34 Stylish Cars That Aged Like Fine Wine
Every culture and subculture has symbols that can commonly be tied to ideas about quality, style, endurance, and beauty.
One symbol that seems to transcend several boundaries within Western culture is the appreciation of fine craftsmanship when it comes to automobiles. Enthusiasts hail from many walks of life, but they all come together when it’s time to praise various makes and models or debate mechanical pulchritude.
Here are some of the most iconic lines crafted by automotive manufacturers. Through iteration and reinvention, these underlying design concepts have endured, and aged with grace.
34 Stylish Cars That Aged Like Fine Wine
1. 1954 Maserati A6G CS Berlinetta
Made from 1947 to 1956, the A6 offered two choices, both of which were straight-six, a 1.5-litre and a 2.0-litre engine. The model would eventually expand to a twelve 2.0-litre single seater with the help of Cioacchino Colombo and Medardo Fantuzzi producing the A6GCM. It would win the 1953 Italian Grand Prix with driver Guan Manuel Fangio.
2 Years later the A6 would undergo even more changes to take part of the World Sportscar Championship. In 1953 the new A6GCS/53 was released with 170 bhp and only 52 available. The final model would offer just 4 more at 60 total produced, and be sold with 20 less horsepower.
2. 1954 Talbot Lago
If a car could be said to give one a toothache, this might be one such. The company responsible for these monuments to automotive decadence and chic style was of Anglo-French descent.
From the diminutive Baby—after which most Pinewood Derby models seem to take—to the long-bonneted sinister sleekness of models produced in the 1930s, these cars seem to hark back to the earliest concepts of automotive grace.
While they have largely become museum pieces, their bodylines are forever paired in our imaginations with early Bond movies and Hitchcock thrillers.
3. 1957 Aston Martin DB2 4KMIII
Produced between 1957 and 1959, this was largely a model that carried over characteristics of style and consistent performance from its precursor in the automotive world, the Lagonda 2.9L, put out by Bentley. The hydraulic clutch was a new measure, but many of the standard fixtures of automotive construction were kept in their unaltered state.
However, perhaps most importantly, this is James Bond’s Aston Martin, as told in Fleming’s novel, Goldfinger. In the film version, he drives a DB5, updated to appear current.
4. 1961 Aston Martin DB4
While this deeply respected British icon has been putting cars on the streets and into movies for many decades, this particular model, unveiled in the early 60s, caused something of a stir in the purist British automotive circles. With a sleek tube design crafted by an Italian automotive artisan, and introduced decidedly un-British forms into the tightly guarded community standards then held in the industry.
It would prove to be a veritable progenitrix for many of Aston Martins’ models over the next several decades—with revolutionary thinking—not simply a single revolutionary form—becoming a standard problem-solving strategy for common design issues or customer demand.
5. 1965 International Scout 4X4
Born in 1965 as a competitor for Jeep, this precursor to todays SUV’s was rolling units off the assembly line until 1980.
It’s a 4×4 basic design—a workhorse that became a fixture of anyone whose profession took them into rugged terrain. At home on tundra, in the Outback, the great deserts of North America, Asia, or Africa—the Scout became synonymous with adventure, with professions that took us into dangerous places.
Much in the same way that Jeep made its name during the Second World War and ensuing decade, the Scout has become fixed in our imagination of a post-colonial and unstable, but endlessly fascinating world—linked with intrepid journalists, freedom fighters, or scientists going to the source.
6. 1969 Pontiac GTO
This muscle car is judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to cases of cool. Gauged by many car history aficionados to be the automobile that began the official muscle car movement in the sixties, it holds a special place in the hearts and garages of those in the know.
Manufactured as a sedan model from 1964 to 1974, this ride was the drafting board lovechild of Russell Gee, Bill Collins, and John DeLorean—and what a beautiful collaboration it was. “The Judge” was a model introduced in 1969 with an upgraded engine and trim package.
While it was coveted as a status symbol, its upgrades were specifically angled at those looking for torque and speed, rendering it less salable to an everyday driving public.
7. 2004 Aston Martin DB9
As the replacement to the DB7, the DB9’s launch took place just shortly after a peak year in sales for Aston Martin. With 1,600 cars sold during 2003, the Ford-owned company needed a winner to keep their burst of success a float. They knew the DB7 it replaced had contributed a major influence in sales growth, and with 7,000 purchased since production began back in 1994, the challenge was certainly clear.
Interesting enough, the coupe built by Ian Callum and Henrick Fisker consists mostly of aluminum. It’s light weight chassis is paired with a 6.0L V12 engine taken directly from the Vanquish. And even though the 450-horsepower engine may seem disappointing at first glance, it’s road performance seemed to prove otherwise.
