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15 Iconic watches you need to know about

The wristwatch has changed the way people perceive time. Starting with the mechanical watch utilized during WW1, to the quartz revolution. Later in the 1970’s digital watches introduced LED displays, followed by the breakthrough of the smartwatch in the 2010’s providing complications a timepiece had never seen before. Yet the future lies in the hands of the hybrid smartwatch.

15. Cartier Santos (1904)

The Cartier Santos was named after the Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont. He was an aviator and pointed out to Louis Cartier that it was difficult to fly safely and read the time on a pocket watch. Together, they manufactured the Santos which became the first wristwatch for men. Until then wristwatches were merely considered bracelets and associated with femininity.
Cartier Santos 1904
Cartier Santos 1904

14. Rolex Oyster (1926)

The Rolex Oyster was iconic because it was the first waterproof watch ever invented. With an hermetically sealed case, the watch handled perfectly a 10 hour swim across the Channel. The Oyster was also protected from dust and moisture which kept the movement in perfect condition.
Rolex Oyster 1926
Rolex Oyster 1926

13. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso (1931)

The Reverso was the first sportwatch and it was created for the British polo team. It featured a reversible watch case which could swivel around. This allowed the dial to be preserved from scattering.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso 1931
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso 1931

12. Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (1941)

Released in 1941, the Perpetual Calendar was the first watch provided with the date window. This complication was perpetual, which means it wouldn’t need any adjustment for over 200 years.
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (1941)​

11. Breitling Navitimer (1952)

With its distinctive aesthetic the Navitimer is one of the most sought watches by collectors. It is a masterpiece for aviators considering all the features it does offer: air-speed, fuel consumption and distance.
Breitling Navitimer (1952)
Breitling Navitimer (1952)

10. Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra Fine (1955)

With a manual-winding caliber, this VC is the dressy watch par excellence. Its 1003 movement, only 1,64 mm thick and its overall thickness of only 4,1 mm, made it the thinnest mechanical watch at the time.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra Fine (1955)
Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra Fine (1955)

9. Omega Speedmaster (1957)

Known also as “Speedy” or “Moonwatch”, it was the first watch that ever made it to the moon surface. It became the official watch of the space agency as soon as the device passed all the tests to resist extreme environments.
Omega Speedmaster (1957)

8. Seiko Quartz Astron 35 SQ (1969)

At the race for the first quartz wristwatch, Seiko group won by realising its Astron. This timepiece started off the quartz revolution, which enabled to produce more accurate time trackers, plus keeping production costs very low.
Seiko Quartz Astron 35 SQ (1969)

7. Zenith El Primero (1969)

El primero was the first automatic chronograph manufactured. It had an astonishing precision and over 50-hour power reserve. What is more, its high frequency allowed it to be of utmost precision.
Zenith El Primero (1969)
Zenith El Primero (1969)

6. Tag Heuer Monaco (1969)

The Tag Heuer Monaco was the first automatic chronograph with a squared case. Named “Monaco” after the iconic racing circuit in Monte Carlo to enhance the watch bond to Formula 1. The actor Steve McQueen contributed to the watch’s fame by wearing it in the movie “Le Mans”.
Tag Heuer Monaco (1969)​
Tag Heuer Monaco (1969)​

5. Hamilton Pulsar (1972)

The PSR was the emblematic creation of the space-age, although its notoriety comes from its dial. It debuted as the first digital watch with an LCD screen. With its futuristic design it received the attention of stars like Jack Nicholson and Elton John.
Hamilton Pulsar (1972)

4. Swatch (1983)

The Swatch was the first plastic watch ever made. It implemented a quartz movement, as to make it affordable for the crowd. Swatch is also the group that was created to face the giant rival Seiko which brought the Swiss industry to the edge of bankruptcy. This watch enabled the Swiss to be back again on the game.
Swatch (1983)
Swatch (1983)

3. Timex Datalink (1994)

The Datalink was the result of a collaboration between Timex and Microsoft. It was the first smartwatch, since it was able to store and download data from a computer and it would display notifications and dates.
Timex Datalink (1994)
Timex Datalink (1994)

2. Apple Watch (2015)

The iWatch was the first smartwatch Apple ever produced. It quickly outsold Swiss watches when it came out. The iWatch is touch-screen and can be connected to an iPhone to show health data, control music, read emails etc.
Apple Watch (2015)​
Apple Watch (2015)​

1. Leitners Ad Maiora (2020)

The Leitners Ad Maiora will be released this summer as the first hybrid smartwatch. As such, it combines a mechanical movement with smart features shown on a full-dial e-paper display. The device aims at challenging the watch industry by allowing a classy watch to also have high-tech functions.

Leitners Ad Maiora (2020)

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We're launching on Kickstarter this November!

  • Be the first to know when your watch is available
  • Enjoy an exclusive super early deal up to 50% off
  • Redefine the classic style of a smartwatch