Not all watches are created equal. In fact, some are in a league of their own. Combining impressive craftsmanship with a stylish aesthetic, luxury watches are so much more than simple accessories; they’re wearable works of art. As such, it’s no wonder why names like Rolex stir a certain feeling in not only watch enthusiasts but just about everyone. So, if you’re looking for a timepiece that’ll provide fashion and function for years to come, you can’t go past the world’s most lavish watch labels. Unbeatable for their sophisticated designs and precise manufacturing, these names ooze prestige and magnificence. Here, we’ve rounded up the best luxury watch brands you need to know.
Best Luxury Watch Brands in 2022
1. Audemars Piguet
Founded in 1875 by Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet, Audemars Piguet produces 36,000 of their prestigious timepieces a year. In fact, Tiffany & Co and Bulgari use this brand’s movements. This luxury watch brand is also noted for creating the first steel luxury sports watch. This was dubbed the Royal Oak in 1972. Later, in 1993, the brand created the first oversized watch named the Royal Oak Offshore.
Founder: Jules Louis Audemars, Edward Auguste Piguet
SHOP: Audemars Piguet
2. Vacheron Constantin
One of the oldest manufacturers of luxury watches, Vacheron Constantin, was founded by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755, in Geneva Switzerland. This brand of fine watches is a member of the Richemont Group. Vacheron Constantin’s watches truly reflect their heritage. With precise detailing alongside traditional shapes and styling, these watches are unlike others. Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have worn their watches, along with other noted historical figures like Harry Truman and Pope Pius IX.
Founder: Jean-Marc Vacheron
SHOP: Vacheron Constantin
3. Patek Philippe
The Swiss brand, Patek Phillipe & Co was founded in 1851. The watches boast complicated mechanics and traditional styling and have been worn by royalty throughout history. Inspiringly classic and unique with its distinctive signature style, this brand keeps its marketing consistent with their promotional campaigns.
Founded: 1839 (Patek, Czapek & Cie.), 1845 (Patek & Cie.), 1851 (Patek, Philippe & Cie.)
Founder: Antoni Patek, Franciszek Czapek, Adrien Philippe
SHOP: Patek Philippe
A subsidiary of the Swatch Group, watch brand Blancpain was much like the other brands founded in another era; 1735. Blancpain underwent big developments, with its growth thriving in the 19th century, updating and modernizing production and innovation of their watches. Blancpain has a broad range of different watches available; including minimalistic designs as well as more elaborately styled pieces.
Known for their Swiss watches, Chopard is not only known for their unique timepieces, but also for their jewelry. Founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard, a Swiss watchmaker, Chopard is identifiable for its classic look and great detailing. With state-of-the-art technological influence and well-established craftsmanship, Chopard is coveted because of its sophisticated models. With a clear design aesthetic and innovative development, Chopard has grown into a worldwide luxury brand.
Founder: Louis-Ulysse Chopard
6. IWC Schaffhausen
Established in 1868, IWC Schaffhausen has specialized in premium Swiss watches. This watch manufacturer combines precision engineering with exclusive design, and its timepieces are identifiable by their classic shape and superior material. Interestingly, the brand has expressed a desire to create watches with superior standards while responding to the environmental challenges of today as well as supporting landmark projects around the world.
Founder: Florentine Ariosto Jones
SHOP: IWC Schaffhausen
One of, if not the most identifiable luxury watch brands, Rolex is internationally acclaimed and coveted by society. Prized for its timeless form and function, Rolex watches are prevalent in popular culture. Its British origins are still represented in this brand’s consistently classic designs. Rolex is internationally recognized and has been featured on Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful global brands. Rolex is also the largest single luxury watch brand, making 2,000 watches per day.
Founded: 1905 (Wilsdorf and Davis in London, United Kingdom), 1915 (Rolex Watch Co. Ltd), 1920 (Montres Rolex S.A.)
Founder: Hans Wilsdorf, Alfred Davis
8. Ulysse Nardin
Ulysse Nardin has been in continuous production since its creation in 1846. Specializing in wristwatches, writing instruments and accessories, the materials used in these products are visually distinctive, much like the uniquely colored leathers utilized in many of their goods. The craftsmanship of the Ulysse Nardin watches is also internationally renowned for their work with modernized materials and manufacturing.