8. 2004 Lamborghini Gallardo
The first of this ten-year model run came off the assembly line in late 2003, making 2004 the first model year for this iconic design. Lamborghini’s name is assured in the realm of mechanical excellence. It did, however, introduce a car that calls to mind the sleek and predatory lines of a shark—a theme that would be echoed for the entire decade of its production and its many offspring models.
Perhaps the most notable innovation about the Gallardo was the introduction of a hydraulically controlled semi-automatic transmission—so those less proficient with the Standard H-Box gear assembly to enjoy the thrill of driving a Lamborghini.
9. 2005 Ferrari F430 Berlinetta
Produced with as much nostalgia as racecourse pragmatism, the F430 came off the assembly line from 2004 to 2009. While the drag coefficient of the racing model remained the same, recrafing the lines of the frame significantly increased the downward force of this model, enhancing its effective performance on the course.
This was also the first model to depart from the original Dino type engine, which all models had possessed since the 1950s. Rather, the F430 incorporated a 4.3L V8 petrol engine.
10. 2007 Maserati Gran Turismo
Produced by Maserati from 2007 to present, this year is scheduled to be the last year for this particular incarnation of the company’s line of Grand Touring automobiles. Designed to blend driver experience and enjoyment with the power of performance, the V8 engine and standard transmission also incorporate an automatic gear-box.
Rather than a sedan-style four-seat arrangement, this family of models adopts the sleeker 2×2 design used by several other designers, including Ferrari and Jaguar. This model’s sleek lines are equally desirable in the coupe model or the more spacious 2×2 concepts, and the power at the avail of the driver is not diminished by the extra length to the wheelbase needed to accommodate more seating.
11. AC Cobra
Also known as a Shelby Cobra, this automobile is the quintessence of cool. While it was only produced from 1962-1967, the sleek lines and refined mechanics of this titan are still prized today. Crafted around a small block V8 with a 2.6 L Ford Zephyr engine, this car is simply a beautiful shell for raw, incredible power. While we associate the beautiful, fluid lines of the body with all that is desirable from a social stance—they’re a means to an end.
The car was built for speed, and the aerodynamics served the purpose of not getting in the way of that end. Today, this museum piece is sought after by aficionados for its grace, its genius of design, and top-notch craftsmanship.
12. Acura NSX
It’s iconic of the 90s in its less-than-graceful lines—a blockiness oddly reminiscent of early computer graphics. But it was built to be a street-legal racecar, to perform, and that it does. With a 3.2L engine and a six speed manual transmission, this model offers a blend of speed and sensibility.
It gets up to 22 miles per gallon, and isn’t temperamental like many of its purebred cousins if you can’t open it up on the track. While some might enjoy it purely for its looks, it’s aged with grace because that was never the primary focus of design.
13. Audi S8
Audi, another relative of the Volkswagen German automotive tradition, has been putting this panther of a four-door sedan on the streets since 1994. The S8 followed two years later in 1996.
Perhaps, in addition to high-level craftsmanship under the hood and a sleek bodyline that draws the eye, Audi can be credited with being the first to introduce an aluminum chassis in a sedan model. This increases the effective power of the car, and allows for weight distribution to be allocated elsewhere. Say ‘thank you’ to our friends at Audi for consistently providing eye candy with functionality and power.
14. BMW M3
The M3 is a part of the 3 series designed by BMW—a line that’s been in production since 1985. Only in 2013 did the company decide it was time to move on to the 4 series. The “M” denotes special status to this signature car model series—designs proposed and implemented by an in-house team.
Over the years, this line has served our most vivid conceptualizations of both “good guys” and “bad guys” in cinematic tropes. But everyone wants a piece of the action, so even those shadowy, liminal spy characters will slide behind the wheel of one of these titans of the automotive haut-monde.
15. Chevrolet Chevelle 396 SS
When we see these, the cultural connotation is “Muscle Car.” And that’s precisely what this particular model of Chevrolet’s line was intended to be. Also known generally as a Malibu, the Chevelle 396 SS separated from the pack in 1966 as its own distinct model.
They possessed specific features designed to appeal to the American Heavy Metal car scene—enhanced structural features and amped up horsepower under the hood was matched by swagger marks, such as red-striped tires and specialized trim designed to draw the eye, for it served no other purpose.
While only in production for a couple of years, the SS remains one of the signature trophy cars of the muscle car scene, and a decided fixture in Automotive Americana.
16. Chevrolet Corvette
Manufactured continuously since 1953, with a brief hiatus in 1983, the Corvette is a seven-generation car that has largely set the bar for American sports cars in looks and power. Chevrolet fears that the model line, with its incredible popularity among the Baby Boomer generation, has been branded as a sports car for old men. But any car enthusiast—irrespective of sex or generation—has to acknowledge the beauty and craftsmanship of this particular car breed. Like a fine equine bloodline, it won’t fade away.
The younger set still find beauty in a Stingray—or a 1960s variant of the Corvette. If our parents and grandparents associate the car with other cultural tropes like Magnum P.I., we are making our own connections, and Chevrolet still has a few tricks left in this bag.
