The Most Iconic Mens Watches Of All Time
Few things have captured the cultural zeitgeist in the past hundred years like the wristwatch. From actors on the silver screen, to boundary breaking explorers, and generational talents alike, owning the same timepiece that’s been seen on the wrist of legends and folk heroes can make you feel like you’ve captured a piece of the action.
The modern wristwatch has its origins rooted in innovation, precision, and the need for a piece of equipment that’s as reliable as it is stylish. It’s no wonder that even as the world progresses with technology that these timepieces manufactured by masterful craftsmen are still as prized today as they were the moment they were seen on the giants of years past. EBTH took a look at some of the most recognizable examples, and put together this list of the most iconic wristwatches of all time.
With a square face that’s as recognizable as it is striking, the Tag Monaco is a truly inspirational watch that finds its origin in the world of motorsport. The Tag Heuer Monaco was introduced in 1969 for the Monaco Grand Prix, and quickly became a favorite amongst enthusiasts when Steve McQueen wore one in his film “Le Mans”. Throughout the years, reissues and enthusiasts have kept the spirit of this square faced racer alive and vibrant, with pristine vintage examples fetching north of $10,000.
First showcased at the 1954 Basel Watch Fair, the Rolex Submariner is considered by many as the quintessential classic. While current examples of the Submariner are waterproof up to 300 meters, the original broke boundaries by being the first wristwatch to be waterproof up to 100 meters. Its meteoric rise in popularity is sometimes attributed to its connection to James Bond, having been showcased on the spy’s wrist in several of the original Sean Connery movies.
A classic chronograph that shoots for the moon, the Omega Speedmaster is a black-dialed classic that carries a reputation. Released in 1957, the Omega Speedmaster has been worn by numerous astronauts on their way to the final frontier. Most notably, this timepiece became known as the “Moon Watch” when it was taken aboard the Apollo 11 mission. The rigorous testing that NASA had subjected the Speedmaster to prior to its approval for spaceflight is a testament to it’s tough, reliable, and precise construction.
Santos De Cartier
Few watches can claim the same amount of brand cache as Cartier can, but only one of them can claim to have produced the first men’s wristwatch – The Santos De Cartier. This watch came about when Brazilian aviator, Alberto Santos-Dumont, complained of how hard it was to use a pocket watch while flying a plane. Louis Cartier answered his friends’ gripes by giving the world the Cartier Santos, and we haven’t looked back since.