The Watches We're Expecting to See at Watches & Wonders 2021

50th-anniversary Rolex Explorer II, anyone?

watches and wonders 2021 predictions
Gear Patrol

This year, the Watches & Wonders Geneva trade show is once again an online event — only this time, it includes brands such as Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe and more. Check back here often for our coverage of this horological mega-show to see all the latest watches.

Watches & Wonders — previously SIHH — is upon us yet again. Like last year, the trade show is digital, but unlike in past years, the Richemont Group (and assorted independent) brands now have some heavy-hitting company joining them.

That's right: Rolex, Tudor, Patek Philippe, Chopard (and more) have jumped ship from (now-dead/sort of rejiggered into something else, kind of?) Baselworld and hopped on the Watches & Wonders train. Which means we get to play an extended, expanded game of:

Watches We Expect to See at Watches & Wonders 2021

A New Rolex Explorer II

watches and wonders 2021 predictions

2021 marks 50 years since the debut of the ref. 1655 Explorer II back in 1971. The watch has undergone numerous variations big and small since then, perhaps none physically bigger than the up-scaling of the model's case from 40mm to 42mm in 2011. The ref. 216570 is now ten years old and probably due for an upgrade. Given Rolex's recent predilection for upping its case sizes while the rest of watch world has finally been moving in the opposite direction, we can only hope that if a new model debuts, it will regress toward the 40mm direction and not expand toward the size of a small neutron star. (Note: a teaser on Rolex's website seems to confirm the imminent debut of a new

A Colorful Nomos Club

watches and wonders 2021 predictions
Nomos Glashütte / Gear Patrol

For the record, this isn't something I expect to see — rather, it' something I want to see. I love the Nomos Club, so much so that when folks are buying a first "serious" watch for someone and ask my opinion, I often point them here. And what with all the colorful dials we've been seeing lately in the Rolex "Stella" vein, why not apply some of that levity to the Club's hand-wound variants? (Several of the Neomatik diver's variants do already come in bright "siren" colors.) But imagine this guy in bright, fun colors? I'd be all over that.

A Tudor Black Bay GMT in Some New Color Scheme

watches and wonders 2021 predictions
Tudor / Gear Patrol

I don't have any good reason to believe that Tudor will necessarily release a new version of its beloved GMT watch that debuted in 2018. I just figure it's been three years and we're due for an update. And I kinda want one. (What I actually want is one in a 39mm case that's roughly 13mm thick, but who's counting.) Giving the world a few more color options for the dual-color bezel just seems like a no-brainer in today's horological climate, and frankly, they'd sell like hotcakes. (I'd predict a new BB58, but we just got a blue dial last summer.)

A 1940s-Inspired Breitling Premier

watches and wonders 2021 predictions

Next year marks 70 years of the Navitimer (technically, anyway), so I'm saving my predictions for that model for next year's show. What could be on the horizon for this year? Honestly, not a clue. The Superocean's not having a special anniversary soon, either, and the Premier won't have its special day until 2023. I'll tell you what I want to see, however: a 1940s-styled Premier with pump pushers, a step case and a 38mm diameter. Is that likely? Not a chance. Buy a guy can dream, can't he?

The Patek Philippe 5711's "Victory Lap"

watches and wonders 2021 predictions
Patek Phillipe

I'm totally spitballing here, and probably dead wrong, but: Back in February, when Patek Philippe's president Thierry Stern announced that the brand's beloved Nautilus ref. 5711 was soon to be discontinued, he also mentioned to the New York Times that the watch "will have a victory lap." "We will have a surprise final series of the Ref. 5711. And it is not what was left in the pipeline." Could that mean some sort of special, final 5711 to see the reference off to the great horological gig in the sky? Who knows, but we certainly have our fingers crossed.

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