17. Ford Mustang
Another model of long standing, the Mustang is one of the prominent members of an elite American automotive circle. First appearing in 1964, five months prior to the official release of 1965 models, this stallion made its debut at the World’s Fair in New York. While there are any number of excellent cars, with superior racing profiles to the Mustang, it has an appeal and longevity that they do not. It’s one of the few cars that wove its way into the very fabric of Americana—a trope in and of itself.
Don’t let the friendly, sociable image of the hobbyhorse fool you. Sure, your Dad may have taken your Mom out on their first date in this car, but Steve McQueen also drove one, coaxing sinister growls of power from the engine. It’s an all-weather car that has stood the test of time — yes, even the 1980s couldn’t sound its death knell—and continues to be a major fixture in our automotive dreams.
18. Dodge Power Wagon
Rolling off production lines from 1945 to 1980, this workhorse of the light truck world was given a makeover, in name at least, and is now known as the Ram. It was a continuation of the design principals employed by Dodge during the 1930s for civilian vehicles. Because of its success, utility, and toughness it became the template upon which many subsequent trucks were designed.
It’s the grandpa of almost every four-wheel drive pickup truck you see on the road today. Originally, it was designed to compete with Ford models such as the Brushbreaker, exclusively used by the American military. In an immediately post-war economy, with many soldiers returning to civilian life, it offered familiar power and utility they’d become accustomed to in the field.
However, unlike Ford, Dodge marketed its Power Wagon exclusively to non-military markets, tapping a new niche in the automotive world.
19. Dodge Viper
Produced by the Dodge division of Chrysler from 1992 to 1995, the viper is a signature American sports car of a distinctly modern cast. It incorporates the sleek, aggressive lines that give credit to its name, but the real draw is often under the hood. Sure, it looks cool, but the six speed manual transmission and the 8.0 L engine are the true prizes.
While it was often manufactured with a “governor” placed on the engine to prevent street racing, it is clearly a machine designed for racing performance. It comes not with a roof and windows, but with a cloth and plastic fabrication that can be bolted in place as needed. This reduces weight and drag on the racecourse.
20. Ferrari F40
From 1987 to 1992, Ferrari produced this fast, loud status symbol. It has the distinction of being the last car personally approved by Enzo, and was designed to commemorate the company’s 40th anniversary. As a successor of the GTO, a term borrowed by Pontiac, it enhanced the power of its predecessor with a 2.9L engine and turbo-charge capability.
Additionally, because it also inherited the double-wishbone suspension of the GTO with an extraordinarily low ground clearance, Enzo required that designers include the option to raise the ground clearance of the F40 at consumer need. If you think that Ferrari models don’t pose a great deal of value to ordinary drivers, you should understand that it’s precisely because of people passionate about stretching the limits of what is needed that we know what can be done.
Plus, the F40 does purr so nicely, it’s hard not to love her and recognize her wherever she goes.
21. Ford GT40
This car was built specifically as an American response to European excellence in long-distance automotive racing. To date, it’s the only all-American built car to take top honors at Le Mans. It also took a host of other late-60s victories in other renowned races.
This car is the result of an international pissing contest between Ford and Ferrari, and incorporates a custom-fit 289, or 4.7-liter engine with a specially designed alloy cylinder head. The name itself is angled specifically at racing—GT stands for Grand Touring and the 40 is the mandated height of the car as measured at the windshield.
The GT40 is a machine built for speed and speed alone.
22. Honda Civic SI
Known as “Sport Injected” this was a trim level of the Civic model options introduced in Japan and North America. Civic has been rolling off Honda production lines since 1984, making it one of the longest-running models in our list. The sportier version of this old standby, offers better control and more power—via stiffer sway bars and an 6-speed manual transmission (2006) coupled with a 2.0L engine.
While many of the upgrades made to this trim level since 2006 are focused on function, there are a few improvements to the aesthetics of the car itself, including a red-stitched ball-gear shifter, darker wheels, and clean, edgy lines.
23. Honda S2000
Originally introduced at a 1995 Tokyo Motor Show as a concept car, the S2000 was produced formally from 1999 to 2009. It is of the roadster class of car and its name reflects its engine displacement volume, after the tradition of roadsters from the 60s.
While it is powered by a four cylinder in-line engine, it also focuses on a rear-wheel drive system with a rigid, lightweight chassis—the driver and passenger functioning as passive agents of downward force. A second suspension system was introduced, replacing the original A1 design, in the early 2000s.
24. Jaguar E Type
Manufactured from 1961 to 1975, with a recent renaissance in 2014, this toothsome automobile was an icon on the roads during its production. The reason behind this was largely excellent craftsmanship, good looks, and competitive pricing meant people not only wanted to buy it and drive it, they could afford to do so.
