We finally decided to do it. We’re bringing you a list of our favorite 100 watches that we believe are worthy of your attention. Presented in a four-part series in alphabetical order and hand-picked by J.A. Shapira, this is the ultimate compilation of timepieces and one that we hope you’ll thoroughly enjoy. Of course, such a list will create positive and negative feedback, but as gentlemen it is fun to discuss these things.
We’ve presented the top low budget, medium budget and high budget watches worth their salt. Now we’ve compiled the ultimate list. All price ranges, from all regions and from a wide variety of manufacturers. You may notice some manufacturers receive multiple mentions, but it’s only because they’re just that good. You might also see your favorite watch didn’t make the cut. That’s not to suggest that it’s inferior by any means, but out of thousands of timepieces produced, it is actually a relatively difficult task to narrow it down to what we believe are the top hundred.
The Top One Hundred (in alphabetical order)
1. A. Favre & Fils Phoenix 10.1
Priced between CHF 35,000 and CHF 40,000, this manual wind timepiece from A. Favre & Fils offers a significantly longer power reserve at a full 84 hours, which blows most of the competition out of the water. The movement is an in-house caliber DB1334/1 with a dial featuring a new date indicator that’s large and easy to read with a contemporary appeal that still retains elegance. The movement is breathtakingly beautiful and despite being a relatively young brand (don’t let the name fool you), they’ve managed to achieve an artistic appeal that drips of old world charm. Overall, it’s an exceptional timepiece and well worth the price tag.
2. A. Lange & Sohne Double Split
Priced at just under 100,000 euros, this flyback chronograph is an industry first with its double-rattrapante chronograph that’s superlatively executed with style and grace. The movement is extraordinary and despite its sporty appearance, the watch is slim enough that it passes the cuff test and has just enough elegance to work as a dress watch when your Calatrava is in for cleaning. An absolute gem of a timepiece, the proprietary L001.1 movement is exacting with only one flaw: the power reserve is just a little too basic for the price. Click here to read more about A. Lange & Sohne.
3. A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Chronograph
One of my favorite models to come from the pinnacle of German watchmakers, the 1815 Chronograph is a testament to everything good that comes with a timer. Priced right around 35,000 euros based on the model, it features the in-house L951.5 movement with a 60-hour power reserve. It’s very classic appearance is perfectly balanced with the sportiness of a chronograph, and it’s an absolute pleasure to operate with its soft push buttons. The only drawback to the watch is A. Lange’s far-too-often small crown that is tough for those with larger hands to operate.
4. A. Lange & Sohne Richard Lange Tourbillon “Pour Le Merite”
One of the most innovative timepieces from the manufacturer and certainly my favorite, the Pour Le Merite is a testament to all things holy in horology. The constant force with fusee and chain gives the wearer an exact understanding of the time. More precise than the standard tourbillon, the watch can maintain impeccable time throughout its reserve. The biggest innovation of the watch is arguably its stop-seconds and zero-reset function, but in reality the entire watch is a masterpiece both inside and out. The only negatives are the short 36-hour power reserve and the unfortunate lack of inward angles that one expects on a timepiece in this price category. Priced right around 150,000 euros for the rose gold model, it’s a perfect addition to any collection.
5. A. Lange & Sohne Lange I Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “Handwerkskunst”
Short of a Sky Moon Tourbillon, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful timepiece and at just 250,000 euros, this watch is outstanding. It features the complicated L082.1 movement with multiple complications including moon phase, a retrograde tourbillon, day/night, large date indicator, a perpetual calendar, and stop-seconds. My favorite part of this watch is that despite the complications, each indicator is very easy to read. There’s no overlapping of the indicators and A. Lange took its classic German humility and finally gave us a watch that hides the tourbillon. It’s a limited edition timepiece in platinum and offers a breathtaking movement design. If I had to note drawbacks, they would be that it’s impossible to read at night and that the calendar’s hard to adjust.
6. A. Lange & Sohne Datograph “Up/Down”
Its unique design is what really differentiates it from the 1815 Up/Down. It’s like moving from a Toyota into a Lexus. Everything we love about the 1815 is just made that much better. At right around 50,000 euros, this timepiece is a little larger than one might expect, but offers a clean and elegant look for a large date chronograph. Slightly overpriced, it’s still worth its weight in gold due to the L951.6 movement and ease of use.
7. A. Lange & Sohne Lange I
Arguably one of the most popular models produced by the manufacturer, the Lange I is a timepiece that’s as close to perfection as you’re going to get. Well priced between 25,000 and 35,000 euros, the watch is available in platinum and yellow or rose gold. The 38mm timepiece is a quintessential dress watch with that contemporary Eastern European flair. The new models have a larger balance wheel than the predecessor (which in my opinion was a better watch) and gives a more accurate reading. The only issue I really have with the Lange I is that they need to move the time indicator to the other side of the watch since it will almost always require a lift of the cuff to see it. Overall, an exemplary timepiece.
8. Andreas Strehler Sauterelle a Lune eternelle
Priced right around CHF 90,000, this timepiece is known for having the most accurate moon phase indicator of any watch. Its constant force in combination with it allows the manufacturer bragging rights of having just one day of deviation every 2 million+ years. Unlike the Lange I listed above, Andreas Strehler was smart and placed the time indicator on the right side of the timepiece, making it easy to read at a glance. The biggest selling point of the watch is that every single one is handmade by Andreas Strehler himself. If you have the chance to pick up one of these limited edition watches, don’t hesitate. Take out a second mortgage if you must.
