Not all watches are made equal. Some, through expert craftsmanship and ingenious features, truly stand out from the crowd, making them extremely desirable to collectors. Some have even had a unique place in history, or made their mark on popular culture. Here are five that will take pride of place in anyone’s collection.
The Omega Speedster really took off after NASA adopted it as their watch of choice during space missions- and that choice really paid off. During the Apollo 13 mission to land on the moon, the shuttle’s computer systems failed, meaning the astronauts had to come up with a way of safely making it back to Earth without relying on the equipment they would normally use. They used their trusty Omega Speedsters to carefully time engine bursts, allowing them to make it back into the atmosphere without the shuttle burning up. That lifesaving solution simply wouldn’t have been possible with a watch that wasn’t outstanding in its performance, and the fact that NASA swear by it means you’re guaranteed a watch that’s up there with the best. Since then, there have been plenty of variations on the Omega Speedster, meaning whatever your personal preferences, you can still own and enjoy a watch that has a very special place in history indeed.
The defining watch of its era, the art deco Jaeger-LeCoultreReverso was designed with a very specific audience in mind- the British upper class, for whom polo was all the rage in the 1930s. To protect the glass of the watch from being damaged during play, it was designed so that it could be flipped around, keeping the more delicate side safe. Thanks to its distinctive rectangular design, with plenty of right angles incorporated into the design, the Reverso is now widely seen as one of, if not the most archetypal examples of art deco design around.
No list of great watches would be complete without a Rolex, and the Submariner is by far the brand’s most instantly recognizable piece. Since the 1950s, the Submariner has remained virtually unchanged, a testament to its timeless style and high quality. It was the first diver’s watch that could work at depths over 100 meters, yet it also looks great with a tuxedo- as proved by Sean Connery, whose portrayal of James Bond made the Rolex Submariner his watch of choice. There have been countless imitators over the years, but none of them have ever matched the sheer class offered by the original Submariner.
Most of the watches on our list will set you back thousands, but the Casio G-Shock is an exception. This was the watch responsible for popularizing battery-powered quartz watches all over the world back in the 1980s, and they are still extremely fun pieces of kit to use today. You get plenty of great features included, and best of all, it’s a very affordable watch, which is one of the main reasons why it has swept the world over the past thirty years. Given the G-Shock’s enormous success, it’s not surprising that Casio have produced numerous models, each with their own unique selling points- so you’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to this model.
Since 1952, the Breitling Navitimer has been the watch of choice for professional pilots and amateur aviators alike. That’s because it includes a slide rule bezel, a tool that’s used in calculating all sorts of complicated things like fuel consumption and air speed. Even if you plan on keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground while you wear your Navitimer, it’s still a gorgeous timepiece with a bold, distinctive style that’s sure to turn heads.