Ever wondered which watches the watch traders love?
At Chronofinder we specialise in sourcing the very finest, luxury watches for our customers - so nearly every watch you can imagine has been through Chronofinder HQ at some point. Here we are genuine watch fanatics and understand all of the intricacies that make each and every watch so unique and desirable.
This week, a customer came to us looking to find something special with a healthy budget of £20,000 and he wanted to know our thoughts. This sparked intense debate amongst our team, but eventually we were able to agree a shortlist of the five most beautiful watches that are out on the market today - and we were so happy with our choices that we thought we’d share the list with you.
In this blog - we are going to share our absolute favourite watches that are all available today for under £20,000, and you might be surprised by some of our picks!
1 & 2) Rolex Datejust 41
The Datejust is one of the most recognisable watches to ever be created, so it isn’t a surprise that this timeless classic has made it into our top five. Since it was first created in 1945 to celebrate Rolex’s 40th birthday - this watch has become nothing short of iconic.
Since its first inception, Rolex has continued to develop and improve the Datejust but has always remained true to their original design - and rightly so. This stunning timepiece has consistently been Rolex’s top selling model and for very good reason.
Seeped in rich history, this Rolex comes with the unmissable Oyster case coupled with the infamous, magnifying Cyclops lens revealing the date - the feature which coined the ‘Datejust’ name. From here, the Datejust is customisable to reflect the personality of almost every unique watch wearer.
The Datejust 41 is available in stainless steel, but can also be beautifully combined with rose, yellow or white gold. When it comes to bezels, wearers have the choice between fluted or smooth, which can then be partnered with either a Jubilee or Oyster bracelet. The Datejust also comes with one of the most spectacular ranges of dials of any Rolex collection which means you rarely ever come across someone else with the same watch as you.
With all of these options to customise, which would we personally go for? This is a tough choice for any buyer, and equally as tough for us here at Chronofinder - that’s why we had to include this model twice in our top five! And the two we’ve gone for really illustrate the diversity of this watch which makes it so desirable:
Stainless Steel Datejust 41mm, Wimbledon Dial, Reference 126334
Acing its way into our Top 5 is the Steel Datejust, 41mm, with a white gold Fluted bezel and jubilee bracelet finished with the Wimbledon dial.
The modern interpretation of the Jubilee bracelet makes it feel robust and indestructible when it’s on your wrist. The flexibility of the bracelet makes it undoubtedly one of the most comfortable watches available on the market today, and the detailing of the infamous bracelet means it very easily conceals any scratches.
This, combined with the relatively thin casing of the Datejust 41, compared to other Rolex 41mm models, means the watch is easily concealable within your sleeve. This elegant design lends itself perfectly to both smart and casual wear truly making this the perfect watch for everyday.
The fluted bezel was originally introduced as a functional feature of the Datejust which screwed the case back tightly against the case to guarantee the waterproofness of the watch. However, as Rolex continued to adapt and advance their methods - the fluted bezel survived as a purely stylistic feature - and this really is no surprise. The way the sharp angles of the white gold bezel reflect and glisten in the light makes this watch one of the most eye-catching timepieces out there.
You’ll never find it on the Rolex website, but in the trade - and around the world, our favourite dial is infamously coined the ‘Wimbledon' dial. In Rolex terms, this is a Sunburst Slate Grey dial, adorned with black Roman numerals etched in Rolex’s signature green - and however you choose to refer to it, there’s no doubt it is absolutely stunning. Perfectly proportioned, the green highlights around the black numerals provide the class and zing to what otherwise might be considered a relatively plain dial and evokes thoughts of the perfectly cut, lush grass of Wimbledon.
Undoubtedly this watch would stand as proud as Roger Federer, as he wore this classic dial whilst lifting the Wimbledon trophy, in any collection. So from Chronofinder, we’d give game, set and match to the Rolex Datejust Wimbledon.
Steel and Rose Gold Datejust 41mm, Chocolate Diamond Dial, Reference 126331
Part of the same family, but as different as could be. Our second Datejust in the Top 5 comes in stainless steel and rose gold featuring a diamond-set, chocolate dial with an Oyster bracelet.
