Fran

Fran

First Published: September 15, 2020
  1. Articles by Fran
  2. Best Cufflinks to Match with Your Luxury Watches: A Comprehensive Guide

    Best Cufflinks to Match with Your Luxury Watches: A Comprehensive Guide

    Cufflinks serve more purpose than we give them credit for. More than just tiny adornments on a man’s cuffs, these accessories can — in fact — make or break a whole ensemble. Every well-dressed man knows that there’s always a good reason to add a new pair of cufflinks to his collection.  He should also know that there are more ways than one to wear cufflinks. After all, even the most expensive cufflinks won’t do any good if they’re worn inappropriately. It’s not rocket science to wear one, but it sure takes some sartorial experience to get it right.   Photo from Cartier Watches and Cufflinks Cufflinks, as the name suggests, are worn on the cuffs of a shirt’s sleeves. And so given their position, as a rule of thumb, cufflinks mostly match with a man’s watch. If he wears a gold watch, he’s more likely to wear a pair of gold cufflinks. Given that opportunity, a lot of high-end watch brands such as Omega, Patek Philippe, and Cartier produce their own cufflinks. These cufflinks are meant to complement a watch model or collection. The design of the cufflinks either directly attributes to the watch’s signature design or the brand’s overall look. For instance, you can pair your Omega Seamaster with a Seamaster cufflink, but you can also pick out a symbol cufflink that would match your timepiece just as perfectly. At the end of the day, cufflinks function to complete a look and make it cohesive. Cufflinks are style accessories so its prices vary like any item in this category. Given that luxury brands produce their own cufflinks, the prices of these items can be on the more expensive side of the range. But that doesn’t mean cufflinks are only for the rich and wealthy. In fact, affordable cufflinks dominate the market more than luxury cufflinks. But that, of course, doesn’t assure the same quality that luxury cufflinks offer. From Aristocratic to Modern Man The use of cufflinks dates back some 800 years ago. Today, they’re a part of every gentleman’s wardrobe basics, alongside a nice watch or a fresh pair of socks. As small as they seem, cufflinks can actually set the tone for a man’s style preferences. What most people believe is unnecessary makes a huge difference when worn. Traditionally, cufflinks are aristocratic accessories. As time progresses and economic climates change, more and more people start to use cufflinks. Today, men from all walks of life can own a pair of cufflinks. From a black-tie event to a casual day out, cufflinks serve more purpose today than in the olden times. Photo from Reddit Wear Your Style on Your Sleeves Cufflinks — as tiny as they are — are big on helping men upgrade their sense of style. The great thing about cufflinks is that they work well on any occasion. These days, even casual day-to-day can be a reason to wear a good-old cufflink. Basically, any occasion where you can wear a shirt with double cuffs or “French” cuffs as they call it (the ones without buttons) calls for a nice pair of cufflinks. There are a few traditional ways to wear cufflinks. One of which is called a “kissing” position, which means the cuffs are pulled with the interior side together before being linked through the aligned cuff holes. This more traditional means of wearing cufflinks are mostly perfect for black-tie events. Another is called the “barrel” style. You can wear it with the cuffs overlapping each other. The sleek finish of this look makes it perfect for a more business or casual look. Cufflinks, especially the ones from luxury brands, leave a good impression on the people who take notice of them. They’re often a statement piece that completes a dressy attire. Not to mention, men identify with certain designs or brands that make them stand out. And wearing a luxury brand is one way to do it. So without further ado, here are our top 10 recommended luxury watch brands that offer matching, equally iconic cufflinks. Top 10 Best Cufflinks to Match with Your Luxury Watches 1. Patek Philippe Nautilus Watches & Cufflinks Founded in 1839, there’s no denying that Patek Philippe is an institution in itself.  The company has a long history of ownership but the Stern Family took over the company’s management in 1932. During the Great Depression, Charles Stern and Jean Stern acquired the company from being a loyal business partner that supplied Patek Philippe with watch dials. To this day, the fourth generations Sterns run the company. Patek Philippe Nautilus REF 5711/1A-010 & Nautilus cufflinks with black-blue sapphire in 18K white gold  Patek Philippe’s foundation mostly revolves around family and the value of an heirloom. Just as their popular motto says, “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” What makes Patek Philippe’s line of watches unique is the fact that these are items that resonate with the brand’s persona and ultimately through every gentleman and the future generations that come after them. Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5980R-001 & Nautilus cufflinks with 32 baguette diamonds in 18K rose gold  It only made sense when the brand expanded its catalogue to various jewellery and accessories. Today, the brand boasts a perfectly curated line of products that seamlessly matches its watch collections particularly the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Aquanaut, and Calatrava. The catalogue now includes luxury items such as cufflinks, rings, money clips, and a whole lot more. Easily, Patek Philippe’s cufflinks made it to our list. Each of its cufflink pairs goes well with a certain watch model. Patek Phillipe Nautilus Ref. 7118/1A-010 & Nautilus cufflinks with silver-white sapphire crystal in 18K white gold  Whether you already have a Patek Philippe watch or not, it shouldn’t be that hard to pick from their collection of cufflinks. It’s straightforward and quite easy to pair. The brand’s cufflink designs take heavy inspiration from the watches themselves. And our favourite among the brand’s line of cufflinks and watches, the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch and cufflinks that go perfectly well with each other. Indeed, they’re as elegant as they’re simple. 