16 Of The Most Iconic Watches In Horological History
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16 Of The Most Iconic Watches In Horological History

16 Of The Most Iconic Watches In Horological History


Hello, Timelords! We are back into the horological world again with a topic that has divided watchmaking fans for aeons. What are the most iconic watches in horological history? What is the king of watches? What is the most famous hand watch?

Of course, these questions could reach a list as long as there are variations of the Yacht-Master. has had some form of significant influence throughout its creation. However, the models we are choosing today have significantly made magnanimous impacts on either pop culture or the watchmaking universe.

We have gone from telling the time through sun dials and moon phases, to featuring moon phases on faces and actually bringing timepieces onto the moon itself! We feel we should break down the list into a few key aspects, in order to clearly understand what makes these some of the finest iconic watches to have graced Planet Earth. 


Components That Make A Watch Iconic

This is a feat that is rarely achieved by most. It’s like French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel who was an expert in metal structures. It simply cannot be replicated. After all, the word in horological terms means a feat or release that is so unheard of and influential, that even the non-watch lovers give their praise or a tip of their hat.

Keep an eye out for the stories behind the pieces and the great achievements they have accomplished throughout their timekeeping reign.


The Importance Of History

This may not seem fair, but the more established brands have a higher chance of making iconic watches due to their in-house technicians, talented artisans and skilled professionals. Sadly, this is in stark contrast to newer luxury brands who don’t have that credibility behind them just yet. 

There are some instances where this isn’t the case. Take for example Richard Mille or Hublot. Created in 1999 and 1980 respectively, these brands are fresh off the horological press, in comparison with Blancpain who has been ticking along since 1735.

Then there’s the sizable Vacheron Constantin who has been running like clockwork since 1755. 

Richard Mille has had strong influence on the watchmaking world, creating the world’s lightest model with the RM 027 and winning awards including the Aiguille d'Or at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève for their RM 012 Tourbillon.

Hublot has been influential from the start, releasing gold watches with rubber straps, (a horological first) and releasing the first ever scratch resistant 18K gold, Magic Gold.

We won’t even start with the One Million Dollar Big Bang which boasted more diamonds than a Swarovski store and won the Prize for the Jewel model at the Geneva Grand Prix d'Horlogerie 2007.


What Do Iconic Watches Need To Resemble?

Design can be a contributing factor to making an iconic watch. However, it is not the be all and end all. Take for example the lauded Rolex Submariner. A must have for any collection, even though it pretty much follows the staple for all Rolex sporty model designs with classy block indices and bulky build, it’s the quintessential dive watch and has been doing it’s thing since 1953. 

However, its remarkable achievement of the first dive watch to reach 100 metres shows that it deserves its place on our most iconic watches list. 

For other pieces like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the octagonal bezel, Tapisserie dial and integrated bracelet is what makes the piece so renowned. The design is as recognisable as a Vivienne Westwood dress. What can we say, the horological world is a tumultuous temptress!

Without further exposure, it’s time to draw back the horological curtain and reveal the most iconic watches in horological history.


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

History Behind The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Founded in 1875, Audemars Piguet was noted as a horologically precise brand. Created out of a partnership between Jules Louis Audemars and Auguste Piguet in 1875, Audemars Piguet created movements for Tiffany Co. In fact, it's estimated that they created 1600 watches between 1882 and 1892, 80% of them featuring at least one complication. Talk about boasting skills at an early stage! However, it would be upon the release of the Royal Oak that Audemars Piguet were confirmed as one of the greatest horological brands in history.


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Under the careful eyes of legendary designer, Gerald Genta, Audemars Piguet employed him to release a sports timepiece that would knock the socks off any critic. Released in 1972 in the form of the reference 5402, it was named “Jumbo” due to its large 39mm. Nothing compared to the Panerai Submersible with its 45mm size nowadays!

It was originally criticised as it combined the luxury and sports worlds together, a feat which had not been performed previously. Its signature octagonal bezel, integrated bracelet and visible screws put people off, but opinions soon changed after people realised the genius behind the piece. 

King Charles II launched British Naval battleships in 1664 and named them The Royal Oak, after he had successfully hidden in an Oak tree to escape his captors.

This is where The Royal Oak get’s the big iconic watches tick from us! Featuring the world’s thinnest calibre at the time which measured 3.05mm, the timepiece was crafted out of steel which for its high pricing, was unheard of during this period. 


What Makes This An Iconic Watch?

There are a number of factors that make this collection so legendary. Its association with designer Gerald Genta means this timepiece is instantly lauded in timekeeping circles due to the incredible reputation of the man.

The octagonal bezel, Tapisserie finish and integrated bracelet are iconic features which remain today, boosting its longevity. 

As the first ever luxury sports watch, the collection has been key for instigating an entire generation of watches, fit for the title. It’s not just a collection, it's an entire genre!


Famous Royal Oak Wearers

Justin Bieber, John Mayer, Will Smith, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Steph Curry, Travis Scott, Quincey Jones, Kevin Hart.


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The Royal Oak collection is still exceptionally popular today with many collectors and enthusiasts wanting to buy an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak as a potential investment for its sleek looks, iconic dial and vintage design.

Representing Audemars Piguet's most popular collection.It still keeps the octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet but adds a number of funky updates, away from the classic steel edition.


Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph - Source - Audemars Piguet

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Featuring an array of materials and styles, the Royal Oak even comes in white ceramic as shown through the Royal Oak Grande Complication 44mm.

This shows how the collection has become more precise as luxury watches like the Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked are crafted out of 18K pink gold and feature a second balance wheel and balance spring on the same axis.

For the classic style lovers, you can buy an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding in steel for £23,900 at the time of writing. If you want to get jewelled up, you can buy an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph with 134 brilliant cut diamonds and a rose gold case when you request a price at retail. 


Cartier Santos

History Behind The Cartier Santos

Arguably one of the most iconic watches and as legendary as an Elton John concert, The Cartier Santos is one of the most well renowned collections ever to grace horological history. Plus it is still standing…after all this time! Well, for over 100 years when it was first unleashed on the public in 1911. 


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In 1904, Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian aviator was voicing his concerns about piloting a plane and not being able to efficiently tell the time. 

We must remember that this is the era of the pocket watch, which hung by a chain and sat quite contently in a waistcoat pocket. This of course meant that checking the time was a complete impracticality as you needed to shuffle garments around just to reach it. 

Enter Louis Cartier who designed a flat timepiece with a square bezel that was then given to Santos-Dumont. It was a major success and cemented the Cartier Santos as the first ever men’s timepiece. Little did he know a century later it would turn out to be one of the most iconic watches oozing flex appeal by the good and the great.

Inspired by squared pocket numbers of the era, the design with its strong legibility though Roman numerals would actually become normalised in the 1920s when the Art Deco period emerged. 

The collection has evolved ever since, taking on a sports timepiece allure in the 1970s when it was renamed the Santos de Cartier as opposed to the Santos-Dumont, and was crafted out of stainless steel, as opposed to its previous precious metal build.

Continuing through into the Santos Galbee to combat the Quartz Crisis with a new quartz movement in the 80s, there was a reversion back to classic stylings through the Privee collection and the Santos 100, celebrating 100 years of the collection in 2004.

Over time, The Cartier Santos has seen a lot of change, but the squared case and effortlessly stylish face remains one of the most iconic watches ever produced.


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

The Cartier Santos is classified as the first ever wristwatch, representing the dawn not only of societal change as men and women decided to wear wristwatches, but in terms of design as well. This is because the watches are thinner and smaller to suit the wrist and can accentuate all manner of outfits. 

