We can all agree that watches can elevate a person’s style and create a lasting first impression. The most iconic watch is not so much about the price, as it is about the style and message it portrays. There’s some debate over which watches are truly the most iconic. But, this doesn’t vary much in terms of brand. Let’s take a look at our list.
1. Rolex Submariner
How could we have an iconic watch list without this major brand making an appearance? It was first released in 1954, and although it wasn’t regarded as a luxury timepiece then, it sure is today. The Submariner was originally meant to be a professional diver’s watch (hence the name) and was later found to be an incredibly reliable and high-performing sports watch.
That’s what allowed this amazing wristwatch to reach iconic status and later be seen as the luxury watch you can covet today. The Submariner is Rolex’s most popular model, and for a good reason. It’s durable, reliable, comes in many colors, and has a timeless style.
2. Rolex Datejust
Call us biased, but we love Rolex for a reason. The Submariner is regarded as a man’s watch, while the ladies often go for the Rolex Datejust. First introduced in 1945, the date window is what propelled their initial popularity.
A wonderful feature of this watch is that you can see the date slowly change before midnight. This took the watch industry by storm back in the day, with Rolex’s impeccable craftsmanship.
Another great thing about this watch is not only the resale value of these vintage Rolexes, but the exterior style has not changed much since their initial release.
3. Omega Speedmaster
This one is often seen on iconic watch lists and is the must-have style in terms of chronograph watches. It’s not too overdone and has a rich history following the brand.
Not to mention this fun fact: it was the first watch in space! You read that right. It was strapped to legendary Buzz Aldrin’s wrist as he ascended to the moon in 1969. Not many other watch brands, if any at all, can say that!
All of these iconic watches have barely evolved over time, and the reason is that they are amazing the way they are. This watch has graced people’s wrists for over 50 years and has since become one of the most recognized watches in the world.
4. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Audemars Piguet almost disappeared as a brand due to the brink of bankruptcy. This is all thanks to the invention that took the watch industry by storm known as quartz movement. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, thanks to the Royal Oak.
Upon its release in 1972, the Royal Oak had one of the most outrageous price points on the market. Amazingly, it even out-matched a lot of gold watches. It was revolutionary for being the premier steel luxury sports watch. Since it was a pioneer, there was no reference as to how much Audemars Piguet should have priced it at.
The release of the Royal Oak has since paved the way for steel luxury sports watches.
5. Jaeger –LeCoultre Reverso
It doesn’t look like much, but the Jaeger was manufactured with a special feature. It was first created for Britain’s polo-playing elite in 1931. The watch case was made to swivel, so the watch face would be protected from scratching or breaking.
The exterior of the watch has an everlasting touch of class that will never go out of style. It’s still a coveted style for many watch collectors today, and it’s hard to find an avid watch connoisseur without it in his or her collection.
It has been on hiatus for a few decades before the world saw its return in the 1980s. It came back better than ever, still retaining many of its original traits.
6. Breitling Navitimer
If you’re curious about this brand, you can read our article on Breitling watches. The Navitimer is great for pilots and anyone else in love with the intricate style.
First debuting in 1952, the watch is capable of complex calculations that have to do with an aircraft, including speed, fuel consumption, and distance. What sets this apart from other chronograph styles is the combination with a slide-rule bezel.
It proved popular with military personnel and pilots, which is what catapulted the popularity of the Navitimer.
Before everything went digital, pilots greatly relied on the complexities of this style.
7. Cartier Santos
Cartier has been around for a century. The Cartier Santos is among the first wristwatches ever made. It was invented for its namesake, Albert Santos. He first voiced difficulty in pulling out his pocket watch while driving, and Cartier complied and solved his issue.
When you look at this watch, it still boasts of elegance and grace, with a touch of simplicity. It’s proven itself over the years to still be of relevance in the digital age. The style is timeless and hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years or so.
These watches on our list are the equivalent of living legends. They’re like the Michael Jackson of pop music and the Michael Jordan of basketball. A lot of these iconic styles have remained the same over time, but that’s not to say they aren’t continually improved.
Watches like these make great heirloom pieces and can be passed down from generation to generation without ever going out of style. We chose watches that are rich in history, and each has a story to tell.
Knowing how these watches came to be and the thought process that went into their creation, it’s these facts that make a watch legendary and worthwhile to have. Consider one of these luxury timepieces the next time you think about investing in a watch.