Give Me Five! 5 Watches That Have Stood The Test Of Time Starring Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, And Cartier
Why is it that watch brands celebrate watch anniversaries so enthusiastically?
That is actually a question I’ll answer below because first, I’d like to highlight five classic timepieces celebrating anniversaries in 2017.
Patek Philippe Calatrava: 85 Years
It’s more than fitting that Patek Philippe decided to use Caliber 240 – which celebrates 40 years of existence in 2017 – in its 85-year-old Calatrava model.
The Calatrava was born in 1932 and has become Patek Philippe’s signature model as it champions svelte lines and elegant simplicity. Now considered a unisex model, the Calatrava remains impervious to trend, though not to the addition of complications or old-school skeletonized movements.
For more on the skeletonization process, see Give Me Five! 5 Skeletonized Watches That Came Out Of The Closet At Baselworld 2017 and for more on the watch, please visit www.patek.com/en/mens-watches/complications/5180-1R-001.
Quick Facts Patek Philippe Calatrava Squelette Reference 5180/1R-001
Case: 39 x 7 mm, red gold
Movement: automatic Caliber 240 SQU with micro rotor, Gyromax balance, Spiromax (Silinvar/silicon) balance spring, Patek Philippe Seal
Functions: hours, minutes
Rolex Sea-Dweller: 50 years
Celebrating the first Sea-Dweller model introduced in 1967 – referenced by the detail of the red lettering of the Sea-Dweller name on the dial – this new rendition of the classic sports diver does not show its age in the least.
It does however show the date quite clearly thanks to a new Cyclops magnifier on the dial.
For more please visit www.rolex.com/watches/baselworld/new-sea-dweller.
Quick Facts Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller
Case: 43 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber 3235 with 70-hour power reserve, certified chronometer
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Price: $11,350 / 10,800 Swiss francs
Omega Speedmaster: 60 years
Despite the fact that 1957 seems to be too far back for Omega to have saved plans (as head of product management Gregory Kissling explained at Baselworld 2017), the brand still managed to recreate three of its star models from that year using digital scanning technology.
One of these is the Speedmaster, which was born in 1957.
Omega presented a loyal recreation of the original Speedmaster within the 1957 Trilogy Limited Edition box, which includes technical updates where it makes sense – like to the bracelet.
For more information, please visit www.omegawatches.com/watches/baselworld2017/1957-trilogy.
Quick Facts Omega Speedmaster 60th Anniversary Limited Edition 38.6 mm
Case: 38.6 mm, stainless steel
Movement: manually wound Caliber 1861 (based on Lémania Caliber 1873)
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; chronograph, tachymeter (scale on bezel)
Limitation; 3,557 pieces
Patek Philippe Aquanaut: 20 years
As the watches in this selection go, the Aquanaut is the new kid on the block. And that’s okay because it’s not every day that Patek Philippe introduces a casual chic watch with a contemporary feel.
The sporty Aquanaut was introduced in 1997, but it has never appeared in white gold until now. Here is that first example, introduced at Baselworld 2017. And at 42 mm, it is a “Jumbo” Aquanaut with a very attractive graduating blue/black dial: it is very blue toward the center and gradually gets black outward toward the flange.
For more information, please visit www.patek.com/en/mens-watches/aquanaut/5168G-001.
Quick Facts Patek Philippe Aquanaut Reference 5168G
Case: 42.2 x 8.25 mm, white gold
Movement: automatic Caliber 324 S C with Gyromax balance and Silinvar Spiromax balance spring; Patek Philippe Seal
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Cartier Tank: 100 years
The classic Cartier Tank turns 100 years old in 2017, which is hard to believe as it still looks as fresh as the day Louis Cartier designed the Tank Normale in 1917.
Martin Green describes the history of this famous model in What’s It Like To Get Your Grail Watch And Live With It? The Story Of My Louis Cartier Tank.
Quick Facts 1990s Louis Cartier Tank
Case: 33.5 x 25.5 mm, platinum with sapphire cabochon in crown
Movement: ultra-slim manual winding Caliber 21 by Frédéric Piguet for Cartier, 20.8 x 1.73 mm
Functions: hours, minutes
Years of manufacture: 1990s, pre-Collection Privée Cartier Paris (CPCP)
Original retail price as of 1997 on German market: 14,900 German marks
What does an anniversary mean for a collector?
