Nine Iconic Watches Names Explained

Do you think Races, Cow Horns, Portugal and Tanks have something in common? Well, They do!

I am certain that you will find in the list below a watch that you dream of having if not all of them! So let’s quickly explore the meaning behind the names of those iconic watches.

Rolex Daytona

Rolex Daytona

The Rolex Daytona, the most desired sports watch in the world. The legendary watch was named after the iconic Daytona Beach race track in Florida, After Rolex becoming the official timekeeper in 1962 for the most prestigious annual car race.

Daytona Beach race track in 1950’s

The name Daytona was printed on the watch dial for the first time in 1964.

Daytona, Ref 6265 – image:

Rolex remains the official sponsor & timekeeper of the Daytona races. With a race named after the brand, The 24 Hours race currently known as the Rolex 24 Race is a 24-hour sports car endurance race held annually at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Daytona Track- image:
Race Prize- image:

Check our article on the 3 most expensive auctioned Rolex watches

Vacheron Constantin Cornes de Vache

Vacheron Constantin Cornes de Vache in steel

Vacheron Constantin first introduced the Cornes De Vache model in 1955 & it’s one of the most desirable watches for avid watch collectors.

Vintage Vacheron Constantin Cornes de Vache in Yellow Gold Ref. 6087 1955

The Name Cornes de Vache is a french word meaning “Cow Horns”, which is derived from the design of the watch lugs that resembles the horns of a cow.

Brown Swiss In Summer Hat painting by Susan Thomas – image:

Vacheron Constantin Cornes de Vache caseback

Patek Philippe Nautilus

Patek Philippe Nautilus

This one surprised me the most! I didn’t expect the name Nautilus originated from one of my favorite novels & movie growing up.

The Nautilus was the name of the monstrous submarine in the novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea which the watch was named after.

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea movie poster – image:

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

I thought the revolutionary sports watch Audemar Piguet Royal Oak name was only a name of a naval ship, I was right but also the Royal Oak is derived after the name of the historical tree in England where King Charles II hid from Cromwell’s army in 1651.

King Charles II

Fun Fact, King Charles II ordered in 1675 the creation of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England by observing the sun. Read our Article on what is a GMT watch & how it works

Panerai Radiomir

Panerai Radiomir

As a watch supplier to the Royal Italian Navy, the watches had to have a unique glow for visibility. Panerai creates Radiomir, a radium-based powder that gives luminosity to the dials & the name was derived from this feature.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

The name Fifty Fathoms refers to a British measurement of depth. Fifty Fathoms is about 91 meters/close to 300 feet deep, and at the time this was the deepest divers could dive. Read our article on the oldest watch brand in the world.

Jaeger Lecoultre Reverso

The name Reverso came from the function of the watch to reverse the watch face to protect it from impact. Specifically designed for Polo Players, the JLC Reverso remains one of the most beautiful icons in the Horology world. Check our Article on the Reverso design Story

Cartier Tank

Cartier Tank

Louis Cartier, the Founder of Cartier created the iconic Tank Watch in 1917. The Tank’s name and design is inspired by the Renault FT-17, a French tank used during World War I.

Renault FT-17 Tank


The IWC Portugieser was named after the country Portugal!

IWC PORTUGIESER 3714 – image:

The watch was first introduced in 1939 after the visit of two Portuguese businessmen Rodrigues and Teixeira. They asked IWC to develop a wristwatch with a precision of a marine chronometer check our article explaining the meaning of chronometer.

IWC created an icon, a large stainless steel watch chronometer certified equipped with a pocket watch movement.

IWC Portugieser Ref. 325 1950’s Model – image:

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