More than 70,000 E Types were sold, and it was ranked first on the Telegraph’s list of 100 most beautiful cars. Released in several models that included a Grand Touring coup, a four-seater with a longer wheelbase, and a two-seater convertible, this gem of design even excited the esteem of some powerful competitors.
Enzo Ferrari declaimed upon its release that it was the most beautiful car ever made.
25. Lexus IS 300
The IS line has been produced by Lexus since 1998, and is still rolling cars off the assembly line today. In 2000, the IS300 and IS200 were introduced as variations on this theme. They both offer manual and automatic transmission options, but the IS300 has a 3.0L engine with a manual, inline-6 transmission and about 50 additional horsepower.
As well, aesthetic touches were added and user interface technology was cutting edge.
26. Nissan Skyline
Known for its racetrack dominance, powerful punch and charming style, Godzilla was the flagship of Nissan’s performance. It wouldn’t come to life until 1969, but the wait was certainly worth it. The Skyline GT-R took home 50 victories with 49 consecutive wins on the Japanese race circuit in the first 4 years. The impressive run would eventually end as production ceased in 1973, however the model carried onwards back in 1989.
3 years later the R34 GT-R (Skyline GT-R V.spec II and M-spec Nür) would mark the end with only 2,000 produced. The notable characters of this favorite were the unique trim stitching colors, a speedometer showcasing 300 km/h (186mph), and signature gold valve covers. It’s finishing crown was a 330 hp engine from the factory, although it was only presented as having 276 hp in ads at the time.
27. Porsche 911
The Nine-Eleven, or “Neunelf” in German, is an automobile with one of the longest-running production histories. Its form and performance standards are iconic, known to aficionados and laypeople alike. It shares a common ancestor with another beloved icon of the auto world—the VW Bug, and has quite a bit in common with that more humble “Car of the People.”
Not only are both lines originally designed by the same person, but they shared a successful run with the rear engine compartment that relied on air-cooling. Though the Bug was discontinued in 2003, the 911—first unveiled in 1963—continues to command admiration on the city streets and the racecourse alike.
It combines sound mechanical engineering with sleek, beautiful and balanced design elements.
28. 1995 Mazda RX-7
Also a model with longevity, the RX7 was in production from 1978 to 2002. Don’t be fooled by those “occasional” rear seats, this was always intended to be a sports coupe. Its engine nestles just behind the front axle, sports car fashion.
Interestingly enough, it was originally designed to attract Japanese consumers looking to avoid the tax levied on those driving larger automobiles. But the size appealed even to North American consumers, who drove the lightweight and compact, but pleasantly powerful sports coupe with relish in a post-Gas Crisis America.
29. Subaru WRX
While the Impreza has been on the market since 1992, the WRX and STI models experienced two major generational stints of production. Subaru has based its success on offering consumers almost innumerable variations on standard theme models—trim levels for everything from cosmetic features to serious handling choices.
These models are no exception. Up until 2005, the WRX models offered a 2.0L engine, after which they were fitted with a 2.5L turbocharged engine.
30. Toyota Supra
Also known as the Celica (Before Toyota stopped using the pre-fix), this is another line of models with longevity. Produced by Toyota from 1978 to 2002, the number of yearly updates to the original concept reflects a dedication to keeping up with what’s new, what’s better, and what’s next.
While the Supra, nee Celica, was a car of longstanding dependability and good looks, in 1994 the designers put forward a model that had serious clout. The Mark IV was an automobile that sported intense torque under the hood and a rounded body style.
31. 1955 Mercedes 190SL
Introduced about five months behind production, the lighter-bodied 190SL was largely a labor of expectation, based on what Daimler-Benz had produced in the past. The engine weight and quality were largely the same, but lighter body materials, such as aluminum were introduced with this model—as opposed to the all-steel body of previous models.
It had a number of design revisions, including a more spacious boot or trunk. The 300SL model had largely sacrificed the trunk space for an over-sized fuel tank. While we’re all for power and performance in our classic cars, practical features such as this are hallmarks of an era’s sensibilities.
They may be cherished pieces of automotive history, but at one time, they were purely functional.
32. 1960 Mercedes Benz 300SL
Introduced in 1952 exclusively as a race car—read engine with a seat on wheels—the 300SL model was brought to the city streets in 1954, and produced until 1963. In a post-war economy, this model was introduced at the New York Auto Show, specifically to appeal to Americans hungry for speed with European style, whereas the company unveiled other models at its Continental show stages. All iterations of this model line remain true to the original “Sport-Leicht” design.
Built on a tubular chassis to save weight—because automobiles were still primarily steel constructions with relatively restricted engine power—the “gull wing” door was born. What began as a necessity, since the chassis would pass through the lower portion of a standard door, became an icon.
