Kurt Tiedemann, Author at Exquisite Timepieces - Page 3 of 5


Author: Kurt Tiedemann

Are tissot watches good?

With a heritage spanning over a century, Tissot has carved a niche for itself as a revered Swiss watchmaker, pushing the boundaries of craftsmanship and innovation. However, due to the range in affordability of their watches, with some being (ahem) relatively cheap, many people wonder how well Tissot represents the notion of Swiss horological excellence. In other words, are Tissot watches any good?

When it comes to Tissot, despite what many think, quality is the undisputed cornerstone. Although most Tissots aren’t reinventing the wheel, they are built to exacting standards using carefully sourced, high-quality materials. 

Tissot’s commitment to accuracy is unwavering, as exemplified by its precise movements, which are certified by esteemed authorities to varying degrees. From precision-driven quartz models to timeless mechanical wonders, Tissot offers a range that caters to the diverse tastes of discerning watch enthusiasts.

But it doesn’t stop there. Tissot understands that a great watch is defined by more than just its tech specs. Watches need to look good, and boy, do some of these watches catch the eye. Let’s take a deeper look at Tissot and some of their more well-known timepieces.

Misunderstood Masterpieces – About Tissot Watches

To my mind, Tissot’s design philosophy can be summed up in four words: classic with a twist. They take timeless aesthetics and inject a dash of modernity, resulting in watches that are both familiar and intriguing. The devil, as they say, is in the details.

Tissot excels at infusing their timepieces with intricacies that reveal themselves upon closer inspection – a captivating dial texture, an unexpected color combination, or an elegantly sculpted case. These design elements, often overlooked at first glance, lend an air of sophistication to many Tissot watches.

One prime example of Tissot’s design prowess is the Tissot Le Locle, a watch that pays homage to the brand’s birthplace in Switzerland. With its Roman numerals, refined indices, and a touch of vintage charm, the Le Locle is a true embodiment of class. Another standout is the Tissot PRX collection, which presents a fusion of crisp modernity and sporty charm that has taken the buyer’s market by storm.

Tissot’s design language is as diverse as it is captivating. From complex chronographs to minimalist dress watches, they cater to every taste and occasion. Next time you encounter a Tissot watch, take a moment to appreciate the artistry behind these misunderstood masterpieces rather than wondering how good it could be compared to a Rolex or an AP – watches that are, for better or worse, in a different class altogether.

A History Of Tissot Watches

It all began in 1853 when Charles-Félicien Tissot and his son Charles-Émile founded the Tissot company in the picturesque Swiss town of Le Locle. From the beginning, Tissot set its sights on pushing the boundaries of watchmaking.

They were among the first to embrace mass production, ensuring their meticulously crafted timepieces reach a wider audience without compromising quality. This decision reverberates through Tissot’s manufacturing process today, enabling the company to create impressive watches at even more impressive costs.

Throughout the years, Tissot has navigated the ebb and flow of horological trends, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. One such milestone was the introduction of the Tissot Antimagnetique in 1930, a groundbreaking watch that resisted the detrimental effects of magnetic fields—a testament to Tissot’s commitment to technical innovation.

Another iconic piece in Tissot’s chronicles is the Tissot Navigator, launched in 1951. This pioneering watch was designed with aviators in mind, boasting a navigational slide rule for precise calculations – an invaluable companion for those taking to the skies.

Fast forward to the present, and Tissot continues to captivate watch enthusiasts with their contemporary offerings. The Tissot Heritage collection pays homage to their illustrious past, resurrecting vintage designs with a modern twist with great success. This is all to say that when a Swiss brand can do dress, tool, sports, and everyday watches with a respectable degree of quality, they deserve respect, no matter what name is on the dial.

Are Tissot Watches Any Good?

There are numerous reasons why one might consider buying a Tissot watch – they’re affordable, stylish, and well-built. On the flip side, entry-level Tissot watches can feel a bit clunky and, for lack of a better word, basic.

A lot of the flack that Tissot gets is a result of the market’s perception of the brand’s status among geographically comparable firms – Tissot resides at the top of the mid-level of Swiss watch manufacturers, which, considering their competition, is an impressive status indeed.

An Excellent Entry Into The Swiss Watch Market

For those eager to dip their toes into the prestigious waters of the Swiss watch market without breaking the bank, Tissot offers a world of choice. Renowned as a respected Swiss watch manufacturer, Tissot strikes a harmonious balance between affordability and quality, making it an excellent entry point for watch enthusiasts.

While Swiss watches are often associated with lofty price tags that rival the altitude of the mountains among which they are made, Tissot offers some refreshing alternatives. Their commitment to accessibility without compromising craftsmanship has earned them a special place in the hearts of aspiring horological connoisseurs. So many people I know started their watch collections with a Tissot, and many still love their first ticker as much as the others that now occupy their watch boxes.

Tissot’s competitive pricing does not mean skimping on essential components or cutting corners in production. Each Tissot timepiece bears the mark of Swiss excellence, meticulously assembled with fine materials and driven by reliable movements. Make no mistake – Tissot watches still possess the DNA of the Swiss watchmaking tradition.

A Variety Of Watch Designs And Types

Tissot understands that watch enthusiasts are a diverse bunch with varying tastes and preferences, and they cater to this with an impressive array of watch designs and types that ensure no wrist is left wanting.

Whether your heart beats faster for a classic dress watch or a rugged sports companion, Tissot has got you covered. The Tissot Visodate, a timeless icon with its clean dial and vintage-inspired charm, or the Tissot Le Locle, a tasteful tribute to their Swiss heritage with elegant details and refined aesthetics, are two examples of the brand’s more dressy offerings.

However, if you’re a lover of the outdoors or a sports enthusiast, Tissot’s sporty pieces, such as the T-Race or Seastar, are bound to capture your attention. Bold and dynamic chronographs and robust dive watches are among the vast lexicon of Tissot horology and provide stunningly affordable technicality in a world of bank-breaking timepieces.

Value For Money

With their unwavering commitment to functionality, materials, build quality, and designs, Tissot watches are a compelling alternative to their more expensive counterparts. For the seasoned collector, this may not sound like enough reason to get into the brand, but for green-eared newbies, Tissot has become a bastion of realism and opportunity.

When it comes to materials and build quality, Tissot holds nothing back. Their watches exude an air of sophistication that belies their accessible price points. From stainless steel to ceramic and sapphire crystals to intricate dials, Tissot delivers quality that lasts and projects a definite sense of dignity while doing so.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find watches in the sub-$1000 price range that can rival a Tissot. Yes, you might look at Longines or Hamilton for comparable prices, but I can almost guarantee that you’ll be relatively starved for choice. Few other mid-range brands, aside from our Japanese friends at Seiko and Citizen, have as vast and impressive an array of watches as Tissot.

Swiss-Made Movements

When it comes to the beating heart of a watch, you can be sure of one thing – Tissot would have been laughed out of Switzerland long ago if they cut corners on their movements. They understand this, and that’s why their timepieces all contain Swiss-made movements, epitomizing accuracy and reliability.

The craftsmanship and precision that go into these movements set them apart from their non-Swiss counterparts, elevating the quality of Tissot watches to impressive heights. The superiority of Swiss-made movements lies in the combination of artistry and engineering.

Each movement is a symphony of gears, springs, and jewels orchestrated to create a harmonious dance of timekeeping. The result is a horological masterpiece that not only measures the passage of time but also represents the pinnacle of mechanical craftsmanship.

One has to be realistic, though – a $600 watch’s movement is never likely to be as accurate as that of a $30,000 timepiece. That’s life. While there’s little advantage in comparing Tissot and Patek Philippe’s movements, what can be said is that for your money, the movement of a Tissot is likely the best you’ll find outside of Japan. And with the Japanese leading the charge in pioneering watch technologies, that’s really saying something.

Most Notable Tissot Watch Collections

Tissot has cemented its reputation as a brand that marries Swiss precision with captivating designs at digestible price points. As prospective buyers navigate the world of Tissot watches, several collections will stand out. The PRX collection, with its sleek integrated bracelet and contemporary allure, offers something a bit edgier in its modernity. 

The Gentleman collection, on the other hand, captures a sense of timelessness – refined designs and sophisticated finishes ensure this. For those with a taste for adventure, the Seastar collection combines rugged durability with nautical-inspired design elements. 

Meanwhile the Heritage collection, my personal favorite if only for its variety, pays homage to Tissot’s illustrious past, reviving vintage designs for the current collector. Last but certainly not least, the Le Locle collection captures the essence of Swiss watchmaking tradition, showcasing exquisite craftsmanship and ageless appeal.

Tissot PRX

Tissot PRX

Designed to make a bold statement on the wrists of trendsetters, the PRX collection offers a harmonious blend of style and functionality. Available in both quartz and automatic variations, this collection caters to individual preferences, with different sizes and an array of captivating colors to choose from.

For those seeking a touch of sportiness, the PRX collection even includes a chronograph version, the PRX Automatic Chronograph, which is perfect for timing life’s more exhilarating moments. With an integrated bracelet, the PRX exudes a sleek and cohesive design, but more importantly, it’s comfortable. For those who love a bit of flash, there’s a yellow-gold PVD-coated option, and for everyone else, scores of stainless steel iterations are available with a multitude of dial colors. 

Choose from either the Powermatic 80.111 automatic or the quartz ETA F06.115 movement, both of which provide more accuracy than you’ll ever need. The PRX range is slim, sexy, and piercing, speaking to the soul of the contemporary fashionista with such success that the company has had to limit sales on its website just to keep up with demand.

Tissot Gentleman

Tissot Gentleman

If you feel at home in a suit or at a high-end dinner party but don’t necessarily want to spend many thousands of dollars on a wristwatch, the Tissot Gentleman Collection is here for you. These watches are more than mere accessories; they are a statement of refined taste and sophistication and while they won’t often be the fanciest watch in a crowd, they will compliment any cuff you wear them under. 

Available on both a bracelet and a soft leather strap, Tissot’s Gentleman can be as formal as you need. One standout within the collection is the open-heart watch, which proudly showcases the intricate inner workings of the timepiece. Moreover, for those seeking a touch of opulence, the Gentleman Collection even offers two-tone versions, some with 18K gold bezels, which seamlessly blend stainless steel with warm gold tones. 

