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The Best New Men’s Watches for 2021 (Test)

As we wrap up another wild year in watches, let’s take a look at some of our favorite men’s watches released this year. A few of these models feel like they’ve been with us for some time already, while the end of the year releases are still fresh on our minds. It was a big year for well-established, value-driven brands like Tissot, Hamilton, and Tudor, each dropping an array of impressive new models including a few surprises. Speaking of surprises, just this week (December 10, 2021) the final-ever steel Patek Philippe Nautilus was released in collaboration with iconic Tiffany & Co brand.

We will continue to add to this list into next year as end of the year models continue to drop throughout December. Don't forget to check out some of our other guides, including the Best Titanium WatchesBest Microbrands, and Best Minimalist Watches, among others.

A. Lange & Sohne

Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar

Lange launched a stunning pair of new perpetual calendars based on their iconic Lange 1 format in a rose gold, slate grey combination as well as a limited edition white gold, salmon dial option. Another incredible year of releases for the German brand that builds on one of the most impressive high horology catalogs in the world.

Reference: 345.033 & 345.056

Case Size: 41.9 mm

Case Height: 12.1mm

Movement: Automatic L021.3

Price: $104,500 & $116,000

Limited Edition: Ref 345.056 to 150 pieces

Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo”

News broke this spring that Audemars Piguet was discontinuing their iconic 15202ST Royal Oak “Jumbo” and replacing it with a new reference in 2022, but that didn’t stop them from adding another platinum model this year with a smoked green, sunburst dial. As one of the most desirable luxury sports models in the world, this piece is nearly impossible to obtain at the boutique level, but it certainly makes for a striking potential swan song if the 15202 reference ends up begin completely retired in the near future.

Reference: 15202PT.OO.1240PT.01

Case Size: 39 mm

Case Height: 8.1 mm

Movement: Automatic Caliber 2121

Price: On request;

Ball

Fireman Nightbreaker

Ball Watches had several really solid releases in 2021, with the Fireman Nightbreaker being one of our favorites. As with many of the existing models, this piece offers a lot of everyday value, offering a high level of legibility and durability. The blue dial has an interesting concentric circular design to it that helps it stand out from other models in the Fireman collection.

Reference: NM2188C-P13-BE

Case Size: 40 mm

Case Height: 11.3 mm

Movement: Automatic RR1103

Price: $1349

TB
Baltic

Aquascaphe Dual-Crown

Baltic made a big splash this year for more than one reason, catching the attention of the collecting community with a huge OnlyWatch result, while also releasing one of the better values for a compressor-style dive watch, equipped with a non-screwdown 2 o’clock crown for easy engagement underwater. Three initial options are available for this brand new model.

Versions: Blue Dial, Black Dial, PVD Black

Case Size: 39 mm

Case Height: 11.9 mm

Movement: Automatic Miyota 9039

Price: €650 (~ $730)

Bell & Ross

BR05 Chrono White Hawk

The BR05 collection has managed to leverage much of the instrument panel aesthetic that made the brand popular over the past two decades while adding an assortment of dial options and complications, including this new limited edition White Hawk Chronograph in the 42mm case with the option of either the very good steel bracelet or a rubber strap.

Reference: BR05 Chrono White Hawk

Case Size: 42 mm

Movement: Automatic Caliber BR-301

Price: $6,100 to $6,600

Limited Edition: to 250

Breitling

Premier B09 Chronograph

Quickly establishing itself as a serious pillar in the Breitling catalog, the Premier Collection is now home to some of Breitling’s best work. This year they released a few different dial executions, all of them very nice, but it’s this Pistachio green dial that stands out. It’s also a reasonable size at 40mm across and 13mm thick making it a very compelling chronograph given it’s equipped with the manual wind, in-house manufactured B09 movement.

Reference: AB0930D31L1P1

Case Size: 40 mm

Case Heights: 13 mm

Movement: Manual Caliber B09

Price: $8400

Breitling

Premier B25 Datora

Another striking model from the Premier Collection launched this year is the B25 Datora in steel, featuring a salmon dial with blue accent colors. It’s a complete calendar chronograph that’s well laid out, reminiscent of some popular upmarket references. It’s a bit big in comparison to the Premier B09, but striking nonetheless.