Founder: Ulysse Nardin
SHOP: Ulysse Nardin
The luxury Swiss watch brand, Jaeger-LeCoultre features timepieces boasting faces with unique and complex detailing. Since 1833, this brand has sustained the initial envisions for the brand, which was innovation and unique clarity. The classic elements of these watches are particularly appealing because they can be worn again and again.
Founder: Antoine LeCoultre
Founded in 1860 in Florence Italy, today Panerai’s headquarters are located in Milan Italy. With an international clientele, the Italian company is known for its bold styles and simplistic numeral and design elements.
Founded: 1860 (Italy)
Founder: Giovanni Panerai
11. Piaget SA
Piaget SA was founded by Georges Edouard Piaget in La Côte-aux-Fées, Switzerland. Known for their thinner watch styles, their materials are also incredibly unique, flaunting dials made in precious stones such as lapis-lazuli, turquoise, onyx and tiger’s eye. Piaget announced in 2014 their Altiplano 900P watch, which is the world’s thinnest hand-wound mechanical watch.
Founder: Georges Edouard Piaget
SHOP: Piaget SA
Cartier is undeniably one of the most iconic watch and jewelry brands globally, especially due to its popularity in the mainstream press and celebrity culture. Founded in 1847 in Paris France, the brand’s renowned watches speak for themselves, flaunting a distinguished and classic distinction. Represented through its high-end materials and typical roman numerals, this luxury watch brand is a safe bet for many, and is worth the splurge.
Founder: Louis-François Cartier
Founded in 1884, luxury watch brand Breitling is known for its watches’ excellent durability and precision. The watches are inspired by aviation, with many of the watches including features used by fighter pilots. The brand also designed watches specifically constructed for divers, lending to its versatility and innovation in watch production.
Founder: Léon Breitling
14. Bell & Ross
Luxury French brand, Bell & Ross is headed by Bruno Belamich and Carlos A. Rosillo. Launched in 1992, the design influences of these watches include Aircraft instruments. Most noted about this fine watch company is the square shaping that frames many of its watches’ faces. Its aesthetic boasts modern influence and can be identified by its sporty and athletic references.
Founder: Bruno Belamich, Carlos A. Rosillo
SHOP: Bell & Ross
Another influential Swiss luxury watch brand, Omega has earned its stripes with its historical work as well as contemporary status as a leading luxury brand for timepieces. In fact, Britain’s Royal Flying Corps elected Omega watches as the official timekeepers for combat units in 1917. The American army shortly followed suit in 1918.
Founder: Louis Brandt
Inspired by Aviation, the Bremont Watch Company is based in Britain but have expanded their brand and production across the world. Since 2002, founding brothers, Nick and Giles English have upheld the inspiration that made their watches famous, shown through their watches’ aircraft themed and mechanically focused models. With classic curves and proportionate faces, these watches are true representations of this British company’s image and branding.
Founder: Nick English, Giles English
Country: United Kingdom
17. TAG Heuer
This Swiss watch manufacturing company also produces eyewear, mobile phones, and accessories. The TAG Heuer name is an abbreviation of ‘Techniques d’Avant Garde’ and Heur refers to the founder, Edouard Heuer. While the watches have evolved over the decades, they still possess a persisting sports-like look. With a range of chronographs and memorable timepieces available, this brand boasts a technological appeal and premium functionality.
Founder: Edouard Heuer
SHOP: TAG Heuer
18. Louis Moinet
The inventor of the Chronograph, Louis Moinet was not only a craftsman of watches but a horologist, sculptor, and painter. His name and branding were revived by the founder and creative director of the Louis Moinet brand, Jean-Marie Schaller. This independent luxury brand is located in Switzerland and prides itself on its incorporation of exotic materials and innovative technology.
Founder: Edouard Heuer
SHOP: Louis Moinet
19. A.Lange & Sohne
A.Lange & Sohne was founded in 1845 by Ferdinand Adolph Lange. The brand favors mechanical movements as opposed to quartz movements and its cases are made in different tones of gold, like yellow gold, rose gold, white gold and platinum. The brand is synonymous with iconic styling and superior quality.
