We have updated and compiled a ranking of luxury watches, to propose to all blog readers not the most expensive models, but those considered a real must for their history and for 2023.


TOP-12 Luxury Watches 2023 How Money Works
Discover the ranking of the 12 best men's luxury watches

Choosing among 12 watches is always more difficult, but I also rely on your advice if you think other high-class timepieces should deserve to be featured in this ranking.

It is a way of being, a cultural aspect. It is not just an extreme concept related to a world. Haute horology, in the most intense sense of the word, is purely a dream. Which becomes reality thanks to the challenges undertaken by men capable of imagining, of thinking beyond. It is luxury. Something completely different than the concept of industrial. Because industrialization is automation, while today we still have a great need for hand, for thought, for knowledge.

Of something that cannot recognize its own limits, that challenges its own capabilities on a daily basis, that looks with creativity and imagination, with a dreaming eye. This is haute horlogerie, valuable watches that are the result of the art of great watchmakers. It is a world of mechanical dreams. Let's try to imagine the wonder of a man entering Breguet's workshop in 1790 and finding watches that could have been conceived in the year 2000, something totally out of the box. Imagine Breguet himself defying the force of gravity, which was a limitation for him as it has been for all watchmakers, with a tourbillon. Let's think about this capacity for imagination, this continuous research. 

Luxury Watch Brands

All fans of classy watches, look for models that are expensive but also a symbol of watchmaking, watches that have made history, thanks to their unique mechanisms, refined and expensive materials, and the taste of their design, as well as the prestige of the watchmakers who produced them. Of expensive, gold and luxurious watch brands there are many, but only a few models can be considered the top, the best of the best, because only some of them, have entered the hearts of their customers and the history of watches. That's why we wanted to compile this ranking of luxury timepieces, to differentiate their value from that of expensive watches.

See also: Online platform for luxury watches

But what are the best watch brands? Starting from the bottom of the ranking, the 12 best luxury watches in the world are as follows:

12th place: Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante

Gone is the date window and in comes a second hour hand. Last year's Tonda PF Micro-Rotor marked a new direction for Parmigiani Fleurier: the steel watch represented the Neuchâtel-based brand's entry into the increasingly crowded field of integrated sports watches.

The Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante of 2022 achieves a horological novelty, indicating the time in two time zones thanks to the "rattrapante" (or split hand) function.

By pressing a pusher at seven o'clock, the white gold hour hand jumps forward one hour with each press. The rose gold hour hand remains in its original position, representing home time. Once you return from your trip, press a second button at three o'clock and the white hand will fly around the dial until it returns to position over the rose gold hand. And voila, you are home.

Price: 26,400 euros.

11th place: Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 126720VTNR

The big news in the new GMT-Master II is the position of the cyclopean crown and date window on the left. A left-handed watch is unusual for Rolex and the watchmaking world in general, and rarity is a primary factor in collectible watches.

Collectors call it "right-handed" to refer to watches worn on the right wrist. However, it could also be worn on the left hand, with the crown simply facing the opposite way, where it does not pinch the crease of the wrist. The green and black bezels are exclusive to this line, and it is worth noting that the two-tone Cerachrom is itself rare: it was not until 2013 that Rolex introduced its proprietary two-tone ceramic formula, which is used only on certain sports models.

The green bezel on this model is the same as on the Submariner Date. The inversion of the crown also involves the inversion of the cyclopean window from 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock, looking wonderfully strange and eccentric. There is a choice of a Jubilee or Oyster bracelet. The retail price is €11,250 and is currently between €30,000 and €40,000 on the second-hand market.

10th Place: Zenith Chronomaster Sport, Luxury Chrono Watches

The status of the Daytona means that any watch with some combination of fairly common features is inevitably subject to comparisons, and with Zenith's new Chronomaster Sport, we are approaching the modern Daytona in terms of both aesthetics and price.

Zenith's distinctive overlapping dials contribute a personal touch to the watch, but the appearance is similar enough to suggest that Zenith is trying to offer a more available and affordable alternative to Rolex.

However, it is still a 41mm diameter Zenith chronograph, which means that it is a fascinating, high-frequency Caliber El Primero 3600 automatic movement with great history.

9th Place: the Cartier Santos, among the leading luxury watch brands.

In the top ten, of luxury models, it certainly could not miss a Cartier watch, most famous for its jewelry, also boasts several watches that are a symbol of luxury and fanaticism for its owners.

The Santos, a timepiece created in 1904 for the daredevil aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, pilot of the first officially recognized flight in Europe on a heavier-than-air aircraft, who wished to consult the time while transiting in a more practical way: it was the first wristwatch, born as such, although it remained only a prototype at first.

