Huzeifa Jafferjee, Author at Exquisite Timepieces
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Author: Huzeifa Jafferjee

Best Omega watches

Omega is a Goliath in the world of precision watchmaking. The brand’s pioneering spirit has made it one of the most loved and historically significant brands. The journey Omega has taken to simply tell the time accurately cannot be compared to any other; they are true innovators with a large and meaningful collection.

History of Omega Watches

A pursuit of accuracy and precision, founded by Louis Brandt as La Generale Watch Co in 1848 in a family-owned villa located in the small Swiss village La Chaux, the company we now know as Omega was only ever dubbed Omega after its second generation of family watchmakers took over in 1879. The Brant Brothers, in 1894, revolutionized watchmaking with the launch of the 19-Linge Calibre, an extremely accurate movement that could be serviced easily by any watchmaker. 

Bringing us groundbreaking technology by combining the winding and setting of the time via the stem and crown, the Brant Brothers crowned this achievement “Omega”, a name they deemed to signify ultimate accomplishment. Through this movement’s huge success and provenance, the company was later renamed Omega Watches and Co and shortened by 1903 to Omega.

Timekeeper of the Olympic Games

In 1931, Omega set precision records in all 6 trials at the Geneva Observatory. Its commitment to record-breaking precision caught the attention of the Olympic committee, so since 1932 Omega has been the Official Timekeeper of 30 Olympic games.

Military Heritage

Between 1940 and 1945, Omega delivered over 110,000 timepieces to the British MOD, trusted for their water resistance, shock resistance, and anti-magnetism. In 1948, to celebrate 100 years of Omega, we were introduced to the first Seamster model to commemorate their military history in making reliable water-resistant tool watches that were increasingly in demand from the consumer market.

First Constellation

By 1952 Omega launched the Constellation, named after the medallion engraved on its case back, displaying the Geneva Observatory surrounded by 8 stars, paying homage to Omega’s 8 record-breaking exploits in chronometric precision. This model was later followed by the Deville and the Ladymatic, expanding on their line of dressier offerings.

1957 Trilogy

In 1957, Omega expanded its collection with a trio of professional watches, each positioned to conquer its domain. The Seamaster 300 for diving deeper, the Railmaster for supreme anti-magnetism (being able to withstand an industry first of 1000 gauss), and the Speedmaster with the now legendary Lemania-based Calibre-321 chronograph movement for racing.

The Moonwatch

In the early 1960s, NASA launched the Apollo Project; they also set out to find a watch capable of withstanding the elements of space exploration, testing them to the point of destruction. Omega, Rolex, Longines, and Hamilton each submitted a watch.

But Omega’s Speedmaster was the only one that survived and was certified by NASA for all manned space missions and extravehicular activity in 1965. It is still today the only watch with such an achievement. 

The Speedmaster Professional would become the first watch worn on the moon in 1969 during the Apollo 11 mission, forever dubbed “the Moonwatch”. In 1970 during the Apollo 13 mission, a stranded crew equipped with Speedmasters were able to successfully time a manual 14-second engine burn to correctly align their damaged spacecraft into the earth’s atmosphere and bring them back home safely. 

To show Omega gratitude for its contributions to the success of its human space flight missions and the triumphant return of the Apollo 13 crew, NASA presented Omega with the Silver Snoopy Award in 1970, representing the highest distinction awarded by NASA Astronauts.

Co-Axial Escapement

In 1993 Omega purchased a patent for the Co-Axial escapement, the first practical mechanical escapement introduced in 250 years. Invented by English watchmaker George Daniels in 1976, the Co-Axial escapement reduces friction in the movement, a common issue in the traditionally used Swiss Lever Escapement.

By 1999, Omega was finally able to adapt a movement to the Co-Axial Escapement, making the Calibre-2500 available. In 2013 Omega launched the Co-Axial-8508, the first truly antimagnetic movement. Capable of withstanding over 15,000 gausses through the use of non-ferromagnetic materials.

The movement itself resists magnetism; it saw no need for a protective inner case, allowing for date windows and a transparent case back. This technology paved the way for a new watch certification process in 2015, the METAS Certification.

Passing a series of 8 independent tests and performing within the parameters set by COSC, Omega now qualifies its timepieces as Master Chronometers. The key attribute of the METAS Chronometer Certification is that it ensures testing of magnetic fields up to 15,000 gausses, establishing a new quality standard within the watch industry.

James Bond

In 2021, Omega hit the silver screen for the 9th time, co-starring with the world’s favorite spy, James Bond, in No Time To Die. Unlike many other Bond Seamasters, this watch took inspiration from Daniel Craig’s personal feedback on what would become the ultimate tool Seamaster, with a penchant for style.

What Is the Status of Omega Today

Omega’s competitive price point and better availability in the luxury watch segment generally allow us to position it as a healthier alternative to Rolex’s offerings. The main sticking point in the future will undoubtedly favor its recent forays in technical advancements and accuracy certifications, rendering Rolex’s current spec sheet inferior.

Omega’s status today is that of a seasoned high, pedigree watchmaker, with currently the most diverse offerings. In unrestrained fashion, it has proved to be continually innovative and stays true to its values in delivering the industry’s finest accuracy, precision, and robustness.

Its collection continues to be driven forward into the future of high watchmaking, with its own unique design language, case materials, and complications brands such as Rolex are not daring enough to challenge.

The Best Omega Chronograph Watches

For anyone who has racing in their hearts, a passion for humankind’s exploits in space travel, or any chronograph complication enthusiast, Omega’s chronograph offerings are unparalleled in diversity and history.

Following the launch of the 1957 Speedmaster, a watch initially intended for racing enthusiasts, the Speedmaster went on to conquer timekeeping in space as we know it today. Such accolades and watchmaking prowess have enabled Omega to release many diverse chronograph models, each with a different story through its aesthetics, functions, and heritage.

Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch (ref. 310.

Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch (ref. 310.

The Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch is arguably the most influential and talked about watch ever made. The only timepiece to be certified by NASA for all manned space missions and extravehicular activity since 1965, this watch was part of the most remarkable journey in the history of all humankind—the journey to the Moon and back.

It shares a remarkable resemblance to its predecessors and introductory models from 1963-1969. This is a huge testament to the legacy of this model, a design language that remains timeless. Due to its long lineage, however, the continued development of this model has seen it lose some of its beloved vintage cues.

In 2021, Omega cleverly revamped the model, re-incorporating collectors’ favorite vintage elements and refining the model incrementally. We saw the return of a stepped dial, the dot over 90 on the tachymeter bezel, a revamped bracelet more fitting to its original aesthetic that rolls on the wrist better and tapers beautifully, and a new still 42mm case that’s half a millimeter thinner and a millimeter shorter to give us a better wearing experience.

The most significant overhaul is in its movement, the 3861, a METAS Certified Master Chronometer manual-wind chronograph movement, now with a Co-Axial escapement and 50-hour power reserve.

Like previous models, it is offered with a Hesalite crystal or a sapphire crystal with a sapphire caseback. The Hesalite models are equipped with a nylon fabric strap ($6,300) or a thoroughly brushed stainless steel bracelet ($6,600). The sapphire models either come with a leather strap ($7,200) or with a brushed and polished stainless steel bracelet ($7,600).

Omega Speedmaster Calibre 321(ref. 311.

Omega Speedmaster Calibre 321(ref. 311.

The Speedmaster Caliber-321, also known as “the Ed White Speedmaster”, is a 2019 re-issue of the 3rd generation Speedmaster, the watch worn by Ed White during America’s first-ever spacewalk in 1965. This model brings back the legendary Caliber-321, an essential part of the Speedmaster’s original history. 

Inspired by the incredible Lemania-2310, the fabled Calibre-321, was the first movement certified by NASA for all manned space missions and extravehicular activity in 1965. It later powered all Speedmasters worn during the Apollo missions, including all six moon landings.

The Calibre-321 is so unique that Omega produces it separately from all its other calibers, except the tourbillions. It is put together in a special Atelier by Omega’s master watchmakers, each caliber assembled and regulated by the same person using a two-fold assembly method.

These manufacturing characteristics have made the Calibre-321 very limited in production numbers. At $14,600, its retail price is similar to that of a stainless steel Rolex Daytona. Its classical crown-guard-less case of 39.7mm makes for a more elegant wearing experience than the Professional Speedmaster.

It has a ceramic bezel, a laser-etched Omega logo on the sapphire crystal, galvanized dial, and a legendary and visually beautiful Sedna Gold plated movement. This is a special Speedmaster for the price of a regular Daytona. 

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon (ref. 311.

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon (ref. 311.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the sensational Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon, originally launched in Baselworld 2013. The first official all-black Speedmaster, a huge deal for us fanboys, is a progressive model of the Speedmaster Co-Axial Calibre-9300 Chronograph launched in 2011. 

A non-Professional model for those who love the NASA heritage, cult status, and design of the original; but require the practicality of a date window, a timezone function, and a 60-hour power-reserve automatic movement.

It has a twin register sub-dial layout rather than the Professional’s triple, preserving the same functions and delivering an uncluttered aesthetic. The Dark Side of the Moon’s 44.25mm case is crafted from a single block of zirconium oxide ceramic, the dial, pushers, and pin buckle are also made to match. The ceramic case has satin-brushed and polished facets just like its steel compatriot.

Despite its larger size and thickness of 16.2mm, it is a fairly light and wearable watch due to its ceramic construction, calfskin/textile strap, and 49.7mm lug-to-lug distance. It originally retailed for $12,000, nearly double the professional model, yet worthwhile to many collectors for its entirely new novelty within the Speedmaster lineage.

Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 (ref. 318.

Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 (ref. 318.

A call to the 21st century and development in the realm of quartz and digital technology saw Omega broaden its timekeeping capabilities with the launch of the X-33. First introduced as “the Mars watch”, the 2019 Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 in its third iteration is still used today.

Developed, tested, and qualified by the European Space Agency, it is the preferred choice for NASA Astronauts and cosmonauts for onboard activities on the International Space Station. The Speedmaster Skywalker X33, fashioned in Grade-2 Titanium with a ceramic bezel inlay, is an all-out industrial design taking the Moonwatch into the modern era.

Its dial features analog hands and LCD windows, with a large case size of 45mm for easy readability and legibility. The X-33 displays 3 different time zones, a chronograph, a timer, a Mission Elapsed Timer, a Phase Elapsed Timer, 3 programmable alarms (80 decibels loud), and a perpetual calendar. 

Regarding its pricing, it has a retail price of approximately $5,750, but as of writing this article, far less in the secondary market. The X-33 is one exceptional example of a non-mechanical, purpose-derived tool watch that was created for the demands of modern-day astronauts with a raft of functionality that can even be adapted to everyday use on earth.

The Best Omega Dive Watches

Omega’s military background during World War II saw massive developments in shock resistance, anti-magnetism, and waterproofness and ushered in a new era of diving timekeeping technology. 

This led to the release of the Seamaster in 1948, the Professional Seamaster 300 in 1957, the extreme Ploprof in 1967, the revamped Seamaster Diver 300M in 1993 that became 007’s first Seamaster featured in Golden Eye 1995, the dressier Aqua Terra in 2002, and the modernized Planet Ocean in 2005 that pushed the envelope in embracing sporty utility and luxury. Omega now boasts a dive watch collection for every recreational or serious diving need.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M (ref.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M (ref.

The Seamaster Diver 300M is easily identified by its fans as “the Bond Seamaster”. On the silver screen, Omega took charge of its storytelling prowess and showed the world that it was within its ethos to produce a luxury tool watch capable of living up to the style and technical expectations of the world’s greatest fictional spy.

Launched in 2018, celebrating its own 25th anniversary, the latest iteration of the Seamaster Diver 300M is now a Co-Axial Master Chronometer using the Calibre-8800, its most significant update that can be seen through the display case back.

This model is currently available in 5 steel variations, including the ‘Seaweed’ Green model released in 2022. Through its experimentation with ceramic, Omega has pushed its capabilities with the material extensively in the modern era. 

The updated ceramic bezel comes with white enamel inlays, the ceramic dial is laser etched with the beloved wave pattern, the skeletonized hands have been updated, the now color-matched date wheel has been moved to 6 o’clock giving more symmetry to the dial, the case size has increased to 42mm making it more legible, the iconic turned lugs remain, and there’s also an updated cone-shaped helium escape valve. 

Priced at $5,300 on a rubber strap and $5,600 on a steel bracelet, it is technically, and qualitatively one of the most advanced dive watches you can buy for under $10,000.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M (ref.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M (ref.

The Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M, with a stainless steel case diameter of 43.5mm and 16.1mm thick, is a beefed-up version of a traditional Seamaster diver 300M, offering twice the depth rating (600m). It pushes the envelope with a heritage-inspired design but is still modern.

Unique to it is the usage of playful 70s colors, with 4 color variants available in steel, featuring heavy or restrained use of orange elements in combination with the primary color. This model offers a black dial made of polished ceramic, with orange Arabic numerals, and a date window at 3 o’clock.