Founded: 1845, 1990 (re-launched)
Founder: Ferdinand Adolph Lange
SHOP: A.Lange & Sohne
20. Baume ET Mercier
For the gent who wants a luxury watch without emptying his savings account, Baume ET Mercier is the perfect brand. The label has been creating and selling superior timepieces for almost two centuries. Today, Baume et Mercier continues to make elegant watches of the highest quality while selling them for excellent mid-range prices.
Founder: Louis-Victor and Célestin Baume
SHOP: Baume & Mercier
Corum, which is also known as Montres Corum Sàrl, is a luxury watch label that specializes in bold designs and reliable mechanics. The brand’s range of timepieces extends from fantastic mid-range designs to stunning limited edition styles. As such, Corum appeals to regular gents who appreciate watches as well as serious collectors.
Founder: Gaston Ries, René Bannwart
22. Girard Perregaux
Setting the benchmark for supreme craftsmanship and exquisite design, Girard Perregaux is a titan in the horology world. With over 200 years of experience, the label sure knows how to create a stunning and innovative luxury timepiece. It’s no surprise then that Girard Perregaux’s history contains countless achievements and patents.
Founded: 1791, 1852 (Girard & Cie)
Founder: Jean-François Bautte, Constant Girard
SHOP: Girard Perregaux
23. Glashütte Original
While you may automatically think of Switzerland for luxury timepieces, Germany also knows how to create an impeccable wristwatch. The country, which is renowned for its precision craftsmanship, is home to Glashütte Original. Hailing from the watchmaking town of the same name, Glashütte is famous for blending traditional techniques with cutting-edge innovation.
Founder: Ferdinand Adolph Lange
SHOP: Glashütte Original
Although Hublot may be significantly younger than a lot of other luxury watch labels, the brand is by no means less impressive. In fact, since beginning in 1980, Hublot has risen to become one of the most prestigious names in the industry. With award-winning collections already under its belt, the label looks set to continue with its success.
Founder: Carlo Crocco
25. Maurice Lacroix
Maurice Lacroix is renowned for its expert blend of traditional Swiss craftsmanship and impressive in-house manufacturing. The label, which launched in 1975, rose to the top of the industry in the ’90s with the help of its Les Mécaniques line. Today, the line is known as the Masterpiece Collection and features many of the brand’s most popular watches.
SHOP: Maurice Lacroix
Montblanc may be best known for its famous fountain pens, but the label also creates exceptional luxury watches. Beautifully crafted by hand, the brand’s timepieces are as stylish as they are functional. As well as offering an extensive range of traditional wristwatches, the innovative label also boasts a collection of modern smartwatches.
Founded: 1997 (watches)
27. Roger Dubuis
Combining avant-garde style with intricate Swiss mechanics, Roger Dubuis has carved out an impressive section of the luxury watch market just for himself. The talented watchmaker has been dazzling watch connoisseurs since the mid-’90s and continues to impress with his unique blend of traditional construction and cutting-edge design.
Founder: Roger Dubuis, Carlos Dias
SHOP: Roger Dubuis
28. Arnold & Son
Arnold & Son is a legendary luxury watch brand. The label was created by famous British watchmaker, John Arnold, who released the first official chronometer. As such, precision and innovation run in this brand’s blood. Although John is now long gone, Arnold & Son continues to create impeccable timepieces and keep his legacy going.
Founder: John Roger Arnold
Country: United Kingdom
SHOP: Arnold & Son
Tudor is a subsidiary brand of Rolex and an excellent mid-range luxury alternative to the prestigious label. Perfect for gents who appreciate a high-quality construction and elegant design without an excessive price tag, Tudor’s timepieces are chic, smart, and of excellent value. Add one of the label’s pieces to your collection, and you won’t regret it.
Founder: Hans Wilsdorf
MeisterSinger manufactures mechanical wristwatches and is known for their exceptional quality. It was founded by Manfred Brassler in 2001 and is based in Münster, Germany. Although it is one of the newer offerings to the watch market, it has become a highly sought-after brand because of its simple elegance and functional pieces. You can expect precision and a timeless design that is distinguished because of the single hand they use.
