As one of the leading producers of custom rubber watch straps, Rubber B believes that it is important to not only keep our clientele informed about the latest updates to our ever-expanding catalog of rubber straps, but the watches to which these straps are meant for in the first place as well.
With this in mind, and with almost a quarter of the year behind us already, Rubber B thought that this would be an excellent time to take a closer look at some of the best watches for men in 2021 so far. Because this is a matter of subjectivity, and not in any way reflective of some sort of scientific process, we will remind you at the outset that this is simply an opinion piece – nothing more, nothing less.
A lot of the writing we publish on this blog has to do with the science of specific watches and watch straps, but occasionally, we do deviate from that formula from time to time. It is also worth noting that this list will likely be updated a handful of times before the year’s end, so be sure to check back in with us to see which watches continue to be added to our list.
It should also be noted that the order of this list has been alphabetized for ease of reading. Additionally, several of these brands made it onto the list more than once, so we have ranked our preferences in order of our favorite watches to help simplify things for you.
Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak Chronograph – 1st Brand Choice
It would be negligent to discuss quality watches in alphabetical order and not begin your list with an Audemars Piguet timepiece. While this highly respected firm has continued to put out some highly compelling (and high quality) watches in recent years, our official selection from Audemars Piguet for this list is going to be the Royal Oak Chronograph, which retails for a little under $30,000 in the United States, though you can find them for less than that on the gray market.
And why would recommend pairing one of our lovely rubber watch straps with this particular watch? Simply put, this is the watch that continued to keep the lights on Audemars Piguet during the watch crisis of the 1970’s, and it continues to be one of its best-selling watches today, including being the timepiece of choice for many a celebrity (a fact that we have mentioned on this blog several times before.) When people think of the Audemars Piguet brand, this is often the first watch that springs to mind for them, and it will likely continue to be the centerpiece of this company for many, many years to come.
The reason for this is that the watch combines durability and precision in a visually unique package – it’s a truly one-of-a-kind timepiece, and if you are fortunate enough to own one, you own a watch that you will be able to rely on for the foreseeable future.
Audemars Piguet – Code 11:59 – 2nd Brand Choice
Audemars Piguet is, to be succinct, highly skilled when it comes to the production of high-quality watches, so it makes sense that they would appear on our list more than once. Rubber B also found ourselves rather enthralled with the Code 11:59 watch, which is a more recent timepiece, as it was only released last year. Watches for Men
The watch deviates from a lot of the other Audemars Piguet timepieces in some pretty radical ways, primarily where the aesthetic of the timepiece is concerned. This watch features an entirely new case architecture and a crystal that curves on two separate axes. Additionally, the case, and the bracelet, forego the metallic, highly futuristic design that Audemars Piguet, and the Royal Oak, are so well-known for around the world.
The result is a watch that is truly a throwback, and we mean that in the best way possible. With its vintage style and sleek, ergonomic design, the Code 11:59 manages to be the rare timepiece that looks, and feels, at home whether at work or at play. If you’ve ever been interested in purchasing an Audemars Piguet watch before but held off because you had concerns about the way some of their more popular watches looked, this watch would be a great entry point into the brand.
Breitling – Navitimer B01 Chronograph – 1st Brand Choice
One of the world’s oldest, and therefore respected, watchmaking firms, Breitling is starting to find a renewed popularity among younger watch collectors, especially in England. The newer Endurance Pro watches, which have been touted by the company as the “ultimate athleisure watch,” have become quite a status symbol among young professionals due to the combination of relatively affordable price point (about $3,400 US dollars) and the name recognition that Breitling offers. Watches for Men
However, when it comes to our high-quality rubber watch straps, Rubber B happens to think they look best when paired with a Navitimer B01 Chronograph. This has been, by far, Breitling’s most popular watch since it was originally released in 1952, and most enthusiasts would argue that it continues to be the face of the brand today.
At 43 mm, this watch measures a little larger than most sports watches, but you certainly can’t tell when you’re wearing it, as it looks, and feels, as svelte as any of its competitors currently available on the market. It also has a transparent back case that proudly displays the COSC-certified movement, which has often been one of the selling points of this watch since it was originally released.
