Zhong Tianyang

In the blink of an eye, 2021 is only the last few days left. At a time when everything is accelerating, even the watchmaking world, which is always half a beat slower than the trend, has accelerated its pace, setting off waves of topics throughout the year. And in each wave of topics, there are always one or two watches that have been pushed to the forefront and become the annual trendsetter, which also reflects the trend behind the industry.

A co-branded game that had to be played

Patek Philippe Ref. 5711/1A-018 Tiffany Blue Disc

In December, Patek Philippe officially announced its Nautilus series Ref. Model 5711, commemorative edition with jeweler Tiffany: Ref. 5711/1A-018, $52635. The iconic Tiffany Blue and double signature logo have made this joint watch a lively discussion on social media. At the New York auction held on December 11, the watch finally fell at $6,503,500 (about 41.418 million yuan), a surge of more than 100 times.

This co-branded watch has brought Patek Philippe a high degree of exposure, and also reflects the anxiety of this watch king who has been firmly in the top position in the watchmaking industry for many years, about “heat”. When brands such as Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, and Hublot all gained attention with various forms of co-branded crossover watches, Patek Philippe also had to join the co-branded game. It is conceivable that in 2022, there will be more and more joint watches.

Space watches enter the era of mass production

Richard Mille RM27-02 watch

On December 9, Japanese billionaire Tomosaku Maezawa posted his first tweet after arriving at the International Space Station, which read “I am in the universe.” The tweet was accompanied by a photo of him sitting cross-legged on the space station in a weightless environment. The orange strap watch on his wrist also grabbed the camera, the Richard Mille RM27-02 that he has worn many times in recent years. Originally made especially for Nadal, this watch is extremely lightweight, with a movement of only 3.35 grams. This time with Maezawa Yusaku to the sky, it also made it Richard Mille’s first watch in space.

On December 9, Japanese billionaire Tomosaku Maezawa wore a love watch Richard Mille RM27-02 entered the International Space Station.

In the last century, every pioneering act of human beings to break through the atmosphere has been legendary. However, this stereotype is changing subtly – due to the gradual popularity of private space tourism, “space watches” have also entered the era of mass production. In the same year, IWC and the independent watchmaking brand De Bethune entered space through private space services.

Independent watchmaking on the rise


At the watch auction in 2021, Swiss independent watchmaking brand F.P. Journe performed well. At the Only Watch 2021 charity auction that ended in November, F.P. Journe’s unique watch FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA FFC Blue for this auction sold for 4.5 million Swiss francs (about 31.22 million yuan). Not only that, in the regular auction field, F.P. Journe made history in less than two months from October to November, frequently exceeding the 20 million yuan mark.

For the major traditional watchmaking brands, independent watchmaking brands can be described as the “unique” of the watch industry, although the competition in today’s watch market is intensifying, they still adhere to the pure watchmaking concept. In recent years, due to their own unremitting efforts, unique watchmaking style, coupled with its limited number, independent watchmaking brands have gradually become popular among the majority of watch enthusiasts, setting off a frenzy.

Chinese watchmaking was awarded the Geneva Awards

Xijia “Blue Planet” original watch

Known as the “Oscar” of the watch industry, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), held its 2021 awards ceremony in early November. This year, the original watch “Blue Planet” of the Chinese brand “Xijia” won the Challenge Award, which is the first time that a Chinese watch brand has won the GPHG award. Earlier, in 2019, Xijia was nominated for the GPHG “Challenge Award”.

At the 21st Geneva Watch Awards, the original watch “Blue Planet” of the Chinese watchmaking brand “Xijia” won the challenge award.

The “Blue Planet” watch, using the brand’s exclusive “asynchronous following” technology, can read hours and minutes through only a round nautical beacon on the dial. It is worth mentioning that the movement it carries is specially customized by the domestic brand Seagull Watch for the brand, making this “Chinese design” watch have a “Chinese core”, becoming a pure “Made in China” watch, which is of great significance.

Blow the clarion call to the competitive world of gaming

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider LPL League of Legends limited edition watch

In September, the League of Legends Pro League completed the competition for the annual world championship, and the Chinese team EDG won the crown, which once caused the whole network to boil. At the League of Legends Pro League, Roger Dubuis also launched two limited-edition themed watches for the first time. The 45 mm diameter Excalibur Spider LPL Limited Edition watches are futuristic in high-tech white ceramic and carbon fibre. The pattern on the bezel is taken from the game’s “up, no, middle, down, auxiliary” and LPL logos, the color design of the two watches is inspired by the famous series of skins in the game, and the red and black models are mainly red symbolizing bravery and victory, reflecting a strong sense of technological futuristic sci-fi style.

On December 11, the 2021 LPL Hall of Fame Coronation Ceremony was held in Haikou. Liu Mo (PDD), Zhu Yihang (Zhu Yihang) and Yan Zijing (wAwa), as one of the early pioneers and leaders of Chinese League of Legends e-sports, witnessed the glorious journey of LPL all the way, and were also awarded the Roger Dupi Excalibur Spider LPL Limited Edition Watch.