Most of the Gentleman watches come with automatic movements, which somehow just feels right – quartz hardly says ‘dress up’ to me. A favorite of mine in this collection is the Powermatic 80 Silicium, with a 40mm stainless steel case, date window, 3-link bracelet, and crosshair lines on an indexed green dial. It’s subtle yet proud, and for $795, it simply cannot be overlooked.

Tissot Seastar

Tissot Seastar

What about a watch for divers? Enter the Tissot Seastar Collection. Crafted with the spirit of the sea in mind, these tickers are purpose-built for those who are after water-borne thrills. With a range of classic and sporty designs, the Seastar Collection caters to both the style-conscious diver and the daring adventurer. 

Although you’d expect a more technical watch, such as a diver, to command a higher premium, that’s not the case with the Seastar range. The collection’s most expensive watch currently available is the Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 GMT, which is priced a smidge higher than all of its sub-$1000 peers due to the complexity of its 4-handed movement. 

Most of the Seastar range watches go for somewhere between $375 and $575, and despite this, they look and feel like genuinely hardy tool watches – big bezels, crown guards, ISO certificates, lumed hands, and sporty straps all come together to convince buyers that these aren’t play-play pieces. They’re arguably the most reliable and hard-wearing timers in their price range.

Tissot Heritage

Tissot Heritage

The assortment of timepieces that is the Tissot’s Heritage collection is something to be excited about. This collection stands as a testament to the brand’s dedication to preserving the beauty of bygone eras while infusing them with contemporary flair.

These watches exhibit a delightful fusion of intricate detailing and minimalist aesthetics, each capturing the essence of different historical periods. From the classic charm of the Visodate Powermatic 80 – clean dial, sharp hands, and vintage allure – to the racy boldness of the Heritage 1973 chronograph, this collection truly offers something for everyone. 

Most of these watches have an open caseback, through which movements such as the Telemeter’s updated Valjoux A05.231 automatic can be viewed, and I believe everyone should afford themselves the opportunity to at least take a look at one of these. If you’re after a timepiece that straddles the line between antiquity and novelty with technical aplomb, look no further than the Heritage collection.

Tissot Le Locle

Tissot Le Locle

Le Locle, a name that resonates with a legacy of distinction, is a testament to Tissot’s commitment to the art of horology. Not only does the name denote Tissot’s ancestral abode, nestled amidst the majestic Swiss Jura Mountains – it also groups together a revered lineage of automatic timepieces known and respected worldwide. 

These fantastic watches embody a captivating grace, adorned with refined, old-world embellishments like Roman numerals, guilloche dials, and the iconic Le Locle insignia, all exuding a subtle air of majesty.

Primarily focused on a demure dress style, many of which are women’s watches, the Le Locle Collection caters to those who desire modesty but appreciate panache. Each watch within the collection proudly showcases Tissot’s expertise in automatic movements – there are no quartz options here – and these movements are visible behind specially-engraved semi-open casebacks unique to the Le Locle Collection.

Do Tissot Watches Hold Their Value?

Like many other mid-range watch brands, Tissot tries to cover a reasonably broad price spectrum, catering to both the budget-conscious and those seeking a touch of luxury. With that being said, their most expensive watch will run you roughly $3500, while their cheapest costs a mere $250.

It’s a price playground for every kid. While no crystal ball can guarantee investment success, Tissot’s reputation is worth something, and their watches certainly aren’t poorly built. 

Of course, appreciation can vary across models, but Tissot’s blend of affordability, heritage, and refined aesthetics can be a recipe for enduring value. Gold models such as the Excellence Atomic 18K will likely carry their worth forward more than entry-level Tissots, so if you’re after a Tissot that you hope to sell for a decent wedge later on, your best bet is to throw down good money from the get-go. Don’t expect to sell a $300 watch for $250 after five years of wear, and you’ll be OK.

Should You Buy A Tissot Watch?

To Tissot or not to Tissot, that is the question. Let’s weigh the pros and cons. On the positive side, Tissot offers an enticing blend of Swiss heritage, impeccable craftsmanship, and diverse designs. Their watches cater to various budgets, with Swiss-made movements ensuring precision. Moreover, some of their timepieces often hold their value over time.

However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Tissot, for all of its gifts, simply does not have the exclusivity of other luxury brands. Furthermore, despite my exaltations about the build quality of their watches, with a Tissot in one hand and an Omega in the other, the difference becomes blatantly obvious.

Additionally, their entry-level models may lack the same level of refinement as their higher-end counterparts, but that’s just the way it goes. Ultimately, purchasing a Tissot watch rests on your priorities, budget, and taste. If you’re after a Swiss watch on a budget, a Tissot may be your best bet for the quality or bragging rights alone.

Tissot – Great Watches, To A Point

This is the part, I suppose, where I should answer the title question with an emphatic “Yes!”. While I could do that, I won’t. Not because Tissots aren’t any good but because they’re not so good that they deserve emotional outpourings (except for a couple of watches in the Heritage collection).

These watches are, for the most part, just fine. Good enough to measure the time without being stubbornly inaccurate or offensively ugly. Most Tissots look nice enough to wear to any occasion (just don’t expect any wide-eyed compliments) and work well enough to keep you on time, day in and day out.

With Tissot’s reputation and past, you’re really paying for more than the metal and leather that’ll sit on your wrist. You’re buying into a slice of horological history. The best part about any watch is getting to know it  – who made it, why it looks the way it does, and what came before it. This is no different with Tissot. In fact, it’s arguably the reason why you should get one.

do tag heuer watches hold their value

TAG Heuer, the Swiss watchmaker renowned for entry-level excellence and a certain square racer, has etched its name in the annals of horology. Crafting timepieces that straddle the realms of tradition and innovation, TAG Heuer combines heritage with contemporary aesthetics, creating affordable luxury timepieces and wrist-bound marvels coveted by connoisseurs. 

But, beyond their exquisite craftsmanship and market appeal, I’ll be delving into the realm of investment here, where the long-term value of these watches reveals itself.

Drawing from a tapestry of industry knowledge and scrutiny of market trends, I’ll examine the characteristics that underpin TAG Heuer’s allure as an investment. From their long-standing reputation, impeccable build quality, and celebrated partnerships with motorsports and beyond, I’ll be exploring how the various factors of TAG Heuer timepieces intertwine to shape their value.

About TAG Heuer Watches

With a heritage steeped in horological superiority, this Swiss brand has been crafting exceptional timepieces since its inception in 1860. TAG Heuer’s story begins with Edouard Heuer, a visionary watchmaker who had an uncanny ability to push the boundaries of chronometric innovation in his time. Heuer’s relentless pursuit of accuracy led to groundbreaking developments, including the invention of the oscillating pinion in 1887, a revolutionary mechanism still used in mechanical chronographs today.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some of TAG’s most iconic and renowned watches. The Monaco, introduced in 1969, became an instant classic with its bold square case and avant-garde design. If you like it, you love it, and if you don’t, you can’t stand it. Such is the power of the Monaco.

Thanks to its association with Steve McQueen through his iconic role in the film “Le Mans,” the Monaco has become a symbol of racing heritage and timeless style. The Carrera is another notable timepiece that has captured the imagination of watch enthusiasts worldwide. Launched in 1963, the Carrera embodied Heuer’s passion for motorsports. 

Its sleek design, legible dial, and robust chronograph functionality made it a favorite among racing aficionados and watch connoisseurs alike. Given that it’s generally not a bank-busting watch (although it can be, depending on certain variables), the Carrera is still one of TAG’s most successful releases to date.

What might be clear at this point is that TAG Heuer’s enduring partnerships with motorsports have played a pivotal role in shaping its identity. From the Monaco’s association with the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix to the Carrera’s deep ties with the exhilarating world of Formula 1, TAG Heuer’s watches embody the spirit of speed, precision, and high-performance engineering.

In an industry where tradition meets innovation, TAG Heuer does a good job of combining the best of both worlds. Their ability to honor their horological legacy while pushing the boundaries of technology is a testament to their exceptional craftsmanship and forward-thinking mindset. 

Whether you’re a racing enthusiast, a connoisseur of fine timepieces, or simply someone who appreciates the artistry that goes into watchmaking, TAG Heuer offers an unrivaled experience, particularly in terms of value for money. Let’s look at whether that value holds over time, though…

What Makes Luxury Watches Hold Their Value?

Like most watch nerds, I’m interested in unraveling the intricacies of timepiece investments, so I’ve taken it upon myself to dissect TAG’s value over time and shed light on the factors that contribute to value retention in their creations. This can be spread over a few key areas:

Brand Recognition: The Pillar of Prestige

When it comes to luxury watches, brand recognition reigns supreme. Renowned watchhouses with a storied history and a legacy of excellence often command higher prices and retain their value over time. Brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet have established themselves as stalwarts of luxury horology, and their timepieces consistently exhibit strong resale value, partly as a result of this.

The prestige associated with these brands stems from a combination of factors, including a commitment to impeccable craftsmanship, rigorous quality control, and a rich heritage that resonates with collectors and enthusiasts. TAG Heuer has been around for a long time, and few people are able to say they’ve never heard of the brand, in all honesty. 

This is where it gets curious, though – despite TAG’s ubiquity as a brand name in high-end watchmaking, their reputation doesn’t inspire as much consumer confidence as most of their Swiss peers. Perhaps this is because TAG Heuer is generally considered less luxurious than the aforementioned brands, if only subconsciously, despite their horological breakthroughs and pioneering designs.

The price point has something to do with that – most TAG watches cost far less than even mid-range Rolexes, excluding them from the perceived upper echelons of watchmaking by dint of the fact that they’re cheaper.

Iconic Design: Transcending Trends

Beyond brand recognition, striking design plays a pivotal role in maintaining the value of luxury watches. Timepieces that boast enduring aesthetics, free from fleeting trends, tend to hold their value more effectively. These designs encapsulate a harmonious blend of form and function, standing the test of time.

Consider the elegance of the Rolex Submariner, with its iconic Oyster case and robust construction. Or the enduring appeal of the Patek Philippe Nautilus, characterized by its distinctive porthole-inspired design. These watches possess a visual language that transcends passing fads, ensuring their desirability remains intact, generation after generation.

