9 Best Watches For Millennials From Watches & Wonders 2021
Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the releases from the Watches & Wonders 2021. Before we get to dive deep into the releases and go hands-on with as many of these as the two of us here can, here’s out list of 9 best watches for millennials from Watches & Wonders 2021. For our other detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here.
There is a quote by the American actress Sutton Foster that goes: “One of the things I admire most about millennials is they celebrate individualism, and their singularity is encouraged. To be different is to be cool as opposed to weird”.
There were a number of brands that released watches this year that are unique, celebrate individualism, and above all, are cool.
Here’s a list of our top 9 best watches for Millennials from Watches & Wonders 2021.
One watch each from a total of nine brands have been chosen (and presented below in alphabetical order): Baume & Mercier, Breitling, Corum, H. Moser & Cie., Maurice Lacroix, Purnell, TAG Heuer, Trilobe, and Tudor.
The new Baume & Mercier Riviera Baumatic
The Watch: The French Riviera is often linked to the world of glitz and glamour. And over the years, it has become a somewhat iconic place in the south of France. The new Riviera collection takes inspiration from this destination and brings its charm straight to your wrist.
The Riviera collection first enthralled the watch world back in 1973. It quickly became known for its distinctive bezel and streamlined steel watchcase design, which was marked by its twelve-sided bezel reflecting the twelve hours displayed on the dial.
Out of the ten new references of the new Baume & Mercier Riviera Baumatic collection, the ref. M0A10617 has got to be our favourite. Presented inside a stealth, uber-cool and in-trend sandblasted steel-ADLC case, my favourite aesthetic feature is the smoked grey sapphire crystal and transparent waves decor. Of course, the main star of the show is the dodecagonal case design, which is somehow iconic of this collection and the Corum Admiral (which is also a part of the 9 best watches for millennials from Watches & Wonders 2021 list).
Last but not the least I also appreciate that the legibility is not compromised by the smokescreen dial thanks to the riveted Roman numerals and indices that are coated with Superluminova (C1, blue emission). Overall, the new Baume & Mercier Riviera Baumatic is a rather unique, different and distinctive timepiece that should definitely appease to the eclectic tastes of the millennials.
The Specs: The 4.2mm thick Baumatic BM13-1975A movement is comprised of 21 jewels, beats at the frequency of 4Hz, and offers a very impressive 5-day (120 hours) power reserve. It is also handsomely finished with the bridge featuring circular-graining, a sandblasted plate with snailed decor, and an open-worked oscillating weight that is adorned with “Côtes de Genève” and snailed decors, along with Baume & Mercier engravings. The movement also provides a magnetic resistance of 1500 Gauss and a daily precision of -4 s / +6 sec per day, and is encased inside a 42 x 10.7mm sandblasted steel-ADLC case and bezel, with the latter is equipped with 4 sandblasted screws. The watch is water-resistant to 100m (10 ATM).
Why it’s on this list: Baume & Mercier have done an excellent job of recreating a past icon, that on one hand stays true to its heritage, but also presents itself suited and booted for the modern-day. With a number of offerings, both with quartz and mechanical movements and spread over a range of price points, this collection ensures there is something for everyone. Plus, given travel is an alternate reality these days, it’s good to have the spirit of a sexy travel destination with you at all times.
The new Breitling Premier B09 Chronograph 40
The watch: The mesmerising pistachio is definitely the aesthetic star, but these chronographs shine thanks to a hell of an amazing package: in-house movement, COSC-certification, heritage but without fauxtina, decently decorated movements displayed through case-back, pristine dials with beautiful azurage counters, and water-resistance of 100m. (Detailed review here).
The specs: The ref. AB0930D31L1P1 features the Breitling Manufacture Caliber B09. This 30 x 6.73mm manual-winding mechanical movement is comprised of 47 jewels, beats at the standard frequency of 4Hz, and offers an impressive 70-hour power reserve. It is based on their calibre B01 and has previously been used mostly in limited-edition run pieces like the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition and Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition. This 30 x 6.73mm manual-winding mechanical movement comprised of 47 jewels, beats at the standard frequency of 4Hz, and offers an impressive 70-hour power reserve. It is based on their calibre B01 and has previously been used mostly in limited-edition run pieces like the AVI Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition and Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition.
Why it’s on this list: Green dials have somewhat been a theme this year with W&W 2021. We in fact, on the first day, dedicated an entire post to it (way before other publications jumped on the wagon, fyi). So not only is the new Breitling Premier B09 Chronograph 40 in trend — which I am sure millennials will like — but also the particular shade of green that is so unique that I personally haven’t seen that on any other dial (and that’s something again millennials should love).