9. Andreas Strehler Papillon
An artistic masterpiece, the Papillon is another watch handcrafted by Andreas Strehler. The inward angles of the movement are delicate and divine. The movement is crisp and accurate and the watch’s unusually elegant butterfly appearance is one that continues to draw the eyes of admirers. Available in limited quantities, it’s priced right around 110,000 euro.
10. Antoine Martin Slow Runner
It’s oversized balance wheel beats low and beautiful, it’s aesthetic appeal is unparalleled, and the price is almost too low at a starting rate of just CHF 18,000. Slightly large for my liking at 42mm, the watch is slightly bulky but is more of a showpiece than a watch. You’ll be mesmerized at first glance and you won’t be able to turn away. In fact, it might be more dangerous to drive with this watch than with your cellphone. Be forewarned.
11. Armin Strom One Week Collection
Like a window to heaven, the partially skeletonized dial offers a glimpse into the architecture and artistry of the ARM09 movement within. Like a perfected aria, the beauty of this timepiece is magnetic. As elegant as the movement is, the case is a little chunky, giving that retro appeal. Priced between CHF 22,000 and 32,000, the only big drawback is that the watch deserves to come with a nicer strap.
12. Artisan d’Horlogerie d’Art Voutilainen Vingt-8
As rare as beluga caviar, as revered as a Rolls Royce, this timepiece is about as superlative as it gets. What’s exceptionally unique and attractive about this offering is that despite its complicated architecture, it’s capable of being serviced by any watchmaker worth their salt. The movement is exceptional, the aesthetics unsurpassed. It’s one of those watches you’ll want to lock away in a vault if you ever have the opportunity to acquire one. Reasonably priced at just under CHF 80,000, it’s worth every penny.
13. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that I’ve never been a fan of the Royal Oaks. I’ll be honest; I think they’re ugly. I won’t sugarcoat it. They’re clunky, too funky and far too often embellished with diamonds and worn in music videos by rappers downing Cristal and talking about women in ways my wife would slap me for if I ever even thought it. Aside from that, the reason this watch made the list is because, all things considered, it is a remarkably innovative timepiece. It has the industry’s slimmest automatic movement with a central rotor and it’s the movement that’s made this watch a coveted timepiece for collectors. Most men consider this a versatile watch that can be paired with any attire. We disagree. This is not a dress watch and despite rumors, it can’t withstand water either. But in our opinion, if you’re wearing chinos and a polo to the movies, this watch is as perfect as it gets and it’s one that’s iconic and will absolutely get you noticed.
14. Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars “Jumping Hours Repetition”
One of the most classic and elegant timepieces produced by Audemars Piguet, it’s undeniable proof why AP is considered a member of the holy trinity of watchmakers. Stunning aesthetics blended with a world-class proprietary movement, the Jumping Hours Repetition is brilliant in all ways. One of my favorite features is the repeater’s ability to be used as an auxiliary time zone, making it perfect for jet-setters. Priced right between CHF 265,000 and 285,000, this timepiece is a steal for what you’re getting.
15. Badollet Ivresse
It curves around your wrist like a bracelet and has an ultra modern movement with a contemporary, yet graceful appearance. Gracefully curved, the movement is designed by David Candaux as a rectangle to perfectly fit within the case and is truly a masterpiece. Priced at 188,000 euros, this elegant timepiece is the perfect statement for the dot-com billionaire.
16. Blacksand Stratographe
Designed by Frederic Garinaud, who is the brains behind the Harry Winston OPVS8, this timepiece, respectably priced at under CHF 40,000, houses a custom integrated column-wheel mono-pusher chronograph and offers the owner the unique opportunity to select between a tachymeter and pulsometer scale. An excellent selection for any gentleman, the one drawback is that its exceptionally bulky case measures in at 46mm. However, despite that, it’s still surprisingly comfortable on a larger wrist.
17. Blancpain 50 Fathoms “X Fathoms”
Forget the standard Submariner and Seamaster by Rolex and Omega, the X Fathoms by Blancpain is arguably the most eligible dive watch for deep-sea, unchartered-waters style dives. The decompression valve is easy to use, it offers a double-depth gauge and a retrograde five minute sub-counter. Easy to read with maximum depth memory, its only drawback is that the advertised ‘orange’ glow disappears after the fifty-foot mark. However, if you plan to go past fifty feet, it’s probably worth your while to bring a flashlight because otherwise the only light you’re going to see is a bright one after you get lost or eaten. And we really don’t want that. After all, it would mean one less ‘Like’ on Facebook for us. By the way, follow us on Facebook.
18. Bovet Dimier Recital 12
In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful timepieces on the market. A limited edition, it’s priced reasonably at CHF 38,000. It is arguably the most coveted watch ever produced by Bovet and it’s not just because of its stunning aesthetics. Bovet must have realized they were lacking compared to their competition and upped their game by introducing this masterpiece. A manual seven day movement, it uses the in-house Virtuoso 2 movement. There are a few negatives but none that really affect the value or collectability of this timepiece. Overall, it’s not just the best watch from Bovet, but one of the best watches produced by any brand, ever.
19. Breguet Classique Chronométrie
This is one of those watches that Breguet should be charging double for. Priced far too low at under CHF 35,000, it’s a stunning piece of horological ingenuity. The in-house 574DR movement gives the watch an exceptional drive. It’s silicon double hairspring, magnetic pivot and design make it worthy of any collector’s attention and it’s one watch that should certainly be a favorite of yours.
