There are those certain watches from popular mainstream brands that have a huge following and are the genetic DNA of the brand, if not somewhat - entirely. Here is my list of the Top 5 watches that are generally classic, timeless, and retain value, with the chance of price increases as well in the future years to come.
#1 Rolex Submariner
As cliche as it might sound...but yes the Rolex Submariner is a timeless and classic dive watch and a very capable one. Prices have soared over the years way past inflation and for good reason. It is an awesome everyday, no nonsense, luxury watch. My version is the No date version or just the “Submariner”. It is more true to the lineage of the original submariner which did not have a date with a cyclops nor a date. It is clean, goes well with a suit or just a plain white t-shirt and cargo shorts. This watch retails at $7500 but since the rolex drought this year, new grey market prices have reached nearly $8500-$9000.
#2 Rolex Day Date “President”
The Rolex Day Date has been seen as a worldwide symbol for wealth, class, and well some gaudiness. You can find many different versions of this model at all different pricepoints. Many of your leaders and presidents have worn this watch at one time or another and it is an awesome looking watch. The solid 18K gold presidential bracelet ( hence the name President ), is seamless, comfortable, and attractive. The 18038 model seen on my wrist is a model from the early 1980s, and can be had for around $10,500 with box and papers. It is one of the best bang per buck solid gold watches one can find. The newer models tend to go for a bit more , and even more in the 40MM case.
#3 Omega Speedmaster Professional MoonWatch
When Buzz Aldrin stepped on the lunar surface in 1969 on the moon, guess what he was wearing? If you guessed an Omega Speedmaster, you were right. This iconic watch from powerhouse swiss watchmaker Omega has an enormous cult following, so much they created a special day of the week to wear your Speedmaster ( #SpeedyTuesday ). The version that is almost true to the original is the Speedmaster professional reissue which houses essentially the same 1861 calibre that was used in the first. It also can be bought with Hesalite glass which the original had or with a modern Sapphire crystal. This chronograph is sure to hold okay value, with vintage models soaring each year in price at auction. The best part about it is that a new Speedy can be bought for under $4000 USD.
#4 Breitling Navitimer
The Breitling Navitimer is one of the most iconic aviation watches to date. The newer models feature an all in-house B01 Breitling calibre with some amazing specifications. Older Navitimers can be had with Valjoux based movements for almost half the price, which is a bargain considering the history and iconic status this watch holds. It is a rather toolish watch with a functional slide rule for flight calculations such as multiplication, division, and more. The first Navitimer was introduced in 1952. New models can be bought new for around $6000 USD from various online outlets such as Jomashop, while older pre owned models can go for as low as $3,000.
#5 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
The JLC reverso was introduced in 1931 and originally intended for the upperclass of Brittain to be used whilst playing Polo. The case design was genius in that era, as one side is solid so that the crystal would not get damaged while playing. The Reverso really made a strong comeback in the mid 1980s and new models have been released each year in special editions. JLC is the watchmakers watchmaker some may say, as they produce all components in their own factory in Switzerland where the company originated. If you want Patek quality at an affordable price, JLC is the way to go. The standard JLC models can be found for around $8,000-$10,000, and higher for precious metals.
The first Rolex watches were not manufactured in-house, but instead were made by other watchmakers and then branded with the Rolex name. However, Wilsdorf had a vision of creating a wristwatch that was both reliable and accurate, and he set out to develop his own movements.
In 1910, Rolex became the first wristwatch to receive the Swiss Certificate of Chronometric Precision, which was a testament to the accuracy of the watch. Over the years, Rolex continued to innovate and develop new technologies and features, such as the first waterproof wristwatch in 1926, the first self-winding mechanism in 1931, and the first wristwatch with a date display in 1945.
Rolex has also been associated with several famous individuals, including explorers, athletes, and celebrities. For example, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay wore Rolex watches when they became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. Rolex has also been the official timekeeper of several sporting events, including Wimbledon and the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Today, Rolex is one of the most recognized and respected luxury watch brands in the world, known for its quality, precision, and timeless style.
OMEGA Watches History
In 1894, Omega revolutionized the watch industry with the introduction of the 19-ligne Omega Calibre, which was more accurate and reliable than any other watch movement of the time. This innovation earned Omega numerous awards and accolades, and the brand quickly became known for its precision and quality.
In 1903, Omega was chosen as the official timekeeper for the Gordon Bennett Cup, an international balloon race. This marked the beginning of Omega's long-standing relationship with sports timing and its reputation as a reliable and accurate timekeeper.
