Popular watches. Photo: KnowInsiders
Popular watches. Photo: KnowInsiders

Centuries before the advent of smartphones, watches served a highly practical purpose as efficient, mechanical time-telling tools. They're glamorous accessories, status symbols, expensive projections of identity, and, oftentimes, heirlooms passed down through several generations.

There are quite a lot of watches to talk about, and there's even more newness that's been hitting the shelves outside of the new trade shows.

The most popular and luxury watches of the year

1. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

3. Patek Philippe Nautilus

The most popular and luxury brands of the year

1. Rolex

2. Patek Philippe

3. Audemars Piguet

Source: gq

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What are the most popular and luxury watches in the world?

1. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

Photo: La Cote des Montres
Photo: La Cote des Montres

Introduced in 1963, the Cosmograph Daytona was designed to meet the demands of professional racing drivers. It is an icon forever joined in name and function to the high-performance world of motor sport. More than 50 years after its creation, the Cosmograph Daytona remains in a class of its own among sport chronographs and continues to transcend time.

The Cosmograph Daytona is equipped with calibre 4130, a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement developed and manufactured by Rolex. Its architecture incorporates fewer components than a standard chronograph, thereby enhancing the movement’s reliability. It also saves space, making it possible to house a large mainspring and delivers a power reserve of 72 hours.

The Cosmograph Daytona is inextricably linked to the world of motor racing. It allows drivers to measure elapsed time and read average speeds on its trademark tachymetric bezel. The watch pays tribute to a place – Daytona, Florida – where passion for speed and racing developed in the early 20th century. The name embodies the historic and privileged bonds between Rolex and motor sport, which were strengthened in 2013 by the brand’s entry into the world of Formula 1® racing as Global Partner and Official Timepiece.

2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Photo: Time and Watches
Photo: Time and Watches

Basel, April 1972: at the annual Swiss Watch Show (later renamed BaselWorld), Audemars Piguet introduced a luxury steel watch with integrated bracelet characterized by a daring and revolutionary design. After the initial disconcert of the market, the watch - the Royal Oak - become a huge international success and one of the most iconic watches ever.

Inspired by a traditional diver’s helmet, this revolutionary steel watch was characterized by an octagonal shaped bezel secured by eight visible hexagonal gold screws, visible water resistance gasket and a dial adorned with exclusive blue petit tapisserie motif.

The watch was slim, just 7 mm, but pretty large (at that time) having a case diameter of 39 mm. To complete the watch, an integrated - and very complex to build - stainless steel bracelet.

Thanks to Gerald Genta’s design of the Royal Oak the world of luxury watches became visibly sporty. The screw heads, originally positioned on as many indiscernible spots as possible, suddenly manifested into important elements of design.

3. Patek Philippe Nautilus

Photo: FirstClasse
Photo: FirstClasse

The Patek Philippe Nautilus is one of the most coveted steel luxury sports watches today.

The Patek Philippe Nautilus is the most coveted steel luxury sports watch today, with a reported average waiting time of 8 years. At 44 years old, it has indeed more than defied the odds of its time.

Launched in 1976, when the Swiss watch industry was reeling from the popularity of quartz watches, the Nautilus was unlike anything that was expected from the brand. To survive, brands had to deliver innovative and awe-inducing watches and the Nautilus sure delivered.

The oversized, expensive and steel-made watch with a premium price stood out from the pack, and has been in continuous production since. The inspiring idea was the shape of a porthole, like those that could be found on transatlantic liners. The patented case was formed by a solid backcase/middlecase monobloc and the distinctive octagonal bezel secured to it by four lateral screws to ensure water-resistance. Each of the eight sides of the bezel were subtly curved to trace a perfect arc of a circle, a subtle detail making a big difference from a design point of view.

What are the most popular brands in the world?

