THE 13 COOLEST WATCHES EVER MADE

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‘Coolest watches’. It’s one of those common words that sounds and means the same thing repeatedly. We say it every day, sure that we know what it means: an X-factor that goes beyond all other good traits to mean that intangible, seemingly effortless, extraordinary thing that people have these days.

When it comes to high-end products, no amount of technical trickery, marketing, or high prices can ensure coolness, as the “Cool Wall” of Clarkson’s Top Gear showed. A shot of a Fiat 500 is next to an Aston Martin DBS, and they look great together. On the other hand, the Lotus Exige S is put in the “Uncool” section of the board next to a Nissan Micra.

That’s also true of coolest watches, which are much like cars: they’re status icons with practical use that are often overengineered, becoming increasingly out of date, and too usually unintentionally broadcasting less-than-favorable “qualities.”

Also, they give their owner a lot of pleasure, so who cares what other people think if you love your watch?

Yes, we do. As our (obviously subjective) choice shows, ensuring an excellent watch game doesn’t have to cost a fortune, mainly because it is essential to have a simple, controlled design. A history that has been around for a long time also helps, earning praise from the most prestigious people in the watch world.

Luckily, watchmakers know this, which is why so many famous models have been made for decades with almost no changes. This also explains the recent rise in vintage reissues, which are helped by the never-ending retro style.

You will, of course, have your ideas about what makes the coolest watches. Please let us know what you think. Okay, maybe we’ll be wrong. That is cool, though. 

COOLEST WATCHES

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1. HERITAGE TUDOR CHRONO

HERITAGE TUDOR CHRONO

This brand is blazing its trail, especially regarding a retro take on the manly tool watch. Don’t let Tudor’s connection to Rolex get in the way of your enjoyment of its products. It hasn’t changed; its Heritage Black Bay diving watches have been backed for decades by the best battle divers in the French and USnaval.

But two years before the Tudor Black Bay returned, the Heritage Chrono of 2010 was a fantastic new take on a 1970s classic right off the boat at Monaco’s quayside. This clock is very smooth and has cutting-edge tech. It comes with either a NATO strap made of striped nylon or a bracelet made of stainless steel. 

2. ROLEX SEA-DWELLER REF. 126600

ROLEX SEA-DWELLER REF. 126600

The Rolex Submariner was James Bond’s first watch, and it’s still the best watch you could ever want. It started when more people started diving for fun after the war, but by 1967, the skilled professional divers of France’s Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises (COMEX) had to step things up (or down).

Rolex’s answer was the Sea-Dweller Submariner model, which had its water resistance raised from 300 to 610 meters (now watertight up to a scary 1,200 meters) and got a helium exit valve for long “saturation” dives. What’s most important to Rolex fans, though? As with the original, that bright red clock text is a collector’s dream, with just the right amount of danger. 

3. BELL & ROSS BR 01-92

BELL & ROSS BR 01-92

Since the mid-1990s, the crisp, black-and-white usefulness of Bell & Ross, which is based in Paris but made in Switzerland, has won it as much love among turtlenecked architects as it has among bomb teams and naval pilots. The latter was the idea for 2007’s big surprise: the uncompromisingly huge (like 46 mm huge) and uncompromisingly square “Instrument,” which has corner screws like the dials in a fighter jet’s cockpit.

There have been jokes about that theme, like the “Compass” and “Altimeter” models. You can now fit it under your cuff in 42mm “BR 03” form. But the first “BR 01” is still the Goose to Bell & Ross’s Maverick. 

4. PROFESSIONAL OMEGA SPEEDMASTER

PROFESSIONAL OMEGA SPEEDMASTER

The Omega Speedmaster wasn’t the most unique-looking or even the most advanced in terms of how it worked, but that’s the point: that’s why it was the only clock to pass NASA’s strict tests in the 1960s and become the standard issue watch for astronauts.

Exactly 50 years ago, Buzz Aldrin stepped out of the Eagle onto the Moon’s surface wearing a Speedie. This gave the watch its name, “Moonwatch,” and it’s still keeping time on the ISS. Gene Cernan, the last person to walk on the Moon, says, “The Speedmaster Professional chronographs remained virtually unchanged throughout the entire Apollo program—no other piece of mission-qualified equipment can make that claim.” Do you want to be cool? You don’t have to read anymore. 

5. G-SHOCK DW-5600E-1VER

G-SHOCK DW-5600E-1VER

A G-Shock is a popular piece of jewelry worn by many hip-hop artists, fashionistas, surfers, and special operations soldiers worldwide.

When the Swiss invented precision injection molding in the same year as this important hardman, The “triple 10” test was something the Japanese aimed for resistance to water up to 10 bar (approximately 100m), a battery life of 10 years, and, most crucially, the capacity to remain fully functional after surviving a 10-meter drop onto a hard surface. Now, there are a lot of different versions, each with its own GPS and Bluetooth features. But the most true and, yes, most fabulous version is still the original. 

6. LONGINES LEGEND DIVER

 LONGINES LEGEND DIVER

The author wears one of these, so you know. Plus, it’s the original type with no date window that was brought back in 2007 but has been taken off the market for a long time. Therefore, the cool factor is no longer relevant just by putting that. Don’t worry about it; get the slightly unfaithful date version and rock the retro reissue that started the whole craze in the first place.

While the “patinated” off-white numbers look great with neutral tones, this is still a real sub-aqua instrument. It critically differs from most diver formats: the internal rotating bezel can be adjusted with the screwed-down crown at 2 o’clock. 