2. Rolex Watches & Vintage Cufflinks The well-known brand Rolex has been every man’s go-to grail watch brand. Owning a Rolex equates with the financial stability of a man, given that their watches range from five to six digits at best. Established in 1905, Rolex’s story began in London, England. However, because of the First World War, they decided to move their operation to Geneva, Switzerland. Since then, the company has been headquartered there. With the brand’s motto, “A crown for every achievement,” it’s easy to equate the brand with milestone gifts whether to one’s self or other people. Rolex Day-Date watch & Vintage Rolex gold President Link cufflinks  Rumour has it that Rolex sold cufflinks in the 1990s. But take this with a grain of salt. This is unconfirmed by anyone from Rolex, and to this day can’t be proven true. However, watch enthusiasts confirm that Rolex did have cufflinks, but not officially sold separately by the brand. Perhaps they’re sold by a different authorised dealer or came in the package with a watch. That’s the reason you can still buy supposedly genuine Rolex cufflinks online through resellers or collectors. But sometimes finding a pair for yourself can be quite a daunting task. Rolex Submariner watch & Vintage Rolex gold President Link cufflinks with onyx  Firstly, there are a lot of counterfeits in the market today, not only for their watches but also for their cufflinks. If spotting a fake Rolex comes easy for you, then you’re in luck because you’ll probably spot a fake Rolex cufflink anywhere. Secondly, a lot of knockoffs also flock to the modern-day market for Rolex cufflinks. They may not name it after the brand but they sure carry a heavy resemblance with the iconic crown logo. On other occasions, they brand the cufflinks as “Rolex-inspired” to avoid a multi-million-dollar copyright infringement lawsuit. According to forum discussions, legitimate Rolex cufflinks come in President design links. So, if you see a crown logo-inspired cufflink out there, better seek expert advice regarding its authenticity. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch & Vintage Rolex gold President Link cufflinks  With that said, it’s easier to pair Rolex watches — including the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, Rolex Day-Date, or even the Rolex Submariner — with a respective cufflink. Since most authentic Rolex cufflinks appear to come in gold, we have the above-suggested model and cufflink pairings to try. 3. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches & Cufflinks Audemars Piguet started as a project between two childhood friends, Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet. While their story started in 1875, the company Audemars Piguet & Cie was not officially founded until 1881 in Le Brassus, Switzerland. The two had experience in watchmaking as Audemars began his career developing movements for brands like Tiffany & Co. Meanwhile, Piguet worked on the regulation of watch movements. By dividing the workload, the two met with great success. To this day, the company’s being run by the family of its owners with its fourth-generation leaders coming from the Audemars family.   Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph watch in pink gold & Audemars Piguet Royal Oak gold cufflinks  When a lot of manufacturers were crippled by the Quartz Crisis in the late 1960s to the early 1980s, the company found ways to shake the industry. At a time when watches were dainty and made of gold, Audemars Piguet commissioned designer Gérald Genta to design an unprecedented steel watch. Overnight, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was born. It was officially launched a year after Genta presented his now-iconic octagonal design with hexagonal screws, all made of steel. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch in stainless steel & Audemars Piguet Royal Oak stainless steel cufflinks  Unlike Rolex, Audemars Piguet did sell official cufflinks that match the brand’s iconic Royal Oak watches. Defined by the iconic octagonal shape and exposed hexagonal screws, these cufflinks perfectly embody the Royal Oak’s best traits. They also come with the classic “tapisserie” pattern. Just by the looks of it, they’re undeniably the best accessory to accompany your Royal Oak with. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-winding watch & Audemars Piguet Royal Oak stainless steel cufflinks  These cufflinks can be bought online through resellers or via an auction. But with the popularity of these cufflinks alongside their watch counterpart, it’s easy to stumble upon counterfeit or knockoff cufflinks. So, make sure you’re looking at an authentic Royal Oak cufflink first before proceeding with your purchase. It wouldn’t hurt to ask your seller or to ask an expert. 4. Hublot Big Bang Watches & Cufflinks In 1980, Carlo Crocco founded Hublot. Crocco mostly oversaw the business’ design aspect so he had to hire someone else to lead the company for him. So, in May 2004, Jean-Claude Biver, then president of Swatch Group’s Omega division took the CEO position at Hublot. The brand saw huge success as they expanded all over Europe, starting with a mono-brand store in Paris. Soon enough, the company was already conquering the United States as well. Today, Hublot is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the storied fashion house, LVMH. The brand function alongside LVMH brands such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Givenchy and more. Hublot Big Bang Unico watch in King Gold & Fendi gold cufflinks  With the brand attached to other fashion houses such as the ones mentioned above, it’s not hard to imagine the brand with accessories to boot. Not only do they get heavy design perspectives from their own watch collection but they also get notable contributions from their sister company’s collections. In an attempt to mix and match Hublot watches with other LVMH branded cufflinks, let’s focus on the iconic Hublot Big Bang watch collection. Hublot Big Bang Unico watch in Magic Gold & Givenchy brass cufflinks  There’s no denying that the Hublot Big Bang watch makes a case for a unique timepiece. While its design heavily takes on Genta’s Royal Oak (as with his very own Nautilus), this timepiece is still considered to be unique in its own right. Hublot Big Bang Unico watch in stainless steel and diamonds & Louis Vuitton cufflinks  It’s not hard to love the Hublot Big Bang, especially with the mix and match of materials that make up the watch. And what better way to mix and match your Big Bang than with various LVMH cufflinks. These cufflinks come from brands under the LVMH group that most fans of the brand patronise themselves. 5. Panerai Watches & Logo Cufflinks Panerai, unlike the previous entries on our list, doesn’t come from Switzerland. The Italian watch manufacturer, however, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swiss luxury good company Richemont. The humble beginnings of the shop started in 1860 in Florence, Italy. Giovanni Panerai’s small beginnings grew to become the official supplier of the Royal Italian Navy. From there, the company’s business grew and today we know the brand as one of the top luxury watch brands for men. Panerai Luminor 1950 watch & Panerai Logo cufflinks  It’s unclear whether or not Panerai released their own cufflinks, but a bunch of Panerai logo cufflinks flock to the Internet. Some watch aficionados swear they’re authentic while others are unsure. Nevertheless, the cufflinks we’re going to mention here are Panerai Logo cufflinks that go well with any of the brand’s watches, particularly the Panerai Luminor and Panerai Radiomir. Panerai Radiomir watch & Panerai Logo cufflinks  The great thing about these cufflinks is that they’re made of stainless steel so they’re easily paired with just about anything. You can pick a Panerai watch from your collection and go on with the very same cufflinks. Not to mention, Panerai actually has a really interesting logo. It’s unique not only to the brand but to the industry as well. Check out the pairings above we prepared for you. 6. Tudor Watches & Designer Cufflinks Tudor is Rolex’s answer to the demand for more affordable Swiss timepieces. Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf founded the brand in Geneva, Switzerland, where Rolex is also headquartered. Wilsdorf wanted to provide people with an alternative to the extravagant prices of Rolex. The reasonably-priced watches from Tudor take great inspiration from its parent company, Rolex, that’s why you’ll find a lot of similarities between the two brands. Tudor specialises in sports watches and professional divers, such as the Tudor Pelagos and Tudor Heritage Black Bay, which are almost at par with Rolex’s reliability. Tudor Pelagos watch and & Tateossian cufflinks  Tudor boasts its own line of watches that perfectly match any occasion. Given that the brand takes heavy inspiration from Rolex’s design signature, a quick take on the watches can be an easy way to mistake it for an expensive grail watch. But that’s not to say that Tudor watches don’t carry a design DNA of its own. In fact, Tudor focuses more on function rather than form and skips the grandeur to focus on the reliability and durability of its watches. Say, for instance, the Tudor Pelagos watch collection comes with titanium cases and bezels that are lightweight yet durable. They also come with ceramic dials. With the company’s watches as appealing as these, pairing them with a cufflink should be an easy task. Tudor Heritage Black Bay watch & Salvatore Ferragamo cufflinks  Just like its parent company, Rolex, Tudor didn’t seem to have released any cufflinks at all to match its watches. However, finding a cufflink for this brand comes easy with various luxury brands available online. 7. IWC Watches & Crown Cufflinks IWC is an American watch brand with a heart for Swiss watchmaking. The history of the brand is quite an adventure, especially for its founder Florentine Ariosto Jones. From his hometown in Boston, Jones travelled to Europe and later explored the excellence of Swiss watchmaking technology. After the brand realised the power of hydroelectric factories, IWC grew to become the watch manufacturer we know today — famous for its collections such as the IWC Ingenieur, IWC Portofino, and IWC Aquatimer, among others. IWC Ingenieur Chronograph watch & IWC titanium Crown cufflinks  IWC crafted their own cufflinks for the people who adored the IWC Pilot watches. The company developed watches that are inspired by the conical crown of the Big Pilot’s Watch that is considered to be the most recognisable trait of the timepiece. Large crowns are not new when it comes to aviation watches, given that pilots need a big crown to grab on with their padded gloves. IWC Portofino Moonphase watch & IWC gold Crown cufflinks  The cufflinks, aptly nicknamed Crown cufflinks, are manufactured in Schaffhausen and are perfect not only for pilots but also for other professionals. The IWC cufflinks come in either stainless steel, 18K 5N gold, or titanium. 8. Omega Watches & Omegamania Cufflinks Omega is one of the oldest Swiss manufacturers. Founded in 1848, the brand was then known as La Generale Watch Co., headquartered in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Founder Louis Brandt started out by assembling key-wound pocket watches with parts supplied by local craftsmen. From there, the company grew to be the brand we know and love today. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial watch & Omegamania cufflinks  The company has been undisputedly running despite all the economic and industrial crises it faced. Even the Quartz Crisis was no match for the company. To further prove the company’s prestige, they were also chosen by NASA to equip Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin with watches in the 1969 Apollo 11 lunar mission. This is just one of the many achievements the company boasts. Omega De Ville Prestige Co-Axial watch & Omegamania cufflinks  Omega has been providing cufflinks that complement its watch collections, including the Omega Constellation, Omega De Ville, and Omega Seamaster, to name a few. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch  & Omegamania cufflinks  Omega provides luxury cufflinks that make for such a powerful styling accessory. However, if you do have a few Omega watches in your collection, it’s just right to find a cufflink that can be easily paired with any of them. And Omega, of course, has an answer to it: the Omegamania cufflink collection. These timepieces are detailed with the brand’s iconic logo or are detailed with a brushed centre. 9. Jaeger-LeCoultre Watches & Logo Cufflinks To encapsulate almost two centuries of horological excellence is almost impossible especially when it’s about Jaeger-LeCoultre. The brand’s history dates back to 1559 when Antoine LeCoultre began crafting timepieces in the small town of Le Sentier, Switzerland. However, the company was only officially established in 1833. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-thin watch & Jaeger-LeCoultre Logo cufflinks  From pocket watches, the brand, like any other, grew to manufacture wristwatches. From there, the brand’s artistic take on timepieces became a favourite, not only in Europe but all around the world. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds watch & Jaeger-LeCoultre Logo cufflinks  Jaeger-LeCoultre doesn’t sell cufflinks separately. Most collectors and resellers get the Jaeger-LeCoultre cufflinks as part of a package with the brand’s timepieces, particularly from the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso and Jaeger-LeCoultre Master collections. A lot of them are also Logo cufflinks. There are various limited-edition cufflinks available in the market today through online resellers. To verify the cufflinks’ authenticity, it’s best to consult an expert. 10. Cartier Watches & Cufflinks Cartier is a storied fashion house and one of the oldest ones that to this day, people look up to. They design and manufacture jewellery and watches from their headquarters in France. Just like Panerai, Cartier is a subsidiary of the Swiss Richemont Group. Founded in 1847, Louis-François Cartier took over a workshop from his master Adolphe Picard. Cartier Santos de Cartier watch in steel & Cartier Santos de Cartier cufflinks  Cartier has provided the watchmaking industry with truly revolutionary watches such as the Santos de Cartier, which Louis Cartier made for his dear aviator friend Alberto Santos-Dumont. The company continued to grow and soon enough, they’re all over the world and worn by the most storied names in fashion. The brand was recently featured in the movie Ocean’s 8 as the manufacturer of a precious diamond necklace called the Toussaint. The necklace exists in real life. Cartier Santos de Cartier watch in leather & Cartier Santos de Cartier cufflinks  Cartier’s Santos de Cartier watch is so iconic it deserves its own collection