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15 best minute repeater watches

Long before the days of glowing indices and hands, telling the time in the dark was a complicated ordeal. Before clocks, sundials obviously were of no use. With the advent of clocks, if there was not enough light to see the time, lighting a flame was the only way to see.

That involved finding a source of flame, something to maintain the flame, and blowing it out when no longer necessary. This tedious task was solved by the idea of telling time with sound. Then, instead of chiming at regular intervals, what if the sound could be recalled on demand? Auditory time-telling was the wave of the future until the prominence of gas lighting and luminescent paint came into being.

A Short Guide to Chiming Watches and Repeaters

Minute repeaters have become a holy grail for many collectors, but there were chiming clocks before there was any sort of repeaters. 

Chiming clocks are clocks that chime the passing of time, usually every hour and sometimes at other intervals, such as every fifteen or thirty minutes. The first chiming clocks appeared in Italy in the 13th century. While many clocks for homes and watches with chiming functions have on-and-off abilities, they do not chime on command. 

Both Edward Barlow and Daniel Quare claimed the invention of the repeating watch before 1700, with the patent filing going in favor of Quare in 1687. However, Edward Barlow’s creation of the rack and snail striking system in 1676 has become the standard for repeating timepieces ever since.

If you imagine a grandfather clock, or even larger, a church clock, certainly the size of the bells and gongs in those clocks are much larger than anything that could fit in a watch. Early repeating watches had small bells in the case, but around 1800, the first wire gongs came into use. Because of their size, watchmakers could fit the repeating complication into much smaller watches. 

Most repeating watches before the 18th century were quarter repeaters, meaning they would repeat the hours and quarter hours. Around 1750, John Ellicot was the first to produce minute repeaters in somewhat large numbers. Minute repeaters chime hours, quarters, and minutes. 

In the 19th century, innovations by Abraham Louis Breguet made the minute repeater more common, but they were still very expensive, and reserved for the most prestigious clients. Around the same time, they also fell out of favor as industrial manufacturing made watchmaking more inexpensive, and gas lighting became widespread. 

Today, chiming watches are still coveted by collectors. Even though they do not serve the practical function they once did, they are still magnificent displays of watchmaking as a craft. 

Difficulty and expense of manufacturing make it so any chiming watch is quite expensive. While module-based complications can make them more affordable, they are still an order of magnitude more expensive compared to other complications. 

Listed below are fifteen modern repeating watches, displaying the best of what these brands have to offer and some of their best creativity alongside audible complications.

15 Best Minute Repeater Watches

1. Patek Philippe 5178G-001

Patek Philippe 5178G-001

The Patek Philippe 5178G was introduced at Baselworld 2017 and has been discontinued as of Watches and Wonders 2024. Any watch from Patek Philippe is unique, and any complicated watch from Patek Philippe is even more so. With chiming watches, Patek Philippe goes above and beyond in regard to finishing, making every aspect of the piece a considered work of art on its own. 

While the 40mm white gold case appears simple from the front, the slide pusher on the side of the watch reveals the minute repeater complication. What makes the 5178G even more special compared to other repeaters is the use of cathedral gongs in the calibre R 27 PS. 

Cathedral gongs are longer and more difficult to produce than standard gongs used in more conventional repeaters. As a result of the larger gongs, the sound is louder and more resonant. While in production, the retail price was set at 360,000 CHF, but today, prices are dictated by the secondary market. 

2. Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Minute Repeater Supersonnerie (ref. 26395BC.OO.D321CR.01)

Audemars Piguet Code 11.59 Minute Repeater Supersonnerie (ref. 26395BC.OO.D321CR.01)

The Supersonnerie developments from Audemars Piguet started with the RD1 Acoustic Research. The goal of these developments was to produce a minute repeater that not only was acoustically superior in terms of volume and sound quality but also to build a minute repeater that could meet the expectations of durability required for a modern watch. 

To achieve the improvements in sound, Audemars Piguet considers the case a resonant body, similar to an acoustic string instrument. There is space and channels within the case that allow sound to resonate, changing the timbre and the volume of the chimes. 

The gongs are also mounted to a separate resonating soundboard instead of being mounted to the main plate of the movement, as would be the case with a conventional repeater. Finally, the governor has been reworked to act as a shock absorber, making the repeating aspect of the movement much more durable.

The 41mm wide 18k white gold case of the Code 11.59 Minute Repeater Supersonnerie is water resistant to 20 meters, a notable achievement for a repeating watch. Inside is the hand-wound calibre 2953, which includes the Supersonnerie improvements mentioned. 

While the case may present plainly from the front, turning the watch to view from other angles reveals a timepiece that is incredibly architectural in design. The sculpted case and concave crystal make for a quite dynamic design. 

Audemars Piguet has moved away from publishing retail prices for many of its pieces and suggests making an appointment to express interest in this watch. Regardless of how one pursues this watch, the price may be best presented while sitting. 

3. Breguet Tradition 7087 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

Breguet Tradition 7087 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

Modern Breguet has little to do with the brand’s namesake, as it is now operated by the Swatch group. Still, they do make an effort to pay tribute to Breguet through pieces like the reference 7087 Minute Repeater Tourbillon. 

Part of its Tradition collection, the Breguet 7087 combines both a minute repeater and a 60-second tourbillon in a 44mm 18k gold case (either rose or white). While elements of the 7087 keep a traditional style expected from the oldest operating watch brand, the 7087 is a thoroughly modern piece. 

The 565DR uses a peripheral oscillating rotor to wind the automatic movement to its full 80 hours of power reserve, allowing for a full view of the back of the movement. 

The movement is finished and designed to recall Breguet’s early pocket watches, but the bridges are titanium. Numerous components are made of silicon, allowing for magnetic parts to be part of the movement!

The governor for the chime is a series of magnets designed to repel and attract each other at a consistent rate, allowing for the chime to be consistent use after use, and silent. The gongs are mounted on the dial side to the bezel of the watch, allowing for a more efficient transfer of the vibrations.

The hammers can be seen underneath, striking the gongs perpendicularly for efficiency. While looking very steampunk and modern, the transmission chain recalls Breguet’s original pocket watches. The Breguet Tradition 7087 Minute Repeater Tourbillon is really a modern interpretation of Breguet’s innovations as if they asked, “What would Breguet make today if he was still around?”.

It is truly a fascinating watch that is a mechanical enthusiast’s dream. At the time of release in 2015, the Breguet 7087 retailed for 450,000 CHF. 

4. A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Minute Repeater (ref. 606.079)

A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Minute Repeater (ref. 606.079)

The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Minute Repeater is the first minute repeater produced by the brand. Most minute repeaters are made of gold, and even some modern ones are made of other materials due to better resonance.

Interestingly, A. Lange & Söhne chose to release this watch in platinum, which is typically thought to sound dull as it is pretty dense and soft. Even if platinum is not ideal, the Richard Lange Minute Repeater shows off what A. Lange & Söhne does best, and that is finishing.

The dial and case are exquisitely finished, with distinct contrasts between brushed and polished surfaces on the case. Complicated watches can become quite large very quickly, but Lange managed to keep things restrained, with the timepiece measuring 39 mm wide and 9.7 mm thick. 

The hand-wound L122.1 movement is truly something to behold. Completely finished by hand, the hand-engraved elements and beautifully chamfered edges are second to none. The governor for the repeater is finely finished, with a mixture of polished and brushed surfaces.

While the repeater is the centerpiece, the governor may steal the show when viewed through the case back, as it spins rapidly when the repeater is engaged. Keeping with the prestige of the brand, the A Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Minute Repeater is priced upon request. 

5. Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon Platinum (ref. 6500T/000P-B100)

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon Platinum (ref. 6500T/000P-B100)

Vacheron Constantine’s announcement of the Traditionnelle Minute Repeater Tourbillon in 2016 was a big accomplishment. The 2755 TMR movement inside was completely designed, developed, and produced by Vacheron Constantin.

While part of the Holy Trinity of watchmaking, it is not uncommon for any watch company to rely on outside resources to create a new movement. Vacheron was truly flexing their horological mite when releasing this watch.

Combining a tourbillon with a minute repeater is no small feat. While the hand-wound Geneva Seal certified movement and 18,000 bph beat rate point towards old-school watchmaking, the 58-hour power reserve, 44mm wide case, and 30 meters of water resistance are definitive indications of modern advancements. 

The dial features a hand-guilloché motif, and there is a power reserve indicator in the movement, seen through the case back. Another interesting detail is that Vacheron worked the Maltese cross into the design of the tourbillon cage. 

Available exclusively from Vacheron boutiques, the purchaser also receives a resonance boosting holder called “La Musique du Temps.”

6. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon (ref. 1313520)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon (ref. 1313520)

Known as the watchmaker’s watchmaker for their history of supplying some of the best brands with movements and parts, Jaeger-LeCoultre is no stranger to high complications. Having produced over 200 different repeating calibers within their history, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon fits in with their tradition of creating finely crafted timepieces. 

The Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon was the thinnest minute repeater ever produced when it was launched in 2014. With the movement measuring 4.8mm thick and the case measuring 7.9mm thick, it may be surprising that the calibre 362 has a platinum peripheral rotor for automatic winding of the watch.

Additionally, the rotor is between the movement and the dial side of the watch, which can be seen through the dial cutouts that double as sound holes for the repeater. To further ensure the best sound possible, Jaeger LeCoultre utilized “trebouchet” hammers that allow the gong to be strong with the greatest force possible.

The gongs are mounted to the sapphire glass to improve acoustic volume. The 41mm case is made of white gold, chosen for the best quality of sound for a precious metal. At the time of release, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Tourbillon retails for 294,000 Euros. 

7. Blancpain Villeret Minute Repeater Automata White Gold (ref. 6033-1542-55)

Blancpain Villeret Minute Repeater Automata White Gold (ref. 6033-1542-55)

If watching the repeater hammers leaves you wanting, the Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Minute Repeater Automata will definitely add some excitement to the owners’ minute repeating enjoyment. Automata, broadly speaking, refers to mechanical objects that complete actions following a set list of instructions.

Minute repeaters themselves are automata. In watchmaking, they generally refer to objects that mimic lifelike movement for the sake of entertainment. During the late 1600s, watchmakers made watches that included moving figures, frequently depicting scenes of human pleasure.

This delighted wealthy clients but did not delight the ruling and religious bodies of Switzerland, resulting in them being banned. Watches found to have lewd scenes depicted were confiscated and destroyed. Erotic automata did not effectively exist until the rebirth of the mechanical watch industry after the quartz crisis.

With modern Blancpain being reborn from this period, they brought back this art form with their Villeret Minute Repeater Automata. Released in 1993, the caliber 332 utilizes cathedral gongs, and the “piece unique” indication on the dial refers to the scene on the back, as each scene is unique to each watch. 

Measuring 37.5mm wide and 10.3mm thick, the conservative front-facing appearance is reinforced by the case dimensions. It is also quite impressive to consider that they managed to fit both the repeater and the automata in a relatively thin case. This reference is still in the current Blancpain catalog and has a retail price of 278,100 USD. 

8. IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater (ref. IW544907)

IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater (ref. IW544907)

Minute repeaters are truly amazing feats of engineering and craft, but they almost exclusively carry lofty price tags with them. While the IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater is still pricey at 89,100 USD, it is definitely one of the more affordable minute repeaters when purchased new. 

The 44.2mm wide case is made of 18ct 5n red gold. The manual wound 98950 calibre is an IWC manufacture movement and stays with the Portugieser tradition of a large movement placed in a large case. 

Unfortunately, while the movement is beautifully finished, the showpieces of the minute repeater, the hammers, and the governor, are not on display through the case back. Even though the price tag is still large, compromises have to be made to keep the cost in check. 

If there is such a thing as a minute repeater on a budget, the IWC Portugieser Minute Repeater would be as close as one can get. Even with the complication not on full display, lucky owners still get to experience a luxurious case material and sonorous complication. 

9. Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater (ref. 458.HX.1170.HX.YOS)

Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater (ref. 458.HX.1170.HX.YOS)

High-end complications are often reserved for the best of what watchmakers have to offer, usually resulting in precious metals being used for the cases. While gold and platinum are undoubtedly luxurious, many modern collectors desire modern materials. 

The Hublot Big Bang Integral Minute Repeater was produced in a limited edition of 18 pieces, each in both black and white ceramic. This is the first minute repeater to be produced in a full ceramic case, bezel, and bracelet. Additionally, Hublot made the watch water-resistant to 30 meters, which is quite the feat of engineering considering the material and complications. 

At 43mm in diameter, this is definitely not a small watch but relatively restrained by Hublot standards. The MHUB801 manually wound caliber inside features an 80 power reserve, showing off Hublot’s ability to engineer movements with long power reserves, especially with complicated movements. 

The Hublot Big Bang Integral Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater retailed for 280,000 CHF, which looks reasonable considering the engineering needed to create this timepiece, compared to other watches on this list. If high-level complications and modern design are desired, this is definitely a watch to look at. 