TAG Heuer’s Monaco is a great example of this, as are a few of the brand’s vintage offerings (which we’ll get to later). The Monaco virtually cordoned off the square watch market upon release, and to this day, there’s not a square watch article you’ll find worth its salt that doesn’t mention at least one iteration of the quadrilateral ticker. Safe to say, it’s a high-selling piece for TAG, and it certainly has better value retention than many of their other models.

Rarity: Owning The Unattainable

The principle of supply and demand holds true in the world of luxury watches, where scarcity often begets value. Limited editions, discontinued models, or watches with unique complications inherently possess an allure that appeals to collectors and investors. We want what we can’t have, and once we have it, everyone else wants it more.

Limited production runs, such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore LeBron James, or vintage timepieces like the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, are highly sought after due to their exclusivity and rarity. The finite nature of these watches creates a sense of urgency among enthusiasts, driving prices upward and ensuring their value remains resilient.

Additionally, the presence of rare complications, such as tourbillons or minute repeaters, adds to the desirability and value retention of luxury watches. These intricate mechanisms require exceptional skill and expertise to manufacture, making them highly coveted among connoisseurs who appreciate the mastery behind their creations.

Do TAG Heuer Watches Hold Their Value?

When it comes to brand recognition, TAG Heuer stands tall, having carved a prominent niche in the industry since its founding in 1860. While it’s true that most TAG Heuer watches don’t hold their value as well as some of their luxury counterparts, the brand’s iconic models have proven to be exceptions to the rule. 

Take, for instance, the legendary Monaco. This bold and distinctive timepiece exhibits stronger value retention compared to other TAG Heuer models, new or old. Look a bit closer, and you’ll notice that special iterations of the Monaco, such as the 18k gold reference CW5140, retain their value far better than others and, indeed, are bonafide horological gems among collectors. 

With that being said, true collectors are movement geeks, and the simple fact that TAG Heuer outsources its movements is one that definitely detracts from the brand’s overall reputation and, consequently, from the long-term value of their watches.

In terms of watch design, TAG Heuer has established a reputation for creating timepieces that blend classic elegance with contemporary flair. Their commitment to striking aesthetics contributes to the allure of their watches but is that enough for the aftermarket in a world where good-looking watches are more accessible than ever? 

While not all models share the same value retention, those with enduring classic designs, like the Carrera 1153B (known as the Jagger – you guess why) and the Autavia, have shown a better track record in retaining their value over time.

TAG Heuer’s limited editions and discontinued models tend to generate greater demand among collectors, bolstering their value. For example, the TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf Special Edition has become a sought-after timepiece due to its scarcity and unparalleled aesthetic elements. Likewise, the Autavia CBE2114 collaboration with Calibre 11, being a model that evokes musings of the Daytona, still fetches a pretty penny.

It is worth noting that while some TAG Heuer watches may experience depreciation in value, others exhibit a stronger hold. Vintage Heuer models, particularly those from the 1960s and 1970s, have benefitted from an upward trajectory in value appreciation due to their historical significance and collector appeal.

Important to note, however, is the fact that many of the rarest watches under the TAG umbrella were made when the brand was just ‘Heuer’, before TAG’s 1985 takeover. While not all TAG Heuer watches hold their value, as well as some luxury counterparts, the brand’s iconic models and vintage pieces have demonstrated stronger value retention.

The Monaco, Carrera, and Autavia stand out as examples of watches that generally hold their value better within the TAG Heuer lineup. With this being said, I wouldn’t recommend many TAG Heuer watches to someone looking for a timepiece as an investment.

Do TAG Heuer Watches Appreciate In Value?

Given that TAG Heuer is, despite the hate, a distinguished Swiss watchmaker with a rich heritage, it’s understandable why the brand has captured the hearts of enthusiasts and casual wearers alike. While watches made by some luxury watch brands have gained a reputation for being expensive investments, the story for TAG Heuer watches is slightly different.

Unlike those of certain haute horologists, TAG Heuer’s watches generally do not experience substantial appreciation in value. They are often considered entry-level luxury watches designed to be accessible and enjoyed by a wider audience. TAG takes pride in this, and they know what they’re doing. Remember – to the company, the aftermarket means little.

They make their bread on the factory floor, so while their watches may not appreciate in value over time, this fact says little about the quality and aptitude of TAG Heuer’s tickers. One factor to consider when assessing the investment potential of TAG Heuer watches is the brand’s iconic models.

Previously mentioned models, be they vintage or off-the-rack, have achieved cult status among collectors, and their value has seen some appreciation over time. The enduring appeal of these models, along with their historical significance and unique designs, contributes to their desirability in the market.

Furthermore, limited editions and special collaborations can be worth exploring for potential investment opportunities. TAG Heuer has released limited-run watches tied to significant events or partnerships, and their scarcity can drive up demand and, subsequently, value. 

However, it is essential to conduct thorough research and assess the market dynamics before considering such timepieces as investment assets. The Jo Siffert Carrera is a good example in this category, as are many of the Heuer chronographs from the ‘40s and ‘50s, particularly those made from precious metals.

When it comes to investing in watches, it’s crucial to approach the endeavor from a well-informed perspective. The luxury watch market is subject to various factors of change, including shifting trends, brand reputation, and consumer preferences.

While TAG Heuer watches may not offer the same level of appreciation as some high-end luxury brands, they can still provide their owners joy, style, and craftsmanship. Furthermore, some of TAG Heuer’s newer watches, many of which include high-tech materials and intricate movements, may project greater value appreciation in decades to come.

The current state of the TAG aftermarket doesn’t necessarily determine what it will look like in 10 years.
Ultimately, whether a TAG Heuer watch proves to be a good investment depends on one’s goals and expectations. If you’re seeking substantial appreciation in value right now, there are certainly other brands that present more favorable opportunities.

What About Vintage TAG Heuer Watches?

Vintage watches inhabit a world of their own. A place where style and technology transcend generations for the sake of timelessness. When it comes to vintage TAG Heuer watches, the story takes a captivating turn.

The vintage Carrera and Monaco models, born during the era when TAG Heuer was still Heuer, hold a special place in the hearts of watch connoisseurs. These iconic timepieces showcase the brand’s pioneering spirit, pushing boundaries with their forward-thinking design and engineering prowess. 

The Carrera, with its clean lines and race-inspired aesthetic, became an instant classic. The Monaco competes only with Cartier’s Tank for the title of ‘Most Recognisable Square Watch Of All Time’. 

These vintage Heuer watches not only embody an era of horological innovation but has also proven to be lucrative investments. As the market for vintage watches continues to grow, collectors seek out such coveted timepieces, driving up their value. Heuer’s Triple Date Chronograph and Carerra 2448S are great representations of how the brand’s vintage watches have held their luster and financial appeal over decades.

However, venturing into the world of vintage watches requires a discerning eye and a comprehensive understanding of the market. Factors such as condition, authenticity, and provenance play a crucial role in determining the value of a vintage TAG Heuer timepiece. 

Thorough research, consultation with experts, and a keen sense of rarity can help identify the hidden gems among the vintage offerings. If you’re not willing to put in some work to ensure the veracity of your purchase, it’s highly likely that you’ll end up with a vintage TAG that’s worth less than what you paid, so be vigilant and above all, patient.

TAG Heuer – A Final Evaluation

In the realm of horological investments, the value retention of TAG Heuer watches may not rival some high-end luxury brands. However, certain models, such as the iconic Monaco, Carrera, and limited editions, have shown the potential for better value retention. While TAG Heuer watches offer accessible luxury and contemporary designs, it is important to approach them as an investment with realistic expectations. 

Vintage TAG Heuer watches, especially those from the era when the brand was known as Heuer, have witnessed a surge in value appreciation, becoming hidden gems sought after by collectors. Ultimately, the value of a TAG Heuer watch extends beyond monetary gains, encompassing the craftsmanship, design, and personal enjoyment it brings to its owner.

rolex batman vs batgirl

Whether you’re a Marvel or a DC fan (or not into comic book heroes at all), you will have undoubtedly come across Rolex’s iconic Batman and Batgirl watches on your horological adventures. 

These two GMT Master II models, which are the ultimate Rolex tribute to the Dark Knight and his bold feminine counterpart, have definitively colored black and blue bezels that can be spotted miles away by even the least-keen eye. Thus, they’ve become polarising components of the watch world. 

While both models share some similarities, their intricacies set them apart. While the Batman exudes masculinity with its black and blue bezel, the Batgirl is a stunning representation of a slightly softer approach to the timepiece. Let’s explore the nuances of each watch and find out which one is the right match for you.

The Dark Knight Timer – The Rolex Batman

The Batman, as the name suggests, pays homage to the iconic comic book character and his signature colors of black and blue. Now, it should be noted that this isn’t Rolex’s intention, but rather (like all nicknames applied to Rolex watches), the Batman moniker is the result of the public’s reaction to the watch. After all, a superhero name is far catchier than a reference number…

This particular version of the GMT Master II (1167010BLNR) was first introduced in 2013 and became a fast favorite amongst watch collectors and enthusiasts. It quickly turned into one of Rolex’s most sought-after watches due to its unique color scheme and functionality.

As mentioned, the standout feature of the Batman is its bi-directional rotating bezel, which is crafted from scratch-resistant ceramic and has a 24-hour display, lending credence to the GMT functionality of the watch. 

The black and blue combination is relentlessly striking, and the stark blue color is achieved using Rolex’s patented Cerachrom technology. The Cerachrom bezel is not only incredibly durable but also retains its color and shine over decades (perhaps even centuries), adding to the unit’s overall value and collector appeal.

The original Batman was powered by Rolex’s in-house Calibre 3186 movement, which is COSC-certified and ensures exceptional accuracy. The watch also has a power reserve of approximately 48 hours, making it reliable and practical for everyday wear but perhaps not perfect for a swap-out watch that you’ll slip on once a week (unless you’ve got a watch winder, which you should have).

Thanks to its GMT function, Rolex’s GMT Master II range is perfect for globetrotters who frequent different time zones, and it’s equally appealing to collectors who appreciate the unique color combination and the insinuated Batman theme. 

Although, I think that most people who buy this watch will do so because it’s a higher-end Rolex model with some edge, by way of its hues, that will speak to the personal tastes of prospective buyers, as opposed to the average watch enthusiast looking for a ‘walk around’ watch. Make no mistake, this isn’t a watch for everyone, regardless of how thick your wallet may be. The Batman requires – or demands – a certain degree of panache from its owner.