The new Corum Admiral Automatic
The Watch: This is one completely monochromatic watch that made it to our list. Completely opposite to the bright orange TAG Heuer offering we will be looking at in a bit, the new Corum Admiral 42 Automatic ref. A395/04128 – 395.201.20/V800 AK50 with its graduated grey dial and a sandblasted stainless steel case is a winner. With an increased water resistance of 100m water resistance and the emblematic dodecagonal design, it comes with a distinctive and memorable quality. (Detailed review here).
The Specs: It features the calibre CO 395 which uses as its base the workhorse ETA 2895 movement, and is comprised of 33 jewels. It beats at the frequency of 4Hz and offers a 42-hour power reserve. The ETA 2895-2 is 25.6mm in diameter and 4.35mm thick and features hacking seconds, quick date correction, a three-legged Glucydur balance, and Incabloc shock absorbers. The movement is encased inside a 42mm diameter and 10.3mm thick dodecagonal sandblasted with anti-fingerprint coating stainless steel case.
Why it’s on this list: The Corum Admiral collection has a very youthful vibe to it. The version we have chosen be may subdued, but it takes the less travelled path for the collection by being monochromatic. It’s perhaps like 50 Shades of Grey.
The new H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept x seconde/seconde/
The Watch: The beauty of the Funky Blue fumé dial with the mesmerising sunburst pattern forms the backdrop for the unique pixelated eraser used as the hour hand. Designed in collaboration with seconde/seconde/, an independent watch hands customiser based in France, this Moser timepiece is quirky and fun. (Detailed review here).
The Specs: The ref. 1200-1229 is a limited edition release of 20-pieces only that features the movement from the regular Endeavour Centre Seconds watches, the automatic winding calibre HMC 200 that is comprised of 27 jewels, beats at the low frequency of 3Hz, and offers a min. 3-day power reserve. The 32mm x 5.5mm movement is encased inside a 40mm diameter and 10.7mm thick case that is 30m water-resistant.
Why it’s on this list: Moser is a brand that transcends traditions and beats expectations. Their watches are always challenging the status quo, and with the addition of the stylised eraser, the timepiece gets a bespoke treatment that should satiate the appetite of these millennials that have no budget constraints but want a truly unique timepiece. It is definitely one of the 9 best watches for millennials from Watches & Wonders 2021.
The new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Master Grande Date
The watch: It is a part of the signature ML collection, the Aikon series. This latest 2021 offering reveals a new design with an integrated movement that proudly reveals itself on the dial: an open-worked, off-centred automatic calibre featuring a large date and open balance wheel. Anyone who has read my reviews will attest that I have a soft spot for big dates, and its clean-cut execution at 11’o clock is welcome. Mirroring it is the elegant off-centred Clous de Paris hours and minutes dial.
Despite so much going on, there is a certain symmetry to the dial that the architect in me appreciates, and I am also pleased to note that the legibility thanks to rhodium-plated and white SLN infilled hands and indices has not been sacrificed. There is also coherency to the watch as a unit:
- The Clous de Paris, grained dial plate and the Cordura® bracelet all feature a deep, matte and elegant shade of blue
- The dials’ bezels, the large applied date window and the small seconds are all satin-finished matching the polished chamfers
- The date window is the same shape as the bezel’s arms
The Specs: The ML331 calibre is a manufacture movement that offers a clear view of its balance wheel that is visible through a large skeleton opening. It is comprised of 43 jewels, beats at the rather low frequency of 2.5Hz, and offers a decent 50-hour power reserve. It is encased inside a 45mm diameter and 15mm thick stainless steel case that is water-resistant to 100m.
Why it’s on this list: The design is overall a bit similar to the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity timepieces with the presence of a similar off-centre dial and the presence of a balance wheel, but the unique Aikon case shape and the overall execution of the timepiece lend it a charismatic charm that the millennials should love.
The new Purnell Escape Primo WPM
The watch: Purnell is strictly a tourbillon only watchmaker at this stage, with the concept of motion centric to their design philosophy. And looking at their timepieces, one can see the charm behind young collector’s wanting these: the new Purnell Escape Primo WPM features a new calibre CP11 with a single Spherion and a power reserve indicator, all packed inside a large, flashy unit. This new also watch becomes “the world’s fastest triple-axis tourbillon with a rotation of its Spherion in 8 seconds, 16 seconds & 30 seconds”.
This said, their new Escape Absolute Sapphire is also a beaut, and was the more challenging for the brand, given the shape of the case is complex — its polishing is very time consuming — and the workings on the sapphire have been very complex.
