Let’s be honest, many men make the plunge to invest their hard-earned money in a very flashy, luxury timepiece. It is for some, a status symbol. Of course many gentlemen believe the bigger, more expensive watches are better to impress. A prestigious brand is held in high esteem with luxury watch lovers, and are recognised by people who appreciate details of high quality. However it is important to appreciate watches that are a little more subtle on the wrist.
Brands such as Rolex and Panerai have a rich history in oversized sports watches, however there has been a shift in the popularity of this over the last few years. Whilst women have generally moved to the more masculine, larger timepiece, many men have favoured brands that have created much thinner cases.
Here are our current top 3 men’s quality timepieces which show an understated confidence -
1. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-010 - Stainless Steel
We think that the Nautilus 5711/1A-010 in stainless steel, like most Patek Philippe timepieces has an understated elegance that bespeaks confidence. It is certainly not a flashy watch and sits subtly on the wrist. However once you take a closer look, the quality and beauty is unmistakeable. Patek owners know that they are investing in the very best craftsmanship, heritage, and design. Many do say that once you have owned a Patek Philippe, nothing else will match up!
Patek Philippe is one of the most prestigious watch companies from Switzerland. The brand also has one of the best-known slogans, “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” After the growing success of the Royal Oak, Patek Philippe decided to develop a luxury sports watch with a strong design. The Nautilus collection was introduced in 1976, and was inspired by the universal shape of a porthole found on virtually all maritime vessels. At this time, luxury sports watches were usually as thin as possible and made of gold. The Nautilus collection debuted just as steel luxury watches became popular. The first model of the collection (3700/1), was awarded for its water-resistant case (up to 120 meters).
Patek Philippe has had a variety of fans over the years. Not only has it been much loved by royalty across Europe, more modern fans include the Dalai Lama (who got his from President Kennedy), and Brad Pitt who favours the Nautilus.
2. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36 - Ref. 116234
Not the most understated of the three, however the Rolex Datejust is the modern archetype of the classic watch. It certainly isn’t as flashy as many other Rolex watches. The Datejust has spanned eras and is one of the most recognised and recognisable of watches.
One of the more subtle members of the Rolex family, the Datejust has the combination of a real history, with quality watchmaking. The Datejust 36 was introduced in 1945 and was the first wristwatch to display the date through an aperture on the dial. Admired for its classic design, the Datejust 36 has become an iconic symbol of style. In 1955, the date-change mechanism was adapted to operate instantaneously and the date aperture was enhanced with a Cyclops lens, magnifying the date for easy reading.
Over the years there have been many variations of the Datejust, the 116234 has the classic 36mm size, not like the 41mm Datejust II. While some may think this is too small, for the lover of an understated Rolex, this size is perfect! It also has the benefit of being more vintage-looking. The case is made from a combination of 904L steel and 18 carat white gold. We especially love the classiness of the jet black dial. The Rolex Datejust is a classic that is a timepiece of true taste.
Do check out our wonderful selection of Rolex’s available now at Armour Winston
3. Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119G-001 - White Gold
We are not favouring Patek on purpose in this post, but a quality dress watch epitomises quality without having anything to prove.
The Dress Watch is the most jewellery-like of timepieces, and for many men it does tend to be much more understated. It will normally have roman numerals, a simple face, a lack of adornments, and is accompanied with a leather strap. For many, the ideal dress watch is super-thin to be unnoticed under the wearer’s cuff. A dress watch is generally simplistic due to the fact that it doesn’t need any other function bar telling the time.
Of course though these watches need to look impeccable. Patek Philippe has a range of stunning watches in its Calatrava collection. The contemporary scale of this timepiece emphasised the personality of the watch, and the signature ultra-thin silhouette case has particularly refined details such as a satin-finished side, mirror-polished lugs, and slightly domed crystal. We love it!
The first version of the Calatrava was launched in 1932, inspired by the Bauhaus principle. It is recognised as the quintessential watch design today. Its round case has been reinterpreted in numerous versions, and no other model is more popular than the Ref. 3919 Calatrava with the guilloché “Clous de Paris” bezel introduced in 1985.
We currently have two stunning Patek Calatrava’s in store at the moment. You can take a look here
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