High-end watches often come with five or six-figure price tags and the buying journey when you’re looking to treat yourself big-ticket timepiece can be complex. Investing in a legendary watch symbolises so much more than just a piece of jewellery. It can subtly infer status, showcase your sense of style, your work ethic and so much more.
Buying a luxury watch
The experience of buying a luxury watch in many respects, isn’t unlike the experience of investing in a piece of high-end technology or a much sought after car. Whether you’re buying a vintage Audemars Piguet online, in a bricks and mortar store looking at five-figure tech kit investment or even on the forecourts scoping new wheels; when you’re looking at a significant purchase, the buying journey is a huge part of the process.
What do the luxury brands’ you choose, say about you?
When you’re shopping for a luxury item, you investigate the brands that entice you most, that speak your language, that convey the story you want to tell about yourself. You’ll take in the aesthetics, the functionality of the timepiece or the technology, the ergonomics. Your last consideration will likely be the price.
Taking this synergy between tech and timepieces further, Sir Jony Ive, Chief Design Officer of tech giant Apple commented in an interview: “I don’t look at watches for their relationship to popular culture, which I know is so much of the fun – but rather as somehow the distillation of craft, ingenuity, miniaturisation, and of the art of making.”
Heading up one of the greatest non-jewellery luxury brands in the world, Jony knows a thing or two about craft, ingenuity and the art of making. To celebrate his vision, and that of Steve Jobs before him we’ve curated the top ten living legend watches to own in 2020.
1. AUDERMANS PIGUET THE ROYAL OAK SELFWINDING CHRONOGRAPH
The Royal Oak collection was released less than fifty years ago by luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet. Designer of the piece, Gerald Genta set the tone for the future of the brand and solidified both the Swiss outfit’s positon as one of the world’s most successful watchmakers and his status as a infamous designer slash legend.
The Royal Oak Self-winding chronograph draws inspiration from deep-sea diving helmets. This master timepiece features an 18-carat pink gold case with glare-proofed sapphire crystal and a screw-locked crown with a deep blue Grande Tapisserie dial. Pink gold-toned counters and hour markers along with Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating finish this refreshingly stylish look.
2. BREITLING PREMIER BENTLEY MULLINER LIMITED EDITION (FROM MAY 2020)
Famed for uber-desirable timepieces, innovation and intelligent measuring tools, Breitling’s formidable reputation needs little introduction. The latest legendary timepiece in their lengthy partnership with Bentley – the longest relationship between a carmaker and watchmaker – sees the launch of the Premier Bentley Mulliner Limited Edition. With just one hundred of these iconic pieces created, this is a highly covetable wristwatch. The 42mm polished steel case and large Arabic numbers an offbeat vintage edge, yet is as suitable for the board meeting as it is a night out on the town.
3. ROLEX DAY DATE 36 IN GOLD
Rolex’s Day-Date watch hit the marketplace in 1956. It was the very first waterproof and self-winding chronometer wristwatch to came with a modern calendar day-date display, spelt out in full in a window on the dial. Synonymous with status, precision and reliability, the Rolex Day-Date has become a prime status symbol. Last year, Rolex announced the Day-Date 36 in Gold, with a green dial and gemstone indices and legendary President’s Bracelet. Truly, a delicious 70’s style affair, yet classic in it’s design.
4. PATEK PHILLIPE CALATRAVA WEEKLY CALENDAR
Patek Philippe is an independent watch manufacturer whose timepieces are synonymous with style. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, they are said by many to produce the finest watches in the world. Their latest Calatrava 5212A model is favoured multi-generationally due to its timeless elegance and simple beauty. Going beyind the time, day, date and month measurements, this piece goes a little bite further, with the display tracking the weeks of the year. Fun fact for design lovers: the facial lettering is the handwriting of an original Patek designer, an exquisite feature that brings humanity to a complex piece.
5. OMEGA SPEEDMASTER MOONWATCH CHRONOGRAPH
Last year was a pivotal year for the OMEGA brand, as they observed the half a century anniversary of their Speedmaster’s walk on the moon, worn by astronaut Ed White. The OMEGA Speedmaster has gone on to solidify its legendary status, being involved with each and every USA lunar mission. This new release is just as iconic as its predecessors, with a 39.7mm stainless steel case inspired by Ed White’s 3rd generation model. The dial hosts Moonwatch hands and the vintage brand mark, a seconds’ sub-dial and the central chronograph hand.
6. TAG HEUER CONNECTED
One of the more wallet-friendly options within this selection, this wearable tech timepiece features a sleek, refined design that disguises its sports smartwatch status. The third generation model in the Connected range provides GPS, heart rate monitoring, a compass, accelerometer and gyroscopic sensors and is all you’d expect from a piece of high-end wearable tech, all accessed through an application that can track a range of activities. Yet it’s sporty elegance in a range of finishes is a piece that you can wear all day long.
7. LONGINES HERITAGE MOONPHASE 1832
Longines world-famous Moonphase watches are sophisticated and intriguing – the watch of a true gentleman. Stylish by design, the legendary 1832 model timepiece comes in a range of alligator leather strap finishes and make use of the Longines L592 or L888 movements. The Moonphase range allow the wearer to follow the lunar cycle with razor-sharp accuracy, thanks to the brand’s vast two-hundred-year old watchmaking history and rich technical mastery.
8. CARTIER SANTOS-DUMONT
Legendary actor Jake Gyllenhall faces the campaign for the classic Santos de Cartier collection, which first hit the marketplace in 1904. Cartier’s signature style, it’s said to be one the most iconic timepieces of the last 100 years. The brand new Santos-Dumont designs are slimmed down from previous incarnations and come in both a large and small version of the model. With quartz movements, a steel case and a beaded crown, as well as a navy alligator-leather strap this is a classy, discreet piece.
9. CHOPARD APLINE EAGLE AUTOMATIC
Chopard’s Alpine Eagle collection is the epitome of sports chic. This new timepiece is a reimagining of the original St. Moritz watch, designed by current co-head of Chopard House, Karl-Friedirch Scheufele back in the early eighties. Created from light-reflecting, ultra-resistant steel this is a fine-looking watch that’s dedicated to men who exceed their goals, every day in life.
10. HUBLOT CLASSIC FUSION ‘LONDON’
All polished titanium, stylish black rubber strap and London City tartan, this is one seriously attractive watch. Created as a love-story to the UK’s dynamic capital, the Classic Fusion London is a limited edition statement piece that captures the City’s high-energy and rapid-pace. The timepiece has ten signature ‘H’ screws set into the bezel, a discreet nod to the brand mark.