Among hundreds of thousands of watches, you only find a few with real stories behind.
New day, same scenario. Someone calls me to ask about a watch with a funny shape from a new and ”ambitious” brand. In most of the situations, it is Swiss Made, because all good watches should come from Switzerland, but this is more or less everything I recognize as horological about the question.
Therefore, I start here a story about the watches that really matter especially for people thinking to wear a real message on the wrist. The so-called Icon Watches are those watches, usually in production since more than 20 years, with a design usually unchanged since day one and therefore with high chances to be able to keep their value in time. Regarding value, there isn’t any principle stating that an expensive watch should always be as valuable as the price tag. So if you’re still a beginner, my advice would be to look for a design you really like and a model you can afford. There are still a few beautiful watches around for which you won’t spend a fortune. 7 ideas follow below:
Everything starts and ends with Rolex. Hate it, Love it, but don’t tell me you didn’t hear about it because I won’t believe you! Rolex is one of the reasons for which today is fashionable to wear a watch on your wrist. The founder of the company was a visionary and understood the future is not anymore about the pocket watches. He was also a marketing genius and he managed to associate the logo with everything important, from sports to business. Long story short, Rolex watches are also extremely reliable and this means there are still people wearing watches earned from their grand grand parents and they work great. Submariner is obviously the most recognizable design from Rolex but every detail on the case and dial is there for a reason and not because it was trendy. If you can relate to the idea then you should go for one blind folded!
Maybe Santos sounds now like a second word to Cartier in the world of watches but it wasn’t like this one century ago. Albert Dumos Santos was a famous Brazilian young bachelor living in Paris and totally in love with the newly developed industries of cars and planes. Due to his passion for driving and flying, Albert wanted a watch to wear on the wrist instead of his pocket. Therefore, he kindly asked his jeweler friend, Louis Cartier, to make him a fashionable time keeping device and in response he received a model with his name. Cartier Santios is an icon still in all trends and fashion and it keeps the DNA of the original concept even if there are a lot of variations of sizes, complications and textures.
There is only a watch that ever landed on the Moon and this is Omega Speedmaster. The model wasn’t invented for flying into Space, but NASA decided it is the best time keeping device to back up computers for the historical 1969 mission. From that moment on, Speedmaster entered the watches hall of fame and managed to remain one of the most desirable choices until today. The original version, still in production, has manual winding because an automatic charge system isn’t functional in space and also has no date window as you won’t need it when flying above Earth. Meanwhile, Omega produced an extended family of Speedmasters and every one of them looks and feels great!
The square shaped watches are in a class of their own and they should be really memorable to enter the select class of Icon Watches. The Reverso imagined by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1931 was actually a practical solution to the complaints of British polo players who were destroying the glass of their watches during the games. So instead of advising them to play without their watches, the Swiss watchmakers developed a mechanism that allows for the case to flip so that the glass is kept safe from smashes or scratches. During the following 86 years, Reverso became a status symbol of elegance for both men and women and is available in different sizes. While the glass technology improved to the level of the high resistant crystal of today, Jaeger LeCoultre developed two faced Reversos who are even more spectacular than the original concept.
TAG Heuer Monaco
Fame for the Monaco square chronograph comes mainly from the association with the legendary Steve McQueen who proudly wears one in the world time famous 1971 movie Le Mans. Monaco came up as the result of drivers’ expectations being the project of Jack Heuer himself, the great grandson of the TAG Heuer founder. Jack was a passionate driver so he spent a lot of time around the track in the 1970’ but he also understood the need of style and therefore he came up with the unique blue theme for the design that still looks amazing in our times. TAG Heuer continues to have the Monaco in the current collection and I believe it will as it looks like the watch to make you effortlessly stand out.
Panerai Luminor Marina
The Italian designed Swiss made icon can easily become a scenario for a box-office success movie. The brand was founded in 1860 in Florence and knew success as a military instruments provider between 1938 and 1970. The true fame came later, in the 1990’, while Sylvester Stallone was in Florence and discovered one piece inside the brands shop. He liked it so much so he decided to wear it in the movies. From that point on, Panerai turned into the world wide obsession that continues today. The shape is impossible to confuse and they are also reliable watches to own for many years with no worries.
Longines La Grande Classique
As I mentioned since the beginning of this story, the value and especially the message of a watch is far from being a direct consequence of its price tag. Longines is one of the best examples of brand image and elegance in the medium price segment. La Grande Classique dates to the 1980’ and draws its inspiration from the extra slim watches the Swiss house wanted to create as to celebrate 150 years since its founding. The round simple case is naturally enriching any woman presence whether it holds an automatic mechanical or a quartz mechanism. The size ranges from 23 to 36 mm in diameter and the style chosen for linking the bracelet to the case is for sure unique in the world of watches.