A luxury watch has always been a big and emblematic present. But in the past 20 years watches have also converted into a new investment option — not always plain, but worthy of consideration. The only question is how to choose the right model. Here, as usual, the trends are set by the most powerful people from Forbes lists.
Rolex: iconic watches and new, 2020 examples
Rolex is the most known brand in the watch world, that makes a powerful statement. That is why this brand is preferred by world’s richest athletes, well-paid actors, businessmen and CEOs.
Patek Philippe Grand Complications
Patek Philippe is the most expensive and most luxurious brand in the highest watch segment. Let’s just say, Patek Philippe was spotted on the wrists of the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, the Russian leader Vladimir Putin and a hedge fund legend George Soros, whose net worth is now estimated at $8.3 billion dollars. David Beckham loves wearing Patek Philippe’s Grand Complications on different occasions.
Richard Mille RM 052-01
Richard Mille is a young Swiss brand, which is already considered one of the most expensive in the industry. The brand’s founder, Richard Mille, is a sports aficionado himself, that is why he is putting his watches on race car drivers, golfers, athletes.
The most famous brand ambassador is 17 Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, who won his 11th Rolland Garros title wearing $725,000 Richard Mille watch. Sylvester Stallone is always spotted with a Richard Mille watch on his powerful hands.
These watches are extravagant and stylish and offer technical complexity, level of visual finishing and use of exotic materials, which make this brand stand out. RM 052-01 is a limited edition of 30 timepieces in TZP ceramic and carbon nanotubes and includes its symbolic skull.
Hublot Big Bang
Bernard Ecclestone (net worth $3.2 billion) former Formula 1 CEO, was attacked by four muggers in London while he was wearing his Hublot watch. This story became a theme of Hublot advertising campaign with Ecclestone’s face on it to emphasize what people can do to get Hublot. Other Hublot owners were luckier: the fastest man in the world Usain Bolt used to wear Hublot watch for his medal ceremonies, and Jay-Z received a $5 million Hublot watch as a birthday present from his wife Beyonce (combined worth $1.25 billion).
Being young, Hublot brand already has an impeccable reputation. Hublot Big Bang is regularly produced in limited edition cases, from yellow gold with color diamonds to white plastic with sapphires. And with its skeleton dial, you can see its flawless mechanism in motion.
Jacob & Co.: “The Billionaire watch” and diamond tourbillons
Jacob & Co, founded in 1986 in New York City’s Diamond District, has a long history of producing watches for those who don’t afraid to shine. The first pieces were sold to R&B singer Faith Evans and her husband Notorious B.I.G. Today, you can spot Jacob & Co. on the wrists of Cristiano Ronaldo and Drake.
In 2015 the company produced the piece called “The Billionaire Watch” featuring 239 emerald-cut, 3-carat diamond stones. And in 2019, the one-off, US$18 million version of this watch was made for Floyd Mayweather.
A. Lagne & Sohne Zeitwerk
A. Lange & Sohne is another brand highly valued by watch collectors. Lange & Söhne pieces are often worn by the 42nd president of the US Bill Clinton. Philadelphia Eagles Owner Jeffrey Lurie (net worth $2.1 billion) wore Lange & Söhne 1815, while his team was winning their first Super Bowl Championship in history. And Ed Sheeran loves performing in his Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk.
This particular model is technically optimal and aesthetically perfect. The slender 38.5mm rose gold case is set with 76 white diamonds that frame the elegant silver dial. This unisex piece is powered by the automatic Lange calibre L086.1 ‘sax-o-mat’ movement, and fitted to a brand new brown Lange alligator strap with solid rose gold pin buckle. Even though it looks minimalistic, every little detail of it has reached perfection.
Canadian Prime-Minister Justin Trudeau, who is often voted the most stylish politician in the world, was spotted wearing IWC watch during his negotiations with Barack Obama. And one of the greatest football players of all times, Zinedine Zidane, even got an IWC Ingenieur edition in his honour.
The International Watch Company (IWC) was founded in 1868 and connected Swiss craftsmanship with American manufacturing techniques. IWC Portugieser Chronograph is rightfully considered one of the most iconic watches of all times. The 42×14.5mm steel case and black crocodile leather make this watch look very classy and elegant.
But with all that being said, there are Forbes-list businessmen who are indifferent to the fact of how expensive things on their wrists are. The world’s richest Jeff Bezos invests in real estate in Manhattan but wears Ulysse Nardin Dual Time. And Bill Gates (net worth is about US$110 billion) wears 70-dollar Casio Duro — we’d offer to replace them with practical but more functional 1000-dollar Seiko.