As 2021 draws to a close, take a look over some of the highlights of the year, from watches and wonders across society as we look forward to the start of a new year.
From an Omega on the red carpet at the Met Gala that sent watch etiquette into a frenzy, to a year of leading models at auction, here’s the best of 2021.
Patek Philippe x Tiffany & Co. Collaboration
The watch that stormed social media and had everyone craving it, the Tiffany & Co. limited edition Patek Philippe Nautilus. sold at auction for $6.5 million, the ninth-highest auction price for a watch EVER. This exclusive watch and exceptionally hard to come by model celebrates the 170-year alliance between Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co. that remains one of the longest and most enduring relationships in all of watchmaking. A total of 170 timepieces will be produced and available exclusively through Tiffany locations in New York, Beverly Hills, and San Francisco – with the exception of this very watch. The iconic Tiffany Blue was trademarked in 1998, and over 20 years later, this watch makes the hue even more coveted.
The Return of the Rolex Experimental Deep Sea Special N°1
Watch collectors are sticklers for rarity, sourcing horological heirlooms for bygone eras that show extravagant artistry and craftsmanship of history. So when Christie’s announced this year that a very rare Rolex model was up for grabs, it sent seismic waves through the industry. Why? A Rolex Deep Sea watch were made few and far between and this particular 1953 model was considered to be the first, attached to Auguste Piccard’s triste; a physician best known for his exploits into the stratosphere and ocean depths. While prototypes of a watch fit to dive deep into the ocean and still remain accurate were built between 1953 and 1960, only three so far have been identified. Haute stuff.
Richard Mille RM 07-01Automatic Winding Coloured Ceramics
There’s a general aesthetic behind the watch industry; luxury metals, paired-back dials in shades of blue, black and silver, and an emphasis on the artistry that goes on inside the watch’s internal organs. But every once in a while, a watch brand comes along and throws color into the mix, diluted the muted palette with an infusion of vibrancy. This year’s candidate for change was Richard Mille with the RM 07-01 collection, reinterpreted in Pastel Blue, Pastel Pink and Pastel Lavender. With segmented dial plates and inserts of ceramic, mismatched straps and immense guilloche detailing, a decorative craft that has its origins in the 16th century and consists of individual repetitive lines, cut by hand to create a graphic motif. The epitome of fusing modern-day appetite with the unrivalled recesses of the past, Richard Mille’s visually intrepid collection was a reminder that the past and the present can exist in perfect harmony.
Tyler the Timepiece Creator
Making his own kind of “EARFQUAKE” in the watch industry this year, Tyler the Creator was the watch collector no one saw coming. His journey began with a trusted Casio MQ24-9B, before ascending to the heights of Cartier, with the renowned Cartier Crash. And it didn’t stop there either, as Tyler purchased an unusual Cartier Quadrant watch from the Monaco Legends auction.
Cardi B and Offset gift their 3-year-old daughter a Richard Mille
The saying goes that when you’re young and learning the ways of the world, the best way is by repetition. So it makes sense when we saw Kulture Kiari, the child of Cardi B and Offset wearing a Richard Mille watch for her birthday. Back in July this year, the musical parents marked their daughters 3rd birthday with a fairytale-themed birthday part, complete with a towering Cinderella cake, petting zoo, balloon tunnel, disney princesses, a Birkin Bag and an iced out Richard Mille watch for a staggering $250k. *SCREAMS*
A New Cartier Member
Renowned for their experimental shapes, the Cloche de Cartier watch is the fifth opus brought to you by Cartier Privé, and one of the rarest aesthetics in Cartier’s watchmaking repertoire. This watch can be read in two ways: either on the wrist or on a table, transforming it into a unique “desk clock”. The Privé Collection is Cartier’s platform for revisiting and rediscovering its historically most iconic designs – most recently, we had a wonderful revival of the Tank Asymétrique, and this year Cartier welcomed its newest member of the Privé Collection.