Watches and Wonders 2021 recap: All the noteworthy novelties to know
Following the success of 2020’s first digital Watches and Wonders, this year, the event adopted a phygital format with an online showcase from its base in Geneva, as well as a physical show in Shanghai. 38 of our favourite luxury timepiece brands unveiled their new and important releases for the year, and from Tag Heuer’s updated Aquaracer to Hublot’s full-sapphire Big Bang Integral Tourbillon, here are all the noteworthy novelties to know.
Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300
Aquaracer fans, rejoice! The Tag Heuer classic is getting an update this year, and it’s called the Aquaracer Professional 300. While its silhouette remains the same, take a closer look and you'll notice the new and improved details. The new iteration comes in a more prominent dodecagon shape, and it features a shorter lug and a magnifier over the date window at 6 o'clock. It’s thinner and lighter too. Available in four 40mm, three 36mm, and one 43mm limited-edition sizes, all designs house the Caliber 5 automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve.
Hermès debuted a brand new timepiece this year, and it’s an everyday watch that should be on your radar. Dubbed the H08, the design strikes the right balance between sporty and elegant. The cushion-shaped case measures 39mm x 39mm, and there are two versions to choose from—one in a Graphene composite case, and the other, in titanium. While the sleek design highlights its versatility, the orange seconds hand and the numerals give the watch a distinctly Hermès finish. It may be launched as a men’s watch, but the 39mm size is also perfect for ladies who are into the borrowed-from-the-boys trend.
Chopard L.U.C Flying T Twin Ladies
Chopard’s L.U.C women’s watches have always embodied the highest standard of watchmaking, and the 2021’s edition pushes the boundaries that bit more. Case in point: the L.U.C Flying T Twin Ladies. The flying tourbillon calibre continues to take centre stage in this platinum design, housed in the ultra-thin 7.47mm case that makes it one of the smallest flying tourbillon watches in the market. Its case, dial, and lugs are fully covered with brilliant-cut diamonds, and the 22-karat gold micro-rotor is embellished with gems. Talk about a show-stopper.
Ulysse Nardin Blast Hourstriker
Ulysse Nardin’s Blast Hourstriker is loud—and we don’t only mean its design. A follow-up on the Hourstriker Phantom which was launched in 2019, this new iteration comes with the brand’s signature Hourstriker complication that now boasts a clearer chime. Aside from that, the team has also succeeded in making the 330-component mechanism visible on the dial. As the brand states in a statement, it “wants you to hear time again, not read it”.
Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire
Hublot has showcased its mastery in sapphire crystal watch cases over the last five years, but it’s taking it to a groundbreaking level with the completely transparent Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Full Sapphire—a world first. The integrated case and bracelet are both made from sapphire, showcasing the in-house HUB6035 movement in its entirety. Like the orange sapphire version that was unveiled during LVMH Watch Week 2021, this timepiece also has clear bridges that give it the illusion of being suspended in space. If this isn’t the epitome of less is more, we don’t know what is.
IWC Big Pilot Watch Shock Absorber XPL
The IWC Big Pilot Watch Shock Absorber XPL is the first watch that’s created by the brand’s Experimental Engineering division. Its main charm? It features a revolutionary anti-shock system that can withstand accelerations of more than 30,000 g. For content, “if a pilot accidentally hits his watch against a hard surface in the cockpit, for example, accelerations are in the range of 300 to 1000 g,” says Dr. Lorenz Brunner, IWC’s department manager of research and innovation. The movement is housed in a 44mm Ceratanium case that combines the lightweight properties of a titanium with anti-scratch ceramic.