The Specs: Calibre CP11 provides a 50-hour power reserve with a power-reserve indicator. It is the world’s Fastest Triple-Axis Tourbillon and is called called “Spherion” by watchmaker Eric Coudray. The 38 x 11.85mm movement features 238 components, 43 jewels, beats at the low frequency of 3Hz, and is adjusted to all positions. It is cased inside a 48mm diameter WPM (White Purnell Microfiber) case and is water-resistant to 30m (3 ATM). It retails for 8,900 CHF.
Why it’s on this list: These are like the ‘Fast & Furious’ of timepieces. During the brand presentation for the Watches & Wonders, Purnell’s CEO Maurizio Mazzocchi explained how his brand is focused on creating fun and happy watches, and that young collectors are Purnell’s main customers. And looking at the brand, we can understand why.
The new TAG Heuer Formula 1 collection
The Watch: Presented in 4 new references featuring colourful dials and quartz movement, these retail for 2’100 AUD (for time only model) and 2’750 AUD (for chronograph versions). With the new TAG Heuer Formula 1 watches, you get brand recognition, sturdy timepieces, and a casual sporty-chic vibe: if you are someone who doesn’t look down upon quartz movements, these are an excellent bang for your buck as well. (Detailed review here).
The Specs: Swiss quartz movement that is made with a battery life of approximately 24 months and has an EOL (battery End-Of-Life) indication, stop-second function & fast date correction setting. The movement is housed inside a 43mm diameter steel fine-brushed case that is on the large side but in turn, should aide legibility.
Why it’s on this list: Youthful asphalt-effect dials in tangerine orange and lime yellow reminiscent of the 1980s and 90s define these watches. These are best suited for those racing and watch enthusiasts who may be on a budget but their love for the brand and motor racing is not.
The new Trilobe “Les Matinaux” Sunray Green
The Watch: Trilobe is a new — from 2018 — French company making Swiss watches. Their introductory collection Les Matinaux, or The Mornings, is distinctive, quirky and fun, something millennials would definitely identify with. The patented display concept composed of three devices representing the hours, minutes and seconds located on the same plane as the dial is a sure-shot conversation starter. These come in a plethora of colours but the green sunray dial is just stunning.
The Specs: The calibre “X-Centric” is a 35.2 x 5.78mm self-winding integrated mechanical calibre — base ETA 2982 if I not wrong — that features 33 rubies and 230 components, beats at the frequency of 4Hz, and provides a 48-hour power reserve. The movement is encased inside either a 40.5mm — ref. LM05VS — or 38.5mm — ref. LM06VS — diameter and 8.8mm thick 316L stainless steel case with alternating mirror-polished and satin-brushed surfaces. The watch is 50m (5 ATM) water-resistance.
Why it’s on this list: I appreciate that new players are entering the watch scene and creating timepieces that are different. Just like not every millennial thinks and acts in the same way, watches like the new Trilobe “Les Matinaux” Sunray Green are indispensable for the industry’s evolution. And all things said and done, it’s just damn nice to look at too.
The new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925
The Watch: Bling and elegance without the price of gold defines the new BB58 925. The taupe grey dial on a silver alloy body is extremely legible. The proportions of these 39mm diameter watches and the dial symmetry is the sort of stuff they should teach about in horology schools. It’s the no-fuss timepiece. (Detailed review here).
The Specs: The reference 79010SG retails for $5’880 AUD and features a COSC-certified manufacture movement, the calibre MT5400. This 30.3mm diameter and 5mm thick movement features a variable inertia balance and a non-magnetic silicon balance spring. It beats at the same frequency of 4Hz (28’800 A/h), comprised of the same 27 jewels, and offers the same impressive 70-hour power reserve. It is encased inside a 39mm diameter silver 925 body.
Why it’s on this list: Tudor’s Black Bay Fifty-Eight series is perhaps the best value for money in the Swiss watch industry today. They have the brand heritage, looks, and shop availability, to be the best deal in the market. And for those who like to play rough, these are also tough as nails. You pretty much can’t go wrong with a Tudor BB58.
That’s All Folks!
So there you have it; 9 best watches for millennials from Watches & Wonders 2021. Nine watches for a range of budgets and covering a variety of emotions. This is what we think is best for millennials from Watches & Wonders. Perhaps you might have a different list? Feel free to share in the comments below or on our social media.
Make sure to check out our reviews of other Watches & Wonders 2021 releases here. All images unless otherwise specified are courtesy and © the respective brands.