The squared design and visible screws have remained the same, confirming the watches longstanding vintage allure and evergreen timelessness. The old school Roman numeral face is a sweet breath of an older time, as opposed to the baton or blocky indices we see nowadays. 


Famous Santos Wearers

Keith Richards, Pierce Brosnan, Zendaya, Tom Cruise, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hiddleston


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The collection is still immensely popular today.  

Santos Dumont WSSA0061 - Source - Cartier

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The watches seem sleeker and the face a little wider, allowing the presence of the piece to look gorgeous on the wrist, especially with its many faces including the sublime green dial above. 

Some models like the Cartier Santos-Dumont WSSA0061 have a wonderfully bold deep green face, in line with the sporty feel of the steel construction. You can buy a Cartier Santos-Dumont WSSA0061 at retail for £6,750 at the time of writing.

Other luxury watches like the Cartier Santos-Dumont WGSA0050 boast a platinum exterior with an equally gorgeous platinum sheen dial. Limited to 100 pieces, you can buy a Cartier Santos-Dumont at retail for £32,100 at the time of writing.

The collection is still eclectic and pays plenty of deep lying respect to its roots. There’s nothing better than an ode to the past!


Rolex Submariner

History Behind The Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner has an incredible degree of history behind it to rival the Magna Carta or The Battle of 1066. Oh and yes they certainly did conquer the dive watch world.


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Released to the public in 1954 at Baselworld, it was dressed up with the Oyster case which was released in 1926, The Submariner followed on from the waterproof Oyster Perpetual to an audience that was dying for waterproof watches. This was seen after WWII thanks to the boom of diving in the military and as a pastime. 

The design was pretty simple, featuring a clean rotating bezel with numerals, a black dial with index markers, a Mercedes shaped hour hand and bulk crown guards, pertaining to the watches 100 metres water resistance. In fact this was a record for that period.

Following on from Blancpain’s hugely successful Fifty Fathoms dive timepiece collection in 1953, The Rolex Submariner was released with bulkiness in mind in order to tackle what lies beneath the waters. 

Popularised in the 1960s when The Big Crown Submariner ref. 6538 was worn by James Bond in the 1962 film Dr. No, the Submariner became a big feature for Rolex. Updated to feature crown guards in 1958 and then a date function in 1966, the Submariner was becoming immortalised as the Submariner we know today. 

And why does this feature in our most iconic watches lineup? Updated with the iconic Cyclops eye date aperture, many time peeps are now accustomed to at 3 o’clock in 1969, the model began its evolution into the dress world…but not without its sporty heritage.  

Throughout the 70s, Rolex brought in the Maxi-dial which boosted the size of the face without expanding the exterior and in 1981, Rolex utilised a brand new uni-directional bezel rotating bezel. 

904L steel was then adopted onto the watches in the 1980s, enhancing the quality of the bracelets and exterior by making them more durable. 


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

As the first model to reach 100 metres of water resistance, the Submariner is immortalised in the diving hall of fame. Associated with The Royal Navy in the 60s to being the first model worn by Sean Connery in the 1962 James Bond film Dr No, the model has surpassed military and pop culture reference, making it the archetypal dive watch. 

Worn by the likes of Steve McQueen, actor Jack Black and Jacques-Cousteau when filming The Silent World, the collection is the piece for the social icons, the military and definitely people like you! Did we also mention it was worn in space by Astronaut Kenneth D. Cameron in 1995? Talk about a rich history!


Famous Submariner Wearers

Robert Redford, Mark Wahlberg, Steve McQueen, Orlando Bloom, David Beckham, Will Smith, Dwayne Johnson


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The supercase was introduced in 2010 after the GMT Master II utilised it, allowing the collection to appear bigger due to the thicker lugs and crown guards…all while sticking at a 40mm case diameter. 


Submariner 126619LB - Source - Rolex

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This was also the period where their hall of fame material, known as a Cerachrom bezel was introduced. This allowed for first rate legibility, as well as a scratch resistant alternative to aluminium.

The bracelet was subsequently updated, revealing a Glidelock clasp that ensures the piece can fit around any wrist, whether or not you are wearing an extendable clasp. Trust Rolex to make things snappy for wearers.

The watches now measure 41mm with narrower lugs and a retreat from the Maxi dial, evoking more refined features with slimmer hands. The bracelet has been altered in keeping with the slimmer appearance of the timepiece. 

With the Cerachrom bezel featuring an array of colours like green, as noted through the Submariner “Hulk” and “Kermit” and blue, as seen on the “Smurf” 116619LB with it’s blue bezel, The Submariner has come a long way since the simple black front and bezel piece.

Some watches are crafted out of white gold like the Submariner ref. 126619LB. Featuring a date function and a navy blue bezel, you can buy a Rolex Submariner ref. 126619LB at retail for £35,300 at the time of writing.

If you feel like going with a more original vibe, The Submariner ref. 124060 may be your best bet. We certainly believe the no date Sub to be one of your best timekeeping buddies if you are looking to start a watch collection. It really is a one fit all kinda piece that can go anywhere, anytime.

Featuring a black bezel and face, as well as a steel construction and no date function, you can buy a Rolex Submariner ref 124060 at retail for £7,700 at the time of writing.


Patek Philippe Calatrava

History Behind The Patek Philippe Calatrava

The Calatrava was originally released in 1932 with a certain geographical equation from history in mind…


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Inspired by the Bauhaus design principle which essentially focuses on simple geometric forms and functionality, the piece epitomises the beauty of simplicity and elegance. Given a round dressy face, the shape is designed in such a way to represent the design of the movement wheels, not to mention the motion of the hands.

Named Calatrava due to its associations with the emblem Patek Philippe employed, the design is inspired by the knight's order. No we ain't talking about King Arthuer here. Essentially, this was established in 1158 from the city of Calatrava by Abbot Raimondo. 

Now, The Calatrava was making big waves in the dress piece world due to its very sleek design. The lugs did not protrude or stick out like watches from that era. In fact, they tapered in from the frame and into the straps. This svelte design has since become a major inspiration for timepieces globally. 

The other feature that made the Calatrava so well known was its design feature, namely the Clous de Paris guilloche bezel. Keeping everything else functional and sleek like the lugs and the rounded construction, the bezel was designed with a hobnail finish around the entirety of the frame. 


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

The piece revolutionised the dress model department. Employing stunning round designs with tapered lugs while adding a jab of excitement with the hobnail finish, demonstrating how Patek Philippe took the simplest of things and enhanced them beautifully. 

Noted for a simplistic clean face with golden indices and opaline aesthetics, the model is supremely fashionable and everlasting.


Famous Calatrava wearers

Ed Sheeran, Conor McGregor, Brad Pitt, Hamad Bin Issa Khalifa (King of Bahrain), Queen Elizabeth II


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The Calatrava collection is still the horological godfather of dress watches that demands enthusiasts and collector’s deserved attention. 

The circular face is still maintained with the simplicity of a clean face and tapered lugs. While some models go without the hobnail aesthetic on the bezel like the Calatrava 6007G with its graphic front and white gold construction, there are still some watches that pertain to its vintage roots.


Calatrava 5088/100P - Source - Patek Philippe

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Look for the Calatrava 6119R for example which has a white face and a hobnail aesthetic on the bezel. The hour markers are simple daggers and its circular face is maintained. You can buy a Patek Philippe Calatrava 6119R at retail for £25,720 at the time of writing. 