of cufflinks. And being a brand with expertise in jewellery, the brand didn’t fall short in designing the Santos de Cartier cufflinks. While inspired by the watches themselves, the distinction also remains recognisable. How to Pick the Right Cufflinks Picking the right cufflinks doesn’t have to be a difficult task. While we’ve provided you with a rich list of cufflink and watch pairings, you might still get confused along the way. At the end of the day, picking the right cufflinks falls with your personal style preferences and personality. If you’re not one to wear extravagant designs, a more minimal choice of cufflink would be perfect for you. On the other hand, there are a lot of more eccentric designs of cufflinks on the market today. There are even novelty cufflinks if you appreciate those types of designs. How to Put on a Cufflink To put on a cufflink, make sure you’re wearing a French cuff shirt. These types of shirts have no buttons on the cuff. Instead, it has two holes that would align with each other. That said, do the following steps to easily put on a cufflink. To put them on in a “kissing” position: Fold back the cuff of your shirt. Pull the cuffs together away from the wrist, with the interior side against each other. Align the cuff holes together. Insert and lock the cufflink in position. Meanwhile, if you want to put the cufflinks in a “barrel” position, all you have to do is to overlap the cuffs with one interior side against one exterior side. Secure the cufflinks and voila! You’re all set. Various cufflinks have different means of securing them in place. Identify your cufflink type before looking up how to secure them. We promise it’s not that hard of a task. In no time, you’ll be wearing cufflinks so swiftly like the gentleman you’ve always wanted to be. When to Use Cufflinks Cufflinks are traditionally used on formal occasions, as well as business events. Semi-formal events don’t require cufflinks but they surely add a certain flair to your ensemble if worn. However, more and more men wear cufflinks in a casual setting. They can be worn not only on shirts but also on jackets. Quirky cufflinks can be perfectly paired with sports or leather jackets of your choice. Pricing of Cufflinks As aforementioned, cufflinks’ prices differ in range by a huge margin. Cheap cufflinks can cost from a dollar to five digits. But that’s not to say that these items only have the brand name to boost their prices. The best cufflinks are made of the finest materials. Most of the time, this alone makes a huge price difference. Cufflinks can be made from materials as simple as stainless steel or as expensive as gold. Not to mention, these cufflinks also have detailing that require various gemstones of sorts. To set an example, Cartier’s Juste Un Clou cufflinks made of white gold with diamonds cost 30,500 USD. The cheapest cufflink from the brand is a Santos de Cartier cufflink in sterling silver sits at 335 USD. Mid-tier less than 100 USD are also available online. These cufflinks often have enough quality to last you many occasions with proper care and maintenance. A Men’s Fashion Must-Have Cufflinks make a huge difference in any man’s ensemble. They complete the look and make it more coherent. While there are a bunch of means to choose your cufflinks, matching them with your watch is a perfect choice, given its proximity from the timepiece. After all, watches are not just accessories. They serve a function and may as well be a conversation piece. A unique cufflink can go a long way when it comes to making your look stand out from the crowd. Depending on the occasion, a cufflink, indeed, ups the fashion ante. Every man has a unique sense of style, so you’ll surely be unique with any cufflink of your choice. If you happen to choose a pair of luxury cufflinks, chances are they will be unique to you and you alone. After all, not everyone can afford these luxury accessories. But one thing’s for sure, if you can afford an Omega Speedmaster, then you can most definitely afford a Speedmaster cufflink. Featured photo courtesy of Omega on Twitter

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  3. 15 Best Luxury Watches for the Financially Independent Gentlemen

    15 Best Luxury Watches for the Financially Independent Gentlemen

    What do George Clooney, John Mayer, and Virgil Abloh all have in common? You’d easily be able to list a bunch of similarities among these men. For instance, they’re all icons in their own rights. However, there’s one commonality that these men share: luxury watches. Despite the differences in their lines of work, these men all share a common love for statement watches. These grail watches reflect not only the glitz and glamour of their industry but also the success and financial independence they’ve attained through the years. Financial Independence and Luxury Items Fame or popularity isn’t the only indication that you’ve finally reached financial freedom. It can be seen through a stable income and investments. But not everyone can flaunt the amount of money they make by rubbing their bank accounts on other people’s faces. Many people often resort to luxury items for various reasons. Firstly, they function as status symbols to one’s financial stability and capabilities. After all, not everyone can afford a Rolex, a Patek Philippe or an Audemars Piguet that easily. Secondly, these items serve as rewards for a milestone in their career. Say a promotion or closing a big deal, for example, can trigger a man to give himself a rightful reward for all the hard work that put him there. Others also purchase a specific item to commemorate a special event, like getting married or having a new member in the family. For most people, owning a luxury item is not only about showing off. Owning a luxury item reminds people of how they got to where they are through sheer hard work and dedication. Any man can own his dream watch but not everyone can justify having to wear them at all. That’s why financial freedom is almost always anchored with a luxurious lifestyle. It’s a well-deserved treat for a well-deserved man. Swiss Luxury Watch Brands That Paved the Way More often than not, Swiss luxury watches equate with luxury and extravagance. The most popular luxury watch brands that we know today have a history that dates back to the early beginnings of watches themselves. Advancements in horology revolve around specific brands that any affluent man can recognise from afar. The Swiss watchmaking industry left a mark in the industry that remains to this day. No wonder why a lot of brands turn to these grail watch brands for inspiration. You might recognise these names as they remain to be the top watch brands of all time and somehow changed the way we perceive time. Photo from Patek PhilippePatek Philippe For over 180 years, Patek Philippe goes on to be the most trusted brand of luxury watches to this day. Founded in 1839, the company proves to be one of the longest-running watch manufacturers in the world. Its uninterrupted watchmaking history, despite the Quartz Crisis in the late 1960s and early 1980s, demonstrates