The Top 10 Best & Most Beautiful Men’s Wrist Watches In The World.

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February 26, 2013
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February 10, 2015

 

The 10 very best looking watches in the world?

We have been photographing premium wrist watches in a multitude of different ways in studios and on location.  Being photographers & humans, who spend a good part of each day trying to make things look prefect, we have all formed our own opinions about what makes the perfect looking watch…… and being humans we could not all agree on what was the best or what was better than what…. until we took the time to look at watches, discuss them and write this review.  Several months considering candidates for this “best of the best” list and endless talking about the merits, aesthetics, and relative style of our favourite watches we have come to an agreement over a definitive list of the world’s Top Ten watches . Luckily the girls here at photography-factory all like to wear mens watches from time to time, so we had a full house when it came to our long and passionate best watch discussions…. We also often asked our photographic subjects to make suggestions  (these are mainly very rich people and celebrities who are super busy and utilise every second of their day and really need their timepieces) and some of our expert clients (design supremos and top people from fashion and manufacture who notice when they see something exceptional)  So we asked them if they owned or had seen a watch that struck them as being “truly beautiful”. We were really surprised how many of people liked the some of the same timepieces that we had decided were top candidates for our “best of the best” list. Slowly after a year of tinkering, we present the final list to you…

How we got the idea:

A good client promised me a special bonus; any watch from his flagship Bond Street “collectable watches” shop, But (there is always a “but” with amazing gift offers) “only, if your photography increases my sales” OK it was a bit of shameless Incentivisation. Still, I was pretty comfortable that my arty photos would outclass the plastic looking Rolex advertising shots he currently used for his advertising, and that buyers would feel better about his quality and integrity….. Cherrrrchiiiiiiiiiiing – he sold £137,000 more watches from just one shop in the first week after publication and the images going into the windows. (Yes!!! the power of great pictures). (a bit if shameless self promotion)

As soon as I heard, I played it cool, I did not gloat or boast or run back with my greedy hands outstretched, in fact I did not call or say anything about his offer. I stayed calm, my dream watch was possibly going to come into view 10 years ahead of plan. I left it about two months, almost like I wanted to prove him a liar, but all the time I was slowly getting more and more interested in watches I could not afford, until the day felt right and I just happened to be passing with a freind who loves watches (really loves). The sales had stayed at a high level and his nearby competitors were doing a fair bit worse so it was now or never….  As we walked into the shop passing a big classy security guy (who was looking at my messed up trainers like they were scuba flippers). The tall owner was talking to a very well dressed client across a table of glittering bling, he stopped talking and smiled a big big smile, he looked 100% happy to see me. He stood up and gave me a massive handshake and then though about it and gave me a big hug too, and slowly without a word, pointed to the huge security safe on the back wall of the shop. After a few seconds he stated:  “you can have anything you like from the shop or my safe…… only nothing from the top self as those are the property of a Sultan and are here for their annual servicing and a couple that I am keeping for my children”, considering the fact that there was a £100,000 fully iced Hublot on the next shelf down, and the shop window had a platinum Rolex with a solid platinum bracelet; it was a pretty generous offer. All in all we took about 2 hours in that shop and looked at almost everything half way decent trying to choose a single watch from about £20,000,000 worth of stock, it was not easy. That pretty difficult 2 hours was the birth of this article.

In the end I plumped for a 1963 Omega Constellation pie pan dial with a black face and chevron shaped indictors, in stainless steel (“only” worth a few hundreds of pounds). I left all the platinum Rolexes for him to sell to tasteless bankers and footballers. I still think what I took home, is my humble opinion, it is one of the best looking watches of all time…. unfortunately when I got back to the studios not all my colleagues agreed, everyone said they would have gone for a different watch (if it was about the best looking watch and you were not just grabbing something heavy and iced with diamonds to sell (we are not like that here at Photography-Factory, we do great and are not short of money for toys and stuff))… over the following weeks everyone decided to prove ourselves right by argument and example, and over the course of a year everyone bough new watches and it all became the group obsession, slowly we whittled our selection to these, the 10 beautiful mens watches, cost no object.

