Watch addicts and collectors always show their knowledge of the different luxury watch manufacturers they have known, but not all are created equal. What are the good watch brands? Here is a list of the 7 best for you to discuss.
Top 7 luxury watch brands you need to know: The mother of all lists
Here we are just listing the top shelf brands along with some stunning photos. This includes the top watch brands known as the "Holy Trinity" which consists of Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet & Vacheron Constantin as well as many other luxury watchmakers like Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre (JLC), Blancpain, Ulysse Nardin, Jaquet Droz, and more. Although this is a very complete list, it is not in any particular order, though we may set the sacred trinity hours a little for obvious reasons. Every last one mentioned here is a great watchmaker that is worth considering whether you are starting a collection or just curious.
1. Patek Philippe
Known for inventing the first wristwatch, Patek Philippe & Co has become a top watchmaker and is one of the most sought after in the world. Everyone would agree that it would be a shame to make a list of the top 7 and not to mention this watchmaker. Patek Philippe is one of the 3 manufacturers of the Holy Trinity. Some of their most famous models include Nautilus, Calatrava, Aquanaut, World Time, Twenty-4, and more. In addition to many of their well-known models, Patek Philippe was commissioned to create some of the most complicated watches in the world for many high-profile individuals like James Ward Packard and Henry Graves. Graves Supercomplication, one of the most exclusive watches ever made sold for a staggering $ 11,000,000 in 1999 at an auction in New York and featured 24 complications that took 8 years to research and create. Many consider them as the best watch brand in the world and that is why they were ranked first in our top 7 luxury watch brands.
In addition to being considered one of the best watch brands, another great achievement of Patek Philippe at one point was the creation of the most complicated watch in the world known as the Patek Philippe Caliber 89 with 33 complications. At that time, it was the watch with the most complexity until late when another watchmaker in the Holy Trinity overtook them, with a landslide. For many Patek is a luxury watch brand that users consider to be the cream of the crop, one of the most expensive luxury brands and they have built some of the most exclusive watches. Famous users include Brad Pitt, Charlie Sheen, Eric Clapton, and the first celebrity to wear one was Queen Victoria. The price range is between 5 and 8 figures depending on the model.
2. Vacheron Constantin
Next on our list of famous watch brands is the oldest continuously working watch manufacturer in the world. It is a brand that brings hundreds of years of watch history with it. Since 1755, Vacheron Constantin is also another Trinity Watch brand and has created some of the most one-of-a-kind and creative horological masterpieces. The best example of their mechanical genius would be the recently released reference Vacheron Constantin # 57260 is also known as the most complex watch in the world with a 57% complication and that has a value estimated at $ 8,000,000 according to Forbes. Even before this amazing feat, they were considered to be a leading brand of luxury watches.
As a member of the "holy trinity", Vacheron Constantin is one of Switzerland's best watchmakers and had built the company around the principles of achieving technical and aesthetic excellence as is clearly characterized by their many horological achievements and innovations over the years. In doing so, they have turned into one of the best international watch brands. Some of their most notable collections include Patrimony, the Traditionnelle, the Overseas, Malta 1972, Quai de l'ile, Harmony, Métiers d'Art and Les Historiques. A truly luxurious watch brand and any experienced watch connoisseur would agree that they are one of the most prestigious of all.
3. Audemars Piguet
Another member of the prestigious "holy trinity" in watches, Audemars Piguet has been producing some of the most spectacular watches since its founding in 1875. They are certainly considered by most to be one of the 7 best watch brands in the world today. The collection that is most popular is the AP Royal Oak series. This is an iconic watch collection that was a big game-changer for Audemars Piguet who was the first to use a non-precious metal, stainless steel in the latest sports watch model and charge luxury prizes. Audemars Piguet then produced its underwater version of the iconic Royal Oak Offshore watch series which became one of the most popular diving watches in history. As one of the trinities, the AP has consistently overestimated over the years and is highly respected.
The advent of the Royal Oak watch opened the door for many luxury watchmakers to use their horological expertise as a price factor rather than just the precious metal used. While an hour ago it was worth its weight in gold, many of them are now worth more than its weight in gold, regardless of the material being used. In addition to their numerous Haute Horlogerie watches, Audemars Piguet has been known to be quite avant-garde at the end of business design and created several Haute Joaillerie pieces such as their Diamond Fury and Diamond Punk watches for ladies. AP watches are also known for their limited numbers and highly complicated watches such as Jules Audemars. They are a luxury watch brand whose name is worthy of being in your horoscope lexicon.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is a luxury Swiss watch brand that is highly respected by its colleagues. Many believe that it will be one of the best manufacturers of luxury watches and undoubtedly one of the most prestigious manufacturers of vertically integrated watches in the world. One of the reasons for this is that they build their own movements in-house as well as many of their components in-house. Manufacturers of watches that can produce inner movements are usually held on a pedestal and celebrated for their ability to control quality and craftsmanship down to the finest detail. Few manufacturers produce more of their own ingredients like Jaeger-LeCoultre (affectionately called JLC by watch collectors and watch connoisseurs worldwide).