Its black ceramic bezel, for the first time, features a rubberized inlay on the first 15 minutes of the diving scale; the rest is filled with Omega’s Liquidmetal. The release of this third-generation Planet Ocean 600m in 2016 made it one of the first models to receive the amazing Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre-8800 movement.

At the time, this showed Omega’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of luxury sports utility and innovation with this model, the Planet Ocean’s mission statement, ever since. It is priced at $6,700 on a bracelet and $6,450 on a rubber strap.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M “No Time To Die” (ref. 

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M “No Time To Die” (ref.

Through Omega’s pursuit to create the ultimate Bond watch, in 2020, we received the Seamaster Diver 300M No Time To Die Special Edition. Designed with personal feedback from actor Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond in the 2021 movie No Time To Die. 

Made lighter and tougher for Bond in his action-packed missions, much like a stripped-down 911 GT3 RS built for blitzing the Nurburgring, the Seamaster No Time To Die features a 42mm case and bracelet fashioned in lightweight Grade-2 titanium. 

It is stripped of the date complication, giving a serious tool watch aesthetic, and made slimmer with the removal of its transparent case back, replaced by one engraved with the 007 and broad-arrow symbol. Less is more here.

The broad arrow marking also finds its way onto the dial to highlight its military inspiration. The dial is sported in rich tropical brown with faux caramel patina on its markers and hands. Paired with a matching lumed anodized aluminum bezel meant to age and wear gracefully with time.

It also features a domed sapphire with a sexy tapering milanese titanium bracelet on a deployant clasp. The whole watch is vintage-inspired but integrated uniquely and beautifully. It is priced at $9,500 on a bracelet and $8,400 on a Bond-style nato.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 6000M (ref.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 6000M (ref.

Water resistance is essential and celebrated in watchmaking, especially within sports watch segments. Naturally, brands such as Rolex and Omega have constantly innovated to push these boundaries to broaden and improve their lineup. At the very top of the food chain now sits the Ultradeep, which in 2019 beat Rolex to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the ocean, by a few meters as part of a challenging expedition of 5 deepest dives.

This was done thanks to Omega’s infusion of Liquid Metal technology into the crystal that can endure 22 tons of direct pressure. In 2021, the Planet Ocean 6000M Ultradeep, a commercial model, was finally made available with a water resistance of 6,000 meters; this is now the halo model of Omega’s dive watch lineup.

At 45.5mm and 18.1mm thick, it handles its supreme water resistance as gracefully as the technically inferior Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller. The Ultradeep is a science experiment in unique proprietary Omega materials. Featuring an O-MEGASTEEL case, black ceramic bezel, diving scale in Liquidmetal, blue to black lacquered gradient dial, 18K white Gold hands and hour markers, and an O-MEGASTEEL patented adjustable dive bracelet.

Housing a Master Chronometer Calibre-8912, the Ultradeep is one of the most hardcore wearable tool watches on offer today. It is priced at $12,000 on a bracelet and $11,700 on a rubber strap.

Best Everyday Omega Watches

From the utilitarian-derived tool watches in the Omega collection, a few models are able to find the sweet spot in the form of versatility in everyday use. The Aqua Terra, Globemaster, and Railmaster are current offerings that thread the fine line of robustness and refinement extremely well.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M (ref.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M (ref.

Born in the 21st century, the Aqua Terra was Omega’s take on a less professional, more elegant, refined dive watch aesthetic. For a more sophisticated look, it ditches the diving bezel for a polished one and is attached to a highly polished center flat link bracelet with a butterfly clasp.

The Aqua Terra is now heralded as a versatile daily wearer in the Omega dive watches collection with a great water resistance of 150m. From 2017, the case is now a symmetrical 41mm instead of 41.5mm, and the teak pattern on the dial is now horizontal, more identifiable to wooden decks of luxury sailboats as intended by its designers.

Also, the date window has been moved to 6 o’clock giving more symmetry to the dial. The most significant update is its addition of the METAS Certified Chronometer Calibre-8900 with 60 hours of power reserve, making it a serious contender as a robust, refined, uncompromised daily wearer. Priced at $5,900 on a steel bracelet, $5,700 on rubber, and $5,400 on leather.

Omega Constellation Globemaster (ref.

Omega Constellation Globemaster (ref.

In 2015, Omega chose to launch the Constellation Globemaster and debut its first METAS Certified Master Chronometer, the Calibre-8900. As a successor to the model introduced to celebrate a century of watchmaking by Omega, and a history of housing top-tier movements, the new Globemaster would rewrite the technical script. 

With an elegant pie pan dial reminiscent of the 1952 model and a fully brushed modern-vintage sized 39mm diameter by 12.6mm thin case with a steel fluted bezel reminiscent of the Genta designed 70s models, the new marries its vintage aesthetics of different eras to look like a modern, sophisticated everyday watch. 

Not forgetting its history, set into its sapphire caseback, is a relief medallion of the Geneva Observatory surrounded by 8 stars. With a 5-pointed star to finish off the dial, its overall design uses a lot of symbolism to tell the story of its achievements within the Omega lineup. Priced at $7,100 on a leather strap and $7,500 on a bracelet, the Globemaster is a tasteful, sporty, and elegant timepiece.

Omega Railmaster (ref.

Omega Railmaster (ref.

In 2018, we saw the launch of the new Railmaster, a reworked heritage model of the original 1957 Railmaster introduced for railway staff or anyone who worked close to magnetic fields. 

Working with a timeless aesthetic, we have a fully brushed stainless steel case and bracelet, a heavily sun-brushed dial offered in black, grey, and denim blue, classic 3-6-9-12 painted markings, cut-out vintage style faux patina indices, and brushed hands to create modern vintage inspired daily wear tool watch. 

At 40mm in diameter and 12mm thick, it is overall a universally wearable size. The original Railmaster could reach an industry first of 1000 gauss magnetic fields, and the new one finally gets the METAS Certified Master Chronometer Calibre-8806 able to withstand magnetism of 15,000 gauss. 

Technically far superior to the Rolex Milgauss, and with a minimalistic timeless vintage tool watch design, the Railmaster is a tempting tool watch for $5,200 on a bracelet and $4,900 on a strap.

Best Dress Omega Watches

A good dress watch generally sacrifices conventional materials and finishes for a more elegant less-robust representation of a time-telling instrument. Generally, this requires better finishing capabilities and more intricate tolerances, with restraint from industrial design and favoring classical beauty and minimalism.

Omega De Ville Trésor (ref. 432.

Omega De Ville Trésor (ref. 432.

The De Ville Trésor is Omega’s relaunch of the original Trésor from 1949 that housed a legendary caliber for the time. The design has been integrated timelessly into the modern age. With a 40mm case size, it wears its past inspiration nicely.

It features a silver opaline dial with a domed vintage clous de Paris structure, a date window positioned at 6 o’clock, gold stick hour indices, and dauphine hands, matching the 10.6mm thin Sedna-Gold case. Overall, it’s a design focusing on simple elegance with high-quality watchmaking, finishing, and materials.

Underneath it all is a high-quality movement, the Master Co-Axial Calibre 8511, a manual wind with 60hr power reserve. It is priced at $14,000.

Omega De Ville Prestige (ref. 434.

The Omega De Ville Prestige, available since 1994 as Omega’s dress watch offering, now with an automatic movement, a power reserve indicator, and a date, is a refined dress watch with a few conveniences. Its movement is the automatic METAS Certified Master Chronometer Calibre-8810.

This 41mm stainless steel model has a domed PVD platinum-gold dial and PVD Sedna-Gold hands with altering Roman numerals and cabochon indexes. At $5,400, with its advanced movement, elegant looks, and dimensions, it is a great offering for a dress watch that follows all the rules.

Special Omega Watches

Omega’s thirst for innovation has allowed them to create a few distinctive models with a quirky tool-derived purpose or for the purpose of showing off its ultimate representations in the form of high complications.

Omega Seamaster Ploprof (ref.

Omega Seamaster Ploprof (ref.

Omega still retains the unique ’70s-inspired Ploprof in their dive-watch collection. During its time, the original Ploprof was legendary, utilizing its mono-block case to rival technology like the helium escape valve. 

The Seamaster Ploprof 600 had a unique aesthetic reminiscent of its time from 1970, an era for quirky tool-inspired design. It was heralded for being the most robust dive watch on offer, and although its aesthetics have stayed polarizing, it works for being a tough watch developed for and with COMEX divers.

Following its re-launch in 2009 and technology advancing over 40 years, it now utilizes a helium escape valve, making servicing easier. It now features a depth rating of 1200 meters, twice the depth as before, and as of 2015, is offered with a METAS Certified Master Chronometer Calibre-9812. 

This model comes with an electric blue ceramic bezel with Super-Luminova markings, a lacquered white dial with orange aluminum and varnished blue hands, a Grade-5 titanium case and clasp, with a Grade-2 titanium polished shark-proof mesh bracelet to make up a fun, retro, and tough dive-watch. It is priced at $12,600.

Omega De Ville Prestige (ref. 434.

Omega De Ville Prestige (ref. 434.

The Omega De Ville Prestige, available since 1994 as Omega’s dress watch offering, now with an automatic movement, a power reserve indicator, and a date, is a refined dress watch with a few conveniences. Its movement is the automatic METAS Certified Master Chronometer Calibre-8810.

This 41mm stainless steel model has a domed PVD platinum-gold dial and PVD Sedna-Gold hands with altering Roman numerals and cabochon indexes. At $5,400, with its advanced movement, elegant looks, and dimensions, it is a great offering for a dress watch that follows all the rules.

Omega De Ville Tourbillon Master Chronometer (ref. 529.

Omega De Ville Tourbillon Master Chronometer (ref. 529.

An achievement in watchmaking can always be celebrated with another achievement that further emphasizes a brand’s capabilities. This is the case with the De Ville Tourbillon, with the first-ever manual winding central tourbillon movement to be Master Chronometer Certified.

This watch is an exercise in Omega delivering haute horlogerie level watchmaking, in combination with the robustness of their everyday watches. The best of Omega’s proprietary materials are used to match its high complication. Its 43mm case is a blend of Sedna-Gold and Canopus-Gold. 

Its Sedna-Gold dial is treated in black PVD, and polished Sedna-Gold indexes and hands are visible. Its seconds hand is set in the tourbillon titanium bridge, giving it a distinctively theatrical, high-complication look. With a Sedna-Gold movement at the back to enjoy, this watch comes with a heavy price tag of $183,500.


With over two centuries of industry-leading watchmaking technology, Omega has maintained a legacy of being the most approachable, illustrious, and trustworthy partner in humanity’s pioneering expeditions in outer space, at the deepest point in the ocean, in 30 Olympic Games, and on the silver screen. 

A passion for reliable chronometric precision to be used in the real world has created legacies upon which Omega’s storied collection is built. Looking into the future, Omega’s diverse and legendary collection offers a great platform for evolution and innovation, a timeless luxury that will be enjoyed by its collectors for decades and centuries to come.

Toughest Watches You Can Buy

Modern timekeeping by virtue of mechanical clocks was first introduced during the 13th century. Since then, innovation has taken its natural course to make timekeeping far more accessible to us. 

With the pursuit of accuracy and reliability, timekeeping devices have consistently evolved into more robust, tougher, and better-built instruments in the modern day. They have become essential tools capable of being used in the harshest and most alien environments known to man.

About Tough Watches

Prior to the 20th century, watches were mainly used by aristocrats and carried in a pocket in the form of pocket watches. They are now considered delicate, simply revealing that technology and modern use cases for timekeeping were not invented back then. 

By 1904, this changed with the launch of the Cartier Santos Dumont, the first wristwatch, pilot’s watch, and, as a result, the first tough tool watch.

Wartime would inspire more tool-oriented innovation across watchmakers to produce watches that could survive the elements. “Trench watches”, as they called them, became essential tools for survival. Water resistance was in its infancy during this era, with watchmakers like Hamilton experimenting with Canteen-styled crowns.

In 1953, we saw the dawning of the first dive watches invented by Blancpain and Rolex. The world’s fascination with underwater exploration proved to be the ultimate test of the toughness of wristwatches. To this day, water resistance is an essential characteristic of a tough watch.

By today’s standards, a tough watch must be built with durable materials, be antimagnetic, accurate, shock-resistant, water-resistant, and have its form follow function. Technology today has made tough watches abundant for us; their purpose, however, may vary based on their use case.

What to Look for When Buying Tough Watches

Aficionados will be familiar with identifying the unique characteristics watches of today make available to us in the form of toughness. Many popular models – like the Submariner, Explorer, Seamaster, SKX, and many more that have now become versatile daily drivers – have a proven tool watch DNA that often inspires and reassures our purchase.

Design & Materials

When considering the design and the materials used for tough watches, both characteristics must go hand in hand with the notion that form follows function. Tough watches are easy to identify for their intended purpose, be it diving, flight, fieldwork, or exploration. 