10. Omega Speedmaster Chrono Chime (ref. 522.

Omega Speedmaster Chrono Chime (ref. 522.

Omega really impressed the watch world by releasing the Speedmaster Chrono Chime in 2022. Instead of the traditional chiming complication that somehow represents the current time, the Chrono Chime audibly represents the elapsed time of the chronograph.

The Calibre Omega 1932 was developed in partnership with Blancpain. While the repeating function is built like a traditional minute repeater, as mentioned previously, it chimes the elapsed time of the chronograph. 

It will chime a high tone for the elapsed minutes, two tones for the elapsed 10 seconds intervals, and a low chime for individual seconds. Additionally, the 15-minute chronograph is fully integrated into the movement and has a rattrapante function, allowing for the timing of two separate events. 

The watch itself is as luxurious as Omega gets. The 45mm wide case and 21mm wide bracelet are full 18k Sedna gold, Omega’s proprietary red gold alloy. The dial is blue aventurine “Grand Feu” enamel and features 18k red gold hands, markers, and sub-dials.

The presentation box includes a resonance plate in spruce to amplify the sound of the chimes. A numbered edition, but not limited, the Omega Speedmaster Chrono Chime retails for 486,000 USD. 

11. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater (ref. 103669)

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater (ref. 103669)

The original Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater was released in 2016, with this updated version released in 2022. Bulgari set the record for the world’s thinnest minute repeater in production with this timepiece, with the movement measuring 3.12mm thin, and the case measuring 6.61mm

While not a sports watch, the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater is maybe one of the more sporty looking. The 40mm case is made of sandblasted titanium, and the blue strap is made from FKM rubber. While not suitable for water sports, the case does manage to maintain 30 meters of water resistance.

The blue dial features cutouts for the indices, which are done to amplify the repeater’s sound.  Additionally, titanium makes for a great minute repeater case, as it does not dampen the sound as much as precious metals.

While the case width seems moderate and the thinness is remarkable, Octo Finissimos have a bold presence on the wrist, wearing more like a large cuff bracelet than a traditional watch. At the time of its release in 2022, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater retailed at 195,000 Euros. 

12. Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater (ref. J031033200)

Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater (ref. J031033200)

Jaquet Droz is likely the most famous watchmaker in regard to automata. Much tamer than Blancpain already mentioned, some of his most notable works are the three-doll automata. Consisting of the musician, the draftsman, and the writer, these mechanical wonders from the last half of the 1700s are still functioning today. 

Drawing on that tradition is the Bird Repeater. In addition to the minute repeater, the automata on the dial depict a scene of baby birds being fed by their parents. The small birds move, seemingly begging for food, while the two adult birds move to feed and protect the offspring. 

This particular reference is a limited edition of eight pieces. The 47mm wide red gold case houses the RMA88 movement, a hand-wound caliber featuring Jaquet Droz’s contemporary signature, and an offset dial.

The time-telling part of the dial is black onyx, with the background being hand-carved and painted mother of pearl, along with the birds being hand carved and painted as well. 

The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater is a remarkable combination of engineering, creativity, and craftsmanship. Offering something unique to the brand, it would be a stand-out piece in any collection. The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater retails for 508,600 USD. 

13. F. P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine

F. P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine

Largely considered one of the best living watchmakers, Francois Paul Journe has created some of the best contemporary masterpieces in horology. While watches like the Chronometre Bleu get a great deal of attention from collectors, it does not come close to representing what the brand is capable of. 

The F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine contains a tourbillon with remontoir d’égalité, a minute repeater, sidereal hours and minutes, a 2nd timezone, a moon phase indicator, an annual calendar, an equation of time, a sunrise and sunset indication, a dead-beat second, and all settings are set via the crown. 

The last is particularly notable, as many complicated watches similar to the Astronomic Souveraine utilize pushers in the side of the case to adjust the complications. Additionally, to enhance the sound of the minute repeater, the 44mm wide case is made of stainless steel, chosen for its quality of sound compared to precious metals. 

The retail price of the F.P. Journe Astronomic Souveraine in 2019, upon original release, was 889,000 CHF. 

14. Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto

Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto

The focus on chiming watches in general at the beginning of the article comes into play with the Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto. Released in two 300-piece limited editions in blue and green, the 41mm titanium-cased Bel Canto features a Sonnerie au Passage complication, meaning the watch chimes every hour at the top of the hour. 

Christopher Ward accomplished this by using their own jump-hour module on top of a Sellita SW200-1. The chiming components of the watch can be seen on the dial side of the watch, with the hammer at the bottom of the dial, and the gong running around the periphery. 

Priced at 3,595 USD on a strap or 3,975 USD on a bracelet, the Christopher Ward C1 Bel Canto offers a great entry point into mechanical chiming complications. It is definitely the most affordable watch on this list, and it may be even more mesmerizing to consider it is around the same price as a Tudor Black Bay. Since the original release, other dial colors have been released as part of Christopher Ward’s current collection. 

15. Breitling Aerospace Evo (ref. E79363101C1E1)

Breitling Aerospace Evo (ref. E79363101C1E1)

Should the function of a minute repeater, along with many other complications, appear to be immediately practical, but durability and affordability are of concern, then the Breitling Aerospace Evo may fit the bill. 

The Aerospace was originally released in 1985 and features a mixed analog and digital display. The main time telling is done via the hours and minutes hands on the dial, while the additional functions are displayed via the digital screens.

While many may disregard this watch as it does run off of the Breitling Quartz Caliber 79, this SuperQuartz movement is thermocompensated, contains a 1/100th of a second chronograph, 4-year calendar, countdown timers, 2nd timezone, alarm, and minute repeater. The 43mm wide case is made of titanium and is water-resistant to 100 meters. It also has a unidirectional bezel to cover additional timing needs. 

For the right enthusiasts, the Breitling Aerospace Evo offers a great deal of value. While maybe not a mechanical marvel in the same way as some of the other watches featured, it does have its own charms and feats of engineering. The Aerospace Evo on a titanium bracelet currently retails for 4,450 USD. 


Chiming watches are truly mechanical wonders. Even though they have always been intended for the most affluent of clients, there are aspects that all watch enthusiasts can appreciate. The engineering and craftsmanship needed to execute a chiming watch well require watchmakers at the top of their craft. 

Fortunately, there are a few companies that occasionally come up with a way to make a chiming watch slightly more democratic in terms of pricing, allowing for a few more enthusiasts to appreciate the delight of chiming watches, even if they are redundant in modern society. 

Best Square Watches That You Can buy

I’ll start by stating the obvious – square and rectangular watches are a totally different ballgame from the ubiquitous round-faced watch. Despite performing essentially the same function, they look and feel nothing like their round, oval, or tonneau-shaped counterparts. Indeed, there’s something rather edgy about a quadrilateral watch (no pun intended). 

Any watch fanatic can rattle off a few square models that define the style in some way – we’ve all seen a Cartier – but for many, the true depths of the right-angled multiverse have yet to be explored. To remedy this, I’ve put together a list of our favorite square watches going into 2024. Fair warning – this may change everything you know about yourself and the watches you think you love.

Squaring The Circle – A Brief History of Square Watches

From the very start, watchmakers have predominantly opted for circular dials. The reason for this is quite simple – the internal mechanisms of watches involve round gears with central pivots that rotate the hands in a complete 360° motion.

So, circles. Furthermore, a circular dial can easily be divided into the main unit-spacings, which we use to measure time, 12 and 24.  There once was a general reticence to commit to a square dial, given the extra finesse required to maintain the balance of the hour markers.

The good news is that horologists (and the people who pay their bills) can afford to be more inquisitive these days, and as such, buyers have a wealth of exciting angular watches to choose from.

Embrace The Way You Feel – Should You Buy a Square Watch?

When it comes to square and rectangular watches, most horology enthusiasts have a bit of a love-hate relationship with them. Let’s face it; they’re not for everyone. In a world still dominated by round timepieces, a square watch is a risk both stylistically and culturally.

But as the saying goes, no risk, no reward, and if you’re into these types of watches, you know just how rewarding they can be. Rectangular watches, in particular, exude a regal and almost aristocratic vibe that simply cannot be matched by a round face.

The iconic Tank shape bears testament to that simple truth. Furthermore, in a time when most people have small collections of watches rather than one trusty timekeeper, more and more collectors find a great deal of excitement in including a square watch in their otherwise round-faced troupe.

1. Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver (ref. BR0392-D-BL-ST/SRB)

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver (ref. BR0392-D-BL-ST/SRB)

If you’re after a watch that’s just as at home in the water as it is on land, look no further. The Bell & Ross BR03-92 Diver is equal parts handsome and technical. Inspired by aviation themes, as all of their watches are, the BR03 is the latest in the company’s line of underwater watches. It’s a refreshing change from the previous, somewhat impractical BR02 iteration, as it performs in all the ways that an aesthetically-driven diver should.

Its rugged construction and easy-to-read face make it an excellent choice for serious divers and casual swimmers alike. Let’s get technical for a second. The BR03 is water resistant up to 300m and is in compliance with ISO 6425 and NIHS standards. Simply put, it’s a fully-qualified companion tool for even the most challenging dives.

The mechanical movement operates on a cold-resistant Bell & Ross caliber BR-CAL 302, which provides a healthy 38-hour power reserve, making it a perfect watch for anyone looking for a hard-wearing timepiece with a minimalist slant. The BR03 holds its own against any watch in its class, and at just $3,990, you’ll be taking up diving in no time.

2. Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date (ref. 1-37-02-08-02-61)

Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date (ref. 1-37-02-08-02-61)

The Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date is something truly special – a stunning timepiece that captures the essence of understated design icons from the 1970s. The 40mm square stainless steel case has distinctive angular lines where it matters and softened curves where it counts.

These design elements give the watch an authentic neo-vintage character, and the dark blue dial – the result of an elaborate galvanization process – features rhodium-plated indexes and hands coated with Super-LumiNova®, which serve the retrograded feel well.

The watch is powered by an automatic in-house movement, Calibre 37-02, and the beauty of this movement alone explains the watch’s $13,400 price tag. If the amazing functionality of the watch isn’t justification enough – the Seventies Chronograph boasts a stop-second, flyback, 30-minute display, numeric 12-hour display, Panorama Date, and power reserve indication.

That’s a whole lot of watch. It also comes with an intriguingly blue Louisiana alligator leather strap that lends some extra depth to the dial. Honestly, it’s different, but that’s what makes it great.

3. TAG Heuer Monaco (ref. CBL2111.FC6453)

TAG Heuer Monaco (ref. CBL2111.FC6453)

The Monaco has been around the block a few times, and for good reason. It shot to fame as Steve McQueen’s wrist candy in Le Mans and contained the world’s first mass-produced automatic chronograph movement, the Calibre 11. Now, the latest iteration of the Monaco has arrived, and it’s ditched some of its predecessor’s fatuous vintage quirks for more practical features.

The updated version sees the crown moved from the left-hand side to the right-hand side of the case, which is just more sensible if you think about it. It’s also got a water resistance of 100 meters and a reliable in-house movement (the HEUER02). So, buyers no longer need to worry about historically finicky gears and low-grade shock resistance issues. This is a modern watch with a modern brain and a 60’s heart.

The face cuts a room in half – some love it, and some hate it. But no matter what corner your taste may force your emotions into, there’s no denying that the design and legibility of the dial are impeccable. Classic, yet progressive. Simple, yet complex. It’s a reminder that iconic watches rarely go out of style.  And for a cool $7100, you can get your hands on a truly distinguished piece of history.

4. Cartier Santos Large Model (ref. WSSA0018)

Cartier Santos Large Model (ref. WSSA0018)

At first sight, the Santos appears distinct from previous versions. Although it maintains its definitive, square-shaped case, the latest design has been softened with more curves. The large model is 39.8mm x 47.5mm, which wears like a 42mm round watch. As is to be expected, the Santos is an effortlessly stylish timepiece designed for showing (people) as much as telling (the time).

In all truth, even the smallest version of this watch wears like one that costs far more than $7450. The large model adds to this sense of value, given that it’s altogether more watch. The Santos’ mechanical movement (calibre 1847 MC) is automatic winding and is housed within a surprisingly hard-wearing steel case. Legibility is key – the silvered opaline dial is a breeze to read, with blue sword-shaped hands splitting hours and minutes effortlessly.

The watch has two interchangeable bracelets: a steel bracelet with Cartier’s ‘SmartLink’ adjustment system and a calfskin bracelet with a steel folding buckle. I love it on either, and in fact, I’m consistently surprised by the stylistic versatility these two fairly simple straps grant the wearer.

5. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface Small Seconds (ref. Q3988482)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface Small Seconds (ref. Q3988482)

I’ll just say what everyone is thinking – why spend $11,700 on one watch when you can have two? Each of the two dials of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface is a work of art in its own right, and the fact that one watch can host both is mind-blowing.

This one-of-a-kind timepiece is primarily a nod to the original Reverso watch, born in 1931. Over the years, it has undergone countless iterations while remaining true to its identity. The trapezoidal indexes and Dauphine hands are an homage to the original design, implemented with a modern twist that gives the watch a fresh and exciting look. 

