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Everyone needs a trusty watch—that special timepiece that will get you from point A to point B without being late or worrying about rushing. Plus, to state the obvious: a good watch looks really, really cool. And while we’re certainly in favor of all sorts of watches—leather bands, gold et al—there’s something to be said about the air of elegance that a good stainless steel watch brings to its wearer. It is, in a word, timeless.
Below, we’ve gathered up some of the best luxury stainless steel watches on the market. These timepieces are equal parts functional and stylish, wedding good—no, great—looks with some of the best technologies out there. We’ve got everything from the classics, like the Omega Speedmaster, to new, highly advanced pieces like the Apple Watch with a stainless steel band.
Related: Luxury Watches for a Timepiece Fanatic
In terms of material, stainless steel is unique in that not only is it versatile and classic, but it’s also highly durable. Think about all the things we use that are made of stainless steel—ovens and refrigerators, zippers, skyscrapers—it’s one of the hardiest materials out there. So when used for a watch, stainless steel yields a timepiece with a very long life span. Plus, it’s lightweight, a lot more affordable than precious metals, and it matches pretty much everything.
Read on for your guide to the absolute best luxury steel watches for men and women. You may just end up wearing one for the rest of your life.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34
This classic, sleek watch is crafted from Rolex Oystersteel, a special superalloy steel most commonly found in high-technology (think chemical and aerospace industries—this stuff is serious). Durable, elegant, and timeless: this piece is everything a watch should be.
To buy: $5,050, rolex.com
Longines Dolce Vita Stainless Steel Watch
This stainless steel timepiece is, aesthetically speaking, incredibly stunning—a true nod to 1930s and 1950s glamour. And when it comes to the mechanics, you’ll be just as impressed, thanks to Longines’ excellent watch technology reputation.
To buy: $1,120, amazon.com
David Yurman ‘Classic’ 38mm
Made from stainless steel quartz with a diamond bezel (yes, please) and gold details, this classic piece from jeweler David Yurman is the epitome of sophistication and quality.
To buy: $7,000, nordstrom.com
Longines Conquest Automatic Chronograph Bracelet Watch
Another from Longines, this chronograph bracelet watch comes from a collection originally introduced in 1954. Precise automatic movement wedded with an etched black dial complete the look of this sensible yet elegant watch.
To buy: $3,175, nordstrom.com
With a name like that, you can only expect greatness—and you’ll get it with this magnificent Omega from the Constellation Manhattan collection. Engraved Roman numerals, diamond hour markers, white gold accents, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal combine for one of the most luxurious and beautiful steel timepieces on the market.
To buy: $6,800, omegawatches.com
When it comes to classics, Omega is a list topper without a doubt. This beautiful stainless steel Speedmaster is water resistant, features a black bezel and dial with chronograph, and uses mechanical hand-wind with a timeless analog display.
To buy: $3,145, amazon.com
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Considered a “true modern icon,” this piece from Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak collection, which took the luxury watch industry by storm in 1972, features a clean and classic design, with all the bells and whistles—including diamonds—a watch enthusiast could ever dream of.
To buy: $15,300, audemarspiguet.com
Rolex GMT Master II Steel Watch
Stainless steel case, Oystersteel bracelet, a sleek black dial and high-tech self-winding automatic chronometer movement—these are the features that make up this beauty by Rolex, which (if time has told us anything) will certainly never go out of style.
To buy: $8,990, amazon.com
This beautiful piece from Cartier’s iconic and century-old Santos de Cartier collection has a nice medium sizing, comes with an interchangeable leather strap, and features mechanical movement with automatic winding.
To buy: $6,250, cartier.com
Piaget Polo Stainless Steel Watch
This stainless steel piece from the masters at Piaget is casual elegance in watch form. You can expect a gorgeous satin-brushed steel, a sleek curved case, and a sapphire crystal case back.
To buy: $9,900, piaget.com
Apple Watch Stainless Steel
A sleek upgrade on this advanced smartwatch, the stainless steel bracelet Apple Watch is the perfect combination of utility and technology with a nod to a timeless look.
To buy: $800, apple.com