They are made available with different features such as dive or navigation bezels, crown guards or protectors, legible dials (with lume), protective grills, straps or bracelets, and rugged case shapes or sizes to withstand the elements it was designed for. 

Materials also stretch the imagination with variations in steels, bronzes, plastics, rubber, titanium, ceramics, and carbon composites in order to complement their design, purpose, look, and feel.

Build Quality & Durability

Build quality and durability in the form of case construction, accuracy, anti-magnetism, shock resistance, water resistance, and anti-corrosion are key aspects to consider when buying a tough watch. 

Even some $100 resin G-Shock models have carbon core guards for increased toughness, rigidity, and durability over time. Superior water resistance is usually the most favored characteristic in this segment, as higher water resistance often boasts a higher level of engineering implemented into a watch case design.


Technology has made tough watches far more accessible in terms of price, with many variations of timepieces that can perform a challenging task or live a tough life. 

It may be a manual-wind Panerai or even a digital G-Shock Mudmaster; if your budget is deep or shallow, you can still match the specifications and get equal amounts of toughness with different novelties to be enjoyed by different watchmakers.

15 Toughest Watches in the Market

With that said, let’s have a look at the 15 best tough watches you can buy today:

Timex Ironman Original 30 Shock

The Ironman Original 30 Shock is a digital watch designed with outdoor athletes in mind and inspired by the original 1986 Ironman model offered by Timex. In its heyday, this was the Apple Watch Ultra, but today, it can be considered a timeless essential with its “unimposing” retro design, feature set, and price (of only $70).

It comes equipped with three main functions: a countdown timer, an Indiglo light-up dial (invented by Timex in the 90s), and an alarm function. For many, this will be all they need in terms of functionality. It has a 42mm resin case inspired in design by minimalism, a simple black/grey colorway, and uses pops of yellow text hinting at its outdoor-appropriate sportiness.

It is attached to a resin strap, making it perfect for outdoor activities and contributing to a weightless wearing experience. It is also water-resistant to 200 meters, making it suitable for almost any sports environment.

Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-2000

The GWG-2000 is the ultimate G-Shock, built to endure the harshest field environments. As its name implies, the Mudmaster’s party trick is its Mud-Resist structure push-buttons (now improved) that will never allow any mud, grit, sand, or concrete to enter your watch. 

This is the newest iteration of the Mudmaster, replacing the GWG-1000. In its evolution, it is now 1.9mm slimmer and 13 grams lighter than its predecessor, thanks to the usage of a carbon core guard structure—new to this series—that also improves its overall strength. 

It is the first G-Shock to feature forged carbon components, contributing to its lightness, toughness, and supercar-like aesthetics. Its rugged exterior design is inspired by professional gear, with fine texturing on its resin band, checked surface texture on its crown, and ribbed guards to protect its front buttons, amplifying its toughness.

Not only is it built and looks ready for the battlefield, but it also has an endless toolbox of features that you can count on when you need them most. Other aesthetically tough features include its sapphire glass and a highly legible (analog/digital) fully lumed dial with a “Super Illuminator” double LED light. Being one of Casio’s flagship models, it will cost you $800.

Victorinox I.N.O.X. Professional Diver (ref. 241813.2)

Victorinox is world-famous for its knives and tools. They also make tool watches, and for their 130th anniversary, they decided to make a watch that symbolizes and celebrates the tough tool ethos of the brand.

To achieve this, they devised a series of 130 extreme homologation tests, including a 10-meter drop resistance test, a temperature shock resistance test, and an 8-ton pressure resistance test (driving a 64-ton tank over a watch). The result was the I.N.O.X watch collection, standing for “Impact Neutralizing Object for the Xtremes”.

The 241813 is a Quartz Professional Diver variant, water resistant to 200m, that is ISO-625 certified. It is characterized by a chunky design with bulky dimensions of 45mm x 14mm, made entirely of sandblasted titanium, with crown guards and a 60-minute graduated unidirectional dive bezel with deep beveling reminiscing an octagonal shape for easy manipulation. 

Protected by sapphire crystal, it has a unique blue camouflage dial, fully lumed, with legible round and square numerals. Paying tribute to its nautical roots, it is equipped with a paracord strap that fits securely over a wetsuit. It also comes with a rubber strap. This watch is now discontinued (replaced with a steel variant) and can be found for upwards of $600. 

Citizen Promaster Tough (ref. BN0211-50E)

The Promaster Tough is a field watch from Citizen with a spec sheet that fully lives up to its name. It features a monocoque case made of a 2-piece construction without needing a caseback, offering extreme rigidity, shock resistance, and anti-magnetism.

It also uses a “Super Titanium” coating on its steel case and bracelet, making it 5 times harder than traditional stainless steel. With a 42mm diameter case featuring a flat raised bezel and crown guards, it offers the sportiness and legibility expected of a tough field watch.

Yet, thanks to its slimness of only 10.1mm and its well-made h-link bracelet, it is extremely versatile and can easily slide under a cuff. Protected by a sapphire crystal, its black, fully lumed dial adds to its versatility with an elegant and clean approach to its design.

Housed inside is Citizens own Eco-Drive technology (solar), allowing it to run purely on light. This is a discontinued model with an original retail price of $495.

Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Series 3741

The Bear Grylls Survival Series 3741 is an outdoor timepiece that embodies British adventurer Bear Grylls “survival” lifestyle. Made by Luminox, a brand that is famous for its cutting-edge luminosity and has been a partner of the Navy Seals for over 25 years, its watches have proven to be so tough and capable that they are considered “first-line gear”. 

The 3741 is a quartz-powered watch equipped with a chronograph function, a date, and a removable compass attached to its rubber strap. It sports an all-black aesthetic, with hints of orange and white adding contrast and sportiness. 

It has a 45mm by 14mm case made of Carbonox, a carbon composite that is six times lighter than steel and three times lighter than titanium and is shock and scratch-resistant. Attached is a matching Carbonox notched dive bezel that has 60-minute indications, a tachymeter scale, and a lume pip at zero.

Under its sapphire crystal is an intricate dial with a three-register chronograph layout and a date window at 6 o’clock. What is special about the Luminox lume is that it uses tritium gas tubes, providing a constant glow for up to 25 years. This watch is priced at $995. 

Marathon Official USMC Pilot’s Navigator (ref. WW194013BK)

Since 1941, Marathon has been supplying watches and timing instruments to the allied forces for military use. It operates from Canada, producing its timepieces in Switzerland. The Pilot’s Navigator was created in the 1980s as an answer to the U.S. armed forces, whose pilots needed a legible watch in the cockpit that was able to handle pressure changes and g-forces endured during flight.

This model is fully made with High-Impact Composite Fibreshell, finished in a matte black that gives it a stealth aesthetic. Its case is 41mm by 14mm, attached to a nato-strap, and offers versatility in its sizing due to its block construction, which helps the lugs feel like part of the case.

The case is asymmetrical, rounded off at 3 o’clock, allowing it to act as a crown guard. Its bezel is bi-directional with white contrasting 12-hour markings and a lume pip at 12 o’clock. Under its sapphire crystal is a black dial with white contrasting Arabic numerals in a 12-hour and 24-hour (military) layout.

It also features a date window at 4.30 and a red-tipped (fighter plane-shaped) second hand. It is powered by a quartz movement and is 50m water resistant. This watch is available for civilians to purchase for $480.

Damasko DSub50

Damasko, founded in 1994, has a history of making high-performance materials for the aviation industry; they also supplied watch cases to Sinn. The DSub50 is a heavily engineered serious dive watch from the German watchmaker, featuring a case made of austenitic German submarine steel, which is nearly twice the strength of regular steel, highly corrosion-resistant, and anti-magnetic.

It has a 43mm by 12.6mm case, and it wears smaller due to its short, steep lugs, allowing its rubber strap to contour to smaller wrists. Its case and bezel are coated fully with black DAMEST, and its uni-directional dive bezel has contrasting white 60-minute indications with a lume pip at zero. 

Under its sapphire crystal, it is complemented with a matching black dial (fully lumed), with white contrasting hands and markings, and without unnecessary text beside the brand logo, making it highly legible. There is a date window at 4.30 o’clock in black that also blends in well. It has an overall very clean design and makes for a serious-looking dive watch, perfect on a dark wetsuit.

This model is water-resistant to 300m and has a screw-in crown that can be used underwater. It is powered by the Damasko caliber A26-2 (with a 42-hour power reserve). It comes at a price of approximately $2,700, offering value for its uncompromising engineering and design. It is what we call a no-nonsense tool watch.

Hamilton Khaki BeLOWZERO (ref. H78585333)

Launched in 2008, the now-updated BeLOWZERO has become a mainstay in Hamilton’s Khaki collection. Many would know this watch to feature in two recent blockbuster films, The Martian, its main character, and Tenet, in which it was part of the narrative. They were sci-fi action plots set in the future, a tribute to the tough and futuristic design personality of this timepiece.

Made fully of titanium that is DLC-coated, in a case size of 46mm by 15.7mm, it is a large dive watch offering an incredible 1,000m of water resistance. Its design is submarine inspired, with 4 hex screws dominating the corners of its cushion-shaped case. 

It comes equipped with a rugged yet simple dive bezel. To reduce its visual heft, its crown guards are sunken into the profile of its case, and it also has short lugs. They are double stemmed, offering extra protection to the rubber strap it comes attached to. 

The combination of its lightweight titanium case, short lugs, and rubber strap allows the piece to wear smaller than its dimensions would suggest. It uses an H10 Movement with an 80-hour power reserve. It is priced at $1,845, great value for a super tough dive watch with movie credibility.

Sinn UX EZM 2B (ref. 403.030)

Sinn is a German tool watch brand that does not rely on a lot of marketing, yet they are hugely respected within the watch community for making the most incredible and over-engineered tool watches. The Sinn UX EZM 2B is no exception and is arguably the most hardcore dive watch on the market.

Its case, bezel, and bracelet are made entirely of German U-Boat steel (submarine steel), which is twice the hardness of regular 316L steel, scratch-resistant, and highly anti-corrosive. Its dive-bezel is TEGIMENTED (carbon diffused) and 1,200 Vickers hard, offering even more scratch resistance (nearly three times) than the rest of the watch. 

It is also a captive bezel, which means it is held on by screws rather than snapped on, making it more resilient to hard hits. The watch is completely media blasted, and due to its U-Boat steel, it has a champagne hue. Its dial is matte black, fully lumed, with white and red contrasts. The watch overall is easily recognizable and versatile for even a civilian lifestyle.

It has a case diameter of 44mm, purposefully sized to be legible underwater. With the HYDRO technology, it is one of the only timepieces outside of Ressence that is completely oil-filled, therefore having zero distortion to its dial and making it incredibly resistant to depth pressure.

This allows for a monstrous water resistance of 5,000m with a svelte case thickness of only 13.3mm. It is quartz-powered and has a price of $2,700. It is a watch so good that it has a cult following.

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster Orbital II (ref. DC3036C-SA-BK)

Ball was founded in the United States in 1891 and made a name for itself by establishing the Railroad Standard, a timekeeping standard that was relied upon for the safe operation of the railroad industry. Today, Ball is a Swiss brand that produces its watches in Switzerland.

The Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster Orbital II is Ball’s expression of the ultimate explorer’s watch. It has a titanium case measures 45mm in diameter and 18.3mm in thickness. It is attached to a well-built titanium bracelet with a folding buckle and extension system, with great articulation and fitment on the wrist.

It is powered by an Automatic-Caliber BALL RR1404, which is essentially an ETA Valjoux 7750, modified to include a GMT function. Under a 3mm thick sapphire crystal, it has a black dial sporting a vertical 3-register chronograph layout with contrasting silver numerals, hands, an additional navigation scale, and an independent 24-hour scale in orange to match its orange GMT hand. 

Additionally, there is a date window at 3 o’clock with a magnifier lens for easy readability. Ball is famous for using tritium gas tubes, 39 of which are used on this model and feature on its hands, hour markers, and even its chronograph pushers.

Besides being antimagnetic and water-resistant to 100m, it features an Amoriser shock system to protect its movement in high-shock environments. This model is now discontinued and had an original retail price of $5,300.

Breitling Aerospace Evo (ref. E79363101B1E1)

Originally launched in 1985, the Aerospace was a super-accurate flight watch. It used an analog and digital display to provide a wide range of information that was impossible to obtain from an analog-only timepiece. This model is a refreshed iteration, and even today, it can be considered one of the few luxury watches that serve as true professional equipment to be used in the cockpit.

It is a titanium offering with a case diameter of 43mm, making it highly legible and sporty in appearance. It has a thickness of only 10.8mm, offering incredible versatility in wearing it even under a cuff. It is attached to Breitling’s Professional 3 bracelet with diagonal links that are iconic to the brand. It comes equipped with a unidirectional diving bezel attached by screws, offering more resistance to hits, which will be useful underwater with its 100m water resistance.

Its analog black dial is lumed, which helps with legibility in low-light conditions. It is complemented by two backlit digital displays that offer a host of information, such as a 1/100th of a second chronograph, perpetual calendar, countdown timer, 2nd timezone, alarm, and minute repeater, that can be operated in a user-friendly manner via its crown. 