the company’s well-being from then till now. With the seal of luxury from royalties themselves, Patek Philippe exhibits genuine opulence with its known clientele. Known owners of the brand include Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Pope Pius IX, Pablo Picasso, Sir Paul McCartney, Robert Downey Jr., and a whole lot more. This watch brand unquestionably displays horological excellence and tradition in their timepieces. They possess a range of designs that cater to every style — from the minimalists to the maximalists. Its unyielding quality also counts for the many reasons it holds great value today. Not to mention, the brand boasts being a family-owned company. The Stern family has been running the mill at the Patek Philippe headquarters for four generations now. Photo from Audemars PiguetAudemars Piguet Technology student Jules-Louis Audemars and economy student Edward-Auguste Piguet brought the Audemars Piguet brand to life in 1873. It remains, to this day, as one of the most sought-after watch companies in the industry. For that reason, a lot of people look to this brand for quality timepieces that possess irrefutable luxury. The company also boasts many firsts for the watch industry in general. For one, in 1892, Audemars Piguet produced the world’s first minute repeater movement for wristwatches. The company also boasts of having developed the first skeleton watch in 1934. Just like Patek Philippe, this brand holds great regard in the industry as one of the oldest manufacturers in the world. Audemars Piguet has also been family-owned since its establishment. The brand, mostly loved by sports icons like Novak Djokovic, LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Stephen Curry, empowers with its design and capabilities. It heavily boasts its affiliation in the arts with various independent projects that support it. In turn, this reflects on the design of the company’s timepieces — from the simplicity of the Royal Oak to the intricacy of the Haute Joaillerie. Photo from Vacheron ConstantinVacheron Constantin  Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Vacheron Constantin dates back its establishment to 1755. As one of the oldest manufacturers, the brand continues to be an icon to this day. Another choice of the royalties, Vacheron Constantin boasts a clientele with recognisable names such as Napoléon Bonaparte, King Fuad I of Egypt, Marlon Brando, and the Wright brothers. The brand’s status as a luxury watch manufacturer holds true as King Faud I’s Vacheron Constantin pocket watch No. 402833 (1929) is crowned as one of the most expensive watches ever sold at auction at 2.77 million USD. The brand’s pocket watch Reference 57260 also holds the title of the most complicated mechanical watch ever made. This watch includes a whopping 57 horological complications. If you take a peek at Vacheron Constantin’s lineup today, there’s only one way to describe its products: artful. Each of the brand’s model is intricately designed to show the dedication that goes into a single watch. The brand upholds the art of watchmaking through its marvellously crafted timepieces. Vacheron Constantin takes this seriously with the application of long-standing artforms like enamelling and engraving. But that’s not to say that the brand lacks simple and understated designs. The great thing about the brand is that no matter how simple or how grand its designs are, its watches maintain certain extravagance that can’t be replicated anywhere. Photo from RolexRolex Perhaps the most popular brand even among non-enthusiasts, Rolex stands to this day as one of the most prominent luxury watch brands. This Geneva-based company was not a Swiss brand during its establishment. In fact, it was headquartered in London, England. However, due to the First World War, the company moved to Geneva to avoid the depressing economic situation in England. Rolex is one of the top 10 luxury brands in Forbes‘ annual list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands. It’s impossible to count how many celebrities don a Rolex watch. But it’s safe to say that it’s one of the grail watches that people look into as a symbol of success and financial independence. Each Rolex watch, like any luxury watch, costs a lot to research, develop, design, and ultimately produce. These brands rely mostly on the rarity of their timepieces as indications of their prices. But what makes them stand out, perhaps, would be the fact they assemble their timepieces by hand and produce their own gold. Not to mention, the company takes pride in its COSC-certified movements. Photo from OmegaOmega Founded by Louis Brandt in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland in 1848, Omega now operates as a subsidiary of the Swiss Watch Group. A lot of people remember Omega as the first wristwatch to ever reach the moon. In 1969, NASA chose the brand to equip Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin for the Apollo 11 lunar mission. Buzz Aldrin wore the Speedmaster Professional Chronograph as he stepped onto lunar soil. Moreover, iconic fictional spy James Bond has been wearing Omega watches since 1995. Beyond fiction, Omega remains popular to its wide clientele that includes Prince William, George Clooney, Elvis Presley, and Michael Schumacher. Omega’s affiliation to pop culture, sports, and other endeavours greatly expand the brand’s distinction. Aside from James Bond, the brand incessantly sponsors other films and TV series. Omega also associates itself with sporting events like the Olympics and the Professional Golfers’ Association of America as the official timekeeper. The greatest feats of Omega ultimately attached to its brand name and rightfully so became a favourite not only among watch enthusiasts but also other professionals. From Seiko to Patek: The Journey to Financial Freedom A lot of financially independent men turn to watches as their luxury item of choice. Throughout history, these luxury watches became a symbol of success. It also heralded a lot of milestones throughout history and ultimately carried with them a once in a lifetime story. But more than that, a lot of successful men are very particular with their choices of timepieces. Their dream watch must carry in itself the following traits. Status Symbol As aforementioned, these watches prove as symbols of success and financial independence. A lot of outstanding men buy their timepieces as a trophy for a successful deal made or a promotion, and to remind themselves to continue working hard. These watches hold great value not only in the real world but also to the person who wears it. As to the people who see it on other people’s wrists, it can become an inspiration to work harder. Some of the famous celebrities and personalities with their luxury watches include Grace Kelly with her favourite Rolex Lady Datejust, Barack Obama with his Cartier Tank, Jay-Z with his Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, Rihanna with her Bulgari Serpenti, and John Mayer with his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, among others. Brand Recognition We