Ready for some new wrist candy? Over the first half of 2021 we’ve seen nearly every major maker release an epic luxury timepiece. From haute horological masterpieces to cool everyday tool watches, here are our 12 favorite launches of 2021.
1. Rolex Explorer II
While much of the watch world was expecting a substantial aesthetic update for the model’s 50th anniversary, Rolex had other ideas. The crown does as it pleases, and they decided it would be best to upgrade the movement to the in-house caliber 3285—the same that beats inside the GMT Master II. They also added a new brighter, longer-lasting lume to the indexes and hands, making it a more reliable, heartier classic. Sure, some might be disappointed by its staid appearance, but we’d bet no one who actually lands one will feel that way.
2. Omega Speedmaster Professional
It’s the moon watch we all know and love—but now with Omega’s co-axial escapement and a silicon hairspring, making this Speedy METAS certified, accurate to +5 seconds a day, and anti-magnetic to 15,000 gauss. Omega also upgraded the bracelet so it’s both better looking and more comfortable. Plus the brand re-ran the original NASA testing on the new version and it passed with flying colors, so it’s ready to go back to the moon… or Mars when the time comes.
3. Zenith Defy Extreme
The 45mm Defy feels like something Bruce Wayne might wear all day, then leave on his wrist when he suits up as Batman. The micro-blasted titanium case and bracelet protect an El Primero 21 high-frequency chronograph movement that spins the seconds hand around the dial in a single breath. The new model also features a quick swap system that allows the wearer to swap from bracelet to strap and back again with the push of a button—perfect if you have to transition from the boardroom to battle the Joker in a moment’s notice.