Other models like the Calatrava 5088/100P go in the other direction. Featuring a hand engraved black enamel font upon an 18K gold plate, the platinum exterior and ultra thin calibre 240 with the movements 2.53mm sizing all point to excitement. Nonetheless, it still maintains the classic Calatrava charm. 

You can buy a Patek Philippe Calatrava 5088/100P.


Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

History Behind The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

Introduced in 1931, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso was the answer to the sporting world. 


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Specifically, it was created for the British soldiers who wanted to play polo while stationed out in India. As expected, they broke their model crystals while playing which is a huge problem for the horological lover!

Edmond Jaeger and Jacques-David LeCoultre heard this problem through a model importer named César de Trey who informed them of their specific issues. So they worked in unison to create a model that could swivel on its axis.

The final idea of a model that could be swivelled around to protect the dial was patented in 1931 and the Reverso was unleashed onto the watchmaking world. And it has not looked back ever since. Upon its release, the Reverso became very quickly known as the first ever sports watch in history 

Having to use alternative movements and frames from Tavannes and A.E Wenger respectively, the collection became in-house in 1933 by utilising their own JLC 11 U movement. Designed using the golden ratio sizing (the ratio between two numbers equating to between 1.618) the watches were typically 36mm by 22mm in size. 

Unfortunately, The Reverso became less popular over time and was eventually discontinued until the 1970s. With only 200 released by an Italian distributor, they sold out fast as they suited the vibe of the Art Deco period. They were later re-introduced in 1983 as a celebration of 150 years of Jaeger-LeCoultre

The collection would undergo a series of updates over the years, including the Reverso Duoface in 1994 which utilised one movement powering both faces.

Jaeger-LeCoultre sought to keep the complicated nature of the timepieces moving forwards so released the Reverso Géographique, the Reverso Répétition Minutes and the Reverso Quantième Calendrier Perpétuel. 


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

The collection represents the very first sports timepiece to grace the public's eye. 

Its iconic rectangular design is immensely popular and hasn’t changed a single bit. Combine this with the subsequent reverso function, the timepiece could easily be pulled off as a dress piece due to its phenomenal design. 

There really are no watches that have such a genius design, not to mention one that has lasted since its initial inception in the 1930s. It is Jaeger-LeCoultre’s biggest collection by a horological mile!


Famous Reverso wearers

Charlie Chaplin, the Duke of Windsor, Amelia Earhart, Jay Z, General Douglas MacArthur, Gordon Gekko (Actor Michael Douglas in Wall Street)


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The Reverso collection remains steadfast in its ability to swivel the model which is largely down to its sharp rectangular case. 


Reverso Tribute Monoface - Source - Jaeger-LeCoultre

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However, it wouldn’t be a Jaeger-LeCoultre, if there hadn't been any development at all. Growing the collection even further in 2016, the Reverso Classic was released at SIHH. This was complemented with the Tribute line that slightly increased the sizing of the Classic variants. 

They pushed the boat out further into unheard of complications with the Tribute Gyrotourbillon, the specialist Gyrotourbillon 2 and Grande Complication à Triptyque with 19 complications and taking four years to research and develop. 

Aside from the sheer overwhelming grandeur of this most iconic watch collection, it has behaved impeccably in keeping quality up and design very much on the money. Take for example the new Reverso Tribute Monoface Small Seconds. 

Keeping the Art Deco inspired aesthetics of its original, the opaline backgrounds are given a sunbrush aesthetic to let the hands and indexes shine. You can buy a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Monoface Small Seconds at retail for £10,100 at the time of writing. 

If you want an added jolt of colour, why not consider the Reverso Tribute Monoface Small Seconds? Given a pink gold case with an exceptionally thin 7.56mm thickness, the burgundy background is a wholesome wine red, in keeping with the golden frame perfectly. 

You can buy a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Monoface Small Seconds in burgundy at retail for £21,900 at the time of writing.


Omega Seamaster

History Behind The Omega Seamaster

Gents, it’s about high time we introduce the longest serving collection in Omega’s portfolio, The Omega Seamaster


Source - Omega

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Representing the pinnacle of Omega’s diving watches, the Seamaster takes inspiration from the water resistance dress timepiece dating from 1948. Celebrating 100 years of the brand, the collection was released out of optimism and has definitely been a source of happiness for many people. 

The original designs were simple and uncomplicated, perfect for the dive watches feel of the piece. Crafted with tapered Dauphine hands that were lumed up to the rafters and dagger style hour markers, the model is instantly visible. 

The Seamaster was introduced before the 50s, but when they came, the Seamaster found itself struggling against the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and Rolex Submariner. Omega decided to fight this by releasing the Seamaster 300 collection in 1957. 

Hang on a tick, 1957 rings a bell. Here’s a starter for 10. What was another iconic watch launched in the same year? Any guesses? Come on now…

Of course it was the Speedmaster. More on that to follow.

Increasing from the dressy 34mm sizing to a decidedly larger 39mm, the Seamaster was now easier to see underwater, especially since the face had been interchanged from a silver aesthetic into a black version, boosting the contrast and hour hands with its large arrow shaped head. 

Housing a Seahorse emblem on the back, the collection was developed as an out and out diver. Now providing 200 metres of water resistance, Omega needed to push the timekeeping boundaries further still to keep up competition with other top luxury brands.

In 1964, the collection unveiled a second generation which measured 42mm and blended brushing and polishing on the frame. The bezel increased in size to accommodate luminescent markers, splitting up at five minute intervals.

Omega received confirmation that their dive pieces were moving in the right direction through The Royal Navy commissioning it as the official diver model in 1967. 

In 1993, the Omega Seamaster 300m was released, including a host of modern features like the wave pattern on the front, unidirectional rotating bezel and skeletonised hands. 


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

The Seamaster collection has expanded into one of the most well renowned dive watches to date. 

Closely associated with The James Bond movie franchise since 1995 after Pierce Brosnan (James Bond) wore an Omega Professional Diver 300m Quartz in Goldeneye, Brosnan wore a Seamaster in most of the other Bond films, including “Die Another Day” and “Tomorrow Never Dies”. 

The latest actor, Daniel Craig has taken on the role of the James Bond Omega wearer in films like Casino Royale and No Time to Die. 

Worn by a slew of well known people like US President Joe Biden, Prince William and Kitchen Nightmares chef Gordon Ramsay, the collection is highly regarded by social elites and celeb set. 

Developed into the Ultra Deep edition with a 6000 metre water resistance, the collection broke the depth record upon its release in 2019. What can we say, The Omega Seamaster is hot like summer!


Famous Omega Seamaster Wearers

Daniel Craig, Tom Hanks, Jon Hamm, Cindy Crawford, George Clooney, Prince William, Eddie Redmayne 


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The model has followed on with the same design codes of its recent Omega Seamaster 300m variation.


Omega Aqua Terra Shades - Source - Omega

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Featuring wave engraved patterns on the face, the collection is noted for its high level of water resistance, luminescent hands, a very reliable uni-directional bezel and a helium release valve that resides at 7 o’clock. Lest we forget that this bad boy is a dive watch!

From the elegance of the Aqua Terra to the functionality of the Dive 300m, the Seamaster has a variation for everyone. 

If depth is what you are looking for, you can’t go wrong with the brand new Planet Ocean 6000m in summer blue. Given a stunning ocean blue sheen and a face that mimics the mapping of the Mariana Trench (World’s deepest point), you cannot go wrong with the 6000 metres of unbridled water resistance.

As of August 2023, you can buy an Omega Planet Ocean 6000m at retail for £12,000.