Powering its technology is a SuperQuartz movement that is chronometer-certified and thermocompensated. It is currently discontinued and had an original retail price of approximately $4,400.

Tudor Pelagos (ref. M25600TB-0001)

The Pelagos, equipped with a snowflake dial, is the model that champions the legacy of the iconic Snowflake Submariner. It features a 42mm by 14.4mm titanium case equipped with a helium escape valve and pointed crown guards (lending aesthetics to vintage Snowflake Submariners).

It is attached to a titanium bracelet with an extension-equipped clasp. As a result, it is extra lightweight and offers a high-quality wearing experience for daily use or diving. Also included is a diving rubber strap.

This model is available in a phenomenal shade of blue, an updated tone of the color made popular by its Snowflake predecessor. It is equipped with a scratch-resistant matte ceramic dive-bezel that is fully lumed, combined with a fully lumed stepped dial using snowflake indexes, snowflake hands, and a date window at 3 o’clock. 

The benefit of the snowflake layout is that it allows for less negative space on the dial and more surface area for luminosity. As a fully-lumed watch, it offers ultimate legibility in low-light conditions, fitting for a high-performance diver.

It is equipped with an in-house MT-5612 (COSC) calibre with a useful 70-hour power reserve. With a retail price of $5,000, it is an incredibly versatile and well-designed offering that is great value for money, something Tudor has built a reputation for.

Omega Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer (ref. 318.

The first X-33 released in 1998 was a revolution of the iconic Moonwatch. Developed, tested, and qualified by the ESA (European Space Agency), it was more capable for NASA astronauts and cosmonauts to perform onboard activities on the International Space Station.

It was also dubbed the “Mars watch”. The X-33 Marstimer is Omega’s fourth attempt in this series. The difference from its predecessors is that it now tracks Mars time. The Marstimer borrows its design from the original Moonwatch. Like its X-33 predecessors, it sports a 45mm by 14.9mm case in Grade-2 titanium attached to a Grade-2 and 5 titanium five-link bracelet.

It has a new rotatable anodized aluminum bezel in a red hematite color meant to be reminiscent of the dust on Mars. This color can be found on its upper left pusher as well as on its black-to-red second hand. Like all X-33s, its main design cue is its analog and digital display, which allows for a vast number of functions.

New to this model is a Mars Time Coordinated function (accounting for 39 minutes and 35 seconds longer days on Mars than on Earth) and a solar compass, which allows tracking of true north on both Earth and Mars. It is powered by the Omega-5622. With a retail price of $6,400, this is a bold chapter in the space exploration legacy of the Speedmaster.

Rolex Yacht-Master 42 (ref. 226627-0001)

The Yacht-Master is an alternate luxury diver from Rolex, embodying its ties with the sport of sailing. Released in 2023, the Yacht-Master 42 arrives as the brand’s second-only titanium offering, featuring a case and bracelet made fully of its proprietary RLX titanium.

Its 42mm case has a thickness of 11.6mm, with wonderfully integrated crown guards that are among the best seen in the industry. The case returns to chamfered edges, reminiscent of the aesthetics seen on the brand’s vintage models. Its bezel is bi-directional, with a matte black ceramic insert and raised polished numerals. 

This is matched to a matte black dial (fully lumed) that retains the famous and legible Submariner style template, with round plots and a Mercedes hand in white gold. Its markings are maxi-sized, offering more visibility than traditional Submariners due to its larger dial. 

It is fitted to an Oyster bracelet that is fully brushed like its case. Almost anything with an Oyster bracelet can be praised for its articulation and wearability; combined with its slim and proportional case and all-titanium construction (nearly 50% lighter than a regular steel 40mm Yacht-Master), this watch over-delivers. 

It is equipped with an in-house 3235 calibre, which is a Superlative Chronometer with a 70-hour power reserve. With a retail price of $14,000, it stands as a revolutionary model in the Rolex lineup, not shying away from experimentation to deliver us a truly modern luxury tool watch. It is quite a looker, fit for a luxury yacht or a sports yacht.

Panerai Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech™ (ref. PAM02979

Panerai’s inception as a watchmaker was influenced by the needs of tough men. It was in 1936 that the Italian Royal Navy commissioned the company to build a watch for their frogmen, who needed a way of keeping time in the murky depths.

These men rode torpedoes like bicycles as a means of competing with their Allies’ warships during WWII. Fast-forward to today and the Submersible serves as its true professional dive watch. The PAM02979 carries the form factor of the Luminor it was originally based on.

It carries the iconic security lock on the side of its case, which offers more impact protection than a simple shouldered crown. It has a 60-minute dive bezel and 300m of water resistance, two features reserved just for this model.

As a template for advanced engineering, this model is made of forged carbon, which is also used on the dial, giving it a tactical look that suits the hardcore nature of the watch. Its dial is clean and legible, featuring full lume. There is a date window at 3 o’clock and a small second counter at 9 o’clock. 

The watch is 47mm in diameter, a large size that will fit perfectly on a wetsuit or offer heavy wrist presence. It is attached via a quick-release system to a rubber strap with bellows and a pattern molded in to give it flexibility and a rugged look. It comes equipped with an automatic P.9010 calibre with a 3-day power reserve. $20,000 plus tax is the price to pay for the quintessential dive watchmaker’s most advanced piece.


As we venture into the unknown, our timepieces have now become vessels for our memories. Many watchmakers have built legacies on the journeys their creations have endured on pioneers’ wrists.  Innovation, a storied history, and sheer diversity in the application of modern-day timepieces reassure us that they can not only handle the harshest of elements but can even save our lives if needed.

best cartier watches for Women

Cartier is an iconic name in watchmaking besides its embellished history of being a jeweler to the society’s elite, described by King Edward VII as  “the jeweler of kings and the kings of jewelers”. Obsessed with design, Cartier has held its own as a watchmaker. 

Its unique history in Art Deco-inspired high watchmaking has led them to create many icons of timeless elegance, molding itself into the modern-day “king of design” in the luxury watch industry. For perspective, we can call Rolex the king of sports watches and Patek Philippe, the king of complications.

From a Maison that is not born from watchmaking, it is second to Rolex. This was achieved by the brand’s focus on elegant design rather than complications, committing to the return of CPCP “Cartier Privé Cartier Paris” design language, or simply said, its original language of design. 

With a focus on shape, elegance, refinement, sophistication, and attention to detail, it has revitalized the brand in recent years. About 60-70% of its sales are from a female clientele, and while having the “strongest identity in design” in the watchmaking industry, most or all of its designs are genderless. This offers a great degree of collectability available to the female audience, with an exquisite collection to unfold.

The History Of Cartier Watches

Cartier was founded in 1847 when Louis Francois Cartier took over his master’s workshop on 29 Rue Montorgueil amidst the ongoing French Revolution. 9 years later, Princess Mathilde, cousin of Emperor Napoleon III, purchased a Cartier creation and paved the way for the Maison to have access to the Parisian high society and the international elite. 

In 1874, his son Alfred Cartier took over and was instrumental in introducing Cartier into the Royal Houses of Europe and beyond. It would be his sons Louis, Pierre, and Jacques who would aspire to transform the business from a local destination into an international luxury powerhouse with its boutiques in Paris, London, and New York. Each branch would operate independently of the other, making for an extraordinary archive of collectible and unique timepieces and jewelry pieces.

In 1898, grandson Louis, the eldest sibling, joined the Maison and would play a pivotal role in its evolution. He would establish the new boutique at Rue de la Paix in the jewelry district of Paris and would influence some of the company’s most celebrated designs like the mystery clock and exotic Art Deco designs like the “Tutti Frutti” jewels. 

He would also create watches that would become the blueprint for its future collection. In 1905, he made history by releasing the first wristwatch, sports watch, and pilots watch when he created the Santos Dumont for his friend and pioneer in aviation Alberto Santos Dumont, who inspired the need for Louis to design the first pilots wristwatch that could be worn on his wrist during flight, and whom the timepiece is named after.

Another hugely successful design to this day would be his creation of the iconic Cartier Tank in 1917, inspired by an industrial design in the form of the top-down view of a Renault armored tank used in WWI– an elegant, timeless, loved, and cherished piece of design to this day.

Cartier watches have a history of appreciation from some of the most influential, famous, and style-conscious women. For perspective, Audrey Hepburn, a star of the silver screen, was seen wearing a Gold Cartier Tank in her role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961. She was known to adore the watch and added it to her private collection. 

Princess Diana was also known to wear a gold tank on several occasions. Kate Middleton has followed her effortless style, having been spotted wearing the Ballon Bleu and the Tank Française. 

More First Ladies have chosen Cartier than any other watch brand– Jackie Kennedy famously received her first Cartier Tank when she became FLOTUS. Michelle Obama followed suit sporting her tank Francaise in her first official White House photo, and Dr. Jill Biden became the third first lady to wear a Cartier watch, having been seen wearing a gold Panthère de Cartier

Last but not least, many celebrities– Madonna in the 80s, Gwyneth Paltrow in the 90s, and 2000s onwards, Sienna Miller, Anne Hathaway, Zendaya, Uma Thurman, Rihanna, and Dua Lipa have all been spotted wearing a Panthère de Cartier. The list can go on, and it is fair to claim that Cartier watches are an essential accessory for successful women.

What’s The Status Of Cartier Today?

Cartier remained under family control from its founding until 1964; today, it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Swiss Richemont Group but remains headquartered in Paris. Built in the 2000s, its modern and high-end watch manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds Switzerland is over 30,000 square meters and one of the largest in Switzerland together with the Rolex and Omega manufacture. 

For three consecutive years, Cartier has usurped Omega as the second-largest luxury watch brand by revenue, with a turnover of CHF 2.75 billion in 2022. This achievement is thanks to the widespread recognition of its extraordinary archives in recent years, the influence of A-list celebrity hype (seen on the wrists of Kanye West & Tyler The Creator), and its refocus on its icons rather than complications. 

Another noteworthy mention could be that with the widespread popularity of high-end watches in recent years and the unavailability of timepieces from its near equivalent in perceived luxury “Rolex”, Cartier’s approachability in the form of its iconic collections has influenced its recent success. 

Given Cartier’s dual purpose as a jeweler and a watchmaker, its ability to serve its female clientele has set it apart from other well-known watchmakers. With an organic and poetic vision to design, its focus on creating beautiful objects with elegant and balanced proportions rather than highly complicated movements that fit into larger cases has made its designs neutral or unisex, thereby perpetually enriching the choice of great watches for its female clientele. 

Best Cartier Watches For Women

If you’re interested in purchasing a Cartier ladies’ watch, there are tons of options to choose from. Here’s a list of the best Cartier watches for women you can pick up brand-new in 2024:

Cartier Tank Must Small (ref. WSTA0042)

Cartier Tank Must Small (ref. WSTA0042)

The WSTA0042 is the entry point within the Cartier Collection. The “Must” nameplate was first launched in 1977 during the quartz crisis. It was a subdivision of Cartier’s iconic Tank collection, equipped with a quartz movement and vermeil gold cases at a more affordable price; it was incremental for the brand to cater to the masses or growing upper middle class while offering the design hallmarks of the original iconic Tank Louis.

The Must collection recently returned to the fold, and with that, the Must Small. The new Musts would be offered exclusively in steel with a high autonomy quartz movement. Its classical design is most appealing, retaining the classical case shape and aesthetics of the original Tank Louis (only offered in precious metals and with mechanical movements), a timeless design over a century old. 

The combination of steel and quartz allows Cartier to offer low barriers for entry due to its price of only $2,950. Its case dimensions of 29.5 x 22mm and thickness of only 6.6mm make for a daily wearable, versatile, and pure Tank experience on the wrist.

Cartier Panthère Medium (ref. WSPN0007)

Cartier Panthère Medium (ref. WSPN0007)

The Panther is Cartier’s iconic animal; its symbolism and elegance have greatly inspired Cartier’s creativity since 1914. 

Louis Francois Cartier’s right-hand woman and design director Jeanne Toussaint, who signed off all luxury creations under the house between 1933 and 1970, would be famously nicknamed  “La Panthère” – a tribute to her obsession with the feline that influenced her unique style and inspired her to create some of the Maison’s most prized pieces of jewelry.

Cartier presented the first “commercial” line of the Panthère in 1983, and after a brief production hiatus in 2004, it returned in 2017 to the permanent collection. The Medium WSPN0007 is a full stainless steel model with dimensions of 27mm x 37mm and a thickness of 6mm, making for a daily wearable versatile watch.

As a renaissance watch, it remains aesthetically unchanged from its predecessor, sporting a curvaceous case based on the Santos attached to a link bracelet. Its case marries effortless elegance with functionality, featuring curved edges, fluid crown guards, and the now iconic square bezel with rounded corners secured by eight screws (mirrored on its caseback).

