Watches are a fundamental part of our lives, not only as a means of keeping track of time but also as a fashion statement. However, how much do you actually know about your favourite luxury watch brand?
To provide insight into the centuries-old history and intricate mechanics of wristwatches, we at Watch Capital have compiled a list of the top five fascinating facts behind these iconic brands.
1. Audemars Piguet’s Offshore Evolution
Royal Oak Offshore was one of the most revolutionary wristwatches ever made. 100 pieces of the watch were first released in 1993 to test the market as an anniversary model. It totally changed the game when it came to luxury sports watches as it was bigger and bolder than anything before.
It was called ‘The Beast’ because of how big and heavy it was. This design revolutionised the watch market and appealed to a whole new generation of collectors who were looking for something different and edgy.
In 1996, it made its debut with eight different colour dials and matching straps. It was also the first time they released an all-gold model called ‘The Beauty’. It has a yellow gold case and a matching yellow gold bracelet, which helped to show that it was more than just a regular watch.
The large case was a sign that younger collectors wanted something more up-to-date than the usual sub-40 mm case sizes. It had a 42mm width and a thicker case, which paved the way for bigger timepieces like the Big Bang Hublot and the Richard Mille.
2. Hublot’s Innovation with Fusion Materials
The Hublot team is known for their innovative use of materials, combining a variety of elements to create a piece that is truly one-of-a-kind. This was exemplified in the release of their first entirely unique watch, the Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold. It features a scratch-proof 18k gold coupled with a rubber strap, making it a revolutionary timepiece for the brand.
This bold combination was the beginning of the “Art of Fusion” that has become the manufacturer’s sign of recognition. The brand’s philosophy is not only limited to materials but also a lifestyle and mindset that guides all of the company’s activities and collaborations.
This fusion of materials results in unique, distinctive timepieces that cater to individuals seeking bold, avant-garde designs. Rubber has since become one of the company’s most iconic materials and a symbol of its modern watchmaking philosophy.
3. Omega’s Lunar Legacy
When it comes to some of the most iconic watches, Omega is the first to come to mind. From the Seamaster to the Speedmaster, the brand has become a go-to luxury watchmaker. The Omega Speedmaster is especially beloved by watch collectors around the world.
The collection has a special place in the history of extra-terrestrial adventures, not only because it was the first watch to go to the moon during Apollo 11, but also because it was used in all six moon landings by NASA.
During the 1970 Apollo 13 mission, two fuel cells were destroyed in an explosion in the spacecraft’s service module. To adjust the course of the craft, one of the astronauts used his Omega Speedmaster to time an exact 14-second burn of fuel ensuring a safe landing in the South Pacific Ocean.
This example shows how important it was in space missions, and it has become more than just a timepiece, it is a must-have for any astronaut. It is known for its dependability and importance, so much so that it has even been named “Moonwatch.”
4. Patek Philippe’s Unprecedented Record
Patek Philippe has a special place in the auction world because they made the most expensive watch ever sold. It is called the Grandmaster Chime and it cost over $31 million to buy at a charity auction in 2019.
This timepiece was made in 2014 to commemorate Patek Philippe’s 175th anniversary. It was the most complicated watch the brand had ever made, and it definitely made a statement. It had 20 different functions spread out over two dials, and it was a reminder of their long history of making watches with chiming complications.
It not only made history in the luxury watch world but also showed how much people still care about wristwatch design and quality. The sale was a sign that Patek Philippe is still the best in the business when it comes to making exceptional, high-demand timepieces.
5. Rolex’s Signature Crown Logo
The Rolex Crown also referred to as the Coronet, is a renowned and iconic logo of the brand. It was first trademarked in 1925, the same year as the introduction of the Oyster, and has since become one of the most recognisable symbols in the world.
The logo of this company stands out for more than just its brand. The crown is a perfect representation of their values of quality and exclusivity. Plus, the five points of the logo mirror the five letters of Rolex’s name, which is often seen underneath it.
The coronet shape represents the brand’s dedication to exceptionality, showing that they are the best in the business and the king of timepieces. It is also a symbol of honour and prestige, and it goes with one of the brand’s slogans, “A Crown for Every Achievement.”
In addition, the crown symbolises their long-standing dedication to water-proofing, which was a revolutionary concept at the time it was first introduced, adding an extra layer of significance to this iconic emblem. It is a classic feature of the brand’s superiority and innovation that has been a hallmark of Rolex watches for generations.
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