Its balanced proportions have recently undergone a careful reinterpretation to enhance the atouts and give it a more technical and contemporary appeal.

This model was thus the first luxury watch with a good fit for both men and women. This watch is and remains, surely the epitome of Cartier jewelers' watches.

The reference in the photo, the Santos Watch, large model, with 39,mm wide case with automatic movement caliber 1847 MC€has a price of 12,000 euros. 

8th Place: men's luxury watches: Bulgari Octo Finissimo in yellow gold

Thanks to the flair of designer Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, another ace emerges from the Bulgari deck. This time it's not the award-winning complications that make the difference, but the perfect gold watch to match your mocha-colored winter coat.

In fact, we should say yellow gold, which is the hottest gold color of the year (because it's a thing - from Vacheron's 222, to Cartier's new Tank, Audemars Piguet's 50th anniversary Royal Oak Jumbo Extra Thin, and Gucci's 25H tourbillon).

This new version of the OG Finissimo has a faceted case only 5.25 mm thick and takes on the aura of a golden talisman. The warm chocolate-colored sunray dial speaks of warm autumn evenings and comforts the wearer's senses, much like the soft embrace of the jeweled bracelet-so much so that we can imagine Chris Hemsworth adding another Octo to his burgeoning collection.

7th Place: TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 42 Yellow Gold

Despite being the "luxury material" for most of watchmaking history, yellow gold has become decidedly less common in the industry in recent years. There are many reasons for this, from the rise of alternatives such as rose gold, white gold and platinum, to the general trend away from precious metals in favor of bright colors and hi-tech materials such as carbon and ceramic.

That said, a yellow gold watch, particularly a chronograph with a black and gold color palette, has a timeless appeal. TAG Heuer's latest release the Carrera Chronograph 42 Yellow Gold fully embraces this classic sports and luxury look, with a Carrera design that draws free inspiration from both the coveted Heuer Carrera 1158 CHN and the classic John Player Special livery made legendary by Lotus Formula 1 cars in the 1970s and 1980s.

The new TAG Heuer Carrera gold chronograph offers a striking new luxury look that combines retro appeal with the modern Carrera silhouette.

Price: €19,400

6th Place: Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222, Luxury men's watches in yellow watch

Launched in 1977 to celebrate Vacheron Constantin's 222nd anniversary, the 222 model is one of those watches that wrote the front pages of sporty chic. However, it was in danger of being forgotten by non-collectors, partly because its production was limited to 7 years until 1984. However, Vacheron Constantin has avoided this danger by introducing the new Historiques 222, a reprint that is quite faithful to the original but updated in the movement and some small details.

If the original model was available in three variants (steel, steel, gold and gold) and two sizes (37 and 34 mm), the new 222 is available only in Jumbo and gold sizes, but it respects all the signature codes: from with gold fluted dial bezel, straight indexes, baton hands, one-piece bracelet with hexagonal central links and a white gold Maltese cross at 5 o'clock and soldered to the flat base of the case. Among the new features is the in-house automatic movement: an in-house movement beating at 4Hz and providing 40 hours of power reserve.

Visible from the sapphire crystal case back-another novelty-it has a specially made rotor engraved with the original 222 logo, surrounded by a fluted pattern that resembles the bezel. The dial features the Auto typeface in a retro font, and the date is slightly offset to improve readability.

Price: €79,500.

5th place: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duoface Calendar.

Since 1931, the "game" of turning over the rotating case of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso (in my opinion one of the most iconic luxury models) has become a cult favorite.

The ingenious case, which tips over and snaps into place with the case back facing outward, is one of watchmaking's most recognizable designs.

A watch that has always remained consistent in its stylistic identity and functional uniqueness, even when the protective purpose of the second side of the case took on a symbolic connotation, turning the idea into a double dial. This is how the Duoface, which displays local time and a second time zone on its two sides, was born in 1994, ushering in a new era for the Reverso.

The flip-up case now shows two different dials and, usually, two different time zones. The new Duo Reverso Tribute Duoface Calendar features a simple calendar with day, date, month and moon phases on one side and a second time zone with day/night indicator on the other. The simple calendar, also called the triple calendar, shows the day, date and month, and usually the moon phases (as seen here), but unlike annual or perpetual calendars, it requires a date adjustment for each month with less than 31 days.

List price: 16 500 euros

4th place: Nautilus 5811: among the most recognized Famous Watches

Ref. 5811/1G-001 closely resembles 5711-1A, the now defunct steel Nautilus with blue dial, one of the most coveted watches in the world.

