The two premiere luxury sport watches in the world come from Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, they always have and they always will. After all, Audemars Piguet essentially invented the true luxury sport watch category in 1972 with the release of their Genta-designed Royal Oak. A few years later, Patek Philippe released their Nautilus using the very same movement (the outstanding JLC 920), and another Genta-designed case, and the race was on. We've highlighted a direct, side-by-side comparison in the past.
If you want an amazing vintage sport watch that goes one step above what you see day to day, these are the watches for you.
First, the AP Royal Oak Jumbo. This is a pre-A series model made for the American market. How it is known to be an American version, we do not know. This watch comes with no boxes or papers, but it's about as early of a Royal Oak as you're going to find, and for about the same price as a decent vintage Submariner.
Second, we have a Patek Philippe Nautilus from 1981. It's a little bit newer than the AP but still a very early production Jumbo. Again, this watch features the very same JLC920 ultra thin movement as the AP, and a case designed by the same man, but it's a Patek Philippe. This example also happens to come with an extract from the PP archives indicating when it was purchased, as well as a presentation case.