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Yes, we’re talking men’s watches with diamonds. No, don’t click away from this post just yet. I am aware that this is a bit of a tricky subject, since most men don’t like to wear diamonds. However, a lot of men who love watches do have respect for the work that goes into diamonds — the cutting, polishing, setting, et cetera.
Ever since I visited the Bunter factory just outside Geneva (read more about my visit in this article from Fratellowatches.com), a company that specializes in cutting and setting diamonds for watches from Cartier, Patek Philippe, Hublot and others, my interest in diamonds and diamond-setting has increased. I was actually the first journalist who got to see that company’s entire process from A to Z. It was an amazing experience, and taught me that even some of the biggest names in watchmaking, such as Cartier and Patek Philippe, entrust the work on their diamond-set master pieces to outside experts. I still wouldn’t normally be inclined to wear a watch with diamonds myself, but when I thought about the few that I would, I came up with the following list.
Diamond Brand Watches
1. Rolex Day-Date Ref. 118238
The Rolex Day-Date on President bracelet with diamond hour markets is, perhaps, a rather safe choice, but it is certainly a watch that does look good with diamonds, and those who notice won’t ask questions. This classic 36-mm timepiece only comes in gold or platinum, and the diamonds have been perfectly set. Whether you are a drug kingpin (hopefully not) or an internet entrepreneur, this watch will fit your style.
2. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 5402B ‘Jumbo’
I love the Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ (as can be seen here) and, although I firmly believe that an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak should be in stainless steel (especially the ‘Jumbo’ or ‘Extra-Thin’ editions), I’ll make an exception for this white-gold model from 1980, with diamond hour markers on the dial. Despite the diamonds and the white-gold case and bracelet, the watch is about as thin as the traditional Royal Oak “Jumbo,” thanks to its use of the beautiful, extra-thin, self-winding Caliber 2121. (Photo courtesy of Antiquorum.)
3. Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5713
In the same category as the Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’, this white-gold Nautilus Ref. 5713would also be a fine choice if you’re going for a little “bling.” The Royal Oak has a bit more of a masculine look due to the sharp edges and corners in the case design, but a man could pull off this Patek Philippe Nautilus as well. I would rather see the diamonds on the hour markers than a diamond-studded bezel, which would make it look a bit more toned down. However, the ‘integrated’ design of the Nautilus makes this design work. Some Nautilus watches from the past had diamond hour markers, but these were on the smaller Reference 3800 models. (Photo courtesy of Antiquorum.)
4. Panerai Luminor
In my opinion, for a men’s watch to look right with diamonds, the watch itself needs to be distinctively masculine. Perhaps the Nautilus above is a bit of an exception, but I will make up for that with this Panerai Luminor with diamond-set hour markers. Both the Arabic numerals as well as the stick markers are diamond-studded. This one is a rare edition from 2002; only 100 were made. No, diamonds on a military-style watch do not really make any sense, but neither does a tourbillon movement in a divers’ watch (also from Panerai). Who seems to care, anyway? (Photo courtesy of Antiquorum.)
5. Rolex Submariner ‘Serti’
Another Rolex made the list. The Rolex Submariner in gold/steel (also referred to by collectors as the “Clown”) is available in this “Serti” version. “Serti” is from the French word sertissage, which means “setting stones.” Available with several dial colors and precious stones, the Submariner “Serti” is a watch for which you can easily swap the dial for a normal “Clown” dial when you’ve had your fill of wearing diamonds. After all, there are plenty of these watches and parts for them on the market. If you make friends with a watchmaker, you can even periodically switch dials to suit your needs. As with the Panerai, it really doesn’t make sense to put diamonds on a divers’ watch, but it is more about style than practicality when we’re talking about diamond watches. After all, how many Submariner watches, with or without diamonds, will ever see water, other than in a shower or bath? (Photo courtesy of Antiquorum.)
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WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING FROM ONLINE WATCH STORES
There are a few different types of watch stores that you can buy a watch from online. They may be brick and mortar stores with an online presence, a website-based shop, or a dealer selling through auction sites. Regardless of the situation, here are some things to think about.
If you’re spending your hard-earned cash on an expensive timepiece from an online retailer, service is an important consideration. Not all online shops offer watch inspection and repair services.
However, watches from these stores tend to cost less than from a full-service shop. You need to weigh out whether saving money on a watch is worth finding your own service shop.https://ef211c4a6f61b79ff5307080de994b63.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
It’s always good to have a vintage watch serviced by a certified watchmaker, so look to reputable shops that can explain the service history of a piece. They’ll also be able to maintain new watches, should you ever need it.
If you’re purchasing a gray market watch, chances are the manufacturer won’t recognize the warranty. It’s not because the watch isn’t authentic. It’s because you purchased it outside of its intended distribution chain.
If that’s the case, buy the watch from a reputable gray market dealer that does offer some type of warranty on their pieces. This way you’re not hung out to try if something should go wrong.