33. 1989 Mercedes Benz 560 SEC AMG
Also known internally as a W126, the 560 is one of a series of “flagship” automobiles produced by Mercedes Benz. One of the most iconic body forms–made popular in movies and by the 1980s pop culture status symbols—this particular line of Mercedes Benz also introduced a number of then-new safety feature, such as the first seat belt pretensioners.
We take these for granted in automobiles today, but in the 1980s, they were still in the process of requiring head rests in all cars to prevent injury and death from cervical impact with the back of classic seats. Overall, with a production run from 1979 to 1991, the W126 has one of the longest runs of any model type in the company.
34. 1982 Datsun 280ZX
The 280ZX was the first model ever to be wind-tunnel tested by Nissan during the design phase. Perhaps that’s where its stylish looks came from. It arrived with a larger 2.8L engine and a Bosch Jetronic fuel injection system. However, ever-tightening emissions requirements certainly played a factor to hinder it’s true performance.
With a relatively low production rate, several trim levels of the standard 5-speed were produced, including a 3-speed automatic variant. It achieved a certain low-level celebrity among street racing circles and even served as the pace car in the 1977 Long Beach Grand Prix. While it could never compete with the true racing masters, there’s a certain chintzy mystique about this car.
Like an ugly puppy, it has a loyal following for its inimitable design and features, who love it as much for its under-the-hood attributes.
10 Best Watches For Men Reviewed – 2021 Edition
For those living under a rock, everyone knows that the modern man doesn’t really wear a watch solely to know the time. Instead, it is more about a statement of your class and style. You also probably already know that the good quality watches for men can be found within a variety of price points, so there’s always something for you regardless of your budget.
Gents, since we all know these things, there’s really no point dancing around a preamble. Let’s just cut to the chase and see some of the best watches for men available on the market.
Best Watches for Men
1. Rado Centrix Jubile Black Dial
Simple but classy; that’s the easiest way to describe this Rado Centrix Jubile Black Dial watch. With only the quarter hour positions marked by diamonds and silver-tone hands, the watch presents a not-too-noisy and straightforward design. Apart from the small brand name, hour, minute, and seconds hand, the only other thing on the face is the calendar – talk about a neat watch!
Rado Centrix is an analog quartz watch, meaning its ticking movement is powered by a battery. This might not be your type of watch if you prefer an automatic or mechanical watch. But its no-frills design coupled with its tough scratch-resistant sapphire crystal gives it a certain easy appeal, making it one of the best watches for men who are looking to stand out with something uncomplicated yet trendy.
Rado has automatic watches, though, if that’s your preference. However, they cost a few hundred dollars more than the quartz model.
With only 30 meters of water-resistant rating, the Rado Centrix watch is splash-proof. But a splash-proof watch is not exactly what you’ll wear to the pool.
Getting caught up in occasional rain while wearing your Rado Centrix isn’t going to be a problem; neither will splashes of water have any effect on the watch. But you don’t want to submerge this watch in water. Your investment is better off contacting the smallest amount of water possible.
2. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
This next option is for men with deep pockets. If you intend to splash some serious cash on a timepiece, you might as well take a look at the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. It’s not called the “moon watch” for nothing. It has actually been to the moon and back! The Omega Speedmaster is one of the few manual-winding chronograph movement watches that are worn on NASA missions.
The analog watch features a tough sapphire crystal dial window and comes complete with a presentation box that includes a Velcro strap, NATO strap, and strap changing tools.
With a 50-meter water resistance depth, you shouldn’t think of diving with this expensive watch on unless you plan to damage your prized possession!
While you can swim with it, it is best to avoid too much exposure to water and probably take it off. Like other chronograph watches, this one also features a stopwatch function that can be very useful when you need to use a timer. The bottom button at the side of the watch controls the function and can be used to start and stop timing.
Omega watches are not only made famous by NASA astronauts, movie characters like James Bond have also contributed to promoting the brand. If you prefer the version worn by James Bond (after he ditched Rolex in 1995), consider the more popular Omega Seamaster series. This particular Seamaster Planet Ocean is an automatic watch, so you will have to wear it almost daily or move it around for a bit every day. Needless to say, you’ll have to pay top dollar for it.
3. Gucci G -Timeless
Okay, Gucci is renowned as a first-rate fashion label, so it might come as a surprise to see the brand listed among watchmakers. First, buying a watch from a well-established fashion brand means you are paying extra for the designer label. And secondly, you might not get certain features found in other watches within the same price range.
However, Gucci is not just an authority in the clothing world. The company has gone ahead to also make a name for itself in the watch market and is even a leading brand in watchmaking. And the icing on the cake? Gucci watches are made in, you guessed it, Switzerland – giving the watchmaking section of the brand more class.
Most Gucci watch designs are strikingly unconventional as far as traditional watchmaking goes. The result? Gucci produces some of the best watches for men who prefer donning chic styles instead of the more common traditional designs.
