Watches are a fashion statement and a symbol of style and sophistication. However, finding a high-quality watch that meets both your budget and style can be challenging. 

Luckily, there are a variety of options available in the market. In this article, we have put together a comprehensive list of the best watches under £10,000 that not only offer excellent quality but also exude class and elegance.

 Whether you are a fan of classic or modern styles, we have collated our list of the best five watches at the £10,000 price point to give you some options out there.

The Rolex Submariner (124060): £6,450

Image Credit: Monochrome Watches

  • Perfect for: The Diver, The Tool Watch Collector, The Purist 
  • Diameter: 41mm
  • Movement: 3230
  • Case Material: 904L Oystersteel
  • Features: Rotating bezel, screw-down case-back, scratch-resistant sapphire

Ok. I think most of you probably hedged your bets on the Rolex Submariner being on this list. In fact, there is a plethora of stainless-steel Rolex sports models in this bracket that could have made the list.

Arguably, no brand fits into this bracket better than Rolex. So, why the Submariner ‘no date’ and not the date model, or even the new green ‘cerakermit’? 

Well, Rolex has consistently hit the mark of the last few years with all date Submariners, I would say. I think it’s been widely accepted that the Submariner Dates have set the benchmark for date dive watches for many years now. 

Yes, they’ve not really upgraded the movement for a long time until the recent release, but there’s still not much out there better. One watch has done well but perhaps fallen slightly short in recent iterations in that of the no date. I’m thinking in particular the 114060. 

The case shape felt clunky and awkward and it wore excessively large on the wrist, particularly for a 40mm case size. The big reason behind this was the straightened lugs. It’s safe to say that both on and off the wrist this Submariner wasn’t an aesthetic masterpiece. However, Rolex has improved the movement, slimmed down the lugs and made a few changes to the dial, to make this version a lot better than the previous version. 

Despite Rolex releasing some bold and interesting options in the Submariner range, I think personally, the 124060 was the most hotly anticipated. And that’s not only because I owned the 114060 and disliked the lug shape. 

What Rolex has created is a sleek, rugged and dependable watch that boasts all the history of the Submariner line. Although the Submariner has been boosted to 41mm, the watch hardly wears any larger. This is legible, rugged and therefore the perfect diving companion if you aim to use it for just that. 

However, if you will only be using it for day-to-day use, you’ll be far stretched to find a watch that combines rugged dependability, heritage and status as well as this Submariner 124060. 

The Omega Seamaster 300 (The 1957 trilogy) – £6,020

The Omega Seamaster 300, (The 1957 trilogy)

Image Credit: IDGuy

  • Perfect for: The Vintage Buff, The Omega is better than Rolex Collector, The Future Investment Collector
  • Diameter: 39mm
  • Movement: Omega 8806
  • Case Material: Steel
  • Features: Bi-directional rotating bezel, limited edition piece, screw-in crown

If you have read our previous article, you’ll know that the Seamaster didn’t quite make the cut. So, we’ve redeemed ourselves and included a Seamaster in the £10,000 bracket. However, this isn’t a conventional Seamaster, by any stretch. This is the 1957 Trilogy edition and proves to be one of the best blends of modern and vintage, and could be the best reissue ever made, but you can decide… 

Omega’s vintage watches from the 50s and 60s are some of the best-looking watches on the vintage market nowadays. When Omega released the 1957 Trilogy in 2017 to commemorate 60 years, the Speedmaster arguably stole the show. 

However, in our opinion, this Seamaster is the winner. Some features are quite divisive, such as the faux-patinated hour markers and the ‘tropical’ dial. However, it is one beautiful-looking watch, that’s for sure. If you can look past this, it has got to be the most stunning reissue out there. 

This model comes in at 39mm which is arguably the best proportions possible for all wrist sizes. It works well for those with smaller wrists, whilst not being too small for those on the larger side. If you’re looking for the perfect blend of modern and vintage, you can’t look past this Omega reissue and all for a reasonably good price. This will surely be a future collectible.

The Panerai Submersible (PAM00959): £8,500

The Panerai Submersible (PAM00959)

Image Credit: Deployant

  • Perfect for: The Adventurer, The Big Wristed Collector, The Aesthetic Collector
  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Movement: P.900 calibre 
  • Case Material: Brushed Steel
  • Features: 3-day power reserve, uni-directional bezel, rubberised strap

In 2019 we saw various new models from Panerai in the Submersible range. The model that we’re particularly interested in is the PAM00959, a 42mm, grey-dialled watch, perfect for the adventurers amongst us. Panerai’s are known for their legibility, and this isn’t purely from their large dimensions. The dials are incredibly clean and crisp too. 

With the new upgrades to the bezel and hands, this is one watch which exudes dependability and durability. At its core, this Panerai is a heavy-duty tool watch. This watch also boasts a very subtle date window and with the crystal being cyclops-free the overall aesthetic remains refined and unfussy. 

Comparing the blue and the black options (the PAM00959 and the PAM00683) you really would have a hard time choosing. That said, in our opinion, the black is sleeker and more understated, but the blue offers one of the best-looking dials on the market, hands down. 