These warranties are often limited to movements and defects, however. You’ll have to find a repair shop or pay out of pocket to send it to the manufacturer if you cause the damage.
There are a lot of bad deals online. Authenticity applies to not only the watch, but also the deal you’re entering into. You want to be sure it’s a good deal on the watch that you want.
Obviously, it should be an authentic timepiece, but it should also arrive at your home or office in the condition you’re expecting. If there are scratches, if it’s damaged, or the deal doesn’t include the box, you need to know and pay accordingly.
If you’re paying authentic prices for a watch in new condition with box and tags, you should expect it to arrive that way.
THE BEST PLACES TO BUY WATCHES ONLINE
These are a few online watch sources that you can trust. Whether you’re looking for entry-level, luxury, or vintage watches, you’ll be able to find it and sleep easy knowing you made a solid deal.
One of the best places to buy a watch online is also one of the best places to buy anything online, from wallets to shoes. Amazon has thousands of watches listed in their inventory, and shipping is generally very fast.
The benefit of buying a watch from Amazon is the incredible customer service. If you’re unhappy with your purchase, you can send it back to Amazon for a full refund in most cases.
On top of that, manufacturers will warranty watches purchased from certified dealers selling through Amazon’s marketplace.
If you’re looking to save a little money (or a lot, in some cases), Jomashop is a great first stop on your watch-shopping journey. Jomashop is the premier gray market dealer and sells watches at incredible prices.
The online store carries both pre-owned and new watches, and they’re often listed for less than half of the suggested retail price.
Since Jomashop isn’t an authorized dealer, they try to reduce the risk involved in buying an expensive timepiece on the gray market. They include a warranty for every watch they sell, covering the watch from 1 to 5 years, with some exceptions.
The best part of shopping at Jomashop is the company’s excellent reputation and buying power. That means you’ll get an excellent price on a 100% guaranteed authentic timepiece.
3. CROWN AND CALIBER
If you’re a budding enthusiast, there are few shops better suited for watch shopping. Crown and Caliber’s website is very easy to navigate, dividing their inventory into practical categories. You can see their entire inventory of racing watches, divers, or military watches with one click.
Inventory can then narrow down further by price, size, and even material. You can also shop by brand, choosing from industry favorites like A. Lange & Sohne, Omega, Rolex, JLC, and Zenith.
You can even search by reference number if you know what you’re looking for. Prices range (depending on inventory) from a few hundred dollars to more than $60,000.
Crown and Caliber also offers a lot of helpful resources like the Unwound Blog, how to videos, and information on watch sizing and the anatomy of a watch.
Some of the watches in their inventory are still under manufacturer warranty, but for those that aren’t, Crown and Caliber covers them against mechanical and workmanship defects for up to one year.
4. THEO AND HARRIS
For watch shoppers looking for the perfect vintage piece, checking out Theo and Harris is a solid first move. Their inventory constantly changes, but they carry some of the best vintage watches from companies like Omega, Tudor, Rolex, Zenith, and Panerai.
They provide as much information as possible about each piece, including the era and dimensions, as well as the condition. You can even enter into a payment plan with Theo and Harris if you’d like, making it an attractive option for newer collectors looking for their first vintage piece.
Each watch comes with documentation ensuring that you’re purchasing an authentic piece, and they’re also covered by a one year warranty. The warranty is against mechanical issues—any damage inflicted after the sale will be your responsibility to pay for.
Service is provided through Theo and Harris’ in-house watchmaker so you’ll know where your watch is at all times.
For the widest variety of watches available online, you can’t beat eBay. Watch collectors can get lost for hours at a time, perusing tons of rare and exotic pieces.
Bids tend to jump by a large margin in the last hours of the auction, however. But if you’re watching the right auction, you could see some tremendous savings on a treasured timepiece. It’s all about knowing what you’re looking for and what you’re looking at.
This also leads to some of the risks involved in watch shopping on eBay. Watches can be some of the most expensive items listed on eBay, and the industry does attract some shady business. Make sure that you check a seller’s ratings and reputation before you purchase.
A few unhappy customers is normal, but complaints about fakes or “Frankenwatches” (watches pieced together with spare parts) should be enough to steer you toward another listing.Sponsored by JamesonJameson Irish WhiskeyTriple Distilled, Twice as SmoothSEE MORE
Watchbox is a pre-owned watch dealer that specializes in luxury timepieces. Not only does Watchbox have several brick and mortar locations, but their online shop is also well-stocked for an excellent shopping experience.
They own their entire inventory as well, which allows them to give each piece the service it deserves, bring them back up to snuff. After purchase, Watchbox covers its watches for up to two years with its Global Warranty.
While they have an outstanding selection of Rolexes, you can also find watches from Patek, Panerai, Grand Seiko, as well as some entry-level timepieces.
