We may never solve the great puzzle of perfectly pairing a watch with its wearer or create an exact science to define the best watch for a particular person. Still, there are certain watches that have withstood the test of time. A select few watches have both universal appeal and a unique, uncanny draw that seems to have tugged at the heartstrings of countless men throughout history. These are the best watches for men.
Since its debut in 1953, numerous watchmakers have looked to the Submariner as a source of inspiration. Yet, its one-of-a-kind design, which has remained largely unchanged since its initial release, has never been matched. This dive watch is not only functional but also appropriate for evening and dress wear. It’s arguably Rolex’s most recognized model and for over 60 years has set the standard.
The Moonwatch, first known as the Omega Speedmaster, is more than timeless wristwatch. It’s a piece of history. In 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon, Aldrin proudly sported the Speedmaster. In that moment, the Speedmaster instantly became iconic and beloved, representing the spirit of innovation, exploration, and progress.
Four decades of innovation led Rolex to the creation of the Datejust in 1945. To commemorate the brand’s 40th anniversary, they wanted to create a watch unlike anything else they were offering at the time. The Datejust became an instant classic, finding its place on camera in films like American Psycho, on the wrists of United States Airforce pilots returning from combat missions, and beyond.
The Breitling Chronomat is not your average Pilot’s watch. Its introduction was in 1941, featuring the brand’s all-new patented rotating slide rule bezel and was only the second watch of its kind on the market. The Chronomat was Breitling’s first of many big breakthroughs in the watchmaking industry and to this day continues to be one of their flagship models.
Bell & Ross BR01
The first and most immediately recognizable Bell & Ross aviation model is the BR01. The design of the watch took inspiration from the simple and highly legible aircraft navigation instruments found in cockpits. Since it was first released in 2005, the BR01 has set the trend for larger, more modern and robust tool watches. Although the BR01 is a relatively new model, it has become an instant classic.
The Luminor represents the evolution of Panerai’s groundbreaking luminous technology. In 1949, the brand patented a material called Luminor, the first non-toxic substance to add luminosity to their timepieces. The application of Luminor made the watches highly legible both at night and underwater, and the model was reserved for military use until 1993. Since then, it has become one of Panerai’s signature models.
TAG Heuer Carrera
The Carrera was a new concept in chronographs for the TAG Heuer brand. A year before its debut in 1962, Jack Heuer, the great grandson of the brand’s founder, had taken over the company and believed the brand needed to elevate its range of chronographs. When Jack Heuer retired twenty years later in 1982, so did the Carrera. Then, in 1996, Jack Heuer and the Carrera both made their monumental returns, and the model has been a staple of the brand ever since.
Patek Philippe Calatrava
Design is at the center of the Patek Philippe Calatrava. The model draws inspiration from the philosophy of the Bauhaus art movement, which follows the principle that form follows function. The result is a no-frills minimalist dress watch. Since its introduction in 1932, the Calatrava became an instant classic and is the brand’s flagship model.
Personality and precision are the defining features of the OMEGA Seamaster. Equal parts dive watch and dress watch, the Seamaster is versatile and unique. OMEGA introduced the watch in 1948 to commemorate the brand’s 100th anniversary. Now, with over seventy years of continuous production, the Seamaster is one of the oldest and most popular models for the OMEGA brand.
A watch is such an intimate and personal item. It’s tough to definitively choose a list of the best models ever created. Each man will inevitably have his own personal preferences about a watch’s size, style, color, weight, or simply what that watch says to him and about him when he puts it on his wrist. Finding the right watch for you is as much of a feeling as it is a choice. A watch may just be a material possession but somehow it feels like much more.