Men's watches come in all shapes and sizes. They can be simple timepieces, fashionable accessories, collector's items, or even status symbols. Luxury watches from Rolex, Omega, and Patek Philippe also make sound investments.
Men's watches are usually larger than those designed for women. Their designs often feature straight lines and muted colors. What's more, diamonds and other gemstones appear much less frequently than they do on women's models. Modern men's watch cases measure between 38 and 45 mm, though much larger models are not unheard of. However, these sizes vary, as trends are constantly in flux. While 36 mm was a standard diameter for men's watches in the 50s and 60s, today this size could easily appear in a women's watch.
In addition to the size, another deciding factor when purchasing a men's watch is the type of watch, or what you want to use it for. If you're looking for an everyday watch, a sports watch such as a chronograph is a good choice. You can use these watches as a timer. Diving watches with rotatable bezels to keep track of your dive time are also popular for men. Pilot's watches are currently trendy thanks to their simple, legible dials with luminous hands and numerals. Many consider these, along with diving watches, the ideal tool watches. Since most sports watches are water resistant to at least 100 m (10 bar, 328 ft), you can wear them while swimming without a problem.
If you require a wristwatch for the office, a dress watch could be exactly what you need. This type of watch is often thin and rather small, so it easily fits under your shirt cuff. Dress watch designs are often classic and feature gold cases and leather straps. However, there are also sporty-elegant men's watches such as the Rolex Explorer and the Rolex Datejust, which also go perfectly with a suit. Many men's watches make great gifts for business partners or grooms.
Men's watches can also make a solid investment. Watches from luxury brands like Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, and Rolex are almost always stable and, in many cases, go on to increase in value, sometimes majorly.
|Rolex Submariner||9,400 USD||Diving watch with unidirectional rotatable bezel|
|Rolex Daytona||19,200 USD||Legendary chronograph, stainless steel models beloved by collectors|
|Rolex Datejust||6,200 USD||Elegant sport watch with date display and Cyclops lens|
|Breitling Navitimer B01||5,800 USD||Chronograph with slide rule bezel and in-house movement|
|Breitling Chronomat 44||6,900 USD||Chronograph with rotatable bezel and bezel rider tabs|
|Hublot Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold||26,100 USD||Scratch-resistant Magic Gold case, in-house chronograph caliber|
|Omega Speedmaster Professional||3,400 USD||First wristwatch on the Moon, chronograph|
|Omega Seamaster Spectre||10,000 USD||Limited run of 7,007 watches dedicated to the James Bond movie "Spectre"|
|Panerai Luminor Base 8 Days||5,000 USD||In-house caliber and 8-day power reserve|
|Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon||1.7 million USD||White gold, minute repeater, tourbillon, perpetual calendar|
|Patek Philippe Nautilus Moonphase||43,100 USD||Calendar, moon phase display, white gold|
|Patek Philippe Calatrava||11,300 USD||Classic gold dress watch|
If you're looking to purchase a new men's watch, your options are almost limitless. There's a wide range of watches for men to fit every taste and budget. Citizen watches are particularly affordable and a popular brand. There are also affordable quartz watches from brands such as Festina, Fossil, and Swatch; moderately priced automatic watches from Tissot and Certina; and prestigious luxury watches from name brands like Rolex, Breitling, Panerai, and Omega.
You'll find high-quality luxury watches at the upper end of the price range. These watches are from long-established and well-respected manufacturers such as Audemars Piguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Patek Philippe. For example, the intricate Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon wristwatch, featuring a minute repeater, perpetual calendar, and tourbillon, costs 1.7 million USD new. Patek Philippe watches are considered the epitome of high-quality watchmaking.
Rolex produces some of the most beloved men's watches in the world. At least one person in the upper tiers of most companies has a Rolex.
It's no accident that the most expensive watch ever sold at auction was a Rolex Daytona. That particular chronograph once belonged to Hollywood star Paul Newman and sold for a record 17.75 million USD at auction in October 2017. Of course, not every Daytona will fetch such astronomical sums. However, since the auction, prices for this model have increased substantially. This just goes to show that Rolex watches are not only a status symbol but also a proper investment.
Omega also sits in the upper echelons of watch prices with their Speedmaster and Seamaster models. Limited editions like the Snoopy are particularly popular among collectors and change hands for up to 22,700 USD. If you prefer distinctive watches with technical designs, you'll enjoy Hublot timepieces. You'll catch everyone's eye with a Hublot Big Bang on your wrist.
All of that said, buying a good men's watch doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. At the entry level, you will find affordable quartz watches with analog or digital displays. Some even cost less than 100 USD. This price segment includes digital watches from the Japanese manufacturer Casio, for example. However, if you'd prefer a mechanical or automatic watch, you should take a look at Seiko watches. This Japanese brand creates reliable, robust, and especially affordable timepieces.
Men's luxury watches are a great option if you are looking to make an investment. It's more than just gold and platinum models that increase in value over time: Stainless steel timepieces are also a worthy investment. This is especially true of cult watches like the Rolex Daytona, Omega Speedmaster Professional, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, and Patek Philippe Nautilus.
Take the Nautilus, for example. This watch is in such high demand that the waiting period for a brand new timepiece is up to seven years. Accordingly, prices for pre-owned models have skyrocketed. In 2009, a vintage ref. 3700/1A cost around 27,800 USD. Today, that same watch costs almost 80,000 USD. Current models with the reference number 5711-1A have also performed extremely well. At just under 57,000 USD, the street price is almost double the recommended price of 30,700 USD.
Limited editions also make interesting investments. Since their numbers are so low and their features so unique, they are especially popular among collectors, who are often willing to pay well above the sales price to get their hands on one.