7. LONG ISLAND WATCH
If you’re an enthusiast, you’ve undoubtedly seen some of the social content from Mark, the owner of Long Island Watch. Long Island Watch specializes in some of the less well-known brands such as Sea-Gull and Red Star but also carries the popular and faithful brands like Seiko and Citizen.https://ef211c4a6f61b79ff5307080de994b63.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
They sell new watches with boxes and papers, and they’re covered under manufacturer warranties. They ship worldwide and provide a 100% money-back guarantee on authenticity.
They even offer their own line of custom watches built on some popular platforms like the SKX and SRP. If you’re in the sub $3000 market, check out Long Island Watch’s online shop.
8. DELRAY WATCH
When it comes to knowledge and service, shopping at Delray Watch is the way to go. This Florida-based dealer has an online shop full of new and pre-owned luxury watches that most enthusiasts will drool over.
You’ll find a huge selection of watches from watch titans like Blancpain, Hublot, Longines, and Breitling.
One of the owners, Federico Iossa, hosts an incredibly informative YouTube channel called “Federico Talks Watches,” where he not only explains watches and trends but also how the watch industry works.
Delray’s service is also top-notch. They employ full-time watchmakers with experience working with Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, and other very high-end watch brands. If you buy a watch from Delray, you can be sure they’ll stand behind their product.
Hodinkee established itself as a hub of information for the watch collecting world before branching out into online sales. Now, it’s one of the most trusted online retailers for brands like G-SHOCK, Montblanc, Oris, and NOMOS Glashütte, among many others.
Manufacturer warranties cover all the new watches that sell through Hodinkee’s online shop. Hodinkee also offers free shipping and returns. Vintage watches sold through the online shop are in less supply, however, and they don’t offer in-house service.
10. BOB’S WATCHES
If it’s a specific Rolex you’re after, Bob’s Watches probably has it. Bob’s is an online luxury pre-owned watch retailer. The company offers a great selection of not just Rolexes, but also Tudor, Omega, and Breitling watches, among many others.
Prices range from timepieces of a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands, depending on their inventory. While Bob’s does have a physical location, the majority of their sales are through the company’s website.
Bob’s Watches takes customer service very seriously. If you buy a watch from the Bob’s Watches online shop, you can reach out to them with any concerns and sort things out.
One of the nice things about WatchMaxx is that they don’t pretend to be something they’re not. As a gray market retailer, they offer incredible prices on some very expensive wristwatches.
However, they acknowledge that they aren’t an authorized dealer for any of the pieces they sell. They do offer a 100% guarantee on authenticity, and they warranty their sales for up to two years.
The warranty covers issues like manufacturing defects, movement failures, and battery replacements. The downside is that you’ll void the warranty if you take your watch anywhere else for service within the two-year time frame.
WatchMaxx’s inventory does change often. However, they’re sure to carry brands like Tissot, Breitling, IWC, Citizen, Rolex, Hamilton, and Patek Philippe. They also carry fashion watches from brands like Gucci, Michael Kors, Burberry, should those be your taste.
12. THE TIME TELLER SHOP
The Time Teller Shop is a small online retailer specializing in rare and vintage watches in all price ranges. The inventory fluctuates constantly, but you can find some excellent deals on some very fun pieces.
The owner, Jory Goodman, runs “The Time Teller” YouTube channel, through which his personality, opinions, and passion for watches really shine.
All of the watches in The Time Teller Shop are “T3 Certified.” That means they’re hand-selected by Jory, and then inspected and serviced by a certified watchmaker. At that point, The Time Teller Shop T3 Certified warranty covers the timepiece for up to one year.
Between Jory’s very public social media presence and the T3 Certified Warranty, you’ll know that you made a solid deal with a reputable retailer.
For a truly worry-free luxury watch shopping experience, Chrono24’s Buyer Protection program has it all figured out. Chrono24 doesn’t directly sell, certify, or warranty any of the watches listed on the site, but they do protect buyers from getting taken advantage of.
When you find a watch you like from Chrono24, you can choose to buy it through the site’s payment processing system for a secure transaction.
If you choose to use Chrono24’s payment processing, your money is deposited into an escrow account. It remains in the account until you have the watch in your hands and approve of the transaction.
You can also finalize the deal with the private seller, though there is more risk involved. It’s also worth noting that you can find a watch from an authorized dealer on Chrono24, in which case it will come with a warranty.
There are a lot of online retailers that are safe for you to buy a high-quality watch from. Some of which will come at an excellent price.
There are equally as many bad retailers, with poor customer feedback and knock-off products. It’s crucial to do some homework, know what you want, and make an informed purchase.
You can trust the online retailers in this guide to provide you with exactly what they say they’re going to. These watch shops are well respected.
They all provide a guarantee of some sort, whether it’s a manufacturer warranty or an in-house guarantee. They want you to walk away from the transaction feeling satisfied and proud of the timepiece you purchased.