An iconic watch is quintessential. It is widely recognized and well established. It has distinctive excellence. There are several iconic watches of all time, and here are a few of the luxury watch manufacturers.
- Patek Philippe
- Audemars Piguet
- IWC Schaffhausen
There are many luxury watch manufacturers making high-end watches, and one thing they all have in common is their excellence.
From complicated watches to a rotating bezel, from dive watches to quartz watches, luxury watch brands worldwide are favorites of watch collectors and watch enthusiasts.
Patek Philippe Calatrava
Patek Philippe and Francois Czapek founded the watch company in 1839. It is the last family-owned independent watch manufacturer in Geneva. They worked together for six years, and the company was liquidated. Patek continued on, and in 1844 while in Paris, he met Jean Adrien Philippe. Philippe was the inventor of a pocket watch that was wound without a winding key. The next year Patek & Cie was founded. In 2009 the name changed to Patek Philippe.
A Patek Philippe Calatrava watch is an 18k Gold water-resistant watch with a hobnail bezel, porcelain white dial, sapphire crystal, and black baton hands, selling for around US$16,9000. The Calatrava wristwatch has been a flagship model of Patek Philippe since its introduction.
Rolex has many firsts. The first-ever waterproof watch, the Oyster and the Rolex Datejust, was the first self-winding wristwatch to indicate the date in a window on the dial, among others. Rolex makes the Rolex Submariner, the Daytona, and the Cosmograph. The word Cosmograph was created by Rolex in the 1950s to describe a watch with a moon phase and calendar function. There are several different styles of Daytona Rolex, and they all have the exact dimensions.
The Dayton Rolex is a watch that is largely sought after because of its oyster case, screw-down pushers, and sporty look. It is one of the chronograph watches.
Rolex watches like the Rolex Submariner have special features.
- A Rolex has specialized movements known as a certified Swiss chronometer, consisting of hundreds of carefully manufactured components that enhance performance.
- Rolex uses stainless steel of different grades and types. Most watches are made of 316L, but Rolex uses 904L, and this steel is more rust and corrosion-resistant.
- Rolex Watches with a date function feature a bubble magnification called the Cyclops. Precisely positioned over the date display of the watch, the bubble magnifies the aperture at a magnification of 2.5 times. This particular magnification is not found in other watches, and the only Rolex without this is the Seadweller model.
- The oyster case, invented in 1926, adds to the form and function of the Rolex. The case makes the watch waterproof, whether made from steel, gold, or platinum.
- Each Rolex has a smooth back and is not engraved with designs or logos like other watch brands. On the inside of the watch back, there is a model number. Some exceptions are the Rolex Sea-Dweller, Milgauss case backs, and any Rolex ladies’ watches produced before 1990.
- A triplock crown seal is used on some watches as the Sea-Dweller, Submariner, and Daytona watch. This extra seal is in the threads of the winding crown’s tube feature and can be seen when the winding crown is unscrewed.
- Mechanical watches need to be worn so they self-wind. All Rolex watches today are mechanical and use either automatic (self-winding) movements or, in some cases, a manual wind movement.
- There are about 1 million handmade Rolex watches made each year.
In 1952, the US Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association (AOPA) asked Willy Breitling to make a new official watch for aviators. Breitling introduced the Navitimer. Having already adapted the original logarithmic slide rule for aviation, Breitling put it onto a circular bezel and integrated it.
The Chronomat was a forerunner to the Navitimer. It had a circular slide rule. The Navitimer, with its slide rule recognizable to the public as the pilot watch company.
Initially, the watch was only available to AOPA members, but in 1956 Breitling released the watch to the general public. Now a Breitling watch is known to the watch industry as a fun new watch or affordable pre-owned Breitling watch.
Early examples of the watch are rare, with some years in the ’50s and 60’s seeing only 100-200 units released for public sale.
The Navitimer name was a name created from navigation and timer.
The Breitling Navitimer was a large watch with a case diameter of 41 millimeters and significant for the time. Other luxury watches didn’t have such a large face. Still, for the Breitling Navitimer, the watch was large enough to ensure that all the necessary information would be visible to pilots with just a glance and a true example of form following function.
No one wanted a pilot trying to squint at the different pilot’s watches that were available while trying to fly a plane. The Navitimer is a true icon amount pilot watches.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the first-hour angle watch was produced by Longines and developed with the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh in 1931?
In the 18 century, during the winter months, farmers would spend hours a day in their homes’ top day light-filled rooms crafting wheels, bridges, semi-precious stones, pinions, and springs for the watchmaking industry. The tight-knit community and the family artists led the way for the brand name Audemars Piguet watches.
Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet were childhood friends and reconnected in the 1870s. By 1875 the two men joined together to create the brand that we know today as Audemars Piguet.
After they started working together, Audemars oversaw the watches’ production and technical aspects, and Piguet focused his time on sales and management.
