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.
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. 5713 would 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.)
To all of you male readers out there — would you wear a watch with diamonds? And to all of you ladies — do you like men who wear watches with diamonds? Share your thoughts with us in the comments box below.
This article was originally published in 2014 and has been updated.
My Father wore this one ! Loved it ! Looks great on him ! Would love one myself !
This is a best site for Mens and Womens Watches Lovers ! I must share this great site with my friends too….Cheers !
Hey, being a classical musician, I’d feel great to have a Rolex Day-Date on President bracelet with diamond hour markets on my wrist, hopefully with green dial on everose gold!
Only the Rolex Sub Serti for me. The rest are just a waste of good diamonds. I will rather give them to my wife.
Yes, but why? I love diamonds on other jewelry but not on my watches.
Rolex always stands out …
In their ugly vulgarness.
Thanks for the wonderdully insightful article. Fully agree with you that there are men who are starting to see the tremendous beauty and hard work that goes into making a good diamond. I am certainly one of those men. I think most guys dont mind diamonds as long as they are not too loud. Omega made the seamaster aqua terra with small diamonds embedded into gunmetal polished hour markers. What a stunner. The diamonds add that shine to the markers. Kudos.
I have only two watches that have diamonds, one was my Father’s Rolex Datejust from the seventies and it has diamond hour markers and was a gift from my Mother to my Father . I also own a Rolex Tridor Masterpiece that was a gift from my wife. The other watches I own are without diamonds . Oh and to those that say real men don’t wear diamonds , my Father was a Captain in the 11th Airborne in Korea and I really don’t think anyone would say that to me either .
I definitely would it takes a man who is very comfortable with himself his image if you will with out being Mr. Macho. I like the idea of that Serti dial, couldn’t you do that with almost any Rolex watches?
It may be a regional thing but, Southern men do not wear diamond watches. In the bible belt can you picture yourself passing the church offering plate wearing that type of jewelry?
Personally, not a fan of diamonds on men’s watches as it injects a definite element of tackiness but these are all subtle and tastefully executed. All except the Panerai. Complete destruction of a perfectly good and legendary watch. That, in my eyes is a sackable offense.
A real man can wear anything he wants !!!
Diamonds for a man’s watch, only if you are a pimp, a gangster, a nouveau riche, a rapper, a sports start , a show off or combination. Foget about it. A real man does not wear Diamonds.
They are all ugly asf!!! never never never.. maybe the rolex you can get away with but that’s as far as it should go. Can’t fuck up a perfect Patek with those damn diamonds. Get some Class. it shitty and belongs in the shitter.
Your words have class for sure, ol’ chap!
Surely, Ralph Lauren’s men’s watch with all those beautifully cut and set baguette ( I think that’s what you call them!) diamonds right around the bezel, deserves a mention . With my limited knowledge as a watch fancier/window shopper, I’d say it’s in a class of its own, possibly shared with one or two others, but the stones are not merely little round sparkly ones, but gorgeous baguettes that will flash!
Diamonds on watches are for women and rappers not men.
In my humble opinion the day-date and royal oak look great
Rolex date just with diamond face on the hour settings is a very attractive dress watch.
The yellow gold Rolex DayDate is nice, but in white gold with white diamonds at the hour markers, the Day-Date is fantastic. Elegant, more subtle, luxurious and functional and practical.
I always liked the Serti, there’s the gold one which is a bit much for my taste.
May just pull the trigger for a ss/ gold one…if the market keeps up.
For the price of those watches, the diamonds are tiny. I have an American made Bulova Accutron with better diamonds. Individually set too. There must be American companies that make watches. Maybe we can see some of those. I am starting to think I am seeing the same old thing. Have a nice day!
I have worn a Rolex Day Date gold without diamonds for 32 years; I would give it away before I would wear it with diamonds on the dial.
I’m a guy and I like diamond bezel watches and wear them regularly
Watches are subjective. Purely personal taste. I just bought a Ulysses Nardin Classico with a diamond bezel. Looks stunning and is really set off by light or sun. Personally, a man should wear what he finds fits his taste. I never look for anyone’s acceptance on a timepiece. That leads to a watch that most likely won’t see much wear. So opinions are best left to the reader to make.
Well said and I agree. A watch is a reflection of your personality, not that of others. A man should be confident and wear whatever appeals to them personally.
Following Breitling’s misguided bling phase, diamonds should just be forbidden on men’s watches to prevent a recurrence.
For some, perhaps, but not a chance for me. I love beautiful watches, great designs, interesting dials, myriad complications. But diamonds are a waste.
So “your opinion” is that diamonds are a waste?
Real diamonds on men’s watches look great. I have a few watches with real diamonds all around the outside as well as for markers on the numbers and I wear them all the time, even with jeans. Be your own man and wear what you want, when you want. There are no rules guys.