20. Breguet Classique Tourbillon Messidor
My favorite Breguet timepiece, the skeleton dial is what every other watchmaker should strive for. Undeniably beautiful with a movement that matches if not exceeds its aesthetic appeal, this timepiece is a true collectible for the aficionado. Priced right under CHF 275,000 for the rose gold model, this is probably one of my top ten favorite watches on this list.
21. Bvlgari Daniel Roth Grande Sonnerie Quantieme Perpetual
For whatever reason, many collectors tend to look down at Bvlgari. While granting that some of their watches are an insult to horology, this particular timepiece is easily one of the finest wristwatches on the market. Priced respectably at CHF 980,000, the in-house movement offers separate power reserves for the movement and the Sonnerie. Worth noting is that the Westminster Grande Sonnerie is the the most difficult complication to produce and Bvlgari has done it so well it seems effortless. The automatic perpetual movement uses a tourbillon for added precision and makes this timepiece worth the almost million dollar price tag. On top of that it’s spectacularly beautiful.
22. Cabestan Trapezium
You’ll either love it or hate it but the Trapezium is an architectural masterpiece. Surprisingly readable, the timepiece uses two separate crowns for winding and setting and is a style statement that can only be worn by the few who can pull it off. Priced just under CHF 190,000, the Trapezium is one of the most unique offerings to hit the market this century.
23. Cartier Rotonde Repetition Minutes Tourbillon Volant
Many might be upset or disheartened that I didn’t include the Tank on this list. Let’s face it, the Tank is one of the most quintessential luxury timepieces but it’s also fairly entry-level. It’s a wonderful watch, it just doesn’t deserve a place in the Top 100. However, this particular timepiece from Cartier certainly does. Priced at 238,000 euros, it features an AP Renaud & Papi 9402MC movement that uses a pusher rather than a slide to operate the repetition. Its titanium case is ideal for the repeater and one that watch critics have been requesting for some time. The only downside is more of a personal irk and that is that the watch bears the Geneve seal despite the movement being from Le Locle. Otherwise, it’s a brilliant piece and one worthy of any Top 100 list.
24. Chopard L.U.C. “Perpetual T”
Another brand that receives similar cynicism to Bvlgari, Chopard has really stepped up the game with the L.U.C. Perpetual T. I personally think the Perpetual T is the most resplendent timepiece ever produced by Chopard, but aside from its beauty, the reason it made this list is because of the quality of the movement and its unique offerings. A pairing of the tourbillon and perpetual calendar combined with the ability to set the watch backwards makes the L.U.C. Perpetual T a standout from the crowd. Combine its finishes, movement and complications with undeniable beauty and Chopard has crafted a winning timepiece that can go head-to-head with any other horological masterpiece.
25. Christiaan Van Der Klaauw Real Moon Joure Rush Hour at the Moon
For the true stargazer, this ode-to-the-astronaut timepiece is an artistic expression with a true 3D moon phase complication. Adjusted using the crown, it’s a testament to state-of-the-art technology that’s brilliantly paired with old-world craftsmanship. Priced at just under CHF 50,000, this is a perfect timepiece for any astronaut that wants something more elegant than an Omega on his wrist. I just wouldn’t recommend taking it to space.
26. Christophe Claret Maestoso
Priced between 178,000 CHF and 186,000 CHF, the Maestoso is a seductively impressive timepiece from the renowned manufacturer Christophe Claret. With a proprietary DTC07 movement, it’s a relatively large watch at 44mm, with a thickness of 13.59mm. The finishes on the timepiece are exemplary, and the constant force system that keeps it ticking is more efficient and maintains superior accuracy as compared to the tourbillon found in most watches at this price range. Unlike many watches at this price, the Maestoso deserves its tag and despite the lack of a power reserve indicator, we really can’t think of any other flaw in this magnificent timepiece.
27. Christophe Claret X-TREM-I Chocolate
Provocative, contemporary and stylish, the X-TREM-I is another Christophe Claret timepiece worthy of our Top 100 list. The watch is stunning and priced reasonably between 268,000 CHF and 288,000. Using the FlyII movement, it uses magnetic spheres to give you an accurate reading of the time and is still easy-to-read at night. A new and inspiring way to tell time, the lateral indicators are a technological achievement in horology, which is why this timepiece made our list.
28. Corum Ti-Bridge Power Reserve
Priced at just 16,388 CHF, this model from the Ti-Bridge series is our favorite of the bunch. Using Corum’s CO107 movement, the 42.5mm wristwatch is one of those rare timepieces we believe will be iconic over the next fifty years. The architecture is unique, and the finishes are breathtaking. The timepiece is different from many you’ll find on the market and because of its unique case, it is sure to be the opener to many a conversation. At this price you really can’t go wrong and that’s why it made our list of the top 100 watches.
29. D. Dornbluth & Sohn Regulator
One of the most reasonably priced timepieces in this list, the Regulator is priced at a mere 5,800 Euros. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have its own movement inside, but instead uses the ETA 6498 with a power reserve indicator — a very nice feature for the movement. This watch is an ideal timepiece to give as a gift as they left room on the movement for an engraving that can be easily seen but isn’t in your face. The detailing is superb and the entire watch — including the movement finishes — is completed by hand. When we take into consideration the quality of the workmanship, the complications and the architecture, we begin to see that this is one timepiece most collectors would happily spend more than just the asking price on.
30. De Bethune Digitale
Priced just under 90,000 CHF, the only other watch produced with three indicators on the same line is a pocket watch kept under lock and key at the Audemars Piguet Museum. This timepiece from De Bethune is truly a work of art. Never has such a simple dial captured attention like this. The aesthetics are dreamy and the movement is extraordinary. With a moon phase on the back, this is a museum-quality timepiece that absolutely deserves a spot on this list for its ingenuity of design.
