If you are a regular reader of Fratello Watches you probably know that I love iconic watches. The terms ‘watch icons’ and ‘cult watches’ are used to refer to those timepieces that – most of the time – have been around for decades and gained a certain importance with regards to design or style. They are timeless classics that have only undergone slight changes over the years, most of which were in regard to small design details or under the hood. Watch journalist Michael Balfour even wrote a book on the subject in 2007 (Cult Watches: The World’s Enduring Classics) in which he shows the readers a number of watch classics. This book covers a wide range of watches that have received ‘cult status’ for various reasons: from the plastic Swatch watches to the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, they are all in there.
Top 10 Watch Icons
For Chrono24’s Magazine I wrote an article on the Top 10 Watch Icons. 10 watches that I consider to be the icons of all watches. You could argue about the order of presentation, but I believe that these watches mark an important milestone in watchmaking or in creating a buzz amongst the watch industry and its customers. One of the icons I highlighted is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ or ‘Extra-Thin’ as they tend to call it nowadays. One of my personal favorite watches of all time and definitely considered to be a watch icon that changed the way the watch industry thought about luxury wrist watches.
As I wrote on Chrono24’s Magazine:
Though Gérald Genta was once on Omega’s payroll, he was one of the first designers to start his own company specialized in designing watches. In 1971 Audemars Piguet asked him to design a stainless steel luxury sports watch, which – according to the story – he did overnight. The result was introduced at the Basel exhibition in 1972. The Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ in stainless steel—which at the time had a list price of 3300 Swiss Francs—had the same value as about 10 Rolex Submariner watches. The octagonal bezel, super thin case, beautiful combination of polished and brushed surfaces on case and bracelet, dial with Clous de Paris finish, and its superb movement made it an all-time classic that is still in production today. Actually, Audemars Piguet introduced a newer version of this Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ in 2012 that is very close to the original 1972 model.
The other depicted watches in the Top 10 Watch Icons article are: Rolex Daytona, Rolex Submariner, Omega Speedmaster Professional, Breitling Navitimer, Patek Philippe Calatrava, Zenith El Primero, TAG Heuer Carrera, Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso and the Cartier Tank.
Curious about the other 9 iconic watch descriptions? Head over to the Chrono24 Magazine and check-out the Top 10 Watch Icons article I wrote.