How to Start a Watch Collection: Chronographs

By Sotheby's
Often the most difficult part of building any collection is knowing where to begin. As Sotheby’s has recently launched its series, Watches Weekly , a fast and dynamic way to buy and sell timepieces with a new selection of watches is being unveiled every seven days. Now is the ideal time to start. From Watches Weekly: Chronographs , which is open for bidding until 13 May, we take a look at some of the ideal pieces to start your watch collection.

C hoosing the right watch for you should take into consideration what you can actually wear and enjoy from day to day. But can it really be that simple? Even for the chronograph watch, which has more functions beyond telling you the time of day, knowing what suits your style doesn't require arcane knowledge. Start with the basics: the wearable, durable sports models.

Perhaps this stainless steel Rolex Daytona, reference 16520 could meet all those needs while simultaneously remaining a collectible design classic. This is the first automatic Daytona to have been manufactured and sold by Rolex, and with many different variations of the dial available on the market today, the watch has gained in popularity in recent years.

For many watch collectors, Rolex's Daytona is consistently one of the most sought-after watches. Much of the allure can be traced to its illustrious history. In 1962, Rolex became Daytona’s official timekeeper and a year later Rolex’s remastered chronograph premiered. Named the Cosmograph, the watch was designed specifically with racing in mind. It had several subtle shifts that made it stand out, including contrasting-colored sub-dials, that provided greater legibility, and a tachymeter scale engraved on the bezel. The tachymeter bezel, which allows the wearer to measure speed or distance in relation to time, and graphic sub-dials remain the Daytona’s most distinguishing features. The current sale presents several fine examples of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, including the reference 6262, reference 6263, and reference 116509H.

An elegant dress watch is an essential through all walks of life. Perfect for your wedding day or with a dinner jacket, cool classics – such as a stainless steel Patek Philippe reference 5070 wristwatch – demonstrate a touch of nobility while accurately delivering its timing function. Ten years after the debut of the yellow gold chronograph in 1998, Patek Philippe reference 5070 received a platinum example in 2008 to commemorate its decade anniversary.

Those who prefer watches of feminine sophistication would appreciate the elegant proportions of the Bulgari Ceramics Diagono reference DG P 37 GC CH. The watch features a ceramic bezel with a persuasive mother-of-pearl dial and diamond set indexes, exemplifying an extraordinary level of charm. The Chopard Imperiale sparkles in a feast of color, embellished with a dazzling array of diamonds on the bezel to the sapphire cabochons adorning its lugs and chronograph buttons.

Lastly, you might want to consider an exciting watch that would make the perfect conversation starter. Nothing makes a statement like the Hublot Big Bang King Power reference 703.OM.6912.HR.FMC12, created in collaboration with the prestigious racing organization Formula One. It boasts the F1 logo on the dial and a powerful pink gold and titanium alloy.

Or consider a signature piece of Arnold Schwarzenegger: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore. As a faithful yet demanding connoisseur, the actor and former California governor eventually joined efforts with Audemars Piguet for a few years, creating a few models in tribute to his movies such as "End of Days" and "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," and finally to Schwarzenegger himself.

Once you work out what's available, what your tastes are, and what suits you best for each occasion, your collection will become a perfect reflection of you.

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