mentioned a few brands earlier that paved the way in the industry. These brands are highly recognised for their value and affiliation to certain things. Different brands associate themselves with certain industries. For instance, Audemars Piguet proves popular among athletes and rappers. On the other hand, more affordable brands with undeniable top-notch quality prove popular among prosperous people. Seiko and Casio, today’s most iconic Japanese Brands, were seen on the wrists of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, respectively. Watchmaking Heritage Most luxury watch brands heralded the greatest inventions in horology. For instance, Breguet founder Abraham-Louis Breguet invented the Tourbillon. On the other hand, a lot of firsts also come to play when it comes to a brand’s heritage. But most importantly, a long history of horological advancement and commitment. Resale Value Most luxury watches produce timepieces in limited stocks per batch. This is separate from the limited-edition timepieces that the brands release. The scarcity in the brand’s releases hikes up the price of the watches almost immediately. When maintained and highly preserved, these watches can sell a lot more than its original price. In fact, the most expensive wristwatch ever was sold for 31 million USD in 2019. The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010 smashed the records of the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona that sold for 17.7 million USD in 2017. Both of these happened during an auction. Auctions aside, even a vintage luxury watch can cost the same or twice as much as its original sale value. Reselling timepieces whether as vintage or after customisation definitely helps in boosting a watch’s value. Investment Given the resale value of each luxury watch, it’s impossible not to consider it an investment. Just like art, a lot of people collect watches as a form of investment. Watches like the classic Rolex GMT Master-II, more often than not, hold their value over time. Therefore, you can look at watches as a way of freezing your assets in a wearable accessory. However, this should be done with great care as maintenance of the watch holds a great percentage of its value moving forward. Fashionability Before anything else, a watch is also an accessory. It’s made not only to tell time but to flaunt an affluent lifestyle. While watches in the more modern period prove to be more of function than form, a lot of people still pay for a watch as a fashionable item. The reason why luxury watch brands have such a wide design range is to be able to cater to all style choices. Some people don watches as a dress watch to pair with a suit and tie. Others take it to a 9-to-5 for an important business meeting. Others wear luxury watches to a weekend vacation. Each of these functions requires different designs. Sports watches tend to look bulkier, while dress watches are often sleek and can easily be hidden under cuffs. At the end of the day, your choice of luxurious timepiece all boils down to your personal aesthetic. Best Luxury Watches for the Financially Independent Men Now that we know what traits we’re looking for in every financially independent man’s dream watch, let’s break down 15 of the best luxury watches that meet these standards. Sophisticated and stylish gentlemen will revere these timepieces that are poised on a whole new level of richness. 1. Patek Philippe Nautilus Perhaps the most popular Patek Philippe watch, the Nautilus takes pride in being the most well-loved luxury sports watch. Its demand is so high that it already surpassed the supply of the watch. Now, it can take from 8 to 10 years just to get one’s hands on the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Why it’s so popular is beyond Thierry Stern, president of Patek Philippe. But a quick review of the watch’s history makes the love for the watch not that much of a mystery. In fact, it could only be reliant only on one person who single-handedly changed the industry with his ingenious designs. Meet Gérald Genta — horology icon and illustrious designer. There’s enough Nautilus today but its most popular iteration, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref 5711/1A, remains such a great bestseller that it now takes about 10 years to acquire one. Launched in 2006, the Ref. 5711/1A comes with a 40mm porthole-shaped case, a millimetre bigger than the original Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref 3700-1. The timepiece comes in either a black/blue (Ref 5711/1A-010) or silver/white (Ref 5711/1A-011) embossed dial. The horizontal lines on the dial even gained the nickname of “garage door” among fans. To be quite honest, it’s a simple three-hand watch with a date window at 3 o’clock. However, its brief history proved time and time again that its demand needs to be met. Other versions of the Nautilus, however, remain a popular choice among fans, like the Nautilus Chronograph Ref 5712/1A-001 and Ref 5711/1R-001 that is in Rose Gold. 2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Another Gérald Genta design in our midst, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak comes in a similar steel case with an octagonal bezel. Launched in 1972, the watch has since become an icon in the watch industry, mainly for its one of a kind design at the time. The watch’s “tapisserie” dial and integrated bracelet proved the timepiece a trendsetter for that era. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak heralded an innovation that, to this day, goes on to be an inspiration to many watch manufacturers. Even after more than 50 years since its launch, it’s still the brand’s best-selling piece. There are a whole lot of Royal Oak models that exist to this day. All of the designs feature the iconic octagonal bezel with a varying dial design. Other designs feature the “petit tapisserie” dial motif while others include an open-heart design or studded with diamonds. Brushed dials are also available in the line. A Royal Oak would also be incomplete without the visible hexagonal screws. The watch also comes not only in mechanical movements but also in quartz movements (Ref 67651SR.ZZ.1261SR.01). The Ref 15450ST.OO.1256ST.03 comes with a self-winding movement, perfect for a more luxurious feel. Our favourite, however, remains to be the iterations with blue dials like the Ref 15202ST.OO.1240ST.01. The Royal Oak also has Chronograph versions like the Ref 26320OR.OO.1220OR.01 and Ref 26320OR.OO.1220OR.02. 