08.07.2021 - News

I feel the need… Top Gun era watches that are still best of the best

Tom Cruise is winging his way back to our screens to reprise his role in the sequel to 80s movie classic, Top Gun. The official trailer was released this week but fans of the famous flight school still have another year to wait before the film is released in the UK.

This time roles are reversed for Maverick, who returns 34 years later as an instructor who has to contend with pilot Penny Benjamin, while also clashing with former co-pilot Nick ‘Goose’ Bradshaw ’s son.

With the blockbuster predicted to smash box office sales, we take a look at a few of the luxury watches have stood the test of time since this game-changing era of Yuppies, shoulder pads and Rubik’s Cubes.

Rolex’ Cosmograph Daytona  – ref 16520

The 80s saw the beginnings of the Rolex transformation. Finally accepted as a sign of wealth and achievement, these timepieces were no longer just being found adorning the wrists of sports personalities.

Watch collecting became a phenomenon and the brand continually pioneered new technologies, leaving watch rivals behind.

Perhaps Rolex’s biggest success of this era was the, at first not-so-popular Daytona. Even the backing of Hollywood stars like Paul Newman didn’t seem to lift these from shelves. But with the launch of the second generation chronograph – the first automatic movement in 1988 with a heavily modified caliber, known as El Primero. This was customised beyond recognition with less than half the original parts and the date function removed.

Renamed the Caliber 4030, it was the catalyst for the Daytona to become one of the most sought after watches of the time and is still highly desirable  today.

Rolex Submariner – ref 16610

Coming later in the decadent decade is the most popular version of Rolex’s signature model, which was released in 1987.

The Submariner, reference 16610, had a Cerachrom bezel insert that resisted fade and wear but was powered by Rolex’s caliber 3135 movement – the very same used by Rolex today.

Although it is not as rare or unique as some of Rolex’s vintage Submariners, this reference is a practical watch for everyday use, as it contains many of Rolex’s latest and greatest advancements, and replacement parts are easy to find.

And the stunning model, discontinued in 2010, is still one of the most counterfeited luxury watches in the world.

IWC Pilot Top Gun collection watches

Even IWC have released their own homage to the cult classic with the release of four nifty timepieces.

Each has its own character, technical specifications and innovations – all bringing something new to the collection.

 The most basic watch on offer is the three-hand-plus-date Automatic Top Gun. Unusually all-black, this watch has a matte black ceramic 41mm case with a titanium case back. It also features a new in-house caliber with an impressive power reserve of 72 hours… and let’s not forget the amazing Top Gun logo on the back.

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