Watches are more than just timepieces. They are objects of personal expression and style. Watches – the ones worth owning – are also incredibly compact, durable and reliable pieces of precision craftsmanship and engineering. Wear a fitness tracker when you’re running a marathon. Wear a fine watch when you want to be and look your best.
V3LLUM has curated a list of the 10 best men’s watches to buy right now. Any one of these not only makes a statement, it’s something that will become a family heirloom you’ll hand down to the next generation.
Audemars Piguet [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph
Founded in 1875 by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, Audemars Piguet manufactures luxury mechanical watches and clocks in Le Brassus, Switzerland. “Like a remastered recording from the 1940s, [Re]master01 reinterprets one of Audemars Piguet’s rare chronograph wristwatches with the latest chronograph technology and a dial design increasing legibility.” It has a yellow gold-toned dial, blue tachymetric scale, pink-gold hands and blue chronos second hand. The case and lugs are made of stainless steel, the bezel, crown and pushpieces are made of 18K pink gold and the sapphire crystal is glareproofed. The [Re]master01 comes with a hand-stiched light brown calfskin strap and includes an additional brown alligator skin strap.
MSRP: $53,100 / visit Audemars Piguet’s website
Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Bentley Mulliner Limited Edition
Known for precision-made chronometers designed for aviators, Breitling is a luxury watchmaker founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling and based in Grenchen, Switzerland. Celebrating Bentley’s Continental GT Convertible Mulliner Edition, the Premier Bentley Mulliner chronograph is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, each one engraved with its number in the series. Bentley’s Mulliner Workshop is an extension of Mulliner, a family company founded by master coachbuilder Robert Bouverie Mulliner in London in 1870. The Premier Bentley chronograph has close links to the interior of the most luxurious GT ever designed by Mulliner, and particularly to the Breitling clock in the automobile’s dashboard. On the left side of the case is a plate with an engraved “Bentley” inscription, whose design is based on the engine spin dashboard found in historic Bentleys.
MSRP: $8,650 / visit Breitling’s website
Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT King Gold
Founded in 1980 by Italian Carlo Crocco, Hublot is a luxury watchmaker based in Nyon, Switzerland. Hublot’s Classic Fusion Ferrari GT watch, with its innovative design which integrates the new UNICO manufacture movement in a body with distinctive and dynamic lines, is the next chapter in an ongoing collaboration between the watchmaker and the legendary Italian sports and race car manufacturer. Designed by Centro Stile Ferrari, the new Classic Fusion Ferrari GT draws inspiration from the GT designed and crafted in the Maranello workshops. Carbon and titanium versions are available, but this one’s distinctive case is made from 18K microblasted King Gold.
MSRP: $38,800 / visit Hublot’s website
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang MECA-10 Titanium
Another impressive timepiece from Hublot, which also has the watchmaker’s trademark open working, is the Spirt of Big Bang MECA-10. It’s named after the 10-day power reserve of its new HUB1233 manual-winding movement. With its 45mm case, black rubber strap and matte-black skeleton dial, this one is understated and caters to the true connoisseur. Also available in Black Magic ($27,300) and King Gold ($44,100) versions, we’re partial to the Titanium model.
MSRP: $23,100 / visit Hublot’s website
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon
Founded in 1833 by Antoine LeCoultre, Jaeger-LeCoultre is another legendary Swiss watchmaker, based in the town of Le Sentier. With its 39mm white gold case, the Master Ultra Thin Moon has a selenite-gray colored dial where “emblematic complications, moon phases, and date elegantly reveal themselves.” The automatic mechanical movement contains 253 parts and has a 38-hour power reserve. The strap is made of alligator leather.
MSRP: $19,500 / visit Jaeger-LeCoultre’s website
Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronometre
One of the newer Swiss watch brands is Parmigiani Fleurier, founded in 1996 by Michel Parmigiani and based in Fleurier, Switzerland. “The decoration is so captivating because it is based on the Golden Ratio,” says Michel Parmigiani, of the dial on the Toric Chronometre. “Reproducing a harmony that is everywhere in nature.” It has an 18K red gold case, an Hermès Havana alligator strap and a red gold ardillion buckle.
MSRP: $22,300 / visit Parmigiani Fleurier’s website
Patek Philippe 5212A-001 Calatrava Weekly Calendar
Another legendary name in the world of fine watches is Patek Philippe, which was founded in 1839 and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Patek Philippe’s new 5212A-001 features a new complication – it keeps track of not only time, day, date and month but also weeks in a year. Beyond the three standard hands for seconds, minutes and hours, two red-tipped hammer pointers register the day and the week number. Design afficionados should note the technical lettering on the face is based on the actual handwriting of a Patek designer, a handsome and human detail on such an exquisite and captivating complication.
MSRP: $29,500 / visit Patek Philippe’s website
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Piaget is a luxury watchmaker and jeweler founded in 1874 by Georges Piaget. By combining Piaget’s watchmaking know-how and craftsmanship, this luxury men’s watch enhances the iconic Altiplano with the stone’s unique texture. Crafted from gray meteorite, the dial is punctuated with thin rose gold hour-markers, donning the subtle shades and unique lined structure of this asteroid fragment. The 40mm rose gold case houses an ultra-thin Manufacture Piaget 1203P movement that is only 3mm thick. Featuring a gray alligator-skin strap, only 300 pieces will be made.
MSRP: $24,600 / visit Piaget’s website
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42
No luxury watch brand is more widely known and revered than Rolex. Although based in Geneva, Switzerland, Rolex was originally founded as Wilsdorf and Davis by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England, in 1905. The company registered Rolex as the brand name of its watches in 1908 and became Rolex Watch Co. Ltd. in 1915. The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 42 sailing watch has a 42mm case made of 18K white gold and features an Oysterflex bracelet. This model features a bidirectional, rotatable 60-minute graduated bezel with matte black Cerachrom insert in ceramic, polished raised numerals and graduations, perfectly complementing its black dial.
MSRP: $28,900 / visit Rolex’s website
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar
Vacheron Constantin is the granddaddy of Swiss watchmakers. Founded in 1755, it one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world with an uninterrupted watchmaking history since its founding. One of its newest models is the Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar. When worn, the Traditionnelle Twin Beat perpetual calendar beats at a high frequency, displaying the hours, minutes, date, month, leap year cycle and power reserve on its dial. When the watch is not being worn, its in-house developed calibre 3610 QP movement can be slowed down for an extended power reserve of at least 65 days. Its case and buckle are made of platinum, its dial is made of 18K white gold and its bracelet is made of gray Mississippiensis alligator. A stunning watch that is a serious investment.
MSRP: $194,000 / visit Vacheron Constantin’s website