This is combined with a classic silvered dial with printed elongated Roman numerals, a railroad minute track that frames its center, and blued sword hands offering contrast, matched to a synthetic sapphire cabochon on its crown, overall making for a signature Cartier look. 

Its fluidity in design is carried through its completely polished bracelet, with small brick-like links attached to one another; the links are curved, offering less weight, more movement, and more comfort than other Cartier alternatives. As a steel model dressed in high finishing, combined with a quartz movement, priced at $5,200, this model is an approachable icon and a highly elegant ladies-focused offering.

Cartier Ballon Bleu Pink Dial (ref. WSBB0046)

Cartier Ballon Bleu Pink Dial (ref. WSBB0046)

We know Cartier is most celebrated for its iconic case shapes; the Ballon Blue is one of its most contemporary yet unfamiliar designs due to its rounded form. While it doesn’t have the rich heritage of its iconic angular cousins, since its launch in 2007, it has become one of the most significant collections of Cartier.

This steel WSBB0046 comes in a case size of 33mm threading the lines between modern and chic in terms of wearability. It also allows for the inclusion of an automatic movement. Although appearing traditionally rounded in typical Cartier fashion, the design is unique and unmistakable. 

This is accentuated by its pebble-like design, featuring a domed face and a domed caseback, accompanied by a narrow bracelet attached to short lugs. Its short lugs help the watch to wear smaller than its case size would suggest.

This model features a salmon pink dial, a color usually reserved for haute horology pieces. It is unique and bold, with silver Roman numerals printed along its periphery (its symmetry is broken for the inclusion of the winding mechanism integrated into its rounded case), a railroad minute track frames the center of its dial, and at its center is an embossed guilloche pattern. 

Blued sword hands offer a contrast with a matching cabochon. Its aesthetics are in keeping with Cartier’s signature design language, with a twist of color. It is priced at $6,200.

Cartier Tank Française Small Gold Diamonds (ref. WJTA0039)

Cartier Tank Française Small Gold Diamonds (ref. WJTA0039)

Cartier’s collection of iconic shapes is unprecedented; when the Tank Française was released in 1996, it was among the many evolutions of the original Tank Louis. Though late to the party, its integrated bracelet seamlessly extending from its bran-chards made for an incredibly versatile design and gained it a legion of followers.

This year, Cartier revamped the model retaining its jewel/bracelet watch DNA, modernizing the design, and evolving its lines to be a bolder, sportier, and more cohesive package.

The Small WJTA0039 is one of the exquisite models within the Française lineup, featuring a full 18k yellow gold case (25.7mm x 21.2mm) and bracelet construction, combined with 22 brilliant cut diamonds embedded along its bran-chards and a matching diamond embedded in its crown that is partially integrated into its caseband (overall totaling 0.78 carats in diamonds). 

Its new golden sunray dial blends harmoniously with its predominantly brushed precious yellow metal case. Retaining the traditional Cartier aesthetic we know of, it has bold Roman numerals in gunmetal gray, a railroad minute track framing its center, and blued sword hands. 

It also has a quartz movement, which will be pretty low maintenance, a luxury perhaps for a watch that is not defined by its movement, but by its design. This angular, chiseled, industrial piece of art can be had for $29,000.

Cartier Ballon Bleu Rose Gold Diamond Dial (ref. WGBB0052)

Cartier Ballon Bleu Rose Gold Diamond Dial (ref. WGBB0052)

The WGBB0052 is a dressier take on the traditional Ballon Bleu, with a precious metal case, a diamond-encrusted dial, and an alligator leather strap. It is a tribute to the versatility of its pebble-like case shape and follows unwritten rules of being a unique dress watch to add to your collection.

This model comes equipped with a 33mm solid 18k rose gold case. It maintains the symmetrical lines of all traditional Ballon Blue’s with its domed pebble shape on its face and caseback and an integrated crown in its round case breaking the dial’s symmetry.

The main highlight of this model is its matt silvered stamped sunray dial set with 21 brilliant cut diamonds, totaling 0.10 carats. For contrast and in keeping with classic Cartier design language, it features blued hands with a matching sapphire cabochon set into its crown.

To complement its iconic “blue theme”, its alligator leather strap is blue (equipped with an 18k rose gold buckle to match the case), transforming its wearability and highlighting the presence of its unique case shape better than its bracelet contemporaries. It comes with an automatic movement and is priced at $15,600.

Cartier Panthère Small Diamonds (ref. W4PN0007)

Cartier Panthère Small Diamonds (ref. W4PN0007)

Exclusively made for women, an iconic heritage design (40 years old, based on a century-old design) with a cult following from a high watchmaking Maison and jeweler of the elites, offered with a factory diamond setting, a steel case and bracelet, a quartz movement, and therefore affordably priced at $8,400, is an unheard combination of specifications that remains exclusive to Cartier in its W4PN0007 offering.

Like the Medium WSPN0007 mentioned earlier, the small W4PN007 is an identical model in smaller proportions combined with a bezel set with brilliant-cut diamonds. Its 23 x 30mm stainless steel case with 6mm thickness offers a more elegant, feminine, and jewelry-focused wearing experience. 

For powerful women who want an iconic and fashionable watch worn by the world’s most chic and famous women, with a gem set handled by the world’s leading jewelry maker, combined with the daily robustness of steel and its low-maintenance quartz movement, it is a perfect crossroad of female horology and the world of jewelry.

Cartier Tank Must Solarbeat™ (ref. WSTA0061)

Cartier Tank Must Solarbeat™ (ref. WSTA0061)

The WSTA0061 saw its release in 2021 as a true Tank distilled down to its essence, accompanied by what would be deemed a modern revolution of the “Tank Must de Cartier” of old, due to its movement that draws power from the sun, instead of a quartz movement that made the “Must” nameplate so popular.

Solar is a brand new technology for Cartier, and a huge selling point is the carefree nature of this movement, with the ability to go through 16-year battery change intervals, twice that of the high autonomy quartz movements Cartier offers.

Compared to the modern Tank Solo line, the vertical bran-chards of the Tank Must are rounded to resemble the Tank Louis, therefore retaining the case shape and lines of the original Tank. This Small model is aesthetically identical to the current production “WSTA0042” mentioned in our list. 

With bold Roman black numerals printed along the periphery of its rectangular dial (solar cells hidden beneath), accompanied by a railroad minute track that frames the center of its silver opaline dial, sword-shaped heat-blued hands offer contrast, with a matching synthetic sapphire cabochon that sits atop a highly ornate crown. With its eco-friendly movement in mind, it comes standard on a vegan leather strap. 

Cartier Panthère Mini Rose Gold Diamonds (ref. WJPN0020)

Cartier Panthère Mini Rose Gold Diamonds (ref. WJPN0020)

The Panthère is a power watch for women, just like the “Rolex Day Date” is for men. In 1983, it was born in the midst of the quartz crisis and helped keep the Maison’s exclusive customers happy during a time when Cartier was appealing to a mainstream audience following the launch of the Must de Cartier collection. 

The Panthère was a bold move from Cartier. While many luxury brands were hurting selling luxury pieces, its unyielding focus on luxury, design, and the Maison’s “je ne sais quoi” has made it an icon. It is no surprise that Cartier dedicates a diverse collection to the Panthère, embracing grand embellishments. Within lies the WJPN0020, with lots of diamonds.

This model features a solid 18k rose gold case and bracelet; its dimensions measure 25mm x 20mm and 6mm thick, making it one of the smallest offerings in the Panthère lineup. It is combined with the signature flowing brick-style bracelet that allows for the mini-sized piece to articulate properly on the wrist. Women will also appreciate its compactness and, therefore, lightness for a watch with a full 18k gold construction. 

This reference highlights its many brilliant cut diamonds embedded into its case, bezel, lugs, and bracelet end links; the sapphire cabochon that sits atop its octagonal crown is replaced with a brilliant diamond to match. Its silvered dial is consistent with other Panthère models, with a railroad minute track and blued hands for contrast. Priced at $30,400, accompanied by a quartz movement, it is effortless high luxury packaged in an iconic, timeless design.

Cartier Ronde Must Small (ref. WSRN0030)

Cartier Ronde Must Small (ref. WSRN0030)

The Ronde can be described as Cartier’s most simple design within its vast offering of angular and irregular-shaped watches. In the horology industry today, most of us gravitate towards familiar round-shaped timepieces due to their versatility.

The Ronde is Cartier’s play in the circular watch segment. Louis Cartier’s own creation, offered in the late 1930s, today’s Ronde collection provides a timeless charm and exudes signature Cartier details that make it stand out amongst other circular dress watches.

This Small WSRN0030 is offered under the “Must” subdivision. It comes in steel, accompanied by a high autonomy quartz movement (with 8 years of power). Its 29mm round case with a thickness of 8.5mm is completely polished, with smooth lines, short inward bending lugs, and a highly ornate beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon. 

It is effortlessly sophisticated, complimented by a signature Cartier dial in sandblasted silver, with bold black Roman numerals, a railroad minute track at its center, and blue sword-shaped hands. Paired with a black vegan leather strap, it’s a timeless essential and versatile daily wearer that many will love. Priced at a suitable $2,700.

Cartier Coussin Rose Gold (ref. WJCS0004)

The existence of the Coussin within Cartier’s collection reminds us that besides the Maison being an iconic haute horology watchmaker, it is also a haute jeweler. A tribute to its prowess in both extremes, it has a unique case shape and only comes embellished fully with diamonds. 

The WJCS0004 is a medium-model quartz-equipped offering. Its solid 18k rose gold case is 30.4mm x 31.1mm in diameter, with a thickness of 7.1mm. Its case resembles the aesthetics of a cushion, hence its “Coussin” nameplate and its design is complemented with a pattern of spiral-set diamonds. 

With a matching diamond featuring on its ornate crown, it has 177 brilliant cut diamonds totaling 4.09 carats. Its exquisite jewelry-focused look is matched with an elegant sunray silver Roman numeral dial and a soft beige calfskin strap attached to hidden lugs behind its case. In a sea of iconic and unique designs, the Coussin is a focused tribute to Cartier’s high society flair. Priced at $32,500.

Cartier Tank Louis Small (ref. WGTA0010)

Cartier Tank Louis Small (ref. WGTA0010)

Designed and named after Louis Cartier himself, now over a century old design, the legacy of the Tank Louis preys upon the haute-ness of any retro icon in existence. Perpetuating its original blueprint since its inception (1917), this “original rectangular watch” is one of the most elegant, influential, and timeless designs ever created.

The Small WGTA0010 is offered with case dimensions of 29.5mm x 22mm, a thickness of 6.35mm, and a quartz movement. Its case is made fully of 18K yellow gold and is attached to a tan alligator leather strap with a matching 18k yellow gold buckle.

It has a silver-grained dial with bold black Roman numerals, a railroad minute track at its center, and contrasting blued sword hands that match the sapphire cabochon that sits atop its ornate crown. Its design language and aesthetics exude signature Cartier DNA and are the continued format of the Original Tank Louis. Priced at $10,200, it is essential for any haute horology lover.

Cartier Panthère Small Gold (ref. WGPN0039)

Cartier Panthère Small Gold (ref. WGPN0039)

While the Panthère is known to be a soft, delicate, elegant, and feminine evolution of the Santos, an iconic and timeless design on its own, the WGPN0039 takes its elegance and evolution further with a double-loop bracelet based on the articulate brick style link bracelet that defines the Panthère collection. Its full gold construction and exotic-styled bracelet further lend its functionality as a timeless, highly recognizable timepiece towards becoming a statement piece of jewelry on the wrist.

Sized as a Small Panthère with a 23mm x 30mm 18k yellow gold case and a thickness of 6mm, it is well balanced in size and presence on the wrist with its novel double loop bracelet. Like all Panthère models, design is the main focus of this piece while benefiting from a low-maintenance quartz movement. 

This model is a testament to the versatility in design of the Santos case that evolved into the Panthère and the versatility of the brick-style bracelet that was created for the Panthère. It is a package of historic high watchmaking and high-end bracelet-making that Cartier is known for. The best of both worlds can be had for a hefty $36,700.

Cartier Ballon Bleu Rose Gold (ref. WJBB0063)

Cartier Ballon Bleu Rose Gold (ref. WJBB0063)

Since its launch in 1983, the round watch from Cartier, the Ballon Bleu, has become a mainstay and a huge success in the collection. It is not uncommon to see it on the wrists of movie stars, political figures, and even royalty; Kate Middleton is famously known for choosing to wear hers frequently. The WJBB0063 takes the quintessential ladies’ Ballon Bleu with its signature elements and offers an uber-luxury combination of a precious metal construction and gem setting.

This model features a 33mm solid 18k rose gold case with compact lugs attached to a matching 18k rose gold interchangeable bracelet. Its sizing hits the sweet spot between being refined and contemporary on the wrist. In keeping with the wider preference of watch collectors of today, it features an automatic movement. The main attraction of this model is its full gem-set bezel consisting of 47 brilliant cut diamonds totaling 0.68 carats. 