Of course, each dial can display a different time zone, as well as boast a handy day/night indicator. As if it wasn’t classy enough already, the Duoface’s strap was custom-designed by the legendary Argentinian bootmaker Casa Fagliano, one of the most highly-revered artisans on the planet.

The Reverso Tribute Duoface is a true masterpiece, built to speak to those who value class and bespoke craftsmanship over all else. Its true allure lies in the fact that even among other Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces, it’s a bit of a black sheep. I love it for that reason alone.

6. Cartier Tank Must XL (ref. WSTA0040)

Cartier Tank Must XL (ref. WSTA0040)

It’s no secret that Cartier’s Tank has been a favorite timepiece for world leaders and royals for decades. However, the allure of a Cartier goes far beyond just how it looks, despite what many think. Like the Santos, Cartier’s Tank Must is steeped in historical intrigue and was first designed by Louis Cartier in 1917. This watch has seen things.

How curious it is then that the Cartier Tank should come to represent the very opposite of the military aesthetic, it was initially designed to emulate; it’s now arguably the most definitive dress watch ever created. 

Under the hood, the Tank Must XL houses a robust and reliable mechanical movement with automatic winding, Cartier’s own Calibre 1847 MC. Encased in durable steel hides a beaded crown set with the brand’s signature spinel, which adds a unique flavor to the watch, as does the silvered dial, beautifully accented by blued-steel hands that not-so-subtly contrast the black-grained calfskin strap.

At 41mm x 31mm and only 8.4mm thick, the XL Tank is about as slender as a watch can get in this price bracket, and what’s more, a date function and a timeless design make the $4200 you’d pay for it an absolute bargain.

7. Nomos Tetra Neomatik 39 (ref.421)

Nomos Tetra Neomatik 39 (ref.421)

Nomos’ Tetra Neomatik 39 represents perhaps the peak of what Nomos does better than anyone else, in my humble opinion – the trimming of every gram of fat off of their timepieces to create designs that are unembellished in almost every way.

A true testament to the crossroads between Bauhaus’s solemnity and Art Deco’s gregariousness, the Tetra Neomatik is certainly the odd one out in Nomos’ collection. Despite this, it’s remained popular for over 30 years as a left-field dress watch of exceptional quality. 

Although it comes in different sizes, I think the 39 is the boldest, with a diagonal diameter of 46mm and a dial that could probably be read from space. The Tetra’s angled and double-stepped lugs fit effortlessly under a cuff, and the caseback contains a round sapphire crystal through which one can view the delightful in-house Neomatik DUW 300 Calibre.

The ultra-thin movement means that the height of the watch is a meager 7.3mm, making the fact that it’s a limited-edition timepiece a hard pill to swallow. I’d recommend this wholeheartedly for those willing to spend $3860 on something a bit different.

8. Hublot Square Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic (ref. 821.NM.0170.RX)

Hublot Square Bang Unico Titanium Ceramic (ref. 821.NM.0170.RX)

Full disclosure – I’ve never been much of a fan of Hublot. It’s probably my dainty wrists or the fact that their watches are often a bit ‘louder’ than I like mine to be. However, the Hublot Square Bang collection is a new take on the iconic Big Bang design, with a square-shaped case that is…strangely comfortable.

Despite some obvious similarities with the Cartier Santos, the Square Bang has a unique personality – the 43mm-wide titanium and ceramic case is very Hublot in all the best ways and yet, not Hublot at all. It’s proud and strong and detailed and familiar but somewhat subtle at the same time.

My only gripe is the face’s legibility – it’s a slightly more difficult watch to read than the Neomatik, or the Santos, for example. That said, if you’re a fan of interesting materials and bold designs, this is certainly one to consider. You’d better be sure, though – at $24,100, this isn’t a watch you can afford not to like!

9. Oris Rectangular (ref. 01 561 7783 4065-07 5 19 17)

Oris Rectangular (ref. 01 561 7783 4065-07 5 19 17)

This may sound crazy, but I think that the Oris Rectangular is a watch that everyone should own at some point. If you’re even slightly rectangular-curious or looking for an understated, charming watch with a unique flare and workhorse Swiss movement with a date function, all for the ridiculous price of $1950, this is it. The Rectangular was recently reintroduced by Oris and has subtle design updates, revised dial options, and more leather strap choices.

Still, there’s nothing outwardly fancy going on here. A stainless steel case and integrated straps, with steps on the case flanks and tapering lug tips, create a relaxed and natural fit on the wrist. The marine blue dial and the numerals that adorn it echo Art Deco designs, bolstered by rail tracks around the outer edge and an inner rectangle that emboldens the case silhouette.

The face is legible yet discreet, and the hands move reliably, thanks to the Oris Calibre 561, which is visible through the open back of the watch. The Rectangular measures 25.5 mm across and 38 mm lug to lug, making it a highly accessible piece and a great option for those interested in non-round watches with a reasonable price tag.

10. Bell & Ross BR-X5 (ref. BRX5R-BL-ST/SST)

Bell & Ross BR-X5 (ref. BRX5R-BL-ST/SST)

The Bell & Ross BR-X5 is the newest and coolest addition to the BR 05 collection. It’s sporty, technical, and modish all at once. The large date window and power reserve indicator are welcome additions (improvements, even) that display the watch’s intricacies. If it looks like a powerhouse, that’s because it is.

For the $7400 you have to pay to play with this tool, you get a whole lot of machinery – the impressive BR-CAL.323 Calibre movement, designed by Kenissi, Tudor’s off-shoot movement manufacturer, provides exceptional precision, while the multi-component case design means the watch is sleek and lightweight but also ridiculously durable. 

In a strange and wonderful way, it’s the watch’s inconsistencies that make it so attractive. Its unique architectonic look makes it perfect for those who enjoy fast machines in stark urban environments. But there’s also a subtlety to the design, perhaps best manifested in the bracelet, that contrasts the civic feel of the rest of the BR-X5. Whatever you think of it, though, the machine-meets-architecture aesthetic of the BR-X5 is an undeniable hallmark of the Bell & Ross ethos.

11. Certina DS Podium Square (ref. C0255101605700)

Certina DS Podium Square (ref. C0255101605700)

Rounded corners and an altogether softer profile make this Certina less striking than previous entries but make no mistake; the DS Podium Square is an altogether likable timepiece, devoid of any specific stylistic flourishes that define more bespoke models.

This is a good thing for the risk-averse buyer as it means you get the feel of a well-built square watch without too much financial outlay. The stainless steel case measures 38.3mm in diameter and 9.9mm in thickness, making it a comfortable fit for most wrist sizes, while the black dial with mixed indexes and feuille-shaped hands is easy to read and places the watch in an undoubtedly ‘classic’ design class.

Despite its low price tag, the Podium Square is powered by a precise and reliable quartz movement that will keep accurate time for years to come. With its sleek and sophisticated design, this Certina is a reliable choice for anyone needing a high-quality timepiece at a price point of around $500.

12. Longines Dolce Vita (ref. L5.767.4.73.9)

Longines Dolce Vita (ref. L5.767.4.73.9)

Similar to the Oris Rectangular, the Longines Dolce Vita makes its strongest impression with a subtle design, a feature that is enhanced by a new two-tone sector dial inspired once again by vintage designs from the 1920s Art Deco period.

The stainless steel case measures 28.20 x 47.00mm with a thickness of 10.30mm, which means it’s small but not that small. I would personally prefer a slightly thinner case, but to be fair, this doesn’t feel like it’s 10mm thick when on the wrist. The sector dial is really the pièce de résistance here, with its centered matte silver finish, black crosshair, and vertically brushed finish on the outer section.

The hour markers, apart from the ones at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock, connect the railroad minute track to the center crosshair section of the dial, creating full cohesion on the watch’s face. Beneath the dial, the automatic, exclusive mechanical L592 caliber movement ticks away. For $1750, this watch competes squarely with the Oris Rectangular and offers a slightly different look for what it’s worth.

13. Seiko ‘Tank’ SWR052P1

Seiko ‘Tank’ SWR052P1

Don’t freak out – Seiko has released its own homage to the iconic Cartier Tank, and in true Seiko fashion, the two watches look strikingly similar. The SWR052P1, otherwise known as the Seiko Tank, features a plain face with large Roman numerals encased in a slightly chunky gold-plated stainless-steel case.

The watch’s leather band resembles crocodile skin, although it doesn’t feel like crocodile skin. What do you expect for $230? Of note here is Seiko’s signature mineral crystal, which is known to be extremely durable and, therefore, a great base for the quartz movement. I’d love to see this watch with a solar-powered feature, like many of Seiko’s other timepieces, but there’s certainly still a lot of practical beauty here for the price.

14. Casio G-Shock GMW-B5000D-1

Casio G-Shock GMW-B5000D-1

Casio’s Full Metal GMW-B5000D-1 G-Shock is about as tough as watches come. Descended from some of the most hard-wearing timepieces in the industry, the GMW-B5000D-1 centers around an LCD screen, which features ‘Tough Solar’ technology and a brick motif that draws in light for miniature solar cells.

The watch has ‘atomic clock accuracy’ (which, if nothing else, sounds very cool), and the watch’s functions can be accessed through a smartphone app, allowing the wearer to set alarms and display reminders on the watch screen with ease. 

Rated for 200 meters of water resistance and surprisingly comfortable on the wrist despite being heavier than other versions, this is not a timepiece for slender arms. I’d say if you wear anything smaller than 42mm, move along now and thank me later. Ironically, only one element may deter ardent Casio fans from buying this watch – its case.

A full-metal case presents certain wear-and-tear issues that affect the watch’s aesthetic over time differently than Casio’s iconic plastic housing. However, there’s nothing wrong with a little character, and for approximately $500, you can’t really go wrong.

15. Seiko Recraft SNKP23

Seiko Recraft SNKP23

If the terms ‘retro-modern’, ‘vintage-inspired’, and ‘funky design’ connect with you, the Seiko Recraft SNKP23 might just be your next watch, and if you’re on the fence, I’d say spend the $275 and see how you feel when this strange beauty hits your wrist! Almost square or nearly rectangular, this pillow-shaped timepiece is certainly an acquired taste. 

An appealing combination of brushed and polished elements speaks to the attention to detail in the build, and the automatic Seiko 7S26C caliber movement, a machine that will run for decades without a service, powers the hands and day-date window that decorate the striking blue sunburst dial.

I’ll say this much – if you can embrace the look of this thing, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much more expensive it feels than expected. The watch offers a water resistance of 50 meters, so it can handle splashes but is not suitable for diving or even brisk swimming, for that matter. No bother – there’s plenty of time to wear it out of the water.

16. Hamilton Jazzmaster Square Lady (ref. H32251735)

Hamilton Jazzmaster Square Lady (ref. H32251735)

The Square Lady (surely a play on ‘fair lady’) is bolder than many women’s watches. Sure, it’s elegant and sophisticated. Yes, it’s a standard timekeeper in its category in many ways – a 29mm stainless steel case housing a black dial abutted by a black leather strap is all very typical.

However, there’s something about this watch that feels more masculine – more upright – than the usual ladies’ watch fodder. Perhaps it’s the weight of the case or its angular design. Whatever it is, it’s different, and I like it. Under the hood, the watch is powered by a Swiss-made quartz movement, which is water resistant up to 50 meters. Basically, it’s reliable anywhere except in a very, very deep bath.

Technicalities aside, the Hamilton Jazzmaster Square Lady watch is a great option for women who seek to stand out with a watch that won’t break the bank. Its classic design, combined with the high level of craftsmanship that one can expect from Hamilton, makes it a smart choice for a first, second, or third square watch.

17. A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst (ref. 703.048)

A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst (ref. 703.048)

I think it goes without saying that A. Lange & Söhne’s Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is a truly special watch. Introduced in July 2021, It has one of Lange’s most complex, detailed, and elegant cases, measuring 29.5mm wide, 39.2mm long, and 10.3mm thick, and is equipped with the world’s first hacking tourbillon, which the company patented in 2008.

Each of the 30 pieces is handmade by Lange’s team of skilled engravers and enamellers, and it’s only the seventh timepiece to benefit from the lavish treatment of Lange’s limited edition Handwerkskunst models, which showcase exceptional finishings and decorative techniques. 

The matte grey dial with a highly symmetric layout features the oversized date, the power reserve indicator, the running seconds, and the tourbillon. It’s bewildering to think that so much was fitted so comfortably on one small dial. This is one of the most exclusive watches on this list, and it’s not hard to tell why – if you’ve got $370,000 lying around, you just may be able to get this masterpiece around your wrist. 

18. H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp S (ref. 5324-­0201)

H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp S (ref. 5324-­0201)

H. Moser & Cie. caused a stir in the smartwatch market in 2016 with their Swiss Alp Watch launch, a concept so crazy that it’s genius. This fully mechanical Swiss-made model boasts a contemporary design while remaining true to the tradition of mechanical watchmaking. The brand’s message is clear: prioritize traditional watchmaking values and aim to make an instrument for measuring time rather than consuming it. I’m all for it.

