The 15 Best New Watches of 2021

2021 may be off to a rough start in most measurable ways, but Watches & Wonders (one of two major annual industry trade shows) is back with exactly what we need: new watches. This year’s releases are nothing less than a balm for our tired souls. Here are the ones we’re most excited to get our hands on:

TAG Heuer Aquaracer

Does the world need another dive watch? Of course it does, especially if it’s as good-looking as this one. TAG Heuer’s Aquaracer has been a bit overlooked in recent years in favour of hot new launches in the Monaco and Carrera families, but this year, the brand’s diver is ready for the limelight. The new Aquaracer line has been totally redesigned with a 12-sided bezel, an integrated bracelet, and cyclops-style date magnifier. The Aquaracer comes in two case sizes, a 43mm and a 36mm. All eight new references are powered by the Calibre 5 movement. $3,750,

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona

For those who feel the “regular” Daytona isn’t quite special enough, allow us to introduce something with out-of-this-world appeal. Rolex’s latest addition to its highly coveted chronograph lineup is now equipped with a dial made of polished meteorite. Available in three models (white gold, Everose gold, and yellow gold), it certainly adds a unique element of rarity to the Daytona’s already lofty reputation. $40,300,

Tudor Black Bay Chrono

This vintage-inspired chronograph was previously available in two-tone steel and gold, so the addition of these classic “panda” and “reverse-panda” dial combinations isn’t a huge leap. But now with a choice of three bracelet and strap combinations, two new dials, a thinner case, and a chronometer-certified movement, what’s not to like? $5,610,

Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire

Creating a watch case out of a single block of sapphire crystal is no easy feat, but Hublot didn’t let that stop it. Following up on its limited-edition Big Bang Unico Sapphire, Hublot is going one step further by making a bracelet out of sapphire crystal. Limited to a handful of pieces and priced at over half-a-million Canadian dollars each, this is a grail watch unlike any other. $422,000 USD,

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon

We love the new additions to the Tank and the Ballon Bleu, but these minimalist designs don’t do much to show off Cartier’s skill as a watchmaker. A trio of new tourbillon watches, including the Astrotourbillon, does that and then some. A skeleton watch whose floating tourbillon movement seems to defy gravity, this incredible creation will be produced in a five-piece limited edition. Price on request,

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver

A slew of new Royal Oak designs (including one available exclusively at the brand’s worldwide AP House clubs) is like blood in the water for hungry AP fans. Our pick is the Offshore Diver, a high-performance interpretation of the classic 1970s Gerald Genta design, now refreshed in three new styles. Available in khaki, blue, or grey, the new Royal Oak Offshore features a chunky “mega tapisserie” dial, as well as a new interchangeable strap system and a new movement, the Calibre 4308. $25,400 USD,

Panerai Bronzo Blu Abissu

Bronze watch cases are becoming increasingly popular, but Panerai has been in the bronze game for a decade. To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the first Bronzo piece in their lineup, the 42mm Bronzo Blu Abissu takes this unmistakable material to stylish new heights with its ocean blue dial and matching vintage leather strap. $20,200,

Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph Origins Limited Edition 100

Montblanc’s 1858 series is a textbook example of how to tastefully modernize a vintage style for the 21st century. This new bronze-cased 1858 might be the most covetable one yet. A re-edition of a 46 mm military monopusher chronograph from the 1930s (the watch on which the entire Montblanc 1858 collection is based), it’s full of vintage details like the unusual “officer” case back and the Minerva logo at six o’clock. $30,500 USD,

Chopard L.U.C. Quattro Spirit 25

After 25 years of making watches in-house, Chopard is getting pretty damn good at it. For proof, check out their newest creation, which is made entirely in-house and limited to just 100 pieces. The L.U.C Quattro Spirit 25 features a 40mm case made out of ethical rose gold with an ultra-sophisticated movement behind its austere enamel dial. This watch’s unique one-handed format is the result of a jumping hours complication, which refers to the digital hour display at six o’clock that instantly “jumps” to the next numeral every hour. While it may sound simple, this is one of the more complex feats watchmakers can pull off. Doing it with eight days of power reserve is even more impressive. You don’t have to take our word for it though. This Spirit is good enough to earn the Poinçon de Genève, the highest quality certification in watchmaking. $59,200,

Hermès H08

“The contemporary yet timeless new Hermès H08 watch has its finger firmly on the pulse of modern man, keeping step with every breath and every wave of excitement, every moment of rest and burst of speed.” Or so says the habitually quirky French luxury brand, describing its sporty new titanium-cased watch. We’d put it this way: the new H08 is a distinctive-yet-classic new sports watch. Its in-house movement and fine details (look at that bracelet) earn it a place among this year’s best releases. Starting at $7,950,

Louis Vuitton Tambour Street Diver

We’re not sure what “street diving” is, but we doubt we’d engage in it while wearing this very slick dive-style watch from the good folks at Louis Vuitton. Based on their popular Tambour silhouette, this sporty new edition is available in blue, yellow, and rose gold, and will be perfect for flexing by the infinity pool this summer. $7,100 USD,

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43

Few brands are as closely tied with aviation as IWC, and for good reason. Back in 1940, the brand created the Big Pilot’s Watch, an austere three-handed timer with a massive 55mm dial designed to assist WWII pilots in flight planning and navigation. In 2021, IWC is returning to its aviation roots with the new Big Pilot’s Watch 43, a faithful adaptation of the original that’s redesigned for modern tastes. With a 43mm steel case, an IWC-manufactured 82100 calibre movement visible behind a sapphire case back, and a new EasX-CHANGE strap system, it combines WWII-era style with modern luxury details. $10,800,

Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Armillary Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Planetaria

Some limited editions are more limited than others for good reason. This new, exceptionally complicated piece from Vacheron Constantin, for example, is available in an edition of just one. From a glance, it’s easy to see what makes it so special: the dial holds a perpetual calendar with precision moon phases. The new movement powering all of this is just as special. The Calibre 1991, which contains over 700 parts and took four years to develop, powers two rotating globes representing the Earth’s hemispheres. It’s regulated by a double-axis armillary tourbillon and can run without adjustment until the year 2100. Price on request,

Jaeger-Lecoultre Reverso Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185

2021 is the 90th birthday of the Reverso, whose rectangular art deco case was hinged to protect it on the polo field back in 1931. To mark this auspicious occasion, the brand has released a watch that you’d have to be crazy to wear on horseback. The world’s first watch with four faces (and the most complicated Reverso timepiece ever made), it has 11 complications including a perpetual calendar, minute repeater, indications of the synodic, draconic and anomalistic cycles (lunar indicators never before presented together in a wristwatch), and a total of 12 new patents. Obviously a watch this complicated deserves a bit more of a detailed explanation, so stay tuned. Price on request,

Patek Philippe Nautilus

As it prepares to consign its beloved stainless steel Nautilus to the big watch safe in the sky, Patek is going big with two new versions of this highly coveted sports watch. Our pick is the REF. 5711/1300A-001, which features the unusual combination of a stainless steel case and a bezel set with 32 flawless Top Wesselton baguette diamonds. If that’s not blingy enough for you, they’ve also got a new rose gold Nautilus with over 2,500 diamonds set into its case and bracelet. $94,624 USD,