Best luxury brands for watches

Watches are a reflection of personal style. They represent more than just utility and are an example of taste, character and individual branding. A true reflection of one’s taste in accessories, finding the perfect watch is a top style priority for most.These watches are prime examples of internationally acclaimed brands that have been popular for look and functionality alike.

Blancpain

The brand famous for its Fifty Fathoms dive watch this year reinforced its commitment to saving the seas by continuing its support of the World Ocean Summit, which aims to combine economic development with marine conservation.

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Bell & Ross
When most people think Bell & Ross, the shape that springs to mind is square. But increasingly the brand caters for those who prefer a more conventional round case as well. The vintage-inspired 45mm WW1-97 Heritage, for example, has trench-watch-like “wire” strap lugs as well as a power reserve indicator.

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Breitling
To counter the rise of the smartwatch, Breitling has unveiled its B55 Connected, a quartz-powered aviation model with a digi-analogue display. The B55 can be synchronised to a phone using a special app, via which the time and alarms can be set.

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Cartier
The team at Cartier’s watch-manufacturing facility has clearly been working overtime of late. This year it has unveiled a swathe of new models ranging from a women’s version of the Ballon Bleu with a dial covered in quivering diamonds to a skeletonised update of the celebrated, malformed Crash watch (originally launched in 1967 and allegedly inspired by the mangled remains of a Baignoire Allonge recovered from a car wreck). There is also a new Grand Complication and a “mysterious” double tourbillon.

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Chopard
As rival brands attempt to jump on the lucrative classic-car bandwagon, Chopard celebrated a Le Mans victory by its partner Porsche Motorsport and marked its 27th year as the longest-standing sponsor of the celebrated Mille Miglia rally with a new range of Mille Miglia GTS driving watches. The line-up comprises an understated automatic, a Power Control version with fuel gauge-style power-reserve indicator, and a classic 44mm chronograph.

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Fossil
The Fossil watch range is massive and universally affordable, with many pieces being almost worth the price for the strap alone – for example, the Coachman chronograph, which comes on a chunky, hand-stitched and riveted leather cuff for £145.

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Hamilton
Elvis fans won’t need reminding that, had he lived, The King would have been 80 in 2015. Which prompted Hamilton to issue a special Elvis version of the triangular-shaped Ventura he wore in the 1961 movie Blue Hawaii. Unlike the original electrically powered Ventura, the Elvis80 gets a quartz movement.

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Omega
Right now Omega retailers are preparing for the rush following the release of the latest Bond film, Spectre, in which Daniel Craig provides the Swiss brand with more invaluable exposure by wearing its Seamaster model. Limited editions for Bond fans and wannabe agents include the Seamaster

300 Spectre, and a version of the Seamaster Aqua Terra with the Bond family coat of arms on the blue dial and seconds hand. The visible self-winding weight takes the form of a gun barrel.

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Piaget
It’s said that Cuban refugee Gerry Grinberg was the first man to recognise a watch could be a status symbol. As Piaget’s first US distributor in the early Sixties, his sales technique was simple – he said Piaget watches were the world’s most expensive, and the social-climbing arrivistes came running.

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Seiko
Seiko has traditionally kept back its most interesting creations for its domestic market, so it’s good to know that, as well as the wonderful Grand Seiko models that have relatively recently become available outside of Japan, there should also be some covetable sports watches.

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