It is not difficult to see from a series of actions by Roger Dubie that in the context of the new era, competitive games are increasingly showing the “sports” side, like football and basketball, becoming the “sports events” that the younger generation loves more – and this emerging “sports event” has also become a must for major luxury brands to embrace young consumers.

The only remaining watchmaker

Philippe Dufour Grande et Petite Sonnerie size minute repeater

In mid-August, A Collected Man, a watch sales website specializing in the high-end second-hand collection market, sold a Grande et Petite Sonnerie minute repeater by master watchmaker Philippe Dufour for a price of US$7.33 million (about 47.51 million yuan). With a transaction price of almost half a billion, it is the most expensive independent watchmaking work ever made, and it ranks among the ten most expensive watches in history that have changed hands publicly.

A Grande et Petite Sonnerie by Philippe Dufour sold for 7.33 million US dollars (equivalent to about 47.51 million yuan).

The reason why the price of more than 40 million yuan can be auctioned is related to the masterful craftsmanship of the watch itself, and it is closely related to the maker Philippe Dufour. At the age of 74, Dufour has a limited number of timepieces to complete in person for the rest of his life, making this large and small chiming watch a history-making piece. At the same time, looking at the entire watchmaking world, there are only a handful of watchmakers who have independent brands and still make watches with their own hands. When Philippe Dufour itself became the only remaining symbol of an ancient watchmaking model, the price of his creations naturally skyrocketed.

The 220th anniversary of the tourbillon’s non-stop rotation

Breguet Classique Classic Series 5345 Double Rotating Tourbillon Watch Embankment

June 26, 2021 is not only the annual “Tourbillon Day”, but also the 220th anniversary of the birth of the tourbillon. To this end, Breguet launched the Classique Classic Series 5345 Double Rotating Tourbillon Watch Embankment. The fully revealing movement of this timepiece shows two tourbillon units driving the entire platelet through a central differential. At the same time, each component is hand-finished and the “House on the Quai” motif is engraved on the case back, bringing to life the building that bears witness to Abraham-Louis Breguet’s life’s work for watchmaking.

On December 22, Breguet’s boutique on West Nanjing Road in Shanghai was inaugurated. The Breguet Classique Classic Series 5345 Double Rotating Tourbillon Watch Embankment Watch is also on display in the store.

Not only “faster, higher and stronger”, but also “lighter”

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light” watch

At the end of July, the Tokyo Olympics arrived late and became the most exciting global event of the year. This year’s Olympic Games is still officially timed by the Omega brand, and this led to the launch of Omega’s new Seamaster series Aqua Terra “Ultra Light” watch, which has become the competition choice of many athletes. Golfer Rory McIlroy, pole vaulter Armand Duplantis and women’s 400m hurdler Dalilah Muhammad all finished the race wearing Omega’s new Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light” watch.

Pole vaulter Armand Duplantis finished the race wearing Omega’s new Seamaster Aqua Terra “Ultra Light” watch.

As the name suggests, the selling point of this “Ultra Light” watch is that it is ultra-light, with a γ-titanium case, which is lighter and stiffer than traditional titanium, paired with a sports fabric strap, and weighs only 55 grams. And this also means that the “ultralight race” in watchmaking is more glued.

Environmental protection and emission reduction have become the trend of the times

Cartier Tank Must watch

In April, Cartier released the new Tank Must for the first time in many years, and for the first time used the SolarBeat™ solar movement in this watch. It took the development team two years of research and development to create the SolarBeat™ movement, which has an average service life of nearly 16 years. The watch is also groundbreaking with an innovative material strap containing around 40% plant-based ingredients and processed from apple waste from the swiss, German and Italian food processing industries.

Tank Must watch

The environmental results of the innovative strap are obvious. Compared to the production of calfskin straps, the carbon footprint of the new material strap is reduced to 1/6, saving 10 liters of water and 7 megajoules of energy, equivalent to about 200 smartphone charges. In the same month, Panerai also launched a SUBMERSIBLE stealth series eLAB-ID™ concept watch, in which the weight of environmentally friendly recycled materials accounted for 98.6%, raising the proportion of environmentally friendly recycled materials to a new height.

Only green can heal

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36

Green has always been Rolex’s signature colour. In April this year, the “Watch & Wonder” watch fair was held in Shanghai, and Rolex took the opportunity to present the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36, which not only features the iconic green dial, but also uses the latest laser technology to depict the palm trees of the rainforest on the green dial.

Although grass green was Pantone’s color of the year released in 2017, the watchmaking world in 2021 seems to have developed a great enthusiasm for green watches. Almost every watchmaking brand exhibiting has launched a watch with a green plate. If you think about it, watchmaking brands are launching green watches, which may also be related to mass consumer psychology. In the past 2020, the pandemic has raged, and green has given people a positive feeling, youthful and energetic, with natural beauty.

Responsible editor: Chen Hua

Patek Philippe Ref. 5711/1A-018 Tiffany Blue Disc


Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider LPL League of Legends limited edition watch

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36