So, if you are looking to stand out from the crowd, consider a Gucci watch. This G-Timeless model is from the Timeless collection. It comes with a mineral crystal face and quartz movement. Although it is a water-resistant watch, it is best suited for swimming in shallow waters.
The watch is battery operated. That means you might need to replace it, depending on how long it has stayed on the shelf. An automatic movement would have been desirable, but Gucci watches with that feature costs almost as twice as this one.
4. TAG Heuer Formula 1 Caliber 5 Automatic Watch
This might not be the most expensive watch on this list, but it certainly is really tricky knowing exactly where to begin to describe this TAG Heuer Watch.
TAG Heuer is a leading name in watchmaking. First, it is a Swiss brand. Secondly, the company has continued to win multiple prestigious awards. And thirdly, you don’t have to lose an arm and a leg to own one of their watches, although they don’t come cheap. Is there any wonder why one of their timepieces is included in the list of best watches for men?
This automatic TAG Heuer watch comes with a tough sapphire crystal glass that won’t scratch easily. The glass face houses a striking grey dial that is difficult to miss even in the dark, thanks to the rhodium-plated indexes coated in white Superluminova and the sleek steel hands. And just in case you didn’t catch that, it simply means the hands and markers glow in the dark.
The watch is powered by Caliber 5 mechanical movement with a backup power that can last up to 38 hours. It also comes with a fast date correction feature. As far as water resistance goes, you don’t have to take it off if you want to go for water skiing or any other serious surface water sports. In fact, it is safe for professional marine activities, too. But with only 200 meters water-resistant rating, you definitely shouldn’t be using this watch for scuba diving.
Seems like the Formula 1 collection is a combination of high-quality and bells and whistles, right? Well, it might be difficult to find fault with a watch that is designed with incredible Swiss-made technology. But here’s something to keep in mind, though; 43 mm isn’t exactly small, so the watch might look awkward on you if you have a small hand. You don’t want people thinking you got an oversized birthday present!
But that’s not something to split hairs too much about because you can opt for the 41 mm stainless steel version if you’re bent on owning a watch from the Formula 1 collection of TAG Heuer. It is also an automatic watch, so there’s no need for a battery.
5. Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Automatic Watch
The Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Automatic Watch is proof that you can get the best watches for men even if you’re not a CEO just yet. A high-quality Swiss watch, an automatic watch, and a synthetic sapphire glass are all wrapped into this very affordable timepiece! Quality and affordability don’t get any better than this Tissot Le Locle watch.
This watch is made from stainless steel and has a silver metal bracelet. The watch has a black dial and comes with a date function. You won’t be changing batteries since it is an automatic watch, but you’ll need to wear it or move it daily. It is a water-resistant watch with a 30-meter rating. Apart from the occasional splash of water from the sink, it is best to avoid getting this watch wet.
6. Bell & Ross BR 03-92 NIGHTLUM
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 NIGHTLUM watch is the first watch on this list with a leather strap. Pay no attention to the “bell” in the name; there’s no bell and whistles with this watch, just a straightforward square watch with the traditional hours, minutes, and seconds hands with a date feature.
This watch has its origin in aviation and is perfect for gents who prefer simplicity and a square-shaped watch. But just because it is a simple watch doesn’t mean it is made from low-quality materials. This watch features a hard-wearing leather strap that is as tough as they come. The face is a rugged scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and the watch comes with a screwed-down crown.
All the hands are luminous, so you don’t have to squint to see what time is it, even in the dark. It is a water-resistant watch rated at 100 meters. So, it is perfect for swimming and some other water sports. However, I wouldn’t take it for diving. And the best part? It has an automatic movement. So, while this watch might not have the usual extra attractive trimmings, it sure packs quite a bit of functionality.
7. Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch
Here’s another leather strap watch that qualifies to be on this list of best watches for men. Why? You’ll know just in a bit. But first, let’s start with the one thing that is less appealing about the watch. The Horological Smartwatch from Frederique Constant is a Swiss quartz watch, meaning it is powered by a battery. Most watch nerds would prefer an automatic or mechanical watch, but this quartz watch comes with a battery that can last for more than 2years, so you won’t be changing the battery anytime soon.
Okay, now that we’ve gone past that hitch, let’s see what makes this watch outstanding. This elegant-looking timepiece is not called a smartwatch for nothing. It combines a lot of useful functions that hardly reflect on the price tag. This is the perfect watch if you are interested in getting a timepiece that will help you stay on track with your fitness goals.
The Smartwatch can track your athletic activities, including the number of daily steps, the total distance covered, and the total calories burned. You can even set the alarm to remind you to move if you haven’t done so for a certain period. And you can wear it to sleep or place it under your pillow to monitor and record your sleep. What are the details it records during sleep? It monitors how much time you spent in light sleep, deep sleep, and how much time you spent awake.