As its name implies, the Navitimer B01 Chronograph has its roots in the world of aviation, and early on, was one of the primary choices of chronograph among professional pilots. Its commitment to precision timekeeping, along with a very reasonable price point of about $9,000 US dollars, ensures that this is a great first watch for anyone, whether you are just entering the world of timepiece collection or have been proudly collecting for many years.
IWC – IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Chronograph Watches for Men
IWC, or the International Watch Company, is another hallowed name in the halls of Swiss watchmaking, and rightly so. As far as Rubber B is concerned, if you were going to purchase a watch that paired well with one of our rubber straps for this particular brand, you would be hard-pressed to find a better offering from the company than its IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Chronograph.
The name of the IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Chronograph reflects the company’s interesting history – the company began manufacturing pocket watches when two Portuguese merchants requested a watch that was as accurate as a marine chronograph but that could also fit in a man’s pocket. IWC managed to complete their request, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Chronograph is one of the brand’s more well-known watches, though it definitely does not qualify as “athleisure” by any stretch of the imagination – this is a dress watch, through and through. However, don’t let its sleek, elegant appearance fool you – this watch is both fantastic looking and very reasonably priced.
There are two different versions of the IWC Schaffhausen Portugieser Chronograph that currently available on the market – you can purchase the watch with either a steel or a gold dial. The steel version of the watch retails for a little under $10,000 US dollars, while the gold plated version of the watches costs around $21,000 US dollars. These aren’t quite entry-level pieces, but for an intermediate-level collector, they are most certainly worth a second look.
Rolex – Oyster Perpetual 36
2020, economically speaking, was one of the toughest years on record for almost all sectors, and the watch industry was no exception to the rule in that instance. However, even though Rolex had to cancel its annual Baselworld event last year, they did manage to release four new watches to the market that year, though without most of the usual fanfare that normally accompanies one of their product releases.
Out of the four timepieces from the 2020 lineup, Rubber B thinks one of our Rolex straps pairs best with the Oyster Perpetual 36. The Oyster Perpetual, as its name implies, has long been one of the cornerstones of the Rolex empire. The main claim to fame of the Perpetual 36 is that it has a variety of different colors to choose from for the dial – five, in fact. These include candyfloss pink, forest green, sky blue, and blood red, but in our humble opinion, the beautiful tangerine dial is the one that truly caught our attention. It’s a color that Rolex aficionados have been asking to see on a dial for years, and it’s great to see that the company is actually listening to its customers.
Panerai – Luminor Luna Rossa Watches for Men
At Rubber B, one of the things we find most fascinating is when a watch has a unique or compelling story behind its production. When those moments do happen, we certainly enjoy spotlighting them, and Panerai, thankfully, has given us one of those moments.
While Panerai’s Luminor Luna Rossa certainly looks commanding and elegant with its all-black dial (sans the numbering) and strap, it’s the material that the watch is made out of that is truly notable, in this instance. The watch was made from recycled carbon fibre collected from the hull of the AC75 yacht that will be competing on behalf of Italy in this year’s America’s Cup (provided the race can happen.)
What that ensures, first and foremost, is that you are getting a watch made of some of the most durable material in the world. When you combine that with Panerai’s already legendary reputation for manufacturing world-class timepieces, the result is a watch whose durability is bound to rank among the highest of any sports watch currently available on the market.
Patek Philippe – Patek Philippe Limited Edition Commemorative Calatrava Ref. 6007A
Patek Philippe is another giant in Swiss watchmaking, and this watch, in particular, was made as a celebration of this fact. Last year, Patek Philippe managed to finish the construction of their new production facility in Geneva, an event that took five years to design, plan, and then finally construct.
And in keeping with the company’s long-established tradition of releasing combative timepieces whenever something notable happens within the organization, they have released a limited edition commemorative Calatrava timepiece. There are only 1,000 of these watches currently in existence, so if you managed to come across one and can do so, you may want to strongly consider purchasing it, as you may not get the opportunity to do so again.
Looking for a Rubber Watch Strap For Your Luxury Timepiece? Visit Rubber B Today
If you are looking for a rubber watch strap for your luxury timepiece, simply visit Rubber B today to peruse our complete product catalog. We create rubber watch straps for watches from some of the world’s leading watchmakers, such as Rolex, Panerai, and Audemars Piguet. For more information about our rubber straps, you can consult our website.