Founder: Manfred Brassler
Country: Münster, Germany
31. Nomos Glashütte
Nomos Glashütte is based in Glashütte, Saxony, and products made here are world-famous. Founded by Roland Schwertner in 1990, the company creates precise designs that are timeless and sophisticated and is a fantastic example of German engineering at its finest. You can choose from thirteen model families for men and women and a wide selection of colors for the straps and dials.
Founded: Roland Schwertner
Country: Glashütte, Saxony, Germany
SHOP: Nomos Glashütte
32. Richard Mille
Richard Mille only entered the watch manufacturing business in 2001, with its first product, the RM 001 Tourbillon. Still, it is already proving to be a leader in the luxury watch brand market. Inspired by Mille’s desire to produce the watch of his dreams, the company was founded in Les Breuleux, Switzerland, by Dominique Guenat and Richard Mille. It specializes in high-end products, and its craftsmanship has earned them a legion of loyal customers worldwide.
Founder: Richard Mille, Dominique Guenat
SHOP: Richard Mille
Parmigiani Fleurier was founded in 1996 by Michel Parmigiani. His knowledge of timepieces from his time as a watch restorer coupled with his desire to blend expert craftsmanship with cutting-edge design helped him launch such a successful brand. His business ventures began in 1975, but Parmigiana was born decades later. Great care and precision go into the creation of all watches, and only a limited number are produced each year, which only adds to their appeal.
Founder: Michel Parmigiani
Another watch brand to know is Zenith. Founded in 1865 by Georges Favre-Jacot in Le Locle, Switzerland, this company has withstood the test of time and for a good reason. Their timepieces offer precision with their chronograph and are of the utmost quality and high standard. The watches have been favored by remarkable individuals throughout history, including French aviator Louis Blériot and daredevil and BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner.
Founder: Georges Favre-Jacot
Country: Le Locle, Switzerland
Breguet gets its name after its founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet. He started the company in Paris, France, in 1775. It is now one of the oldest, most well-known, and highly sought-after luxury watch manufacturers with headquarters in L’Abbaye, Switzerland, after the Swatch Group’s acquisition. Among the many things that Breguet has accomplished includes the invention of the tourbillon and creating the first wristwatch for the Queen of Naples. The products are unbelievably beautiful with great attention to detail.
Founder: Abraham-Louis Breguet
Country: Paris, France
36. Frederique Constant
Frédérique Constant produces Swiss-made watches that are special and unique. Founded in 1988 in Switzerland by Peter Stas and Aletta Bax. The timepieces are innovative and stylish yet also accessible with the goal of being an affordable luxury. They are evolving to keep up with the times and have also focused their attention on smartwatches.
Founder: Peter Stas and Aletta Bax
SHOP: Frederique Constant
Founded in Tokyo Japan in 1881 and incorporated in 1917, Seiko is well known for its function and style alike. This brand produces both quartz and mechanical watches. The Japanese luxury brand has evolved over the years and has expanded into eyewear as well as jewelry and interestingly enough, printers.
Founder: Kintarō Hattori
Jérôme de Witt founded his watch company in 2003. He had a dream of paying homage to the best watchmaking traditions while innovating with elaborate and intricate complications and high horology. Everything is produced by hand, in-house at the manufacturing complex in Geneva, Switzerland. The award-winning collections include technical innovations and patents, open-worked dials, and avant-garde designs. An excellent example of this is the Mathematical piece, an automatic watch without hands. Meanwhile, while the ingenious Concept X-Watch has a protective cage around the multi-dimensional reversible movement.
Founder: Jérôme de Witt
39. Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co, with its famous blue boxes, is one of the most recognizable jewelry brands globally. While it’s known for dazzling diamonds and rare gemstones, it also has a modest but sophisticated collection of men’s watches. Using precise Swiss engineering, the designs are uncomplicated, timeless, and refined. Choose from both square and round faces with leather or metal bands, with practical features like water resistance and quartz movements.
Founder: Charles Lewis Tiffany
Country: United States of America
SHOP: Tiffany & Co.
