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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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’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