13 Best Men's Luxury Watches of 2023 So Far
Nearly all the major luxury watch brands have released an epic timepiece for 2023. Rolex's Yacht-Master was our favorite from this year's Watches and Wonders trade show (more on that below). But the long of the short of it is, any time is a good time to invest in the best men's luxury watches. They make gifting a breeze, whether you want to celebrate a major milestone in a man's life or splurge on a luxury watch for yourself.
The best luxury watches are iconic and timeless, but that doesn't mean you have to eschew color and personality for something mainstream (think blue dial watches). From days in the office to big nights out to weekend adventures, there's a watch to match every occasion. If you've been walking around with bare wrists lately, now's the time to change that.
While there are plenty of great men's watches under $500 and field watches with a utilitarian sense and sensibility, we're putting the spotlight on luxury watches for men.
So, let's cut to the chase and get to the wrist candy. Whether you're looking for an ultra-complicated horological wonder or a cool everyday tool watch, here are our 13 favorite launches of 2023 so far.
Rolex released some cracking new watches at this year’s Watches and Wonders, but our favorite, hands down, was Yacht-Master 42mm in full titanium. Previously, the piece was only available in white or yellow gold, but the new titanium construction gives Yacht-Master a tool watch vibe that's more workplace appropriate for sailors. The watch is waterproof to a depth of 100m (330ft), and while Rolex makes some of the most comfortable bracelets on the market, we’d swap it out for a NATO style strap for added security on your next regatta.
There was a time, not long ago, when brands like Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet were relatively unknown to folks outside the watch enthusiast community and the ultra-wealthy. For a variety of reasons, those days are gone, but for those who want an under-the-radar, high-horology sports watch, look no further than Parmigiani Fleurier’s Tonda collection. The brand’s PF Minute Rattrapante uses a new complication to give the wearer a function usually operated by the graduated bezel on a diver’s watch. The watch features a second minute hand in 18k rose gold that can be used as a timer. A pusher at 10 o’clock advances the hand by one minute while another at 8 o’clock moves it forward by five minutes. When the rhodium-plated minute hand catches up with the gold hand, the timer has elapsed. The function can be stopped and reset with a gold pusher set in the crown.
Micro-brand Norqain is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a collection of its Independence model. This skeletonized, time-only version peeks into the Sellita automatic movement as it beats away at 28,800 vibrations per hour. Shock resistant and rated to a depth of 100 meters, the 42mm case is finished with brushed, polished, and sandblasted treatments, while the hours, minutes, and second hand are painted in a blue lacquer. Independence is available on a micro-adjustable bracelet, as well as a Milanese textured rubber strap for a nice pop of color.
Tudor Black Bay GMT was a helluva watch when it was released in 2018. But for 2023, House of Wilsdorf has paired the design with a fresh new white dial. The 41mm case is still waterproof to 200m (660 ft) and the 48-click, 24-hour bezel has the blue and red, day to night treatment. But the galvanic-finished opaline dial gives GMT a touch of added elegance that really sets it off.
Honestly, there’s a bit of a learning curve to reading Moser’s simplified perpetual calendar dial. It’s almost too clean. A small center hand moves around the dial to represent one of the 12 months, while a large date window at 3 o'clock provides an instant date change at midnight. There are four other hands on the face: Two central hands tell the hours and minutes; at six o’clock, there's a seconds hand; and at nine o’clock, an indicator displays the seven-day power reserve for the in-house, hand-wound caliber HMC 800. This Endeavor is cased in tantalum, a rare metal sometimes used to block radiation on spacecrafts. Very cool, but the pièce de résistance is certainly the “Abyss Blue” dial. Four different colored pigments fixed to a hammered gold plate are kiln-fired to create an almost pulsing effect.
It’s well documented, but we're suckers for world timers and this one from Ming ticks nearly all the boxes. The gorgeous case is sculpted in grade 5 titanium. Inside you’ll find a micro-rotor automatic caliber built by Swiss movement maker Schwarz-Etienne just for Ming (ASE 222) visible though a sapphire case back. On the sapphire dial, cities, indices and hands—also in sapphire and filled with HyCeram X1 lume—seem to hover, each at their own level, above a 24-hour disc coded in blue and black to represent day and night.
Tag Heuer is a brand that’s quite nearly synonymous with racing and the new Monza looks like you’ve opened the engine compartment on the latest Red Bull F1 car. The swirling carbon-fiber case evokes straight-up speed, while a skeletonized dial gives a peak at the engine: an in-house caliber Heuer 02 flyback chronograph.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act I celebrates the watch’s legacy as one of the first dive watches. Limited to 210 examples, Act 1 features a 42.3mm case (the standard size is now 45mm, while the original was 41mm) in polished stainless steel; a domed sapphire bezel insert with a lumed timing bezel; and a depth rating of 300m.
This RD#4 is AP’s most complicated watch thus far. In fact the new Calibre 1000 includes a staggering 23 complications including a split seconds chronograph with a flyback function, a minute repeater, grande sonnerie, a semi-Gregorian perpetual calendar, an accurate astronomical moon phase, a tourbillon, and automatic winding.
For 2023, Cartier bent the curves a little more on Américaine—the largest offering in the Tank line—making it even more sultry on the wrist. But tweaks to the case weren’t the only updates. The new version loses the date function, making it a time-only piece. Maison also deleted the seconds hand but the two remaining pointers are still cast in Cartier’s traditional blue and the dial is now finished with a vertical satin brushing.
Boeing recently delivered the final 747, a plane that helped get the modern jet age off the ground. For those who've never flown on the "Queen of the Skies," that news may not hit that hard. But for aviation geeks, the end of the 747 era and its retirement is an occasion to mark and there's no better way to celebrate than with this Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 Boeing 747.
Another OG dive watch that celebrates its 70th anniversary this year is Zodiac Sea Wolf. This version doesn’t commemorate the jubilee, rather it demonstrates the brand’s expert use of color and its new automatic STP 6-15 movement.
Stealthy, seductive, and monochromatic, Zenith Pilot Big Date Flyback in ceramic is part of the brand’s re-imagined pilot series, which employs a new silhouette better fitting the brand’s contemporary lineup. The watch’s black dial features horizontal grooves, large contrasting Arabic numerals in white, and large chronograph counters at 3 and 9 o’clock. The black 42.5mm ceramic case houses an updated automatic El Primero movement (3652). The caliber offers 60 hours of power reserve and a date function with a near-instantaneous jump. The disks take a mere 0.07 seconds to flip.