We know that diamonds are forever. But when talking men’s watches with diamonds, it’s a tricky subject since most men don’t like to wear precious stones. However, there are a handful of men who have an appreciation for the details and work that go into this valuable piece of gem – the cutting, polishing, setting and more.
It is important to know that although diamond-set watches were common and accepted in the 50s and 60s, they were not entirely visible in the market. Most brands offered multiple bejewelled timepieces for men and carried them as a regular part of their inventories.
Longines was a major player some 60 years ago, with names like Jaeger-LeCoultre and Patek Philippe being heavy purveyors of diamond watches for both men and women.
Today, precious stones are creatively positioned and paired in various layouts and configurations to give the timepiece its own signature look. From single brilliantly-cut gemstones indicating the hours to an excessive bedazzle fully set along the bezel, the effective use of diamonds is giving the other tourbillon watches a run for its money.
The most expensive diamond watch to date is priced at US$55 million (approx. RM230million) – the Graff Diamonds Hallucination that comes with a platinum bracelet and embellished with over 110 carats of coloured diamonds. These studded timepieces are meant to be shown off, a conversational piece that wraps around your wrist. Here is our list of men’s diamond watches that you can actually wear without thinking twice.
The Rolex Submariner, which is also known as the ‘Clown’ by serious collectors, is a timeless piece for every occasion. The Submariner ‘Serti’ is a watch where you can easily swap the dial for a normal ‘Clown’ face when you’ve had your fill of wearing diamonds. If the event calls for a little bit of glitz and glamour, put on a dial with precious stones to help you stand out from the crowd.
One of the best-looking men’s watches with diamonds is the Panerai Luminor with diamond-set hour markers. Both the Arabic numerals as well as the stick markers are encrusted with diamonds – set against a black dial and a stainless steel case band. There are only 100 pieces of this 2002 Panerai Luminor, making this model one of the most sought-after diamond-encrusted timepieces in the market.
Does the sound of diamond-set watches still make you cringe? Make an exception for this white gold model with diamond hour markers on the dial. The tasteful touch of diamond adds just the right amount of fancy into this thin piece – synonymous to all traditional Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ models. Every model comes with the extra-thin, self-winding Caliber 2121 to ensure its lightweight and comfortable feature.
The white-gold Nautilus Ref. 5713, which is in the same category as the Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’, is a fine choice if you’re going for a little bling. The diamond-studded bezel creates a seamless look. Some Nautilus watches in the past have diamond hour markers, but this version carries a much simpler, less showy feature.
This Gucci timepiece is a limited edition sporty watch that is embellished with diamonds to highlight the brand’s trademark ‘G’. The bezel is perhaps the only thing that stands out, but the black steel case band and strap keep the watch a rather stylish piece to sport on your wrist. The green module below the crown also adds on to the signature Gucci style.
Cartier’s Santos series is a unique square watch with a classic design. The silver dial comes with sword-shaped steel hands, embedded in the centre of the diamond-set bezel. The 18kt white gold octagonal crown set with a diamond is also a stunning feature. The watch is also water-resistant up to 100 meters and comes with a scratch-proof sapphire crystal.
This classic 36-mm timepiece comes with diamond hour markers and a choice of gold or platinum case band. The diamonds are perfectly set around the dial; the stones appear subtle and classy. The Rolex Day-Date is best paired with classic dress suits, especially a navy blue piece.