Some people believed that luxury watches brands would disappear when technology started supplanting their products and trends more than a decade ago. These people were wrong. The best watch brands are still exciting and pushing the boundaries in terms of aesthetic and quality. You can’t go wrong with retro-inspired designs.
It could be said that our appreciation of classic horology has been heightened by the advent of smartphones and screens. Will Swiss watch brands such as Audemars Piguet and Rolex ever go out of fashion? We don’t think so. We hopenot.
The best luxury watches (and their brands) tell far more about the wearer than any other tech could. Every luxury wristwatch for men represents a person’s taste, identity and sportiness. This is not to mention the proverbial symphonies that some of the most sought-after watches create from premium materials, beautiful designs, and intricate micro-mechanics.
You’ll need to be familiar with all the top brands and watch designers to discover everything, from elegant minimalist slayers to functional aviation watches. How else can you decide where to spend your next big bonus check? Check out our top luxury watch brands list to celebrate the timeless art and science of telling the time.
1. Patek Philippe & Co.
Ask three people the question, “What are the top watch brands?” and they will all respond with the same answer: “Patek Philippe.” This is because the luxury watch brand is the most expensive in luxury watchmaking. These men are geniuses. There are currently a number of brands competing to try and reverse engineer Patek Philippe’s complex mechanics. Good luck! These mechanics have been almost two centuries in the making, and are backed by the highest level of sophistication, expertise and innovation. Many of these models are worth the most expensive pennies.
2. A. Lange & Sohne
Since the mid-1800s, A. Lange & Sohne youngwatch2.com have been maintaining the clocks of the competition. Its timepieces are a testament to technical excellence. Except for a few limited edition watches, every A. Lange & Sohne watch is powered by a large mechanical movement that was developed and assembled in-house. While the cases are often made from platinum or other shades of gold, the faces maintain a very Teutonic aesthetic. Entry like the Lange 1 change the face of the chronograph to a truly remarkable effect. The Swiss may be the most prominent watchmaker, but A. Lange & Sohne is a pillar in German craftsmanship and engineering, with a high price tag.
3. Arnold & Son
Arnold & Son’s “Arnold”, which is John Arnold’s name, is a British watchmaker. Arnold was credited with releasing the first official chronometer (a timepiece that displays exceptional accuracy). Although the company has had a few owners since John’s time, it still maintains a remarkable level of innovation and precision. Many of the watches have complex features such as double escapement or double tourbillon. These intricate features are paired with exquisite designs to make them some of your most luxurious luxury watches. The TB88 will blow your mind at first glance.
4. Audemars Pigot
Audemars Piguet is a name synonymous with luxury watchmaking. The luxurious Swiss watchmaker has a history that dates back to the 1700s. It has created the stuff of legend in horology. It is also known for the first jumping second-hand, the thinnest watch and the skeleton watch. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks Watch should be a top-seller for those who can afford it.
Zenith, a Swiss watchmaker, was established in 1865. But it wasn’t until one hundred years later that the brand truly took off. It was then that it introduced El Primero, an automated chronograph with remarkable precision. Many still consider this a gold standard. Zenith, now owned by LVMH is still manufacturing its movements in-house and updating its El Primero chronograph whenever necessary. Zenith is a premium watch brand that is highly sought-after.
6. Richard Mille
To enter the 1999 game and win, it takes serious chops. But luxury watch brand Richard Mille was able to do just that. You’ll see why, once you take a look at these unique designs. The Tourbillon RM 008 is a well-known model. It has so many advanced features, that it’s still being used by enthusiasts. This watch is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, and one of the most valuable brands in watches.
Rolex is theluxury watches brand. For a long period, you may have believed it to be the onlyluxury watches brand. Rolex is a luxury watch brand that keeps luxury watches stylish because of its name recognition. Add in the many knock-offs and casual references, and Rolex transcends its status to be the brand that defines luxury. It makes extraordinary timepieces almost like an afterthought. Rolex is known for making exceptional timepieces.