Reference: AB0930D31L1P1

Case Size: 42 mm

Case Heights: 15.3 mm

Movement: Automatic Caliber B25

Price: $12,950

Bulgari

Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar

Another world record-breaking piece from Bulgari, this time for the world’s thinnest automatic perpetual calendar movement, the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar is also the 2021 winner of the prestigious GPHG “Aiguille D’or” Award, given to the year’s best overall watch. Bulgari continues to impress and shake up the industry with its record-setting timepieces.

Reference: 103200

Case Size: 40 mm

Case Heights: 5.8 mm

Movement: Automatic Caliber BLV 305

Price: On Request

Bulova

MIL-SHIPS Re-Issues

New to the Archive Series, these models are based on prototypes designed for the U.S. Navy which were never launched for public consumption. There are two MIL-SHIP models available, a limited version featuring a Sellita SW200 and a non-limited model equipped with a Miyota 82S0. Aesthetically, they share many of the same characteristics and if you want a deeper look into these two, be sure to check out our review.

Reference: 98A266 & 98A265

Case Size: 41 mm

Case Heights: 5.8 mm

Movement: Automatic SW200 in the 98A265 & Miyota 82S0 in the 98A266

Price: $1999 - 98A265/$895 - 98A266

Limited Edition: 1000 for the 98A265

TB
Bulova

Devil Diver

With a stainless steel cushion case very much representing the original design’s era, and some of the more unusual hour indices you’ll see, the Devil Diver passes the eye test with some great colorways and has a reasonable retail price as well.

Reference: 96B322

Case Size: 44mm

Thickness: 14.6mm

Lug-to-Lug: 45.9mm

Lug Width: 20mm

Water Resistance: 666 ft

Movement: Auto Miyota 821D

Power Reserve: 42 Hours

Crystal: Sapphire

Price: $795

TB
Bulova

Bulova Lunar Pilot LE 50th Anniversary

The Bulova Lunar Pilot is an homage to the Bulova chronograph worn by US astronaut Dave Scott on the freakin’ Moon on Apollo 15. Visually, the Lunar Pilot is a faithful recreation, retaining the curvy case shape and distinctive elongated pushers of the original. This limited edition model comes in titanium with gold-toned steel accents.

Reference: 98A285

Case Size: 46mm

Thickness: 13.5mm

Lug-to-Lug: 52mm

Lug Width: 20mm

Water Resistance: 50m

Movement: Quartz Bulova 262kHz

Crystal: Sapphire

Price: $995

TB
Carier

Pasha de Cartier 41 Chronograph

The Pasha collection is in the midst of a new-age renaissance as Cartier reestablished the collection in 2020 and continued to add models this year. The Pasha de Cartier 41 Chronograph continues the modern evolution of this collection with its signature art deco style and finally finished case and bracelet to go along with the in-house movement. The Pasha is indeed back!

Reference: CRWSPA0018

Case Size: 41mm

Thickness: 11.9mm

Straps: Grey Alligator and Steel Bracelet

Movement: Auto Caliber 1904-CHMC

Crystal: Sapphire

Price: $9900 - steel / $24,200 - yellow gold

Cartier

Santos-Dumont Limited Editions

The Santos-Dumont was introduced as the world’s first pilot’s watch upon its launch in 1904. In its most recent incarnation, the Santos-Dumont has become the ultra luxe model in the Santos collection. This year they released two limited edition models, one in platinum and the other in 18kt rose gold. The platinum version even comes with white gold cufflinks!

Case Size: 46.6mm x 33.9mm

Thickness: 7.5 mm

Movement: Manual Caliber 430MC

Crystal: Sapphire

Price: Upon Request

Citizen

Prodiver Mechanical Diver 200

The wildly popular Citizen Prodiver collection added a mechanical diver in the form of a 46mm titanium case with the reference NA6004-08E this year. It’s a big move that should keep Citizen fans happy while potentially bringing some new eyeballs to the collection who enjoy such mechanical timekeepers. A new movement is debuting in this model as well, the in-house Caliber 9051.

Reference: NB6004-08E

Case Size: 46 mm

Case Height: 15.3 mm

Lug-to-Lug: 51 mm

Movement: Automatic Citizen Cal. 9051

Price: $1050

De Bethune

DB25GMT Starry Varius

De Bethune had a big year in 2021 in more ways than one, debuting some really good looking models including the DB25GMT Starry Varius. It’s a refreshed execution of the DB25 World Traveller with a celestial design replacing the time zones on the dial while also coming in a slightly thinner case constructed from titanium.

Reference: DB25VGTIS3

Case Size: 42 mm

Case Height: 11.8 mm

Movement: Automatic Caliber DB2507

Price: ~$105,000