The Oyster bracelet is synonymous with Rolex’s Professional models and looks just perfect on this elegant watch with the soft toned rose gold breaking up the stronger look of the stainless steel, beautifully complimented by the darker chocolate brown dial.
The diamonds on the dial, set within 18ct gold, provide timeless class to this iconic model making it one of the most desirable Datejust models available. This sophisticated timepiece, both in terms of function and aesthetics, stands out amongst the crowd and suits itself perfectly towards those special, formal occasions that make life so memorable.
3) Rolex Steel and Yellow Gold Sky Dweller, Reference 326933
Also flying into the Top 5 is the Rolex Sky-Dweller.
The Sky-Dweller was first released in 2012, and signified Rolex’s first entirely new watch collection for over 10 years. If this wasn’t enough, it also included a brand-new movement with an entirely new complication for the Rolex brand - and over ten years on this remains Rolex’s most complicated timepiece to date.
The release caused huge surprise to the watch world when it was announced, as Rolex has always tended to be highly conservative and these days rarely introduces brand-new models and rather opt to release just small updates and minor variations.
Over a decade later, the Skydweller has certainly stood the test of time and stands out firmly within any collection for its beautiful aesthetics and sophisticated functions.
The Skydweller is the perfect travel companion for any adventure seeker out there. Its dual timezone, annual calendar and its water resistance make it perfect for all occasions when your high-end lifestyle takes you all around the globe.
For those who love a larger case, this 42mm watch is the perfect time-piece and with the immaculate, unmistakable Rolex trademark fluted bezel - this watch really looks something special.
4) Rolex Yacht Master 40mm, Stainless Steel, Reference 126622
Sailing its way safely into our top 5 is the Rolex Yacht-Master 40mm. The Yacht-Master 40mm embodies the spirit of sailing blending style with function to celebrate the rich Rolex sailing heritage that dates back to the 1950s.
This Rolesium model, which beautifully combines its stainless steel oyster case and bracelet with an immaculate platinum bezel, has been able to establish itself as one of the most universal watches within the Rolex collection - fitting the role of both a sporty and luxury companion perfectly.
The combination of the two white metals is contrasted perfectly on both the bezel and the bracelet. The highly polished raised numerals offset against the sandblasted platinum surround, whilst similarly the beautifully polished centre links stand proud between the brushed steel outer links making this watch equally stunning and intriguing.
As its name would suggest, the Yacht-Master 40 is suited perfectly to life cruising the seas in luxury. Its elegant design makes it the perfect timepiece for drinks and dinner on the deck of your yacht, and its 100 metre water resistance makes it ideal for exploring below. The Yachtmaster’s elegance, practicality and durability makes it one of our favourite watches available on the market today.
5) Rolex Ceramic Submariner Date, Reference 116610LN
Hiding deep in the depths of our top 5 is the Rolex Submariner. Arguably the most recognizable watch in the world - the stainless steel Rolex Submariner has adorned watch collections since it first debuted in 1953.
In 2010, there was a changing of the guard as the ref.16610 was discontinued, and replaced by the ref. 116610LN which saw the Cerachrom, ceramic bezel inserted into the classic, stainless steel Submariner.
2020 saw the release of the updated 41mm Submariner Date 126610LN, as shown alongside the previous 40mm 116610LN model in the picture above.
This revised, contemporary design with significant updates has with no doubt made the Submariner one of most desirable luxury watches on the planet.
Whilst the Yacht Master is the perfect companion for above deck, for those who truly want to explore beneath the waves - the Submariner is their perfect companion.
This watch offers an eye watering 300-metre depth rating which is a feat even the most ambitious, professional scuba divers would struggle to achieve. The ingenuity of the innovation and the classic, instantly identifiable design with legacy stretching back over half a century makes this watch equally as popular with divers as those who like to keep their feet firmly on the ground.
The iconic design and amazing heritage of this watch made it a must include for our top 5!
We think you’ll be pressed for time trying to find a better top 5 for under £20,000, however it is the diversity of opinion and design which makes the world of luxury watches we all love so rich. Let us know if you agree with our selections!