What do you think about the over bearing presence stainless steel watches in the watch business? Steel watches are great and their existence is a boon to us watch enthusiast. Can you imagine a world without the Royal Oak or the Speedmaster? You probably do not know this but the dominance that stainless steel watches have in the Haute Horlogerie industry was not always there. Steel wasn’t always this show-stopper in watchmaking that made people go weak in the knees. Watchmakers stuck to the rather traditional materials such as gold.
A History of Stainless-Steel Watches – Top 10 Luxury Steel Watches
It wasn’t until the 1970s that stainless steel watches go the recognition they are known for tyoday. The Audeamrs Piguet Royal Oak created history in 1972 with a dynamic entry into the sports luxury watch genre. It was soon followed by the Patek Philippe Nautilus, whicb for some reason, was released at a higher price than the Royal Oak. The era of stainless steel luxury sports watches had begun.
Numerous watchmakers jumped onto the band wagon and started making luxury sports watches. While some were like Cartier that specifically created the Pasha de Cartier so that they could compete with top names. Some, like the Omega Speedmaster and Seamaster simply got more recognition for their identity as sports watches. After all, they were only seen as tool watches before Royal Oak came in to the picture.
We at Wrist Diaries thought we’d do something different and make efforts to help you get to know some of the most popular as well as underrated stainless steel luxury watches. Here’s what we came up with.
The Omega Speedmaster watches for men is the watch that made it to the moon. Not many watches can say that. Timepieces have been to the outer reaches of space but not many can claim that they have been to the moon. The Speedmaster, often called the ‘Speedy’ is a fabulous stainless steel sports watch that harbours all the features that a top-notch and functional timepiece should.
Chopard Mille Miglia
The Chopard Mille Miglia is a watch that is closely associated with the world of speed. The timepiece is a perfect example of class and elegance clubbed up with utility and functionality. The idea behind the Chopard Mille Miglia was simple. The brand wanted to create a watch that would honour its partnership with the Mille Miglia rally race.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Who needs an introduction to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak? After all, it’s only one of ‘the’ most popular luxury steel watches to be ever created in the history of the world. First released in 1972 as a hail-mary to escape financial ruin, Audemars Piguet had no idea what this watch would become one day.
Today, it is an absolute beast of a timepiece with a legacy that is the envy as well as the admiration of its rivals.
Patek Philippe Nautilus
The Patek Philippe Nautilus follows a similar path as the Royal Oak. The behemoth in Swiss Haute Horlogerie launched the Nautilus in 1976, that is, four years after the Royal Oak. The watch was bigger than the Oak and was priced higher. The brand touted it as the most expensive stainless steel watch. Despite having an octagonal case, the case design was a bit different from its competitor.
Today, the Patek Philippe Nautilus is an industry legend with references that have etched their marks in the history books for good. One good example is the Nautilus 5711.
The Breitling Chronomat is an inspiring timepiece, if not anything else. Many know it to be launched during the 1970s. However, the original Chronomat was launched in the 1940s, before the coveted Breitling Navitimer.
The Breitling Chronomat has witnessed multiple renditions as well. The collection has been re-visited time and again. The latest one was launched quite recently in 2020. The watches in this series have always portrayed a masculine yet seamless design and top-shelf mechanical acuity.
Pasha de Cartier
Cartier is known for many things and the being a master of design is one of them. The brand, primarily a jeweller, is also a huge name in the field of high horology. Cartier garnered a massive following in the early 1900s when it came up with the Santos and Tank timepieces. The watches were instant hits and today, they are still icons in the horology business.
The watch in the spotlight here is the Pasha de Cartier, a timepiece that was created to compete with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Today, the cult-classic timepiece is offered to customers in a brand-new avatar that remionds people of the ‘good ol’ days’.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas
Vacheron Constantin is a watch brand that is counted as part of the holy trinity of Swiss luxury watchmaking. The Swiss watchmaker and it famous ‘Cross’ logo is a symbol for perfection and class in high horology. The Overseas timepiece, just like its creator, is known for its monumental reputation among top-end Swiss luxury watches for men.
Tissot watches for men is a tiny speck when compared to these mega giants but that does not discard the brand’s laurels and glory in horology. Once among the top names in Swiss horology, Tissot is a modern-day entry level icon. The brand has a wide array of timepieces that are some of the finest of Swiss watchmaking. The Tissot Seastar is a great example. The timepiece, while staying true to its Swiss roots, offers an uber-modern design with state of the art features and built quality.
Rado Captain Cook
The Rado Captain Cook is not a new watch. Originally launched in the golden era of Swiss watchmaking, the watch was brought back by Rado in 2017. Today, the Captain Cook is an independent collection that offers a too-good-to-be-true combination of a retro design and top-shelf features.
Longies, just like Rado and Tissot, is a behemoth in Swiss horology. As one of the entry level brands under the Swatch Group’s umbrella, the Longines has some truly amazing stainless steel timepieces to offer. One such watch is the Longines Conquest. One of the true originals from the golden days of Swiss watchmaking, the Conquest collection is a gem. Clean lines, a seamless design, and best-in-class mechanics.