5 Designer Watches That Have Reached Cult Status Among Fashion Insiders

The Luxury List is a monthly column on all things luxury, tapping the foremost experts in the fashion space to explore everything from craftsmanship deep dives to the little-known details to consider when buying fine jewelry.



On The Luxury List column, I’ve recently covered everything from the fine jewelry pieces that have gone viral on Instagram to the key designer shoes to know about to the cool bags that are destined to define 2021. In the latest installment, I’m focusing on a topic I’ve been eager to dive into—the best designer watches on the market to have on your radar.

I’m personally considering my first investment watch purchase, so I’ve been studying some of the most iconic designer watch brands, as well as the cult models that you’ll spot on celebrities and fashion insiders. After entrenching myself into the glamorous world of designer watches, there are some key styles to know about. These include everything from iconic brands you’ll be familiar with to limited-edition pieces collected by the most in-the-know watch connoisseurs. Here, discover 5 beautiful designer watches to know about if you're considering the investment.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

One of the most iconic watch brands in existence, Rolex is synonymous with luxury timepieces. The timeless design of the Oyster Perpetual watches make them a popular choice among fashion people looking for a classic, versatile piece.

Panthère de Cartier

The best designer watches: Panthère de Cartier



Cartier is home to many iconic watches, but the Panthère de Cartier is carving itself out as a key buy among the fashion set and celebs including Dua Lipa, who wears hers on repeat. Originally launched in 1983, this style is a nod to the fun-loving decade—but couldn't look more modern to this day.

Chanel J12

Equal parts luxe and cool, the Chanel J12 watch offers up a sporty take on timepieces that takes inspiration from sailing yachts at the America's Cup. Originally released in 2000, the J12 watch is now one of the house's bestsellers after over two decades.

Bulgari Serpenti

Bulgari really blurs the line between jewelry and timepieces with its elegant Serpenti watches. Designed to mimic the curving shape of the serpent, each piece is crafted with a unique band that twists around the wrist.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

The best designer watches: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak


Getty/Stephen Lovekin; @mvb

Audemars Piguet is a true watch insiders' watch. With limited-edition releases and fine craftsmanship, the brand produces of the most highly-coveted watches in the world. Their most popular design, the Royal Oak, was introduced in 1972 and can be spotted on celebs including Mary-Kate Olsen and Harry Styles.