I think out of all the pieces of jewellery worn on a daily basis throughout the world, a watch has to be up near, if not at the top of the list. There are of course an infinite amount of options and styles available to pick from so its understandable to be left confused and lost on where to start if you are looking for that special piece or investment item. In this short article you will find examples of three legendary watches that are well worth owning in your lifetime should you find yourself able to do so. They carry an iconic status, will continue to stand the test of time and will act as an investment along the way.
The Rolex Submariner
If the human race were to leave behind in a time capsule, one representation of a wristwatch, the Rolex Submariner would be in it. It is simply “The Watch”. First introduced to the public in 1954 it is perhaps the most well rounded, versatile watch created. Originally designed for diving with its tough, water resistant oyster case and triple lock crown, this watch has evolved somewhat over the years with improvements both internally and cosmetically. At the foundations there are two options available, a date and non-date after which the world is your oyster, if you excuse the pun, on what metal you choose. Steel, steel and gold (bi-colour), yellow gold or white. In terms of everyday use and depending on your budget, I would go with the steel date at £6,250. You will likely get a little more residual value with the date depending on its age. Vintage models can be costly to buy however if you find a bargain you are on to a winner. Post 2012 models feature the glide-lock clasp and an updated, ceracrom bezel which is again much more robust than the older plastic inlays. Modern versus old aside, a Rolex Submariner is an unbelievable watch and one you can never go wrong with no matter what the age.
Patek Philippe 5711/1A
There are brands that have attained an almost mythical status in the watch world, with some of their pieces being harder to find than the Holy Grail itself. One such brand would be Patek Philippe and its enigmatic Nautilus 5711/1A. First introduced in 1976 by iconic watch designer Gerald Genta who incredibly sketched out a draft of said model in 5 minutes, it is a watch that is admired and adored the world over. The 5711/A is a steel timepiece that has a retail price of £22,820 and a waiting list of 5+ years depending where you are shopping. So why such the steep price and waiting time? Well to put it in perspective Patek produce fewer than 40,000 watches a year where as a company such as Rolex make around 750,000. With this in mind the attention to detail is mind blowing with every piece meticulously hand finished. It is also that rarity and length of time I previously alluded to that brings with it such a high price. Expect to pay £29-£36,000 for a pre-owned model meaning as an investment piece, the 5711/1A knocks it out the park completely. It is an astounding watch and one to jump at if you have the means.
Omega Speedmaster “Moonwatch”
Few watch companies can say one of their timepieces has been in to space and only one can boast about a particular model as the first to be worn on the moon. In 1957 Omega introduced the Speedmaster and a legend was born. Originally designed to be a sport and racing chronograph, the watch saw its first space action in NASA’s Gemini 4 mission, before famously adoring the wrist of the astronauts on the first manned lunar landing in 1969. What primarily made this watch perfect for space flight was its manual wind movement, allowing the watch to continually work where automatic watches would not due to the lack of gravity. As you can imagine over time there have been improvements to the movement of which today, you will likely find a model with the 1861 or 1863 version. The classic hesalite crystal or plexiglass still protects the dial to continue that classic feel however what is best about this watch is the price. £3,520 for one of the most legendary timepieces created certainly cannot be ignored and would make a stellar first watch or as an addition to a collection.
Although the three watches above are all featured on bracelets, if you are a fan of a strap, there are some excellent options to go for. A classic NATO looks fantastic on the Omega Speedmaster and Rubber B produce some great options for the likes of the Rolex Submariner. Whatever you go for, make sure one of the above is on your wrist in the near future.