More buttons = better “watch”……   In most areas “inovation” is the way to better products, but in some things it just gets in the way. Wrist watches have been with us a century now, there must be 5 million styles out there and some of them really do everything. Honestly it has had one result in my opinion: all that choice has helped and the aesthetics reach every point on the looks compass, in a hundred years watch design has have time to settle down and reach a kind of perfection. The mans’ wrist watch has reached a kind of aesthetic peak, (though soon it looks like Apple may produce something that will “change the game” agin.)

Here are our top ten, even if you do not agree with us, our heavily researched list contains watches that are some of the finest examples of man’s quest for perfection, we feel that here are ten watches that will never fall out of desire completely. let us know what you think in the comments below, this list may not be final…

 

 

 

 

No 10

SEIKO GS Grand Seiko auto GMT –  £3000 / $4600 – 39mm   210g

When the japanese create something special (especially in steel) they do it with a certain style, often drawing on their glorious past as inspiration. This watch is not a super complex mechanical tour de force, it is just a simple tool to do a simple job, built as well as possible. It has an elegance of function, excellent materials and an evolved design. To us (and bare in mind we are arty pro photographers), the sharply pointed hands resemble two Japanese medieval daggers, think “in a constant tragic battle with the unconquerable element of time” and you are probably starting to understand how seriously the guys who built the GS took their work. Want more? “A short simple poem that has to last eternity” I can come out with these all day long, it comes of spending 8 hours a day trying to make the best photographs humanly possible of washer dryers and shotguns. People who own this watch, do not usually own another top quality watch, they generally will not be swayed to another model in a couple of years, they buy this watch to buy once, they and the GS seem to have great loyalty to each other- a rare quality in our era of fashion. This watch was built to continue to serve you for as long as the current technology allows, the designers were impervious to the concepts of changing style for no reason and built in redundancy. Your great great grandson will wear this on Mars if he feels like being a little retro, probably a good idea to get it engraved phonetically so he can try and pronounce your name in his future-world Englneesehindi accent…

Ideal buyer: Man who has nothing to prove, a modern samurai waiting for a cause.

SBGM001

 

 

 

 

 

No 9

The IWC Portuguese MinuteRepeater in platinum – £70,000 / $100,000    –   Size 43mm   235g

Very few watches are worth a solid platinum case, or even look/feel right with one (looking easily like cheap silver and heavier than lead). Nothing you can wear should cost that kind of money but… here it is and as you may have guessed this is a kind of ultimate in the watch builders art inside and close to perfect outside….. Each and every night, people who work in the watch business dream of having one of these on their wrist.

Ideal buyer: People who cannot stand compromise, and inherited or stole their wealth.

 

IWC PMR

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 8

1976 Sekonda de luxe 2209 in Black and gold  –   £200 / $300 –  Size 42mm   143g

There are several versions but this is the one. It has a very clever movement considering what had to be accomplished under very difficult conditions in 1960’s russia and a dashing looks with a little hint of “soviet space future” . The guys or girls who designed and built it need a lot more credit. If Russian oligarchs had good taste (of their own), aaa condition examples of these would go on ebay for $20,000.

Ideal Buyer: Someone who has style irrespective of era, fashion or cost and knows the square root of 169 (but would pretend not to if in polite company)

 

RIMG0101

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 7

The Bertucci A-4T Aero – Titanium  £170 / $225 – size 44mm   75g

This is a modern/vintage looking watch. Made of solid titanium by an American company who humbly describe their indestructible masterpiece as a “titanium field watch”, but sometimes, so rarely, there is great beauty in a thing that does what it is intended to do with the true precision, that of perfect functional design. If you work or play outdoors this is a truly great watch.

Ideal Buyer: A person who quietly knows what is really beautiful in this life: Nature, and likes to roam around in it.

Bertucci watch

 

 

No 6

The Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887  –  £4000 / $5000 – 43mm   180g

I photographed some of these and so I brainwashed myself into liking them…. But when I wore one out for the night after the shoot (the guys from the agency took us out and let us wear whatever we liked from the shoot) several people (girl friends and cool randoms) mentioned my beautiful watch, I guess it looks really really nice?

Ideal Buyer: Women buy these for great looking men. (please don’t: they have enough luck anyway without out looking rich and stylish)

 

1887 02

 

 

 

 

 

No 5

1960’s  Rolex submariner “corino” with fabric strap, well used.  – £7000 / $10,000 – size 40mm  151g

Anything else will with Rolex written on it just looks like a fake…..