If you are looking for style, take a peek at the Omega Aqua Terra Shades 34mm. Given a beautiful turquoise lacquered background, its patented Moonshine gold case is a superb combination. 

You can buy an Omega Aqua Terra Shades 34mm at retail for £15,600 at the time of writing.


Breitling Navitimer

History Behind The Breitling Navitimer

When we say “slide rule bezel” you say…The Breitling Navitimer. Without doubt considered by many as one the most iconic watches in aviation industry history, this standalone timepiece has been synonymous with Breitling for more than seven decades. 

Oh, how time flies!

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Released in 1952, the collection was supposed to develop from the Chronomat; instead, it has become one of the biggest collections of Breitling’s portfolio. While the Chronomat is a great edition due to its bold aesthetics and durable construction, The Navitimer is even more desirable due to its fantastic aviation features.

Featuring a bezel which is based on a double rotating slide rule scale, the user can determine a few necessary calculations like fuel consumption and the rate at which the plane is driving upwards or downwards. 

In an era of very limited electronic equipment or tech, the bezel was essential to every pilot needing to make a few quick adjustments. Due to its usefulness, the edition became the pilots model to get by the very well regarded AOPA, known as the “Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association”, in the very same year. 

The model was originally powered by the calibre Valjoux 72 in 1954 and then expanded to the calibre Venus 178 in 1955. However, since 2010, Breitling have taken ownership of the innards of the timepiece by utilising the movement, The Breitling B01 calibre. This meant the Navitimer’s name was slightly altered as the Breitling 01. 

You might say Breitling has reached the peak or Zenith of aviation led watches with the Navitimer. Astronaut Scott Carpenter who operated within the Mercury Space Program needed a 24 hour complication instead of the usual 12 hour edition because it’s difficult to tell the day and night when it’s always pitch black! 

The 24 hour Navitimer was worn by Carpenter on his 1962 space flight. This was later put into general production and named the Cosmonaute Navitimer, referencing both Breitling and the AOPA logo. 


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

The collection is noted as the ultimate timepiece for pilots. Representing the key turning point for pilot calculations with the bezel and becoming a certified pilot's best friend since its association with the AOPA.

Released in the period of growing transatlantic flights, the Breitling Navitimer became the main timepiece for every pilot and was deemed to be the first ever wrist sized computer due to its rotating bezel that could quickly calculate necessary equations.


Famous Navitimer Wearers

Charlize Theron, John Travolta, Dave Chapelle, Gordon Ramsay,  Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Walker, Sir Alan Sugar, Tommy Lee Jones.


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The Breitling Navitimer has kept its clever construction and hasn’t changed a great deal since its initial release. Originally released at 41mm in 1952, it was huge for the period, but now it’s a very accessible size.


Navitimer B01 Chronograph - Source - Breitling

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Nowadays, there have been a few refinements made such as the slide rule being flattened, a domed crystal to boast a sleeker design and a combination of polishing and brushing finishes throughout. 

Now available in a variety of sizes including 43mm like the fresh Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43mm Boeing 747 or the very bulbous 46mm Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46mm, you can style this piece however your heart desires.

Ideal for the office, impressing your date or your go to travel companion for that business trip, The Navitimer is an impressive timepiece for any enthusiast or collector.

For example, if you are looking for a little luxury, you may find the Navitimer B01 Chronograph 46mm in 18K red gold to be your best bet. Crafted out of the precious metal on the exterior and bracelet, the white background with black subdials are just as legible.

You can buy a Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph at retail for £33,000 at the time of writing.

If you are looking for an injection of colour, The Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Ice Blue background may be your best bet. Crafted out of stainless steel, the 43mm timepiece is given a stunning light blue face, boasting the sunny vibes of the piece.

You can buy a Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43mm at retail for £7,550. 


A.Lange & Söhne Lange 1


History Behind The A.Lange & Söhne Lange 1

The Lange 1 collection was released out of Walter Lange’s desire to find a signature piece for the brand and cement it in history.


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After A.Lange & Söhne was put back to work after the reunification of Germany, Walter Lange designed the Lange 1 as a way of putting the brand right back on top. The watch collection is highly unique, following a design that is very uncommon. 

The face is asymmetrical and has a two window big date function which is a staple of the design, even to this day. The movement has always been in-house, taking influence from the home town of Glashütte by using their three quarter plate design and gold chatons which is a movement component. 

When the Lange 1 was released, it instigated a slew of patents. One of the major ones was the two-window date function which is typically located at 1 o’clock.

Inspired by the “Five Minute Clock” which can be found in the Semper Opera House in Dresden above the stage, it has become a mainstay in not only the Lange 1, but the iconic Zeitwerk which is another timepiece that many enthusiasts bow down to.

The dial style is designed in such a way that an isosceles triangle can be made through four different points. With the left corner found in the small seconds complication at 5 o’clock, the top corner found at the head of the face and the right corner at the big date function located at 1 o’clock, the style references the Golden Ratio in its harmonised structure. 

Released with the Saxonia, Arkade and Tourbillon "Pour le Mérite", The Lange 1 was the biggest success.


What Makes It An Iconic Watch? 

The model is a trailblazer in the horological world. As the first timepiece released after the nationalisation of Germany and the subsequent reunification, the brand essentially threw away the shackles of conventional watchmaking. Just like David Hasselhoff did when he threw away his fashion sense when performing at the Berlin Wall…perm and all.

Styles may last and styles may go. But what has remained true to its roots is the brand’s classical Saxon watchmaking elements like a three-quarter plate, screw balance, off centre-dial and an outsized date. 

The design has not changed one iota across all the variations from the Little Lange 1 to the Lange 1 Moonphase, meaning its perennial looks are iconic in every sense of the word. 


Famous Lange 1 Wearers

Jim Breyer (Famed businessman)


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The Lange 1 collection has kept it’s charm precisely the same throughout its history.


Lange 1 - Source - A.Lange & Sohne 

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From the Lange 1 Tourbillon being introduced in 2001 and the Moon phase edition in 2002, the collection was further updated in 2015 in terms of the movement. Featuring a brand new Cal L.121.1, the balance wheel is now free sprung with weights as opposed to using screws.

The amount of components in the movement rose from 365 to 368, which isn't a massive boom, but represents the complexity of the piece.

The case underwent a few refinements, such as the 38.5mm frame remaining the same and underwent a thinner bezel and lettering to enhance the piece. 

Take a look at the Lange 1 18K Pink Gold 191.032. Crafted out of 18K pink gold and following the same design, the lettering is a tad smaller to compensate for more visibility on the functions of the face. You can buy an A.Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Pink Gold at retail for £43,600 at the time of writing. 

If you are looking for something with a little more horological bite, keep an eye out for the Little Lange 1 Moon Phase 182.086. Crafted out of 18K white gold, the face is made out of silver and undergoes a delightful dark blue gold flux, pertaining to a starry sky like the moon phase function at 5 o’clock. 

You can buy an A.Lange & Söhne Little Lange 1 Moon Phase 182.086 at retail when you request a price at the time of writing.


IWC Portugieser Chronograph

History Behind The IWC Portugieser Chronograph

The IWC Portugieser Chronograph is a very popular addition to IWC’s collective, be it past, present or future.


Source - Reddit

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The story goes that in 1938, two Portuguese merchants named Rodrigues and Teixeira came to IWC HQ in the hopes that they could have a large and precise wrist worn timepiece made for them. 

