Chrono24.com sent me an email with the headline Top 3 Watch Trends of 2021. My favorite online marketplace (no commission on link) reckons the top three watch trends will be the Rolex Explorer II, bold colors and in-house movement. As the South Africans say, ja nee (yes no). While I think they’re onto something, they’re wrong . . .
Rolex Explorer II?
How is the Rolex Explorer II a “trend”? Rolex are sold out across the board. The graphic says it all: “Buyers Can’t Get Enough of These Watches.” Only substitute the word “any” for “enough.”
O.K., sure, the drought makes all Rolex something of a trend for 2021. The Explorer II is a Rolex. So it’s a trend. That can’t be realized. Is something trendy just because people talk about it? I guess. I guess a trendy watch can be made of unobtanium. But where’s the fun in that?
Watch Trends – Bold Colors?
It’s a shame Chrono24.com doesn’t read The Truth About Watches as assiduously as we read them. They would have clocked our man Klosoff’s article Hot Watch Color for 2021 Revealed, in which we learn that Pantone’s prepared the world for “a combination of Ultimate Gray (light/medium gray) and Illuminating Yellow (bright yellow).”
“New releases like the latest Rolex Oyster Perpetual (above) and other models from Hublot and Breitling are just the tip of the iceberg,” Chrono24 counter-opines. “We’re predicting a rainbow of colors to follow in the year ahead.”
Really? Are you ready to taste the horological rainbow at the office (should such a destination exist)? C’mon man! Brightly colored watches are “fun.” An expensive and otherwise dignified watch with a brightly colored dial is like a yellow BMW 7-Series. There’s a reason it’s an incredibly rare beast. A downmarket move to dayglow? Maybe . . .
Meanwhile, I reckon the new boldly colored Rolex Oyster Perpetuals highlighted by Chrono24 are the exception that proves the rule – a fun Rolex! And even if high end manufacturers release brightly colored watches doesn’t mean they’ll sell – especially compared to their more demure cousins. Rolex Sub vs. a bright red OP41. ‘Nuff said?
Watch Trends – In-House Movements?
No question: wearing a watch with an in-house movement – such as the most excellent Yema Navygradf Heritage – confers bragging rights on its owner. That’s provided he or she knows someone to brag to. Normal watch buyers couldn’t give a flying f*ck about the provenance of the bits moving the hands, date wheel and stuff.
As you and I know, an in-house automatic movement can be a real bummer when it comes to reliability, service cost and service wait time. Give me a Sinn running a rock solid, easily serviced ETA 2824 over an in-house H. Moser and Cie any day. Just kidding. But down at the mid to lower end of the watch market, in-housery is mostly marketing mishegoss.
There’s considerable debate about what constitutes an “in-house movement” – a topic our man Rivoira explored in In-House Movement – What’s Up With That? As CAD-CAM technology improves, I suppose more watchmakers will lay claim to in-house props in 2021. But the trad watch market’s shrinking and that’s a big investment (unless it isn’t). I don’t see IHM’s as any more of a trend than they were last year.
So what ARE the “hot” watch trends for 2021? Best guesstimate tomorrow . . .