Remember in the movie Inception, where Dom Cobb (AKA Leonardo DiCaprio) uses a totem, a weighted spinning top, to tell the difference between dreams and reality? Of course you do — and what an epic movie. But what the heck does that have to do with luxury watches available from famed online outlet Crown and Caliber? Actually, more than you might think. You see, to us, wearing a stylish watch from a favorite brand on the daily is its own form of a totem — this writer’s wrist just doesn’t feel right without a watch on it.
Are you still with us? You’re not in the fifth layer of the dream yet, are you? Stick with us a little while longer, because you’re going to find out all about how to find your new favorite watch — your new daily totem — from the luxury-minded watch purveyors at Crown and Caliber. Of course, if you find the right watch, you’ll want to wear it as often as you can (see, the totem theory does work). A great watch can ground you, it can offer a reminder that time is of the essence, it can serve as a cool conversation piece and it can become an heirloom with stories all its own.
Of course, with Crown and Caliber, you’re getting a bit of that approach baked right into your purchase. Crown and Caliber calls themselves your watch guide, and they’re quite the effective “ online, modern solution for buying and selling watches,” (their emphasis). Spend any time perusing the jam-packed site, with picks from revered watchmakers like Rolex or Panerai, and there’s more than a high probability you’ll agree with us.
All About Crown and Caliber
The company sprang from founder and CEO Hamilton Powell’s struggles with buying a watch on the secondary market: The process was shady and inexact, and prone to scams. So, he took matters into his own hands, starting C&C as a platform for sellers: It’s now a platform for buyers and sellers, of course.
In short, it’s a very good thing indeed for budding watch collectors and longtime enthusiasts, with more than 40 brands on offer. There are names you’ll recognize, like Breitling and OMEGA (hello, Mr. Bond), there are brands you’ll assuredly covet, like Panerai, Audemars Piguet and Grand Seiko, and there are brands that are quite simply, epic (like Tudor). You know those brands now, but — as with the careful planning undertaken by the crew in Inception — you need to take your time and do your research properly. Otherwise, well, you’ve seen the movie (and perhaps, you’ve experienced a less-than-stellar watch).
What To Look for In a Pre-Owned and Used Watch from Crown and Caliber
- Quality and Status: Within the Crown and Caliber site, as you browse, you’ll notice a number of specs listed on the product page for each watch, including the Condition of said watch, plus whether it’s got its box or papers. Watches that feature the original box and verification or authenticity papers are, of course, the most ideal but the good thing is, a watch doesn’t make it to the Crown and Caliber site through just any old process (watches are certified Crown and Caliber Authentic).
- Materials and Construction: Simply put, what kind of watch are you looking for? Do you want a handsome leather watch you can wear with just about anything, anywhere on the planet (like this Panerai Luminor)? Do you want a speedy sport watch, like this TAG Heuer Carrera? Or do you want an OMEGA watch to rival the one worn by James Bond? The choice really is yours when it comes to Cornw and Caliber.
- Watch Size and Functionality: Wrist sizes differ for everyone, as do the case diameters of several of the watches shown on Crown and Caliber. In our experience, watches that range in case diameter size from 38mm to 42mm are going to work for most wrists. Most dive or field/adventure watches are sized at 42mm or larger, while dress watches tend to clock in (pun very much intended) at 36 to 40mm, or smaller (think of the watches worn in Mad Men, for instance).
There’s plenty to consider when it comes to the world of stylish watches from Crown and Caliber. Believe us when we say it really is a world unto its own. With that in mind, join us and get lost in the dream, Inception– style, if only briefly, in the search for your new favorite watch.
Our 10 Favorite Watches to Buy Now from Crown and Caliber
Panerai Luminor GMT
As mentioned above, a watch the prestige and quality of a revered brand like Panerai is going to be able to pull double or triple-duty for you any day of the week. It helps that this one is in Excellent condition and features a handsome leather strap, a stainless steel dial, GMT functionality (to seamlessly tell time anywhere in the world), and all the instantly recognizable bells and whistles you get from Panerai.
TAG Heuer Carrera
If you had a feeling the legendary TAG Heuer Carrera (first introduced in the 1960s) would come back into play in our roundup of the best watches to by from Crown and Caliber, you’re absolutely right. The Carrera is best at home on the race track or the open road, but it’s got loads of sleek, sporty style going for it. Note the triple-chronograph build and the durable rubber strap, plus the agreeable price tag (it clocks in at $2,300).
OMEGA Seamaster 300M
OMEGA watches have been everywhere (heck, the Speedmaster Watch from OMEGA went to the moon!), and the Seamaster is one that’s more well-suited to Earthbound (but no less cool) pursuits. This is a bargain price for a hard-wearing watch that’s in Very Good condition, especially consider OMEGA watches frequently fetch quite a bit more than what’s being asked here. The great thing is, this watch has gone through the rigorous Crown and Caliber review process — it’s more than suited for your own deep sea adventures.
Cartier Calibre de Cartier
Cartier watches have been used as a model — or inspiration, rather — for plenty of great dress watches on the market. There’s only one original though, and you can get yours at Crown and Caliber. The 18-karat rose gold case and exceptionally crisp, dressy construction are one-of-a-kind. It’s a throwback to a simpler time, when elegance was first and foremost. You can get yours for a very cool (almost) 12 grand, and why wouldn’t you want to, after all?
Hublot Big Bang All Black
Hublot watches are bold, they’re distinctive, they’re tough-as-nails and yet they’re luxury-minded all the same. What do we mean by that? There are only 500 of these watches sold worldwide, and the rarity reflects the quality-plus-style mindset of Hublot. Not just anyone can own one, after all. The monochromatic all-black build, with a contrasting dial, blends a rugged ceramic case with a rubber-and-leather strap for go-anywhere functionality. Again, scarcity drives demand, and this is one heck of a covetable watch.
Rolex is practically the brand that you might place next to the phrase “dive watch” in any style manual or any guide to classic menswear and gear. And the Submariner is the epitome of that timeless approach. In short, Rolex watches are the stuff of legend, and the Submariner, with a bold black dial and tough stainless steel build, is a standout watch to get on your wrist ASAP through Crown and Caliber.
Breitling Colt Skyracer
Breitling’s aptly named Colt Skyracer calls to mind global jetsetting and a spirit of adventure (or heck, Inception-esque dream -hopping — remember what we said about your watch acting as a totem!). The point is, this sporty rubber strap watch blends blue and black as stylishly as can be, and the case itself is built from Breitlight,®, a proprietary material that’s lighter than titanium and steel. How can you go wrong with that? You really can’t.
Tudor Heritage Black Bay
Every iconic watch brand has its flagship product, the watch to rule all other watches, the sort of timepiece that its fans covet and love, and collect –and argue about with each new iteration. The Tudor Heritage Black Bay, in this instance, isn’t some newfangled watch release with details to fret about. It’s just a darn fine watch with that classic red bezel-black dial combination and the prestige to look great throughout any adventure on land or in the high seas.
Bell & Ross BR03-92
We appreciate a watch brand that refuses to compromise, focusing instead on quality, taste and effortlessly cool designs (and a good amount of durability). What that means for you when it comes to this Bell & Ross timepiece is that you’re getting a striking watch with oversized numerals and the watchmaker’s instantly noticeable squared-off case — it’s a unique watch in its own right, but one that you can instantly turn into your own, however you choose to wear it.
OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
It wouldn’t be a guide to the best watches to buy at Crown and Caliber without mentioning the fact that you can indeed get your hands on the Moonwatch from MEGAs famed Speedmaster line. It’s a watch that needs no introduction, and you’re going to have it for years and years to come (to say the least).