31. De Bethune DBS Tourbillon
At 195,000 CHF, the DBS features the world’s lightest tourbillon cage at just 0.18gr. The timepiece is remarkable, and the quality of the workmanship and attention to detail is unsurpassed. Despite the wearer not being able to read the time in the dark, this watch is competitively priced and well worth the investment. It’s a horological marvel and one that deserves your utmost respect.
32. DeMonaco Quantieme Perpetual
Most watch collectors know the hassle of having to change between functions and that’s why Ateliers DeMonaco created this perpetual timepiece that changes between time — date, day, week, month and year — with a simple push of the crown. Once the wearer has selected the desired function, they can turn the crown to adjust it. The ease of use is unparalleled. With a limited run of just 88 pieces, this perpetual calendar is patented and created in-house. A highlight at BaselWorld, it’s available in 18k rose or white gold as well as in titanium.
33. F.P. Journe Octa Calendrier
Priced fairly between 47,565 CHF and 100,650 CHF, this 120-hour automatic features an in-house 1300.3 movement. Despite being a complication, the watch has no correctors on the case and, like the timepiece above, is managed using the crown. The watch breathes an air of sophistication and uses windows and a retrograde to showcase the annual calendar. The one drawback is that because of this method of showcasing information, the timepiece is difficult to travel with, as you can’t reverse the calendar if traveling westbound.
34. F.P. Journe Octa Perpetuelle
In our opinion, this is one timepiece that should be priced higher. At just 65,000 CHF, the Perpetuelle uses the same movement as the Calendrier. Made from titanium, this is a limited edition run of just 99 pieces that features an innovative leap year indicator to set it apart. The vast majority of the calendar information is showcased in its series of windows, and the craftsmanship and architecture of the watch is exquisite. Unfortunately, like the watch listed above, it is also difficult to travel with, especially when heading west.
35. Frederique Constant Manufacture Heartbeat
Like most timepieces from Frederique Constant, this watch is very reasonably priced and starts at just 4,950 Euros to buy. Powered by the FC-945 engine, Frederique Constant uses its proprietary heartbeat to keep the watch accurate. The innovative movement with silicium escape is what truly sets this watch apart. When combined with the low price, it’s not hard to see why this new watchmaker deserves a spot on our list.
36. Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement
Masculine and yet still refined, the Constant Escapement comes it at around 115,000 CHF. One of the most innovative watches to come from GP, they created a movement that uses constant torque on the balance wheel without the use of a tourbillon. The watch is exceptionally large at 48mm, yet maintains its consistency throughout all of its proportions. In other words, this isn’t a watch for men with slight wrists and small hands.
37. Glashutte Original Senator Chronometer Regulator
Starting at just 20,750 Euros, this is a highly praised timepiece featuring Glashutte’s in-house chronometer movement with a zero-reset seconds hand. The zero-reset works by pulling the crown, which sets the seconds to 60 and the minute hand at the exact minute marker. The architecture of this watch is beautiful, and the finish on the dial is truly remarkable, which is why this watch deserves its spot on our top 100 list.
38. Grand Seiko Diashock “130th Anniversary”
There are a few different models of this watch, ranging from a relatively quintessential dress watch to one model that screams it’s a sport watch. A limited edition, the watch is one of the best bangs for your buck that you can find in today’s market. A solid collector’s piece, the simple dress versions of the watch offer a beautiful vintage appearance yet use the most technologically advanced watchmaking inside the case. This is truly a watch worthy of any collection.
39. Greubel Forsey Quantieme Perpetual a Equation
One of our top rated timepieces in this list, this GF watch comes priced at 670,000 CHF and is well worth every penny. The architecture and finishings on this watch are spectacular, and every complication is easy to read and takes little effort to adjust. This is arguably one of the finest watches ever released by Greubel Forsey. Unfortunately, they only make five a year.
40. Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes “Contemporain”
Another incredible piece from the renowned manufacturer, this watch comes priced at 410,000 CHF and yet again, is worth its price tag. The proprietary GF0Ic that powers it is nothing short of a horological masterpiece. What really sets this timepiece apart is the three-dimensional design that offers incredible depth and beautiful lines. The tourbillon is well made and prolific in this watch’s design and with luminous material on the hands, it’s easy to read at night. The only unfortunate flaw is the thickness of the watch due to the angle of the tourbillon.
41. Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon 30 Degrees Technique
With a starting price of just 510,000 CHF, this timepiece is another masterpiece from Greubel Forsey. Distinctive and robust, it is soundly perfect in finish and design and offers an incredible dimension of depth and character. One of our top picks, the quality of this timepiece is exemplary, and it is one that will cause heads to turn when seen on your wrist.
42. Greubel Forsey GMT
Dynamic, innovative and breathtaking are words one might use to describe this iconic travel watch. Using a sphere marking the earth with a side window showcasing the equator, this timepiece is the perfect blend of design and practicality. The timezones are easily adjustable and can be set down to the minute. The watch is boldly beautiful and one any frequent flier should have in his collection.
43. Gronefeld Tourbillon Parallax RG
Coming in at 137,450 Euros, this exquisite timepiece from Gronefeld is a work of art. A limited edition, it earns its price tag with the architecture of the movement and its innovative technology. With only 28 watches made, it’s a true and authentic collector’s piece that belongs in a vault.
