Well, if we thought that 2020 couldn’t be surpassed in the watch world – we could not have been further from the truth!
We must start (we really do) with what was without doubt the biggest drop of 2021 – the Tiffany/Patek Phillipe 5711 – 1A/018
We are all very aware that one of the most desirable watches in the Patek Phillipe arsenal is due to be retired this year and as such the last 18 months have been spent by watch aficionados talking about how the standard Patek Phillipe 5711 has risen to the ranks of a £175,000 wristwatch when compared to a few years ago – it really is astonishing.
So, when the powers that be decided a send-off to conquer all others was required – they called in the big guns, and that robin egg blue dial appeared from nowhere. 170 will be produced and available exclusively from Tiffany boutiques and one can only imagine how these may perform on the secondary market – in a recent charity auction, one of the 170 sold for a jaw dropping $6.5 million, which is simply staggering for a watch that retails at a few bucks over $52,000.
Now some people amongst you will be aware that Tiffany has recently been acquired by LVMH and this moment has clearly been defined by the 5711 – 1A/018, it even has a little nod to the recent acquisition on the engraving of the caseback – a little brash? Maybe, but I am fairly sure that most watch people won’t notice the difference and hope that the work between the two companies will continue as it has done for the last 170 years.
As far as the rest of 2021 happened – it was pretty much a continuation of 2020, with rises across the board of Patek Phillipe, Audemars Piguet, and of course… Rolex sports models.
At the start of 2021, a 116610LN could be acquired on the secondary market for just short of £10,000 now, it’s closer to £16,000. Considering back in the pre covid days of 2018, on a good day you could get one for closer to £6000 – it hasn’t been a bad investment and if you bought the green bezel model – well that’s a completely different story!
Other highlights of 2021 have included the Bremont ENG300 – Whilst the English brothers may have had to fight off some arguments about the origin of parts of their watches, this new model has what appears to be a well-researched in house movement, that really is a game changer for the UK watch industry.
The Cartier Solarbeat, is certainly a watch for the risk taker – a person that wants a classical design with one of the most forward-thinking developments of the year – a solar powered Cartier, its doesn’t sound right saying it, but could you tell the difference? At a really good price point as well, one would have to be brave to bet against it being a huge success.
Finally, what has to be my watch of the year is the Tissot PRX, starting at under £300 (yes, three hundred pounds) it is an amazing retro design with hints of the big boys, but with a price tag that makes it far more accessible to enthusiasts on a lower budget as well.
What will 2022 bring? It’s difficult to say but with watch shows being planned for throughout the year, and design teams back at their desks I am sure that there will be a few surprises ahead!