But there are major differences. First, the 5811/1G is in white gold, with a slightly larger case (41 mm versus 40 mm for the steel Nautilus).

There are two technical changes, including a removable lever system for the crown that replaces the split stem, and two improvements to the bracelet: a stronger clasp and a lockable system adjustable from two to four millimeters, perfect for use in hot climates.

The dial is graduated from blue to darker blue at the edges and, like its predecessor, is water-resistant to 120 meters.

It costs 70,350 euros, about twice as much as the steel model. It doesn't make it to the podium because of a really affordable price point for a few.

And here we come to the podium. Choosing among the next 3 models was very difficult, and 3 aspects were taken into consideration for this evaluation: user demand, future value, and resaleability.

3rd place: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 50th Anniversary, starts the podium of prestigious watch brands.
New manufacture automatic movement, "grand tapisserie" dial, thinner case and integrated bracelet, accentuated bevels.

We knew it would be a big year for Royal Oak. The iconic design turns 50 years old, but it was hard to imagine how the brand could make the most of the moment-there are already Royal Oaks of almost every flavor you could want.

This was not a radical change, but what could be called a new generation of Royal Oak. The brand has released a wide range of models in the collection at one time, but the Royal Oak Selfwinding and basic chronographs in a couple of sizes have received a number of aesthetic, ergonomic, and technical changes that amount to a serious revamp.

We are particularly excited about the simple 37 mm Selfwinding, with its new movement and slim case.

Price: €25,400.

2nd place: Omega SpeedMaster: Luxury men's watches but for real enthusiasts

Silver medal three best men's watches, for one of the undisputed classics of modern production, Omega's Speedmaster has preserved intact over time the aesthetic values typical of this model, despite the more than two hundred and fifty different references that have marked its path, to which one must add all the variants and customizations for military corps or scientific institutions.

Earning over time in the Omega household the affectionate appellation of "Maître de la Vitesse," that is, "master of speed," the Speedmaster was made, in 1957, with the intention of creating a chronograph that was pleasant to wear, equipped with a sturdy and water-resistant case, a reliable and antichoc movement, and easy and optimal legibility.

By 1963 it became what we are accustomed to seeing, presenting itself to the ever-increasing number of collectors with the typical appearance that distinguishes it, namely, the unusually symmetrical tonneau-designed case middle and the unmistakable helix-shaped lugs. Used by NASA during its space missions, the Speedmaster or Moonwatch is also the chronograph strapped to the outside of Buzz Al - drin's space suit when, with Neil Armstrong, he took his first steps on the lunar surface on the historic night of July 20-21, 1969

1st Place: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, the top for Luxury Watch Brands.

The Rolex Daytona is the holy grail of watch collectors.

Finally, we come to the first place ranking, among the world's best watches and luxury watch brands; it is the most beloved timepiece ever by stars, but also by watch enthusiasts

I don't know if it is the most beautiful watch in the world, that I can't say, but it is definitely most expensive Rolex watch sold at an auction.

For more than thirty years, it continues to be one of the most successful watches, and not only in Italy: endless waiting lists at all dealers, availability only at prices higher than the official price list, the search for the most contemporary historical models possible, elect the Daytona as the chronograph "status symbol" of all time. Its most popular contemporary version (the manual winding had been introduced in 1961) is the steel version, with a screw-locked Oyster case back and a full-link steel Oyster bracelet, the same one that made it known to the general public of (the Daytona went into production in 1987 and was marketed in 1988).

Among the many changes along the Cosmograph Daytona's path are screw-down chronograph pushers, dials with contrasting subdials, and a bezel in steel or printed on a black background, with the most sought-after variant by the thousands of collectors scattered everywhere named the Daytona Paul Newman, worn by the famous actor to promote the film "Indianapolis, Hell's Runway."

Technically, the first hand-wound mechanisms were succeeded in 1988 by an automatic version derived from Zenith's basic 400 caliber, that of the 4030, the best industrial chronograph movement at the time, to which the Maison made about two hundred modifications so that it would be in line with its own production standards; starting in 2000, however, Rolex employed its first Rolex-manufactured chronograph movement, the automatic 4130, and it was again a success.

The hunt for a Rolex Daytona is the equivalent of the Holy Grail for watch collectors. Despite their relative ubiquity on Instagram and perennial presence at major auctions, Daytonas remain nearly impossible to find outside the secondary market. Although they are relatively inexpensive by luxury watch standards-the version pictured Ref. 116500LN in steel and gold sells for 14,600 euros-the Daytona's mystique remains somewhat baffling. 

Source: Online platform to buy, sell or part-exchange a luxury watch