Vintage Vs. Modern
What Era Had the Best Luxury Watch Styles?
Luxury watches have come a long way throughout history. Where the first luxury style was a simple, yet elegant pocket watch, the wrist watch began making a splash onto the time keeper’s scene in the early part of the 20th century. Since then we have seen very different styles from understated to very elaborate. We will take a look at watch styles throughout history and let you decide which era featured the best design.
Early forms of luxury watches were remarkably simple. The design was merely to tell time, but most maintained a stop watch feature that was made popular by the original pocket watch styles of the era. Although most watches during this time did feature a round watch face, square or elongated watch face styles were popular as well. Below, we find a beautiful depiction of one of Longnes, a watch company popular during that era. The vintage style with its black wrist band and easy to read time face is an ideal example of a luxury time piece from the 1920s.
We move onto the 1940s era for our next style of watch. The watch featured is a Breitling and you can see how the watch face remains uncluttered, but maintains some interest. The use of roman numerals began to become more popular during this stage in luxury watch making and the unique circle noted on the hour hand of this particular watch is a bit of flare that was not necessarily a part of watch design in earlier decades. The rounded nature of the crystal surrounding the watch face is a nod to the advancements in glass curving and cutting processes available in the 1940s.
It was in 1954 that Rolex first made their Pan Am GMT luxury watch for pilots, but all watches of the 50s and 60s did not follow the same style. On the contrary, many of the 1960s luxury watches featured more option, but emphasized a sense of individuality as well. The watch pictured below, for example is from the Elgin watch company and maintains many notable touches such as the brushed gold finish and the fact that the watch hands are much larger and squared off unlike previous generations.
The 1980s was an era of fashion faux pas in many ways. However, the luxury watch sector of manufacture was thankfully devoid of such issues. During the 1980s, Rolex and similar companies did pick up on that era’s emphasis on gold, so many of the watches from the 1980s were predominately gold with diamond accents throughout the piece. Such is the case of the Rolex featured below. Large bands and bold luxurious features were common in the 1980s.
The early 2000s were all about style versus functionality. The luxury watch wearer wanted both and it shows across multiple brands of luxury watches manufactured at that time. The Frank Muller featured below is the perfect example of what luxury watches were in the early 2000s. The wearer wanted comfort as shown with the unconventional watch band, but also a little quirky nature shown by the oversized hour notations and odd, almost bulging watch face. Modern watches of the 2000s were very unique as they seemed to follow both a vintage style with modern amenities.