruptors who have succeeded in taking their own path forward. Thanks to Hermès’ brilliant vertical integration strategy, they were able to bring all aspects of watchmaking in-house, from engineering and design to manufacturing. In doing so, they are able to retain the house codes of playfulness and ingenuity in a way that feels fresh and modern. The cheeky Tyrannosaurus porthole of the hilariously named ‘Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh!’ pocket watch, and the ingenious machinery of the ‘Slim d’Hermès’ – created by Philippe Delhotal – makes mischievous scenery of a skeleton figure riding a horse. This figure was first seen for Hermès as a men's silk scarf by Japanese illustrator Daiske Nomura in 2012. In the realm of women’s watches, however, Hermès’ is as elegant as ever, with a gorgeous rendition of the miniaturized Faubourg model, which was first introduced in 2014.
The dainty features of the ‘Faubourg’ model have been reinvented for 2021 with a new version called the ‘Faubourg Polka’. This exquisitely crafted bracelet watch glints and gleams with a mother-of-pearl dial framed by a round case, while its redesigned bracelet is made from interwoven dots and lines to suggest that its curves are veering off into new horizons. Available in five versions – white or rose gold, gem-set or entirely pavéd with diamonds – this jewelry watch draws in equal measure on fine craftsmanship and abstract art. Photo: Courtesy of Hermès
The new ‘Slim d’Hermès’ – created by Philippe Delhotal – makes mischievous scenery of a skeleton figure riding a horse. This figure was first seen for Hermès as a men's silk scarf by Japanese illustrator Daiske Nomura in 2012. Rendered in precise miniature form, Hermès amazing craftsmanship shines through a spangled enamel scene, housed with a Hermès H1950 manufacture self-winding movementan ultra-thin inside a white gold case. Photo: Courtesy of Hermès
The ‘Arceau Pocket Aaaaargh!’ watch transforms the tyrannical T-Rex into something a lot more fun. With a head and scales made from a leather mosaic, and a domed eye made from cabochon-cut Grand Feu enamel, this whimsical piece comes with a corded strap in H-red alligator leather, making it a unique and one-of-a-kind update on the traditional pocket watch. Photo: Courtesy of Hermès
The breakout pieces from Jaeger-LeCoultre this year derive from its Métiers Rares® (Rare Handcrafts™) workshop, which unleashes the house's skills in the art of decoration. The beloved 'Reverso' with its unique double-sided case is amplified this time around with the use of enamelling, engraving, and gem-setting work. Versions range from the handsome 'Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque' which has no less than four timekeeping faces, the 'Reverso Tribute Small Seconds' in green, and of course, the stunningly decorated 'Reverso One Precious Flowers' watch.
For 2021 the Maison introduces four sparkling new 'Reverso One Precious Flowers' models that unite the codes of fine watchmaking, artistic crafts and high jewelry to bring vivid color, elegance and glamour to the collection. Photo: Courtesy of Jaeger-LeCoultre
Conservation is at the heart of Panerai’s achievements at Watches & Wonders 2021, with the announcement of its new partnership with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO). The partnership aims to develop programs and actions that will result in solutions for the challenges facing the ocean. In tandem with the partnership, Panerai launched the ‘Luminor Marina’, the most recycle-based watch in the world. Noticing that women were still wearing its men’s watches, another first comes from Panerai’s with a brand new focus on women’s offerings this year. Although a traditionally masculine brand, Panerai has broadened its view to include its first women’s range, the ‘Piccolo Due Madreperla’.
‘Lumnior’, the most recognizable of Panerai’s legendary collections, has received an eco-friendly update for 2021. The new ‘Luminor Marina eSteelTM’ features a patented crown-protecting device, and is composed of a recycle-based material called eSteelTM, which defies the traditional need for virgin material extraction (such extractions are devastating to the environment). The watch is available in three dial colors: Blu Profondo, Grigio Roccia and Verde Smeraldo, the last of which is exclusive to Panerai boutiques and e-commerce. Photo: Courtesy of Panerai
One of the most anticipated launches of Watches & Wonders 2021 is Panerai’s first-ever women’s collection, called the ‘Piccolo Due Madreperla’. Piccolo means “small” in Italian, but this smaller size still packs a serious stylistic punch. With an iridescent mother-of-pearl dial, radiant pink gold accents, and an alligator strap available in five different shades, Panerai makes a strong debut in the women’s category. Photo: Courtesy of Panerai
After last year’s introduction of the ‘Overseas’ ultra-thin perpetual calendar open work watch, and the exquisite ‘Égérie’ collection for women, Vacheron Constantin is back with new surprises and delights. Their presentation at Watches & Wonders 2021 focused on “classics with a twist’, literally. With watches faces tilted at an angle, the ‘Historiques American 1921’ made a lasting impression. Other mind-blowing novelties came in the form of the handsome ‘Overseas Tourbillon’ in matte gold, the ‘Métiers d’Art Tribute to Great Explorers’ with a raised platform on the face that etched the outline of different continents, and the ‘Les Cabinotiers Leo Sky Chart’ which celebrated the most ferocious constellation of our galaxy. Of course, we were drawn to the glittering enchantment of the new ‘Égérie Self-Winding Diamond-Pave’ watch.
The ‘Égérie’ collection is all about fine-tuned details. With its dazzling diamond surface, fitted from hundreds of miniscule pavé diamonds, elegant numerical font, and ticking with the internal mechanisms by one of the finest Haute Horlogerie houses in the world, these pieces are so special that they are instant heirlooms to add to your family for generations to come. Photo: Courtesy of Vacheron Constantin
Our favorite timepiece from Watches & Wonders 2021 so far owes its attention-grabbing nature to a tilted face. The new Vacheron Constantin ‘Historiques American 1921’ pays homage to the 1921 original, and features a white gold 36.5 mm version for women, with an elegant grained silver dial and black Arabic numerals, as well as a transparent caseback to showcase the watches in-house movements. Adding a retro touch in tune with the original design, the circumference of the dial is accentuated by a minutes track.
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