3 Top Luxury Watches of the Decade
Every year new luxury watches come out. Some of these watches are anticipated for a long time while others come as complete surprises. In the past decade, we’ve had those and more. It was a decade that gave us new classic watches that have created history and defined the standard for the brands and the industry and it is hard to imagine they were created just years ago.
As we usher in the 2020s, there are some things to look back to. So here are our picks for the best watches of the 2010s that you might have missed.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
When Audemars Piguet in 1972 unveiled the Royal Oak watch, it established a whole new timepiece genre. The ultra-luxurious modern steel sports watch, The Royal Oak was simply unlike any other watch in the market at that time. The luxury watches were usually small and made of gold, but the brand broke all rules, forever defying with the conventions. It was the first luxury sports timepiece made of steel and featured a very large octagonal case, an eight-sided bezel with exposed screws, a hobnail and an innovative integrated bracelet design. And despite its stainless steel construction, AP priced the Royal Oak on par with other gold watches. Its powerful look ushered in a revolutionary new style, which has since become its trademark.
The boldness of the design and the price tag of Royal Oak first met with plenty of resistance. However, over the years, it gained a huge following to become of the most coveted luxury watches ever. In the 2010s, Royal Oak watches and even bolder Royal Oak Offshore watches were seen on the wrists of high profile celebrities. Even the basketball star Lebon James and soccer player Leo Messi had special edition Royal Oaks made in their honour. Liked by the celebrities and an approval of the watch enthusiasts and collectors alike, Royal Oak launched into iconic territory. Whether in steel or gold, for both men or women, simple time and date format or as a chronograph or even as a high complication timepiece, the distinctive Royal Oak has proved to be one of the most sought after luxury watches of the decade.
Patek Philippe Nautilus
Patek Philippe introduced the Nautilus in 1976 and since then it has become the world’s most desirable steel luxury sports watch. However, it was not the first luxury sports watch in steel as Audemars Piguet Royal Oak released in 1972 has that to its name. The Nautilus was positioned at a higher price point and the ads for the first model were played on this idea with a tagine “one of the world’s costliest watches is made of steel”. The watch’s distinctive shape also drew attention as its bezel is octagonal with sides curved outwards as compared to other high-end watches that have either round or rectangular bezel making it popular in the past decade.
A favourite among the celebrities and watch collectors, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, with it characteristic porthole shaped case, octagonal bezel, integrated bracelet and horizontal grooved lines on the dial, is one of the most expensive watches today. The 5711/1R Patek Philippe Nautilus made its debut in 2006 on the occasion of the Nautilus 30th anniversary and has eight to ten years waitlists.
This is because; Patek produces only a limited amount of watches per year and has only 140 models in its catalogue, so, it is understandable that the demand for steel Nautilus watches outpaces supply. In addition to the time and date steel watches, Nautilus collection also has a range of complication and precious metal models. The watches in the collection are of different shades of gold, two-tone and platinum as well as the annual calendar, power reserve indicator, chronograph, and perpetual calendar versions. Regardless of the metal of functionality, the Nautilus was a remarkably popular luxury watch of the 2010s that you might have missed.
Richard Mille Bubba Watson RM55
Founded on technical innovation, artistry and culture of fine watchmaking, Richard Mille has become a dominant player in the watch industry. The brand for established in 1999 with the backing of Audemars Piguet and its legendary development company, Renaud et Papi with a mission to push high-end, handmade watchmaking to the very limits of technical innovation. The Richard Mille brand effectively straddles the fine line between luxury design and dazzlement that stands out just like the RM 055 Bubba Watson watch presented in 2011.
Inspired by the RM03 Bubba Watson tourbillon watch, the physical motions in this sport watch combines bounty with accuracy. A famous among high profile celebrities like the Natalie Portman and Jackie Chan as well as athlete sponsorships ranging from Formula One drivers to Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, Richard Mille Bubba Watson’s movement is fully opened with the bridges and baseplate made in grade-5 titanium and coated with black PVD. The finish is made up to Haute Horlogerie standards: hand-polished bevelled angles, grain finish, wet sanded on titanium parts by hands, burnished pivots, screw slots and screws bevelled and polished.