The Swiss Alp Watch S, a recent addition to their collection, features a rectangular case with soft, rounded corners and a crystal with curved edges for a modern touch. A deep, midnight blue fumé makes the dial pop, as does the refined black alligator strap. The hand-wound HMC 324 caliber movement drives the hands, bringing together traditional components with more contemporary elements.

What I love the most about this watch is that H. Moser & Cie. has blended classic with sexy, retaining a sense of humor and a subtly provocative character. Overall, the Swiss Alp S is an excellent choice for those who appreciate traditional watchmaking values and modern, tech-centric design. Bear in mind that it’s limited to 50 pieces and will run you roughly $25,000, so you’ll have to work to find one!

19. Patek Philippe Gondolo 8-Day (ref. 5200G-010)

Patek Philippe Gondolo 8-Day (ref. 5200G-010)

You may have heard that Patek Philippe recently released a new reference in their Gondolo collection, the ref. 5200G, which is sure to become a classic. This model is once again inspired by Art Deco design, evident in its rectangular white gold case with double-ridged sides.

The movement of the ref. 5200G is an 8-Day manually wound caliber with an instantaneous day and date indication, similar to the highly collectible ref. 5100 ‘Manta Ray’, which was introduced in 2000, although at $59,400, this one is cheaper than its predecessor. 

The calendar mechanism uses up roughly two days of the power reserve, which is impressive considering the movement has an additional day and date indicator. There’s no chance of running out of juice, though, as the Gondolo also features an 8-day power reserve indicator and a small seconds hand integrated into the date circle.

Dauphine-style hands up the aesthetic ante even more, and it goes without saying that the Gondola 8-Day is a stunningly impressive timepiece that upholds the reputation of Patek’s commitment to craftsmanship and elegance.

20. Piaget Emperador Power Reserve White Gold (ref. G0A33069)

Piaget Emperador Power Reserve White Gold (ref. G0A33069)

I’m not the biggest Piaget fan, but even I’d admit that the regal air of the aptly-named Emperador had me floored the first time I saw it. If this isn’t a luxurious watch, then nothing is. With a case diameter of 30mm in width and 41mm in length, the Emperador makes just enough of an impression in size to attract the right eye.

Its metallic silver face is the foundation of distinct hour markers, a square seconds window, and a power reserve indicator. All of this is encased by a polished semi-domed edged 18kt White Gold bezel and powered by Piaget’s caliber 551P, an automatic movement with a 42-hour reserve.

This watch’s secret power is that while most people wouldn’t give it a second look, discerning insiders will realize in an instant just how special the Emperador is. That kind of inconspicuousness comes at a price, though – $23,800. Is it worth it? I say yes—every penny.

It’s Hip To Be Square

Square watches offer a unique and often bold statement on the wrist, and there are various great options to choose from in 2024. From the classic elegance of the Cartier Santos to the modern edge of the Bell & Ross BR-X5, there’s a square watch for every style and taste. It’s important to consider the size and dimensions of each watch as well before making a purchase. 

Remember – while square watches may not be as popular as their round counterparts, they offer a distinctive and eye-catching look that can make a great addition to any watch collection. So, consider adding a square watch to your collection this year if you’re a seasoned watch enthusiast or just looking to mix up your style.

best 40mm dive watches for men

Many enthusiasts regard the humble dive watch as the best first-time watch. Durable, simple, interesting enough, and when sized appropriately, it would fit most attire. That last part is often not the case with dive watches as they are designed to be used while diving, which means sustaining massive pressure while remaining legible. 

That said, many watch brands have taken the time to create and produce dive watches that are perfectly sized at 40mm. Big enough to fit contemporary tastes while still not being quite as big as an Omega PloProf or a Rolex Deepsea Challenge. Let’s look at the 15 best 40mm dive watches you can get your hands on today. 

About Dive Watches

Back before wearing a watch was a status symbol or something to impress your Tinder date with, watches were worn as tools to help mankind on our incredible journeys throughout time. The Speedmaster went to the moon, the Explorer went up the Everest, and the Big Pilot was worn by pilots in World War II. 

Dive watches played a massive role in the marine environment. When diving, you need to keep track of time. Why? If you consume Oxygen from a tank at a certain volume per hour, you can calculate how long you get to spend in the water. Thus, with the addition of a rotating bezel, you can mark your entry hour and use it as a reference to know when to get out. 

Other characteristics include a thicker and larger case, a durable crystal, a highly legible dial with plenty of luminescence, and for some, a link extension allowing the watch to be worn over a wetsuit. 

However, if you are engaged in deepsea diving, you would need an even more robust timepiece. The pressure would be increased dramatically, and you would also run into Helium buildup, hence why many “deepsea” diving watches have a Helium escape valve built into the case. 

The History Of Dive Watches

While there is a lot of debate about which company produced the first dive watch, most believe that Omega produced the first commercially available divers watch in 1932, called the ‘Marine’. Others think the first dive watch was the Submariner or the Fifty Fathoms. That said, most believe Omega was first. 

Turn back the crown (nice little pun for you) back to the early 1900s, and you’ll find that watches are worn by individuals who need to use them for their intended purpose. In the case of dive watches, they need to be able to do quite a few things. Survive the depths of the ocean while remaining legible but also usable. 

Innovation to create a watch that could survive the pressure of diving started with Rolex in 1926 when they purchased the patent for the “Oyster” watchcase, which featured a hermetic seal that allowed it to be airtight. Mercedes Gleitze attempted to swim across the English Channel wearing the new Rolex Oyster around her neck. Ten hours later and the watch was still sealed. 

Since then, the moniker of ‘dive watch’ has changed throughout the years from a robust tool to a flex piece or even a ‘desk diver’. But the origin of the watch will always be a tool to help mankind on their most extreme marine missions. 

Should You Buy A 40mm Dive Watch?

Before diving into the list of the best 40mm dive watches, we need to consider whether you should purchase one. The first thing you must consider is that it’s still a dive watch. These have particular features that you will need to deal with. 

Dive watches are typically a bit thicker than dress watches, typically made in steel (although this has begun to change), and they almost always have a rotating dive bezel. These features give the timepiece a pretty sporty aesthetic according to contemporary tastes, which won’t be so well received at your next black tie event. 

40mm is also quite well-sized compared to some of the bigger watches on the market. It will, of course, be too big for some, but quite a few companies make the same watch in various sizes. A 40mm sized case for a 15cm – 18cm (6 – 7 inches) wrist. 

Before you purchase a watch, it would always be best to try it on if you can. If you’re purchasing online, your best bet would be to try something on that has the same size and feel as your desired timepiece.

The 15 Best 40mm Dive Watches for Men

1. Rolex Submariner Date (ref. 116610LN)

Rolex Submariner Date (ref. 116610LN)

Let’s not beat around the bush and start with the ubiquitous dive watch – The Submariner. Ref. 116610LN is known as one of the ‘true’ Submariners since it is the most copied and well-known watch on the planet. 

This particular reference is not the newest model the Crown offers and was in production from 2010 until 2020. The 40mm stainless case featured a unidirectional black ceramic dive bezel which Rolex calls Cerachrom; hence why the ‘LN’ is included in the reference number. “Lunette Noir” is French for ‘black bezel’. 

This was the first model to be equipped with this bezel insert and has since become a mainstay in the Rolex catalog. The black dial contains highly legible hour markers with the Mercedes hands synonymous with the brand. You will also find the date aperture located at the 3 o’clock position with a Cyclops lens as well. 

For some, this lens ruins the look of the watch, but for others, it’s needed for legibility in a dive watch. Some even joke that “If you need to know the date while diving, you’re probably screwed”. 

Of course, since the watch has been discontinued, you can only purchase it on the second-hand market. You can expect to pay anything north of $10,000 depending on the condition and what’s included.

2. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda (ref. 5008B 1130 B52A)

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda (ref. 5008B 1130 B52A)

As far as legendary dive watches go, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is, well, legendary. The original was released in 1953, and many assume it’s the first professional dive watch ever created and was used by the French, German, and Polish military.

In 2019, Blancpain launched the new Fifty Fathoms Barakuda as a tribute to the original, with limited production of 500 pieces. While 40mm is the perfect size for most people, it is the smallest in the lineup, seeing as these were and are tool watches. 

The Barakuda does feature quite a few attributes that are extremely similar to the original. Red and cream hour-marker finished with an “old radium” type Super-LumiNova, pencil-shaped hands, and the classical diamond-shaped marker at 12 o’clock on the bezel.

To keep with the essence of a true dive watch, there is a distinct lack of Cyclops on the date aperture.  Visible through the caseback is the Blancpain caliber 1151 with a pretty robust power reserve of 100 hours, thanks to the twin-barrel architecture. If you are in the market for one, you can expect to pay north of $14,500.

3. Panerai Luminor Quaranta (ref. PAM01270)

Panerai Luminor Quaranta (ref. PAM01270)

Panerai is about as subtle as a hammer. Worn by giants like Arnie, ‘Sly’ Stallone, and the Rock, these watches are usually large and bulky but still have their own unique design language you won’t find anywhere else. The Quaranta is one of their lesser-known models, a petite by Panerai standards 40mm brushed steel case. 

The ref. PAM01270 is presented with a deep blue sun-brushed dial with a clean design, a date aperture at the 3 o’clock position, and a small seconds sub-register at the 9 o’clock position. The blue dial is matched with an alligator ‘blu profondo’ strap. 

The Luminor line has been a staple in the Panerai lineup but usually features a larger case. The Quaranta offers a better wearing experience for those who have smaller wrists but still want the cushion case shape experience offered by Panerai. 

4. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Date (ref. WBP2111.BA0627)

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Date (ref. WBP2111.BA0627)

TAG Heuer gets a bad wrap because they cover a segment of the market that is neither incredibly affordable but also not the epitome of horology. However, TAG does this perfectly. They are priced appropriately, and the Aquaracer line has been a great offering from the brand for those looking for a great value dive watch. 

The Professional 200 offers, surprise, 200m of water resistance thanks to a robust 40mm stainless case and features a dodecagon-shaped bezel. The deep blue dial is reminiscent of the ocean and is finished with horizontal banding meant to evoke the teak deck on a yacht. Despite the artistic finish, the dial remains extremely legible and is adorned with plenty of luminescence. 

The case is matched with a simple yet handsome three-link bracelet with a thin, tapered profile equipped with an extension link that allows for a far easier wearing experience. Inside the case is the reliable caliber 5, based on either the ETA 2824-2 or the Sellita SW200. 

5. Oris Divers Sixty-Five (ref. 01 733 7707 4055-07 8 20 18)

Oris Divers Sixty-Five (ref. 01 733 7707 4055-07 8 20 18)

Oris is another cult favorite among enthusiasts and collectors and is actually one of the few independent brands left in the Swiss watch market. Whereas the Aquis is perhaps the best first luxury watch for most people, the Diver Sixty-Five is a retro-inspired diver designed and built to modern standards. 

The contemporary features continue with a wearable 40mm design but also have an old-timey domed sapphire crystal. Behind said crystal, you’ll find a simple and legible dial with yellowish hour markers and hands. A rotating dive bezel and screw-down crown solidify the dive capabilities. 

The Sixty-Five is a true enthusiast’s watch. Retro style, a modern Oris 733 caliber which is based on the SW 200-1, and you have a timepiece that’ll make you smile every time you check the time. Available in various dial configurations and priced at a reasonable $2,400. 

6. Seiko Prospex Diver SLA017J1

Seiko Prospex Diver SLA017J1

Seiko is known for producing some of the most legendary dive watches of all time but also some of the best value-for-money ones as well. From the SKX to this limited-edition ref. SLA017J1, a modern re-interpretation of the famous Seiko ref. 6217 diver produced in 1965. 

The ref. 6217 was actually the first dive watch Seiko ever created, so the ref. SLA017J1 has a lot to live up to. The watch features a lot of structural and technological upgrades from the original, obviously. For starters, the 39.99mm case features a better coating compared to the vintage model to improve durability and finishing. 

The diver gains an extra 50m of water resistance totaling 200m, even though we know Seikos survive way past their listed rating. Within the case beats the high-grade caliber 8L35 equipped with a 60-hour power reserve. 

The black dial has a no-nonsense approach to diving which means high legibility along with plenty of lume – even the date aperture lacks the Cyclops we see in many other divers to stay true to the original. 

7. Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto (ref. H82335131)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto (ref. H82335131)

Hamilton is known as the first place you go if you’d like a value-for-money tool or military spec watch made to Swiss watch standards. The Khaki is one of the watches the brand is known best for, and while the Navy Scuba perhaps doesn’t garner as much attention as the rest of the lineup, it’s still a great option. 

Measuring 40mm in width and a quite thin profile of 12.95mm the timepiece has a very wearable profile. The black dial features a 24-hour dial to improve legibility and utility, and this effect is doubled down with a red top on the seconds hand. The nice thing about the Navy Scuba is that it comes in all different dial and bezel configurations, including but not limited to all black, all blue, and a combination of blue and white. 