40. Harry Winston
Add an exceptional creation to your watch collection with a timepiece from the “King of Diamonds,” Harry Winston. Each one is a combination of gem-setting expertise, fine craftsmanship, and respect for timeless traditions. During manufacturing, they use high-end movements, precious metals, and the brand’s own unique alloys – Zalium and Winstonium. The collections include the Emerald, a homage to Mr. Winston; Midnight, with timeless refinement; and The Ocean Collection, which combines elegance with technical characteristics. Finally, the History of Tourbillon & Opus range showcases a visionary spirit and technical mastery for men looking for a truly unique design.
Founder: Harry Winston
Country: United States of America
SHOP: Harry Winston
An active and outdoorsy lifestyle shouldn’t prevent stylish gents from wearing a luxury watch. That’s why Alpina is the timepiece of choice for Alpinists, pilots, and adventurers. Introducing the innovative “Alpina 4” manufacturing requirements, founder Gottlieb Hauser believed that to be a true sports watch, every timepiece should be anti-magnetic, anti-shock, water-resistant, and stainless steel. Today, the brand has collections for Air, Sea, Land, Smartwatches, and Women. Plus, it also has a team of ambassadors, including elite athletes and adventurers who share the same values.
Founder: Gottlieb Hauser
42. Jaquet Droz
With nearly 300 years of experience, Jaquet Droz is a leading brand in exceptional luxury watches. Founder Pierre pursued his passion for watchmaking from a young age. His creations captured the attention of a wealthy clientele with enhanced designs, including music and automata. Today, under the Swatch Group, the collections feature works of art, master craftsmanship, and technical innovation. Look for 3D mechanical animation in the Automata series, luxury decoration in the Ateliers D’art, or the universally recognized and avant-garde Grande Seconde watches.
Founder: Pierre Jaquet-Droz
SHOP: Jaquet Droz
43. F.P. Journe
As a relatively young luxury watch company, F.P. Journe has won a surprising amount of awards. It’s the three times winner of the Aiguille d’Or grand prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie. The philosophy behind the brand is Invenit et Fecit – meaning “invented and made.” It demonstrates that each unique piece is conceived and crafted to founder François-Paul’s rigorous standards.
Founder: François-Paul Journe
SHOP: F.P. Journe
44. Laurent Ferrier
Laurent Ferrier’s father and grandfather were both watchmakers, so the art of high horology runs in his blood. Having worked at Patek Philippe for more than 30 years, he launched his eponymous brand in 2010. The range of men’s luxury watches reflects a neo-classic style that still embraces innovation and inspired design. There are five core collections, including the Classic, Ecole, Square, Grand Sport, and Bridge. Production is limited to around 150 pieces each year, with each watch made by the hands of skilled artisans.
Founder: Laurent Ferrier
SHOP: Laurent Ferrier
While the Gucci label was launched in 1921, the house didn’t branch out into watches until the 1970s. The first release was the Model 2000 in 1972. Currently, their range of unique and fashion-forward watches is manufactured in Switzerland. Doing so combines the flair of Italian heritage with the expertise of Swiss horology. Look for statement styles such as the streamline Grip that takes inspiration from the world of skateboarding. Alternatively, for a more classic style, the G-Timeless and Gucci Dive embraces the green and red color palette, with some options showcasing the iconic bee.
Founder: Guccio Gucci
BOVET is famed for its exceptional level of decorations and chronometry. The Bovet family owned and operated the company until 2001 when Pascal Raffy took over. He continued the Bovet brother’s legacy with passion and engineering brilliance. Then, in 2018, the Récital 22 Grand Récital won the Aiguille d’Or at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève awards. There are three collections within the brand. The first is Fleurier, a tribute to the pocket watches; Dimier, with contemporary crown placement; and thirdly, a collaboration range with Pininfarina. Plus, you can also order a bespoke piece with personalized art, gems, engraving, and custom mechanics.
Founder: Edouard Bovet
If you’re looking for a fresh and contemporary luxury watch, then Ressence is the brand for you. Industrial designer Benoît Mintiens founded the Belgian brand in 2010 and brought a creative and innovative mind to mechanical fine-watchmaking. While there are many stand-out features in the designs, the main difference is the watch face. It discards traditional hands, instead employing a revolving sub-dial and main disc for an ever-changing display. Choose from five Types in the range, all featuring an e-crown for a sleek, modern look.
