A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1
The rise of A. Lange & Söhne to the apex of the horological world in only 20 years must surely rank as one of the most impressive achievements by any brand.

Eschewing the overtly glitzy marketing tendencies of other brands, Lange watches are instead characterized by a pure devotion to traditional watchmaking values, with high levels of finishing as a standard and a mechanical finesse and robustness plainly evident in the design of their many movements.

To own any watch from A. Lange & Söhne is a decided pleasure, but the one that most collectors buy to start with is their undoubted icon, the Lange 1.

This is a watch that contains everything good about the brand, and which has that unrivaled ability to instantly signal your appreciation of fine watches to other connoisseurs.

Rolex GMT-Master II
While there are many contenders to the title of the most complete all-round watch, there is only one that combines everything important and necessary into one neat package.

With two of the most useful complications: date and second timezone, and housed in a metal case (stainless steel or 18K gold) with matching bracelet to make its 100m water-resistance mean something in a world of leather strap alternatives, this is a watch that has you covered in almost every scenario.

Raising the level of desirability of this iconic model is the bank-vault solidity of the Rolex name that stands for reliability in usage and outstanding value retention.

Greubel Forsey Signature 1
When the Signature 1 was unveiled by Greubel Forsey this year, the 33-piece limited version of this watch instantly became the most expensive stainless-steel time-only watch available on the market.

While brand equity and outstanding levels of finishing make up much of its high price tag, what this particular Greubel Forsey represents is what happens when the esoteric complications that the brand is famous for are removed, allowing what remains to be perceived as the essence of what makes it so special.

Could this be the most beautifully finished time-only watch that you can wear on your wrist? Quite possibly…