Skip to main content

Certain luxury watch models – the Rolex Submariner and Daytona and Omega Speedmaster chief among them – have achieved such legendary status that they manage to eclipse nearly everything else the watchmaker produces. And that's a shame because heritage watch brands like these put just as much into making pieces that don't get as much press.

Which means there's an opportunity for the savvy buyer to pick up something equally cool with the added bonus that you won't see it on every other wrist in your office or local hangout. Here to help you navigate the options are 10 of the best:

Panerai Radiomir Black Seal, $3,700

The Luminor is Panerai's flagship model and with good reason, but the Radiomir actually came before it and has an even more impressive military heritage. It's also more understated. 

Patek Philippe Calatrava, $9,996

The Nautilus is all the rage thanks to celeb devotees like Brad Pitt, Jason Statham and Conor MacGregor, but the Calatrava, first introduced in 1932, is more elegant for wear with a suit.

Rolex Air King, $6,050

The Air King is one of the coolest and most unique watches Rolex makes but it's also the least appreciated. The new Air King recently reintroduced has a pretty unique dial but its appeal is undeniable. 

Cartier Roadster XL, $5,195

Everyone covets Cartier's iconic tank watches but we have a soft spot for the motoring-minded Roadster, which is no longer made but widely available on the pre-owned market. The XL pieces are perfectly sized.

Omega Seamaster 300 Co-Axial, $4,850

Even the fact that James Bond wears a Seamaster can't counter it's being overshadowed to the point of neglect by its big brother, the Speedmaster. But we're really into the vintage-inspired versions of the Seamaster 300 like this example.

Tudor Monarch, $1,900

Before the resurgence of Tudor with the release of the admittedly awesome Black Bay and Pelagos models, the brand languished a bit and slightly older pieces like this very handsome panda dial chrono are a steal. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control, $5,200

Jaeger's Reverso is a holy grail of sorts for men of style but it's far from the only jewel in the crown (so to speak). The elegant and retro-perfect Master Control will especially appeal to those who prefer round watches.

Breitling Superocean, $2,600

The Navitimer might be the most iconic watch Breitling makes but it's complex dial isn't for everybody. The Superocean models are a bit more traditional and much less common.

Hublot Classic Fusion, $3,950

Among Hublot enthusiasts, the Big Bang is the only game in town, but you'd be surprised at how much bang you'll get for your buck with the much more subtle Classic Fusion models. 

IWC Aquatimer, $2,800

The Aquatimer is IWC's most overlooked model, but its Jacques Cousteau-worthy style and rugged practicality should not be. IWC's first diver's watch, it was originally launched in 1967.