Founder: Benoît Mintiens
Experience a new world of luxury watches with RJ. The designs from this Swiss company are recognizable, ambitious, and culturally relevant, taking inspiration from the human story. Choose from collaboration collections featuring pop culture icons such as PacMan, Spiderman, or Batman. Alternatively, wear a piece of history on your wrist with the ARRAW 6919, which contains genuine parts of Apollo 11. Originally founded in 2004 as Romain Jerome, the brand relaunched in 2018 as RJ, under CEO Marco Tedeschi to keep things fresh.
Founder: Alain Bajulaz
49. Franck Dubarry
French businessman, Franck Dubarry, is no stranger to the world of watchmaking, having founded the TechnoMarine brand in 2007. He then launched his own eponymous luxury watch company in 2016. These are timepieces for the mavericks and free thinkers of the world. The styles embrace multifunctionality, with an emphasis on the latest technology and bold, avant-garde design. Choose from four key collections. These include dedicated dive watches and the exclusive Crazy Wheels, with more than 60 moving parts on display.
Founder: Franck Dubarry
SHOP: Franck Dubarry
Boasting a rich history in aviation, Tutima has survived a tumultuous journey. Based in Glashütte, Germany, one of the earliest watches made was the Tutima Glashütte pilot’s chronograph. It was the official watch of the German Reich air force’s military pilots, setting the path for some of the most reliable and trustworthy aviation watches. Nowadays, the collection still includes a variety of pilots watches. This consists of the M2, the Saxon One, and the Grand Flieger, a descendent of the original pilot’s chronograph.
Founder: Ernst Kurtz
51. Greubel Forsey
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey founded Greubel Forsey in 2004, focussing on uncompromising innovation. As such, they boast seven of their own inventions, including a Quadruple Tourbillon and Double Balancier. Each of these makes the watches unique and exclusive, with only 100 timepieces created each year. Situated high in the mountains of Switzerland, all the development and production workshops are housed in a revolutionary Farmhouse and Atelier complex that fosters the creative spirit.
Founder: Robert Greubel & Stephen Forsey
SHOP: Greubel Forsey
Creative timekeeping is the cornerstone of production at HAUTLENCE. The company brings a fresh vision to the art of watchmaking while still honoring traditions. With a think-tank-like approach to design, expect to find plenty of fun concepts such as the Playground collection with pinball and labyrinth-inspired designs. Other selections include Concepts D’exception, Atelier, and Signature. Each has its own flavor and characteristics, but all use entirely in-house developed horological content, including expertly engineered calibers.
Founder: Renaud de Retz, Guillaume Tetu, Sandro Reginelli
Named after a nearby brook in the Swiss town of Hölstein, Oris has over 100 years of rich heritage. The brand is one of a few that only produces mechanical watches, which are both refined and offer real-world functionality. Select from timepieces in six categories, including Aquis, Divers, Big Crown, Propilot, Porpilot X, and Artelier. All of them use calibers made in-house, with aesthetics that suit their intended use.
Founder: Paul Cattin & Georges Christian
The founder of U-Boat watches, Itali Fontana, is a creative rebel who doesn’t follow trends or allow corporate obligation to limit his visions. Experimentation and innovation are at the heart of new designs, embracing modern techniques and new materials. Some of the more unique concepts include the Capsoil Collection that features retro lines and an oil-immersed dial and movement that enhances the visual appeal. U-Boat watches have appeared in several Hollywood films, including Expendables 3 and Tokarev.
Founder: Italo Fontana
55. Jacob and Co
Discovering a love and fascination for watchmaking at a young age, founder Jacob Arabo began his career as an apprentice watchmaker, then jewelry maker. In 1986 he launched his own label, focussing first on jewelry, before eventually moving into watches. One of his earliest clients, which he named his first watch after, was Quentin Tarantino. Now, the brand offers both high horology and fine jewelry, with the former being works of art themselves. Get your hands on watches inspired by astronomy, Hollywood films, the Bugatti Chiron, or even the Monopoly board game.
