Sean Connery wearing the Rolex Submariner for his role in the James Bond film, “From Russia With Love” | Source: British GQ

Invest in Spirit: What Your Timepiece Says About You

Everyone looks at your watch and it represents who you are, your values and your personal style.

– Kobe Bryant

A timepiece is a declaration item that reflects one’s personality and expression of style. Whether that’s modern and refined, creative and classic or adventurous and confident – a lot can be said about you, just by looking at the watch on your wrist.

In the event of an economic downturn – like the coronavirus – fine watches are proving to represent a safe-haven asset, like gems or diamonds, for investors looking to diversify their portfolios. 

So, if you are thinking about investing in a fine watch that will offer a healthy return if you decide to sell it, here are some tips to warrant your next timepiece purchase will reflect your personality and character – while making a great first impression.

Men who appreciate quality craftsmanship over everything else need a timepiece that’s exquisitely designed by a timeless watchmaker. Established Swiss brands like Patek Philippe and Rolex first come to mind, as does the Italian watchmaker Panerai. These names are unique around the world and are identified for creating watches that echo precision and influence.

With a 10 year waitlist, there is no denying the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 timepiece is perhaps the most coveted watch model in the world. To watch collectors, owning a timepiece of this calibrate comes close to owning a Picasso in the world of fine art.

The Classic

The man who wants his watch to be a style statement needs a timepiece steeped in understated luxury. Some of the best Cartier watches have long been a standout, offering character and elegance in their design. The French jeweller has long been the standard of timeless luxury and has been producing wristwatches since the turn of the 20th century (its first creation was the ‘Santos’ – long considered an instant classic of watch design). Cartier’s timepieces continue this long tradition today, delivering creative innovation in the field alongside understated elegance. For the cognoscenti, wearers of Cartier watches are considered well-travelled, discerning and classic. 

Steve Mcqueen’s Cartier Tank Cintrée | Source: British GQ

The Explorer

Many men choose a luxury watch to become their trusty adventure guide. Whether that’s when going underwater diving, skydiving, rock climbing, driving fast or any number of high thrill activities. These men need a sturdy timepiece that’s going to stay accurate even in the face of adversity.

And there’s certainly no shortage of contenders up for the challenge. You only have to look at the luxury dive watches you need for summer if you’re heading to the depths. The polished brands like Omega and Rolex are well known for its iconic collections. The Omega Seamaster, first introduced in 1948, is a staple in luxury watch circles. Many will know it as the ‘James Bond’ watch thanks to its inclusion in the franchise, others will appreciate it for its underwater timekeeping precision.

Sean Connery’s Rolex Submariner Reference 6538 from Dr. No

The Versatile

For men who want to display an even attitude and take a stoic stance to everyday life, it has to be a luxury watch that will thrive in any situation. Adaptable, dependable and effortlessly stylish, brands such as Grand Seiko, Casio and Citizen hit the mark.

The Japanese watch manufacturer, Seiko, creates a magnificent Grand Seiko watch that mirrors the change in seasons. Choose a versatile watch that will adapt to the movements, fashion shifts and varying seasons. These are the luxury timepieces for the on-the-go man who demands a trustworthy companion in life. For Robert Downet Jr, his Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX3 Tourbillon GMT is his go-to-watch and the timepiece he adores the most from his collection – so much so, it has become a staple of his everyday wardrobe.

I wore it in Iron Man 2, it’s probably my best watch.

Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr wears his Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX3 Tourbillion GMT at the Premier of Iron Man | Source: Time and Tide

The Vintage

There’s one true option for the man who wants to stand out from any crowd – that’s with the legendary movement of an Omega Pocket Watch. The emblematic movement created by the Swiss manufacture, a 19-ligne hand-wound calibre, celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2019. For the occasion, Omega developed a limited edition Omega 125th anniversary pocket watch of only 19 pieces. Carrying a timepiece of such pedigree is a unique statement few people can claim.

In June 2013, Antiquorum auctioned a pocket watch belonging to the late-great James Dean in Hong Kong at its ‘Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces’ event. The pocket watch was the Standard USA with American-made Elgin movement, circa 1889. Estimated to sell for A$6,825, the watch eventually went for A$58,000. Today, you can buy similar vintage Elgin movement pocket watches from the period at around A$1,023. That’s a whopping 5880 per cent celebrity mark-up.

James Dean – Standard USA Pocket Watch with Elgin movement | Source: Time and Tide

If opulence is what you after, an F.P Journe watch is a beautiful celebration of founder François-Paul Journe’s independent thinking in modern world watchmaking. The only watchmaker left in central Geneva, F.P Journe is a brand that refuses to follow in the footsteps of the industry. Make an independent statement of quality with one of its timepieces that’ll exhibit your unique personality.

For more inspiration on watches, you will enjoy our coverage of The Eight Most Desirable Panerai Timepieces, The Best Luxury Watches to Invest in 2021 and Can the Traditional Luxury Watch Survive the Smart Age?

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