In 1932, Omega became the first brand to be awarded the Olympic Cross of Merit for its outstanding contribution to sports timing at the Olympic Games. Since then, Omega has been the official timekeeper for numerous Olympic Games, and its timekeeping technology has continued to evolve and improve.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Omega's watches were worn by famous explorers and adventurers, including Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay during their ascent of Mount Everest in 1953, and Jacques Cousteau during his underwater expeditions.
In the 1960s, Omega introduced the Speedmaster, a chronograph watch that was originally designed for motorsports but became famous as the first watch worn on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. The Speedmaster has since become one of Omega's most iconic and sought-after models.
Today, Omega continues to innovate and produce high-quality watches, including the Seamaster, Constellation, and De Ville collections. The brand also continues to be the official timekeeper for numerous sporting events, including the Olympic Games and the America's Cup.
BREITLING Watches History
In 1915, Breitling introduced the first wrist-worn chronograph with a separate pusher to control the start, stop, and reset functions, which made it easier to use than previous models. This innovation helped establish Breitling as a leading maker of chronographs and other precision timepieces.
During the 1930s and 1940s, Breitling continued to innovate with the introduction of the first chronograph with a second independent pusher, which allowed for the recording of multiple elapsed times. The company also developed the Huit Aviation Department, which produced wristwatches for pilots and other aviation professionals.
In the 1950s, Breitling introduced the Navitimer, a wristwatch with a built-in slide rule that allowed pilots to perform complex calculations in-flight. The Navitimer became an instant classic and remains one of Breitling's most popular models to this day.
In the 1960s, Breitling continued to produce innovative timepieces, including the Chrono-Matic, which was the first automatic chronograph movement with a micro-rotor. The company also introduced the Emergency, a wristwatch with a built-in distress beacon that could be activated in case of an emergency.
In the years since, Breitling has continued to produce innovative and high-quality timepieces for a variety of applications, including aviation, diving, and sports. The company has also maintained a strong commitment to precision and accuracy, with many of its watches featuring COSC-certified movements. Today, Breitling is recognized as one of the world's leading luxury watch brands, with a reputation for innovation, quality, and style.
In the early days, Longines primarily produced pocket watches, and quickly gained a reputation for precision and accuracy. By the end of the 19th century, Longines had become one of the leading watchmakers in the world. In 1912, the company introduced the first chronograph wristwatch, which was quickly adopted by the military and aviation communities.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Longines continued to innovate with the introduction of the world's first quartz clock and the first wristwatch with an automatic winding mechanism. During World War II, Longines produced wristwatches for the British Royal Air Force, and continued to produce military watches for several decades afterwards.
In the post-war years, Longines became known for its elegant and sophisticated watches, particularly its "Conquest" line of watches. In the 1950s and 1960s, Longines was a favorite of celebrities and politicians, and its watches were frequently seen on the wrists of Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, and other famous figures.
In recent years, Longines has continued to produce high-quality watches that combine traditional Swiss craftsmanship with modern technology. The company is particularly known for its sport watches, including its "HydroConquest" line of diving watches and its "Conquest Classic" line of chronographs.
Today, Longines is owned by the Swatch Group, and remains a leading brand in the luxury watch industry. Its watches are prized for their precision, reliability, and timeless style.
In the early days, Tissot primarily produced pocket watches, and quickly gained a reputation for quality and precision. By the end of the 19th century, Tissot was one of the largest watchmakers in Switzerland, and was exporting its watches to countries around the world.
In the early 20th century, Tissot continued to innovate with the introduction of the first non-magnetic wristwatch, the first dual time-zone watch, and the first watch with a plastic case. During World War II, Tissot produced watches for the Allied forces, and continued to produce military watches for several decades afterwards.
In the post-war years, Tissot became known for its elegant and sophisticated watches, particularly its "Tissot Visodate" line of watches, which featured a date function and a distinctive "T" logo on the dial. In the 1970s, Tissot was one of the first Swiss watch brands to introduce quartz watches, which quickly became popular due to their accuracy and affordability.
In recent years, Tissot has continued to produce high-quality watches that combine traditional Swiss craftsmanship with modern technology. The company is particularly known for its sport watches, including its "T-Touch" line of watches, which feature touch-screen technology and a range of functions such as altimeter, compass, and thermometer.
Today, Tissot is part of the Swatch Group, and remains a leading brand in the watch industry. Its watches are prized for their quality, durability, and stylish design, and are worn by watch enthusiasts and collectors around the world.