Queen of the Cave – The Rolex Batgirl

Rolex opened the curtain on the GMT Master II Batgirl 126710BLNR in 2019 and, in doing so, reinvigorated the Batman’s popularity in the luxury market in a way that few people could have predicted. And all this from what was ostensibly just a movement update and bracelet swap on an old darling of modern horology. 

Given that the Batgirl is practically identical to the Batman, except for a few very minor differences, which I’ll get to later, one could be forgiven for wondering why so much fuss has been made about this model at all.

Well, there are two reasons to be excited about the Batgirl, with the more obvious being its Jubilee bracelet, a five-link metal bracelet introduced in 1945 to celebrate Rolex’s 40th anniversary. The Jubilee bracelet adds a touch of elegance and femininity to the watch, making it perfect for women who appreciate both the technical and aesthetic aspects of a timepiece and for men who are after something that balances strength and sensitivity.

The second major update to the more recent BLNR GMT Master II is the movement. In place of the 3186 Calibre, Rolex rolled out their all-new, in-house Calibre 3285 movement, which is obviously also COSC-certified, offering all of the reliability and precision of its predecessor, with an increased power reserve of approximately 70 hours. 

This added functionality certainly warrants the release hype of the Batgirl, as does the fact that its bracelet moves it into an entirely new design paradigm. However, what inherent meaning does an all-new name designation for such a release hold, and what are the other comparative advantages of the latest iteration of the GMT Master II BLNR over the original release?

Batman Vs Batgirl – Who Should Win a Place on Your Arm?

I have an admission to make – the title of this article creates the impression that only two watches are being compared here, and while that is mostly true, it’s not technically the whole truth. In fact, there are officially three versions of the GMT Master II BLNR timepiece, and although we’ll be honing in on the two main players, there is a third contender that will sneak under the radar from time to time. 

The watch I’m referring to is the latest release of the Batman, which is in every way identical to the original but with an updated movement that matches the Batgirl’s internal workings. Bear that in mind moving forward – when I refer to the ‘original’ Batman, I’m talking about a watch that was manufactured from 2013 to 2019. Now, with that out of the way, let’s get into some detailed comparisons between our two leads.


It doesn’t take a superhero to crack open the case of the Batman and the Batgirl’s shared features. From even a cursory glance, it’s all too apparent that these models have several characteristics in common, namely their 40mm Oystersteel cases and the GMT function (which is denoted by the extra, large-arrow-tipped hand), as well as the half-and-half, black and blue 24-hour bezel. 

The bezel is complemented by a black dial, which features luminescent markers and hands, a running seconds hand, and a date window that lies below Rolex’s signature Cyclops lens. Both cases are made of 904L Oystersteel, which meets the flat sapphire crystal glass with a degree of accuracy that makes the fissure almost imperceptible.

The GMT Master II BLNR, however, received some major updates upon its (re)release in 2019, which saw the watch unveiled on Rolex’s slightly less masculine, far more dressy jubilee bracelet, a five-link binding with polished central links that is a polarising contrast to the sporty professionalism of the GMT Master II watch itself. 

Although many people may be fans of the jubilee bracelet as a standalone item, or especially as the fastening on other well-known and perhaps more fitting Rolex models such as the ever-sexy Day-Date, I can’t help but feel as though the Batman’s Oyster bracelet is a more appropriate partner for this watch. 

There’s something about its simple, unaffected robustness that contributes a great deal of vigor to the entire package without detracting at all from the main focal points of the case. Unlike the Jubilee, the 3-link Oyster bracelet demands no attention for itself, happily and dutifully directing all audiences towards its master’s face.

However, one thing to be said for the case of the Jubilee is the unavoidable truth that it is a more comfortable bracelet. Perhaps that’s all that’s needed to convince you of its necessity. Thus the Batgirl is, without a doubt, more easy-wearing than her masculine predecessor, which means a great deal to frequent flyers who would buy this watch for its intended GMT use.


The (original) Rolex Batman is run by the Calibre 3186 movement, which is a self-winding mechanical movement that has been in production since 2005. This movement features Rolex’s usual suspects on sports watches, including but not limited to a Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers, enhancing the watch’s accuracy and durability. 

It should be said that Rolex’s proprietary Parachrom hairspring is not only anti-magnetic and more resistant to temperature changes but also roughly 10 times more accurate than traditional hairsprings when shocked. These are geeky stats that beg to be flaunted.

Being a GMT movement, it also features a 24-hour hand, which can be independently set from the main time display to track a second timezone. With 31 jewels and a running frequency of 4Hz or 28,800 vibrations per hour, time runs smoothly on the dial of Batman, and I can’t say that I’d want much more from a movement than what one gets from the 3186. 

Since 2015, every Rolex GMT Master II watch has been equipped with the Calibre 3285, which ensures a precision rating of -2/+2 seconds per day. This accuracy level is twice as rigorous as the parameters set by the COSC for a mechanical chronometer wristwatch. 

This is one of the upsides available with the Batgirl, the other being its extended power supply – compared to the Batman’s (rather generous) 48-hour backup, the 3285 movement boasts an ample 70-hour reserve, meaning you’ll likely never have to worry about running out of juice. 

The 3285 also features a Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers but has been further improved with a new Chronergy escapement, which is responsible for the aforementioned increased reserve.

Both the Calibre 3186 and Calibre 3285 movements are manufactured entirely in-house by Rolex and are COSC certified, ensuring their accuracy and precision. The Calibre 3186 movement has a long history and has been featured in many iconic Rolex models, including the GMT Master II and the Explorer II but has now been entirely phased out of production by Rolex to be replaced by the more efficient Calibre 3285 movement. 

Make no mistake – while the 3186 and 3285 movements share some similarities, the latter is a more advanced and refined version. It stands to be said, though, that both movements are a testament to Rolex’s excellence in their field and that anyone fortunate enough to wear either should thank the gods of horology every day for their luck.

Price & Availability

Both the Rolex Batman and Rolex Batgirl are highly sought-after models, and as such, they can be difficult to come by. These watches have a retail price of around $9,700 (the Jubilee bracelet is a touch more expensive), but due to their popularity, they can often be found selling for much higher prices on the secondary market. More on this shortly. 

As with almost all new Rolex watches, it will require a great deal of patience, luck, or both, to obtain a new Batman or Batgirl from the Rolex factory. Like the GMT Master II ‘Pepsi’, another fan-favorite among collectors, the Batman and Batgirl iterations of this watch are highly sought after, and thus, waitlists for a new BLNR timepiece can run up to 2 years.

Let that settle in, and remember that only the most special kind of desire is capable of transcending a 24-month wait. Thankfully, Rolex recently launched an aftermarket program that allows customers to purchase used watches directly from the brand. This is an excellent (and sensible) option for those who want to ensure they get a genuine timepiece under warranty without waiting an eternity to do so.

However, the program often has limited availability of certain models and isn’t accessible across the globe, so bear that in mind. If you’re interested in buying a second-hand Batman or Batgirl, prices can vary widely based on the watch’s condition, age, and rarity.

The first-release Batman with its original box and papers up to anywhere from $17,000 to $22,000, depending on its condition and service history. A second-hand Batgirl can be found for roughly the same amount.

Value Retention & Investment

This may be the section that many of you scrolled down to read, and in this economy, who could blame you? It’s no secret that luxury watches are being purchased more and more as investments as opposed to just being rewarding accessories or status symbols. 

It’s also almost a given that Rolex stands shoulder-to-shoulder with a glaringly small amount of watchmakers at the tip of the investment needle (I won’t use the word ‘pyramid’, for obvious reasons) in terms of manufacturing iconic watches that not only retain their value but increase in value, sometimes exponentially, over time. 

Both the Batman and the Batgirl have shown impressive value retention over the years, which contributes greatly to the excessive demand for them on the secondary market. The Batman, with its striking black and blue bezel, was officially priced at under $10,000 upon its 2013 release and now goes for an average of about $18,000. 

Although to get an unworn 116710BLNR, you’d be more likely to pay around $20,000 – more than double the original listing price. The Batman’s relative rarity, combined with its popularity, has made it a desirable item for collectors, resulting in prices significantly higher than its original retail price.

The Batgirl, released in 2019, is a newer model and hasn’t been on the market for as long as the Batman. However, it has shown signs of ridiculously strong value retention, with prices on the secondary market already coming in at approximately twice Rolex’s official asking price. 

Given that the luxury watch market has grown rapidly over recent years, this is no surprise. Coupled with the scarcity of new Rolex models due to the global supply-chain issues with which we’re all too familiar, the Batgirl is kicking proverbial ass on the investment front and indeed, if you’d bought one in 2019, you’d be able to sell that and, provided you’ve got the patience of a monk, afford two new BLNR models with your profits.

Ultimately, when it comes to investing in watches, it’s important to consider the rarity, condition, and history of each piece. Both the Batman and the Batgirl are excellent investments due to their popularity and limited production. 

However, it’s important to note that the value of any investment can fluctuate and that there are never any guarantees – we’re looking at a rather volatile market, comparatively speaking. No one knows when the taste for these watches could diminish enough to negatively affect their prices, but I, for one, still think that now more than ever, a professional Rolex is a great investment, especially as it looks much better than a government bond.

Other Notable Rolex GMT Master II Models

I’ve seen some incredible timepieces in my day, but few hold a candle to the casually sporty Rolex GMT Master II. A true icon in the world of horology, it’s beloved by collectors and enthusiasts alike. 

It’s only right, therefore, that we take a quick look at some of the most notable Rolex GMT Master II watches, each of which has as storied and intriguing a history as the BLNR range of timepieces that we’ve been looking at here.

Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi”

Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi (ref. 126710BLRO)

The ‘Pepsi’ GMT Master II is a timeless classic that has become an icon of the Rolex brand. With its signature blue and red bezel, this ultra-recognizable piece is a nod to the brand’s aviation heritage. 

As with all current GMT Master II watches, it’s powered by the 3285, with a -2/+2 seconds per day rating. Originally designed for pilots in the 1950s, the GMT Master II became a favorite among travelers and adventurers alike. Today, the Rolex Pepsi GMT Master II is considered one of the most desirable watches in the world.

Rolex GMT Master II “Root Beer”

Rolex’s ‘Root Beer’ GMT Master II is the only watch here to be released in more than one color variant under the same name, with the 126711CHNR being a graphic step away from its predecessors, whose bezels were brown and gold, as opposed to the newer Root Beer’s black and brown bezel. 

