Whether it is to get noticed by your boss, impress your in-laws, brag to your friends at the Yacht Club or to calmly sail into the murky waters of high society, here are the top 5 watches to boast of and make people jealous. These pieces will tell a lot about you without even having to speak. They will show everybody that unlike that video of you during Thursday’s afterwork, when it comes to watches you do not joke around.
To look like a VIP : a Rolex Daytona 116500
We couldn’t make such a top without talking about Rolex ! Sure the brand with the crown is widely known and widespread, but there still are some models that tend to get rarer than hair on Vin Diesel’s head. Namely, the almost unobtainable Daytona 116500LN that will make you look like a VIP or even a member of the Wilsdorf family. This new version of the iconic pilot watch introduced in 1963 is not about radical changes but rather about subtle restyling and historical tribute.
It features a scratch-proof black monobloc Cerachrom bezel in ceramic with engraved tachymetric scale, which gives it a sporty look. If you’re looking for a versatile watch mixing classy and sporty, look no further than this mythical chronograph. With Rolex’s usual black and white style, this version blends vintage with modernity. Rolex has once again managed to stir up public passion since this Daytona is a victim of its own success and lives up to its legendary unavailability. You can try your luck at your local Rolex dealer if you have 11.350 euros and time, a lot of time, to spare. But the wait will be worth it when your wrist will get envious looks. More information here.
To show off your taste in mechanics : a Richard Mille RM 035
If you want to draw attention and get a conversation starter, try the Richard Mille RM 035. This concentration of technology is quite the talking piece and will help you show off your taste in mechanics, since you’ll have an absolute machine on the wrist (just like Richard says). This exuberant, exclusive and (very) expensive watch features the now classical RM barrel-shaped case in NTPT carbon made out of layers of parallel filaments for an even lighter weight.
The watch provides a great view on the hand-wound mechanical movements thanks to extensive skeletonizing. As far as colours go, the piece is rather monochrome excepted for some hints of red on the crown and the indexes. Please note that this piece was made in honour of French skier Alexis Pinturault after his 19th World Cup win. You can expect high-level performances and sturdiness and you will be able to keep it on your wrist to impress your friends when playing tennis. Even if you lose the game you’ll know you’ve won watch-wise. Find out more here.
To feel like an aesthete : a Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Arts Villes Lumières
For the artists at heart we’ll advise the Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Arts Villes Lumières. This watch is quite the work of art and would perfectly fit in a gallery where you’d showcase your wrist. There are three different models, featuring three different cities, so you’ll be able to show you’re a man of the world or represent your city if you happen to live in one of them. The concept of this collection is about flying over three cities at night, Paris, Geneva and New-York. Their respective maps and lights have been recreated by hand with precious powders by Japanese artist Yoko Imai.
This craft requires an extreme meticulousness to sprinkle the gold, pearl, platinum and diamond powders in order the accurately recreate each city’s streets and avenues as well as light density. Each unique dial needs more than three months of work to precisely depict those iconic cities, but you’ll only need to minutes to make that condescending art director that keeps scowling at you jealous. Also you’ll need about 108.000 euros to purchase one of those works of art.
To be exclusive : a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711P 40th anniversary
If you like exclusiveness, we recommend looking for a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711P 40th anniversary. More than having a watch that only a few own, you’ll also remind the entire world in a simple wrist motion that you do not give up easily. Why ? Because this watch has stirred up passions and having one would make you one of the few able to wear it. The chances of running into another one are rather slim.
It seems that Patek Philippe makes platinum Nautiluses for their best clients, but those are as confidential as Coca-Cola’s recipe. Made out of platinum, they also feature a slightly darker dial compared to the steel models available to the masses. So when Patek decides to unveil a platinum 5711/1P reference in honour of the iconic original Nautilus introduced in 1976, the time to get one is now or never for those that aren’t in the brand’s good books. This 40th anniversary edition is limited to 700 pieces worldwide and features a 40mm case with a darker blue dial, diamond indexes, the typical horizontal Nautilus embossing and, in the bottom half of the dial, the very discreet two-line anniversary citation. More info here, expect to pay more than 100.000 euros if you happen to find one.
To show that you’re a connoisseur : a Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Limited Edition SBGJ021
We end this top 5 with a more discreet piece, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Limited Edition SBGJ021. This watch is intended for those that want to play it sober with its understated style and show that they’re real watch connoisseurs that care more about the product than the marketing. No wealth display here, it’s about showing off by your knowledge of the watch market and your refined taste. Known by collectors for its quality, this Grand Seiko is a good alternative to the GMT Master from Rolex. If this Seiko takes after the SBGJ005 that won the Petite Aiguille award in Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève in 2014, it brings some new elements to the table.
The 40mm steel case feature a rather unusual dial colour, some kind of dark brown-red inspired by the mornings in the Mount Iwate region, where the Grand Seiko are manufactured. The bottom of the case features a beautiful tungsten and titanium oscillating weight with colours ranging from purple to yellow, also inspired by the sunrise and obtained using an oxidization treatment. Mechanics wise, it embarks a high beat 36.000 vph (5 Hz) movement. True to the brand’s reputation for accuracy, this Grand Seiko provides an accuracy of between -3 to +5 seconds per day, while the hour hand can be adjusted independently without disrupting the functioning of the watch. It should be around 7.000 euros if you get your hands on one of the 500 pieces of this limited edition. More about this watch here.