JLC produced many timeless classics such as the Reverso which is a square watch with a unique ability to roll to protect her face. This iconic collection gave birth to much newer contrasting series which include an ultra-thin two-call series called the Grande Reverso Ultra-Thin Duoface. This two-in-one viewing series has a dark dial on one side of the box, while the other side of the box has a light-coloured dial. Jaeger-LeCoultre also created many other popular series such as AMVOX3 Tourbillon, JLC Geophysic, Master Control, Master Compressor and Master Ultra-Thin collection which includes different models with permanent super-thin calendars, one of which was introduced recently latest in Marvel movie titled Dr. Strange along with a JLC Grande Reverso. In addition to their rated luxury watches, Jaeger-LeCoultre manufactures high-end rotating pendulum watches called Atmos Clocks which do not require winding. Rather, it gets its energy from atmospheric pressure and temperature, literally from the air!
Omega SA is one of the most popular brands of luxury watches yet, they are not necessarily one of the most expensive watch brands out there compared to many watchmakers mentioned here. They had their Seamaster watches featured in major films throughout the years; films such as say any James Bond film since Goldeneye with Pierce Brosnan and every "007" film that followed with Daniel Craig. Best known especially for their Moonwatch, the Omega Speedmaster Pro which was in the hands of Buzz Aldrin as he took his first steps on the lunar surface. Having their NASA-qualified flight hours for a space mission such as Apollo 11 was helpful in raising the brand's prestige. Omega is, in fact, the second most popular Swiss watch brand in the world, with approximately 70% recognition of international brands. They are owned by a watch conglomerate called the Swatch Group.
In terms of the watch, Omega has made some changes using a material that is impermeable to electromagnetic interference; the # 1 enemy of mechanical watches when it comes to keeping accurate time. While some recognize Omega as a designer watch brand with their entry-level watches starting at a much lower price point than some of the bigger watch brands mentioned earlier, they actually have watches that go to the sixth point figures, especially Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Limited Edition with only 69 parts worldwide; number commemorating the year of the lunar landing. Any watch that costs over $ 100,000 can easily be considered a luxury item, by the standards.
It would be a shame if we did not mention a brand like Rolex that has the most famous watch brand in the world with literally 100% brand popularity. But even though they are the most popular of all the famous watch brands, let’s just make them for their watch skills not just for their recognition. Rolex produces some pretty amazing watches; and many of them. It is estimated that their output is approximately 2,000 watches per day. One of the things about this most famous watch brand is that people get excited and furious about the fact that they have a higher average resale value than any other watch brand on the market. This can be directly attributed to the fact that the Rolex is, if not the largest, certainly one of the most valuable watch brands in the world.
Rolex manufactures some of the most popular watches for men. Some of their most popular collections include Daytona, Submariner, GMT Master II, Datejust, Yacht-Master, Yacht-master II, Day-Date, Sky-Dweller, and many more. As an adventurous luxury watch brand that has seen its watches at the highest peak on earth and the lowest abyssal depths of our planet’s waters. They also boast of the accuracy of their watches as many of them carry a Superlator Timer designation which means they have an accuracy of + 2 / -2 seconds per day. (A regular COSC certified stopwatch which is considered as impressive clock movement has an accuracy of + 6 / -4 seconds/day). Rolex also makes some of the best sports watches for men.
7. IWC Schaffhausen
A famous watch brand list without IWC would be a sin. Being one of those famous old luxury watch brands dating back to 1869, the IWC was the first watchmaker to use light metal titanium in this old craft and is likely to be best known for its Portuguese collection. watches, which are now known as the Portuguese IWC watches are innovative and aims to surpass themselves and others with every watch they make. They are a luxury watch company that takes horology seriously by producing mechanically complex watches that include turbines, minute repeaters, moon phases, and chronograph intricacies.
IWC is also popular for some impressive and trendy limited edition watches such as the IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince. Their watches have an interesting story and in many cases a fascinating story that brings their watches to life. The IWC creates breathtaking mechanical movements and is finished to perfection. While their watches are mostly made for everyday wear, they have some models that are likely to become precious properties for any watch collector.
It is a challenging topic to discuss watch brand ranking when many watches have a specific purpose for which they were created. There are many great brands out there. Many are the best at a certain type of watch and some are very good at several types of watches, but not necessarily the best at any particular type. Some brands of watches are preferred over others when it is the type of watch you want to keep in the family as a legacy because they best hold its value. Other companies are known for their diving watches and make the best diving watches or even the best chronograph watches.