5 watches that you can turn into a legacy

The Breitling that James Bond wore. Getty Images

Smart watches, like all electronics, go out of style fast. They become obsolete. They break and can’t be repaired. They can’t be passed on.

Mechanical watches are a whole different game.

Mechanical watches use standard parts, and can be repaired. A well-made mechanical watch can last several lifetimes, becoming something you treasure and pass on as an heirloom.

There are certain things to look for when buying a watch as a keepsake.

Firstly, choose a conservative style – if it hasn’t changed in the past 50 years, it probably won’t for another 50. Make sure the internals are good – don’t go for quartz, look for brands that stake their reputations on their movements. And buy a good brand – barring a few outliers, watches don’t dramatically appreciate in value. But a good brand won’t go down either.

With that in mind, here are five watches that you can turn into a legacy

Rolex Submariner

The Rolex Submariner is one of the most famous watches in the world. It debuted in 1953, and has found a place for work and play. The Submariner's are some of the most stable watches here, value wise - vintage Submariners still fetch a fair price. James Bond wore a Submariner before partnering with Omega. And the watches have only been improving ever since.

Patek Philippe Calatrava

The Patek Philippe Calatrava range, the Swiss watchmakers' flagship, was first introduced in 1932. Throughout the years the style has evolved slightly, growing larger and smaller, featuring different materials and functionalities, but the core has remained the same. If you want simple and classic, you can't go wrong with the Calatrava range.

Tag Heuer Monaco

The Tag Heuer Monaco was first introduced in 1969, to coincide with the Monaco Grand Prix. The Monaco was groundbreaking as both the first square chronograph, as well as the first automatic one. Although discontinued for the while, the watch's prominent role in Steve McQueen's Le Mans has ensured this icon lives on.

Omega Speedmaster

Like many Omega's Speedmaster isn't just beautiful, but is reknown for reliability and function. NASA gave each Apollo astronaut an Omega Speedmaster, and the watch was the first to be worn on the moon, when American astronaut Edward H White wore his on a Gemini spacewalk.

Breitling Navitimer

The Breitling Navitimer launched in the early 50s as a pilots watch and has barely changed since. For the first few decades the Navimeter didn't much live up to its marketing, thanks to a reliance on outsourced parts. But in 2009 Breitling began using in-house mechanisms, and the Navimeter has never been better.

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