The perhaps contentious point for this watch is the dimensions. It’s quite clear that Panerai is not for everyone. It’s a watch which has a lot of wrist presence and certainly doesn’t wear too well on smaller wrists. 

But then again Panerai isn’t meant for everyone, it’s reserved for those who genuinely appreciate the design or indeed will use it for the desired purpose. Panerai is a brand which remains relatively untouched compared to other, more mainstream brands and that’s for sure half the appeal. The Submersible epitomises what it means to be bold and daring in form and refined and classic in design. The Submersible is the meeting of incredibly refined form and a simple aesthetic creating one hell of a watch.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic Medium Duoface (2458422): £7,850

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  • Perfect for: The Suave Collector, The Traveller, The History Buff
  • Diameter: 42.9mm x 25.5mm
  • Movement: Manually winding JLC calibre 854A/2
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Features: Duoface Design, second-time zone, Guilloché Dial

Refined, classic and ingenious. It doesn’t get much better than the Reverso. 

When we think about the ultimate dress watch there are a few contenders. The Patek Philippe Calatrava or the Cartier Tank spring to mind, but few truly pack the heritage, versatility and sophistication of a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. 

This manually winding, mid-size watch bags lots of character and heritage. The Reverso is arguably one of the most iconic watches ever, and the Duoface brings all of this heritage into the modern day. 

The reversible case is less of a practical feature nowadays and more for aesthetic and visual purposes. That said, there is not a lot cooler than flipping a Reverso, it’s smooth, perfectly engineered and incredibly satisfying. It often begs the question; how on earth is a piece like this sub-£10,000? 

This watch costs £7,850; it’s not cheap. But you are essentially getting two watches for the price of one, well two faces at least. You essentially have a ‘day’ and ‘night’ dial giving you a level of versatility you don’t get with other watches. 

Admittedly, this isn’t the perfect everyday wearer, you couldn’t wear it for any kind of physical activity. But it can be worn daily, you could even wear it with a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, but it really comes alive with more elevated attire. 

We have chosen the brown strap option and the sub-seconds dial, but that said there are many variants to suit all preferences. This combination however is probably the best-looking dress watch on the market. 

Plus, in buying a Reverso you enter into the relatively underhyped world of Jaeger-LeCoultre. Both the brand and the watch represent understated luxury that you shouldn’t miss out on if you can afford the £7,850. 

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control (4018420): £6,000

Image Credit: Kennedy

  • Perfect for: The Modern Collector, The Simple-is-always-better Collector, The Watch Nerd
  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Movement: Automatic JLC calibre 899AC
  • Case Material: Stainless-steel
  • Features: Double-polished satin finish, Date Window, 70-hour power reserve

Despite there being endless options under £10,000 we have indeed chosen another Jaeger-LeCoultre. 

Why? Well, this watch is another that doesn’t get the credit it deserves and somehow falls under the £10,000 mark, well under in fact, at £6,000.

To the masses, this JLC doesn’t appear particularly special. And yes, from the outside the design language is elegant but somewhat simple. However, this watch is far from simplistic. The inside of this watch and how it compares to its predecessors is where this watch really shines. 

Since its inception in 1991, the Master Control has been one of JLC’s quietly confident lines. It has amassed a reasonable following and remained true, throughout the years, to its original design. The most recent iteration leverages the calibre 899 movement. 

Although the case is 40mm this watch is pretty thin, thanks to the movement upgrade. The new movement has allowed JLC to slim the profile of the case making it a sleeker watch on the wrist. JLC has proved with this watch that change doesn’t have to be dramatic. They’ve made internal and incremental changes in the quest for perfection and have done so perfectly! 

Is 40mm too big? Well, it’s not a traditionally sized dress watch, but it works. At only 8.8mm thick this watch is by no means a bulky addition to the wrist. Indeed, somehow, I think the sizing at 40mm has made this watch more of a daily wearer, somewhat robust and weightier. A smaller 34mm piece is perhaps reserved for dressier occasions. But a 40mm watch on a leather strap can be worn for a wider array of activities. 

Is this the perfect everyday wearer? I could think of it better in some cases. But this is a lot of watch for £6,000 and you’re getting one of the best brands in the industry. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre has managed to perfectly blend dress and sportiness to create one of their best releases of the 20th century.

The Verdict

Now comes the difficult part. I think it’s safe to say that the Submariner is the most rugged of the bunch. You can wear it every day and feel comfortable doing so. The Omega offers a great deal of vintage appeal, but then again so does the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso. So that therefore leaves the Panerai and the other JLC, the Master Control. 

It’s got to be said that modern watches are getting bigger and bigger. Are dressier watches moving that way, maybe so? But despite its ‘on-paper’ larger proportions the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date is a very balanced and well-proportioned piece. 

40mm is a reasonable size for most and the date functionality, the clean design and the snug fitting case make it arguably the most versatile of the group. You are getting a lot more watch internally for £6,000 than you should and a fantastic brand at the same time. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date is, in our opinion, the best money can buy for under £10,000.