3. Rolex Submariner The Rolex Submariner needs no introduction. It’s one of the most popular timepieces, even for non-enthusiasts. Professional divers recommend the Submariner and use it themselves. It’s not long until it became a favourite among the professional diving community. The Rolex Submariner proves a great timepiece, especially for professional divers. Whether you’re into diving or simply basking under the sun on the vast ocean, the Submariner is a great choice for you. Iterations of the Submariner produced from the late 1980s to the late 1990s include a depth rating of up to 300 metres. The Ref 16610 (black dial) and Ref 14060 feature the Calibre 3030; while the Ref 14060M and Ref 16610LV feature Calibres 3130 and 3135, respectively. In 2010, Rolex discontinued the production of the aforementioned models to introduce a new line of improved Submariner watches. Firstly, the brand powered all Submariners with the Cal. 3135 movements. Secondly, they replaced the aluminium insert bezel with a Cerachrom bezel, a ceramic bezel with a luxe finish. Lastly, Rolex equipped each watch with a Glidelock system that allows 2mm-increment adjustments to perfectly fit over a wet suit. Photo from Omega4. Omega Speedmaster A timepiece so historical, it reached the moon. The Omega Speedmaster heralded a historical feat that no other timepiece could. It’s the first wristwatch to ever reach the moon. But to be chosen by NASA to equip the astronauts for the Apollo 11 lunar mission, Omega broke through the science of timekeeping. The Omega Speedmaster teems with varying models. Each has its own aesthetic appeal and function. For instance, the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch collection includes the 44.25mm Co-Axial Chronograph and the 42 mm Professional Chronograph. It also includes limited-edition timepieces like that of the Apollo 11 50th anniversary series. The Mark II series features a design inspired by a 1969 model of the same name. The collection includes three models of various colourways and materials like Sedna gold on steel, black steel on steel, as well as another steel on steel with orange hands and markers. Other models include a racing Master Chronometer chronograph, the Skywalker X-33, and more. 5. IWC Portofino Despite its understated elegance, the IWC Portofino is a timepiece well-loved by many, especially professionals. Why not? It’s the perfect dress watch that you can take from your job to a suit and tie event without any fuss. What the Portofino carries is a well-balanced connection between form and function at its elegant best. This watch from IWC comes with various iterations and, therefore, a wide range of design and function. From a self-winding timepiece to a hand-wound classic, the Portofino carries within itself a varied collection of timepieces. One of its most popular models is the Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase Eight Days that works for exactly 192 hours. Every week, the timepiece has to be wound but it’s not at all a hassle. If you’re more of an automatic fan, the Portofino Chronograph with a minimalist design works best for you. It comes with a day/date window, as well as a hacking function. The series comes with multiple designs depending on your personal aesthetic. The silver dial version (IW391031) features gold hands that show a refined look. For a more minimal look, it also comes with a silver dial and hands (IW391027) as well as a black dial (IW391008) versions. For those who prefer a cleaner dial look, the Portofino also comes in a simple three-hand date watch such as the Portofino IW356504 (gold/silver) and Portofino IW356502 (silver/black). 6. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Jaeger-LeCoultre surely knows how to enchant people with its timepieces. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, for instance, is one unique timepiece with its reversible case, thus, its name. This design became iconic soon as it’s released, mainly due to its unique features as well as art deco aesthetic. Not to mention, with its inventive look, the timepiece easily became an androgynous choice. Contrary to many people’s misconceptions, the shape of the Reverso doesn’t actually prevent the timepiece from having a diverse line of designs. The most popular versions of the Reverso come with leather straps for an additional deluxe feel. A Classic Reverso features two hands with minute markers around its inner ring as seen on the Reverso Q2538420. A version of the Reverso also comes with a small seconds dial as in with the Reverso Q3858520. A more minimalist take on the Reverso reflects on the Q2588422 with its black dial and lined hour markers with 12 and 6 o’clock in Arabic numerals. A similar minimal version comes with the Q3848420 sans the Arabic numerals. 7. Cartier Santos de Cartier The Santos de Cartier packs a punch with its design feature. From its unique shape to the many variations of its design, this timepiece from Cartier displays a rich historic legacy. Louis Cartier crafted this watch in 1904 as a gift to his aviator friend Alberto Santos-Dumont. Easily, the Santos de Cartier was generally accepted as the first-ever wristwatch. The timepiece featured a square case with exposed screws. While it’s far from the typical pilot watch that we know today, it surely deserves being called a trailblazer. You’ll easily recognise actor Jake Gyllenhaal as the ambassador of the new Santos de Cartier. The actor promotes the timepiece as a forerunner of innovation throughout the history of watches. With the wide variety of Santos de Cartier watches, it’s almost impossible not to find. Firstly, it comes in various dial colours such as silver (WSSA0023), blue, black, etc. A version comes with a date window at 6 o’clock (WSSA0039), as well as a skeletonised version (WHSA0009). Photo from Breguet8. Breguet Tradition Breguet’s history plays a huge part in the creation of the Tradition collection. Taking inspiration from the subscription watches of Breguet, the aptly named Tradition timepieces look back on the past while travelling head on to the future. In 1796, Abraham-Louis Breguet invented one-hand pocket watches sold by subscription. This means that a quarter of the price must be paid upon order while the remainder of the balance has to paid on the delivery of the watch. As a tribute to these watches, the Breguet gave the Tradition a skeletonised design showing the movement’s components on top of the main plate. The Breguet Tradition carries inspiration straight from 1796 while keeping modern technology on the front line. Breguet’s self-winding manufacture movement Cal. 505SR1 includes 50 hours of power reserve and 38 jewels. There aren’t a lot of variations on the design of the Breguet Tradition. However, each of the timepieces displays its own unique aesthetic value. The watch’s hour dial sits humbly on the upper part of the dial. The Breguet Tradition Automatic Retrograde Seconds comes with a retrograde seconds hand by 10 o’clock. Meanwhile, a classic Breguet Tradition comes with a power reserve indicator on the main plate. On the other hand, jet-setters can get the best of two timezones with the Breguet Tradition GMT. 9. TAG Heuer Carrera The TAG Heuer Carrera is the brand’s response to the growing demand for motorsport-inspired chronographs. At the time, the motorsport industry was growing. And while timepieces are of great use to drivers, there are not a lot of watches that provide the drivers’ needs on track. There was a need for a legible watch that provided necessary information during a drive such as a lap time and speed. The TAG Heuer Carrera started as a powerful chronograph but as time passed, more and more designs came about. Some with