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The Everest Journal

by Li Wang February 03, 2022 2 min read

So the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak models are spoken for already. You don’t want to pay double or more of the retail price for a Rolex. We get it. If you have your heart set on a new Rolex from an authorized dealer or anything from the Holy Trinity, it’s not going to happen. But you can walk into a watch store and purchase a fantastic watch from Cartier or Jaeger-LeCoultre at retail and they might even serve your champagne.

Photo by Monochrome Watches

His and hers Santos? No problem. Ask a Cartier salesperson to show you a Large or Extra Large Santos and a Small version for your significant other, you’ll get to try on both and leave the store with a watch that holds high prestige to the general public. Let’s admit it, we want that recognition.

Photo by Jaeger-LeCoultre

If you want a great watch from a brand with real watch cred, look no further than JLC. Of course you can’t go wrong with any Reverso model, but a Master Ultra-Thin Date for $8,350 gives you a handsome 39mm case that shows off your restrained high-class date. If you are looking for something sportier, which many of us are, the Polaris for $8,350 has its own identity and is available in a spectacular blue dial. Internal bezel divers are just plain cool.

Photo by Watch Collecting Lifestyle

Even Cartier has a diver watch too. And where else can you get a diver with Roman numerals? From the House of Cartier, of course. You can find the Calibre Cartier Diver for just over $8K on the pre-owned market. In fact the pre-owned market for Cartier and JLC is plentiful and ripe with good deals considering the pedigree of the brand. 

Photo by Monochrome Watches

Let’s also consider what looking outside of Rolex offers. To me having the options of handwind models and stock leather straps is a major plus. The Drive de Cartier Extra Flat is one of my favorites as it comes with a handwinding Piaget movement and is just 6.6mm thick. For $6,150 and the fact that you can get it right now makes it a very tempting choice. Don’t be afraid of it being too dressy as it’s easy to dress down with jeans and a T-shirt.

Photo by Jaeger-LeCoultre

Speaking of dressy, I would have no issues wearing a JLC Reverso as my daily. You would definitely stand out from the crowd and be the proud owner of one of the true classics. The new green dial Reverso Monoface Small Seconds at $8,750 would be my pick.

Choosing the Cartier model, I would definitely go with the medium Santos de Cartier at $6,800 as an everyday watch. It’s a classic look and with the metal bracelet, it has tremendous versatility.

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Li Wang
Li Wang


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