With so many brands, watch models, and price points available, buying your first luxury watch can be a daunting affair. Your best bet is to go for a watch that can be worn in just about any environment and with almost any outfit so that you get the most use out of your timepiece. Although we’re talking about luxury watches, you don’t want a model that’s so precious that you’ll be worried to wear it; however, receiving a top-quality timepiece is still certainly of the utmost importance. To help you decide on which watch to get, we’ve picked out the best all-around watches from three top luxury brands, all of which are fashioned from stainless steel and run on automatic movements.
The ultimate wear-with-anything-in-any-situation timepiece, the Rolex Datejust is considered a classic within the world of luxury watches for many reasons. Not only has it been around since the mid-1940s (largely unchanged design-wise) but it is also an incredibly diverse watch collection with a variety of choices in the size, material, dial color, bracelet, and bezel departments. With its round case, date window at 3 o’clock, and protruding magnification lens on the crystal, the Datejust has nailed that balance between being instantly recognizable while also offering an assortment of options to suit different tastes.
If you have a smaller wrist, we would recommend opting for the classic Datejust 36 model. Alternatively, if you prefer a larger sized watch, there are also the Datejust II and the Datejust 41 models, both sporting 41mm cases. Fluted bezels and five-link Jubilee bracelets offer a dressier approach to this collection of luxury watches, while domed bezels and three-link Oyster bracelets provide a more sporty and casual appearance.
Omega Aqua Terra
Aptly named after the Latin words for sea and land, the Omega Aqua Terra is a watch that can comfortably handle getting wet thanks to its 150-meter water resistance; however, it remains decidedly dressier than a straight-up sports watch. First introduced in the early-2000s, the Aqua Terra bridges the gap between Omega’s robust dive watches like the Diver 300M and dressier timepieces like the De Ville.
The dials of Aqua Terra watches are decorated with grooves to mimic wooden boat decks and are finished with tapered hour markers, an arrow-tipped minute hand, and a date window. While Omega has modified the sizes slightly depending on the generation, generally speaking, men’s Aqua Terra watches range from 38mm to 42mm in diameter. In true Omega fashion, style choices are abundant within the collection – you can go simple with the all-steel models paired with a neutral-toned dial or add some extra flair with colored dials and straps.
For a sportier all-around watch, there’s the Breitling Superocean diver. Although Breitling may be famous for its aviation timepieces, the brand was also a pioneer in diving watches, launching the first Superocean in 1957. Today, there are two main styles to choose from: the modern-looking Superocean or the vintage-inspired Superocean Heritage. Both versions provide all the requirements of a diving watch: high water resistance, unidirectional rotating timing bezels, and luminous dials – and both come in 42mm or 44mm case sizes and include date windows. While the Superocean Heritage is typically priced higher than the Superocean, both models are solid entry-level luxury diving watch options.
When selecting an all-around luxury watch, choosing one with a steel case, simple time and date dial, and an automatic movement will set you on the right path. Additionally picking from top brands like Rolex, Omega, and Breitling means that even entry-level models will be made to the same high standards as the rest of the brand’s luxury watches.