The wristwatch is a favourite accessory the world over, with shoppers willing to fork out hundreds of thousands to obtain the most desirable models to adorn their wrists. Even though they have intrigued us for centuries, the average luxury watch lover wouldn’t know where they originated from or the level of artistry that goes into creating every luxury timepiece.
To answer these questions and many more, the luxury watch experts at ROX – Diamonds & Thrills have compiled a definitive list of 100 things to know about luxury watches. It’s a watch geek’s delight and we’ve listed some of our favourites below.
Timepieces date back to the 16th century when the first egg-shaped pocket watches were created in Europe. Until the early 20th century, only women of noble birth wore wristwatches, with the first ‘modern’ piece made by Patek Philippe & Co. in 1868 for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary.
For the last 200 years, the basic mechanical principles behind Swiss watches have not changed much, although there have been major advances in the technology behind luxury timepieces. These levels of craftsmanship take years of apprenticeship to master, with finishes ranging from intricate Côtes de Genève stripes on the watch’s surface, to sinuous “anglage” on the edges of bridges and plates.
Audemars Piguet’s world-famous Royal Oak wristwatch immediately captured the hearts of every luxury watch lover when it was released in 1972, quickly becoming a cult favourite. The watch’s recognizable styling was the work of renowned designer Gérald Genta – also the man behind Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and IWC’s Ingenieur.
He came up with the Royal Oak’s octagonal bezel, held in place by eight visible screws, over the course of a single night after a last-minute request to design a watch that would appeal to the Italian market.
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