44. H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar
The perfect compliment for evening wear and even for black-tie, this timepiece comes in a variety of finishes. Priced between 44,450 CHF and 64,815, it’s a watch that allows the wearer to operate all of the functions with the crown, except its leap year adjustment that requires a pusher. This is a timepiece that’s perfect for the experienced collector, but it’s also one that’s ideal as a gift for graduation or a new job due to its child-proof mechanism that allows it to be set backwards. The movement architecture is resplendent, and the finishes are breathtaking. This is truly a work of art.
45. Halda Race Pilot
It’s important to note that Halda also offers this watch in a quartz movement. However, the one we’re discussing today is the automatic 50-hour reserve. It uses a Zenith calibre 685 engine to power it, but it’s the brand’s attention to detail and finishes that really makes it worth its spot on our list. The watch is a beast, and when it comes to those who like to lift up dust on the track or road, this is one watch worth considering.
46. Haldimann HII Central Balance Pure
Starting at 39,000 CHF and going as high as 51,000 CHF, this timepiece is a great introduction into the world of Haute Horlogerie. Unique and considered a masterpiece by most critics, this is a simplistically beautiful timepiece that is worth every penny. It really is perfection on your wrist.
47. Hautlence HLRS
This avant-garde timepiece starts at just 31,020 CHF and features a titanium shell that holds a uniquely inspiring engine. The architecture and the design are complex, and despite its retrograde minute hand and regulator, it is still a fairly easy watch to read. The perfect timepiece for date night and art exhibits. For those who prize creativity, the HLRS from Hautlence is one watch worth putting on your shopping list.
48. Hublot Big Bang Soccer Bang
The Big Bang is an iconic timepiece that has become a staple in the hip-hop community. For the most part, we’re not fans of the Big Bang series. However, this particular timepiece is one worth your attention — and in our opinion — is the most exemplary watch ever produced by Hublot. It uses materials like ceramic which aren’t just aesthetically pleasing but also improve the functionality and durability of the timepiece. Designed with soccer in mind, the integrated chronograph is easy to use and even simpler to read at a glance. With an entry-level price of 22,900 CHF, it’s a worthwhile timepiece because it’s a limited edition. We just hope it stays that way because otherwise it’s probably not worthy of this list.
49. IWC Portuguese Minute Repeater
An elegant dress watch with casual undertones, this IWC creation is one worthy of your attention. For the most part, IWC isn’t a brand we often recommend, however, this particular timepiece is so well conceived that it is one worth recommending time and time again. Compared to the dials on IWC’s other watches, this one is far superior. What’s especially unique is that rather than using the more conservative markers or Roman numerals, they’ve opted to place numbers in a fairly casual typeface. A limited run of 500 pieces makes this a collector piece and despite its large size of 44mm, it is still relatively comfortable on the wrist. Pricing starts at just 70,300 Euros and goes upwards of 87,600.
50. Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin “Italico”
The iconic Reverso in all its splendor. This particular model is one of our favorite Reversos ever produced and is considered by many critics as the official rebirth of the iconic timepiece. Incredibly thin at 7.33mm, it uses JLC’s proprietary 822 movement to power it. Priced at just 5,000 CHF, the Reverso, in general, deserved a spot on this list, but it’s this particular model we feel is truly worth a mention. To learn more about Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Reverso, click here for our in-depth guide on the manufacturer.
51. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB
Priced right around 200,000 CHF, the Master Compressor Extreme LAB is one of JLC’s newest and most prized selections. With a limited run of just 150 pieces, the Extreme LAB is an oversized high-tech timepiece that’s remarkably light and very easy to navigate. It’s known as a horological achievement because it features the very first escapement that’s lubricant free. What makes it highly collectible, in addition to being a limited run, is that the design is protected by six patents ensuring you won’t find a watch like this anywhere else. This is one contemporary collectors piece worth having.
52. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Repetition Minutes a Rideau
As the curtain closes, the chimes begin to sing. This 188,600 CHF timepiece from JLC is one of the most underpriced watches in the list. A remarkable concept is flawlessly executed with its complication sitting front and center. More difficult to create and adjust than a tourbillon, this Reverso is at the top of its class in all aspects.
53. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Gyrotourbillon II
This stunningly beautiful timepiece from the Reverso collection at JLC is a prime demonstration of Haute Horlogerie. The small spherical tourbillon is perfectly encased in a relatively appropriate sized timepiece. The finish and architecture are exquisite, and it is a perfect timepiece for many different occasions and dress codes. Priced between 205,000 CHF and 294,400 CHF, there are few watches as iconic as the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. Click here to learn more about the Reverso and the company behind it.
54. Jaquet Droz The Bird Repeater
Rarely are watches designed with art in mind. However, this stunning piece from Jaquet Droz is more than just a novelty timepiece. It’s rich and bold in detail, with a minute repeater that is so exemplary, it almost outshines the others on this list. The detail and depth are superlative. This is one timepiece that should be purchased for its art value as much as its timekeeping capabilities. Priced at 463,000 CHF, it is well worth the investment both as fine art and as a wrist watch.
55. Jean Dunand Tourbillon Orbital
Like the starry night sky, this poetic timepiece is priced a little high at 403,000 CHF and upwards of 548,000 CHF. However, it’s a timepiece that is made upon request and has been designed in various styles. It is one watch that is unique to its owner and most of them are a treasure to look at. The one pictured here is our favorite and despite the higher price tag and long wait list, it’s one that really is worth your attention as a serious collector.
