Most men yearn to own a quality watch at some point in his life. Well some watches have become iconic by virtue of design, quality and reputation. And many can still be purchased today, reborn by the manufacturer using latest technology in timekeeping, materials and workmanship. Check out these, if you can afford them
The Rolex Submariner’s robust and functional design swiftly became iconic after being launched in 1953. The Submariners Oyster case constitutes an important milestone in the history of contemporary watchmaking. Invented by Rolex in 1926, it was the world's first waterproof case for a wristwatch thanks to its patented system of screwing down the bezel, case back and winding crown against the middle case. A symbol of robustness and waterproofness, this perfectly proportioned and elegant watch case is a superb blend of form and function, whether crafted in 904L steel, 18 ct gold or 950 platinum.
The new model Submariner is equipped with calibre 3135, a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. Like all Rolex Perpetual movements, the 3135 is a certified Swiss chronometer, a designation reserved for high-precision watches that have successfully passed the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) tests. It is fitted with a Parachrom hairspring, offering greater resistance to shocks and to temperature variations. Its architecture, in common with all Oyster watch movements, makes it singularly reliable. With their subtly redesigned Oyster case, distinctive dial with large luminescent hour markers, graduated rotatable Cerachrom bezel and solid link Oyster bracelet, the latest generation Submariner and Submariner Date are firmly in line with the original model launched in 1953.
The Oyster bracelet is a perfect alchemy of form and function, aesthetics and technology, designed to be both robust and comfortable. It is equipped with an Oysterlock clasp, which prevents accidental opening, and an ingenious Glidelock, allowing fine adjustments of the bracelet without using any tools - and allowing it to be worn and comfortably over a diving suit.
The Monaco is a series of automatic chronograph wristwatches introduced by Heuer in 1969. The Monaco was revolutionary in its time for being the first automatic as well as the first square cased chronograph. Although it was discontinued in the mid-1970s, the Monaco was reissued with a new design in 1998 and was reintroduced again with an entirely new mechanism in 2003 in response to McQueen's increasing popularity.
In 1952, Breitling launched its legendary Navitimer wrist chronograph featuring a circular slide rule serving to perform all navigation-related calculations. A cult object for pilots and aviation enthusiasts, it has been continuously manufactured for almost 60 years – making it the world’s oldest mechanical chronograph still in production. In 1962, a Navitimer accompanied Scott Carpenter on his orbital flight aboard the Aurora 7 capsule, thus becoming the first space-going wrist chronograph.
The Omega Speedmaster was introduced in 1957 as a sport and racing chronograph following on from the early chronographs of the 1920s and 1930s. In 1959, a second version, CK 2998, was released with a black aluminium base 1000 bezel. This was again updated in 1963 which kept the alpha hands and then less than one year later with straight baton hands, the first Speedmaster with the word "Professional" on the dial, with an asymmetrical case to protect the chronograph pushers and crown.
All of the early Speedmasters used the same Calibre 321 movement, which was only replaced in 1968/1969 with the introduction of the Calibre 861 movement, used in the "Moon watch".
The Rolex Datejust has become a classic that thanks to aesthetics and functions that transcend changes in fashion. Aesthetically, the Datejust has spanned eras, while retaining the enduring codes that make it, notably in its traditional versions, one of the most recognised and recognisable of watches.
The dial is the distinctive face of a Rolex watch, the feature most responsible for its identity and readability. Characterised by hour markers fashioned from 18 ct gold to prevent tarnishing, every Rolex dial is designed and manufactured in-house, largely by hand to ensure perfection.
The design, development and production of Rolex bracelets and clasps, as well as the stringent tests they face, involve advanced high technology. And, as with all the components of the watch, aesthetic controls by the human eye guarantee impeccable beauty. The Jubilee, a supple and comfortable five-piece link metal bracelet, was designed and made especially for the launch of the Oyster Perpetual Datejust in 1945.
The new model Datejust is equipped with a new generation movement, calibre 3235, entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex for a superlative level of performance. Certified as a Swiss chronometer by COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), it is tested a second time by Rolex after being cased to ensure that in everyday use it satisfies Rolex’s criteria for precision, which are twice as exacting as those for an officially certified chronometer. This control of the final precision of the assembled watch is carried out using a methodology and high-technology equipment specially developed by Rolex.
Louis Cartier created the Tank watch in 1917. A legend was born. The first prototype was presented as a gift to General Pershing some years before the watch was brought to market in 1919. The lugs blend seamlessly into the stark edges of flat vertical brancards, lending the watch its unique aesthetic. The clean, crisp lines have proved hugely popular with a free-spirited, elegant clientèle. The now-iconic Tank watch has inspired countless variations yet managed to preserve its distinctive identity.
The square case on the Tank was revolutionary in 9171, allegedly and inspired by the Renault tanks being used in World War One.
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