Luxury watches have been a popular collectible for decades, and many men dream of building their very own collection someday. People collect high-end watches for a number of reasons; for future investment, to mark milestones, and/or so they have a beautiful watch to wear for every occasion. Whether you see your watch as a status symbol, or you’re more drawn to the exceptional craftsmanship and centuries of design that go into many of these timepieces, it’s safe to say that a man’s watch collection is a very personal thing.
With this in mind, it’s important to realise that there are no right and wrong answers when it comes to what should be in your collection. You may prefer to stick with one favoured manufacturer, or perhaps you’d like to have a range of brands to choose from? Do you have a certain style in mind, or do you want a range of different designs? The sheer amount of choice out there can make starting your collection rather tricky indeed – where do you start?
In this article we’ll show you a range of excellent ‘collection-starter’ watches which are currently for sale here at Est1897; watches which may help inspire your first (or next!) luxury watch purchase. All of these timepieces are from the world’s top manufacturers and priced below £1,500, making them a relatively affordable stepping stone in your collecting journey.
We begin with popular Swiss brand, Breitling, who are known for their high-precision technical watches for aviators. Breitling watches are so accurate at keeping time, that they have even been used by astronauts, and film buffs may have noticed James Bond receive a ‘modified’ Brietling from Q in the film Thunderball. Whether you know how to fly a plane or not, the Breitling designs certainly have a long history of being involved with some very cool characters and are coveted the world over.
This Breitling Chronospace A56011 is a beautiful example of their work, and at just £1,295 you’re getting a lot of watch for your money. The 41.5mm stainless steel case, black dial, brown leather strap and gold logo really ties the watch together, as well as giving this piece a certain versatility (this watch can be worn with black, brown or blue suits, for instance, without looking out of place).
Next, we’ve got something a little sportier from TAG Heuer – a 2016 Formula 1 CAU1112 timepiece which is really eye-catching and perfect for anyone who is into motorsports. The Formula 1 range of watches began back in 1986, when watch manufacturer Heuer was taken over by Techniques d’Avant Garde (TAG). Both companies had a history with Formula 1 racing through sponsorships and funding engine development, so their first joint creation was named after the sport.
This is an iconic piece with a long history to its name, which comes with all the benefits of the very latest watch-manufacturing technology. The bright blue accents on the grey dial, stainless steel case and bracelet really give this piece a certain special something, yet it could be worn for both smart and casual events without looking out of place. At £1195 this watch is a real bargain and would be the perfect start to anyone’s collection.
If you’re looking for something less sporty and technical for your watch collection and you’d prefer more classic aesthetics, French watchmaker Cartier is definitely worth a look. Cartier was founded in 1847 and has carried its reputation for quality and prestige well into the 21st century. Their iconic and stylish designs are unmistakeable, with bold Roman numerals being a signature feature.
The Cartier Tank Solo is widely thought to be a classic and if you are a fan of the elegant Cartier style, this model is a must-have for your collection. With a black leather strap and no-frills rectangular case, this watch is not too in-your-face, yet the bold Roman numerals and blue hands on the white dial certainly give cause to look twice. The Tank Solo also features a polished sapphire on the crown, something which Cartier have included in many of their other designs. At just £1,495, this watch represents a huge saving when compared to current prices for brand new Tank Solo watches.
Omega have been making high-precision watches for more than 110 years, and have designed models for use in air, sea and space exploration. They’ve certainly earned their place on our list of collectible must-haves, having been worn by Buzz Aldrin during his visit to the moon in 1969, and for being the official timekeeping device used at the Olympic Games since 1932. Their talent for teaming accuracy with style has ensured their continuing success, with Prince William and George Clooney being modern-day fans.
We’ve chosen an eye-catching Omega Seamaster from our collection, which is priced at just £1,250. This gorgeous design includes a vibrant blue dial, gold case and bi-metal bracelet. It’s powered by a quartz movement and has a satisfying simplicity to its look, which is why it can pull off both gold and silver features at the same time. This is not necessarily a watch to be worn during sporty or casual pursuits – its luxuriant appearance is definitely more suited to the boardroom and black tie events.
We end with the king of watches – the Rolex. Most people will have heard of Rolex watches and they are associated with the quintessential high-end luxury timepiece. Indeed, some would argue that no collection is complete without at least one Rolex. It can be very hard to find any complete, working Rolex watch model for under £1,500, so we’ve had to break the rules with this gorgeous vintage example, coming in at £1,795.
This gorgeous vintage Rolex Precision 1400 from 1971 has a lot of character, and your money certainly goes far. The 20.5mm 18ct yellow gold case, champagne dial and 18ct gold bracelet come together to create a surprisingly on-trend look with a real retro feel. Warm, rosy golden hues are hugely fashionable at the moment, so now is definitely the time to take advantage of this amazing deal on such a characterful timepiece.