56. L. Leroy Osmior Automatic Regulator Tourbillon Skeleton
We really appreciate a well-crafted and engineered skeleton timepiece, as it’s like a window into the soul of the watch. Priced at 134,000 Euros, this particular watch is a masterpiece due to the number of inward angles. It is a limited edition, and just seven watches were made. For those who prize rare collectibles, this is a watch you’ll want on your wrist.
57. Lang & Heyne Albert von Sachsen
Another one of our favorite watches in this list, the Albert von Sachsen from Lang & Heyne is an homage to King Albert of Saxony, and it’s a perfect example of what a modern dress watch should be. With one of the industry’s top mono-pusher chronographs, this timepiece is truly befitting of a king. Prices start at just 50,900 Euros, and it’s one more watch we think is worth its price tag.
58. Lang & Heyne Moritz von Sachsen
Slightly less expensive than the timepiece listed above, this watch starts at around 38,000 Euros, which, in our opinion, is a little high. However, what earns this timepiece a spot on the list is that it qualifies as a horological milestone as the first timepiece to indicate the Earth’s inclination. Paired with exquisite detailing and finishes, the architecture of this watch is remarkable. It is well worth a spot on our list of the top 100 watches.
59. Laurent Ferrier Galet Micro-Rotor
A perfect example of a dress watch that’s ready for evening wear, this timepiece can even be worn with black tie. Its natural escapement and 186 component movement make it an architecturally beautiful watch that’s interesting and simplistically elegant. Pricing starts at just 44,000 CHF, which makes it a deal in our opinion. For an evening out on the town, this is watch is about as ideal as one gets.
60. Laurent Ferrier Galet Tourbillon Double Spiral Classic
Discreetly tucked in and visible only through the caseback, this remarkable timepiece is a testament to ingenuity and creativity. Its timeless design takes center stage as the tourbillon works in the background like a maestro for its orchestra. The movement is accurate, but it’s also incredibly sturdy, which is unusual and has been well received. Overall the watch is well designed and executed, and its blend of classic styling and contemporary architecture is what earns it a spot on this list.
61. Louis Moinet Tempograph 20 Seconds
The depth and design of this timepiece is exemplary. Its rich details and curves make it a delight to watch. Although it’s priced slightly high, starting at 20,370 CHF, it is still worth buying simply due to its attention to detail. The complexity of the richly decorated case is beautiful. Inward angles and a change in polishing are what really set the design apart. It is basically a perfected version of one of Moinet’s best selling timepieces and it deserves a spot on this list.
62. Ludovic Ballouard Half-Time
A very intricate timepiece to produce, this is a unique watch with a very unusual yet pleasing design. The finishing is incredible and the exacting standards used to create the watch make it a marvel of watchmaking. It’s priced at 61,000 CHF, which is a little high in our opinion since it’s not a limited edition. However, the jumping hour function is so beautifully built that it happily earns a place in this list.
63. Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette
Modern, avant-garde and masculine. This timepiece features a movement designed by Andreas Stroller resulting in one of the best-made chronographs in history. The watch is incredibly well priced at 14,900 CHF and is worth every penny. As one of our favorite chronographs ever made, it earned its spot on this list for the craftsmanship of its proprietary movement as well as its unusual design.
64. McGonigle Tourbillon
Using a Christophe Claret movement with Haute Horlogerie finishing is worthy of praise for any watch. What really separates this timepiece, however, is that every part of the watch is beautiful and well crafted. It’s well balanced and well rated by collectors. At 128,000 CHF it’s almost worth the price tag.
65. McGonigle Tuscar Banu
At 48,000 CHF, the watch is priced slightly high, and yet it is still worth the tag due to its masterful design and craftsmanship. The movement is stunning, and the aesthetics have been raved about by critics around the world. This is one watch you won’t be able to stop looking at.
66. Montblanc Villeret 1858 “Vintage Tachydate”
Limited to just 58 pieces for each version released, this timepiece from Montblanc is the pinnacle of watchmaking capabilities. The Minerva mono-pusher movement is extraordinary, and the finishes are superb. Overall, the watch is beautiful, but it made some improvements that earned it its spot on the list. Changing out the prior strap for a far more attractive one was a simple move but one we’re thankful for. However, it’s the easily adjusted balance wheel we particularly enjoy as well as the inward angles and the historic Minerva movement.
67. Moritz Grossmann Atum
A testament to German watchmaking, this particular timepiece starts at just 20,400 Euros and earns its spot on the list for its ease of use. What we also really like is the level of detail. From its indexes and hands that are made in-house to the finishes of the movement, there is really nothing average about this remarkable timepiece. Well priced, it is also well deserving of even the most discerning collector’s attention.
68. Moritz Grossmann Benu Tourbillon
Priced at 141,000 Euros, this rather large 44.5mm wristwatch is a masterpiece due to its harmonious blend of traditional watchmaking and modern technology. Highly innovative, the watch is rather well proportioned given its size. It uses human hair to make up its stop-second function and upon request, you can have it made from your own hair for a truly personal timepiece. The movement is gorgeous and sturdy, and the watch itself is breathtaking.
69. NOMOS Zürich Welzeit Nachtblau
If you’ve read our review of the NOMOS Tangente, you know we’re big fans of this brand. This particular timepiece is well priced at 3,318 Euros but offers superior value. A well-devised world timer, this watch is perfect for the frequent flier on a budget, but is made with the same exacting standards we find in far more expensive timepieces. It’s easy to adjust and very comfortable to read on the blue dial (which we recommend over the silver one). All-in-all, it’s one of the top world timers around and one we highly recommend.