The watch was first introduced in the 1970s and has undergone several updates and revisions over the years. The Root Beer GMT Master II is a versatile watch that can be worn in various settings, from the boardroom to the beach. Its somewhat unconventional color scheme makes it an acquired taste, but given its popularity, Rolex knew something we didn’t from the very beginning of the Root Beer’s tenure on their roster.

Rolex GMT Master II “Sprite”

Rolex GMT Master II “Sprite"

Rolex introduced the latest addition to the GMT Master II lineup, the ‘Sprite’, in 2022. This GMT wristwatch has the same black dial as the rest of the family, coupled with a striking green and black bezel, both quintessential colors in the Rolex palette.

Despite the novelty pairing of these colors on a bezel, that’s not the focus of the Rolex fan club’s fevered attention. It’s this: the Sprite GMT Master II is the Swiss giant’s first left-handed timepiece. Not only has the crown been shifted to the opposite side, but the date window has also been moved.

The Sprite’s unconventional design has sparked a debate among Rolex enthusiasts, and we’ll see whether this is a trendsetter or the beginning and end of a quietly quirky idea. Whatever happens, you can’t hold it against Rolex for trying – lefties deserve good watches, too!

The Good Guys Win Again

In all honesty (yes, I know this sounds like quintessential fence-sitting), both the Rolex Batman and Batgirl are top-notch watches with visual appeal that no other timepiece can match. They’re strong, pinpoint-accurate, well-finished, and luxuriously fitting on any wrist.

It’s important to note that while these watches are widely coveted and, therefore, can be quite expensive, they also have a strong history of remaining expensive, which is good for your peace of mind and peace of…wallet. Ultimately, whether you’re a fan of the Dark Knight or the She-Bat, the Rolex GMT Master II BLNR range is an excellent choice for watch enthusiasts looking for a high-quality and stylish timepiece.

My personal preference is for the updated Batman 126710BLNR, but whether you choose the subtle arbiter of class on a Jubilee bracelet or the robustly sporty original, you’ll be bowled over by the unapologetic aesthetic and endless reliability of these watches.

the ultimate buyer's guide on vintage cartier watches

Cartier, a brand that needs no introduction, was founded in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier and quickly became a favorite among royalty and the wealthy elite. Over the years, Cartier has crafted absolute masterpieces – definitions of style and panache – adorned with gems, precious metals, and intricate designs.

Cartier’s signature style is unmistakable; elegant lines, clean designs, and iconic shapes. The brand’s most well-known watches, the Tank and the Santos are certified classics and are beloved among celebrities, royals, and aristocrats the world over. It’s a simple truth that one can’t think of a quadrilateral wristwatch without confronting the image of a Cartier.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore the history of Cartier, from its modest Parisian start to its modern-day stylistic dominance, delving into the intricacies of some of the brand’s vintage timepieces. Whether you are a seasoned collector or just beginning your journey into the world of vintage watches, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know.

From Pilots to Princesses – The Endless Allure of Cartier

Cartier watches have been worn by some of the most influential figures of the past century, from aviators to royalty. Cartier can make the stunning (and surprising) claim of having produced the first-ever dedicated pilot’s watch (more on that shortly) as well as having supplied multiple royals with suitably elegant timepieces. 

Princess Diana was a notable wearer of Cartier watches, whose enduring admiration for the humble Cartier Tank was a well-known aspect of her style. Another fan of the simple Tank, John F. Kennedy, could often be seen wearing his. Likewise, Madonna’s Panthere and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Santos are undoubtedly watches that speak to and for the character of their owners – uniquely stylistic pieces that combine classic design elements with modern innovation, resulting in an effortlessly enduring product. 

The only Cartier is, quite clearly, Cartier. Nothing else even comes close, and that’s why so many people have chosen the brand’s watches as their daily accompaniment for over a century.

A History of Cartier – The Tradition of Style

Cartier is one of the most respected and recognizable luxury brands in the world of watches, but it hasn’t always been so. Established in Paris in 1847, Cartier made its start as a bespoke jeweler under its founder, Louis-Francois Cartier, before eventually expanding into the world of high-end timepieces and, indeed, taking that world by storm thanks to the efforts of Louis’s enterprising grandchildren.

One of Cartier’s earliest and most famous watch designs is the Santos de Cartier, created in 1904 for the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. This innovative watch was designed to be worn while flying, with a leather strap that was more comfortable than the metal bracelets of the time. 

The Santos also featured a square case, which was a bold departure from the ubiquitous round cases of the early 20th century. This four-sided design ethos would carry forward to the present day as a signature element of Cartier’s most highly renowned watches. 

Shortly after creating the Santos wristwatch, Cartier signed an agreement with Edmond Jaeger (yes, that Jaeger) to supply all of the company’s movements exclusively. So began Cartier’s pursuit of commercial horological success, and in the 1920s, the company introduced another profoundly iconic watch. 

The Cartier Tank was inspired by a birds-eye perspective of the design of tanks in World War I and featured a clean, simple rectangular case that quickly became a symbol of sophistication, minimalism, and style. Over the years, the Tank has been updated and refined, but it remains one of the world’s most identifiable and enduring watch designs and a signature part of the Cartier catalog.

Cartier’s success was propelled almost exclusively by the Tank for years until the 1930s when the brand began considering different styles and designs inspired by the one-off creation of the first ‘Pasha’, a timepiece made for the Pasha of Marrakesh. Known for its oversized case, screw-down crown, and distinctive Arabic numerals, the Pasha became a symbol of luxury and sophistication upon its public release decades later, adding a dimension of boldness and unabashed charm to Cartier’s visual identity.

In the 1980s, Cartier introduced the ‘Panthere’ watch, a distinctly-80s women’s timepiece designed to capture the spirit of the brand’s iconic panther motif. The watch featured a square case with a diamond-set bezel and a flexible bracelet representing a panther’s agility and grace. The Panthere watch was a hit among discerning ladies and remains a pleasantly obscure favorite to this day.

Cartier has continued to innovate and push the boundaries of watch design in recent years, exploring new materials such as carbon fiber with great fanfare. However, the attraction of the brand’s flagship designs is still the driving force behind Cartier and certainly represents the ideal version of Cartier’s watches, hence why we’re focussing on the company’s vintage offerings here.

Notable Vintage Cartier Watches

Cartier Santos

Since its public release in 1911, seven years after Louis Cartier created the first model for his friend, Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Santos line has become a key part of Cartier’s catalog and may well be the brand’s most popular watch among men. 

Traditionally masculine features such as a square face and a prominent bezel are key attributes of the Santos. But, of course, Cartier has done things their way, rounding the edges of the case and creating a frame-like bezel with exposed screws. These subtle changes place the Santos in a singular realm of design; strong yet soft, conclusive yet fluid.

The most notable version of the Santos is the Cartier Santos Dumont, the longest-running iteration of the design and, thus, the closest to the original watch. These can be found with both quartz and automatic movements in steel, gold, and two-tone finishes. As with all the Santos variations, the Dumont looks best on a bracelet. Trust me.

Another strong contender for the most attractive vintage Santos is the Santos Galbee, which was released in the 1980s. Cartier’s response to the quartz crisis, the Galbee (which means ‘curved’ in French), is a touch more bowed than previous models, hugging the wrist with its slightly arching profile. For this reason, the Galbee is generally considered the most comfortable Santos, a claim I wholeheartedly agree with!

Cartier Tank

The Tank is quite obviously the most iconic member of the Cartier watch family. Its simple design and universal wearability make it a celebrated timepiece – a rectangular-shaped case, and gently rounded form have become definitive elements of horological culture since the Tank’s creation in 1917. 

The brancard case sides are not only frames for the dial but lugs as well, and it is this transition from frame to lug that defines the minimal personality of the Tank. Like most Cartier watches, the Tank is traditionally adorned with Roman numerals, so expect to see a lot of Xs and Vs during your search for the right one.

The Tank Louis Cartier was the second generation of this classic timepiece (the first being the Tank Normale) and, thus, remains a highly sought-after and respected watch that certainly has a place in every collection. 

The Must De Cartier Tank was introduced in the ‘70s as a more affordable entry into the brand, with either an ETA or quartz movement and a reductively plain face. Although the Tank Must can be found with a variety of dial designs, the single-colored variations are the most definitive of this model and, if you ask me, the most beautiful.

Finally, the Asymetrique is perhaps the most daring version of the Tank, having turned heads with its slanted appearance since 1936. The Asymetrique is certainly an acquired taste, given its off-center design, but this watch is an absolute icon in the world of fashion and haute horology.

Ronde De Cartier

What makes the Ronde De Cartier range different from most Cartier watches is obvious – these timepieces are round. The fact that, like most watches, the design of the Ronde case is circular doesn’t detract at all from the stark Cartier-ness of these tickers. 

The Cartier Ronde Must, a highly affordable steel design that’s available with either a quartz or automatic heart, is Cartier’s most approachable watch. Fret not – the dial, blue hands, and blue stone crown all define this watch as a Cartier, even if it doesn’t have four sides.

As with the Tank collection, there is a Ronde Louis Cartier, which represents a higher-end version of the Ronde Must, with an automatic movement, rose gold case, and blue sapphire crown. Like the Ronde Must, the Louis Cartier is available in altogether approachable sizes, with the most common being the 36mm.


First seen in a watercolor painting made for Louis Cartier in 1914 (which would go on to become Cartier’s main symbol), Cartier’s favorite cat would eventually (inevitably, some would say) lend its name to the brand’s seminal unisex release. Studded with diamonds and produced in smaller sizes, the Panthere line was unveiled in 1983 and represents the merging of Cartier’s jewelry and horological pursuits. 

Reminiscent of a smaller, more feminine Santos Dumont, the Panthere line is defined by a riveted, square bezel, Roman numerals, a faceted octagonal crown, and a five-piece link bracelet.

From its introduction, the Panthere was made available in 5 sizes, mini, small, medium, large, and jumbo. Note that although jumbo brings to mind images of building-sized trucks and human head-sized burgers, the Panthere Jumbo maxes out at a dainty 31mm. Hardly the wrist-eating watch that its size descriptor alludes to.

