Welcome to the fifth and final edition of our Watch Appreciation Series, where we share the timepieces that not only look nice on the wrist but will also hold their value into the future.
We've come a way since our first piece in this series; starting at the sub-US$500 point, and moving up the price brackets. This time around, we’re pulling out all the stops, looking at watches that break the US$5k mark. This is where we reach the heavy-hitters, including the first Rolex pieces in our series, and the first watch to go to the moon.
Again, we’ve enlisted Zayyar Win Thein, proprietor of Wynn and Thayne, to select the best options at this price point. If you’re looking to buy, or enquire about a quality vintage timepiece, Zayyar is your man.
Rolex Datejust 16030
One of the things which makes Rolex watches so sought after is how often in its history Rolex has introduced new technological advances to the watch world. The Datejust is an example of this, as the first ever watch to have an automatic date changer.
The 16030 is an upgraded version of the classic Rolex 1601, and is one of the most iconic watches of all time. A classic piece that will never look out of place or go out of style, its difficult to go wrong with the Datejust, and it should slowly increase in value over time if you look after it.
Cartier Santos Medium WSSA0029
In the last edition, we highlighted the Cartier Tank, and the Santos is a slightly more sophisticated option for fans of the rectangular shape and italic Roman numerals on the Tank. The Santos was the first ever mass-produced mens wristwatch, and is inspired by Art Deco design principles and aviation.
Along with other Cartier styles, it’s currently seeing a steady increase in value, and while it’s super wearable, you’re unlikely to see many watches that look quite like it while out and about.
Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse 3788
Patek Philippe is a brand that sits right at the top of the price range of luxury watches, and the Golden Ellipse is an excellent entry into the brand. A beautiful dress watch in 18k gold, the Golden Ellipse comes with either a deep blue or cream dial, with a super minimal styling.
The quartz movement also means it’s easy to maintain, and the fact there’s no second hand will show everyone you’re too important to worry about the little things.
The Rolex Explorer is the quintessential everyday watch. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay wore Explorer prototypes when they climbed Mt Everest, and it’s a style renowned for reliability in any conditions. The 114270 and 14270 styles are no frills watches: everything you need, and nothing you don’t.
Zayyar calls this one of the most underrated watches in the Rolex catalogue, and you can easily find some great examples in this price range with full box and papers. A great pick for anyone who just wants the highest quality watch, with no frills.
Omega Speedmaster Pre-Moon (1957-1969)
The Omega Speedmaster was originally designed for racecar drivers, with added complications for timing laps. What really sets aside the Speedmaster, though, is that NASA astronauts wore it to the moon in 1969, something no other watch can lay claim to.
Tracking down a so-called “pre-moon” style, from before Omega started marketing the Speedmaster as an astronaut’s watch, is becoming more difficult, but will be worth the chase and the money. They’re considered more valuable, and have developed amazing patinas in different colours and variations, which means that every piece is a true 1 of 1.