8. Vacheron Constantin
Vacheron Constantin, a Swiss watch brand founded in 1755 is a true OG and hasn’t lost any of its brilliance over the years. This brand wasn’t just setting the bar but also maintaining it. Its timepieces have been worn by everyone from Napoleon to Harry Truman. Vacheron Constantin, now owned by Richemont, continues to outperform the competition each year. It was pure design genius to create the 2012 Metiers Art ‘Les Universe Infinis’ collection with its interlocking shapes. But that’s just the beginning. The brand’s 260th birthday was celebrated in 2015 by Vacheron Constantin, who released the Reference 572260. This 57-complication watch took three watchmakers eight years to make and took 57 minutes to complete. The world’s most complex mechanical watch, Reference 572260 was sold for between 8 million to 20 million dollars. This made it one of the most expensive watches brands on the planet. You can’t get more luxurious than this.
9. Baume et Mercier
A top-of-the-line luxury watch does not have to be as expensive as a small home. Consider Baume et Mercier. These watches, which are backed by nearly 200 years of experience and have received celebrity endorsements (male and female), combine sport and style. They typically sell for $2000 to $5000. These watches are far less expensive than high-end alternatives, but they look stunning. This brand is a great choice for luxury watch lovers who want a premium and elegant mid-range model.
Breitling is a brand that has made an outstanding reputation for making aviation and diver’s watches. Every timepiece is handcrafted in Switzerland and comes with either a calibre A01 or B04 movement. A highly visible face and a mechanical winding mechanism are other common features. The 2009 Breitling Chromomat was the first watch made entirely in-house by the company. It remains a mid-range marvel to this day. CVC Capital Partners purchased Breitling in a record $870 million. It’s clear that this watch brand is doing something right.
11. Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross was founded in 1992 and has continued to dominate the market ever since. It has mastered niche markets such as the diver’s watch, which is one reason it continues to be successful. Bell & Ross is known for making timepieces with exceptional durability that are targeted at a particular demographic or profession. The watches can still be enjoyed by people of good taste.
Chopard, a Swiss watchmaker, is an official partner of the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco and Cannes Film Festival. Chopard watches and jewels are renowned for their high-end glamour and elegance, while others combine refinement with functionality and exceptional precision. The brand is committed to using sustainable gold whenever possible, adding ethical awareness to its legendary success.
Breguet was founded in 1775 and is one of the most respected watch brands for men. Breguet’s technological innovations include the invention of the tourbillon, and the creation of the first wristwatch. Breguet, now owned by Swatch Group is still a beacon of distinction and brilliance thanks to its coin-edge cases and architectural dials.
Bremont, a relative newcomer to aviation horology, is among the best. The brand has a strong following among military personnel. Bremont’s special edition releases can only be purchased by those who have served on the same warship or aircraft as the watch is honoring.
Cartier is a well-known brand for its prestigious watches and jewellery. This is both a reference the company’s distinguished designs as well as the fact that it is favored by kings, queens and princes. Cartier was once called “the jeweller and king of jewellers” even by King Edward VII of England. This is not just luxury.
Montres Corum Sarl is a luxury watch company that has mastered the art of bold design, and reliable mechanics. The company’s Admiral’s Cup, Bubble and other limited-edition timepieces are essentially what the rest of the market aspires too. Corum’s prices tend to be in the middle of the range, although it does occasionally release a timepiece that is only for collectors who are wealthy. While the Swiss watch brand is currently owned by a Chinese firm, the watches are still outstanding examples of fearless Swiss engineering.
17. Frederique Constant
Luxury watch manufacturer Frederique Constant rose quickly to the top of the luxury watch market in a short period. This meteoric rise is due to the company’s affordable prices, meticulous attention to detail, undeniable appeal, and relentless innovation. The Swiss watch brand has many achievements, including the production of the award-winning Heart Beat movement as well as the silicon escapement wheel. Frederique Constant has recently ventured into luxury smartwatch territory to keep the creative juices flowing. These results are stunning in every sense.
18. Girard Perregaux
Luxury watchmaker Girard Perregaux is a pioneer and titan with over 80 patents under its belt and more than 200 years in business. Its rich history can almost be compared to the history of Swiss watchmaking. Its products are of high quality and often used as benchmarks for superior design and craftsmanship. Young and ambitious companies can learn a lot from this old school giant.
19. Glashutte Original
Glashutte Original, a German watchmaker, hails from the same prestigious watchmaking city. It effectively blends timeless craftsmanship with cutting-edge innovation. Each watch takes 300 hours to make and contains up to 10 exclusive movements.
