Most Reputable Watches for Businessmen
By Elizabeth Hannigan
, last updated November 21, 2011
Your personal appearance has an affect on your professional life, so if you are in the market for a new timepiece, you definitely want to look at the most reputable watches for businessmen. Most American men don't wear jewelry aside from their wedding bands and their watches, and as such, watches have come to represent a major masculine status symbol in the United States. Some men spend thousands or even millions of dollars on their watches. Watch collectors regularly review the latest models to come out, describing some watches as instant classics, some as the ultimate in understated elegance, and some as pretentious show pieces. If you are going to spend a small fortune on your new watch, you probably want to make sure that your watch is sending the message that you want it to send. Decide what sort of look you are going for, and check out these collector approved timepieces before you make a purchase.
Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe has been providing men in the know with luxury timepieces since 1851. This company has made watches for Queen Victoria of England, three popes, and countless businessmen over the past hundred and fifty years. Though still considered an exclusive brand by most watch enthusiasts, Patek Philippe has been enjoying more and more press lately.
The Calatrava is Patek Philippe's most popular line. These watches have round faces with hobnail bezels, white porcelain dials, and Roman numerals. You can buy them with leather or metal bands, though the metal bands are rare. The Calatravas are water resistant to 30 meters and come with manually wound, mechanical, or quartz movement. These watches start at about $15,000.
In watches, a complication refers to any feature besides hour, minute, or second display. For example, displays of the moon phase or chronographs would be considered complications. Patek Philippe's Grand Complications line includes their most complicated wrist watches. Some of these watches have over one thousand parts. These watches are made for serious horology enthusiasts. Depending upon the number of complications and the level of luxury you seek in your watch, your Grand Complications piece could run you anywhere from about $50,000 to $4 million.
Founded in 1755, Switzerland's Vacheron Constantin is the world's oldest manufacturer of luxury timepieces. Napoleon Bonaparte wore a Vacheron Constantin, and so did Harry Truman. You can get one of your own at one of Vacheron Constantin's 15 boutiques.
The Patrimony line is Vacheron Constantin's most popular and most conservative line. These watches come with leather or metal bands and varying degrees of luxury. Some are extremely simple and elegant, with plain white faces, Roman numerals, and an hour and minute hand, whereas others are relatively flashy, covered with diamonds, or inclusive of several complications. These watches start at about $13,000.
Tour de I'lle
The Tour de I'lle is considered the most complicated watch ever made. There are only seven of these watches in the world, and each one took over 10,000 hours of labor to produce. The watches have gold faces, leather bands, and over 800 parts. Vacheron Constantin Tour de I'lles are currently valued at $1.5 million.
Swiss manufacturer Blancpain manufacturer just 10,000 watches per year, each made by hand by a single, expert watchmaker. You can spot a Blancpain on Jacques-Yves Cousteau in The Silent World, and the watches are also worn by officers in the U.S. Navy. Currently, Blancpain is owned by the Swatch Group.
The Fifty Fathoms is the watch worn by Cousteau and the Navy. The watch was originally created in 1953 as a diving watch for the frogmen of the French army. Unlike other luxury timepieces, the Fifty Fathoms is water resistant up to 1,000 meters. This detail is particularly remarkable when you consider the fact that no human being has ever survived a dive deeper than 610 meters. The watch has a sporty look to it, with a waxed canvas strap in black, white or navy blue and a metallic dial. The watch is made for real divers and comes with a unidirectional rotating bezel and glow in the dark hands to time dives. You can pick up a Fifty Fathoms for about $10,000.
1735 Grand Complication
The 1735 Grand Complication is Blancpain's most complicated watch, with over 700 parts. This ultra slim watch features a minute repeater, split chronograph, perpetual calendar, and tourbillion, amongst other features. The watch has a platinum case and a crocodile band. At $800,000, the 1735 isn't the most expensive watch ever made, but it is one of the most exclusive. Blancpain only produces one of these every year.