Within the brushed steel case beats the caliber H-10 with a robust 80-hour power reserve. Priced appropriately at CHF 795, the Scuba offers a great entry-level watch for those looking to get into either the Swiss market or the massive world of dive watches. 

8. Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600

Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600

Christopher Ward is a British watchmaker that has made waves in the industry, especially in the tool and dive watch segments. The Trident has been the classic dive watch they offer, and this Mark 3 edition combines everything CW has learned over the years to produce a more robust yet usable tool. 

The 40mm light-catcher™ case, and more aggressive bevels compared to the Mk 1 and 2, give the timepiece immense dimension and appeal when considering the price south of $1000. Another upgrade featured on the Mk 3 was the addition of full lume on the ceramic bezel adding to the utility of the dive watch. 

The Trident Pro 600 offers, surprise, a rather impressive 600m water resistance rating, something we don’t typically see at this price point. The movement within is a third-party movement, the Sellita SW200-1, a Swiss automatic movement equipped with a 38-hour power reserve. 

9. Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Compression (ref. ZO9287)

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Compression (ref. ZO9287)

Zodiac finds its watchmaking origin in 1882, but the original Sea Wolf only started production in 1953. The original was somewhat of a legend but measured merely 34mm in size, a lot smaller than what modern tastes prefer. The modern Sea Wolf was introduced only in 2015, and the ref. ZO9287 presented here stays incredibly true to the original philosophy. 

The size has been increased to 40mm to improve water resistance and fit contemporary tastes, the former being 200m. The dial and bezel color combination creates a beautiful yet subtle contrast, from a light blue dive bezel to a deep blue dial. 

The dial features large square hour markers matched with a similar design language used on the hands, and the minute hand having a similar color to the bezel creates a nice touch. Legibility is boosted with the exceptional use of C3 Super Luminova. The movement within is the STP (Swiss Technology Production) 3-13, a movement based on the ETA 2824-2 and features a reliable 44-hour power reserve. 

10. Monta Oceanking

Monta Oceanking

Monta is not a brand you hear about every day, but the Oceanking is certainly here to make a case for itself. It presents itself as a rather precise dive watch. Despite being a 40mm diver, the 49mm lug-to-lug makes it wear more like a 42mm watch. 

Behind the sapphire crystal lies the glossy black dial with a crisp white test. The “OCEANKING” scripture is finished in red, creating a nice sporty pop of color. On closer inspection, you can see that each hour marker the extra bits of detail, like how each is beveled at its tip as it meets the dial, and each is filled with a considerable amount of lume. 

This is matched with the sword hands that feature a similar finish and attention to detail, like the seconds hand that features a spear tip – something you don’t see much of. The 60-minute track dive bezel has a glossy black finish and is equipped with a 60-click system; in fact, Monta has a patent on their bezel mechanism.

11. Bremont S300 Kaimu

Bremont S300 Kaimu

Bremont is a British watch company that has been at the forefront of bringing British watchmaking back to the heights it used to be. Their weapon of choice seems to revolve around tool and military-inspired watches. Where some divers have a no-nonsense approach to utility only, the Kaimu presents itself with a rather interesting story as well as matching aesthetics. 

The name Kaimu refers to Kaimu Beach in Hawaii, a beach that is unlike the norm. In early June 1990, the Kilauea volcano erupted and covered a lot of the island and beach areas with a deep black Basaltic lava. This color scheme was used on the S300 Kaimu dial and bezel. 

The inner dial is raised and features a matte-applied tapestry finish. The outer dial is actually metal and has rose gold plated applied indexes. The rehaut also has a pop of gold for added contrast displaying the minute track. Rose gold plated hands filled with Super-LumiNova complete the overall philosophy of this dive watch, having some class to go with the utility. 

A ceramic insert on the bezel, a screw-down crown allowing for 300m of water resistance, and an elegantly finished three-link bracelet. What more could you want? 

12. Seiko Prospex SPB143

Seiko Prospex SPB143

From a diver that’s quite focused on aesthetics to one that is solely focused on utility, we have another Seiko Prospex, this time the ref. SPB143. Priced at $1,200, this Prospex offers great value due to its simple yet durable design. The 40.5mm brushed steel case features a ‘super hard coating’ to resist bumps and scratches when you’re in the deep. 

The screw-down crown might allow for 200m of water resistance but does not have crown guards, which does create a vintage-like silhouette. Both the dial and the unidirectional dive bezel are finished in black, the bezel being slightly darker. The grey-black dial has one function, and that is certainly legibility.

Large hour markers are filled with copious amounts of LumiBrite (luminescence), and the date aperture does not feature a cyclops, doubling down on the watch’s vintage theme. The movement within is the caliber 6R35, a workhorse automatic movement in the Seiko catalog. With a power reserve of 70 hours, what more could you ask for from a daily driver?

13. Dan Henry 1970

Dan Henry 1970

Dan Henry is a new company on the block eager to make vintage-inspired watches made to appeal to real enthusiasts. Take this 1970 automatic diver, for instance. Only a few companies still make a compressor-style diver, and Dan Henry hit it out of the park with this one. 

Unlike any of the other watches mentioned, the bezel on the 1970 is actually on the inside of the sapphire case and can be turned using the auxiliary crown located at the 2 o’clock position. The lower crown will be used to adjust the time. A design feature commonly used in the early days of dive watches but has given way to the ‘external’ bezel we see so often today. 

The 1970 comes in various configurations ranging from black and orange to white or even light blue. All of these can either come as a ‘date’ or ‘no date’ powered by the Seiko Caliber NH35, a self-winding movement with a 41-hour power reserve. 

Overall, the design of the 1970 is a good combination of fun and utility. The use of colors for both aesthetic and legibility purposes is done brilliantly; it’s only a shame they were limited to only 1970 pieces. 

14. Helm Komodo 03AR3 

From a watch that can almost be seen as fun to one with a much more serious approach. The Helm Komodo is named after the Komodo island, which is where the Komodo dragon resides, and boy, does this watch have a lot in common with them. 

The ISO 6425 compliant Komodo is built from steel and features a thick and large unidirectional bezel. This makes the watch’s dial a lot smaller, which could make reading the time underwater a lot easier, especially when you consider the not-so-subtle use of red on the hands.

The robust 40mm case is 15.5mm thick, which contributes to the 300m water resistance rating.  At full weight, the watch is also a hefty 215 grams, which is quite heavy considering its size. This is partly thanks to the stainless steel bezel and single-link bracelet.

However, with a standard 20mm lug width, you have a lot of freedom to exchange the bracelet for any rubber strap before your next dive. Powering this rugged diver is the tried and tested Seiko caliber NH35. It features hacking and manual winding capabilities and is equipped with a 40-hour power reserve. 

15. Zelos Swordfish 40mm Ti Salmo

Zelos Swordfish 40mm Ti Salmo

Salmon dials are quite hot right now, with various higher horology brands using the color in everything from integrated sports watches to perpetual calendars. But what if you only had $429 to spend on your diver? Well, the Zelos Swordfish Ti Salmon appears to be a great option.

The ‘salmon sunburst’ dial is laid out with legibility in mind and features large hour markers filled with luminescence and equally robust and luminous hands. You’ll find a 120-click bezel with a ceramic insert on a titanium case and bracelet. Within the 40mm case beats the Seiko caliber NH35 with a power reserve of 40 hours.

The Swordfish also offers 200m of water resistance, which is certainly not the most on this list but still enough for 99.9% of the planet. With a price that low, it’s hard to beat this automatic titanium diver that has a ceramic bezel and a dial color you don’t see all that often. 


There is probably a diver for each and every person on the planet; if you look hard enough, of course. For most people, a 40mm would be the perfect fit. Divers are supposed to be a bit bulkier, to carry some heft, to have an “I’m here to do my job” attitude. That said, you needn’t go for a 50mm monster anymore, as any of the divers on this list can do their job and then some.

Some of them even have some style and precious metals to go along with the utility. It’s a nice touch. It makes you feel special, whether you’re 100 feet under or merely desk-diving on a Monday morning. Damn, I have a meeting in five. I could probably use my bezel to time how long it’ll take… 

best everyday watches

Watches are an amazing accessory that has a place in everyone’s wardrobe. They come in all sorts of shapes and colors, designs, and price points. I strongly believe that somewhere out there is a watch for everyone.

This watch will be a good price, practical, accurate, and good-looking to boot. Today, we’re going to discuss perfect everyday watches that can fit any budget, ranging from affordable to ultra-luxury. Hold on to your hats; we’re in for a wild ride!

About Everyday Watches

Some watches are built for a specific purpose. For example, a dive watch is most at home in the waters and in the open sea. A dress watch is the perfect accent for a formal suit and tie event. A pilot’s watch is full of useful features that anyone in the skies would appreciate.

An everyday watch is something that can do it all. By that, I mean it can match a variety of outfits, survive the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and look good while doing so. A good watch is like a reliable companion that accompanies you to the office, social events, and home. 

How to Choose the Best Everyday Watch

But what exactly makes the best everyday watch? From the thousands and thousands of models out in the world, how do we know which is the best to choose to strap on our wrist? Three important qualities that everyone should consider are design, build quality, and movement. 

Design: Amazing quality and movement ultimately don’t mean a lot if the design just isn’t there. After all, this is something you’re buying with your own money and are going to look at constantly throughout the day. For everyday watches, inner and outer beauty are important. 

Build Quality: Besides looking good, the watches need to be built to last. For the money you’re putting down, you need to have assurances that what you’re paying for is quality for the money. Expectations vary based on the price point, but any watch good enough for this list is going to be something you’re proud of wearing. 

Movement: The movement is the heartbeat inside every watch. It spins and spins and powers the little friend on our wrist. Movements can vary greatly in quality. Some are universally used movements like with many ETA-based watches, or they might be an in-house movement. They can even be quartz battery-operated. No matter what the movement is, it needs to keep accurate time. 

The Best Everyday Watches

1. Seiko SRPE55K1

Seiko SRPE55K1

Seiko, the Japanese watchmaking giant, has a watch for any situation and budget. It only makes sense for them to have a great everyday watch as well. What we have here is an example from the budget-friendly and much-loved Seiko 5 line. 

This minimalistic watch has a simple and clear black dial with a very useful day-date complication at the 3 o’clock position. A 40mm case size and comfortable 11.5mm thickness make this easily slide on the wrist. And with the hearty 4R36 movement and reasonable $275 price point, what’s not to love?

2. Citizen Tsuyosa (ref. NJ0150-81L)

Citizen Tsuyosa (ref. NJ0150-81L)

The second Japanese watch on the list is an offering from another big name in the watch game, Citizen. The Tsuyosa,” or “power” in English, is an excellent choice for an everyday watch because of its affordability, readability, and colorful dial options. 

The model number here has a simple black dial, but for people who want a splash of color on their wrist, there are green, blue, and even yellow options. The Cyclops magnifying the date is just another fun feature that this everyday watch has to offer. The case is smooth and neatly finished, with brushed vertical stripes and polished edges to complement the compact case.

You can usually find the Citizen Tsuyosa for around $300, depending on the color you choose.

3. Hamilton Khaki Field Auto (ref. H70455133)

Hamilton Khaki Field Auto (ref. H70455133)

Hamilton charges into the field with a sturdy and practical everyday watch. As one of Hamilton’s flagship models, the Field is packed with quality for a great price. Unlike the previous Citizen Tsuyosa, you won’t find bright colors in this daring field watch. Hamilton watches are made to last and tell the time. There aren’t any added frills here. 

The Field is clearly labeled with the normal 1 to 12 numeral to mark the hours, but it also includes an inner ring to help with 24-hour time. Most of the Khaki Field lineup is military-inspired, and the clear markers and bright red-tipped second hand are reminiscent of watches that are there to serve. With a nearly 80-hour power reserve and slim 38mm case size, this is a serious contender for an everyday watch.

The Khaki Field Auto retails for $725.

4. Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 (ref. T127.407.11.041.00)

Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 (ref. T127.407.11.041.00)

Tissot as a brand has really evolved in the past few years. It occupies a spot on the massive Swatch Group’s pyramid of brands as affordable luxury and has made advancements that are extremely impressive for the price bracket. 

An example is the Gentleman Powermatic 80, a series of watches with an impressive 80 hours of power reserve. It gets that power reserve from the expertly calibrated POWERMATIC 80.811 automatic movement. A few shakes of the wrist and regular wear will ensure this watch is always running. It can still be running even with a 3-day vacation. For an everyday watch, the power reserve is certainly something to think about! 

The Tissot Gentleman has a retail price of $775.

5. Christopher Ward C63 Sealander Automatic

One of the best aspects of the C63 Sealander is the amazing care to finishing on the watch. The lines are clean and very nice to look at. There are no sharp edges, and the polish is bright and mirror-like. 

