Richard S. Cunanan

Familiar Faces

Here are some watches you may have been seeing around.

Most Calibre readers are pretty educated about watch brands, but everybody started somewhere. We write about a lot of watch brands, and some of them are pretty esoteric. In fact, a lot of the watch brands that we write about are probably completely new to the eyes of a first-time reader. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because every good thing has a beginning.

So for the people who are literally just sliding into first base on this, there are certain watch brands that are going to be comfortingly familiar. To be honest, we expect that will probably change after a few visits to either this site, or if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on our printed magazine. But in the meantime, here are some watch brands that even a beginner is already familiar with.


There is a recognizability to Rolex that some fast food brands might envy. The watch’s look is so familiar that people might not even necessarily realize it. Rolex is so well-known and well-respected that it is rumored Special Forces soldiers going on missions abroad were issued Rolex watches in case they ever needed to trade for something. Something expensive, in this case, since Rolex watches aren’t cheap.

The good news is that their widespread reputation is well-deserved. Rolex is a solid, dependable watch, whose reputation was first built on the extremely waterproof construction of their Oyster Perpetual watch cases. Rolex has never slipped in their quality control, and so their word is still as good as gold.


The watch that started a lot of people off, and the savior of the watch industry during the quartz crisis, the Swatch watch is still around in its brightly-colored, pop-culture forms. The Swatch was a starting point for many people, because it was appealing, affordable, and you could own one for every day of the week. Even millenials who never look up from their phones might recognize a Swatch, although they may see it more as a fashion accessory than a timepiece. Either way, it’s a recognizable part of the beginning horological landscape.


Possibly their James Bond heritage gives Omega an edge, since it has been the Bond watch for literally generations. People worship their heroes, even when there’s a conundrum in being the world’s most famous secret agent. People who know no other gun brand know the Walther PPK, and people who know no other watch brand recognize the Omega Seamaster. Granted, everyone is still hoping for the model that blows up or shoots poison darts, but in the meantime, the Omega Seamaster is still a watch you probably know. And it’s not a bad introduction to the brand that has been creating timepieces for all extremes. And yet you’ll find it’s as comfortable a daily-wear watch as you can find.


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