The largest watch fair of the year is just over, so it’s time for us to sit down and to look back in details at what exactly happened during this very intense week. Watches & Wonders, previously named SIHH, is the initiative of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie… and as expected with such a name, the focus isn’t really on accessible watches. Still, there was a substantial number of newcomers for the 2021 edition, many of them playing in a more reasonable side of the market. And all in all, there have been numerous new watches launched in a price range that a larger portion of watch enthusiasts can actually consider. So here are most of the new models launched at Watches & Wonders 2021 priced below EUR 10,000, as well as our 6 favourite watches.
Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Bicompax Annual “Orca”
Not per se an entirely new watch, but a very handsome evolution of an already attractive watch. The Heritage Bicompax Annual was introduced in 2019, with a so-called panda dial. This year, the brand adds a new limited edition to the collection, with a reversed panda dial, or as nicknamed by the brand’s CEO Sascha Moeri, an “orca” dial – something that we find quite cool actually. What we have here is a black dial with contrasting sub-counters, but mostly, a very strong package. Well proportioned, nicely designed, this watch packs a two-register chronograph and an annual calendar function with large date. And the price, despite all the functions, remains very reasonable at EUR 6,400. A really strong offering. More details in our article here.
Quick Facts: 41mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal front and caseback, 30m water-resistant – CFB 1972 automatic (modified base ETA 2894) chronograph movement, annual calendar module – leather strap or rubber strap – Limited to 888 pieces – EUR 6,400
Hermès H08 Collection
Hermès watches are somehow unique in the watchmaking field, and that has to do with their design. Elegantly different, differently elegant… There’s a strong identity running in the entire collection and the brand’s newest watch is no exception to the rule. An all-rounder model with a sporty attitude, the new H08 collection plays with shapes, fonts, textures, colours and contrasts in a very appealing way. It is indeed different, still very Hermès but with a far more casual style and a titanium case, more in line with current expectations from the market. Inside is an automatic movement produced by Vaucher and multiple straps/bracelets are available, including this very Hermès orange rubber. More details in our article here.
Quick Facts: 39mm titanium case (with or without DLC), sapphire crystal front and caseback, 100m water-resistant – calibre manufacture H1837, made by Vaucher, automatic – rubber strap or titanium bracelet – as of EUR 4,900
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch 43
If not the first watch to relaunch the Flieger collection, the Big Pilot is, without doubt, the most emblematic of all the models. Ultra-large, bold and powerful, this is a watch that many have looked at and praised, but some were reluctant to pull the trigger because of its 46mm case. This year, IWC introduces a downsized version of the Big Pilot, with a more accessible price, a slightly simplified movement and multiple upgrades to make it a very attractive and solid offering. Now measuring 43mm, it is powered by an in-house automatic movement with 60h power reserve and its display has been simplified to the max. The look is typical Flieger, the case now comes with 100m water-resistance and a practical quick-change system has been added to the strap/bracelet. More details, including a video review, in our article here.
Quick Facts: 43mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal front and caseback, 100m water-resistant – IWC calibre 82100, in-house, automatic – leather strap or steel bracelet with quick-change system – from EUR 8,950
Nomos Metro Neomatik Update 41
For its first participation at Watches & Wonders, Nomos, a relatively young manufacture from Germany, came with a quite complete collection, including this new take on the Metro watch. A more youthful, more cosmopolitan, and more modern take on the brand’s clean design language, the Metro has a very casual and fresh vibe. It now receives the Update Neomatik movement, with its original date display on the periphery, with a series of small apertures frame the date with two neon orange markers. Under the sapphire caseback is an ultra-thin in-house movement that looks the par. It is worn on a sporty grey textile strap with quick-release spring bars, but will look good on multiple other straps. More details, including a video review, in our article here.
Quick Facts: 40.5mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal front and caseback, 50m water-resistant – DUW 6101 neomatik calibre, in-house automatic – dark grey textile strap with quick-release spring bars – EUR 3,500
Rolex Explorer 36 Oystersteel
For its first participation at the Geneva watch fair, Rolex has been, according to most, playing on the safe side. While we can agree on the new Explorer II, this isn’t the case for the classic Explorer. Not only the brand launched an unprecedented two-tone version, but importantly, the watch is going back to its original size of 36mm. And that is not a detail, it is a bold move from Rolex. Some will love this, some will hate… For the rest, we have a typical Rolex update, with a design that remains familiar, a very well executed stainless steel case and Oyster bracelet and a movement that is upgraded to the latest generation, the Calibre 3230. If the overall design is highly conservative, the reduced diameter is not, and this is exactly why this watch matters. More details in our article here, with the Oystersteel and Rolesor models.
Quick Facts: 36mm Osytersteel case, sapphire crystal dial side, 100m water-resistant – Calibre 3230, Superlative Chronometer, in-house, automatic – Oystersteel Oyster bracelet with Oysterlock clasp – EUR 6,100 in Oystersteel
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925
While the Black Bay and its smaller, more vintage edition, the Fifty-Eight, are classic models from the Tudor collection, the newest model presented by the brand is far from classic, at least in terms of material. It is indeed coming with a solid silver case, a material rarely seen anymore in watchmaking and that brings a unique appeal to this watch. Entirely brushed, it has a unique hue and brilliance, making it far more precious than stainless steel, with more brightness. It is nicely paired with a faded grey “taupe” dial and bezel, resulting in a warm and casual looking watch. Inside, and for the first time visible under a sapphire caseback, is the brand’s manufacture calibre MT5400. And even though we might have one or two reservations concerning how the material will age, the watch looks absolutely stunning in the metal. More details in our article here.
Quick Facts: 39mm 925 silver case, sapphire crystal front and caseback, 200m water-resistant – calibre MT5400, manufacture, COSC-certified, automatic – grained leather strap or fabric strap with silver band – EUR 4,050
All the other new models below EUR 10,000
Whole we’ve just presented our 6 preferred models of Watches & Wonders 2021 priced below EUR 10,000, there were far more watches presented in this price range. Here are (most of) the new watches presented during the fair, at least those that we’ve covered, with the corresponding articles:
Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Maldives Edition – Ballon Bleu de Cartier 40mm – Pasha de Cartier Chronograph 41mm – Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Paraiba Limited Edition – IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph 41 – Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds Green – Maurice Lacroix Aikon Master Grand Date – Maurice Lacroix Aikon Automatic Chronograph Titanium – Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Bronze 43 Anthracite – Maurice Lacroix Pontos Chronograph Blue Sun – Nomos Tangente neomatik 41 Update Midnight Blue – Nomos Tangente 38 “50 years of Doctors Without Borders” – Oris AquisPro Date Calibre 400 – Oris Dat Watt Limited Edition – Panerai Luminor Marina eSteel Collection – Rolex Explorer II 226570 – Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 Motif dials – TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Automatic Collection – TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 – Tudor Black Bay Chrono 79360N