Idea buyer: People with a good tan in winter. But crucially they did not buy it, they borrowed it: “my grandfather left it to my brother, but he does not like Rolexes, so I took it from his dresser and left him my beach swatch.”

 

RolexMilSub

 

 

 

 

 

No 4

The Panerai Luminor GMT  steel (any year) – £5000 / $7000 – 45mm   190g

Something special about the people who choose this watch… they all seem relaxed in some secret knowledge that they are cool. It is a bit of an action man watch, but you rarely see it without a lot of tasteful other stuff, Maserati etc ….

Ideal Buyer: Italian James Bonds, Ferrari test drivers, brilliant plastic surgeons – People with great taste and a great deal of money, money they earned by being very good at something difficult.

 

panerai-luminor-1950-8-days-chrono-monopulsante-gmt-watch

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 3

The 1958 Omega constellation pie pan black face with chevron markers –  £2500 / $3500 – size 40mm  129g

My personal favourite watch. If you can, get one with the 564 movement…  just look at it and then look away and then look at it some more and the day will have passed.

Ideal Buyer: World’s Top Photographers

 

omega photography

 

 

 

 

 

No2

1969 The Omega Speedmaster Professional “the moon watch” – £3000 / $4000 – 42mm   200g

We all love this watch, but none of us have one? I guess no one can be bothered to wind them up.

Ideal Buyer: Someone who would drop everything and be a hero if asked once. 1960’s pilots & 70’s spacemen who gave their originals away.

 

moon photograph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No1

Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox  £7,500 / $10,000  size 40mm   162g

One of the prettiest things man has yet invented, and it has a nifty little alarm too. About as well made as a thing can be, in a crazy way it is not bad value… considering what goes into producing one. Is it for everyone? Thank God, not. I was not sold on it myself until i saw one, then I knew why so many people had told me this was the best looking watch they had ever seen. Magical.

Ideal Buyer: A popular man who knows what looks good without needing anyone’s advice, consent or approval.

 

the worlds prettiest watch

the worlds prettiest watch

 

 

Thanks for reading

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52 Comments

  1. J Goldstein says:

    I have read so many articles on the topic of watches and this is the only one that contains more than three of what I consider to be the very smartest looking mens watches ever made, in fact you have seven. Incredible that I would find it here? On a website dedicated photography. May I compliment you all on your incredible visual taste! Kol ha kavod

  2. spirit says:

    Ahaa, its pleasant discussion on the topic of this post at this place
    at this webpage, I have read all that, so now me also commenting
    here.

  3. Armani says:

    The pictures in your website look absolutely great. Can you shoot my watch collection?

    • Shooter One says:

      Of course, and we will make every single example totally breathtaking. How about your watch collection on nudes in Iceland for a theme?
      BTW Is your first name Giorgio?

  4. pablo says:

    Omega Seamaster 300 Must be in the list.

    • Shooter One says:

      Great call. Nobody can argue that the 300m is a great watch, but the various incarnations are all in their individual ways never quite balanced in terms of looks. The early version is very diver oriented, and the face is slightly ruined by the huge triangle at the top of the dial they always look a little out of place outside a divers wrist, the later ones are beautiful but we agreed the case curves too steeply towards the winder, and slightly spoils the harmony of the watch. Omega designed the 300m to be iconic as it was a technical masterpiece, to keep it recognisable and individual they spoiled it’s finite beauty at least enough to keep it out of our top ten. It is like a truly handsome man with a biggish nose, maybe as just as attractive to women, but when you look at side on photographs, you find your self thinking, what if he did’nt have that nose. And that is not the way you think about the most anything, watches people etc In short the Gérard Depardieu of the watch world, plenty of loyal fans for good reason, but no, not on a nearest to perfection list…

  5. Tom Hawk says:

    All of these watches are beautiful but I thought I might suggest another that I saw on a watch forum. It’s something called the “Movado Sports Edition with Blue Museum Dial”. It really is a stunning piece. I don’t know much about watches but I did read that Movado is a legendary Swiss watchmaker so perhaps this is appropriate.

    • Shooter One says:

      Thank you for your contribution, one or two of the Movado’s are perfectly restrained (aesthetically) and very well proportioned, but personally we feel that their signature blue dot minimal style sort of work better as a woman’s watch.

  6. Chris says:

    Hi, would it be possible to get the exact reference of the 1887? The photo is great but the watch itself is an absolute beauty!

