The ultimate luxury watch collection is built on iconic timepieces. While it’s incredibly challenging to narrow must-have watches down to a handful, that’s precisely what we’ve done. The following watches provide pillars on which to build the rest of your collection.
Chopard Mille Miglia
We’ve enjoyed the special racing editions of the Chopard Mille Miglia watch that Chopard has introduced over the past couple of years. In 2016, the classic Mille Miglia case was beefed up to a hefty 46mm, and the ETA movement was shunned for an excellent in-house made offering. Last year, we got not one but two special editions of the GTS style Mille Miglia with excellent engine turned dials. This year, we got five different variations of the traditional Mille Miglia watch that we have come to know and love over the years.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Gérald Genta designed the Royal Oak to be the first steel luxury wristwatch. Nicknamed “Jumbo” because of its large-for-its-day size, the Royal Oak fits right in with most men’s luxury watches today.
Its hexagonal bezel makes it stand out from the crowd. Eight highly-polished functional screws hold the bezel in place, and a slightly raised flat sapphire crystal protects the signature dial. The back of the watch is as impressive as the front, giving you a glimpse of the gorgeously finished, self-winding movement.
Will the Royal Oak continue to evolve in future years? Michael Friedman, Head of Complications at Audemars Piguet, said, “As long as the form remains a canvas for beautiful and complex finishings that demonstrate human ingenuity and great craft, we feel we are on the right path. The link of the Royal Oaks of the past, present and those yet to be created are the watchmakers, artisans and technicians themselves. They simultaneously guard the traditional techniques of the past, problem-solve for the present and conceptualise for the future.”
Patek Philippe Nautilus
Every luxury watch collection needs a timepiece that can be passed down through the generations. The Patek Philippe Nautilus meets that requirement. Its design has barely changed since it debuted in 1976.
Designed by the late Gerald Genta, the Nautilus reinvented the luxury watch market by bridging the gap between sports and dress watches. Over the years, Patek Philippe has released various Nautilus models, including a chronograph and an annual calendar.
The Nautilus bezel is neither round nor rectangular; it resembles a porthole with a soft octagonal dial. Early models had a diameter of 42mm, considered “jumbo.” In the 1990s, Patek Philippe pared down the size, but today it’s back up to the original, eye-catching diameter. Widely regarded as one of the most popular luxury watches of all time, the Nautilus remains one of Patek Philippe’s most sought-after timepieces.
Of all the iconic Rolex watches, why did we choose the Submariner as the must-have? In the early 1950s, a man named Rene-Paul Jeanneret directed the Rolex company. He loved underwater diving and enlisted the help of legendary oceanic explorer Jacques Cousteau to test his latest “tool watch.”
Tag Heuer Monaco
Introduced as the world’s first automatic chronograph in 1969, the Tag Heuer Monaco may be one of the world’s most recognisable watches. It’s square, rather than round, creating angles where we expect curves. Its rebellious sensibility has inspired several generations since Jack Heuer first designed it for the Formula One race on 3 March 1969.
If you can own at least 2 from this list then you are already starting a proper collection which you can be proud of.