Based on the world’s leading on-line watch market platform, Chrono24.com, we present to you the Top 10 of most searched for watch models by visitors from the USA.
Chrono24.com generates almost 100 million page impressions per quarter, from approximately 3 million visitors per month. With over 100,000 watches for sale, it is a tremendous source for both watch buyers and dealers.
As the data of the Chrono24 website is very valuable, a new company called Chronolytics has been founded to use that data to perform analysis and create market interest reports for brands. The Chronolytics company is owned by Ebner (publisher of WatchTime magazine), Chrono24 and yours truly, Robert-Jan Broer.
In this Top 10 list for MotoringExposure, we will show you the Top 10 watch models that have been visited the most on the Chrono24 website by their visitors from the USA in the first quarter of 2012. To be in this list, visitors not only had to perform a simple search on a brand or model, but they also had to show interest by clicking the watch ads on Chrono24.com. This way, we are positive about their interest in the brands and models in this list.
But enough with the talk, let’s proceed with the Top 10!
1. Omega Seamaster
The Omega Seamaster collection was introduced in 1947 as a waterproof dress watch but grew out to be the rugged watch that we know from James Bond’s wrists. With their Seamaster Professiona 300M, Seamaster Aqua Terra and the latest Seamaster Planet Ocean models, Omega did a hell of a job creating Seamaster watches that anyone can enjoy. The latest Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph features Omega’s in-house caliber 9300. The caliber 9300 is an impressive co-axial chronograph movement with a column-wheel mechanism for precise timing.
2. Rolex Submariner
Although you might think this was the ‘number 1’ (it was a very close call), the US visitors of Chrono24 put the Submariner on the second spot in this list. The Submariner was James Bond’s choice in the movie Dr.No and the choice of many other actors, musicians, politicians, professional divers and so on, including that of many watch enthusiasts. During the last few years, Rolex updated the Submariner with a ceramic bezel, an impressive bracelet and clasp and embedded their latest technological features in its movement.
3. Rolex Datejust (including the II)
The icon of the 1980s, the Datejust that Patrick Bateman wore in American Psycho (amongst a lot of Wall Street yuppies) is considered to be the mother of all modern wristwatches as we know them now. For decades, the Datejust was only available in a very modest 36mm size but for the past few years, the Datejust II is on the market as well and has been pumped up to 41mm in size. We have covered the Datejust a few times here on MotoringExposure, including the Datejust II.
4. Rolex Daytona
This is the watch that has been nicknamed after the race track in the US, the Daytona. The chronograph started out as a very small wrist watch with a hand wound chronograph movement by Valjoux has become one of the most sought after chronograph watches in the world. Whether it is the latest model in everrose gold and in-house Rolex chronograph movement (since 2000) or a vintage hand-wound Daytona in average condition, many will consider it as the most desirable watch out there.
5. Omega Speedmaster
Here it is; the watch that went to the Moon and back. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins all wore one during their trip to the Moon in 1969. It is NASA’s choice since 1965 and put on the ‘number 5’ spot by watch enthusiasts and collectors from the USA. Although the Omega Speedmaster comes in many shapes and editions these days, the Speedmaster Professional (or any vintage version) is the real deal according to many Speedy collectors and purists out there. Just like the Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph, the latest Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph has the new in-house caliber 9300 movement. Omega is clearly moving up on the haute horlogerie ladder. However, Omega’s CEO Stephen Urquhart stressed that the original Moonwatch with hand wound chronograph caliber will never leave the collection.
6. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore
First introduced as a spin-off from the original Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet introduced the Offshore collection in 1993 to attract a new kind of customer to their masculine and sporty Royal Oak watches. It has since been seen on the wrists of Arnold Schwarzenegger and many other celebrities. The Royal Oak Offshore collection consists mainly of chronograph watches, but their Diver watch is becoming rapidly popular as well. Could the late Gérald Genta (the original designer of the Royal Oak in 1972) have imaged his design would take off (again) 21 years later?
7. Rolex GMT-Master (including the II)
Developed with the help of Pan-Am pilots, Rolex introduced the GMT-Master watch in 1954. A watch that helped pilots and frequent travelers a lot by creating a watch that has easy to use extra time zone functionality. Over at Fratellowatches, we did a very cool essay on the GMT-Master collection last year, we certainly recommend reading it. When Rolex introduced the GMT-Master II (a.k.a Fat Lady) in 1983, it became possible to read even three time zones with one watch (and a simple instruction). The current GMT-Master II with ceramic bezel and green 24-hour hand is becoming more popular every day.
8. Panerai Luminor
Officina Panerai from Firenze, Italy. The watch looks as cool as it sounds and can expect to have a lot of fans (so called Paneristi) worldwide, but especially in the USA. As soon as a new model is introduced, it seems to be sold out within minutes. If you are not in time to get it first, you will end up paying way over list price. In the past few years, Panerai has developed their own movements for their watches. The very first Panerai watches used by the Italian navy in the late 1930s and onwards used modified Rolex movements. Needless to say that these vintage Panerai watches fetch incredible amounts of money at auctions and trade shows.
9. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Just a few steps behind on the popular Offshore collection, the ‘normal’ Royal Oak has been put on ‘number 9’ according to those on the hunt for a new or pre-owned model on Chrono24. This year is the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak and it has been celebrated in the USA first, at the brand’s boutique in New York City. Even the personal Royal Oak watch from its designer, the late Gérald Genta, was present at the exhibition in New York. It comes in many flavors and materials, but we think of the Royal Oak ‘Jumbo’ 15202 and all its predecessors as the ‘original’.
10. Breitling Chronomat
If you ever paid attention to the watches worn by Jerry Seinfeld during one of his shows, you know the Breitling Chronomat. After Rolex and Omega, Breitling has the most chronometer certified movements in the world. Considered to be the pilot’s instrument by many and worn by many as well. The latest Chronomat watches come in 41mm, 44mm and even 47mm sizes and have Breitling’s in-house movement caliber 01 ticking inside.
Perhaps the Top 10 is not very surprising, but it shouldn’t be either. These are the usual suspects of horology and the list includes a number of – or perhaps every one of them are – iconic watches. If you want to get more of these statistics and facts, get subscribed on the Chronolytics Monthly Newsletter by signing-up for it at www.chronolytics.ch. Don’t worry, you won’t get spammed. Instead you will receive a monthly news letter with all kinds of cool facts about watches.