2021 has been somewhat of a mixed bag of emotions. Worldwide some countries are starting to recover from the global pandemic, with restrictions being lifted and travelling once again becoming an option, whereas other countries are still battling to keep the virus at bay. The watch industry certainly did take a hit, and like other sectors have worked to bypass buying watches in person by offering more online service.
With the first half of 2021 over, Watchadvice has gone through some of the special timepieces that were released this year. The staff has narrowed down the top 5 watches of 2021 so far based on their personal preferences. So without further ado, we present to you Watchadvice Top 5 Staff picks for the first half of 2021.
1) Rado Captain Cook High Tech Ceramic
The “Master of materials”, Rado, released their latest ceramic masterpiece in the Captain Cook High Tech Ceramic. What makes this watch special and why we love it is the fact that it comes in a 43mm monobloc case that has been crafted entirely from ceramic. The inward sloping bezel, along with white numerals on the bezel and markers is all visually appealing and act as a perfect contrast to the dial.
The other notable feature of this timepiece is also the see-through movement on the dial. Rado has used a dark tinted sapphire glass on the dial to showcase the movement underneath. By using tinted glass, means that dial readability is unhindered. We at Watch Advice were fortunate enough to have this piece for a full review, which you can see here.
2) JLC Reverso Nonantieme
In celebration of the Reverso’s 90th anniversary, Jaeger-LeCoultre released a very special timepiece earlier this year. The Reverso Tribute Nonantième (Nonantième being French for “ninetieth”) is a double-sided timepiece with one side being unique. The front of the Reverso Tribute Nonantième is quite conventional, with the display showing the date at 12 o’clock, a normal 12 hour time display, and a special moon phase display which has a disc bearing a textured moon that has been modelled after the actual lunar surface.
Flip the dial over and this is where it gets interesting. The reverse dial displays a digital “semi-jumping hour”, with a disc showing the minutes. Between the digital hour display and the minute disc, there is a blue disc with a sun and moon motif which is the day and night display. The reason we love this watch is that not only does it celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Reverso” but also because of its unique reverse dial display.
3) Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Integral Full Sapphire
With this list being full of watches with nifty innovations and unique features, it would be a shame not to include the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Integral Full Sapphire. It’s needless to say we love this watch, well because just look at it!
The whole thing from top-down is fully see-through. Hublot has used sapphire for the case, the bezel, the movement plates, and even the bracelet. A watch like this is a technical feat that very few brands can master.
On top of making the whole watch as see-through as possible, Hublot has minimalised the movement as well, to only retain the bare necessities. Oh and on top of that, they have chucked a tourbillon for added measure.
4) Royal Oak Self-Winding Chronograph 38mm in Pink Gold
Audemars Piguet released a whole lot of epic timepieces this year, ranging from all-black ceramic, rainbow RO, to Royal Oak Frosted Gold. There was one other model, however, which is our pick for one of the best watch’s of 2021 so far.
The Royal Oak Self-Winding Chronograph 38mm in Pink Gold is one hot timepiece. While the rainbow-coloured RO’s might be taking most of the attention, this piece is certainly a show-stopper as well.
Why do we love this watch? Well firstly, this Royal Oak Chronograph has been fitted with a purple dial that’s new for Audemars Piguet. The purple dial is almost seen as a chameleon dial as the purple tones can range from pink to purple and sometimes shades of blue, depending on lighting conditions. The second reason why we fell for this piece is the beautiful bezel.
This bezel has been fitted with amethyst stones. A lot of amethyst stones. 32 baguette-cut amethyst stones to be in fact. With the combination of the stones in the bezel along with the stunning purple dial, encased in pink gold, Audemars Piguet has done this one just right.
5) Cartier Solarbeat Tank
At the heart of this latest Cartier watch is double innovation. The Cartier Solarbeat Tank’s first innovative feat is of course the Solarbeat movement. Taking almost two years for the design/engineering team to develop this unique movement, the Cartier Solarbeat Tank will now have a lifespan of approximately 16 years! The engineering team was able to apply the photovoltaic principle to the dial without needing to change the appearance of the dial.
An amazing technical feat was achieved to get the light to reach the photovoltaic cells hidden underneath the dial. This was achieved through the perforation of the Roman hour numerals, whose openings allowed the light to hit the cells.
The second innovation is actually on the watch strap. Cartier states that the watch strap is made without using animal materials while still maintaining quality and comfort. This is why we love the Cartier Solarbeat Tank.