Like the amazingly priced Trident collection from Christopher Ward, one of the coolest details is the trident-tipped second hand. This three-pronged weapon adds a bold touch to this excellent everyday watch. There are numerous color and bracelet options for the watch, which adds an excellent layer of customizability. My personal favorite is the snow-white dial with the amazingly finished stainless steel bracelet, a truly great-looking combination. 

And it can be yours for a little under $1,000.

6. Longines Conquest 39 (ref. L3.776.4.58.6)

Longines Conquest 39 (ref. L3.776.4.58.6)

Any watch with the iconic winged hourglass logo of Longines is sure to be a stunning watch. The Conquest is Longines’ rugged answer to the need for an everyday watch. One of the first things you see is the massive 12 and 6 on the face of the dial. There certainly isn’t mistaking what hours the watch hands are pointing to with that large, imposing font. 

On the back of the watch is a deeply engraved caseback featuring the winged hourglass. The caseback protects the Longines caliber L888 3-hand automatic movement, featuring a 72-hour power reserve. This watch is sure to grab some attention when used as an everyday watch! 

The Longines Conquest has a retail price of $1,300.

7. Sinn 556

Sinn 556

The Sinn 556 is a fan favorite in the watch community. The impressive quality and case finishing accompanies the starkly contrasting dial. A deep, rich black dial is the backdrop for the gleaming white hour markers and attractive sword hands. The color contrast is quite exciting and noticeable. 

Besides the brand name on the dial and the simply printed “Automatic” at the bottom, there is only a small cutout for the date window. It is barely noticeable and has the same contrasting black and white color. As an everyday watch, it has 200 meters of water resistance, satinized stainless steel case construction, and the Sellita SW200-1 Automatic movement beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour.

You can find the Sinn 556 for around $1,500.

8. NOMOS Club Campus 38 (ref. 735)

NOMOS Club Campus 38 (ref. 735)

A watch from the German watch brand Nomos is exciting, modern, and classy. All of their watches have a unique look to them that has garnered high praise from happy owners. From the name, I can see this watch being a favorite of smart and chic students on a modern college campus. 

But anyone can appreciate the fun California dial (where half of the dial is Arabic numerals, and the other half is Roman numerals) and soothing color scheme. Soft, muted blues and oranges fit perfectly on the pastel dial. 

The 38mm case size is actually quite large due to the design of the case. There is only a thin bezel shape and case that houses the watch, making it seem larger than it is. Inside the watch is a Nomos hand-finished winding movement, which adds to this everyday watch’s charm. 

The Club Campus 38 retails for $1,650.

9. Ball Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer (ref. NM9026C-S27C-BK)

Ball Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer (ref. NM9026C-S27C-BK)

One of the most exciting features of every Ball watch is the incredible, gorgeous lume that is applied to the hands and hour markers. Under low light conditions, the 27 micro gas tubes enhance visibility and glow bright green and orange. 

The appropriately named “Marvelight” is really a marvel to the eyes. There will be no trouble at all seeing the time and date on this watch. This is the third iteration of the Engineer series from Ball, and as a chronometer, the watch is wickedly accurate. On the seconds hand is the intricately detailed Ball logo, and the Cyclops magnified date window is bold, chunky, and exciting.

This amazing watch from Ball retails for $2,449. 

10. TAG Heuer Carrera (ref. WBN2010.BA0640)

TAG Heuer Carrera (ref. WBN2010.BA0640)

The TAG Heuer Carrera stays true to its racing-inspired name. The sleek and modern Carrera oozes with coolness. One of the best details on the watch is the extremely precise circular pattern on the dial. The black dial is distinct, shiny, and extremely clear. The day-date window adds usefulness and practicality to this sports watch. There is a really enjoyable depth to the watch, and the flat sapphire glass looks almost see-through. 

TAG Heuer has updated and improved the stainless steel bracelet. The H bracelet has been slimmed down and includes an extra secure folding clasp with double safety buttons. 

The watch has a retail price of $3,450.

11. Tudor Ranger (ref. M79950-0001)

Tudor Ranger (ref. M79950-0001)

The Tudor Ranger is a utilitarian pick for an everyday watch. There are no fancy frills here, only good, high-quality watchmaking. The Ranger design is simple and practical, with enlarged Arabic numerals at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Instead of a simple baton or sword hand, Tudor uses a large arrowhead on the hour hand.

The seconds hand is also visually interesting, tapering to a rectangular shape with a red tip. This model comes with an excellent stainless steel bracelet with a very satisfying-to-use clasp. The modern 39mm case size is suitable for anyone, and the Caliber MT5402 is COSC certified. 

The Tudor Ranger retails for $3,150.

12. Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Caliber 403 (ref. 01 403 7776 4065-07 5 19 11)

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Caliber 403 (ref. 01 403 7776 4065-07 5 19 11)

Oris has really impressed the watch world with their development as a brand. One of the brand’s crowning achievements is the development of its own line of meticulously sculpted in-house movements. This kind of development takes time, money, and dedication and really puts a brand on the next level. 

One of these great in-house movements can be found in this Big Crown model from Oris. It features a highly legible and clear dial with a small seconds complication at the 6 o’clock position. Instead of a normal date window, the bright red pointer hand points to the date on the dial. 

The extremely impressive Caliber 403 in-house automatic movement makes the small seconds and pointer date complication possible. Oris crafted a movement with extra-strong anti-magnetism properties, razor-sharp accuracy, an enormous 5-day power reserve, and a generous 10-year warranty on top of all that. 

Oris seriously impresses with this in-house movement, but for the more budget-conscious buyer, the same model watch can also be bought with a more affordable Sellita-based movement.

Still, if you want the in-house caliber, it’ll run you back about $3,700.

13. Panerai Radiomir (ref. PAM00753)

Panerai Radiomir (ref. PAM00753)

The Radiomir is one of the largest watches on this list, at 45mm. However, a lot of this size goes into the square cushion-style case, which lies flat and comfortably on the wrist. The rounded square edges also blend into the lugs, which look surprisingly thin compared to the large stainless steel cushion it is attached to. The dial is simple and very easy to read with the huge Arabic numerals. 

At the 6 o’clock position is an interesting logo that is sure to delight fans of the military and military-style watches. It is the Radiomir Black Seal, a tribute to the Italian Royal Navy’s frogmen or elite combat divers. Befitting this tribute is the 100 meters of water resistance. The 3-day power reserve from the Caliber P6000 hand-winding mechanical movement is also notable. 

This Radiomir reference retails for $4,700.

14. IWC Mark XX (ref. IW328201)

IWC Mark XX (ref. IW328201)

IWC watches are named after military vehicles and aircraft. The Mark XX is the latest in the line of IWC’s popular pilot watches. The design remains unchanged and faithful to the classic pilot design. All the features are there – the large triangle at the 12 o’clock position, large Arabic numerals, and precise minute markers. The huge sword hands help with the legibility and are generously painted with lume. 

The fighter plane etched on the caseback is a nod to IWC’s rich military history. The movement is the Caliber 32111, an automatic and self-winding movement with 120 hours of power reserve. Further decorating the movement is the Côtes de Genève, a sign of great care and engineering. 

The Mark XX retails for $5,250.

15. Zenith Defy Classic (ref. 95.9000.670/51.R584)

Zenith Defy Classic (ref. 95.9000.670/51.R584)

Zenith shines bright with the Defy Classic, our choice for an everyday watch. I simply love how the case seamlessly transitions to the blue leather strap. The angular case is brushed to perfection. The stainless steel matches perfectly with the blue sunray dial, which has the Zenith star proudly shining on top of the logo. 

Another star can be seen on the seconds hand, like a star shifting positions in the night sky. This quintessential Defy watch is powered by Zenith’s Elite caliber movements, with a 50-hour power reserve and an automatic winding mechanism that is the perfect base for additional complications in other models. 

The watch has an approximate retail price of $6,500.

16. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (ref.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra (ref.

The Aqua Terra is a gorgeous and elegant tribute to Omega’s maritime history. This is most evident in the “teak” pattern on the dial, which is reminiscent of the wooden decks of luxury seacraft. This “teak” shines with a brilliant blue finish. Omega proudly states that this watch has been rigorously tested for accuracy and durability. 

They have increased the anti-magnetic properties, subjected the timepiece to testing over 10 days, and improved the finishing on the stainless steel case. The Omega Caliber 8900 is certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS), ensuring buyers that this everyday watch is truly a cut above the rest. 

The Aqua Terra retails for $5,900.

17. Rolex Explorer I (ref. 124270)

Rolex Explorer I (ref. 124270)

For many, Rolex is the only luxury watch brand in the world. The love for Rolex is evident in their dedicated followers who closely watch for news from their favorite brand. The Explorer is one of the most recognizable Rolex models, known for its handsome, rugged practicality. Just based on the name, Rolex envisions this watch as something that can see the world and live to tell the tale. 

As a reminder of its ruggedness, Rolex’s signature Oyster case is available in a new 40mm dimension for the Explorer. The proprietary Oystersteel will look flawless and beautiful for years to come. The Chromalight-painted hour markers and hands provide maximum visibility and glow brilliantly in the dark and give off a shiny white color in the light.

This Explorer reference retails for $7,250, but you should expect to pay around $9,000 to $10,000 in the secondary market.

18. Cartier Santos Large Model (ref. CRWSSA0018)

Cartier Santos Large Model (ref. CRWSSA0018)

The Cartier Santos is an icon in the watch world. Cartier is able to tell the world it made the “first men’s watch” with the Santos model in 1911. The square shape is unmistakable, along with the screws on the bezel and dotted along the bracelet. 

The Santos comes in a variety of sizes and configurations, and this model, in particular, is the larger variant, with dimensions of 39.8mm x 47.5mm. On the crown is the signature deep blue sapphire-tipped crown. 

Cartier also includes a leather strap of your color of choice, adding a pop of color to this historic piece. It’s easy to quickly switch from a metal bracelet to leather with the easy-to-use strap change system. They even add the option to include an engraving, which further customizes the watch. 

The Santos has a retail price of $7,450.

19. Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium Blue (ref. 542.NX.7170.RX)

Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium Blue (ref. 542.NX.7170.RX)

Hublot, the daring Swiss brand, offers a surprisingly understated watch with the Classic Fusion. Hublot watches are unapologetic, loud, and demand attention. The Classic Fusion model is available in a wide variety of sizes, and this particular model is dyed a rich blue color. It’s a delight to see the sun reflecting off the dial. 

Hublot opts for a fully satin-finished and polished titanium case, which is lightweight and scratch-resistant. This makes the Classic Fusion an easy-to-wear everyday watch with plenty of detail. One of the best features is the blue-lined rubber strap, which matches the dial and increases comfort.  

This beautiful watch retails for $7,600.

20. Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic (ref. Q9008180)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris Automatic (ref. Q9008180)

The Polaris is an exciting release from Jaeger-LeCoultre, the “watchmaker’s watchmaker.” When people hear the name Jaeger-LeCoultre, they probably think of the Reverso (also an excellent everyday watch, if I might add). The Polaris is a fully modern sports watch with a contemporary design, sizing, and appeal. I especially love the symmetry in the dial. 

There’s no date window to interfere with that perfect symmetry. The stainless steel bracelet is extremely comfortable and feels like velvet on the wrist. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 898 automatic movement can delightfully be seen behind the clear sapphire caseback, beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour and beautifully accented by a customized rotor with the JLC logo. 

The Polaris has a retail price of $8,400.

21. Grand Seiko SLGA021

Grand Seiko SLGA021

Many Grand Seiko models have an otherworldly sort of beauty to them. Grand Seiko describes them as reflections of the beauty of Japan. The SLGA021 is no exception to this. Inspired by the rolling waves of Lake Suwa, the wavy pattern on the dial is dyed a deep, mysterious blue. The texturing on the dial really makes it seem like diving into the gentle waters of Lake Suwa. The Zaratsu polishing makes the watch gleam in the light. 

The movement is particularly exciting. Featuring Grand Seiko’s signature 9R Spring Drive movement, the watch has a simply amazing 5-day power reserve. This is made possible by Grand Seiko’s own innovations and painstaking attention to detail. Along with this impressive power reserve is accuracy within 1 second a day, a feat that few can replicate. 

This exciting Grand Seiko timepiece can be yours for $9,100.

22. Girard-Perregaux Laureato (ref. 81010-11-3153-1CM)

Girard-Perregaux Laureato (ref. 81010-11-3153-1CM)

Girard-Perregaux is an underrated brand that needs more attention. The Laureato is a 42mm timeless tribute to its original 1975 design. The case shape, in particular, is quite interesting. It is like an octagon fashioned on top of a circle, which provides a lot of visual interest. The bright, verdant green color makes the watch pop, like a walk through a forest full of life. 

The integrated steel bracelet flows seamlessly from the case, and the deeply etched pattern on the dial is a wonder to look at. The Caliber GPO1800, with a power reserve of 52 hours, shows great attention to detail. It features mirror polishing, satin finishing, deep engravings, and more. The Côtes de Genève is another embellishment that strengthens the brand’s association with high-horology watchmaking. 

