Gone are the days when a watch used to be utilitarian in purpose, today it is not just an instrument to check the time but a style statement as well. The old saying ‘you are what you wear’ still holds true, especially when there is a considerable never-seen-before pursuit of timepieces with a rich history and appearance. A good watch, just like a good pair of shoes, speaks volumes about your personality, taste, and perspective in life. There are many high-end watches from reputable brands that speak of luxury and affluence. The answer to what makes a luxury watch different from others can be given in simply two words – the maker and the price. Like all luxury items, a luxury watch is distinctive in terms of brand, construction quality, features, style, movement, and price. Each luxury watch carries a set of distinct features that makes it different from the others in the league. In this article, we have brought the review of best ten luxury watches for you to keep up with the time as well as the latest style. Frankly speaking, all the watches we have reviewed here are of greatest quality and keep up with time (barring an insignificant lag of milliseconds) so the prime criteria here for watches shall be price and brand. A list of top 10 luxury watches is purely subjective and need not be rigid in opinion; however, we hope the list will help you in getting a fresh perspective of luxury watches.
Tip to Choose Your Perfect Watch
All the watches listed here come from the families of historical watch-makers; we are sure each watch listed below will impress you. To choose the best watch for yourself, it is better to watch out for style and preference for a brand. Any watch that suits your taste and personality is your pick. Price shall also play a factor here however we are sure you will find your perfect timepiece considering all the options listed.
Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Chronometer
The company was founded by Ulysse Nardin in 1846 and has stood tall against the test of time. Despite having witnessed two world wars, the company operates in Le Locle, Switzerland where it was founded and built. Marine chronometer is the prime specialty of Ulysse Nardin watches and for those who are into chronometers, the search ends at Maxi Marine Diver Chronometer. The body of this watch is made of stainless steel and secured with titanium and rubber strap which is perfect for underwater use. The face of the watch is bright with deep blue which is very pleasant in appearance. Analog arms for minute and hour count give the classic touch to this watch. Day of the month window is at the base of the face. Crystal is made of sapphire to protect the watch face. Speaking of its diving ability, the watch is water resistant to 300 meters.
Lange & Söhne Saxonia, Saxonia Automatic and Saxonia Dual Time
This brand from Germany has also been included in this list for the great luxury watches it has to offer. Lange & Söhne Saxonia (Saxonia Automatic and Saxonia Dual Time) is one such watch which has many fans all over the world. The company has updated three models from its popular Saxonia collection. The solid-gold applied hour indices are moved toward the edge of the dial and are executed as double baton appliqués at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock; along with slightly extended black progressions on the minute markers. For the Automatic and Dual Time models, the seconds subdial is marked by numerals at every 10 seconds. The Saxonia is powered with the in-house manual wind caliber L941.1, the Automatic deploys the in-house L086.1 caliber, and the Dual Time uses the in-house automatic L086.2 caliber.
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Jaeger – LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon 39
Based in Le Sentier, Switzerland, Jaeger-LeCoultre is into making watches since 1833. The company is best known for having high-quality material in an artistic design in its watches. A luxury legend from this watchmaker is Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon 39, which comes with analog time mechanism and a simple round face and boasts of only 4.9 mm width. The calendar date indicator is placed very aesthetically and it also records the phases of the moon as the time passes. The face of the watch is in soothing off-clam color and the markers are silver in color. Watch arms contrast perfectly against the blue second counter and gives it a pleasing appearance. This sleek watch is secured with a black leather strap however one may choose to go with a brown strap instead. The watch is a perfect accessory for the men with style and taste in fine things.
- Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945
Girard-Perregaux was founded in 1856 through a merger of two smaller Swiss watch-making companies. It is one of the top luxury timepiece making companies in the world with extremely well-crafted watches to offer. The company makes less number of watches in comparison to other watch making companies and thus has watches that are somewhat ‘limited edition’. Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 is a stunning watch which carries the company’s rich legacy forward. There are four variations of the watch and all of them have a square face design containing an analog dial mechanism. Choices of dial face come in the colors of silver, black, and white. One can choose between moon phase and calendar date mechanism. Even the leather strap can be chosen from black or brown.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Such is the prestige of Audemars Piguet that Cartier and Bulgari purchase the company’s watches and sell them after rebranding as their own products. Audemars Piguet is a Swiss watch-making legend company which has not been sold to any corporate giant. The company is still run by the next generations of its original founders, Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet. The company is also distinctive in the perspective that every single detail of the watch is closely inspected by a team of quality check experts before rolling out of production line. One such great watch from this company is Royal Oak which has a power reserve of 60 hours. It has a total diameter of 26.6 mm and movement thickness of 4.26 mm. The face of the watch is available in onyx black or pearl white and the case is available in 18 carats pink gold or silver. The movement of the watch is automatic and bridge bevels are diamond graved. The timepieces from this company are perfect specimens and can be worn at all occasions.
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 85180
Vacheron Constantin is the oldest watchmaker company of the world, which was founded by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755 in Geneva, Switzerland. From this historical watchmaking company, comes Patrimony 85180. It is a neat yet sophisticated watch designed to please the eyes as well as the sense of simplicity. It has an automatic caliber with convex face design. Markers of hours are made of gold and the silver markers are of silver. Back is transparent so that you enjoy the automatic movement when you take the watch off. The case is available in gold and is of 40 mm in diameter and 8.53 mm width. Calendar date position is recorded at 6’0 clock. The retail price of Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 95180 is $22,500.
Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum
Montblanc has a long history of making watches that are equal in style and performance. Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum is one such watch which has both to offer. The name Orbis Terrarum means “globe,” “earth,” and “world” in Latin. It has an in-house complication of the MB29.20 automatic caliber which shows 24 time zones in a practical and intuitive way. The dial is very interesting which is made up of multi-layers and shows continents and oceans as viewed from the North Pole. Under the main dial is a disc showing day and night, which moves as per the movement of the 24-hour mechanism on the outermost layer on the dial. Names of 24 cities encircle the central image surrounded by their respective time zones on the 24-hour mechanism. To adjust the time, desired home city must be positioned with its corresponding time at 6 o’clock. The watch is a bit complex for those who seek simplicity but trust us; it is an eye grabber watch for your casual day out.
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Rolex Yacht-Master II
Rolex needs no introduction as it is the best-known luxury watch brand in the world. The company started off in England in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis before it was moved to Switzerland in 1919 to avoid inflated wartime taxes. Before making its own watches and leaving England, the company built watches using imported components from Switzerland. Yacht-Master II was introduced by Rolex in 2007 and it has been popular among the rich and the powerful since then. It is a clear choice of those who resort to only the best. The watch has a 44 mm stainless steel case which has gold plating, typical to Rolex. The dial of the watch is analog with a blue Cera Chrom insert made from ceramic. The hour indices are 18 karat gold and contrasted with beautiful blue watch arms. The price of Rolex Yacht-Master II is set at $30,000.
IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar
IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar is a great watch with loads of features, and all of them are crafted with perfection. The annual calendar is located at the 12’0 clock dial and shows the month, day, and date in three separate windows. The switching mechanism automatically takes into account different lengths of individual months. Unlike a perpetual calendar, annual calendar requires manual adjustment once a year because it cannot account for the different length of the month of February or leap years. The watch is designed to match the taste of a person of luxury. The watch has a case of 44.2 mm measurement, grooved bezel, classic railway-track-style chapter ring, sleek Feuille hands, and Arabic numbers. The Portugieser Annual Calendar resembles the original Portugieser of 1939 and thus speaks of the sturdiness. The small seconds sub-dial is situated at 9 o’clock. Another subdial on the opposite side shows the power reserve display. The automatic in-house 52850 caliber movement boats of seven-day power reserve. We see no reason this watch shouldn’t be in the second position.