Hublot is a top watch brand for men. It has made so much progress in such a short time that you would be forgiven for thinking the name has been around forever. Hublot rose to the top of the watch industry after the release of the Big Bang Red Gold watch. This watch was a huge success with world-class athletes and has since become a household name. Hublot’s award-winning collections combine masculinity, prestige and resilience.
21. IWC Schaffhausen
IWC, also known as International Watch Company, was founded in 1868 by an American Swiss watchmaker. It has received a lot of praise over the years. It still operates under the slogan “good, solid craftsmanship from Schaffhausen”. This gives it an added edge of distinction. IWC watches, including its pilot’s watches and titanium dive watches, are legendary for their quality and technical prowess. This is the ultimate in classic horology.
Jaeger LeCoultre has produced many innovative movements in its labs, making it almost like the MIT for watchmaking. The luxury watch brand Vallee de Joux, which was founded in 1833 has produced more than 1,000 movements. They include the world’s smallest and flattest movements. Reverso Tourbillon, the brand’s iconic rectangular case with flip-over design, is a constant statement of elegance.
23. Maurice Lacroix
Maurice Lacroix was founded in 1975, but rose to the top of the luxury watch world in the 1990s. It then released the Les Mecaniques collection, now called the Masterpiece Collection. This tangible leverage would eventually enable the Swiss watch company to create its own manufacturing unit. This balance between Swiss craftsmanship and in-house manufacturing is what gives the brand its unmistakable appeal. Collectors of the top industry names are keen to acquire limited edition units.
Montblanc is the brand you think of when you think about luxury horology brands. The e-strap (i.e., the electronic strap) was a big hit in 2015. A mini electronic display that attaches to your traditional watch’s wristband. If you are looking for actual watches, look out for the white snowflake. You’ll be in good hands.
Omega watches might be a familiar brand to you from James Bond movies, the Olympics or because a scuba diver friend keeps talking about them. No matter what source, this luxury brand is well-known. This luxury brand is not a random one. This luxury watchmaker makes beautiful, durable watches that radiate passion, precision and power. Omega is a sporty luxury brand that has been down to a science.
Panerai is based in Florence and combines refined Italian taste with Swiss manufacturing. The brand also adds some intelligent features. Radiomir is a radio-readable light that glows underwater and in the dark, making it easy to read. Panerai, currently owned by Richemont is a symbol of high-end horology in the mid- to high range. Ferrari and Panerai continue to be partners, bringing out the sporty, elegant luxury of Ferrari.
The only reason you can pronounce “Piaget”, and it’s because this luxury and high-end watch brand is there. It began as a manufacturer and distributor of movements in 1874, before moving on to creating its own collections. The brand’s manufacturing background gave it a strong foundation, which it has maintained since. Its watches and jewellery are often ultra-thin and sell for extremely high prices.
28. Roger Dubuis
Roger Dubuis, a brilliant watchmaker, found his niche in 1995 when he combined avant-garde design and complex Swiss mechanics. Haute Horlogerie was forever changed. Signature collections such as Hommage not only bridge the past and the future but also shatter the present.
A mid-range Rolex from Tudor is an option for those who cannot afford one. These watches may be less expensive than the Rolex, but they still offer elegant design and intelligent engineering. The brand is free to be themselves without too much expectation. Tudor is a versatile brand that can be used for any occasion or style.
30. Ulysse Nardin
Ulysse Nardin, a luxury watch brand, has a strong foundation that allows it to continue its tradition of high-quality performance. It was providing watches to more than fifty navies all over the world in the 1800s. Now it is doing the same for wealthy collectors as tastemakers. Ulysse Nardin is renowned for his impeccable mechanics, which explains the numerous patents and awards it has. A nautical theme continues to be a strong feature. For a unique aesthetic, you can try the Marine Tourbillon or the Jade “Lionfish”.
31. TAG Heuer
TAG Heuer’s acronym stands for “Techniques d’Avant Garde,” and might have been more relevant to the time when the Swiss brand was founded in 1860. TAG Heuer watches today aren’t as avant-garde but they are still innovative. TAG Heuer watches are incredibly popular and easy to use. Their association with sporting events has increased their popularity rather than decreasing it. This brand is universally admired and undoubtedly one of the most coveted on the planet.