And all of this for a retail price of $14,300.

23. Vacheron Constantin Overseas (ref. 4500V/110A-B126)

Vacheron Constantin Overseas (ref. 4500V/110A-B126)

As one of the Holy Trinity, or Big Three (Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin), Vacheron Constantin occupies the ultra-luxury section of the watch market. Any masterpiece from these brands is made of the finest materials and to the highest standards.

The Overseas is one such masterpiece from Vacheron Constantin, the brand’s quintessential everyday watch. Housing the gorgeous movement that contains 22K gold is a hand-polished, satin-finished steel case. 

The Caliber 5100 is one of the latest movements by the brand, featuring a generously decorated oscillating weight with a wind rose design. The Maltese cross is evident in numerous places on the watch. It’s on the logo, the crown, the movement, and even subtly built into the gorgeous, folded bracelet. 

The Overseas retails for $22,500, but you should expect to pay around $30,000 in the secondary market.

24. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (ref. 15500ST.OO.1220ST.01)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (ref. 15500ST.OO.1220ST.01)

The Royal Oak is Audemars Piguet’s most recognizable and desirable watch. The ultra-comfortable and feathery lightweight, amazingly crafted bracelet and case have delighted watch lovers for years since its inception in 1972. Wearing a Royal Oak shows heritage, class, and love for simply amazing watches. 

The model listed here is the essential Royal Oak. There’s no chronograph or moonphase or anything extra, only a date window and the impeccable blue waffle “Grand Tapisserie” dial. The signature and painstakingly placed 8 screws that dot the bezel are shiny and uniform. Underneath the luxurious steel is the Caliber 4302 self-winding movement, made up of 257 individual parts expertly crafted to perfection.

Despite its retail price of just below $20,000, you can expect to pay around $60,000 to $70,000 in the secondary market.

25. Patek Philippe Nautilus (ref. 5811/1G)

Patek Philippe Nautilus (ref. 5811/1G)

We’ve reached the most luxurious and ultimate everyday watch with the Patek Phillipe Nautilus. Anyone fortunate enough to be thinking about everyday watches in this ultra-luxury price range can look no further than the legendary Patek Phillipe Nautilus.

Some people dream of having the chance to handle one of these timepieces, let alone own one. The Nautilus is an accurate and faithful representation of the Gerald Genta design from 1976. 

Adding to the luxury is the radiant white gold case and bracelet and vibrant sunburst dial. Also present are the numerous innovations that Patek Phillipe has added to the watch, including a new lockable adjustment system and an innovative lever system that replaces the brand’s previous split stem mechanism. Feel like a king with this by your side! 

This latest Nautilus reference retails for just under $70,000, but you can expect to pay about $170,000 to $190,000 for one in the secondary market.


Just like how there’s plenty of fish in the sea, there’s an amazing everyday watch out there for you! These kinds of watches can do it all and look good while doing so. No matter the budget, we’ve shown you amazing pieces that range from affordable to ultra-luxury. If you’re lucky, you might even find the perfect watch that fits a “one watch only collection.” We’ve given you a sample here, so get out there and find your match! 


best investment watches

No matter your stance on watches as “investments”, or a new alternative “asset class”, it can’t be denied that the secondary market values of these objects traditionally worn on the wrist have jumped in recent years.

Indeed, when Aurel Bacs hit the proverbial hammer on October 26, 2017, at the Phillips auction house in New York with the record-setting $17.8-million dollar sale of the “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona, a new era of watch collecting was ushered in. 

To be clear, particularly rare vintage watches have commanded high secondary market prices on the auction block for years. But, with the advent of new technologies such as social media and popular internet blogs, the attention on the watch space has never been greater, impacting the scene from vintage all the way down to modern, new watches as well.

And while not every watch will garner the attention and multi-million dollar valuation of the “Paul Newman” Daytona, it’s clear that collectors are now acutely aware of the residual values when purchasing a watch.

Oftentimes, it may be the deciding factor when deciding to buy or not. Whether secondary market values are the lowest rung on your ladder of watch purchase decision-making or the top factor in building your watch “portfolio”, let’s explore the idea further.

Why Do People Invest in Watches?

Beanie Babies, baseball cards, comic books, and more. No matter the hobby, collectors will always seek to differentiate themselves from their peers by seeking out the rarest or most special items. If you’re looking for an error-tag Snort/Tabasco Beanie Baby, look no further than my childhood closet. And with rarity comes value (the old “supply and demand” adage); It’s no different in the watch hobby. 

But when spending upwards of thousands of dollars on a single item, it’s arguably more responsible to understand both the inherent value (the “why” of a particular watch; what draws you to it, what sparks your joy, why to hold on to it), and the secondary market value (if you had to sell it, how much would it go for, does it lose, gain or hold its value, how fast would it sell, would anyone even want to buy). 

And when we’re talking thousands of dollars, to even hundreds of thousands and millions, we enter into the realm of true asset classes. Indeed, watches have become a way to diversify and spread wealth, similar to how automobiles and fine art have in recent decades. On the one hand, we have profit-seeking, and on the other, the mere comfort of knowing your money is generally “safe”. 

How to Choose the Best Investment Watches?

None of us have a crystal ball. And we certainly can’t predict the future or offer any financial advice to propose what is or will be, the next big watch hit in which you can safely place your money. But we can make our best-educated guess based on historical market trends and the factors that led to high valuations of specific watches to better understand where we may see these patterns again in the future. So what makes a good investment watch? Consider the following factors:

  • Rarity. We’ve said it before, and it bears worth repeating. Low supply generally yields high demand. The rarer a watch may be, whether from low production numbers, limited edition makeups, age, and so on, the higher the secondary market price may go. In a hobby as personal as watches (these are goods of self-expression, after all), collectors will continue to seek ways to differentiate themselves from the masses. The more different or expressive a watch can be, the more they’re willing to pay.  
  • Condition. And yet, not all watches are the same, even if they are within the same make. We have to factor in the condition of a timepiece when determining its value, and the better a watch’s relative condition is, the higher its price can command. For example, a vintage 1680 Rolex “Red” Submariner with a cracked crystal should generally be less valuable than the same 1680 Red Sub with its crystal intact.
  • Authenticity. Hand in hand with the condition is authenticity. Is the watch true to its original makeup when it left the factory? Are there any replacement parts, and have the replacements been disclosed to the public? Has the watch been serviced, and does it include official documentation or papers from the manufacturer and all original accouterments (good old “box and papers”)? All factors here will impact the added value.
  • Heritage. Does the watch come from a particularly popular brand or has a storied history with documented use in research, development, and beyond? (Insert your favorite Moonwatch story here).
  • X-Factor. The hardest to determine, and oftentimes overlapping with rarity and condition, is the “X-Factor”. This can be thought of as something that makes a watch particularly special outside the normal attributes. Think “Khanjar” or Tiffany stamped dial Rolex or your favorite celebrity wearing a timepiece courtside. Indeed, the “Paul Newman” Daytona wouldn’t have reached its record-breaking heights without relation to the actor. Even the Domino’s Pizza Rolex Air King is seeing its heyday.

Which Are the Best Watch Brands to Invest In?

The easy answer: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and popular independents such as F.P. Journe and Akrivia. 

The vaguer answer: Watches of good investment value can be found across the full spectrum, from Swatch and Seiko to the upper echelons of masters like Philippe Dufour and Roger W. Smith, model dependent. 

The truth: Any brand worth investing in will have some mix of the factors listed above, namely rarity, condition, heritage, and some shade of “X-Factor”.

These brands will be harder to get (ex: the Rolex “waitlist”), have documented histories of greatness or contributions to the watch craft and industry, and will find their own organic popularity through the movers and shakers of the hobby, ultimately garnering more interest from the community at large (ie, more demand).

The 20 Best Investment Watches of 2024 (for your consideration):

1. Rolex GMT Master II (ref. 16710)

Rolex GMT Master II (ref. 16710)

As a premier flagship steel sports Rolex model, arguably any iteration of the Rolex GMT Master can be considered an investment piece due to the iconic status the watch holds in Rolex’s lineup and pop culture. However, particularly in the 16710 produced from 1989 through 2007, we see an “end of an era” in true tool watch form before Rolex makes the switch to upgraded materials decidedly more luxury leaning such as a ceramic bezel, updated bracelet and maxi dial and case size.

Available with the iconic red and blue “Pepsi” bezel insert, the black and red “Coke” insert, or the all-black bezel variation, the 16710 is heralded by collectors for its iconic looks and tool watch practicality. And with its 40mm case diameter, 12.4mm thickness, 47.5mm lug-to-lug, and 20mm lug width, we have classic case size proportions suitable for various wrists for those who find the modern variant a bit too large.

Of note, a collector will find a few iterations within the 16710 model line: the “SWISS T25” dial with tritium hour markers and hands pre-1999; the transitional “Swiss Only” dial dated to 1999, and the “SWISS MADE” dial featuring SuperLuminova hour markers and hands from 2000 onwards.

2. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711

Another darling of the watch-collecting zeitgeist (perhaps THE darling), the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, discontinued in 2021, is perhaps a surefire addition to any watch investment portfolio. Originally debuting in 2006 with several references among its ilk in steel, gold, platinum, and gem set beauties over the years, the 5711 was not actually all that popular upon its initial release. 

With its 40mm diameter case, svelte 8.3mm thickness, and that iconic Gerald Genta case design (call them “ears”, and you’ll never unsee it again), the stellar casework and finishing combined with a top-of-the-line comfort on the wrist meant that what was once under the radar and eclipsed by its kin such as the reference 5712, would soon see eventual success with the more recent craze of steel sports integrated bracelet watches (which I dub the “Genta Wave”). 

Another case of an overlooked watch becoming a hit under all the right conditions: The brand heritage of Patek, the storytelling X-Factor of Genta design, and the rarity of steel sports Patek watches all almost guaranteed the success of the 5711 which would eventually see auction results more than six times its MSRP.

3. Rolex Submariner (ref. 114060)

Rolex Submariner (ref. 114060)

Quick exercise: Picture a watch in your head. Any watch. What did you see? Chances are, you saw a dive watch with a black rotating bezel, a black dial with white hands and indices on the archetypal oyster bracelet. Its name? The Rolex Submariner.

Originally launched in 1953, the Rolex Submariner and its Date counterpart (there is truly only the “Submariner” and “Submariner Date” in official Rolex terms) are definitive icons not only in the watch community but in the broader world community as well. If Rolex is the most famous luxury watch brand, the Submariner is, by default, its most iconic watch.

And you don’t have to take (pre-Brosnan era) James Bond’s word for it, or everyone who decided to mark a milestone in their lives by purchasing a Submariner in the decades since. Among its evolutionary line, the 114060 is a particularly interesting watch from an investment standpoint. Being the last of the 40mm case size Submariners (replaced by the 41mm 124060 in 2020), the 114060 actually came out a year after its date steel counterpart (116610LN).

With a shorter run than the 116610LN and its relatively smaller overall production numbers (with the Date version eclipsing the Submariner with an estimated 2:1 ratio), the 114060 occupies a unique slot within the Submariner lineup as a safe investment given the overall popularity of the Submariner line, and the relative rarity the 114060 presents within it.

4. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15202 “Jumbo”

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15202 “Jumbo”

An icon, and one of the most popular watches on the planet, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15202 “Jumbo” was discontinued in 2021. Discontinue any watch of the 15202’s iconic stature and status, and you’ll almost always find a safe placeholder in your watch collection.

After all, if an uber-popular watch isn’t being made anymore and fewer and fewer can be found, rarity and price sensitivity ensue. Acting as a clear call back to the original steel Royal Oak as designed by Gerald Genta, the contemporary 15202 was announced in 2012 as part of the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak.

In the years since, we’ve seen various stunning interpretations of the 15202 in White Gold (15202BC), Titanium and Platinum (15202IP), and even full Yellow Gold (15202BA). But, it’s arguably the original steel reference (15202ST) that is the definitive luxury sports watch.

After all, the Royal Oak is the original luxury sports watch. With a 39mm size case, 8.1mm thickness, powered by the calibre 2121, and finished to perfection, anyone lucky enough to have the 15202 on their wrist has already made it; investment potential be damned.

5. Omega Speedmaster First Omega In Space (ref. 311.

Omega Speedmaster First Omega In Space (ref. 311.

When speaking of brand icons, the Omega Speedmaster is a genuine archetype. Nearly synonymous with the achievements of NASA in the space age for watch geeks, it was the Speedmaster CK2998 worn on the wrist of astronaut Wally Schirra (his own, purchased privately) that holds the title of the first Omega watch in space, dating back to October 3rd, 1962 on the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission.

It was in commemoration of Schirra’s achievement (orbiting the Earth six times onboard the Sigma 7 spacecraft) that Omega decided to launch the 60th-anniversary reference to the original in the “First Omega In Space” Speedmaster (FOIS) in 2012.