Wearing a Rolex is a display of both social status and career success. There's no other brand in the world that represents luxury like this Geneva-based Swiss manufacturer. Any lover of gold can find plenty of gold men's watches made by Rolex. Some of Rolex's most beloved timepieces include the Submariner diving watch, available with or without a date display; the Cosmograph Daytona chronograph; and the Datejust, an elegant automatic watch originally introduced in 1945.
A pre-owned Submariner can be purchased in good or very good condition for around 6,900 USD. New models start at 9,400 USD. A pre-owned bicolor Daytona costs around 12,700 USD; in mint condition, the chronograph costs around 14,700 USD. The stainless steel version is especially beloved by collectors. It costs at least 15,100 USD pre-owned and 19,200 USD new. The list price of a new stainless steel Daytona is a bit over 12,900 USD. However, seeing as this model is extremely desirable, collectors and fans of the brand are more than willing to pay a few extra thousand for this rare timepiece.
Compared to the Daytona and Submariner, the Datejust is a bit more classic. Models with a fluted bezel and jubilee bracelet, a five-link metal bracelet, have an especially elegant look. This model has a distinctive date display at 3 o'clock with a Cyclops lens for improved legibility. Seeing as retro watches are currently incredibly popular, a bicolor stainless steel/18-karat gold model is a fashionable choice. A Datejust is a comparatively affordable entry into the world of Rolex, seeing as you can buy some pre-owned versions for as little as 2,600 USD. The price for new Datejusts starts at around 6,300 USD.
The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Breitling produces world famous pilot's watches and chronographs. One of their most famous models is the Navitimer, which features a bidirectional bezel and a slide rule, which you can use to perform calculations. The Navitimer has a classic mechanical movement. However, Breitling also offers quartz watches which cost less than 1,200 USD pre-owned. Pre-owned automatic chronograps are available starting at 3,600 USD. A current Navitimer 01 with the in-house caliber Breitling 01 costs around 5,500 USD pre-owned and 5,800 USD new.
Another famous men's watch from Breitling is the Chronomat. Its distinctive feature is the presence of four so-called "bezel tabs" at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock. These tabs are small bumps which make it easier to turn the bezel. This feature is especially practical when you're wearing gloves. A pre-owned Chronomat chronograph can cost as little as 1,700 USD. Prices for a new model with an in-house caliber start at 6,900 USD.
The Omega Speedmaster Professional was the first wristwatch on the Moon, appropriately going down in history as the "Moonwatch." Buzz Aldrin had the Omega chronograph with him as he set foot on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. Today, the Biel-based manufacturer still offers a model that remains close to the original, utilizing Hesalite glass and a manual caliber. Current versions with Hesalite can be found under the reference number 3126.96.36.199.01.005. You should be prepared to spend at least 3,600 USD for a new version. If you prefer scratch-resistant sapphire glass, take a look at the version with reference number 3188.8.131.52.01.006, which costs around 4,200 USD new.
The Seamaster collection also plays a key role in the Omega catalog. Collectors are especially fond of vintage models from the 50s and 60s, such as the Seamaster 300 ref. CK2913. This timepiece demands prices of around 21,100 USD. The limited edition James Bond watches are also popular collector's items. For example, plan to spend about 10,000 USD for the Seamaster 007 Spectre.
The Panerai Luminor is one of the most distinctive watches out there. It features a unique crown-protecting bridge which pushes the crown down tightly against the case, making it water resistant. It's quite a large watch that looks best on larger wrists, measuring in at 44 mm in diameter. However, there are also smaller 40-mm versions. The smaller versions have an automatic caliber with a date display at 3 o'clock and can also be worn by women. These automatic watches from Panerai can be found under the reference number PAM00048 and cost at least 4,500 USD pre-owned and 5,700 USD new.
The Luminor has a classic manual caliber which powers the hour and minute hands. Models with a small seconds at 9 o'clock are known as the Luminor Marina. A Luminor Base Logo made of stainless steel with reference number PAM01000 costs around 4,100 USD new. Its caliber, the OP I, is based on the Unitas 6497 and has a 56-hour power reserve. If you want an even more impressive power reserve, however, the Luminor Base 8 Days (PAM00560) is a good choice for you. This timepiece is powered by the in-house caliber P.5000, which has an 8-day power reserve. New, the watch costs around 5,000 USD.
Patek Philippe is famous for traditional wristwatches. The Calatrava, first introduced in the 1930s, is one of their most renowned models. Its name was inspired by the Order of Calatrava, whose symbol was a cross fleury, which now serves as Patek Philippe's logo. The dress watch's design is Bauhaus-inspired and thus rather simple. The manufacturer mainly uses white, yellow, and rose gold for their cases. You can purchase a pre-owned men's watch from the Calatrava collection for around 5,100 USD; new, they start at 11,400 USD. However, some rarer models cost significantly more, such as the Calatrava 175th Anniversary Exhibition (5088/100P-001), which costs around 123,000 USD.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus is also worth looking at. Designed by Gérald Genta, this watch went on the market in 1976 and quickly became a classic. Well-maintained stainless steel models easily sell for 22,800 USD. White gold examples with a calendar and moon phase indicator sit around 43,200 USD.
Hublot, founded in 1980, is still a relatively young brand. However, their top model, the Big Bang, has made quite a splash. Most versions have a diameter of 45 mm, a large size for a men's watch, making them stand out. Made of materials such as carbon or the gold alloy Magic Gold, they feature an eye-catching porthole design with screws set into the bezel. Magic Gold is an in-house alloy manufactured by Hublot. It is scratch-resistant due to the addition of ceramic. A new Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold with reference number 411.MX.1138.RX costs around 26,200 USD.