Editors’ Picks 2021
Do you agree with our personal favourites of the year?
CROWN’s regional editors come together for our annual, utterly biased pick of favourite timepieces of 2021. It was not easy putting this list together – we tolerated each other’s massive eye-rolls and snarky text messages. But we emerged unscathed, and it was good fun… really! For the full list, do check out CROWN’s Issue 4, 2021!
Alvin Wong, Editor-In-Chief
ROLEX Day-Date 40 with eisenkiesel dial
To be completely honest, I am not a fan of flashy watches. But if I ever were to rock one, I would go all the way with this Rolex Day-Date 40. The lustre and weight of Everose gold, the forthright sparkle with 10 baguette-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds on the dial and bezel and, most of all, the deep, intriguing chocolate shade and texture of its rare eisenkiesel dial, make for an opulent combination that simply blasts its wearer into a show-stopping stratosphere. Made from a type of quartz stone, eisenkiesel (German for ‘iron pebble’) dials are extremely rare and hard to manufacture too, adding to Rolex’s list of exclusive watches with exotic dials that simply add more cachet to this watch’s swag quotient.
Melissa Kong, Managing Editor
A. LANGE & SÖHNE Little Lange 1 Moon Phase
If there’s one thing city dwellers like us are deprived of, it’s seeing a splendid night sky completely and liberally sprinkled with a multitude of stars. That’s exactly what I see when I look at the A. Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moon Phase and it’s just breathtaking. Gold flux adorns the midnight blue dial, giving it a beautiful iridescence, while a diamond-set bezel adds to the sparkle. As with every Lange timepiece, the movement is impeccably finished and assembled twice. In this case, it’s the hand-wound Calibre L121.2 with a moonphase complication that requires no adjustment for 122.6 years. It also comes with two mainspring barrels to give you up to three days of power reserve on a full wind.
Leong Wong, Editor, Malaysia
BVLGARI Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde Disney Mickey Mouse
Like most kids, I grew up with Mickey Mouse and the iconic figure remains one of my favourite cartoon characters. The late, great watch designer, Gerald Genta, first immortalised Mickey Mouse on his whimsical retrograde watches in 1980s and, this year, Bvlgari decided to revive the design. Just as it was decades ago, the new Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde Disney Mickey Mouse is an absolute charmer. Mickey takes centrestage, of course, with an animated arm that points to the retrograde minutes, complemented by a jumping hours display. For me, this is a complication that expresses its technical prowess without sacrificing the fun and exuberance so vital to watch appreciation.
Shannon Hartona, Editor, Indonesia
ZENITH Defy Extreme
When many brands are releasing watches with smaller diameters, Zenith, as the name of this watch suggests, opts to defy the trend. This Defy Extreme model in brushed titanium and rose gold is a bold timepiece that looks gallant and attractive in equal measure, and stole my heart from the moment I set eyes on it. Of course, as with all Zenith fans, I am equally impressed by the famous high-frequency movement that powers the watch With all its qualities, such as the El Primero 9004 automatic movement with two escapements – one whirring at 36,000 vibrations per hour for regular timekeeping, and another at 360,000 vibrations per hour for the chronograph that measures time to 1/100th of a second.
Vu Ngoc Dung, Editor, Vietnam
CHOPARD Happy Sport The First
An iconic watch will never lose its shine. Introduced in 1993, the Chopard Happy Sport has spawned an entire universe based on the concept of diamonds that dance freely on the surface of a watch’s dial. I love how the throwback-inspired Happy Sport The First collection takes it back to where it all began, featuring models in the same 33m case size and shape, with long lugs set with blue cabochons at the sides, as well as on the crown. There are two limited edition versions – one with diamonds on the bezel (788 pieces) and one without (1,993 pieces). My vote goes to the latter for its subtle yet elegant sophistication.
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