7. SWATCH TWICE AGAIN

SWATCH TWICE AGAIN

We’ve all had one, but did you know that your brave Swatch watch is the exact watch that saved the Swiss luxury watch industry from cheap quartz technology from the Far East in the 1980s? Of course, that’s funny since it’s a cheap digital watch.

ETA is Switzerland’s one-stop shop for movements. An engineer there spent 500,000 francs on an injection molding machine without thinking that the company laid off 4,000 workers in the same year. When his boss found out, he only had two hours to devise a plan. It was a cheap quartz watch with laser welding to fit the mechanism into the case. It has 51 parts, no nuts, is waterproof, and nothing else could go wrong. In general, nothing has changed since then. It’s still as fun and democratic as it ever was. 

8. HAMILTON KHAKI FIELD MECHANICAL

HAMILTON KHAKI FIELD MECHANICAL

Before becoming an ultra-affordable cousin of Omega, Longines, and other stablemates in Switzerland’s Swatch Group, Hamilton was one of the biggest watchmakers in the US. During World War II, US troops wore Hamilton watches by default. With a historically accurate manual-wind movement, this millimetre-perfect copy is as close as possible to the original from the 1940s.

The price makes it even more tempting, adding to the modern Hamilton’s reputation for being an excellent deal. Drive a camouflaged 1940s Willys Jeep to finish the look—it might be more relaxed than a Mk1 Land Rover. Pair with selvage jeans and a cotton chore jacket for the ultimate in rugged workwear points. 

9. TAG HEUER MONACO CALIBRE 12

TAG HEUER MONACO CALIBRE 12

As 1969 came to a close, two significant events occurred: NASA sent Omega’s Speedmaster to the Moon, and Seiko brought quartz technology to the public. Additionally, the self-winding chronograph was finally created twice. Zenith and its legendary El Primero beat them to the post. Still, Heuer Breitling and Büren were the first company to mass-produce its “world-first” automatic timer, the Calibre 11.

Its first home was in Monaco, an avant-garde watch with out-there squareness and out-there mechanics. It now houses the Calibre 12, an ETA base carefully modified to fit a Dubois-Depraz chrono module. It is still as cool as the day Steve McQueen wore it in Le Mans and is still the “grail watch” for all car fans. 

10. SEIKO MEN ANALOGUE AUTOMATIC WATCH

SEIKO MEN ANALOGUE AUTOMATIC WATCH

The new Seiko SRPC55K1 Silver/Orange watch has automatic movement and has 24 jewels made by Seiko. The orange clock has silver and black accents, a day and date display, very bright hands, and Lumibrite markers that help you see in low light. The bracelet has a push-button clasp and is made of stainless steel. 

11. NOMOS GLASHÜTTE METRO DATE POWER RESERVE

NOMOS GLASHÜTTE METRO DATE POWER RESERVE

This watch may be mediocre because its features make it stand out. But everything, from the Bauhaus design rules to the clockwork inside that was made in-house, is flawless and beautiful. In Glashütte, Germany, which has a long history of making fine watches, Nomos was the first “proper” watchmaker to use tweezers after the Berlin Wall came down.

But, as usual, it quickly realized that designer “edge” doesn’t move forward in rural, mountainous Saxony. That’s why Nomos set up its design office in east Berlin, the calm center. Here, its unique modernism is slowly being changed by creative types with sharp haircuts who drink craft coffee and eat avocado on bread. 

12. PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS REF. 5711

PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS REF. 5711

The word “cool” isn’t usually associated with Geneva’s high-end, extremely expensive “grand Maison,” which has been carefully preserving its history of making elegant dress watches by hand and packaging them in stylish eggshell and claret colors. But in the 1970s, the luxury sports watch came out, a significant change for the stuffy world of high-end Swiss watchmakers. It could also be all because of one man, Gérald Genta.

He did something completely new and different at Patek Phillipe, just like he did with the famous Audemars Piguet Royal Oak in 1972. Like the Royal Oak, the Nautilus had a rounded octagonal shape and an “integrated” band. And like the Royal Oak, it has mostly stayed the same and has even more power to bring back the heady extravagance of the disco era. 

PANERAI RADIOMIR BASE LOGO

Panerai is a well-known Swiss watchmaker and a jewel in the crown of the Richemont Group. However, this former Florentine company that made naval equipment was in bad shape until 1995, when an unlikely and highly uncool person played a crucial role in its revival. Sylvester Stallone was in Rome filming Daylight when he saw a Panerai Luminor in a jewelry store window. He then ordered a bunch of them for his friends, including Arnie. Richemont bought the name in 1997 after word spread.

The most classic model, named after Panerai’s new luminescent paint, is based on the first dive watches made for the Italian Navy’s combat divers in the 1930s when Rolex hired Panerai to do the work. The cushion case is shaped like a thin, rounded square. The only parts that stick out from the otherwise smooth steel “pebble” are the easy-to-grip conical cap and wire lugs. Stories of bravery, under-the-radar celebrity support, and things that look beautiful on the wrist. That’s pretty cool.

Muhammad Shoaib
Muhammad Shoaibhttps://fashionnovaaza.com/
Muhammad Shoaib is a seasoned fashion expert with a particular interest in streetwear, accessories, and luxury leather goods. He splits his time between NYC, Paris, and Pakistan, constantly on the hunt for today’s latest trends

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