IWC being the superb innovators that they are, brought back the “Portugieser ''. Like Ben Johnson and Lance Armstrong, we know comebacks can falter at the first hurdle. But this brand and most notably the Portugieser doesn’t let us down.

In essence, this worked from a pocket piece movement inside of a big casing with a highly legible front, typically consisting of Arabic numerals. The collection went silent for a while as only a few pieces were made.

However, it was brought back in 1993 to mark the 125th anniversary of the brand and was subsequently nicknamed the “Jubilee”. Like hungry pigeons at Trafalgar Square, it was seized upon in droves, prompting IWC to release a limited edition version measuring 43mm in 1995 with a more accessible edition at 35mm afterwards. 

The model was so popular that it was the first pick to house IWC’s first in-house movements. The Cal 5000 was implemented into the IWC Portugieser 2000. This was only the start of the journey as now we have many variations, with some even featuring complications. 

The classic circular aesthetic and highly legible Arabic numerals is the iconic aspect that has remained all this time and has made it a must have piece for those looking to buy an IWC


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

Simply put, it’s a generational legend, never mind an icon that has spanned over 75 years. The true to type frame with its thin bezel, elegant face and high contrast Arabic numerals has laid the foundation for classic dress watches.

While it may now include complications and various colours, the salient design points remain which allow this collection to be deemed as iconic. 


Famous Portugieser Wearers

Jason Bateman, Sacha Baron Cohen, John Krasinski


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The collection resides in the realms of Haute Horologie, despite competing in the modern era.


Moon and Tide - Source - IWC

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IWC have cleverly modified these luxury watches, in order to keep them relevant and not stagnate. For example, they have bolstered some models with a healthy dose of luxury. 

The Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide is crafted out of 18K 5N gold and comes in at a fairly big 44mm. Given a sea blue background, this is the first piece to feature IWC’s newly created tide indication. You can buy an IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide at retail for £31,300 at the time of writing.  

On the other hand, if it’s high tide for something more affordable yet sophisticated, The Portugieser Automatic 40 may be the piece for you. Given a stunning green background and a matching bracelet, the 40mm case shape is rounded like its predecessors and has a very thin bezel. 

You can buy an IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 at retail for £6,500 at the time of writing.


TAG Heuer Monaco

History Behind The TAG Heuer Monaco

There are so many words to describe The TAG Heuer Monaco. Enduring, racing spirit, high energy, best chronograph. And then there’s the iconic “square case” design. This is a collection that is beautifully rendered into the realms of horological history.


Source - Reddit

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Starting in 1969, The Monaco was the harbinger of great things to come. As a square piece with a water resistance of 100 metres, the model is powered by the Calibre 11 which was soon to become a formidable movement in the horological world. 

The movement was made in collaboration with Breitling, Hamilton-Buren and Dubois-Depraz and swiftly named Project 99.

Fighting against Seiko and Zenith who had just doled out two extremely well regarded movements, Heuer intended to place the movement in the Carrera and Autavia, before deciding that it would need an entirely new piece to set it aside from the rest.

Working with case manufacturer Erwin Piquerez, the square case aesthetic was designed in all its water resistant glory. This was a first in horology and so, it was sent to the public in ‘69. 

In order to bolster its position, the model was placed on TAG Heuer ambassador, Jo Siffert. As a Formula 1 driver, he was actually the source of inspiration for Steve Mcqueen, who was the star in the 1971 racing film “Le Mans”. Mcqueen chose to wear the Monaco over the Autavia which was usually worn by character Micheal Delaney.

This would prove to be monumental to the immense popularity of the piece that has very much stood the test of time... 

The Monaco has since expanded, resulting in a stunning sales record and the consideration of it being the biggest TAG Heuer collection. No offence, Carrera. This is despite appearing on Ryan Gosling’s wrists when he wore three vintage Carrera watches at once in the 2023 Barbie movie!


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

The TAG Heuer was iconic because it represented the dawn of a new sports watch. Crafted in a squared case and inspired by the Monaco Grand Prix, the model is extremely daring, especially since it utilises very bold blue, white and red colouring on the background, as well as the unorthodox left sided crown.

Powered by the much talked about Calibre 11, this automatic movement was revolutionary as it was the world's first integrated chronograph movement. Associated with the King of Cool, Steve Mcqueen, the model oozed rebellion and style, especially since it's so interlinked with the racing world. 


Famous TAG Heuer Monaco Wearers

Steve McQueen, Cristiano Ronaldo, Will Smith, Bill Paxton, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The TAG Heuer Monaco still retains its squared shape, but is powered by the brand new Calibre Heuer 02. Promising 80 hours of power reserve and a hardy beat of 28,800VpH, the watches are still as quick as leopard. But this baby doesn’t change its spots for anyone.


Monaco Skeleton - Source - TAG Heuer

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If you are looking for classic styles, The Monaco Automatic 30mm CBL2111.BA0644 may be for you. Crafted out of steel and featuring the bold blue, red and white colour scheme, this is a direct ode to an incredible past. You can buy a TAG Heuer Monaco Automatic 30mm at retail for £6,700 at the time of writing.

Of course, if you find yourself desiring something that’s a little more modern, we suggest casting your eyes over the newly released TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Skeleton. Featuring a square case in titanium, the face is skeletonised, revealing a blacked out aesthetic display and grey movement. 

Tinges of colour appear on the red hands, white the turquoise Super-Luminova is exceptionally inserted. You can buy a TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph Skeleton at retail for £9,800 at the time of writing. 


Omega Speedmaster Professional 

History Behind The Omega Speedmaster Professional

The Omega Speedmaster is dutifully given a new name, The Moonwatch due to a let’s just say small event in its history.


Source - Reddit

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Debuted in 1957, The Omega Speedmaster measured 39mm and was a sports chronograph through and through. 

Straight off the bat, it was revolutionising the sports timepiece world due to its tachymeter scale.

Developing into 40mm in 1959, the previously aggressive arrow shaped hands softened into Dauphine stylings and in 1962, it developed further into featuring a pulsometer, tachymeter and even smaller calculations like telemiles and decimals on the bezel.

Fast forward to 1958 and the bezel jumped to 42mm in a new asymmetrical design, giving the pushers and the crown more protection. This would be the edition that saw the watches launched into space and promptly be renamed the Speedmaster Professional

In 1965, NASA chose the Speedmaster as their official astronaut watch, leading Omega to release the “Speedmaster Professional” one year later. Worn by Virgil Grissom and John Young when they joined the Gemini space mission in 1966, the real jewel was when Ed White conducted a space walk with a Speedmaster on his wrist. 

Later, in 1969, Buzz Aldrin wore a Speedmaster Professional while on the moon, making the Speedmaster the first timepiece on the moon and without question one of the most important and iconic watches of all time.

In addition, the model was also key in allowing astronaut Jack Swigert to calculate a new course using the chronograph functions when the engines started to burn in the failed Apollo 13 mission.

Undergoing a host of changes from that point onwards, the model received a fresh movement in 1968 and a new Mark II variant was released in 1969. It would be automatic in 1971 under the new Mark III variant, becoming electric in 1973.

It returned to its mechanical roots in the 1980s where a moonphase edition was released as well as the general aesthetic being updated with better decoration and smarter construction. 


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

It’s a wristwatch not only worn multiple times while out in space, but because it’s the first one to grace another celestial body…the Moon! Perhaps bigger than its gravitational field, we cannot underestimate the monumental horological pull this timepiece has on collectors and enthusiasts. 

Naturally, early vintage Speedmasters are highly sought after if you are keen to buy an Omega like reference 105.003 “Ed White”. Linked closely with the Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch”, this is nicknamed “Ed White” as it’s the watch worn during his spacewalk, which was simultaneously the first one in history. 

However, you may find a rarer yet more modern iconic watch reference is the way forwards. Another one to keep an eye out for is the Speedy Tuesday Ultraman 311. Fairly new as it was released in 2018, this watch was capped at 2,012 pieces as a link to the year #SpeedyTuesday gained notoriety.

Given a combination of orange, beige and black, this not only looks the part, but is also a hot horological property due to its rarity and cultural history. 

Its classy chronograph design and high contrast face is now a staple of grail watches, especially reference 376.0822, which is aptly nicknamed “The Holy Grail” by avid watch collector, Chuck Maddox. 

This watch is famed because up until 1987, all Moonwatchs were manual wind and featured mechanical analogues. In this instance, The Holy Grail was released during 1987 and 1988 and capped at around 2000 pieces. It was the first piece to feature a self-winding, chronograph movement with both days and dates functions. 

Its rich heritage, classic chronograph visuals and associations with the first moon walk ensures the Speedy strolls on to our most iconic watches list without any dispute.. 


Famous Speedmaster Wearers

Adam Savage (Special Effects Designer for Mythbusters), Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Ryan Reynolds, Rory Mcllory, Buzz Aldrin, Daniele De Rossi


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The model is still very much the same as the past and is a genuine hotshot in the iconic watches world…bar none.


Omega Speedmaster - Source - Omega

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Crafted in a 42mm, asymmetrical case, the stainless steel timepiece is certainly one for the archives. Following the close design of the 4th generation version that was worn during the successful Apollo 11 mission, you have the option of travelling back in time and choosing hesalite glass instead of sapphire glass, as an ode to its supreme style. 

For historical fans, you will undoubtedly love the small dot over “90” on the anodised aluminium bezel ring, just like the styling of the past. 

If you want a piece that adheres closely to the past, have a look at the Moonwatch Professional 42mm 310. Featuring the same black background with high contrast writing, not to mention the accurate case sizing and hesalite glass, you can buy an Omega Moonwatch Professional 42mm 310. at retail for £6,400 at the time of writing.

If you want to modernise the already space age watch, we suggest the Omega Grey Side Of The Moon Speedmaster. Crafted out of ceramic and 18K Sedna Gold, the timepiece is given a stunning meteorite aesthetic which is sourced from a Gibeon meteorite that’s millions of years old. 

The grey colour scheme with the red pops on the hands and Speedmaster text makes this a stunning watch. You can buy an Omega Grey Side Of The Moon Speedmaster at retail for £15,400 at the time of writing.


Panerai Luminor

History Behind The Panerai Luminor

Since 1860, Panerai has been on the go, releasing top quality luxury watches from humble beginnings in Florence, Italy.

Featuring a storied history that includes having a patent for Radiomir in 1916 to releasing Radiomir watches for the Royal Navy in the 1940s, Panerai have been regularly involved with the Italian Navy and even linked with sweaty Rocky actor, Sylvestor Stallone and his own watch The SlyTech in 1996.

Yet, nothing is quite as revered as the Luminor.


Source - Reddit

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In 1916, Panerai got a patent granted for Radiomir, a radium based powder that had the ability to become luminous. This was the keystone to the successful Radiomir collection that was released in 1936.

Ordered in bulk by the Royal Italian Navy, the rugged timepiece was perfect for the frogmen due to its excellent readability and of course, the sublime Luminor that was able to be seen under water due to the water resistant case. 

At 47mm, the Panerai Radiomir was revolutionary, bringing in a large cushion shaped case and a water resistant strap complete with a very bulky union crown. Interchange baton or Arabic numerals, both were incredibly visible on the dial. 

The sandwich dial style was created to cement two plates together to enhance the watches legibility. This was through having the bottom half covered in radium, while the top was given engraved indices to further boost the luminescence. The iconic four Arabic numeral styles at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock soon came into play. 

The Luminor replaced the Radiomir in 1949 as they used a new luminous substance that was safer and brighter than Radiomir. This was formed from tritium and was patented in 1949 as “Luminor”. 

Released in the 1950s, the iconic crown guard was introduced as a tight seal device, giving a groundbreaking 200 metres of water resistance. Given the 8 day power reserve from the Angelus 240 calibre, the in-house movement, P.2002 would soon replace it as it matched the 8-day power reserve…a fitting ode to a rich past!


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

As the most recognizable Panerai shape to date, the signature crown lock, the cushion case shape and its 4 Arabic numeral design are immensely popular and revolutionised the way we view dive watches. Daubed to the max with a luminescence that followed on from the first ever luminescent patent on the Radiomir, the collection is steeped in history and is certainly for us iconic. 


Famous Panerai Luminor Wearers

Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock, Justin Hartley, Orlando Bloom


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The Panerai Luminor still retains its traditional cushion shaping and bulbous crown guard. Like those worn in Air Jordan’s, its funky design will never go out of fashion, nor will its stunning heritage as one of the best dive watches out there.


Luminor Tourbillon GMT - Source - Panerai

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Of course, there have been some updates. Take for example the Panerai Lab-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech. Revealed at SIHH in 2017, it is crafted out of Carbotech and comes in at 44mm. The most impressive part though is the movement.

While it offers 28,800VpH and a strong power reserve of three days, the piece is capable of running for 50 years without servicing. You can buy a Panerai Lab-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech for £12,800 at the time of writing. 

Think Panerai can only do tool watches and not luxury? Take a look at the Panerai Luminor Tourbillon GMT PAM01060. At 47mm, the timepiece is crafted out of brushed Goldtech and features a skeletonised face. The P.2005/T movement is exposed, boasting its 28,800 VpH and its astonishing 6 day power reserve.

You can buy a Panerai Luminor Tourbillon GMT at retail for £159,000 at the time of writing.


Patek Philippe Nautilus 

History Behind The Patek Philippe Nautilus

The Nautilus is Patek Philippe’s Fabergé egg of hidden delights. 


Source - Reddit

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Designed in 1976, the model was created by none other than Gerald Genta himself responsible for the design of many luxury watches featuring the IWC Ingenieur and waved his magic horological hands all over the Rolex Cellini King Midas. You should know by now he has the golden touch. 

On the back of the successful Royal Oak release, Patek Philippe needed a luxury sports model of their own in order to compete with the increasing demand for the style. 

Gerald Genta was notified and while sitting in a restaurant across the road from the Basel Fair, he scribbled down the design of the legendary Patek Philippe Nautilus on a napkin. Designed closely to the shape of a ship's porthole, the style is iconic due to the “ears” on either side of the case and the horizontally embossed face. 

However, the collection would be up for replacement by the Patek Philippe Neptune with the Aquanaut as its cheaper companion in 1996. The Aquanaut was immensely successful, but the Neptune was a failure.

In 1997 when Tony Blair was waxing lyrical about New Labour, Patek Philippe brought the Nautilus back with a new kinda vengeance, offering a 43mm case that was 1mm more than its predecessor. 

As with Blair’s government at the time, it was fresh and exciting minus the three part case, screw in caseback with a sapphire crystal section and screw in crown. Waterproof up to 120 metres, the model was introduced with a leather strap. 

In 2006, the collection received another overhaul, taking away all previous models and creating an entirely new segment of releases. These editions featured complications and followed Gerald Genta’s original design. It is now a part of great horological history.


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

The collection is highly regarded as it represents Gerald Genta’s imposing flex on its design. The porthole casing, integrated bracelet and suave style has remained throughout the entirety of all Nautilus generations. 

Bearing strong resemblance to the equally desired Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the collection boasted luxury, clever aesthetics and exclusivity, not to mention its associations with one of the biggest luxury brands in the world.

One piece that really caught our eyes was the Nautilus Tiffany. Released in 2021, The Nautilus was released to celebrate the partnership between the pair (170 years!).

Featuring the iconic Nautilus build and blue turquoise dial, this is a hot horological property for us, especially since it's worn by Jay-Z, Leonardo Di-Caprio, Mark Wahlberg and Ed Sheeran.


Famous Nautilus Wearers

JayZ, Kyle Kuzma (Basketball player), Corey Gamble (Kris Jenner’s boyfriend), Daniel Arsham (American Artist), James Harden, LeBron James, Zach Lu, Ed Sheeran


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The Patek Philippe Nautilus still follows the delightful octagonal case of the piece, clearly referencing the porthole shaping of the past. The horizontally embossed finish remains pride of place and now it comes in a variety of materials. 

5990/1A - Source - Patek Philippe

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Take for example the Patek Phillipe Nautilus 5719/10G. Crafted out of white gold, the case features 1,343 diamonds that are emblazoned throughout the piece, including the case and the face. You can buy a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5719/10G at retail when you request a price. 

If you are looking for something more conservative but still packs a timekeeping punch, you may consider the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A.

Crafted out of steel and featuring a few complications like a Flyback chronograph and a day and night indication, you can buy a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A at retail for £55,240 at the time of writing.


Rolex Daytona 

History Behind The Rolex Daytona

The Rolex Daytona is the iconic driving timepiece which all fans (even those who can't drive) can enjoy throughout history.


Source - Reddit

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The Daytona developed from the Rolex Oyster Chronograph in 1955. Featuring a tachymeter and a telemeter scale on the bezel, the iconic 3,6 and 9 sub dials all set the scene for The Daytona to race on. 

The first original model was the Rolex Daytona 6239 that was released in 1963. Featuring a number of design aesthetics that have lasted until this day, the timepiece features an engraved tachymetric scale on the bezel with the words “Units Per Hour” engraved as well. 

The high contrast sub dials against the face are sublime with typical colourings including black sub dials on a silver dial or vice versa. The 6239 was nicknamed “Le Mans” first before being called “Daytona” in 1965. 

The first waterproof edition was released that year as the reference 6240. Featuring a screw down crown, as well as screw down pushers and a plastic insert on the bezel, just like the Submariner. 

The Exotic Daytona is where the collection began to grow its name. Featuring hour markers that lay on an outer track around the face, the face seems almost devoid of anything. This was the piece that Joanna Woodward would buy her husband, Paul Newman. And the rest as they say is history.

As an alternative 6239, she bought it in 1972, upgrading from his previous reference 6263. SPOILER: This is also the timepiece that sold for around £15 million at auction in 2017. 

In 1988, the collection was updated dramatically. Dolled up with the Zenith movement and a larger 40mm and sapphire crystal, the watches were slowly coming into their own. A few features remained such as the engraved metal bezel, as well as the screw down crown and pushers. 

Rolex continued innovating, putting their own 4030 calibre in the watches as a play on Zenith’s movements. At Baselworld in 2000, the 4130 calibre was released, utilising Rolex’s own balance spring and hacking seconds function with a very solid 72 hour power reserve. 

In 2016, the collection was given a new influx of style, revealing a new Cerachrom bezel that allowed for an increased durability and scratch resistance, not to mention a strong colour. 


What Makes The Watch Iconic?

The visuals of The Rolex Daytona are simple but sought after among collectors and enthusiasts alike. It has captured the hearts of every racing, chronograph or everyday model lover.

Associated with a high level of model lovers and social elites like John Mayer, Jay-Z and Paul Newman, the timepiece has been associated with a vast spread of the best celebrities around. 

One piece that certainly caught our eyes at Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour this year was partner’s Jay-Z’s timepiece. Given a Paul Newman exotic dial, the watch is stamped with the words “Tiffany & Co”.

Nicknamed the “Lemon” Daytona 6265 due to it having an 18K yellow gold casing, not to mention a citrus yellow dial, this piece is a one off so incredibly rare. 

To have the most expensive Rolex ever sold in the collection is a surefire sign that it has a degree of pedigree and style that is unmatched, unrivalled and unparalleled after all this time. We really are running out of superlatives at this point!

Even outside of the Rolex brand, when the Daytona started adopting luxury styles like precious metals and even Tiffany associations, the Daytona was projected from a sports watch into a premium timepiece for all occasions. 


Famous Daytona Wearers

Paul Newman, Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart, Michael Jordan, John Mayer, Jay-Z, Jonah Hill, Roger Federer, Warren Buffet, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The collection is still definitely simple but indescribably influential. With three sub dials that contrast with the general dial colour, two pushers and a crown on the right hand side and a tachymetric scale in Cerachrom, the collection has more legendary status than Mozart has to the classical music sphere.


126506 - Source - Rolex

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If you want a piece that’s steeped in history, you may want to try and get the new Rolex Daytona 126529LN. Crafted out of white gold and given a black dial with white sub dials, the fun really comes in on the tachymetric scale. 

The black bezel is reminiscent of the versions from 1965 which had black plexiglass bezel inserts while the “100” lettering is crafted in red ceramic and pays homage to 100 years of the Le Mans race. You can buy a Rolex Daytona 126529LN at retail when you request a price.

 You may find that you want something a little more daring and boundary pushing. If so, why not try and buy a Rolex Daytona 126506. Crafted out of the very luxurious and rare platinum, the face is given an icy blue sheen which is rarely used across the horological world. You can buy a Rolex Daytona 126506 at retail when you request a price.


Cartier Tank


History Behind The Cartier Tank

The Cartier Tank is a collection that’s been influenced by the worst times in mankind’s history. 


Cartier Tank - Source - Reddit

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Cartier’s founder, Louis Cartier created the Tank in 1917. From this period, the collection has grown to be one of Cartier’s biggest. Paying homage to the Renault FT-17, a French tank used in WWI, the watch follows an eagle eye perspective of the top of a tank. 

Its combination of both rectangular and square design is highly unique and is yet to be replicated elsewhere. The leather strap is beautifully finished and is the perfect companion for the case due to its seamless blend. 

The face typically has Roman numerals with a single sapphire that rests on the crown, called  a Cabochon. It is this small piece that has made the largest impact on Cartier watches of this nature. The first edition was given to U.S General John Pershing in 1918 which suits the military back story of this ultra luxurious piece. 

Following the sharp lines of the tank, Cartier turned away from classic circular dress watches, offering a new breed of timepiece to the public upon its release in 1919. Capped at just six watches produced, they were instantly snapped up, meaning Cartier released more during the 1920s. 

Adorned by a number of social figures, from actor Rudolph Valentino to the President JFK’s wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, her timepiece was sold at retail in 2017 for around £300,000 to Kim Kardashain. Style knows no historical bounds!


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

Cartier defined a new era of watchmaking. By breaking away from the curvature and gentle sloping designs of the past, The Cartier Tank instead primed itself on sharpness which was key for the subsequent Art Deco period. 

Its ability to glean such inspiration from military history without it being obvious is iconic by its own accord. Andy Warhol knew what he was on about when he said that The Cartier Tank is “The watch to wear”. 

Its ability to take such a morbid event and turn it into something so great is a fantastic feat of craftsmanship adding bags of horological value to the Cartier Tank. 