a simple three-hand day/date function like the WAR201A.FC6266, which shows a more streamlined display of information. Some of its simplest chronograph versions include the CBK2110.FC6266 with a fixed bezel. This TAG Heuer collection also includes a model with a skeleton dial and tachymeter (CBG2A90.BH0653). Now more than ever, these timepieces uphold TAG Heuer’s long affiliation with motorsports as seen in its design inspiration and history. Photo from Vacheron Constantin10. Vacheron Constantin Patrimony The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony takes a minimalist approach to provide the necessary information. Taking into account designs from the 1950s, this watch provides a truly classic look and feel. Launched in 2004, these watches uphold within them a certain look that doesn’t require any complicated design choice to stand out. These timepieces from Vacheron Constantin excited elegance without even trying. One of the thinnest watches yet with 7.65 mm in thickness, this collection proves to be a comfort to wear. The dotted minute markers on the silver dial version of the watch (1110U/000G-B086) are almost invisible, making it an even more interesting piece. Despite the minute markers are completely visible (as in the 81180/000R-9159), the Patrimony remains minimal at its best. And if you haven’t noticed by now, the Patrimony takes texture as an additional element in the watch. In fact, a version of the watch has engraved minute markers (82172/000R-9382) that make for an interesting conversation piece. Photo from Franck Muller11. Franck Muller Vanguard The aesthetic value of the Franck Muller Vanguard truly is one of a kind. The watch pays homage to the Art Deco design principle with a hint of Novecento design on its overall look. The uniqueness of the watch placed the timepiece on a certain pedestal, especially in the Franck Muller lineup. Fans of truly unique eccentrics will adore the eye-catching look of the Vanguard. Firstly, the watch comes in a tonneau-shaped case that already sets the image it wants to carry on. Second, it’s hard to ignore the large ⁠— and we mean truly big ⁠— Arabic numeral hour indexes that appear to retrofit on the edges of the watch. To balance such heavyset indexes, the watch features a much simpler set of hands that complement the timepiece’s colours. With that said, the collection comes with large variations in design. There’s a monochrome Vanguard, a blue dial Vanguard, and even an all-white dial with red accents Vanguard. To further the style choices on this timepiece, it also comes with a date option and a no-date option. For your special timing needs, yes, the Vanguard also comes with a chronograph iteration. Photo from Bulgari12. Bulgari Octo Despite being one of the youngest choices on our list, the Bulgari Octo has proven time and time again that it’s a luxury icon in its own right. Launched in 2012, the watch gained a cult following for its unique aesthetic and record-breaking movement. While a lot of people tend to underestimate the prowess of the Octo — from its popularity to its mechanism — it’s unfair to judge it with only just a few years under its sleeve. But most people don’t know that a lot of time actually went into the research and development of this watch. No wonder its movement remains a regal choice for many. The aptly named Octo features an eight-sided case with a round bezel, as well as an octagonal flange on the dial. With that alone, it appears that the watch from Italian company Bulgari intends to surprise people. Powering the watch is a self-winding Bulgari Calibre BVL 193. But after two years since Octo’s launch, the Octo Finissimo features an in-house movement that shocked the industry. With record-breaking thinness, the watch ultimately became a powerful piece of horological history. Various iterations of the watch exist such as a chronograph version, a skeletonised version alongside the classic Octo Finissimo look. 13. Tudor Black Bay The Tudor Black Bay was also launched in 2012 with a look directly influenced by the Tudor Ref 2922 Submariner from 1954. For many years, this watch became the companion, not only of recreational divers but also of everyday people. Now, as Tudor Black Bay relives the historical look and function of the Ref 2922, Tudor explores more than just a reimagination but an improvement of a classic. One of the most iconic iterations of the watch includes the Black Bay P01 that is based on a 1960’s military prototype. The watch features a 12-hour bezel with a unique locking mechanism included. This, for one, made such a huge difference as it almost contravenes the Black Bay’s comfortable feel. This makes the classic Tudor Black Bay the most popular among the line. 14. Hublot Big Bang Much like the name suggests, the Hublot Big Bang has quite a story to unpack. Launched in 2005, the collection comes with a unique design that can almost be unified to a certain point but not completely. The variety in colours, sizes, as well as materials makes it such a story to tell. Moreover, the watch from Hublot features a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that makes it a high-end dream watch. It’s impossible to know where to begin with the Big Bang. To pull apart, its materials completely go against the purpose of the watch. This collection consists of timepieces that fuse what was almost impossible in a sensible manner. There’s a Big Bang with white ceramic, red ceramic, titanium, stainless steel, and even a gold version. 15. Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde It’s not a list of luxury watches without a Jaquet Droz watch. This time, we’re looking into the classic Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde. Launched in 2002, the watch features a time-honoured look inspired by a pocket watch created in the 18th century. The dial displays a refined presentation of the art of Grand Feu enamelling. The watch shows two overlapping sub-dials — the hour and minute at 12 o’clock and the seconds counter at 6 o’clock. Since its launch, Jaquet Droz created new iterations of its classic design as described above. An off-centred version of the watch was launched, as well as a design that offered a date dial called the Grande Seconde Quantieme. The Grande Seconde Dual Time features a second timezone, while a moon phase version is also available. Perhaps, the most interesting iteration of the watch is the Grande Seconde Skelet-One that comes in different materials like the ceramic version and gold version. Every Successful Man’s Companion Luxury watches have historically been a part of every successful and financially-independent man’s milestones. Traditionally, timepieces represent a huge part of a man’s accomplishments. A luxury watch not only displays the hard work a man had done but also serves as an inspiration to continue to push forward for better rewards that come ahead. We hope that by finding out the story of the timepieces listed above, you’ll find the right watch to celebrate your achievements with. Featured photo from Sotheby’s

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