Its dial is silvered with a sunburst effect, bold black Roman numerals are printed along its periphery, with a railroad minute track at its center. Its hands are blued, offering contrast, with a matching sapphire cabochon set into its fluted crown. 

Like all Ballon Bleu models, its crown is integrated into the case, breaking the symmetry of the dial. Its combination of precious metals, gem setting, mechanical movement, and usage of the classic Ballon Bleu template makes for a clean, simple, and timeless design that can be passed down to generations. It comes with a price tag of $32,900.

Cartier Pasha Diamonds (ref. WJPA0019)

Cartier Pasha Diamonds (ref. WJPA0019)

The origin story of the Pasha begins in the early 1930s when the Pasha of Marrakesh (hence its “Pasha” nameplate) commissioned a waterproof watch from Louis Cartier so that he could go swimming with it.  While the original design of this watch created in 1933 remains shrouded in mystery, the Pasha design we know today was penned by the legendary watch designer Gérald Genta in 1985.

It is a rounded case design that doesn’t play by Cartier’s rule book, with a square railroad track on its dial, forgoing characteristic Roman numerals for Arabic ones. It also featured a diving bezel and a canteen-styled crown to hark back to its origin as a sports watch.

The WJPA0019’s party trick combines its iconic 80s design with an exquisite gem setting. It has a 30mm 18k white gold case, attached with a centralized lug design to an 18k white gold bracelet. The watch is completely gem-set with 425 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 7.3 carats.

It is complemented with a traditional Pasha-style opaline flinqué dial that has a square railroad track and blued steel sword hands for contrast. Typical of Cartier’s ladies’ models that are focused on aesthetics and extreme luxury, it comes with a convenient quartz movement. It is priced largely at $132,000, not for the faint-hearted.

Cartier Coussin Medium White Gold (ref. WJCS0012)

Cartier Coussin Medium White Gold (ref. WJCS0012)

Cartier’s ability to communicate its language of design in the form of poetic case shapes is unprecedented. The Coussin is a design inspired by the shape of a cushion and is elevated through its exclusive usage of gem settings, harmoniously complementing one another. This model is also made to deform like a cushion, another element of storytelling in design achieved through the sensation of touch.

The WJCS0012 is a medium-sized offering with case dimensions of 39.3mm x 32mm and a thickness of 13mm. It is only offered with a quartz movement, which is the more convenient choice for a watch that is suited best for special occasions. Its flexible 18k white gold case is completely gem set, including its dial, in a swirl pattern. 

This comprises 85 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 0.38 carat, 587 sapphires, 276 stavorites, 45 emeralds, and 18 tourmalines. Its blue-green persona is matched with a blue calfskin strap featuring a white gold buckle. Priced at $79,000, it is a unique and unmistakable offering, combining haute watchmaking with haute jewelry making that defines Cartier’s legacy.


Cartier stands proudly as one of the most recognizable watch brands in the industry today. Its established/rich history as a jeweler, and its pioneering commitment to beautiful designs (case shapes) that follow form before function, have led the Maison to create timeless icons that have captivated the minds of the most astute collectors. 

In a time where precise/reliable timekeeping has easily become available to the masses, and haute horology merely exists through how it makes us feel; its visual storytelling and consistency of design language means that you know a Cartier when you see one. It is a love letter to the cultured art of fine watchmaking.

All About tudor snowflake

Tudor is famously heralded as the sister brand of Rolex; following its takeover in 1936 by Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf, the brand would contribute to achieving economies of scale and target a price-conscious market segment. To achieve this, Tudor would use third-party movements; but would hugely benefit from the sharing of technology, technical, aesthetic, and functional characteristics under the same roof as its hugely successful counterpart.

Fundamental to Tudors dive watch history was the introduction of the Tudor Oyster in 1947. The “Oyster” nameplate was first seen on Rolex models in 1926 to denote its water resistance. It was the first truly waterproof case, one of the most important milestones in watchmaking history, and a precursor to the purpose-built dive watch that would be released in 1953.

The first Tudor dive watch would follow the footsteps of the legendary Rolex Submariner, released in 1953, with the release of the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner reference 7922 a year later to be the more affordable Submariner. This would mark the initial era of its dive watch lineup inspired by the 6204 and 6205 Rolex Submariner, mirroring its aesthetics, most notably the dial layout of the 6205.

The second era of Tudor Submariners began in 1969, with the brand finding its own identity in aesthetics to make for an equally iconic dial layout to the “OG” Rolex Submariner, also developed for the explicit needs of diving. It would utilize square hour markers with matching hands and would be recognized by collectors as “Snowflakes”.

About the Tudor Submariner (the Predecessor to the Snowflake)

Ready to capitalize on the winning formula of the very first Rolex submariner, the first dive watch from Tudor, the Oyster Prince 7922, was released in 1954. It was intended to be a budget-focused counterpart of the exceptional Submariner released the previous year, mirroring its design aesthetics, features, and robust characteristics.

Like the Rolex Submariner, it utilized a 37mm Oyster-case with a screw-down case-back and crown to reach a guaranteed depth of 100 meters. 

It took inspiration from the 1954 Submariner 6205 reference dial layout that rewrote the book on legibility with its usage of lumed triangular, circular, and rectangular plots for hour indexes, with a lumed Mercedes hour hand, pencil-shaped minute hand, and seconds hand with a straight tip after the lollipop on a contrasting domed black dial with gilt logo/inscriptions and minute track, viewable under domed plexiglass commonly used in this era. 

To precisely measure dive times and adjust decompression stages, it came equipped with a bi-directional rotatable bezel graduated in 5-minute intervals and a lume-pip at zero. All Tudor Submariners would use reliable third-party movements to cut down on costs to the end consumer, and the 7922 would be equipped with the self-winding Calibre 390 with 18,000 beats per hour.

Common to all Tudor Submariners, it shared components with its sister brand, such as its Oyster-case, screw-down crown, and Oyster-style riveted bracelet, all signed with the Rolex logo. All iterations of the 7900 series would follow the trend of piggybacking off Rolex’s proven back catalog and would only house a Calibre 390 movement.

The 7923 in 1955 would be a brief departure from this path, as it was the only reference to feature a manually wound movement (ETA Calibre 1182). It also featured a less legible pencil hour hand instead of the Mercedes hand and two cylindrical bars replacing the curved links that attached the Oyster-style bracelet to its case.

In 1958 the 7924 appeared, following the path of the Rolex Submariner 6200 from 1955, reverting to the characteristic Submariner hands and bracelet and offering 200 meters of water resistance with the use of a larger 8mm “Big-crown”, a thicker Plexiglas, and a thicker case.

In 1959, the 7928 reference followed and would be the most diverse reference in Tudor’s lineup being in production for nearly 10 years. Major changes in this reference were the adoption of a larger case size from 37mm to 39mm and the introduction of crown guards influenced by the needs of the French Navy. 

With the usage of a smaller 6mm crown, it first had square crown guards; pointed crown guards followed in 1961, and later a refined rounded shape that would be retained for future models. The 7298 also saw many dial variations, with the shift from gilt text to silver, and finally white text, the usage of a closed to an open chapter ring, and gilt hands to silver hands.

History & Origin of the Tudor “Snowflake”

The 7928 and its adoption of a more “Professional” crown guard equipped 39mm case developed in conjunction with the needs of the French Navy was hence supplied to the French Navy and the U.S Navy for its professional use.

This signaled the direction for the next generation of Submariners from Tudor, departing from the Rolex aesthetic that defined the 7900 series. A quote by Mark Twain, ”There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope”.

This could not be truer for the impact the characteristic Rolex Submariner aesthetic has had on the 7900 series Tudors and for any dive watch that would follow its huge success and legendary status. Under the roof of the Crown, with the motive to differentiate its second generation of Submariners, did Tudor execute a new idea?

In 1969, Tudor presented a new face for its Submariner, but was it better than the iconic one it replaced?  It used square indexes reminiscent of the 70s approach to design instead of the symmetrical and attractive round indexes.

 These Submariners would be nicknamed “Snowflakes” due to the form of their indexes. With less negative space on the dial and more surface area for luminescence, it proved to be more functional and utilitarian than the rounded indexes of before. As a result, Snowflakes have been hugely praised by collectors as potentially the cooler, more professional, and less mainstream alternative to its iconic sibling.

The Tudor “Snowflake” Submariner 7016 & 7021

Developed for the explicit needs of divers, known to be specifically designed with the feedback of the Marine Nationale (to be more legible in low light conditions), the majorly changed Snowflake Submariners, the 7016 and 7021, were released in 1969. With them began the second generation of Tudor Divers.

The 7016 and 7021 were the first Submariners from Rolex or Tudor to be offered in blue (in addition to the standard black), a highlight of this and the models to follow, as even today, the Rolex Submariner range does not offer a blue dial variant for its steel models. It also finally did away with the Calibre 390 movement for ETA movements, which would prove to be easier to service.

The 7016 was equipped with a 39mm case, a 60-minute bidirectional rotatable bezel, rounded crown guards, and 200m of water resistance, unchanged to that of its predecessor. Still features Rolex signed parts, such as its case, crown, and new Oyster Style non-riveted bracelet.

Its new Snowflake dial replaced the rose logo with a shield logo (a symbol of resistance and reliability) and featured square indexes that reciprocate with rectangular indexes at 15, 30, and 45, paired with a square on the hour hand and seconds hand (nicknamed “snowflake hands”). Visible under a no longer domed but flat Plexiglass crystal. 

With the new reference followed a new caliber, the ETA 2483, with a frequency of 18,000 beats per hour, the same as the one it replaced. From the learnings of the Rolex Submariner Date 1680 arrived a date variation of the Snowflake, the 7021. It shared the exact specifications with its no-date counterpart, besides its date complication and, therefore, its ETA 2484 movement.

What is familiar is the usage of a Cyclops-type Plexiglass crystal, the same as that of its contemporary 1680, with a magnifying lens placed over the date aperture at 3 o’clock for easier reading. Seen for the first time was the usage of a roulette date disc, with black for uneven numbers and red for even numbers.

The Next Generation Tudor “Snowflake” Submariner 9401 & 9411

The 7016 and 7021 continued production untill the mid-70s, at which point they were subsequently replaced with the 9401 and 9411. These new references were offered simultaneously with a snowflake dial in black or blue (till circa 1983) or with the characteristic Submariner dial layout in either black or blue. 

The 9401 and 9411 “new generation Snowflakes”, would share the same case lines and aesthetics with its predecessors. Its most important update for the time was the change to higher performance movements, being the modified ETA 2766 for the non-date version and 2784 (2783 in some cases) for the date version. 

The new caliber would feature a hacking seconds function for precise time setting, the quickest date for date models (discontinuing the beloved roulette date wheel), 28,800 beats per hour, and a 42-hour power reserve to make for a very modern specification caliber, even today.

Another useful update would be the availability of different bracelets, one with Rolex oyster reference 7836/0 with a classic folding clasp or the 9315/0 with a “Fliplock” folding clasp and an extension link system to be used over a wet suit.

The “Blue Snowflakes” of this era are known to be the most collectible and definitive “Snowflakes” amongst collectors, as they are currently easier to source in good condition compared to their predecessors. This is due to early examples experiencing rotting or bubbling on their dials caused by a defect in the paint or water ingress. It is rumored that this was mitigated by the mid-1970s. 

The blue colorway was made more available with the modern Snowflakes. The color is favored for embracing the spirit of diving better than black, better complimenting the patina created through time on its hands, indexes, and pearl on its bezel. 

The “Black Snowflakes”, on the other hand, share a much closer resemblance to its contemporary Rolex Submariner; for that, they can be argued to be a little less interesting. These last Snowflake references also offer collectors the best of both worlds in usage, with vintage aesthetics and modern calibers underneath.

When was the Tudor “Snowflake” Discontinued

The Tudor Snowflake was discontinued in the middle of the 1980s, with the Submariner range continuing to be produced until 1999. When Tudor celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1996, it marked an end of an era as a sub-Rolex brand sharing components (cases, crowns, and bracelets) from the same parts bin.

Due to their storied heritage and unique history parallel to the most iconic divers watch ever, good examples of Snowflakes have become increasingly difficult to source. Also, since many of these examples were “budget Rolexes”, they were actually used as tools for their intended purpose and not babied like their contemporaries, many of which had seen life in a safe.

Currently, there are limited offerings online, with the blue Snowflakes having higher premiums than the black variants. Additionally, condition, age, delivery contents, maintenance history, and provenance are all points of consideration that will reflect on the end price. 

Pricing currently ranges between $9,000 to as high as $30,000 or more for a perfect example or mil-spec variant. In some cases, they can even be priceless due to the Snowflakes’ iconic history. 

At the time of writing this, I was able to find a listing online for a 9401/0 black (naked) without box and papers priced at $10,000 and a totally original blue 9411/0 with box and papers priced at $18,000. A 1680 Rolex Submariner of equal condition would be approximately double this value, so in comparison, vintage Tudors offer a lower entry point as a gateway to collecting them today.

Return of the Snowflake?