By 1881 the watchmaking team announced the name Audemars Piguet & Cie, a watch brand known today.
The watch company is known for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Grande Complication, the Royal Oak Offshore, and others.
Montblanc was initially a company that made ink pens. that integrated an ink reservoir. The company was founded in 1906. In 1908, the convenience accorded by the pens provided the inspiration for the company’s name, and the nomenclature ‘The Simplo Filler Pen Co.’ was chosen.
Only a year later, the name ‘Montblanc’ emerged. The highest mountain in Europe provided a wonderful symbol for elevated craftsmanship and an inspired metaphor for the pinnacle of excellence. Since 1913 the snow-capped logo has represented luxurious writing instruments, premium leather goods, and watches.
In 1993, luxury giant Richemont acquired Montblanc, and new marketing segments came with the acquisition. By 1997 the first Montblanc watch debuted.
The first Montblanc watches were elegant with gold cases and black dials, referencing the famous ‘Meisterstück’ pens the original company was known for. There was a broad range of models, including ladies’ watches incorporating quartz movements.
There were chronographs using ETA calibers and black DLC coated cases later featured on the company’s sports models.
When Richemont acquired the Montblanc company, he later renamed the company “Institute Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie.” The “Minerva,” based in Villeret, was a name held in the highest esteem with a rich history dating back to 1858.
The Minerva name has always been synonymous with chronographs. Under the aegis of Montblanc, the manufacturer in Villeret has produced an incredibly diverse collection of models, including mono-pusher chronographs and tourbillons.
The number of watches produced in Villeret is very small because of the detail and high amount of hand-applied techniques used for each watch.
Minerva today carries the full name “Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie”. It is a living museum.
Many of the machines used in the watch industry a hundred years ago are still used today, resulting in a high level of manual work needed to produce a watch you rarely find anywhere else in the watch industry today.
IWC is best-known for manufacturing high-quality pilot watches using titanium. Since the early 2000s, IWC has been recognized as a forerunner in the watchmaking industry.
IWC stands for the International Watch Company and is usually referred to as IWC began in the mid-1880s. The founder, Aristo Jones, was an American operating in Schaffhausen, in Eastern Switzerland, and he had a vision of creating an electrically-powered watch factory. Most watchmaking at the time was done by individuals in their homes. The modernization of the production of watches would provide for a more efficient, highly profitable commercial production.
IWC built more mil-spec pilot’s watches throughout WWI and WWII than any other company, and the focus on aviation timepieces remains central to IWC today. The first special pilot’s watch was introduced by IWC in 1936 and is seen today when Bradley cooper wore the IWC Pilot’s watch to the Oscars.
Finding the best watch brands in the world for you is really about what watch brand is best for you.
First, make sure that you research which luxury watch brand manufacturers that have a global reputation have a watch that will deliver you a high-quality timepiece.
Second, understand how, what, when, and why the watch was created. The watch history on each watch brand helps you understand the craftsmanship and complexity of creating such a beauty.
Third, decide what your budget is for your watch. Many luxury watchmakers charge a great deal for their masterpieces. You should consider shopping at a pawn shop for a pre-owned luxury watch. Pawn shops carry many different watch brands and are experts in valuing them and making certain they are authentic.
Study the difference between the different watch brand movements, the mechanical watches, the self-winding ones, and the ones that make limited edition watches that are the most prized on the market. Limited edition watches like Patek Philippe are known for manufacturing only a limited number of timepieces making the watches a rarity, thus having a higher retail price.
Pawn Shops are a Great Resource for Iconic Watches
Pawn shops buy, sell, and pawn luxury watch brands and other luxury items. Owners may need quick cash or simply want to sell their iconic watches for money so they can reinvest it into another one.
Pawn shops have Rolex Submariner watches, Omega Speedmaster watches, Patek Philippe watches, and Louis Cartier watches come into their shops regularly. This creates a wonderful opportunity for you as a buyer. These watches are processed for sale or pawn, eventually hitting the resale floor.
Pre-owned luxury watches are affordable, and inventories change often.
At Lincoln Pawn, they have a passion for luxury watch brands, and it shows.
The shop will buy and sell some of the best watch brands in the industry. They loan and buy many different watch brands; some of the more common ones are Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Movado, Citizen, and many more.
Lincoln Pawn is a trusted CAPA lender. They have collateral loans that are four months in length, and the interest rates on loans $2,499 or less are capped at 3% per month and could be less. Loans may include a one-time writing fee of up to 3.5% of the loan amount, not to exceed $90 per loan. Minimum $1 storage per loan. Other restrictions may apply.
The store carries luxury handbags, gold, silver, fine jewelry, music, electronics, and tools. They are open to looking at and making a deal on all items that have value.
At Lincoln Pawn, you will find a new hidden treasure every day.