Although they’re available in steel and all-gold, it’s the two-tone Panthere that has caught the eyes and hearts of most Cartier enthusiasts, and I certainly think that the dual-metal finish is the most attractive. If you’re particularly interested in the Panthere and have some scratch to spend, look out for the coveted Moonphase model in 18k white gold – it’s one of the most gorgeous watches you’ll ever see.

Should You Buy a Vintage Cartier?

I know – it’s hard not to be captivated by the idea of a Cartier on the wrist of a cooler, classier version of you. But before you take the plunge and make a brash, costly purchase, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of buying a vintage watch.

On the one hand, vintage Cartiers are a testament to the brand’s history and heritage, given that they exhibit a unique charm that simply can’t be replicated by modern timepieces. They also often feature vintage movements made by some of the most talented watchmakers of the time, rendering them tangible vestiges of Cartier’s illustrious past.

However, these timepieces also come with their fair share of demerits. Being vintage means that whatever you’re buying will have been through years of wear (and tear), and it can be difficult to determine the true condition of an item without the help of an expert.

Additionally, many vintage Cartier watches will have been subtly modified or repaired by unauthorized hands over the years, which can greatly impact their value and authenticity. Ultimately, whether or not you should buy a vintage Cartier depends on your individual preferences and risk tolerance.

If you’re willing to take the time to research and verify the authenticity and condition of a vintage Cartier (which you should definitely do), it can be one of the most rewarding purchases you’ll ever make. However, if you’re not comfortable with the potential risks and uncertainties, it may be better to opt for a modern timepiece instead.

‘Old’ is the New ‘New’

Just as we know the sun rises in the morning, so too do we accept that no collection can be truly complete without a Cartier. With their timeless elegance and rich history, vintage Cartiers offer a uniquely storied glimpse into the world of luxury watchmaking. 

Although purchasing one requires careful consideration and research to ensure its authenticity and value, it’s a quest worth embarking on if you’re after an incomparable timepiece. After all, a Cartier never goes out of style.

best racing watches from affodrable to luxury

The relationship between timepieces and motorsport is undeniable. Racing watches not only capture the essence of speed and precision but also embody the spirit of adrenaline-fuelled competitions. From the roaring racetracks of yesteryear to the cutting-edge circuits of today, these timepieces have become cherished companions of drivers and enthusiasts alike.

I’ve scoured the horological landscape to curate a diverse selection of racing timers that caters to all budgets so that we can all indulge in some high-speed wrist fashion.

Changing Gears and Switching Lanes – About Racing Watches

These timekeeping dynamos are ostensibly purpose-built for petrolheads, blending cutting-edge technology with suave aesthetics, and certain definitive characteristics separate the winners from the backmarkers. 

First and foremost, their design almost always exudes a sporty flair, with bold dials and vibrant color accents that pay homage to the edgy and fast-paced world of motorsports. Striking chronograph functions take center stage, allowing drivers to time laps with precision and clarity.

But it’s not just about looks; you’ll find some serious technicality under the hood of a racing watch. From tachymeter bezels that measure speed to robust movements capable of enduring extreme G-forces, these timepieces are engineered to perform flawlessly in high-octane environments. 

Beyond the racetrack, racing watches have secured a place as coveted accessories for watch enthusiasts and style aficionados alike. So, whether you’re burning rubber on the asphalt or not, a racing watch may well be the thing your collection is missing.

The Timing of Velocity – A History of Racing Watches

The popularity of racing watches can be traced back to the mid-20th century when the racing world first began to captivate the collective imagination. As motorsports grew in prominence, watchmakers recognized the need for timepieces tailored to the needs of drivers.

One of the most impactful models in the racing watch style is the legendary Rolex Daytona. Introduced in the 1960s, this iconic chronograph instantly became synonymous with gears and glory. Its sleek design, reliable movement, and innovative tachymeter bezel allowed drivers to measure speeds with unmatched precision.

Groundbreaking timepieces such as the Daytona and the Heuer Monaco ignited a fervor for racing watches that persists to this day. Their distinctive characteristics – sporty dials, chronograph functionality, and vibrant color schemes – have become hallmarks of the genre.

The Best Racing Watches

Dan Henry 1962 Racing Chronograph

Dan Henry 1962 Racing Chronograph

Dan Henry’s 1962 Racing Chronograph is a horological homage to the fearless racing drivers of an era where raw talent and unwavering courage defined greatness on legendary circuits like Le Mans, Silverstone, Spa, and Watkins Glen.

The 1962 boasts a tachymeter bezel and comes in three versions; the classic Panda, the rebellious Evil Panda (my favorite), or the striking Blue. With straps available in different styles and colors, you can customize this piece to your heart’s content.

At 39mm in diameter, the 1962 harks back to the traditional size of vintage racing chronographs, ensuring a nostalgic aesthetic and wearability that makes it a very approachable watch. But don’t let its vintage charm fool you – underneath the hood lies a cutting-edge Seiko caliber VK63 meca-quartz movement.

The optional date version of the 1962 showcases a clever detail inspired by its history – the 31st day is highlighted in vibrant red, serving as a reminder to adjust the date during those months with 30 days – a thoughtful touch for forgetful mooks such as myself.

Turn the timepiece over, and you’ll discover a faceted, screw-in case back engraved with the profile of the groundbreaking Maserati Tipo 60 ‘Birdcage’. As a final salute to exclusivity, an individual serial number from the limited edition of 1,962 pieces sets your Dan Henry apart from anyone else’s.

The watch comes with a retail price of $280.

Casio Edifice ECB-2000NIS-1AJR

Casio Edifice ECB-2000NIS-1AJR

This ECB-2000NIS-1AJR encapsulates the mesmerizing allure of the Nissan Z Super GT racer, fusing its eye-catching features with the essence of an Edifice timepiece. Inspired by the striking red-to-black transition that defines the Nissan Z #23 from front to rear, this watch boldly (and I mean boldly) exhibits the same color scheme. 

The 23-minute marker is emblazoned with a special ’23’, paying homage to Nismo’s car, while the dial design ingeniously incorporates the ‘Z’ logo found on the car’s rear fender, utilizing authentic graphic data from Nismo.

Crafted with a carbon fiber-reinforced resin case, the ECB-2000NIS-1AJR feels as tech-heavy as you’d expect a Casio of this order to. Connect your smartphone via Bluetooth to unlock a world of precision timekeeping and automatic calibration to local timezones and effortlessly fine-tune various functions through the app. 

A whole lot of features have found a home in this unapologetically loud Casio. Some will love it; others will rue the day they laid eyes on it. That’s the beauty of a watch like this – it’s not afraid to be what it is. You can find this watch for around $400.

Autodromo Prototipo Chronograph

Autodromo Prototipo Chronograph

Autodromo’s Prototipo Chronograph is a modern take on the vintage racing chronographs of the golden era of racing, with an endearingly minimalistic design. The watch recalls the curved body shapes of prototype cars from the late ’60s and early ’70s. 

With its Seiko hybrid quartz chronograph movement, the Prototipo features a 1/5 second sweep hand and instant chronograph reset. A Tachymeter scale to calculate average speed and a Pulsometer scale to calculate heart rate encircle the dial, with an unobtrusive date window at 6 o’clock. 

The Prototipo is water-resistant up to 50 meters, has a stainless steel case with sapphire crystal, and is finished with a genuine leather strap. The case features flathead caseback screws, replacing the hex screws of the original series, a fine finish that is further accented by the face’s orange hands, which match the strap to create an alluringly stylized timepiece.

The watch comes with a retail price of $595.

Seiko Speedtimer SSC813

Seiko Speedtimer SSC813

Seiko’s SSC813 is a verified icon, boasting a classic aesthetic that blends effortlessly with modern elements. The stainless steel case, measuring a confident 42mm in diameter, exudes a sense of Japanese precision, with a brushed finish, bold pushers, and polished accents that command attention, making it the perfect companion for formal occasions and high-speed adventures.

Behind the sapphire crystal lies a captivating white dial with contrasting black sub-dials that set the stage for vibrant lume accents and provide profoundly accurate readings of elapsed time.

Powered by Seiko’s renowned quartz movement, the Speedtimer SSC813 ensures unwavering reliability. This exceptional timepiece boasts a chronograph function, allowing you to time laps or record personal bests with ease, and water resistance of up to 100 meters, in case you want to take it off-road.

The Seiko Speedtimer lineage dates back to the iconic watches used in various sporting events, including the legendary 1964 Tokyo Olympics, so there’s even a bit of historical relevance here, to boot. The watch comes with a retail price of $695.

Citizen Promaster Bullhead Racing Chronograph (ref. AV0076-00X)

Citizen Promaster Bullhead Racing Chronograph (ref. AV0076-00X)

This limited edition Citizen is a magnificent update of the iconic 1973 Citizen Bullhead model. With its crown and pushers positioned on the top of the case, reminiscent of a bull’s horns, this watch merges retro-inspired design with a contemporary twist, made more desirable by the fact that it’s limited to only 1,973 pieces worldwide to honor its debut year.

Driven by a meticulously hand-assembled movement, the Bullhead impresses with a 1/5-second flyback chronograph and alarm function. Its instant flyback mechanism swiftly resets the second hand to zero with a single button press. 

Additionally, the watch features a tachymeter, power reserve indicator, and date display. The vintage-inspired green dial may be the busiest dial you’ve ever seen, but it all seems to work somehow.

A standout element is the Bullhead’s leather strap, which screams ‘1970s’ thanks to its perforations which, aside from being cool as hell, promote airflow and are finished with sports green stitching and a green underside.

Powered by Citizen’s innovative Eco-Drive movement, the Bullhead uses light energy, rendering batteries unnecessary and thus filling its 45mm stainless steel case with nothing but machinery. If you’re after something a little bit out of the box, this is it.

You can find this watch for around $900.

Nezumi Voiture Chronograph (ref. VM1S.201)

Nezumi Voiture Chronograph (ref. VM1S.201)

In celebration of their 10-year watchmaking journey, Sweden’s Nezumi firm unveiled their inaugural mechanical chronograph, the limited edition Voiture, the most striking feature of which is the angular frames of its sub-dials.

These harken back to some older pieces, which established more aggressive face designs to contextualize the racing watch within a high-octane world. The Voiture’s 316L stainless steel case exudes timeless elegance at 40mm in diameter and with a lug-to-lug length of 47mm.