    • Shooter One says:

      It is a great watch and looks expensive, bright and sharp… though personally i have to disagree, having both shot and worn it, I feel that this is one of those watches that looks a little better in photographs than in life.

  7. Christopher says:

    I so agree with this! “Rolexes do all look fake”!!!!

  8. Eren says:

    Where’s the Rolex Daytona? Where’s the Lange 1 or the Lange Datograph? None of the watches on this list come anywhere near those two in terms of looks.

    • Shooter One says:

      Sorry Eren
      You are not going to like this but whenever I see a rolex datytona anywhere (except in the window of a department store), I think “passable fake”, it is a handsome watch.. but being over popular on the wrists of car salesmen and derivatives traders, (who probably acquired them for $300 on a sex-stag weekend in Vietnam) could ruin anything…
      As for the Langes, it is in the eye of the beholder, to us (unanimously) the face and back look too fussy and the bold branding looks embarrassing on a £50,000 watch.

      • Eren says:

        I see what you’re saying, however we must give credit where credit’s due. Seems arbitrary to disqualify a model when judging the beauty of watch designs, just because it’s gotten popular and spawned a lot of knock-offs. The fact that a Daytona gets copied a lot is a testament to its handsome design which has remained highly desirable since its inception. People wouldn’t be copying it so much if it was ugly and nobody coveted them, right?

        If we’re going to exclude watches because they have too many cheap knock-offs or they’re on too many wrists nowadays, we may as well disregard the Submariner, the Luminor and the Speedmaster, too. I see more knock offs of those than of the Daytona when I’m travelling abroad. The Submariner, specifically, may well be the most copied watch by the fake-makers from what I see.

        I myself intensely dislike the newer models Rolex, Omega and Panerai have been releasing over the recent years, but I still appreciate the handful of elegant designs in their history which fully deserve their classic status. For example, I actually kept the Omega Moon Watch in my collection despite your article claiming “none of us have one” because it’s the most attractive Omega design to this day, in my opinion.

        As for the Lange, yes, they have some ridiculous designs, which is why I mentioned specific models. To me, even the back of a Lange Datograph looks more attractive than any of your featured watches on this page L back and the dial is an exercise in harmonious symmetry L face . Plus, the craftsmanship on these things is insane. They’re in a different league than the other brands mentioned here and their pricing reflects that fact.

        The Lange 1 is both truly original and striking in its appearance. What exactly is fussy or boldly-branded about this design?

  9. Studio 10 says:

    I just stumbled upon your reviews and they are the best on the internet, in fact enjoyed the whole account and it showed an old pro photographer some interesting stuff.
    Anyway I’ll be subscribing to from now on.

  10. J Glassman ms says:

    I love this list, I work in the watch biz and collect on the side and you have the best taste in the business. Thanks for showing me that I was never alone in loving all of these great watches.

  11. abdelouahab says:

    hi
    thank you for the article
    i bought a chinese swatch for 20 dolars 😀

  12. Joe says:

    Fun article. I wouldn’t disagree with any of them but I would add the Lange 1815, a jaeger lecoultre reverso, and the Dubey and Schaldenbrand black dial Aerodyn Duo, of which I own four and despite owning a number of gorgeous watches I always come back to the duo, and frankly the Dubey and Schaldenbrand d.175 knocks ’em all out.

  13. Raymond says:

    That’s a nice list.
    However I think that Longines Master Collection Retrograde should be up there somewhere.

  14. ephantus kamau says:

    That is a good read. Where i come from we only have one official Longines store….but i have all those watches on your list …but all made in china for a fraction of their true cost.

    • Shooter One says:

      They make some great things in china… but fake watches are not so great as they make a fraud out of the wearer, even if 97% of people can’t tell the difference. I say you can always tell a fake watch by the shoes.

  15. Bookowski Lancer says:

    I’m feeling very sexy after this

  16. Vumani Linyama says:

    Greetings to you all,I have a problem with my wrist watch a Breitling it fail and broke can you help?I do not have any document for it.