Omega has long been considered one of the finest Swiss watchmakers for dive, drive, flight and sports watches of all kinds. More popular than Rolex in Asia, the Omega Speedmaster is the latest watch used in the James Bond film franchise. Almost all Omegas are well worth the investment, but this particular timepiece is one we covet and believe to be the pinnacle of the watchmaker. At 10,500 CHF or about $9,000 , it’s undeniably iconic and offers easy readability and great attention to detail. It’s quality and craftsmanship is undeniable and, therefore, it’s earned a spot on our list of the top 100 watches.
75. Panerai Luminor 1950 Rattrapante
Truth be told, we’re not huge fans of Panerai. We don’t regularly cover them, and usually, it’s because we feel they’re somewhat inferior compared to other competing timepieces. In most cases, we also think they’re overpriced. This particular timepiece, however, is the exception. The proprietary chronograph with rattrapante function is stunning. It features some of the best luminous material making it easy to read at night, and it offers exceptional readability during the day. The 8-day reserve means it lasts all week off the wrist, and although that’s fairly long, it’s helpful for those who need it. For the gentleman who requires a chronograph for work, this is absolutely one of our top picks, and it undeniably deserves a spot on the wrist. Price $25,800.
72. Patek Philippe Calatrava
The quintessential dress watch, the Patek Philippe Calatrava is one of our top picks in this list of greats. A masterpiece of simplistic design, it comes in a variety of versions to accommodate all tastes. Prices usually start at around 15,000 CHF, but it depends on what model you choose. This watch is understated, stunning and pairs well with a suit during the day. It is often one of our most recommended timepieces.
73. Patek Philippe Chronograph Rattrapante
Priced at 408,000 CHF, this is undeniably one of the most well designed and built chronographs. The world’s thinnest split-second chronograph, it features exquisite finishes and architecture with inward angles that are drool worthy. Although the price is ridiculous, one must remember it is a Patek, and you’re paying for the name and the quality behind it.
74. Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon 5002
A personal favorite, the Sky Moon Tourbillon was once the most complicated watch in the world. This is an older version compared to the 6002, but we like its appearance far more. It retails upon approval for 1,450,000 CHF and often goes up based on availability. To purchase one, you must file an application and pass a series of interviews. It is a very limited edition, and the entire watch is crafted by hand. Considered an ultra complication, it offers multiple functions rarely found in the same watch. It is truly the pinnacle of fine watchmaking, although it should be noted that the newer version is known for being easier to read and to operate.
75. Patek Philippe Tourbillon Minute Repeater
The Patek Philippe Grand Complication Split Second Chronograph 5959 is produced in very limited annual editions of just ten watches. It features the world’s thinnest split second movement that uses only two pushers to control it. With its platinum casing, it offers a beautifully lacquered dial in black or white. One of the most prolific collector’s pieces, its price is often dependent on availability due to its rarity and 10-piece production.
76. Patek Philippe Triple Complication
Priced at 900,000 CHF, the Triple Complication features a stunning example of advanced engineering for a timepiece that is so understated and elegant. This automatic timepiece features a minute repeater, beautifully displayed chronograph, instant perpetual calendar with apertures, and moon phases. It is a collectors dream, despite being overpriced.
77. Paul Gerber Model 41
Starting at just 17,430 CHF, the Model 41 by Paul Gerber may sound contemporary, but it has the styling any gentleman would seek in a black tie timepiece. Ideally suited for wear with your dinner jacket, the one negative is you won’t be able to see the time in darker rooms, as there is no luminous option available. However, this limited edition watch is very well priced with a movement that lets you change on-the-fly from a continuous second hand to a dead-beat second hand. This is truly an incredible timepiece worthy of the most discerning collection.
78. Piaget Altiplano Automatic Small Seconds Date
Beginning at a reasonable 17,666 Euros, this timepiece is known for its resplendent case, and for being the thinnest automatic caliber in the world. It is, all things considered, one of the most iconic watches ever produced and is far more elegant than most luxury watches with its 40mm case.
79. Pierre DeRoche TNT Rendezvous
From just 18,500 CHF, the TNT Rendezvous is made from a blend of red gold and titanium to create a bold timepiece that is eccentric and alluring. The open dial is a true showcase of craftsmanship with complexity and insanity rolled into one. Although it’s busy and cluttered dial, it is easy to operate and a standout for those wanting an oversized casual luxury watch.
80. Revelation Tourbillon Magical Watch Dial
Priced at 152,000 CHF, The Magical Watch as it’s known, is really just that. With 56 inward angles, its movement is dramatic and exemplary, to say the least. The balance wheel is something out of a fantasy, and it’s easier to wear and read than its predecessor. It is a collectors watch that should be purchased by serious horologists looking to add to an already full watch vault.
81. Richard Mille RM027-01 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal
At a price beginning at a whopping 663,500 CHF, this limited edition timepiece is perfect for active athletes. The finishes on this timepiece are as good as it gets with an end weight of under 20 grams. Designed with tennis in mind, it is absolutely the pinnacle of any athletes collection.
82. Roger W. Smith Ltd. Series 2
Available with a closed and open dial, the Series 2 starts at about 82,000 CHF. It’s available in platinum, as well as white, red and yellow gold. It is intensely rare and hard to find with a Daniels escapement and a phenomenal engine. This is one timepiece that will certainly retain value and be coveted by fellow collectors at BaselWorld.
83. Rolex GMT Master II
It starts at just 5,180 CHF, but it will last a lifetime. Available in steel at that price, or yellow gold at a higher one, it features a ceramic bezel and is known for its robust capabilities in all conditions. The date goes backward automatically when traveling westbound making the GMT function easy to use. There are some issues that make it inadvisable to wear in sports conditions, but if you like Rolex, it is one watch worth having in your collection.