Its satin black fixed bezel showcases a refined tachymeter scale insert, while the push/pull crown proudly displays the brand’s ’N’ logo. Crafted in Germany, the Voiture is propelled by the exceptional Swiss Sellita SW510 Mb manual-wound movement, operating at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz).

Each Voiture chronograph is individually numbered between the lugs, showcasing its exclusivity and time-stamping the watch as a testament to Nezumi’s decade-long dedication to horological excellence. You can find the Nezumi Voiture Chronograph for a little over $1,000.

Yema Speedgraf (ref. YSPEE2019-AU31S)

Yema Speedgraf (ref. YSPEE2019-AU31S)

While you may not have heard of Yema, I assure you that their Speedgraf is worth your attention. Drawing design inspiration from the heyday of racing culture, its black dial is adorned with white sub-registers and a black diver bezel, creating a striking visual contrast and a vintage character enhanced by a domed sapphire crystal and its 39mm steel case. 

Telemeter and tachymeter scales evoke the spirit of vintage auto racing, as does the red-tipped second hand, which adds a touch of flair to the dial. A stylish screw-down crown on which the YEMA logo is embossed is a lovely touch – these kinds of things scratch my collector’s itch. 

The Speedgraf comes with a vintage rally strap crafted from brown leather with large perforations reminiscent of older sports cars’ steering wheels. This helps set the watch in racer territory as it could slide into the diver realms on another strap or bracelet quite effortlessly.

Equipped with the brand-new Seiko NE86 caliber, with 34 jewels and a remarkable 45-hour power reserve, the Speedgraf is a neo-vintage chronograph that offers exceptional value for just $1,650.

Tissot Heritage 1973 (ref. T124.427.16.051.00)

Tissot Heritage 1973 (ref. T124.427.16.051.00)

For all of its childishness, this Tissot may be the most interesting watch on the list. The first thing one notices about the Heritage 1973 is not its striking panda dial but the dashes of color that punctuate it. Best seen on the black background (there’s a blue version which I definitely do not prefer), orange, red, and dark blue accents bring this otherwise ordinary watch to life.

Equipped with a tachymeter and perforated strap, the 1973 exudes a classic racing vibe with a touch of charm. An oval stainless steel case evokes a vintage feel that encases all of the joys of the watch face fittingly. Beneath it, the Valjoux A05.H31 caliber offers precise timekeeping and a remarkable power reserve.

If you’re after something a bit more playful than many of the other racing watches you’ll see on this list, I’d say go for this wonderfully lively Tissot. It’s a breath of fresh air, truly. You can usually find the Tissot Heritage 1973 for a little less than $2,500.

Longines Heritage 1973 (ref. L2.791.4.72.0)

Longines Heritage 1973 (ref. L2.791.4.72.0)

The Heritage 1973’s stainless steel cushion-shaped case measures a refined 40mm in size, but with a case height of 14.50mm, it’s a fairly chunky watch. Despite this, I’m a fan of the black dial with silver sub-dials (the opposite is also available) and the Rhodium-plated hour markers adorned with luminous dots. 

It’s a simple yet insistent timepiece, and although I struggle to swallow the case shape (sharp corners aren’t really my thing), I have to admit that it’s undoubtedly a well-finished watch.

At a retail price of $3,250, this automatic timepiece houses the revered Longines calibre L688.2, based on the ETA A08.L01 movement, and with an impressive power reserve of 54 hours, it guarantees reliable performance. Accompanied by a black leather strap bound by contrasting stitching for a touch of elegance, the Heritage 1973 and its endless indices certainly belong on the track

Oris Williams Chronograph (ref. 01-774-7717-4154-07-8-24-50)

Oris Williams Chronograph (ref. 01-774-7717-4154-07-8-24-50)

This Oris is a rather big boy, with a 44mm stainless steel case topped by sapphire; it showcases a tachymeter scale top ring, adding a sporty touch to its appearance. The black dial plays it relatively safe, elevated from the mundane by blue hands and crisp, white indices. The three subsidiary dials display continuous seconds, 30-minute, and 12-hour counters. 

It feels like a lot and very little all at once, perhaps due to the heavy impressions the case and integrated bracelet make, given that it’s a lot of steel. It comes on a bracelet but is also available on a rubber band, which I think is a worthwhile consideration. 

Powered by the automatic winding Oris 774 movement, you won’t ever have to worry about its timekeeping abilities – with its fine-timing device and stop-second function, it meets the demands of racing enthusiasts and watch aficionados alike. I mean, if it’s good enough for the Williams F1 team…

You can find this watch for around $3,300.

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley Mulliner (ref. AB0118A71G1P2)

Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley Mulliner (ref. AB0118A71G1P2)

The Bentley Mulliner chronograph is a tribute to Bentley’s Continental GT Convertible Mulliner Edition, and only 1,000 pieces are available. Inspired by the interior of the luxurious Bentley GT, this chronograph features a blue alligator leather strap and blue and red accents that mirror the car’s design. 

The vertically brushed silver dial brings to mind Bentley’s Breitling dashboard clock, with complementary sets of Arabic numerals shared between the two pieces. Proudly showcased on the left side of the case is an engraved “Bentley” plate, reminiscent of the engine dashboard found in historic Bentleys. 

The self-winding mechanical movement, Breitling 01, provides precision and reliability with a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. With all of this, Breitling has successfully packaged automotive luxury into a high-end timepiece.

You can find this beautiful Breitling chronograph for around $7,000.

Hublot Classic Fusion Racing Grey Titanium 42mm (ref. 542.NX.7071.RX)

Hublot Classic Fusion Racing Grey Titanium 42mm (ref. 542.NX.7071.RX)

I’ve said it a thousand times (and I’ve contradicted myself a thousand more) – I’m not really a Hublot guy. While I find many of their watches to be either too big or too ostentatious, I am constantly surprised by the anomalies in the firm’s collection. The Classic Fusion Racing is a perfect example – minimal by design, approachable in size, and utterly reliable as a timekeeper. 

The 42mm iteration is arguably the most popular version of this watch, and like all other versions, it consists of a hard titanium case and a soft rubber band. The bezel, adorned with 6 H-shaped titanium screws, speaks to Hublot’s sophisticated mechanical style, and the dial features a captivating satin-finished grey sunray pattern, creating a visually stunning display made all the more attractive by the lack of detail on or around it.

It bears mentioning, if you’re considering a different size, that there is a certain compositional equilibrium present on the 42mm, which the other versions don’t capture, in my opinion. It’s an intangible detail, but it’s there, and for $7,600, you don’t want to find that out after you’ve left the store.

TAG Heuer Monaco (ref. CAW211P.FC6356)

TAG Heuer Monaco (ref. CAW211P.FC6356)

Upon its release, the original Monaco revolutionized the industry by making a boldly left-field design statement. The Monaco Calibre 11, priced at $7,800, holds a special place in horological history as an homage to its legendary origins, featuring the left-side crown that signifies the end of manual winding as a necessity. It was famously featured on the wrist of Steve McQueen in the classic racing film Le Mans and has since been coveted by collectors the world over.

A striking blue dial with horizontal steel indexes, square silver sub-dials for chronograph minutes and hours, and a date display at 6 o’clock set this watch in a paradigm of its own. Completing the racing-inspired ensemble is a seriously stylish black calfskin leather strap, specially finished to mimic the texture of racetrack asphalt.

Underneath its captivating exterior lies the Calibre 11 automatic movement, which keeps sharp time with a balance frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. The Monaco is about two things and two things only – style and performance and much of what makes this timepiece great is its inherent sense of pride, which oozes from every millimeter.

Panerai Luminor Chrono Daylight Firenze (ref. PAM00224)

Panerai Luminor Chrono Daylight Firenze (ref. PAM00224)

Although I’ve been told, not completely inaccurately, that Panerai is a bit like licorice – you either love it or you hate it – I believe that there’s an exception to every rule. In this case, it’s the Daylight Firenze, a subtle yet bold watch limited to only 100 exclusive units.

This automatic timepiece isn’t as gregarious as many Panerais, but it’s not exactly a dormouse, either. Encased in a polished 44mm steel case, the Firenze exudes a sense of strength that suggests it may survive a fiery crash, for example, completely unscathed.

The steel bezel surrounds a glistening blue dial with sub-dials and a set of lume Arabic numerals, and the screw-back case, engraved with the front of the Panerai Boutique in Florence, pays tribute to its Italian heritage while the crown lock sets this timepiece in definitive Panerai territory. 

Functionally, the watch offers hours, a calendar aperture, minutes, small seconds, and a chronograph for precision timing. The moment is in-house, and it’s impressive, to be sure, but any sense of intrigue one may get from this watch is due to the design and near-brutalist use of steel.

If you’re into Panerai, this is a new grail. If you’re not, this may be the watch that sways you. You can usually find this beautiful Panerai for under $8,000.

Omega Speedmaster Racing (ref. 329.

Omega Speedmaster Racing (ref. 329.

It’s all in the name, really. The Speedmaster Racing is Omega’s seminal racing watch, a tweak of the legendary Speedmaster timepiece that virtually defines the brand.

A 44.25mm stainless steel case is accentuated by a black ceramic bezel adorned with orange accents that echo orange touches on the dial and hands. In contrast, the matte black dial is encircled by a distinct racing-style minute track, which likely lends the timepiece its name.

Two sub-dials with blackened applied rings, along with a discreet date window at 6 o’clock, seamlessly blend with the dial’s color. The black leather strap features micro-perforations, unveiling an orange rubber interior, a detail I can’t help but chuckle over. The people at Omega know what they’re doing.

The Co-Axial Master Chronometer 9900 movement keeps things moving, and with a magnetic resistance of 15,000 gauss, a silicon balance spring, and dual barrels, this self-winding chronograph with a column wheel ensures accuracy and a generous power reserve of 60 hours. 

Its rhodium-plated finish features exquisite Geneva waves in arabesque, adding a touch of elegance to the high-performance heart. This is surely a standout iteration of the Speedmaster range. The watch comes with a retail price of $9,100.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team Edition (ref. IW388108)

Now, with the wordiest name on the list, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph ‘Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team Edition’ is an exercise in composure. There are two tones on this entire watch, aside from the titanium hue of the case; black and turquoise.