Founder: Jacob Arabo
Country: United States of America
SHOP: Jacob and Co
A pioneering spirit has helped Bulova stay as a leader in luxury watches since its launch in 1987 and maintain a long history of firsts. Among its achievements, the brand had the first television and radio commercial in America. It also had a timer placed in the sea of tranquility during the first moonwalk. Later advancements include the world’s first curved chronograph movement released in 2016. The current men’s watch collection is extensive, with designs like the Precisionist, Marine Star diving watch, and Lunar Pilot special edition chronograph, inspired by the one that astronaut Dave Scott wore in space.
Founder: Joseph Bulova
Country: United States of America
English clock and watchmaker George Graham first founded the Graham brand in London in 1695. The company thrived for around 100 years before fading from the scene. It wasn’t until 300 years later that Eric Loth acquired the right to use the brand name, creating Swiss-made watches inspired by the British heritage. The signature design is the Chronofighter, which comes in both a Vintage and Superlight design. It boasts a distinctive left-mounted trigger system to operate the chronograph functions. Other options also include the Swordfish diving watch and more conventional Fortress pilot’s watches.
Founded: 1695, revived in 1995
Founder: George Graham
Milus recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. After a brief foray into international ownership, the brand is once-again Swiss-owned, under Luc Tissot, of the Tissot watchmaking dynasty. As such, the brand is refocusing on innovation, beautiful design, and advanced manufacturing. One stand-out from the collection includes the Snow Star, the original of which was issued to US Navy pilots in the 1940s. Another is a 70s-inspired dive watch, the Archimèdes by Milus, which is designed to operate in all conditions.
Founder: Paul William Junod
59. Van Cleef & Arpels
A passion for precious stones united the families of Van Cleef and Arpels. After his marriage, Alfred Van Cleef partnered with his new wife’s brothers to open the first boutique in Paris in 1906. The Maison is best known for its array of haute jewelry, adorned with all kinds of diamonds and other precious stones. However, they also offer a collection of refined men’s watches. Keep it elegant yet masculine with the Pierre Arpels Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs Watch, initially designed in 1949. Alternatively, there are styles like the Midnight Planétarium that balance simplicity with embellishment.
Founder: Alfred Van Cleef & Salomon Arpels
SHOP: Van Cleef & Arpels
60. De Bethune
The research and development department at De Bethune is one of the leaders in the Swiss watch industry. Their focus is on technical and aesthetic innovations. Plus, everything is then manufactured in-house, ensuring quality and meticulous attention to detail are maintained. The collection is comprehensive, with a mix of simple, elegant designs, pilot watches, GMT watches, and more, plus one-off artworks. They also have a Dream Watch collection, which provides a space for boundless creativity, inspiration, and research, to create pieces that transcend horology.
Founder: David Zanetta & Denis Flageollet
SHOP: De Bethune
How to Wear a Watch
Which Wrist to Wear Your Watch on
As a very general rule, most people choose to wear their watch on their non-dominant hand. This reduces the risk of banging it while performing tasks or fumbling what you’re holding if you need to check the time. However, which wrist you choose really comes down to personal preference, and there is no right or wrong. With more and more jobs being at a computer, choosing your non-mouse hand can be a good idea to prevent wear and tapping on the desk (no-one wants to be the noisy guy in an open plan office!).
Picking The Right Watch For The Right Occasion
Selecting the right style of watch for the right occasion can be tricky. However, there are a few basic rules you can follow. If you’re wearing a suit, it’s best to opt for a slimline dress watch that will sit smoothly under your sleeve — no-one should be wearing a G-Shock on their wedding day. If you’re super keen on adding a bit more personality to your look, you can, in some cases, wear an aviation or motorsport watch. On the flip side, casual outfits are perfect for wearing your sports, field, or diving watch. These tend to be a larger profile, with more casual details such as canvas or silicone straps. While not every man has an extensive collection, a dress watch and a more relaxed style such as a field or dive watch should be in every guy’s wardrobe to cover you for most occasions.
Wearing a Watch with a Dress Shirt
Whether you’re at a job interview, out to dinner, or even getting married, you want to make sure your accessories are just as on point as your dress shirt and suit. As such, there are a few things to consider when wearing a watch with a dress shirt. Firstly, you should select a slim profile dress watch that won’t bulk out your sleeve or get caught. You also want to make sure the strap fits correctly around your wrist, so it’s not sliding up or down. When it comes to your sleeve length when your arms are straight, you should only see 20% of your watch – if not, head to a tailor to get the sleeves adjusted. Finally, your watch should always sit on the inside of your sleeve, not the outside.