84. Rolex Submariner Date
The quintessential luxury watch, no timepiece in the world is as popular as the Rolex Submariner Date. Priced starting at 7,500 CHF, it features the in-house 3135 movement that is considered one of the very best for a dive watch. It is, without reservation, the pinnacle of all dive watches, suitable for both professional and recreational diving in all environments.
85. Rolex Daytona
Rolex has capitalized on their stance as the most iconic luxury watch. The Daytona is one of their biggest achievements. Click here to read all about it and why you should consider the Daytona for your collection.
86. Romain Gauthier Logical One
With its distinct design and constant force complication, this timepiece is one of the most precise luxury watches you’ll ever own. The watch is every collector’s dream with an advanced movement that simply needs a push of a button to wind it. To buy one, you’ll need to contact the brand directly, but it comes at the surprisingly low starting price of 98,000 CHF for its quality.
87. Romain Gauthier Prestige HMS
If you can’t afford the Logical One, another top pick is the Prestige HMS at just 51,000 CHF. Ideal for larger wrists, the movement, features inward angles like you’ve never seen. The entire watch is produced with beauty in mind it is a horological marvel, to say the least.
88. Rudis Sylva Oscillateur Harmonieux RS10-I
New watchmakers are always tough to trust, but Rudis Sylva has created a timepiece like no other. At 230,000 CHF, the RS10-I is innovative and exceptionally well made, with no expense spared financially or regarding craftsmanship. The details are what make this not only a watch but a work of art.
89. Sarpaneva Korona K0
With its rotating bezel on the inside of the dial, this timepiece is unique and rare. If you’re looking for something highly unique, this may be the pick for you. The movement is exceptional, as is the design.
90. Tag Heuer Monaco Tourbillon V4
This isn’t the Tag you’ll find at the jewelry store in your local shopping mall. At 150,000 CHF, this timepiece is the pinnacle of the brand. Looking similar to a Richard Mille, it’s unique nonetheless with a four-barrel movement in honor of the engine. Featuring belts that are thinner than a single hair, this is one watch that deserves a spot in the top 100 watches list.
91. Ulysse Nardin Freak Cruiser
Beginning at a price of just 74,075 CHF, this watch uses the UN-205 engine and despite being from a nautical brand, is not water resistant. The selling point on this timepiece is that it’s an icon. It is the George Clooney, Tom Hanks or Tom Cruise of watches. It is an A-lister. The finishes are beautiful; the caliber is inspired, and it is one watch worth having on your bucket list.
92. Ulysse Nardin Sonata Streamline
At 34,075 CHF, it is a titanium masterpiece that features dual time that’s connected to the date, forward and backward. The alarm features cathedral gongs which play nicely off the titanium body. It is truly a work of art, and it sounds incredible when the alarm goes off.
93. Ulysse Nardin Astrolabium Galileo Galilei
Designed for astronomers, you’ll need to be one in order to figure out how to read it. For most owners, it’s a collector’s piece and a piece of art. In fact, many can’t even figure out what time it is at a glance, let alone how to use its many complications. However, if astronomy is a passion – or career – there is no watch quite like it.
94. Urwerk UR-202
Only ten were ever made, and it uses the world’s first twin turbine to power it. Looking like a watch from the future, the fluid dynamics power the movement. The turbines spin on the caseback and create a watch that looks about as contemporary as it gets. If you want a showpiece for Silicon Valley, this is probably it.
95. Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon Squelette
Starting at 270,000 Euros, this is one of the most important timepieces ever produced by a member of the holy trinity of watchmakers. Click here to read all about Vacheron Constantin in our guide, and you’ll quickly realize why this watch is worth your attention and your praise.
96. Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Plate Calibre 1731
Another masterpiece from a horological powerhouse, this timepiece uses a complex striking mechanism with the thinnest minute repeater ever produced. It is an accomplishment like no other and one worthy of any aficionado’s collection.
97. Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon
A cult watch with masterful craftsmanship and an innovative movement, this timepiece was designed while the creator was watching Star Trek. Designed to look like Deep Space Nine, this futuristic watch brought the troubled watchmaker back from an uninspired sabbatical and depression into the limelight of his career. This timepiece is arguably one of the most exemplary watches ever created with the future in mind. It is a stunning achievement worthy of the highest praise.
98. Viot Chronometre
Not just handmade, but homemade, this timepiece is clearly a work of art that is inspired by 18th-century pocket watches. Iconically French, it stands to reason that Viot spent years restoring Breguet’s before creating his own. A distinctly beautiful and mesmerizing piece, it is a museum slated collectible that can be admired for hours both on and off the wrist.
99. Vulcain Enamel The Poseidon
At 50,000 CHF, this is one of the most difficult timepieces to find. The watch itself is superlative, but it’s the handpainted enamel dial that put it on this list. It is a work of art that can be worn on your wrist.
100. Zenith Captain Winsor
At only 8,055 CHF, this bargain of a timepiece is exemplary thanks to its craftsmanship and finishes. The quality of this watch is far beyond the price they ask for it. For those looking for an entry-level collector’s piece, this is one worth considering and one that will remain a prolific piece as your collection continues to grow.
Top 100 Watches for Men
We hope you have enjoyed our feature on the top 100 watches. It goes without saying that there are many other watches that are exceptionally well made, as beautiful as they come and engineered with passion and innovation in mind. What watch would you add to this list? What would you take off?