Kristian Haagen shares his most stylish timepieces of 2021

2021 has been the year of many things; and in terms of timepieces, it's been a stellar one. So we asked the expert for his top choices...

When it comes to watch experts, there’s one name that unfailingly springs straight to mind. Kristian Haagen‘s watch collection is the envy of watch enthusiasts everywhere; TAG Heuers? Check. A. Lange & Söhnes? Check again. Carl F. Bucherers? IWC? Check, check, check. The Scandinavian entrepreneur’s passion for all things timepieces started when he was very young; and his knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm has only grown over the years.

So when it came to rounding up 2021’s most stylish timepieces, there was no one else we would have turned to for input. To say Haagen knows his watches would be the understatement of the century; so we’ll simply say that if Haagen says it’s a stylish watch, you can bet your Rolex that it is, indeed, a stylish watch. So without further ado, here are Haagen’s most stylish timepieces of 2021…

Furlan Marri

Haagen says: “Inspired by the illustrious Patek Philippe chronograph reference 1463, Furlan Marri wanted to make a modern ode to this vintage looker. The company — founded by friends Andrea Furlan and Hamad Al Marri — used Kickstarter to get their thing going, and came up with a very successful new interpretation that has become a personal 2021 favourite. Actually, the watch is sitting on my wrist while writing these words.”

We say: Furlan Marri have provided a lifeline for anyone who has ever lusted after a classic chronograph while uncertainly scanning their bank balance. The Geneva-based brand present an affordable entryway into the world of luxury horology, with an initial collection comprising five watches. Each watch is a modern take on the “vintage looker” described by Haagen, and each bears subtle — yet distinctive — defining features. Haagen’s iteration is the “Mr. Grey”; others include the “Havana Salmon” or the “Farro” (pictured). Whichever iteration you feel yourself erring towards (they’re all currently sold out, but keep an eye on those set to be available shortly), you can rest assured that engraved pushers and uniquely legible dials will feature — together with style, style and more style.

Kristian Haagen shares his most stylish timepieces of 2021

Furlan Marri

Learn More

Piaget Polo Skeleton

Haagen says: “Piaget nailed it with their slim Polo Skeleton: a somewhat surprise launch of their not-so-overly-popular Polo S line. The blue version especially impresses me; and that free look into the automatic movement with that sexy micro-rotor had me convinced on this 2021 launch.”

We say: If the sheer pace of modern life has resulted in a desire to be unencumbered by a sturdy, chunky timepiece weighing down on your wrist: the Piaget Polo Skeleton is the watch for you. The ultra-thin case makes for a sleek, supple watch that’s lighter than air; and there’s the choice of either a polished steel or a refined leather bracelet when it comes to straps. Its main selling point, of course, is the skeleton 1200S1 movement. In a feat of technical excellence, the movements are on full display — and a uniquely modern take on a classic watch is complete.

Kristian Haagen shares his most stylish timepieces of 2021

Piaget Polo Skeleton

Learn More

IWC Big Pilot Mojave Perpetual

Haagen says: “I am not crazy about oversized watches. However, since the launch in 2002, the IWC Big Pilot could only be a big watch. Wearing the Mojave Desert Perpetual Calendar of sand-coloured ceramic on the wrist is a gentle – yet hefty – reminder of the importance of this oversized watch; and makes the Big Pilot even more remarkable in this almost monochromatic desert look.”

We say: It’s hefty indeed; in both name and size. But when heft is done well, it makes for a stylish watch of phenomenal proportions. Its dark brown dial (complete with luminescence) and beige strap give it an earthy aesthetic, suggesting that this is a watch that can handle a thing or two — and with its 7 day power reserve and the ability of the glass to be secured against displacement by a drop in air pressure, this is certainly a watch that can weather its fair share of storms (desert or otherwise).

Kristian Haagen shares his most stylish timepieces of 2021

IWC Big Pilot Mojave Perpetual

Learn More

Gorilla Fastback Thunderbolt Chronograph

Haagen says: “Founded by former Audemars Piguet Chief Artistic Officer Octavio Garcia and his longtime friend Lukas Gopp, Gorilla Watches is inspired by American muscle cars; and their first chronograph, the Fastback Thunderbolt Chronograph, is an impressive launch from the young company. It sits very high on my “Wanted List”.

We say: Have you ever thought that watches have the power to transcend their status as inanimate objects, and become sentient beings? Well, Gorilla (and independent Vallée de Joux manufacturer Dubois Dépraz) is one step ahead of you, because that’s the idea behind this chronograph: that it’s alive and kicking (or should that be ticking?), poised and ready to ‘strike’. The open-worked dial is designed to reflect the flamboyancy of motorsport (through, for example, the blue and orange colour palette); and the time measurement readability is second to none.

Kristian Haagen shares his most stylish timepieces of 2021

Gorilla Fastback Thunderbolt Chronograph

Learn More

Girard-Perregaux Casquette Digital for Only Watch

Haagen says: “I know it’s unique; and I know we’re not even aware of the price of the spectacular Girard-Perregaux Casquette, as it will be offered at the Only Watch auction in November. However, I cherish everything about this fantastic watch. Launched initially as a funky digital watch in 1976, the Casquette looks better than ever in black ceramic. Please, Girard-Perregaux, make this a stable horse — would you?!”

We say: We feel somewhat vindicated — because we’ve said time and again, over the past few months, that seventies style (and the incumbent retro aesthetic) is enjoying a renaissance. This watch is living proof: Girard-Perregaux have put their stamp on a 1976 icon, in a partnership with Bamford Watch Department. With a caseback and push buttons forged from Grade 5 titanium and the entire model appearing in state-of-the-art forged carbon — not to mention the Only Watch engraving, in a salute to the bi-yearly auction — this is a notable event in horology history; a uniquely modern take on a uniquely famous watch.

Kristian Haagen shares his most stylish timepieces of 2021

Girard-Perregaux Casquette Digital

Learn More

Looking for more watch-oriented inspiration? Well, here are 5 vintage watches we want right now

Become a Gentleman’s Journal member. Find out more here.

Further Reading