1. Rolex

Photo: Better Marketing
Photo: Better Marketing

It would be a shame if we didn't mention a brand like Rolex who has the most recognized watch brand in the world with literally 100% brand recognition. But though they are the most famous of all famous watch brands, let's just them for their watchmaking skills not just for their popularity. Rolex produces some rather amazing watches; and lots of them. It is estimated that their production is approximately 2,000 watches per day. One of the things about this most famous watch brand is that people rant and rave about the fact that they have a higher average resale value than any other watch brand on the market. This can directly be attributed to the fact that Rolex is if not the most, certainly one of the most valuable watch brands in the world.

Rolex makes some of the most popular men's watches. Some of their most popular collections include the Daytona, Submariner, GMT Master II, Datejust, Yacht-Master, Yacht-master II, Day-Date, Sky-Dweller, and much more. As an adventurous luxury watch brand that has seen its watches at the highest peak on earth and the lowest abysmal depth of our planet's waters. They also pride themselves on the accuracy of their watches as many of them hold a Superlative Chronometer designation meaning that they have an accuracy of +2/-2 seconds per day. (A regular COSC certified chronometer which is considered an impressive watch movement has an accuracy of +6/-4 seconds/day). Rolex also makes some of the best men's luxury sports watches

2. Patek Philippe

Photo: WatchPro
Photo: WatchPro

Known for inventing the very first wristwatch, Patek Philippe & Co has become a top watchmaker and is one of the most sought-after in the world. Everyone would agree that it would be a disservice to make a top 10 list and not mention this watchmaker. Patek Philippe is one of the 3 Holy Trinity Watchmakers. Some of their most popular models include the Nautilus, Aquanaut, World Time, Twenty-4, Calatrava, and more.

In addition to their many popular models, Patek Philippe was commissioned to create some of the world's most complicated watches for many high-profile individuals such as James Ward Packard, and Henry Graves. The Graves Supercomplication, one of the most exclusive watches ever made was sold for an astounding $11,000,000 USD in 1999 at a New York auction and featured 24 complications that took 8 years to research and create. Many consider them to be the best watch brand in the world and this is why they were listed first in our top 10 luxury watch brands.

Aside from being considered one of the best watch brands, another great accomplishment of Patek Philippe at one point was the creation of the world's most complicated watch known as the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 with 33 complications. At the time, it was the watch with the most complications until recently when another watchmaker in the holy trinity outdid them, by a landslide. To many Patek is a watch brand luxury buyers consider to be the cream of the crop, one of the most expensive luxury brands and they have created some of the most exclusive watches. Famous wearers include Brad Pitt, Eric Clapton, Charlie Sheen, and the first celebrity to wear one was Queen Victoria. The price range is between 5 figures and 8 figures depending on the model.

3. Audemars Piguet

Photo: WorldTempus
Photo: WorldTempus

Another member of the prestigious "holy trinity" in watchmaking, Audemars Piguet has been manufacturing some of the most spectacular watches since being founded in 1875. They are certainly considered by most to be one of the top 10 watch brands in the world today. The collection for which they are most famous is the AP Royal Oak series. This is an iconic watch collection that was a major game-changer for Audemars Piguet who was the first to use a non-precious metal, stainless steel in the latest sports watch design, and charge luxury prices. Audemars Piguet then produced its underwater version of the iconic watch, the Royal Oak Offshore series which became one of the most popular diving watches in history. As one of the trinity, AP has consistently over-delivered throughout the years and is highly respected.

The advent of the Royal Oak watch opened doors for many luxury watchmakers to use their horological expertise as a pricing factor rather than just the precious metal used. Whereas a watch used to be worth its weight in gold, many are now worth more than its weight in gold regardless of what material is being used. Aside from their many Haute Horlogerie watches, Audemars Piguet has been known to be quite avant-garde on the design end of the business and created several Haute Joaillerie pieces such as their Diamond Punk and Diamond Fury watches for ladies. AP watches are also known for their many limited editions and high-complication watches such as the Jules Audemars. They are a luxurious watcher whose name is worthy of being in your horology lexicon.

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