Wearing a Watch with a Short Sleeve Shirt?
The perfect time for wearing a watch with a bit more personality is when you’ve got short sleeves on. Whether you’re wearing a t-shirt, button-up, or even a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves nonchalantly rolled, it’s ideal for showing off your timepiece. Opt for a field, aviation, sport, driving, or diving watch for the ultimate in style-savvy vibes. However, similar to wearing a watch with long sleeves, you still want to ensure the band fits well.
How to Care For a Watch
- Cleaning Your Watch: Regularly and proactively cleaning your watch is one of the best moves you can make. Doing so reduces the build-up of daily dirt and grime that can turn it into a bigger task down the track. Simply take a soft cloth and clean the band and case once a week. Then, every couple of months (assuming your watch is water-resistant), use some warm soapy water to help loosen any set-in dirt.
- Getting Your Watch Serviced: No matter what kind of watch you have, it’s good to get it served every few years. A professional will check everything is in working order and replace worn or faulty parts. Mechanical watches should get checked every two to three years, as they have more moving parts, while quartz watches need services every three to four years.
- Keeping Away from Magnets: The timekeeping mechanisms of watches are carefully calibrated. However, they can be negatively impacted by magnets, which can interrupt the accuracy of your watch. As such, it’s best to avoid having your watch near magnets.
- Water Resistance Matters: Most watches these days have some level of water resistance, which means they won’t be damaged by rain or water splashes. However, over time, the waterproof measures’ effectiveness can wear off, especially in vintage watches. As such, it’s ideal to know how waterproof your watch is so you can avoid situations where it might get damaged. You should also be aware of how water affects other parts of your watch, such as the band. For example, water can weaken a leather band but won’t affect silicone.
- Your Watch’s Crystal: It may seem obvious but do your best to avoid hitting the crystal of your watch against anything. While it’s relatively durable, you want to prevent scratches, chips, and cracks.
- Saving the Watch Box: The best way to store your watch when it’s not on your wrist is to keep it in the box it came in. Watch boxes are designed to keep the face up and protect it, so the dial doesn’t risk getting scratched. If you’ve accumulated a watch collection, it can be worth investing in a watch display box. This keeps many timepieces stored safely and correctly while still showing off your incredible collection.
- Limiting Sun Exposure: The sun can be very damaging to pretty much everything, including your watch. Extreme heat can shorten your battery life, and the UV rays can fade the color on your watching, including on the band. Consequently, it’s ideal to keep your watch away from the sun as much as is practical.
- Staying Away from Chemicals: While it may seem obvious to avoid getting corrosive chemicals on your watch, even mild cleaning products can cause damage. If you’re in for a day of deep cleaning, it’s best to take your watch off before you commence. Cologne or fragrance can also have a damaging effect, especially on leather bands, thanks to the combination of alcohols and chemicals. As such, if you’re wearing cologne, spray it on a few minutes before you put your watch on to let it dry completely.
- Trust the Professionals: Even if you’re the most avid DIY-guy, it’s best to leave any opening or tinkering of your watch to the professionals. Watchmakers are experts in this area and work in clean environments that minimize exposure to dust and dirt that can clock the mechanisms and stop your watch from working as it should.
- Understand How your Watch Works: It may seem “unmanly” to read your watch manual, but it’s the best way to understand how your watch works. There will be tips and tricks on how to care for and clean your watch, as well as specific instructions for different models and designs. Understanding your watch’s inner workings will also help you better identify when things might be going wrong or it requires a service.
What are the top 10 watch brands?
The top 10 luxury watch brands are: Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Sohne, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Blancpain, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Ulysse Nardin, Chopard, IWC Schaffhausen and Vacheron Constantin.
What is the cheapest luxury watch brand?
One of the most affordable luxury watch brands is Tag Heuer. While the watches have evolved over the decades, they still possess a persisting sports-like look. With a range of chronographs and memorable timepieces available, this brand boasts a technological appeal and premium functionality.
What are good watch brands?
There are many good watch brands. Some of the most affordable brands are Victorinox, Alpina, