Rather Than Rolex
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Rather Than Rolex

Chrono Hunter loves Rolex. The brand has been perhaps the most consistent producer of classic watch models in Swiss, and indeed world, history. 

But there are plenty of alternatives of similar quality and pedigree. Pick the right one to take the road less travelled. Everyone knows Rolex, but we are pleased to advise you of five of our other favourite brands. 



THE (little) sister company to Rolex has gradually carved out its own identity and is now producing some fine watches with its own house automatic movement (so good Breitling has entered a sharing agreement with them). From the elegance of the 1926 range to the rugged sportiness of the Black Bays you won’t find better quality for the money anywhere in Switzerland. Most Tudors cost under the £3,000 mark but you can spend up to £12,000. 


YOU can lavish anything from £10,000 to well, £1million on a Patek but whatever model you choose, it won’t be a gamble. They almost never lose value. Not that you’ll want to sell it - as the brand’s tagline says “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” You can chose the intricate sophistication of Patek Philippe’s Complications, the sportiness of the Nautilus collection or the relative minimalism of the Calatrava.  


SEIKO might not have a Swiss pedigree but it can trace its heritage back to 1881. The Japanese company has been crafting brilliantly accurate watches since 1924. It now makes its own automatic movement, a rarity for non-Swiss or German manufacturers. Grand Seiko, the luxury brand, features some beautiful watches with precision and craftmanship to match Geneva’s best. You can spend anything from around £2,000 to almost £50,000. You can also find a day/date Seiko 5 for less than £200 which we would recommend for people who want to try an automatic movement before making a large investment. But be warned, it’s hard not to fall in love with a watch powered by your own movement. 


PANERAI watches demand opinions. Some people love the oversized Luminors with their instantly recognisable crown guards and the equally large Radiomirs and some people find them and their unmistakable shapes a little gaudy. We think they can look brilliant but they can tend to dictate the rest of your style. You need to be casual or sporty to carry one off. You will pay anything from £4,000 to £30,000. 


TANK watches have dipped in popularity in the last few years but they are beginning a resurgence. And we’re pleased, because they are elegant and beautiful. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is an art deco design classic. As the name suggests, the Reverso can swivel on its strap so the face touches the wrist and is protected by the metal case back. It was designed in 1931 to survive the rigours of a polo game and is still going strong today. You can pay anything from £5,000 to £50,000.