    • Shooter One says:

      No sorry, we are just award winning photographers who like watches. May sound like a crazy “out there” idea but you could try a watch mender? Or better still send it back to Breitling? Or better better still (if you are rich and a bit strange*) chuck it in a draw and buy a new one?**

      * only a guess
      ** that’s what I do

  17. Chris Abernathy says:

    Not to be repetitive, but there is a reason. You selection is grand but on a simplistic scale in terms of design. Which is why I believe both it and the watches you have selected are so well deserved. I have selections as well but 3 of yours are amount them. The Grand Seiko GS, the Tag and one of my absolute favorites…the Pan Luminor 1950 8 day. Just great. While this is “The List”, It would be nice if you all continued with a quarterly or bi-annual review. Just because of your perspective, access and quite simply…taste. Great job…

  18. James S Spadie says:

    You completely put watch design in perspective, this is the best list of watches in the world. Why don’t you try your hand a building your own? I am an expert in CAD and would gladly help. I can probably also help you source manufacture. Just a suggestion.

  19. super bowl volkswagon commercial says:

    This web site will be famous. You have selected the most brilliant watches and they do not all cost $100k like every other watch top ten list i have ever seen.

  20. maarten kuit says:

    Great list. I love nr 3.
    When you say 40mm, is that including the crown?
    I’m wearing a Omega Seamster 200m, which is 40mm w/o crown )(43.5 incl crown).
    I presume that 40mm will be around 36 w/o crown, right?

    thanks Maarten

  21. John Rambo says:

    I wonder what you think about the 2012’s Pam 438 Tuttonero ?

    • Shooter One says:

      We love the Panerai PAM 438 Tuttonero!… it is really really breathtaking in pictures, like a wrist size Lamborghini Reventón unfortunately, I have never seen one close up…. and we know more than most: that pictures can lie… As soon as i have one in my hand I will let you know what we think 🙂

  22. Cognoscenti says:

    The 1958 Omega Constellation & 1969 speedmaster
    are the ones that deserve the top list , pure legendary perfection…
    .
    for my personal taste , I would exchange the ugly seiko
    for the Panerai Pam 520 anytime , but thats me…

    • Shooter One says:

      You have great taste… we debated all three of those great watches, for literally ages before we decided on our top ten.

      • Cognoscenti says:

        …you have debated all three of thoses watches for ages

        but STILL have decided to put a Seiko in the 10 MOST “BEAUTIFUL” watches in the world againts an Italian Panerai PAM 520 Radiomir 1940 !!

        If you tell me that YOU personally prefer a more than standard Grand Seiko GMT versus the So beautiful PAM 520 …then i will tell you that i can’t understand you , truly !

  23. Sara says:

    It’s one of the best posts on wrist watches that I have read on the web. I would like to share that I wear Sykla smart watch.

  24. Cassie says:

    I found your list just before Christmas and bought three of the watches on it for the guys in my family, the Panerai for my elder son, a speedster for my 19 year old and a Jaeger Memovox for my husband.
    I have never has so many compliments on my gifts. Thank you – I owe you a huge debt.

    • Shooter One says:

      You could buy me a Panerai if it you like? Failing that why don’t you hire us to photograph your new profile pictures for Facebook, linkedIn etc? We will change you life, improve your relations and make you feel more admired and popular… (we do this all the time) and it will cost less than the watches did?

  25. Skootrr says:

    Great article. You really nailed it, and adding the Seiko GMT and avoiding the urge to put overexposed watches like new Rolex Submariners on the list, and give the nod to vintage ones, gives it a lot more credibility.

    One watch I thought should have been considered was the Omega DeVille Hour Vision Orbis in blue, probably one of the most beautiful watches I’ve seen. Was that one considered?

  26. Andy says:

    Great list, good choices of watches, and very nicely photographed too.
    I was a bit surprised to see the Sekonda on there though. I’ve actually got two of them myself, so I agree with you on the looks, and the 2209 is a great movement, especially with it being so thin compared to modern watches. It’s just not one you normally see included in lists like this, so it was a nice surprise.

    Plus I do know the square root of 169 too, which is oddly specific.

  27. David says:

    Nice list you have and really nice photographs. However, I was just wondering have you guys considered the Calatrava as part of your list? I thought it was a really beautiful watch and was quite surprised that it’s not on the list.

  28. Andria says:

    Could you do another top ten list for ladies watches please? That would be so awesome.

  29. Bill Hauff says:

    I like my 18carat yellow gold Tanishq ‘Golden Serenade’. It is the most beautiful man’s watch I have seen.

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