When searching for a new luxury watch, $20,000 is a sizable budget, and one that will guarantee you a high-quality timepiece, which is sure to be the envy of friends, work colleagues and family members. Nevertheless, when you are spending so much money, it makes sense to try to get the best possible bang for your buck.
Below, we take a look at seven of the best luxury watches available to purchase right now for under the $20,000 mark. Of course, at Jaztime, we offer discount prices, which increases the range of watches available to you, and may be the difference between buying a stainless steel model, or a more up-market gold version.
1. Rolex Day-Date 36 118135-BLKSL
Originally introduced in 1956, the Rolex Day-Date was the first wristwatch to feature a date display widow and the day of the week, spelled out in full, on the dial. Six decades later, it is now one of the most popular Rolex models, and a status symbol worn by some of the world’s most influential people.
The most distinctive features on the watch are its date display window at the 3 o’clock position, which is enhanced by a Cyclops lens, and a day display window at the 12 o’clock position. However, other features include water resistance for up to 100 meters and a self-winding caliber 3155 movement, offering -2/+2 sec/day precision.
Visually, this particular model has an Everose gold case, measuring 36mm in diameter, along with a fluted bezel. Meanwhile, the black dial matches the black leather strap, which has an alligator skin texture, providing wearers with a perfect blend of sophistication, style and comfort.
2. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116518
Staying with the Rolex brand, the Cosmograph Daytona was first released in 1963 and was designed to cope with the varied demands of elite level racing drivers. In the years since, it has become one of the most sought after Rolex designs, thanks to its combination of functionality and understated elegance.
Some of the Cosmograph Daytona 116518’s key features include 30-minute and 12-hour counters, stop seconds and a small seconds dial at the 6 o’clock position, allowing things like lap times to be measured accurately. Moreover, the watch has a highly accurate chronograph function and a tachymetre for measuring average speed.
From an aesthetic perspective, this model has a round yellow gold case, which measures 40mm in diameter, as well as a yellow gold bezel, complete with a tachymetric scale. The brown leather strap gives this sporty watch a more sophisticated edge, while luminous hands ensure legibility even in low-light situations.
3. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore
Unveiled back in 1993, the Royal Oak Offshore collection was designed to give a more sporty, masculine feel to Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak line. Although many of the watches in the collection are limited edition models, which sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, the reference 26283ST.OO.D002CA.01 is a much more affordable option.
This particular Royal Oak Offshore model is fitted with a self-winding calibre 2385 movement, meaning it is powered by the natural movements of your wrist. Meanwhile, it has chronograph and small seconds complications, as well as a date display window between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions.
Aesthetically, the reference 26283ST.OO.D002CA.01 has a sporty appearance, yet still remains faithful to the classic Royal Oak design. It has a stainless steel case, an octagonal bezel and features the trademark “tapisserie” dial. The case measures 37mm in diameter and the black wristband is made from durable rubber.
4. Cartier Tank Men’s MC W5330005
Those looking for something other than a Rolex may be tempted by the distinctive Cartier Men’s Tank MC W5330005. The original Tank was released to the public in 1919 and the collection has evolved considerably since. The Tank MC line, in particular, is noted for its masculinity; emphasized by its larger rectangular case size.
In terms of features, this model benefits from an in-house 1904 MC automatic movement, offering great precision, while one of the key differences between this and other Tank models is the presence of a small seconds sub-dial. Furthermore, a date display window is positioned at the 6 o’clock position.
The timepiece stays true to the established Cartier Tank visual identity, with a square shaped case, Roman numeral dial markers and the trademark blue, sword-shaped Cartier watch hands. The case itself is constructed from 18k pink gold, while the combination of a white dial face and black dial markers give it a certain classic appeal.
5. Cartier Tortue Men’s Watch W1556234
Another Cartier model, the Cartier Tortue W1556234 has an instantly recognizable tortoise shell-shaped case, which helps to make it stand out from the crowd. Nevertheless, as with other models in the Tortue line, it still has a classic quality, which makes it suitable for any formal occasion.
Notable features on the watch include a small seconds hand at the 6 o’clock position and a date display at 12 o’clock. It is worth mentioning that the date display window is larger than on many other ‘date’ timepieces, improving legibility. The watch is also water resistant for 30 meters and is powered by the manual-winding caliber 9602.
The case dimensions are 38mm x 48mm and the case itself is constructed from 18k rose gold. The timepiece’s brown alligator leather strap and Roman numerals further add to its classic appeal, while the watch is connected inextricably to the Cartier brand through the use of the brand’s iconic blue watch hands.
6. Panerai Luminor
Offering a combination of Italian style and Swiss watch-making expertise, the Panerai brand is a keen favorite among luxury watch enthusiasts and the company have a number of models available for under $20,000. One that stands out as an excellent choice, however, is the Luminor PAM 511.
The timepiece is powered by a hand-wound movement, while a small seconds sub-dial is located at the 9 o’clock position on the dial. Yet, the key feature which gives the watch its name is its Super-Luminova coated hands, dial markers and numerals, which glow in the dark, providing visibility in almost all situations.
Visually, one of the most noticeable aspects is the size, with a 44mm case diameter representing a sizable option, in-keeping with modern fashion trends for larger watches. The case is made from rose gold, the plain black dial offers a touch of simplicity, while the ‘Device Protecting the Crown’ is a trademark Panerai feature.
7. Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167/1A-001
Finally, if you are willing to be ever-so-slightly flexible on the $20,000 spending cap, we recommend the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167/1A-001. This stylish watch is an ideal option for anyone looking for a trendy, modern design, but it still retains all of the prestige and class associated with the Patek Philippe brand.
When it comes to features, the Aquanaut 5167/1A-001 has a date display aperture at the 3 o’clock position, as well as a sweep seconds hand. Additionally, the screw down crown offers extra protection for those who live a more active lifestyle, while the watch is water resistant for up to 120 meters beneath the surface.
Despite its sporty appearance, the timepiece is sophisticated enough to serve as a dress watch. In terms of its appearance, it has a distinctive, gently rounded octagonal case, which is constructed entirely from stainless steel. The hands, Arabic numerals and dial markers also contrast with the embossed black dial for readability purposes.