The Snowflake configuration that has been iconic to Tudors history was finally reintroduced to its collection at Baselworld 2012 with the combined launch of the Black Bay and Pelagos models.

Since then, the usage of Snowflake hands and dials in different variations of its tool watch lineup has become identifiable with Tudor in the modern day as it draws inspiration from its past while offering modern specifications with in-house movements, cementing the value it offers in the luxury tool watch segment.

Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue

Tudor Black Bay 58 Blue

The Black Bay models that have proven to be most popular in the modern chapter of Tudor, bringing back the characteristic Snowflake hands in 2012. This is paired with the aesthetics of the rounded indexes used in the 1958 7294 “Big Crown” Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner, a model that inspired the “big crown” remastered Black Bay and Black Bay 58 with vintage cues like domed sapphires, and faux rivet bracelets. 

In 2019, Tudor would surprise lockdown-tired enthusiasts when they released a “blue” Black Bay 58. This would further tie the modern watch with the history of the original Snowflake as it was identical in color to the iconic “Snowflake Blue” of old, with a 39mm case sized similar to that of the vintage Snowflakes; this stands as a worthy modern successor that reminds us of the original.

Tudor Pelagos 42

Tudor Pelagos 42

In 2012, Tudor wowed us with the release of the Pelagos 42mm, a modern specification titanium, 500m water resistant, helium escape valve equipped professional dive watch that drew inspiration from vintage Snowflakes, bringing back a full Snowflake dial.

It seemed appropriate that the utilitarian-focused Pelagos 42 would bring back the legible layout created specifically for the needs of the professional diver. Its host of features includes a fully lumed stepped snowflake dial (with a date window at 3 ’o clock), snowflake hands, a fully lumed uni-directional ceramic bezel for ultimate legibility, and a 42mm titanium case with unique pointed crown guards attached to a titanium bracelet with a bracelet extension equipped clasp.

It comes offered with a black dial and bezel, a bright blue dial and bezel, or as an LHD variant with a black dial and bezel and the return of the unique roulette date wheel seen on vintage Submariner Snowflake 7021s.

Tudor Pelagos 39

Tudor Pelagos 39

After the release of the Pelagos 42 (42mm) and the consequent release of the Black Bay 58 (39mm), enthusiasts knew that it would be within Tudor’s capability to give us a 39mm (toned down) Pelagos which would share the closest resemblance in sizing and wearability to the original 39mm Snowflakes. In 2022, Tudor finally gave us the modern-day equivalent of the Snowflake that we had all been waiting for. 

A Pelagos 39 with a 200m water-resistant titanium crown guard equipped case, attached to a titanium bracelet with a t-fit clasp, sporting a cleanly executed no date sunburst black full Snowflake dial (with red Pelagos text), paired with a sunburst black ceramic full lume unidirectional dive-bezel.

While the materials used in comparison to the original Snowflakes have been modernized through the usage of titanium and ceramic instead of steel and aluminum, its elegant proportions and shared aesthetics offer a familiar experience.

Tudor Pelagos FXD

Tudor Pelagos FXD

In 2021 Tudor gave us a military specification diver with the release of the Pelagos FXD. The brand would come full circle with its Marine Nationale history, with the new release drawing inspiration from the original Snowflakes through the usage of the highly legible Snowflake dial (originally created with feedback from the Marine Nationale). 

Unlike its counterparts that were simply references listed in the catalog supplied to the military, the Pelagos FXD would be specifically designed with their preferences in mind making it the most hardcore and purposeful Snowflake to date. 

It would feature a 42mm (200m water resistant) crown guard equipped titanium case with fixed lugs, a fully lumed full snowflake dial in navy blue, a matching navy blue fully graduated and fully lumed ceramic bezel (bi-directional for navigation) with deeper knurling, and would only be offered on a nato and a rubber strap. Like the vintage MN/year stamped caseback Submariners, the FXD would also see the continuation of the engraving offering a unique aspect of collectability to the modern-day collector.


Today, Tudor stands as an independent brand from Rolex with the freedom to draw inspiration from its past while fulfilling the requirements of delivering a modern specification tool watch; it has been celebrated for its value proposition by dive watch enthusiasts of the highest caliber.

The unique history of the original Oyster Prince Submariner Snowflakes made under the same roof as its sister brand Rolex, sharing components like cases, bracelets, winding crowns, and using more affordable movements, has made the Snowflake an icon of its own. 

To further strengthen its significance, the Snowflake Submariners had a parallel path to that of the most iconic diver watch ever, with the adaptation of the Snowflake dial that was created through military feedback, making it essentially a version 2 of the characteristic Submariner layout. 

In a parallel universe, perhaps Rolex would have loved the Snowflake layout for themselves, as it could be argued to be a more purposeful, legible, and better design. Certainly an icon.

rolex submariner vs sea dweller

Rolex is the legitimate king of luxury sports watches; its dive watches carry huge significance, history, and importance to its sports watch lineup. Using the oyster case that has been fundamental to its sports watch reputation and water resistance, the Submariner is the quintessential dive watch. 

Among the first purposely built watches for diving, innovated, and made better generation upon generation, the Submariner is the champion of Rolex’s pursuits into the deep. 

Rolex’s huge success in marketing, capitalization of growth, industry-leading evolution of its collection, originality, and high brand value, has made the Submariner an unchallenged icon 70 years since its inception. 

A fundamental partner and participant in the huge success of its dive watch history is the Sea-Dweller in its many forms, essentially a hardcore variation of the Submariner. Sometimes this does bring forth the debate about which is better.

About the Rolex Submariner

The Submariner first saw light in 1953 and would make its official debut the following year. It was one of the earliest examples of a modern dive watch, only to be beaten to the market by the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms by a few months. The 6204 was the first Submariner reference and would be the first watch to reach a record depth of 100m.

The Submariner would follow an evolutionary development path throughout its 70-year existence and would see many variations with minor details and upgrades that make it one of the most collectible watches of today.

In 1954 the reference 6205 first featured its synonymous Mercedes hour hand; this was followed by the 6200 in 1955, which was the first “Big Crown” Submariner and also the first to feature 200m of water resistance. 1956 saw the introduction of 6538, which was made famous for being worn by Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No (1962), giving the Submariner celebrity stardom early in its life, which hugely impacted its popularity. 

1957 marked the first appearance of a military-issued Submariner with the reference A/6538, featuring fixed spring bars and a larger bezel made with German Silver for easy gripping and a tendency to dent and not crack. This would be followed in the 70s by the 5513, double-stamped 5513/5517, and the 5517. These were made to MOD specifications inspired by the MOD Seamaster, featuring updates like sword hands, crown guards, and a fully graduated bezel.

In 1959, the 5512 was the first commercial model to receive crown guards, and in 1967 the Submariner gained a date feature with the reference 1680 equipped with the iconic cyclops. This split the range into two, with a date or a no-date offering for purists who preferred the symmetrical dial. The date watches would also become available in precious metals like today. 

The 5512 would be followed by the 5513 from 1962 to 1990, the longest production run to date, during which many changes would be made to the Submariner, replacing the gilt gloss dial with a meters first matte dial, followed by non-serif typography and larger indexes known as Maxi-dials. 

The 5513 would share a timeline with the “Date Models”, 1680 and the 16800 (1977-1987). The latter would feature a sapphire crystal and a Triplock crown, making it the first Submariner waterproof to 300m, a number unchanged today in the modern line. 

A new model would also be added to the steel or full gold offerings, which would be the first two-tone reference in 1984 available in either a bright blue or black, the watch that made the 80s a very successful and memorable era for two-tone watches. 

The 168000 would introduce us to Rolex’s now proprietary 904L-Steel, followed by the 16610 (1987-2010), considered the first modern Submariner with premium white gold surround indexes and a modern movement, the COSC-Certified 3135. The “No-date” 14060 Submariner shared this modernity between 1990-2002. The 14060M would follow between 2002-2010 and became a Certified chronometer in 2007 with the 3130 movement; it would be the last Submariner to feature drilled lugs.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Submariner in 2003, we were introduced to the “Kermit” Submariner 16610LV, replacing the black aluminum bezel of the 16610LN with a green one for the first time. The first of its kind to properly execute a daring color amongst luxury watch brands and a fitting color to commemorate its anniversary. 

In 2008, to celebrate its 100th anniversary, Rolex paved the way for a newer, more luxurious, and indestructible Submariner, the “Smurf” 116619LB, that impressed with a host of updates like a maxi case, more durable and high-end ceramic bezel insert with gold/platinum markers, solid link bracelet, and new generation Glidelock extension equipped clasp that set a new benchmark on wearability. 

In 2010, the rest of the Submariner collection finally received the same updates, introducing the 116610LN Black Date, 114060LN No date, combination, and full yellow gold models. The LV version of the 116610 would now feature a green sunburst dial and would be nicknamed the “Hulk”, becoming one of the most collectible modern references.

Always ahead of its time, highly engineered, with elegant, functional, and timeless beauty, the Submariner is an icon. It became the blueprint for any dive watch that was to follow and therefore is the ultimate realization of a professional dive watch through its timeline that has evolved with the needs of its wearers, collectors, and storytellers of its legacy.

Its ultimate status and versatility have made it the most sought-after and proven luxury sports watch in the modern era for almost any and every luxury sports watch enthusiast.

About the Rolex Sea-Dweller

The backstory of the Sea-Dweller and the quest to go deeper than ever imagined began way back in 1953 when history was made; an experimental Deep Sea Special was affixed to the exterior of an experimental diving vehicle known as the Trieste and survived an unseen crushing depth of 3,150m. This was followed in 1960 with the Deep Sea Special No 3, which made the trip down to an incredible 10,916m.

In 1967, Rolex would finally release the Sea-Dweller 1665 with 500m of water resistance, no cyclops, and featured an innovation inspired by the needs of COMEX divers that would become the hallmark of the Sea-Dweller, a helium escape valve at the side of the case to stop the crystals from popping off during decompression after full-saturation diving. 

They would further test this technology with COMEX, a French diving company specializing in engineering and deep diving operations, forming a partnership in 1971. Among the 1665 Sea-Dwellers available to Comex for testing before its commercial launch in 1971, 5514 COMEX-only Submariners with helium escape valves were also provided. 

The initial batch of the prototype 1665 Sea-Dwellers would be known as “Single-Red” and be replaced by the “Double Red” two-line red text model with an increased 610m of water resistance. In 1977, the Submariner text was dropped along with the choice of red text to white, and became known as the “Great-White”.

The 16660 would finally replace the 1665 reference in 1978, featuring a sapphire crystal allowing it to increase its depth rating to 1,220m. It was also equipped with a more modern movement, the 3035, with quickset date. A decade later, it was replaced by the 16600, which yet again received a more modern movement, the 3135 with a longer power reserve; and came with a black dial that featured three types of lume variations in its 20-year production run.

The Sea-Dweller would temporarily be discontinued in 2008, for the bigger, badder 11666 Deepsea Sea-Dweller, with a larger 44mm case and a Ring-Lock-System allowing it to reach an impressive depth of 3,900m. It would be a completely new watch not restricted by its initial concept and received many advancements that made it an outright more capable, modernized, and luxurious offering. 

Among which was the move to ceramic bezels (fully graduated) with gold/platinum markers, solid links, and an overly engineered new clasp with Glidelock and a wetsuit extension. This would be a huge success during the recent large watch trend and would be the ultimate expression of the modern-day capabilities of the brand.

Rolex returned to a 40mm Sea-Dweller in 2014, which was well received as the “Sleeper Submariner” due to its similar yet thicker specifications to a regular then-current production Submariner. 

To retain its hardcore character, it featured a fully graduated bezel and a matte black dial. This model was replaced by the current 126600, a new 43mm variant with a return to the single-red text of the old.

The Sea-Dweller and the Deepsea Sea-Dweller have proven to be Rolex’s flex of its innovation and pursuits to the deep, highlighting the extended capabilities of its original dive watch concepts that is the Submariner and the oyster case. The extended offering has been welcomed by dive watch enthusiasts that crave hardcore specifications or simply for those who have a taste for more novelty compared to the refined and elegant Submariner.

Rolex Submariner vs Sea-Dweller: Which One Should You Choose?

Model Options

Today, the Rolex diver lineup consists of 5 subcategories, divided by the Submariner No Date, Submariner Date, Sea-Dweller, Deepsea Sea-Dweller, and Deep Sea Challenge. The Submariner No Date, from its inception till today, is a watch that is considered to be available for purists. Only offered in black and only in steel, it maintains its tool legacy of not being tampered with.

The Submariner Date is a variant that has seen Rolex experiment with different dial/bezel colors and case materials over many years to form a very essential yet proven collection. In steel, the watch is offered in two variants, a black dial with a black bezel or a black dial with a green bezel, a color previously used to commemorate its anniversary models. 

Two-tone “steel and 18k yellow gold” models have a familiar choice of black dial and bezel or a sunburst blue dial with blue bezel, and full 18k yellow gold models also have the same dial and bezel offerings. The 18k white gold variant, arguably the most exclusive model in the dive watch collection, now features a black dial and a blue bezel.