Okay, enough about activity tracking. Let’s get to the real reason this watch is called a smartwatch. It is built to automatically pick up the current time from your Smartphone, so you don’t ever need to set the time and date, even when you travel across time zones. Plus, all your data can be backed up to the cloud, making it easy to restore it in case you ever lose your phone or watch.
It comes with a locked crown, a push button, and a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal face. It has a water-resistant rating of 50 meters, making it safe to use even when you sweat profusely or wash your hand in the sink. Just don’t go swimming with this watch as you might lose your investment.
8. Breitling Navitimer GMT
Did I say the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch was for those with deep pockets? Well, you might need to dig really deep into those pockets if you want to buy a Breitling Navitimer GMT. This is the most expensive watch on this list, but its price is not just what makes it one of the best watches for men; it’s its superior and outstanding quality. In fact, you can use the words “quality” and “Breitling” interchangeably as far as watches go (that’s my opinion, anyway!)
Usually, I should save the best for last, but as you’ll have noticed, I didn’t follow any particular order in listing these watches. The Breitling Navitimer GMT watch is an amazing timepiece, whether it appears at the top, bottom, or anywhere on any list.
There’s hardly anything a quality luxury watch should have that is lacking in this powerful timepiece. But that’s not surprising considering it is Swiss made. It has an automatic movement, rugged anti-scratch sapphire crystal glass, chronograph, and a bidirectional bezel function.
You simply can’t go wrong with this watch. It is an excellent investment for those who can afford it. And to set your mind at ease, the product comes with a solid 6-year warranty.
The last two watches on this list are great choices if you’re thinking budget. But just because you are living on a shoestring doesn’t mean you can’t find good quality watches. In fact, you can find some of the best watches for men under $500 here.
9. Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Watch
Need an affordable hybrid timepiece dubbed “the most accurate watch in the world?” A smart choice would be the Eco-Drive Chronograph from Citizen.
It’s rare to find a quartz watch that combines super accuracy with not needing a battery. Heck, even high-end chronograph watches tend to go out of sync with time.
This Eco-Drive chronometer timepiece is powered by light – just about any light! The watch face has a small solar panel that traps light, so there’s absolutely no need for a battery, ever! The watch also has an “Atomic Timekeeping” feature, making sure it never goes out of sync.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Watch is made in Japan. And just before you raise an eyebrow because it’s not from the watchmaking capital of the world – Switzerland – rest assured that Japan also manufactures some of the best watches for men and women alike.
The watch has a superb quality build; it doesn’t scratch easily because it has a very tough protective sapphire crystal on the glass window lens (that’s the transparent part of the watch’s face). And with up to 200-meter water resistance rating, swimming and diving with the watch should be safe.
Here’s a clever and interesting feature. The watch saves energy by not moving all the hands when it is covered in a dark place for a while (under your sleeve, in a drawer, etc.) As soon as you bring it to light, you can visibly see how the seconds hand zoom by to catch up with the current time.
This might not be the best watch for you if you are looking for something with less “noise” on the face. Some people might find the face a bit too crowded. If you want a watch sleek design and a less cramped face, perhaps an unconventional watch like those from Gucci might suit you.
It might not be the most expensive quartz in the world, but it certainly is a great watch for its price. With a rating of 4.4 out of 5 from 605 customer reviews on Amazon and a solid 5-year manufacturer warranty, this is not a bad quartz watch at all.
10. Seiko Automatic Watch
This analog Seiko Automatic Watch is the least expensive on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. In fact, it is style pretty much like a Rolex Submariner, one of the best watches for men when it comes to taking a deep dive.
Like the previous Citizen watch, this one too is manufactured in Japan. Seiko is not new to the watchmaking business and has established itself as a company that produces high-quality and accurate timepieces.
This particular watch is built with a crystal made from mineral. While that is good, it is not quite as durable and robust as sapphire, but hey, if it’s built as high-quality as other luxury watches, it won’t be very affordable, right?
The auto watch is water-resistant for up to 100 meters. Meaning, it is great for swimming in a pool, but it might not be okay for diving. You definitely don’t want to be wearing this for your underwater exploration during the weekend.
Anyways, you don’t have to hate deep-diving to own this watch. There are other alternatives if diving is top on your weekend to-do list. The Seiko auto watch is simply not designed for such activities. And by the way, why is it called an automatic watch? Because it works by your movement. Instead of relying on batteries, it only works when you use it. This is perhaps one of the few cheap watches with such a feature.
While an automatic movement is generally a plus, it could also be a problem if you don’t use the watch for a couple of days. You may not lose your investment because you didn’t wear your Seiko 5 model for an entire day, but you may need to restart the watch manually. To do that, you need to turn the crown on the side of the watch a couple of times – about 10 to 15 times clockwise.
In Seiko’s defense, though, this is not peculiar to this watch. All automatic watches are designed that way. So if you can get past the fact that you might need to use this watch almost daily, then it could be the perfect watch for you.
What Makes a Quality Watch?