Famous Tank Wearers

Tom Ford, Rami Malek, Jeff Goldblum, Mick Jagger, Angelina Jolie, Andy Warhol. 


What Does The Watch Look Like Today?

The timepiece is still as fresh as ever with contemporary iterations being lapped up by many with a sense of dress, style, elegance and incomprehensible timeless beauty.


Asymetrique - Source - Cartier

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Featuring the classic two parallel case sides, the model closely imitates the brancards (French for stretcher) of Tank watches, perfect for the military history of the piece. Its half rectangle, half square design is maintained which is fair enough given the success of the design. The Roman numeral inspired aesthetic is also present, its face stretching the hour markers to enhance their legibility. 

If you want to go all in on the luxury of the Cartier Tank, we suggest going with the Cartier Tank Asymétrique. Not only does it feature a case made out of platinum and 251 diamonds, but it offers an alternative take on the case design, deciding to slant it slightly, while keeping its classic Brancard feel.

Capped at 100 pieces, you can buy a Cartier Tank Asymétrique at retail for £105,000 at the time of writing. 

If you love the classic case shaping a bit too much like we do, may we suggest the timeless Cartier Tank Louis Cartier. Crafted out of yellow gold and given a blue cabochon on the crown, the face is white and features black Roman numerals and blued hands. 

You can buy a Cartier Tank Louis Cartier at retail for £11,000 at the time of writing..


Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222

History Behind The Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222

Vacheron Constantin’s website reveals a slew of their very own iconic models, such as the keyless Boisrouvray pocket model or the extremely expensive Kallista. Our eyes are more drawn to the icon that is the Historiques 222.


Source - Reddit

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For horological lovers, the number 222 represents a combination to one of the most fascinating watches. Let us tell you more. In 1963, Vacheron Constantin revealed the Turnograph 6782 which references its bidirectional bezel and 15-minute graduated scale. Its dial design was fairly new, following baton hands and straight hour markers. 

This idea was short-lived due to low production numbers, but brought back in the form of the Chronomètre Royal reference 42001 which prided itself on a uniquely shaped steel case with an octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet. 

This design set the framework for the subsequent 222 to come in a blaze of horological glory. Created by famed designer Jorg Hysek, the 222 collection was launched in 1977 as a new model with an integrated bracelet.

Furthermore, its design was exceptionally functional, the flat, monobloc case being promoted with a fluted bezel offered a sense of luxury to the piece.

Resistant to 120 metres of water due to the screw down bezel, the model was extraordinarily thin at 7mm which was helped by the equally thin 3.05mm movement. The baton hands and straight hour markers remained, as a tip of the hat to the past.

Nicknamed “Jumbo” due to its 37mm sizing, a 34mm and a 24mm edition were released in yellow gold and two tone.

Whatever the material, you will always see an emblematic Maltese cross adorned at 5 o’clock.


What Makes It An Iconic Watch?

As one of the very first sports-chic models, the collection is integral to the growth of the dress and sports timepiece market. Its design has remained staunchly vintage, with 37mm sizings, fluted bezels and the same baton hands, straight hour markers, integrated bracelet and Maltese cross situated at 5 o’clock. 

It’s the ultimate tribute to such an influential piece, especially when the collection is still continuing on in the modern era. 


Famous Historiques 222 Wearers

Micheal B.Jordan, Chris Paul, Andrew Schulz, Brad Pitt


What Does The Watch Look Like Today

Nowadays, the model is a boutique exclusive in just yellow gold


Source - Reddit

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This isn’t a criticism however. While we would’ve enjoyed some more two tone or steel versions, we are very happy with what we have before us today. 

Crafted out of 18K yellow gold, the model is 37mm like the “Jumbo” 222 of the 70s. This is not a prawn cocktail of a timepiece…it is a retro number like no other. Following the same monobloc casing with a sharp, grooved bezel, the integrated strap is beautifully placed in the same yellow gold material. 

Keen eyes may notice the Maltese cross at 5 o’clock which is subtly engraved in. You can buy a Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222 at retail for £71,000 at the time of writing. 


People Also Ask

What Is The Most Famous Watch In The World?

The most famous timepiece in the world is a tough question that can be answered in many different ways. Our choice would be the Omega Speedmaster Professional. Worn on several moon expeditions and of course by Buzz Aldrin in 1969, it helped rescue astronauts from certain death and formed part of NASA’s official uniform. This timepiece has seen it all, done it all and was the ever to fly to the moon and back. Its style nor impact hasn't changed one bit either!

What Are The Top 10 Watches Of All Time?

In no particular order, our opinion on the top 10 watches are:

  1. Rolex Daytona
  2. Omega Speedmaster Professional
  3. Cartier Tank
  4. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
  5. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
  6. Patek Philippe Nautilus
  7. TAG Heuer Monaco
  8. Rolex Submariner 
  9. Rolex Datejust
  10. Breitling Navitimer

What Is The Most Famous Watch Brand In History?

It could be argued that Rolex is the most famous brand. Following statistics from 2022, Rolex has around £9 billion worth of sales which puts it as the leading luxury timepiece brand in the world. 

Aside from monetary figures, Rolex is immensely popular, as it's associated with wealth and luxury. With wearers like Jay-Z, Tiger Woods, Will Smith and U.S Presidents like Donald Trump, Rolex is the most famous and coveted watch brand among the public and celebrities. 


What Is The Number One Watch In The World Throughout History?

As we say, it’s all down to opinion. But here’s our take. If we were to give our answer, we would have to give it to the Omega Seamaster. Launched in 1948, the collection is the quintessential dive timepiece and dress model due to its highly understated design.

Its variety of colours and materials means there is a market open for every type of consumer which allows it to be the number one model in the world.

Worn by Prince William, Jon Hamm and even James Bond star, Daniel Craig, the timepiece is cemented in pop culture through its regular displays in James Bond films and associations with the social greats. 


What Is The King Of All Watches Throughout History?

Could we be a bit cheeky and say the crown instead?

Rolex is definitely the king of all pieces. Its immense brand size is combined with its associations with high profile celeb clientele. Regardless of whether they are ambassadors or not, the reputation of the brand is boasted, as well as its timeless designs. 

One thing is for certain…we will not be forgetting the iconic crown anytime soon!



We’ve run out of time again but we have definitely run through the biggest and most iconic watches ever to grace our eyes in horological history. While it pains us to do so, we simply must end the list here for our sanity. All of these carry thrilling stories behind them, relating to the trials and tribulations they have faced. 

If your eyes glazed over at the extensive detail of the list, not to worry! We have a handy little table, just for you:





Audemars Piguet

Royal Oak











Patek Philippe
















A.Lange & Sohne

Lange 1







TAG Heuer





Speedmaster Professional







Patek Philippe












Vacheron Constantin

Historiques 222




Each of these luxury watches have influenced the horological world in some way. From the Seamasters waterproof models to the Lange 1’s divine like heritage, we hope the future is just as bright as the past. 

Time does not stand still and neither does Chrono Hunter. We hope you enjoyed this article! The question is how do you intend to flex your horological muscles?


Can't wait to buy a Rolex Daytona? Want to feel the vibration of a Superlative Chronometer on your wrist? Save time and chat with Chrono Hunter here. Check out our phenomenal reviews on Trustpilot and find out why we are the go-to place to buy a watch or sell a watch

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Further Reading: 

Neo-Vintage Watches: What Is It All About And Why Should You Bother?

A Collection Of The Very Best Yellow Gold Rolex Watches


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