The Watches That Every Man Will Want in 2021

Jill Newman
·5 min read
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned


“Hearst Magazines and Verizon Media may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below.”

Every April, the Swiss watch industry unveils its newest creations, and the models that debuted this month didn’t disappoint. Despite the pandemic, watchmakers delivered impressive innovations at Watches and Wonders, the Geneva-based event which featured virtual presentations this year, instead of an in-person trade show. From Rolex’s tropical dial to Audemars Piguet’s superhero watch, there was a watch shown for every style and fantasy.

Here, the standouts:

Photo credit: Antoine Pividori
Photo credit: Antoine Pividori

Cloche de Cartier

One of the best watch introductions of the year was, in fact, launched a century ago. The Cloche (bell) first appeared in 1920 and its unique shape was identified with the dandies and the racing set of the era. This year, it returns as part of Cartier’s Privé Collection, a series which revisits historic styles in numbered, limited-edition pieces, like this rose gold model.

Photo credit: Bulgari
Photo credit: Bulgari

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar

Bulgari produced another record-breaking timepiece: the world’s slimmest perpetual calendar model. Don’t be fooled by its ultra-thin profile—the Octo Finissimo packs power. Four years in the making, it houses a 408-part movement in a graphic wafer-thin 5.8 mm platinum case. It's also available in a titanium case and bracelet watch.

Photo credit: Rolex
Photo credit: Rolex

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36

The instantly recognizable Rolex Datejust was first launched in 1945, and has since appeared with a variety of dial and color treatments. The newest iteration, with a palm motif on an olive-green dial, is already proving to be a big hit for men and women. It’s an escape to the tropics which, of course, carries with it the caliber 3235 movement with the Chronergy escapement and a power reserve of 70 hours.

Photo credit: Zenith
Photo credit: Zenith

Zenith DEFY Extreme

The bold DEFY Extreme comes in a 46 mm matte microblasted titanium case and houses Zentith’s El Primero 21 movement and ground-breaking 1/100th of a second chronograph caliber. That makes it one of the most precise mechanical timekeepers in the world. Available on a bright rubber strap or a titanium bracelet, it’s designed with an adventurer in mind, but also looks cool even if your biggest voyage is a walk on the city streets.

Photo credit: rs.solutions
Photo credit: rs.solutions

Hublot Big Bang Sang Bleu II Ceramic

Like every Big Bang, the new edition commands attention. The strikingly bold and sculptural timepiece is a collaboration with tattoo artist and entrepreneur Maxime Buchi, founder of Sang Bleu creative studio, and features a robust blue ceramic case that is defined by sharp angles, which give it the appearance of a faceted gemstone.

Photo credit: Patek Philippe
Photo credit: Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe In-Line Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5236P-001

Attention Patek enthusiasts, the 5236P-001 is the house’s first in-line perpetual calendar in a wristwatch, which means you can read the day, date, and month in one single line at 12 o’clock. The sleek platinum case houses the new movement, but the display is inspired by a Patek 1972 pocket watch, which is the perfect blend of innovation and horological heritage.

Photo credit: A. Lange & Söhne
Photo credit: A. Lange & Söhne

A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar

The German watchmaker’s first solo perpetual calendar watch houses a 621-part movement which automatically adjusts for short months and Leap Years and features the months on a ring that circumvents the dial. Only 150 models will be made with the solid pink-gold dial in a white gold case.

Photo credit: Louis Vuitton
Photo credit: Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Tambour Carpe Diem

It’s art, entertainment, and poetic symbolism, and did we mention that it tells the time? Two years in the making, this one-of-a-kind timepiece comes to life by pressing a reptile-shaped button on the case, which prompts the skull and snake to transform into a moving tableau to reveal the time. It is based on a jacquemart, a form of automaton, and also houses a retrograde minute, power reserve display, and jumping hour. This attention-grabbing mechanical feat has a message: Seize the Day.

Photo credit: Tudor
Photo credit: Tudor

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925

The Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925 gets its name from Tudor’s first diver’s watch which was launched in 1958, and the 39 mm timepiece reflects the '50s-era vintage proportions and style. This is Tudor’s first diver’s watch with a silver case and a unique taupe color dial. It also carries the same caliber MT5400 automatic movement, is 200 m water-resistant, and a retro-style that's ageless.

Photo credit: Diode SA - Denis Hayoun
Photo credit: Diode SA - Denis Hayoun

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Black Panther Flying Tourbillon

Even from a distance, you couldn’t miss LeBron James wearing his new Black Panther Flying Tourbillion earlier this month when he watched his team, the LA Lakers, play the Boston Celtics while sidelined with an injury. James landed one of only 250 limited-edition timepieces, which feature Marvel’s superhero in a hand-painted 3D image on the dial. The statement-making watch carries a caliber 2965, a hand-wound mechanism with a flying tourbillon, and has a 72-hour power reserve. It's truly a timepiece that can make anyone feel like a superhero.

Photo credit: Panerai
Photo credit: Panerai

Panerai Luminor Chrono Goldtech Blu Note

Panerai launched an ultra-luxe chronograph made with a brushed Goldtech case, the brand’s proprietary rose-gold alloy which creates a remarkably saturated and rich gold finish, and a dreamy blue sun-brushed dial with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. It also delivers on performance: it carries the P.9200 automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve.

Photo credit: Omega
Photo credit: Omega

Omega Seamaster 300

First introduced in 1957, the Seamaster 300 returns new and improved for the next generation of divers and explorers. The 41 mm titanium case features a sand-blasted blue dial with vintage-style luminous hands and a ceramic bezel ring with a Liquidmetal diving scale. It's also water-resistant to 300 meters—but you don’t need to dive to appreciate this sporty timepiece.

You Might Also Like