The former defines the dial, while the latter decorates it as numerals and indices. The strap matches these to complete a picture that’s best described as ‘sporty cool’. At the heart of the Petronas beats the 69385 Calibre, an exceptional IWC-manufactured movement with automatic, self-winding functionality that comprises 242 components and 33 jewels.

It’s a nifty piece of gear, no doubt. From the small hacking seconds to the IWC bracelet quick-change system, every detail of this timepiece is meticulously designed – a day and date display, as well as a chronograph function, make for consistently precise timing with a touch of flair that is guaranteed to raise eyebrows both on and off the track.

This particular racing chronograph will set you back about $10,000.

Porsche Design Chronograph 1 – Ennstal-Classic 2023 Edition

Porsche Design Chronograph 1 – Ennstal-Classic 2023 Edition

Join the elite ranks of Ennstal-Classic drivers with the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 – Ennstal-Classic 2023 Edition. As the official timing partner of this prestigious racing event,  you’ve got a chance to fulfill your pit-stop timer fantasies in complete style with this ticker.

Another limited edition, with only 23 pieces available, the Chronograph 1 pays homage to the original 1972 model and is powered by the COSC-certified Porsche Design Calibre WERK 01.140, which features a chronograph, day, and date display.

Encased in an understated black titanium carbide-coated housing and measuring a smidge under 40mm in diameter, the dial showcases a deep black hue with white and grey accents, capturing an infallible aesthetic. A standout structural element here is the dish shape created by how the face meets the sunken bezel (if I can call it that).

It lends a sense of charisma to an otherwise modest-looking watch, as does the spare, perforated black leather strap with a Race-Tex backing in guards red, inspired by the “Ennstal-Classic” logo. This isn’t just a watch – it’s a statement of automotive excellence.

This chronograph from Porsche Design retails for $10,500.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (ref. 126500LN)

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (ref. 126500LN)

You all know the Daytona, no doubt. It’s a name as synonymous with racing watches as it is with high-end timepieces in general. And if you know this, you also know that the bezel is the shining star of this watch, featuring a tachymetric scale molded into sleek black ceramic (denoted by the LN code at the end of the reference number). 

With the ability to measure speeds of up to 400 miles or kilometers per hour, this bezel combines high technology with a timeless design reminiscent of the iconic 1965 model. Crafted from monobloc Cerachrom, a high-tech, proprietary ceramic, it boasts corrosion resistance, scratch-proof durability, and color stability against UV rays.

The white dial showcases snailed counters, 18 ct gold applique hour markers, and Chromalight hands that emit a luminescent glow for exceptional legibility, and the central sweep seconds hand guarantees precise readings to 1/8 of a second, while two counters display lapsed time in hours and minutes. 

It’s the ultimate tool for drivers to strategize their track times flawlessly. Thrown (or gently placed) on a quintessential Oyster strap, the Daytona is an absolute icon of horology and a ceaseless inspiration to drivers and watchmakers everywhere.

The new Daytona comes with an approximate retail price of $15,000.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Chronographe Flyback (ref. 5200 1210 G52A)

Another titanium case entry – this 43mm Bathyscape showcases an exquisite blend of grace and sturdiness. What’s unique about this from the offset is the fact that it’s waterproof up to 300 meters, so when they finally popularize underwater racing, demand for this watch should shoot through the roof.

Being a marine-centric racer, this timepiece embraces the spirit of exploration with a sail-canvas strap crafted from high-quality fabric, but its comfort and durability make it an ideal companion for every journey.

I find the quadrilateral baton hands to be this watch’s most eye-catching aspect, given that they contrast the ubiquitous circular elements of the timepiece subtly yet effectively. Details like this separate the tools from the toys, and when you’re paying $17,000 for a watch, you don’t want it to feel like a toy.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive NISSAN GT-R 50th Anniversary SBGC229

Grand Seiko Spring Drive NISSAN GT-R 50th Anniversary SBGC229

This delightfully sporty Grand Seiko pays tribute to the legendary Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R race car with an unforgiving design and bountiful features.

Drawing inspiration from the iconic ‘Bayside blue’ color of the GT-R, the ceramic outer case is made of robust ceramic, paired with a lightweight high-intensity titanium inner case, and the watch’s aesthetic harmony is further enhanced by its white crocodile strap, reminiscent of the NISSAN racing livery. 

Seiko’s seminal Spring Drive movement, with a remarkable power reserve of approximately 72 hours, guarantees the height of accuracy. Operating at ±10 seconds per month (±0.5 seconds per day), it exemplifies Seiko’s passion and pursuit of technical excellence.

You can find this limited edition Grand Seiko here for $15,900.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition (ref. 81060-41-3071-1CX)

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition (ref. 81060-41-3071-1CX)

A homage to the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team, this watch is limited to just 306 pieces, mirroring the total distance covered by drivers Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel at the 2022 British Grand Prix.

The 44mm case is a groundbreaking fusion of titanium powder and carbon extracted from actual F1 race cars used during the 2021 season. Combining these elements with a tinted resin results in a material that surpasses the ductility of steel, ensuring each watch is truly unique, which makes the $27,800 price tag somewhat easier to swallow.

To further flaunt their fast-car geekery, Girard-Perregaux included a sunray dial in mesmerizing ‘Aston Martin Racing Green’, a nod to the iconic Aston Martin ‘AM’ badge of 1921. Lime accents on the chronograph hands mirror the design of the Aston Martin F1 car, and the central chronograph hand’s counterweight mimics the side strakes seen on Aston Martin road cars.

Inside, the emblematic case beats the self-winding Calibre GP03300-1058, which has exceptional accuracy, a comfortable power reserve, and smooth pusher activation. This is a car man’s watch, through and through.

Zenith DEFY Extreme E “Island X Prix” Edition

Zenith DEFY Extreme E "Island X Prix" Edition

Inspired by the thrilling ‘Extreme E’ electric rally race in Sardinia, this Zenith has the visual presence of a Transformer more than a watch which, to most Zenith fans, will be an appealing quality. Built from a sturdy carbon fiber case adorned with titanium elements and powered by the El Primero 21 automatic high-frequency chronograph calibre, it’s a marvel of engineering, both inside and out.

The 1/100th of a second chronograph is masterful – the central chronograph hand completes a full revolution every second, while a chronograph power-reserve indication at noon ensures precise timekeeping. The hours and minutes are elegantly presented at the center, with small seconds displayed at 9 o’clock. 

There’s something quite jarring about the color scheme of the face, with the minor elements being highlighted in orange, generating an almost sinister character against the visible movement beneath it. Does this machine have feelings? 

Finally, the orange Velcro strap, made from recycled tires, speaks to the sustainable theme of the watch, a statement piece that reflects the spirit of adventure and nature. This watch comes with a retail price of $30,100.

Roger Dubois Excalibur Spider Huracán Black DLC Titanium 45mm

Roger Dubois Excalibur Spider Huracán Black DLC Titanium 45mm

The Excalibur Spider Huracán is a testament to the thrilling partnership between Italian supercar legend Lamborghini and the Geneva-based horologist Roger Dubuis. Its black DLC titanium case, accentuated by rubber inlays, exudes a stealthy allure, as does the black DLC titanium bezel with lacquered markings, which exhibits a notched, almost militant strength that carries through the rest of the timepiece.

The dial showcases meticulous attention to detail – the lower flange exhibits transferred texts and minute tracks, while the upper flange features screw-like hour markers coated in PVD and filled with lume for enhanced legibility in any light condition.

Fastened to your wrist with a black rubber strap which is embellished with black Alcantara® inlay and black stitching, the Excalibur Spider Huracán is an altogether comfortable piece, even though it’s slightly on the larger side.

If the Zenith is a Transformer, then this beast of a watch is a Decepticon, unwaveringly sharp, flatteringly mean, and full of attitude – all of this for a meager $52,500. I suppose if you’ve got a Lamborghini already, you may as well complete the look.

Richard Mille RM 029 Le Mans Classic

Richard Mille RM 029 Le Mans Classic

Revving its engines in honor of the legendary Le Mans race, the RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic is a masterpiece limited to 150 fortunate collectors. The green and white color scheme will be instantly recognizable to aficionados of historic racing, as will the stripes that line the upper and lower lips of the case.

Driven by the cutting-edge Calibre RMAS7, this skeletonized automatic watch boasts an impressive array of features, including hours, minutes, and seconds, a 24-hour display, an oversized date, and a variable-geometry rotor.

This rotor comprises a titanium arm and high-palladium 18K white gold weight segments and adjusts the winding process based on the wearer’s activity level. 

This is, like many RM watches, a technical and visual feast. Small details such as the checkered finish flag on the dial and the sporty color scheme all serve to place the RM 029 squarely in the starting lineup of seminal racing watches.

Good luck getting your hands on one, though – they’re probably all safely locked away already! However, if you do manage to get your hands on one, you can expect to pay about double its retail price of $176,000.

Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon

Jacob & Co Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon

Jacob & Co.’s Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon speaks for the ingenious fusion of Jacob & Co.’s glitzy horological mastery and Bugatti’s exhilarating spirit, embodying the raw power of the iconic Bugatti 16-cylinder engine.

On this symphony of innovation, the Chiron-inspired case gracefully merges with the ‘engine block’ movement, showcased beneath a commanding and uniquely-shaped sapphire crystal. 

With a simple push of the right-hand crown, the engine springs to life, flaunting a mesmerizing rotation of the crankshaft and the rhythmic ascent and descent of 16 meticulously crafted pistons, which echo the heartbeat of a true combustion engine.

Comprised of an astounding 578 components, the movement is both complex and artful – the manual winding JCAM37 calibre powers the time display and presents a 1-minute Tourbillon cage inclined at 30° within its 41.7 x 36 mm frame.

Limited to just 126 pieces, this marvel elevates any collection to new heights, and along with the RM above, it’s the most expensive and exclusive entry on the list, at $300,000, and for a good reason. If you’ve got one or have a way to get one, I salute you!

The Finish Line

It’s clear that these timepieces are more than mere accessories – they embody the spirit of speed, precision, and adventure. From affordable contenders offering remarkable value to luxury champions redefining practical opulence, these watches highlight the racing world’s remarkable craftsmanship and engineering prowess. 

Whether you’re a fast-car aficionado seeking to capture the essence of the track or a horological connoisseur yearning for a twist of elegance, these watches will take you where you want to be.

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