Diamonds on men’s watches; some people love them, others can’t stand them. But even those who are counting themselves among the last category might be tempted to at least, adjust their opinion with the following four watches. They are either quite subtle or go all in, but all bring something very special to the table that makes them in one way or another too tempting to turn down.
Patek Philippe 5170P
The diamonds on the Patek Philippe 5170P are so subtle, we won’t even blame you if you missed them. The brand opted for baguette-cut diamonds to serve as the hour markers of this watch. As they have a nearly invisible setting, they offer an understated touch to this exquisite manual wind chronograph. They are also the perfect match with the stunning dial, which Patek Philippe refers to as ‘bleu degrade noir.’ With this choice, Patek Philippe also honors another tradition, and that is that a platinum watch should feature a blue dial. All combined, they dish up diamonds in such a refined way that it must even whet the appetite of people typically not inclined to do so.
A Rolex Day-Date in yellow gold is one of the world’s most recognizable luxury watches. The brand offers it with a nearly endless array of options, and among them, diamond-set bracelets, cases, and dials. Applying them on yellow gold is traditional, yet positions this watch even more clearly as a symbol of achievement. When you opt for the classic 36-mm large model, Rolex offers the option to fit it with a green ombré dial and diamond hour markers. Combined with the fluted bezel and president-bracelet does it give the Day-Date a slight vintage feel, and makes it unapologetically beautiful.
Zenith Defy El Primero 21
A high-tech, 1/100th of a second mechanical chronograph featuring a pave setting of diamonds? It might not sound like the best combination, but Zenith proves otherwise with the Defy El Primero 21. What makes this watch even more interesting is that they didn’t go for precious metal to make the case out of but for titanium. That makes this Defy El Primero 21 pleasantly light to wear. It is also a nod to the high-tech movement that powers it, and which you can admire in part through the skeletonized dial. Zenith set the bezel with baguette-cut diamonds, while they opted for brilliant-cut stones for the case. This pleasantly surprising use of diamonds gives the watch a luxurious dynamic that goes beyond its complications.
Piaget is using diamonds to emphasize further that they are masters of the ultra-thin. Setting one of their Altiplano-models with diamonds on the bezel and lugs is already quite a challenge as it is so thin that there simply isn’t much metal to set them. But Piaget can take this even further, by not only skeletonizing the 3mm thick 1200D manufacture movement but also set it with brilliant-cut diamonds. The result is mind-blowing, not even so much because of all the gem-stones, but more due to the technical accomplishment of setting them there. That makes this a feat that, at the very least deserves a tip of the hat.