Watches

5 Kinds of Watches to Collect as Seen on the Wrists of These Titans and Moguls

Collect watches that telegraph the success of these important men.
IMAGE Artu Nepomuceno/ Jaquet Droz
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If you’re looking for watches to collect, look no further than the wrists of these titans, moguls, and assorted very, very important people, who, because of their access and resources, have acquired only the best timepieces. For this set—as seen on watch watcher Instagram account @watch_mnl—favorites include the Day-Date by Rolex, the Nautilus by Patek Philippe, and anything that projects power or success. Some are quiet, others are very gold, but all are worthy of your consideration (and checkbook). Below, the five kinds of watches to collect if you want to feel like a tycoon. 

A Steel Beater 

as seen in Bobby Ongpin’s Santos de Cartier

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A beater is a watch that you won’t mind taking a few licks here and there—dinged on an errant side table or scratched by an unruly grandchild. It can be an all-steel watch from an inexpensive watch manufacturer or it could be, if you are part of this select group, a historic steel-and-gold model crafted by a French jeweler. The legend of the Santos is well-known: Louis Cartier created a wrist-mounted watch for aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. With its high-flying origin story, this watch should be able to take anything. Also, its Art Deco style will look better with age.  

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A Slim Dress Watch

as seen in Ernest Cu’s Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Email Ivoire

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You will need one slim watch that can slip under the cuff of a dress shirt. The pocket watch-inspired Grande Seconde by luxury watchmaker Jaquet Droz sits just at the edge of what is considered a medium-sized ticker. Nevertheless, it is a quiet piece suited for well-mannered evenings. At dinner, when you spy its white face with those off-set hours and minutes, you will pause to consider the man who wears the watch.   

A Bells-and-Whistles Watch

as seen in Alfonso Salcedo, Jr.’s Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 

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We’re partial to simple and clean, but we also know that, when it comes to watches to collect, a timepiece loaded with thingamabobs ranks high on the list. The trick is to choose a watch that fulfills your desire for more complication, whether it is the extra dials of a chronograph or the mesmerizing spinners of a tourbillon, but in an unobtrusive design. This Rolex Daytona presents more data in a tidy format by keeping things light and white. Bonus tip: It would be a good idea to have a connection to your chosen complication. For example, a dive watch for someone who likes to swim or an aviator’s watch for someone who flies often.

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A Rectangular Watch

as seen in Manny Villar’s Jaeger-Le Coultre Reverso

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Why a rectangular or square watch? Well, it will help you stand out from the circles of the world (this is the one time when it’s cool to be square). Also, this particular flavor, the Jaeger-Le Coultre Reverso, which sits elegantly on the wrist, underscores your discerning taste. The gold case and leather band combination bumps up the sophistication even more. One more thing to love about the rectangular Reverso is how it has two faces. A flip can reveal a memory, a secret, or, if you are practical, another time.

A Gold Watch

as seen in Benjamin Liuson’s Rolex Day-Date

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You probably know of our penchant for gold watches, particularly the unapologetic yellow gold variety (we are magpies). Contrary to the unfair evaluation that shiny gold can only be gauche, the metal of kings signifies confidence and victory. Think of it as a goal. You’ve reached a certain level of success or surmounted an obstacle (your first takeover perhaps?) and so revel in your accomplishment. For watches to collect, this one is a double whammy as it both a gold watch and a tycoon favorite, the Rolex Day-Date. With a smattering of diamonds on a Champagne-colored dial, it’s a triple whammy, actually.

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Clifford Olanday
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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