Nice post! I agree with you.
Watches with diamonds are different classes and luxury diamond is different varieties many designs are using diamond but the most expensive design with diamonds are Patek philippe, Rolex AP,PIaget,Hoblut,Panarai etc
I normally do not like diamonds on watches. For example, I think the diamonds on the Panerai in this article look hideous. I do not like diamond bezels but diamond hour markers are a lot more subtle. I own a two tone Tudor Glamour with a black dial and diamond hour markers. Truthfully, you hardly notice the diamonds but they are classy, not vulgar.
i bought 1 month ago daytona steel gold with diamond such a good lookin watch and little hard to find
I speak with Bespoke. I am not the biggest fan of diamonds, but I do have a 1950’s Galaxy, which is the product of a LeCoultre-Vacheron joint effort. The dial is signed LeCoultre, the movement is signed LeCoultre with the VXN engraving and the 14k white gold case is signed on the back with both company names. There are 37 diamonds on the dial. It’s too dressy to be worn with anything but a suit but it does look good at a fancy affair.
A small diamond bezel can be classey(like the nautilus above) vs one that is large and blingey. Diamond hour markers look fine
No matter the maker diamonds on a watch make me think of pimps.
Corums’ golden bridge has a diamond version. It is elegant enough to carry the diamonds without looking out of place or forced. A very dressy watch without going over the top.
Given the topic, men’s watches using diamonds with taste and discretion, I am really surprised that the Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle was overlooked. I can think of no better example than the Ref 43076.
I like diamonds, and diamonds in watches are always looking awesome.These models looking good only because of diamonds.
Diamonds are a versatile stone and can certainly hold their own with men, adding charisma and elegance, particularly on a watch.
Men’s Diamond Watches
I agree with you completely. I love these Mens Watches. I bought the first one from Burlington Coat Factory. They had a great price on it, so I couldn’t resist.
There are two Rolex models, so I would include the ultra-elegant Patek Philippe 5961 P-001, with dial in matt blue color, case in platinum, bezel set with 36 baguette diamonds (3.48 ct) and seven complicatons.
But except for the gold president out of these 5 pcs none should have diamonds…simplicity is key in these successful designs
Few occasions and few personalities justify such diamond adorned timepiece in my personal opinion.
As for occasions I see elegant and jubilent intimite or gathering affairs of significance to be appropriate for display of such oppulance. So not for everyday wrist-time. This doesn’t mean I dislike diamonds on watches because I actually do, but I do not see myself wear it well enough.
Male celebrities, wether local or worldwide in sports, business or in entertainment while having achieved status along with publicly known amassed wealth can carry heavy bejewelled watches with pride witout being viewed so much as ‘showing off’.
Me on the other hand….
I recall a few Movado Museum watches with diamonds that would be a reason able choice for formal wear at a more reasonable price. Further, given Movado’s long standing association with the arts and progressive design, one might expect a museum watch with diamonds.
Great topic! Years ago there was no man wearing these colourfull bracelets, now I see loads of guys wearing 6 to 8 together. As soon as a few of the International style icons start wearing diamond set watches , part of the crowd will follow. Personally I would prefer a more dressy kinda watch to be set with diamonds, instead of a sports watch like a Panerai. Thanks for bringing this subject up!
No-no-no! Diamonds are jewelry. Watches are not. I hate jewelry!
Sorry to break it to you but anytime you spend more than a few hundred bucks on a watch it’s jewellery. That’s not a knock, I’ve spent ridiculous money over the years, but none of my watches is more accurate than a g-shock.
With quartz watches this may be true but with automatic movements I have found that Swiss made movements are more accurate than Chinese movements . For a few hundred bucks one will only find Chinese movements in an automatic watch. To get an automatic watch with a Swiss made movement one has to spend $1000 . You can still make due ,with a cheaper Chinese movement in an automatic watch, if you don’t mind adjusting the time every couple of days.
I have a 1954 Longines white gold with diamonds dress watch. At first glance one would be unaware of the diamonds on the watch face and lugs. the diamonds add a sparkle in candle light without the watch appearing to be too ‘Blingy’ and still looks masculine. I only wear it with a dinner jacket.
Yes, I would wear a slim Jaeger dress watch with diamonds. Jaeger has the fine ability to make masculine and feminine timepieces in perfectly balanced proportions. So does Vacheron.
yup I agree
Diamonds on a man watch will never look good
Not only no, but H*** no! Seriously, diamonds are not functional, just decoration (Is 18k gold? Not the question he asked.).
You could say the same about gold or platinum. They don’t increase the accuracy of a watch so at the end of the day you’re only buying them for looks/status.
Exactly, and wearing a watch certainly has far more dimensions to it than mere functionality.