Now discontinued in 2020, the FOIS took inspiration from the original CK2998 with its 39.7mm diameter case size and symmetrical straight lugs (as opposed to the now emblematic twisted lugs of the “Professional” Speedmaster) worn on a leather strap, anticipating an era of vintage leaning aesthetics in a contemporary watch design that continues to this day.

From an investment standpoint, we have here in the FOIS a variant of an all-out watch archetype with a limited eight-year production run (an estimated 15,000-16,000 made based on numbered edition marked watches listed on the secondary market), with a vintage fit and appeal no longer available in the Speedmaster line.

6. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968G-010

Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968G-010

The heavy hitters continue. It was John Mayer who once described the Patek Philippe Aquanaut as “the Chuck Taylor version of Patek Philippe”. If you can afford one, or even afford the opportunity to buy one, count yourself among the lucky. For when even a watch’s composite rubber strap is highly collectible, you know the timepiece it’s attached to is even more special.

Often thought of as the more affordable alternative to the Nautilus and supposedly geared towards a younger demographic, aside from the flex and literal buy-in required to purchase the watch, at its core, Mayer’s assertion is correct.

Available in Khaki Green (Electric Blue and Bright Orange variants exist, among others), with a modern 42.2mm diameter and 11.9mm thickness, the grenade-like dial and vibrance of the Aquanaut imbue the wearer with the ultimate sense of high-low in watch wear.

The best of old-world watchmaking and finishing with the Patek name and brand values (cue in the precious metal white gold case material), with the modern and punchy design to take a kicking and keep on ticking. These characteristics make the Aquanaut a highly in-demand model to this day.

7. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph (ref. 26470OR.OO.1000OR.01)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph (ref. 26470OR.OO.1000OR.01)

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph (26470OR) was first introduced in 2014. Featuring a pink gold case, bracelet, and dial, encased in a 42mm diameter and 14.6mm thickness water resistant to 100m, the Offshore Chronograph is an unabashed luxury sports watch.

With the Offshore line being traditionally a testing ground for Audemars Piguet in materials, limited edition models, and endorsements, this particularly robust (read “massive”) Offshore is a thick chunk of pink rose gold material, accentuated with an integrated bracelet recalling the original Royal Oak beauty of yore, while coupled with ceramic crown surrounds and chronograph pushers, a remarkably modern addition, along with a sapphire display case back.

AP is truly at the top of the game with their level of finishing and refinement, and it’s no wonder that the dichotomy of the Offshore’s seemingly uncharacteristic bold and rough sportiness coupled with a sense of ultra sophistication has created one of the more popular watches for collectors of the brand to date. In terms of investment, sometimes you need to spend money to make money, and the Offshore is indeed one fun way to do it.

8. Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V Brown Dial

Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V Brown Dial

At Vacheron Constantin’s 2016 showing at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the third generation of the Overseas (4500V) was released to much fanfare. In blue and silver dial variations, the updates over the previous generation Overseas models (all the way back to 1996) showed us that the Overseas was a line that again deserved to be in the conversation alongside outside brand rivals in the Royal Oak and Nautilus integrated bracelet, steel sports range.

Featuring a 41mm stainless steel case in tonneau style, the 4500V is 11mm thick and water resistant to 150 meters. The movement is protected against magnetic fields up to 25,000 A/m with its soft iron casing ring and is available on a steel bracelet, rubber, or leather strap.

And while the blue and silver dial variants are drool-worthy in their own right with their refinement and build quality, it was the brown dial 4500V/110A-B146 variant released in May 2016, a few months after SIHH, that’s a particularly good investment for the discerning collector as it was discontinued only one year later.

Again, we fall back to rarity and X-Factor; A holy trinity grade watch, representative of a steel sports/integrated bracelet line, limited to a one-year production, with arguably the loveliest shade of brown on a luxury watch yet (Seriously; Why aren’t there more?).

9. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (ref. 116500LN)

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (ref. 116500LN)

No surprises here; The Rolex “Panda” Daytona (116500LN) makes the list. With a history going as far back as 1963, the first Cosmograph chronograph was decidedly not a hit. Despite its associations with the Daytona Speedway 24-Hour endurance race (of which Rolex became the official timekeeper for in the 60s), it was a watch famously sold off at a heavy discount and often coupled with the purchase of full gold Datejusts in the 70s and 80s (anecdotal, but you catch my drift) which were the best sellers at the time.

In other words, it was the unwanted outcast of the bunch. But where unpopularity ends, rarity and scarcity take hold. Throw in the celebrity factor (insert Paul Newman), and keen heads began to take note. Ultimately, we know the modern ceramic Daytona as one of the most unattainable watches at retail in current times, with supposed waitlists in the double-digit years.

And yet, regardless of the hype and phenomenon that accompanies the Daytona legend, we have a watch that at its core has evolved on a technical level with the calibre 4130 (quiet progress; Rolex’s way) in a 904L Oystersteel case and bracelet, measuring 40mm in diameter (officially; on the wrist, it’s closer to a 39mm) and 12.2mm thick. All of which to say, a watch that wears perfectly. Whether you purchase it for the hype or investment purposes or to simply enjoy it on your wrist, you won’t find disappointment here.

10. Omega Speedmaster “Alaska Project” (ref.311.

Omega Speedmaster “Alaska Project” (ref.311.

Timeline: the early 1970’s. NASA is considering exploration of the dark side of the moon; Omega develops an outer case for the Speedmaster watch to help withstand the harsh and extreme temperatures of Outer Space. Its name: “Alaska Project”. Fast forward to 2008, when Omega decides to release a limited and numbered edition of the “Alaska Project’ to the public, in 1970 pieces available world wide in commemoration of its historic exploits.

With it’s stark white dial, contrasted against the now iconic sub dial “Apollo Hands”, the Alaska Project Speedmaster is an otherwise standard Speedmaster Professional case and calibre 1861 movement that also features a large red-anodized aluminum outer case (57mm diameter x 23mm thick) which when coupled to the watch, enables it to withstand temperatures between -148 degrees celsius, to +250 degrees celsius. It’s big, it’s bold, and it’s rare.

11. Rolex Daytona “John Mayer”

Rolex Daytona “John Mayer”

The second Daytona on our list, everything we said prior still rings true for the “John Mayer”, reference 116508. In fact, the “John Mayer” name came only from its association with the famous singer-songwriter after he revealed the watch as part of his collection.

He regarded it as an obvious hit that was being overlooked, and just like that, the solid yellow gold watch with its stunning Rolex green dial became an overnight sensation. Consequent rumors of its eventual discontinuation year after year since have only added to increased speculative values. John was right; this one’s a hit.

12. Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre (ref.

Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre (ref.

Omega’s ties to the James Bond cinematic empire date back to the Pierce Brosnan era of the 1990s. With the traditional wave dial Bond Seamaster now being an icon in its own right, we propose looking at what could be that model’s antithesis; The straight lug, broad arrow Seamaster 300 Spectre edition based on the CK2913 of the late 1950s.

The Spectre is an attractive watch that leans into the design cues and aesthetics of the 50s and 60s, coupled with the modern innovations of Omega technology such as the Co-Axial and calibre 8400 movement. In total, 7007 pieces were made.

13. Richard Mille RM055 “Bubba Watson”

Richard Mille RM055 “Bubba Watson”

Bubba Watson, the famous American professional golf player, has partnered with Richard Mille since 2011. Though many models have been built for Watson (for example: the RM038, a direct inspiration for the RM055), the RM055, in particular, is a highly technical and innovative sports watch hand-finished to high watchmaking tradition standards.

Richard Mille, renowned for their unique case and baseplate materials and research, combines rubber, titanium, carbon fiber, sapphire, and ceramic in a highly skeletonized tonneau case with the “Bubba Watson”. Built to handle extreme sports and high impact, truly any Richard Mille watch is an investment in both price to acquire and expressive (yet functional) design.

14. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1R

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1R

A 45-hour power reserve, fly-back sports chronograph in 18k rose gold, the 5980/1R simply oozes class with its 40.5 mm diameter x 12.2mm thick case, all the while water resistant up to 120 meters. With a 21k gold central rotor powering its manufacture CH 28-520 C movement, what truly sets the 5980/1R apart is its solid rose gold bracelet (and that finishing), formerly available in rose gold only on a leather strap before 2013. This is a bold watch for the boldest of collectors only, and at over 253 grams unsized, it’s a true investment piece that could be the center of any watch portfolio (if not said portfolio’s center of gravity). 

15. Richard Mille RM27-04 “Rafael Nadal”

Richard Mille RM27-04 “Rafael Nadal”

Surely, any watch with a million-dollar price tag should be considered an “investment”. But what makes the RM27-04 “Rafael Nadal” special? Why the price tag? Limited to 50 pieces, we have a watch with a suspended tourbillon and movement within a micro-blasted, stainless steel mesh joined to two PVD-treated gold tensioners.

Anchored at the 1 and 5 o’clock positions, its forward-thinking design allows the watch to withstand upwards of 12,000 G’s, which sure sounds a heck of a lot more than anything Nadal (or you and I, for that matter) could swing a tennis racket at.

16. IWC Ingenieur SL “Jumbo” Ref. 1832

IWC Ingenieur SL “Jumbo” Ref. 1832

Stainless steel sports watch: Check. Integrated bracelet: Check. Actual honest Gerald Genta (not derived) design: Checkmate. While we often think of the Royal Oak and Nautilus as the two main pillars of Genta design, for true nerds, the Ingenieur is right up there as the third pillar in the designer’s achievements (you weren’t thinking of his Mickey Mouse watches, were you?).

A 40mm tonneau-shaped case, 12.5mm thickness, with a five-drilled hole round bezel and graph paper like guilloché, we have all the hallmarks of a Genta classic, and as an investment piece, you could do much worse.

17. Tudor Submariner 7928

Tudor Submariner 7928

Originally conceived by Rolex founder, Hans Wilsdorf, to be the affordable alternative to the Rolex brand, Tudor watches have earned their place in history as much more than just the “little sibling to big brother”. With ties to historic expeditions of their own to partnerships with militaries the world over, vintage Tudor watches, in particular, have seen a massive spike in interest in recent years as collectors become outpriced or disinterested in the evergreen Rolex model equivalents.

Introduced in 1959, the Tudor Submariner, reference 7928 in particular, saw production for nearly 10 years. It had two notable firsts: the introduction of crown guards and a larger case size (up from 37mm of the reference 7924 prior to 39mm in the 7928). Over its ten-year production span, upwards of at least six documented variants were produced. However, the MK1 “square crown guards” variant is among the rarest, with only an estimated 100 known in existence.

18. Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42 Infinity Edition

Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42 Infinity Edition

Continuing the theme of steel sports, integrated bracelet watches dominating the collectors market, the Girard-Perregaux Laureato 42 Infinity Edition was released in limited production (188 units) in partnership with watch retailer Wempe, sold exclusively through Wempe locations in London, Germany, and New York after its debut in 2020.

As the name implies, the watch is 42mm in diameter, matched with a thickness of only 10.7mm, featuring an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and display caseback whilst providing 100m of water resistance and 54 hours of power reserve. But perhaps the true star of the show is that black onyx dial contrasted with pink gold markers. To infinity and beyond.

19. F.P. Journe Elegante 48

F.P. Journe Elegante 48

Independent darling brand (and living watchmaker) F.P. Journe has seen a meteoric rise in the watch-collecting market in the past decade. With its unique and unrivaled sense of design and innovation respecting the tradition of watchmaking, it was no coincidence, given the level of watchmaking and scarcity of its product.

Among such achievements, in the Elegante 48, we see the Calibre 1210, 8 years in development. A largely hand-finished quartz movement that can put itself to sleep after 35 minutes of inactivity, a microprocessor then remembers the time so that when reactivated from physical movement, the hands jump back to the correct time.

Impressively, with regular use, the battery can provide upwards of 8-10 years of life, whereas its theoretical maximum is an unthinkable 18 years of life if left in a dormant state. Embrace the quartz revolution with the Journe Elegante 48.

20. Tudor Prince Day Date

Tudor Prince Day Date

Debuting in 1952, the Tudor Prince line was the foundation of Tudor watches, occupying the space equivalent to the Datejust and Day-Dates of the Rolex world. Classically styled, the Prince Day Date, in particular, features an oyster style case with a jubilee bracelet and the unmistakable day wheel at 12 o’clock, with a traditional style date and date magnifier at 3 o’clock a la the Rolex “President”.

Though now discontinued, the 76200 reference available since the 1990s can still be found in good condition as an alternative daily wearer to more expensive options from Rolex and even the current Tudor catalog. As collectors look back to uncover neo-vintage gems from the 1990s and early 2000s, Tudor’s brand popularity today almost guarantees that models like the Prince Day Date won’t be overlooked for much longer.


“Investment” has become almost a dirty word in the watch hobby. But the factors that make a good investment watch are also the things that make a watch worth collecting: Rarity, personality, differentiation, and time-proven design.

Furthermore, understanding investment value and thinking of watches as an asset doesn’t need to negate the joy we get from owning them. It’s merely one part of the spectrum in our collective watch journeys and ultimately helps us understand our tastes and preferences in a new light.

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