The Sea-Dweller, now offered in 43mm, is available with a black dial and bezel with a vintage-inspired red line of text on the dial for the steel model. It also comes in two-tone with a black dial and black bezel.

The Deepsea Sea-Dweller 44mm, offered only in steel, is available in two variants, the first being a black dial with black bezel, and the second featuring a deep blue to black gradient dial with Kawasaki green text accompanied with a black bezel, made to commemorate James Cameron’s expedition to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

The Deepsea Challenge 50mm, Rolex’s newest halo model diver, is only available with a black bezel and matte black dial to match its hardcore modern-era capabilities. It also features a case and bracelet entirely made of titanium, a first from Rolex.

Build Quality

Supreme build quality is synonymous with Rolex; the concept of the sports watch has journeyed great lengths thanks to the unmatched ethos of the brand to evolve rather than revolve. The “Rolex way” is continuously looking forward to using the best manufacturing and machining techniques available, never compromising on reliable watchmaking. 

In the modern day, where watches have become a status symbol rather than simply tools, its collection boasts the perfect marriage of luxury and functionality. Virtually indestructible, better, and more capable than ever before.

Rolex’s dive watch collection shares continuous refinements with its entire collection. We now see the usage of only proprietary metals, solid link tapering bracelets, industry-leading clasps, gold indexes and hands, ceramic bezels with gold or platinum-filled markings, modernized calibers, and the finest tolerances in manufacturing, making Rolex the world’s leading sports watch maker. 

When comparing the Submariner range to the Sea-Dweller, essentially one being the hardcore variant of the other, they share the same DNA. Therefore, there is no compromise on build quality to be made when choosing either model.


Rolex steadily updates all calibers across its entire range. Its dive watch models currently use the 3230 and 3235 calibers, which are identical besides a date complication. You still get ± 2 seconds a day of precision with a Parachrom hairspring and the Superlative Chronometer specification. 

What’s new is Rolex’s proprietary Chronergy escapement, allowing for more efficient and reliable precision in between service intervals, and a 70-hour power reserve, a lot more than the 48-hour previous generation calibers.

Price & Availability

The most entry-level professional dive watch from Rolex, the 124060LN Submariner “No-date”, begins at a retail price of $9,100 and has a market value of $12,100. The same 30 percent premium can be found with the 126610LN Submariner “Date” (retail $10,250, market 13,750). 

The most popular model, the 126610LV Submariner “Starbucks”, has a retail price of $10,800, and a market price of $16,700, making it the model with the highest premium of 55% above its retail price. 

With the market in preference of steel models, the addition of gold amounts to fewer premiums in pricing with the combination Submariners. The 126613LB retails at $15,600, with a market value of $17,600, while the less black version, the 126613LN, retails at $15,600, with a market value of $16,350. 

The Sea-Dweller models fetch fewer market premiums than the Submariners; however, even with the more excessive/pricier models in the lineup, they still prove to be very popular amongst collectors. The Sea-Dweller 126600, retailing at $13,250, currently fetches a nearly identical market price, while its less popular combination counterpart, the 126603, retails at $18,000 and has a discounted market price of $16,600. 

The Deepsea Sea-Dweller 136660-0004 black dial retails at $14,200 and has a market price of $15,300, while its special dial variant, the 136660-0003 D-Blue, retails at $14,500 and has a market value of $17,400. The newly released Deepsea Challenge, even with its high retail price of $26,000, and highly niche target market of large watch collectors, fetches a premium market price of $32,000.

Rolex’s sport model collection has been limited to long waitlists in recent years for almost every model. The length of the waitlist and your chances of getting a desired model at retail will reflect on its market value, which also reflects its popularity in the market. This makes buying relationships with authorized dealers vital in hopes of escaping the premiums in the marketplace.

Value Retention & Investment

We have come to a point where we can almost assume that all watches discussed in this segment will be able to retain their value in the short and long term, even when the market has passed a recession as it is now, Rolex’s premium value retention is strong and in high percentages. This is due to the huge disparity in ratios in production to demand. This comes as a result of the wider knowledge available to consumers, consumers that brands like Rolex cannot satisfy over the next decade.

The Submariner’s popularity, hype, and versatility make it an easy winner in terms of investment potential compared to the Sea-Dweller. However, the novelty of the Sea-Dwellers, and the breath of playfulness and experimentation that Rolex allows for them, make the models a great investment over the long term.

Notable Submariner & Sea-Dweller Models

Rolex has forged a formidable dive watch collection with a diverse range of proprietary metals, specifications, complications, and capabilities, diving over 10 times deeper than the other. Let’s dive into some of them.

Rolex Submariner No Date 124060LN

Rolex Submariner No Date 124060LN

The 124060 Submariner, known as the “No-date”, is the purest available iteration of the range, available only in 904L Steel, for the first time 41mm in diameter, returning to the more elegant tapered lugs compared to the maxi case of its predecessor, attached to an industry-leading solid link Oyster bracelet with a lug width of 21mm tapering to 19mm at the dual safety clasp that has Glidelock with 20mm of adjustment.

Due to its lack of a date window at 3 o’clock, the 124060 is loved for its symmetrical clean dial layout; it only comes with a gloss black dial paired with a black Cerachrom bezel. Its dial indexes and hands feature full Chromalight and are made of 18k white gold; its bezel features markings that are filled with platinum and has a lume pip at 12 o’clock. 

Exclusive to this model is the no-date 3230 movement, which was new in its 2020 release, giving it 70 hours of power reserve and more efficiency. This model is the foundation of every other Submariner and is an essential model to Rolex and anyone’s collection. (Retail price $9,100)

Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN

Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN

The Submariner 126610LN Date offers the same formula as the No-date with the added versatility of a date window. Still remains is the 41mm case with the more elegant tapered lugs, made in Rolex’s proprietary 904L steel, attached to a solid link Oyster bracelet that starts at 21mm and tapers down to 19mm at the clasp that is a dual safety with Glidelock.

Also maintained is its tool watch aesthetic with full brushing and only features polishing at the side of the case and bracelet, the crown, and the bezel edges. 

This LN reference comes with a black dial that features a date window at 3 o’clock magnified by the Cyclops on the sapphire on the sapphire crystal, a key feature to nearly all Date Rolexes. It is paired with a black Cerachrom bezel with platinum markings to make for one of the most recognizable sport watch layouts to date. 

As of 2020, all Submariners received a refresh, and all date models received a movement update with the 3235. Thickness remains the same at 12.5mm as the no date; its elegant implementation of specifications makes it the more practical desk diving option in comparison to the purist no date; this is also the gateway drug to other Date Submariner variations. (Retail price $10,250)

Rolex Submariner “Starbucks” 126610LV

Rolex Submariner “Starbucks” 126610LV

The Rolex Submariner 126610LV is the enthusiast hit in the collection. “LV” in its reference, standing for “Lunette Verte”, which means “green bezel” in French, was first used on a Submariner reference with the “50th Anniversary Submariner Kermit”. The tradition of Rolex’s and its fans’ favorite color, “green”, has since been maintained and upgraded nearly every decade. 

The 126610LV, nicknamed the “Starbucks”, is now the grandson of the original Kermit and ditches the sunburst gold-green dial of the “Hulk” for a gloss black dial pulling off a more restrained look reminiscent of the original “Kermit”.

Case specifications of 41mm in 904L steel with the new tapered lugs, attached to a 21mm-19mm tapering dive-ready bracelet, with a full Chromalite lume dial and a Cerachrom bezel, and a 3235 movement to make it identical to its “LN” brother if not for its green bezel that has been kept forward from its predecessor. 

The choice of going back to black with the dial and the return to elegant proportions have made the “LV” reference a less flashy and more elegant alternative to its very popular sunburst Maxi-case predecessor, the “Hulk”. (Retail price $10,800)

Rolex Submariner “Bluesy” 126613LB

Rolex Submariner “Bluesy” 126613LB

The Rolex Submariner 126613LB “Bluesy” is another model in the dive watch lineup that has the usage of a very sought-after color, blue, with the dial receiving a full sunburst treatment in bright blue and a matching Cerachrom bezel. 

The “excuse” for the model to receive a daring color is its main highlight, its combination of materials, 904L Steel, and Yellow-Rolesor (Rolex’s own proprietary metals). In this case, the model is fundamentally steel, with a “solid yellow gold” bezel, bracelet center link, insert on the clasp, hands, indexes, and bezel markings. 

It is identical in technical and sizing specifications to the 41mm by 12.5mm Date Submariner. Therefore, it makes for a more premium variation of the standard Steel Submariner, with the flash of gold, without the inconveniences of the excess weight and fragility of its full gold variation, which has a price tag of nearly triple this model.

The “Bluesy” has been an essential model in the collection since 1984 and was the pioneer of the combination-gold watch craze during the 80s. We are returning to those times with gold variations becoming popular again. (Retail price $15,600)

Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600

Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600

The Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Sea-Dweller and brings forth the return of the “Single-red line Sea-Dweller text” on the dial, reminiscent of the original 1957 prototypes. 

Controversial about this model is the usage of a 43mm case (with a black dial and a larger fully graduated Cerachrom bezel) instead of the Submariner matching diameter of its predecessors that was loved by its die-hard fans as “Sleeper Submariners”.

It is the first Sea-Dweller to feature a Cyclops for its date window; this is simply Rolex being “Rolex”, always innovating, having found a new way for the Cyclops to withstand its 1,220m dive watch capabilities. 

This model comes standard with a helium escape valve and is the entry point in the collection for saturation divers. Its usage of a larger in diameter 43mm 904L Steel case makes it a very legible and usable tool watch, especially underwater. It also allows the watch to disperse its 15mm thickness better without looking too chunky. 

Also, an upgrade is a 22mm wide Oyster bracelet that tapers to 19mm at the Glidelock clasp, making for a better wearing experience. Due to the wider acceptance of gold watches, Rolex offers the Sea-Dweller 43 in a combination variant too, featuring a full black dial and matching bezel. (Retail price $13,250)

Rolex Deepsea 136660

Rolex Deepsea 136660

Rolex first introduced the “Deepsea” nameplate back in 2008, an era where larger-sized watches were trending, allowing the brand to fit a monster of a timepiece in its dive-watch lineup, that was the 44mm Deepsea 116660. 

The Deepsea was also a flex on how far the brand was willing and capable of innovating on its original dive watch concept to release a model with a stupendous depth rating of 3,900m, thanks to its Ring-Lock-System, and a larger case.

44mm in diameter and 17.7mm thick, what is most impressive about the Deepsea is the elegant and highly technical feature-packed design that allows itself to be harmonious in proportions, design, and luxury, with its far-less capable and more versatile siblings; therefore allowing it to still be a wearable watch for an average sized wrist. 

The Deepsea is now in its third iteration with the 136660 reference. The 126660 updated model in 2018 featured a shorter lug-to-lug measurement, wider bracelet, and thinner lugs, allowing for better proportions and a better fit on the wrist; it also featured an updated movement with the 3235. 

The 136660, in 2022, had minor adjustments made to the height of the bezel, a “substantial 8% increase” in the size of the date window, and the lack of a flip lock extension. This model comes with a black dial paired with a fully graduated black Cerachrom bezel and is offered with a special D-Blue dial to commemorate James Cameron’s expedition to the bottom of the Mariana trench. (Retail Price $14,200)

Rolex Deepsea Challenge 126067

Rolex Deepsea Challenge 126067

Rolex’s relentless pursuit to push the envelope within its dive watch segment finally yielded a new production model in 2022, the Deepsea Challenge, with an unworldly 11,000m of water resistance, made to conquer the deepest point known to man.

To achieve such a feat, the new Deepsea Challenge would essentially be a (no-date) bloated version of the now regular Deepsea, using the Ring-Lock-System, with a 50mm diameter case and 23mm of thickness (with 9mm crystal) to endure the elements. To underwhelm its heft and match its capabilities, this is the first model to be made available in “lighter” full titanium (RLX-Titanium), featuring complete brushing and a return to chamfered lugs of old. 

While its large dimensions and niche capabilities will appeal to a smaller target audience, the Deepsea Challenge ensures that Rolex has an offering to match its modern-day capabilities. It is an exercise in tradition from the best dive watchmaker in history to push its limits. This feature-packed diver is for those who seek luxury in novelty. (Retail price $26,000) 


The Submariner and the Sea-Dweller were never meant to be pitted against each other; the Sea-Dweller models are merely an extension of a winning formula that is the iconic Submariner. The Submariner has always set the golden standards in form, function, and refinement for all dive watches to follow. 

Due to this mass appeal, the Submariner can seem boring to the seasoned collector. Therefore the Sea-Dweller and Deepsea models have an identity and history of their own to appeal to their own niche.

The Submariner is a versatile, elegant, and popular choice for the desk diver. The Sea-Dweller range boasts more serious specifications for the saturation diver or for those who simply appreciate the variation, novelty, and fun injected into the lineup.

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