I recently came across some interesting information from Collector Square, which demonstrates what watch anniversaries actually mean in terms of collecting.
Collector Square has developed a tool it calls the LuxPrice-Index to gather and analyze data on thousands of auction results over the past 12 years. This digital marketplace with a brick-and-mortar showroom in Paris was launched in 2013 by the founder of Artcurial, Nicolas Orlowski, and digital entrepreneur Loïc Bocher.
And in the framework of this, Collector Square has determined that an anniversary generally means that a watch’s value will increase. Notably, it could also mean an influx of new collectors, making it a lucrative time to both buy and sell.
This is in part thanks to a marketing drive by brands that capitalize on the potential to create renewed interest by introducing celebratory new models. Furthermore, auction houses and pre-owned websites often mark the occasion by hosting special sales dedicated to these brands and models (Omegamania, anyone?).
Collector Square put together a neat little graphic for us on the 50th anniversary of the Rolex Daytona in 2013; as you can see in the graph above, its LuxPrice-Index recorded a 79 percent jump in value for this model during the anniversary year (the jump in 2008 corresponds to Rolex’s brand centenary).
By the way, according to Collector Square, the Chanel Première is currently the global bestseller among women. This watch celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2017 (see Chanel Introduces Première Camellia Skeleton With Manufacture Movement for the celebratory model).
Coincidence? Maybe not.
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[…] If there is anything that should be a festival celebrating a brand’s original DNA, it is an anniversary (see Give Me Five! 5 Watches That Have Stood The Test Of Time Starring Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, And …). […]
[…] That is a point I also made in Give Me Five! 5 Watches That Have Stood The Test Of Time Starring Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, And …. […]
[…] anniversary of some watch company. Such anniversaries – as Elizabeth Doerr pointed out in Give Me Five! 5 Watches That Have Stood The Test Of Time Starring Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, And … – always turn into a feast for watch lovers because on these special occasions, the companies put […]
[…] Give Me Five! 5 Watches That Have Stood The Test Of Time Starring Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, And … […]
[…] Omega’s Speedmaster and Piaget’s Altiplano celebrated 60 years of existence; IWC’s Aquatimer and Rolex’s Sea-Dweller first splashed down 50 years ago in 1967; and Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut, the Swiss manufacture’s relatively young sports-style timepiece, made its debut 20 years ago (see Give Me Five! 5 Watches That Have Stood The Test Of Time Starring Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, And …). […]
[…] is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2017, which I hypothesize boosts a watch’s desirability in Give Me Five! 5 Watches That Have Stood The Test Of time Starring Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, And …. Though I will admit that this watch would need no “boosting” at […]
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Aquanaut over APRO or even Nautilus? I dont think so…
Hi Ed, thanks for reading. I think you’ve misunderstood the premise of this article: it is not a ranking. It is simply a list of 5 watches celebrating round anniversaries in 2017 to illustrate my point about about anniversaries upping the secondary market pricing.
I also think that the Nautilus is a watch that has stood the test of time more than the Nautilus. Perhaps you put the Aquanaut in your list because it does not have any variants but then that would not be consistent with your other choices.
The Nautilus’s 40th anniversary was in 2016. This is 2017. This list is not definitive, nor is it a ranking – I simply chose 5 watches with round anniversaries this year.
You are just listing “names” that are still used, try actually doing some real research about watches. Look up the patek 3738 and see how long it has been in production. Try finding another there are some but you have to actually learn about watches to find them.
Yes, that is right. This is an article about five brand’s lines’ anniversaries. It is not about a specific model or about the Patek 3738. You have missed my point.
My omega Seamaster is still going strong. I have a James Bond 40th watch. Been a very good watch. I so many watches. Love them all.
What’s up with these comments? The second paragraph states the theme for the article. I’m interested in what these watch companies will do to celebrate. I love what Omega did to celebrate the anniversary of the speedmaster. I wonder if Cartier is doing something special for the 100th anniversary of the Tank? BTW the luxe-price index provides interesting insight in what it means to collectors in terms of price fluctuations. Interesting article.
Perhaps readers are seeing the headline, which does not restrict the list to anniversary watches in 2017. Maybe the article should have been titled “Five 2017 Anniversary Watches That Have Stood the Test of Time”.
So you’re saying they’ve read the headline, did not read the article but left comments. That’s not how it works.