The Winner: Cartier 18k Rose Gold & Diamond Tank Anglaise Extra-Large
The winner in our review doesn’t come from Switzerland but from France. Cartier is a company which has a tradition of making high-end ultra sophisticated watches made to perfection. It was founded in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier, a Parisian jeweler with intentions of bringing the true luxury feel to the watches. The Cartier 18k Rose Gold & Diamond Tank Anglaise Extra-Large Men’s Watch is synonymous with luxury and every component of it is made with diligence. Case and face of the watch are rectangular. The diameter of the case is 46 mm and made of 18 karats rose gold with a diamond bezel. Two rows of diamonds run on each side of the body covering the entire length of the case. Gold and diamond frame of the watch is offset by a silver lacquered face. The color of the arms is blue which is very tasteful in contrast of the subtle colors. A calendar date mechanism adds to the utility and features of this watch. Cartier offers a 5-year warranty on this watch and it is 100 feet water resistant. The Cartier 18k Rose Gold & Diamond Tank Anglaise Extra-Large Men’s Watch retails at $69,990.
Patek Philippe & Co. 5078R-001 – Rose Gold – Men – Grand Complications
Patek Philippe & Co. is a seasoned player when it comes to watch-making. Its timepieces have been adored by many royal people, including Queen Victoria of England, Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani, Head of Qatar Royal Family, and Hussein Kamel, the former Sultan of Egypt. The company is into making great watches since 1852 and is an undisputed choice of a perfect gentleman. The Patek Philippe & Co. 5078R-001 – Rose Gold – Men – Grand Complications offers the same quality and built the company is known for. The face of the watch is white face encased in rose gold, and the 38 mm case comes with a brown alligator pattern strap. Watch is analog dialed and automatic in functioning. Arms of the watch are black in color and so are the hour indices. The dial is made of enamel and secondary seconds counter at the base of the face. Sapphire crystal protects the dial and chime with two gongs function as the alarm. The price for this masterpiece ranges from $91,000 to $99,000.
Blancpain Le Brassus Minute Repeater Carousel 0235-3631-55B
Blancpain is known for its supreme quality and pursuit of excellence. It was founded in 1735 in Biel, Switzerland and ever since has made many of the legendary time pieces the world has known. The company is known for visually appealing watches equipped with high-quality caliber. The Blancpain Le Brassus Minute Repeater Carousel 0235-3631-55B is a befitting example of the timepieces produced by Blancpain. It incorporates a carousel minute repeater with a one-minute flying carousel, to provide unparalleled performance. The watch case is 18 karat gold, with a white grand enamel dial. The case measures at 15.35 mm by 45 mm and secured with a brown alligator leather strap. It is one of the watches that will really attract glances wherever you go. The Blancpain Le Brassus Minute Repeater Carousel 0235-3631-55B is listed at approximately $300,000.
TAG Heuer Men’s Kirium F1
TAG Heuer has a rich history of watch manufacturing and it has offered some of the popular time pieces since its inception in 1860 by Edouard Heuer. The company, based in St-Imier, Switzerland, has developed a repute of offering sturdy and attractive luxury timepieces. The company has also been long associated with champions of various performance sports, racing, and sailing. It is also associated with Formula 1 as a premier sponsor. Kirium F1 is the latest addition to the company’s profile which duly incorporates the qualities TAG Heuer has been known for. The case is made from stainless steel and is attached to the soft leather strap. Its case has a backlit face and covered with a sapphire crystal cover for protection of silver analog dial. The reflected light makes it easy to read the face of a watch in the water. Kirium F1 is a perfect watch to accompany a man to his all events, from formal to social. The watch is priced at $3000. Some of the additional features of this watch are – perpetual calendar, striking backlighting, digital and analog displays, and tracking for a second-time zone.