Big names are good; in fact, they are great. But watches are not just about Omega, Rolex, and TAG. Great watches are not found in Switzerland only. So, what exactly makes a watch great? Here are some important criteria to note.
Watch movement refers to the mechanism a watch uses to work. There are three types of watch movements, namely, quartz, mechanical, and automatic movements.
A watch with a quartz movement often uses a battery and is generally cheaper than a watch with mechanical or automatic movement. Mechanical watches require periodic winding to keep them functional. And automatic watches need to be worn or moved daily.
With quartz watches, you get ticking motion of the seconds-hand while mechanical and automatic watches have a sweeping or smooth seconds-hand motion. You can find good-quality watches with quartz movement, but in most cases, luxury watches have mechanical or automatic movements.
Watch Case Material
It doesn’t matter the mechanism of a watch – whether it ticks or sweeps – if the material used in building the case is poor, no one would be attracted to it in the first place. So, first things first, a watch case should provide aesthetics. But beyond that, it has to be durable to offer any form of protection. Good quality watches should have cases made from titanium, ceramic, or at least stainless steel.
The Glass on the Face
The glass on watch faces are called crystals and are made from different materials. Protecting the watch from dirt, water, and other potentially destructive materials might seem like an easy thing to do, but it is not. For this reason, the best watches for men need to have crystals made from tough and durable materials.
The three major materials are sapphire, acrylic, and mineral. Sapphire crystals are second only to diamonds in toughness, making them a more scratch-resistant and expensive. Acrylic faces or crystals are mostly found on cheaper watches. Personally, I don’t recommend buying any watch with this type of crystal because it scratches easily. Besides, it is mostly found in children’s watches.
Mineral crystals are simply glasses treated with chemicals or heat to improve their shatter and scratch resistance. They are not as durable as sapphire but are great choices if you are on a budget.
The weight of a metal strap will tell you whether it is made from solid material or not. Stainless steel, platinum, and gold are some of the best options for metal watch straps. A low-quality watch will have hollow stainless steel in its straps.
You can also find good quality watches with leather straps. The straps are made from durable leather. For example, this expensive Hublot Rose Gold watch comes with a leather strap.
Whether you choose a metal or leather strap watch is a matter of personal preference. One is not better than the other. Although, some people tend to think that metal strap watches should be worn at work during the day, while leather strap watches should be for more casual outings in the evenings or nights. Of course, that’s just an opinion. You can choose to do whatever suits you best.
What? Yeah, you read that right.
Complications don’t sound like a good thing but trust me; it is all good as far as quality watches go. Complications refer to a watch’s extra features besides telling the time.
A good-quality watch should have at least a date feature, you know, just to keep you up to date. Other useful features include a chronograph (stopwatch for timing yourself), a backlight, and many others.
Keep in mind, though, plenty of complications don’t exactly mean a watch is first-rate. There are many luxury and quality watches with minimal complications.
Which country makes the best watches for men? Or which country makes the best watches of any kind for that matter? The answer to this is highly subjective. However, there seems to be a consensus about three watchmaking countries. These are Switzerland, Japan, and Germany, with Switzerland being the undisputed champions.
Brands such as Omega, Tissot, Rolex, Tag, Breitling, and other luxury brands are made in Switzerland. But you can’t ignore other Japanese watchmaking giants such as Seiko and Citizen. These brands also compete favorably with many Swiss watches. German brands such as the A. Lange & Sohne is not left out too. In fact, they produce some of the most expensive and high-quality watches available.
Water Resistance Rating
Lastly, a quality watch should have a fair water resistance rating or a high rating if it is a diving watch. But here’s the thing, water-resistance ratings are usually confusing, especially if you take them literally. For example, it is easy to assume that a 50-meter water-resistance rating means you can dive down to 50 meters, but that is totally incorrect.
Horologists (that’s a fancy word for watch experts) recommend swimming with a watch only if it has a minimum water-resistance rating of 100 meters. A rating of 200 meters and upward is okay for diving. However, keep in mind that the water-resistance of a watch degrades over time, so you want to keep older watches out of the water as much as possible.
So, the best watches for men all have high water resistance ratings, right? Wrong! Many high-quality watches are not designed for diving, so they don’t need such high ratings.
There are a plethora of cheap watches with good water-resistance ratings. It depends on what the watch is designed to do. If you want a luxury watch that is built for deep diving, then you should keep an eye on the water-resistance ratings; otherwise, high a rating is not necessarily a sign of a quality watch.
The best watches for men do not necessarily need to have all the criteria listed above. You will notice that some of the watches in our review do not have a few of these features, too, but that doesn’t make them less valuable. It all comes down to what you are looking for in a watch.
Do not let a lean budget stop you from getting a quality timepiece. If you take a few moments to look through this list, you will find good quality watches that don’t cost much. And if you have a few extra bucks to throw around, there are also superb luxury watches to choose from, too.