Feature: How Do OUR Top 5 Steel Watches Compare To YOURS?
Once considered the “poor man’s watch”, the steel timepiece had a makeover in the 1970s, thanks to interest in the material from the likes of Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet and so the “luxury sports” genre was born. Today, steel is the most common type of watch out there due to its robust qualities and affordable nature. With thousands on the market, it’s got to be crazy-good to make it into our top five of the best steel watches, so, what’s made it on the list?
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Introduced in 1972, the AP Royal Oak was the model to inspire the “luxury sports watch” tag, which—after a few more similar releases across the market—later became its own genre of watch. With an angular case and integrated bracelet, it’s a model that set its designer Gerald Genta’s career ablaze, as well as the entire watchmaking industry.
Tudor Black Bay
The main competitor to the Rolex Submariner—not just down to aesthetic similarities but the fact that Tudor and Rolex are sister brands too—the Black Bay has become Tudor’s flagship model. At just a fraction of the price of the Submariner, this has become a lot of people’s go-to piece and we can see why!
Patek Philippe Nautilus
Many of us know the origin story behind the Patek Philippe Nautilus—Gerald Genta on a transatlantic ocean liner with his napkin whilst inspired by a porthole window. It’s a romantic tale of a lightbulb moment which changed Patek Philippe’s watchmaking game forever. The first steel watch from the brand, its sleek sporty design and integrated bracelet made it a model that went on to inspire countless other watches and one that further cemented Genta as a legendary watch designer.
Possibly one of the most recognisable Rolex watches out there from the world’s biggest watchmaker, the Rolex Submariner is an incredibly sought-after piece. A dive watch at heart, its steel exterior allows it to stay intact at deep depths underwater with no risk of corrosion. Released in 1953, the Submariner set a bar for dive watches, being the first wristwatch to remain waterproof up to a depth of 100m—today, it’s waterproof to an impressive 300m.
Omega Seamaster 300m
One of the most iconic dive watches of all time, the Omega Seamaster follows on from Omega’s earlier release, the Marine from 1932 which was the world’s first commercially available dive watch. The first Seamaster officially debuted in 1948, with the 300m launched in 1957—which became one of the world’s most dependable and professional dive watches out there. Since then, the Seamaster has been updated with a slick wave patterned dial, giving it a unique twist that’s subsequently become the epitome of the model.
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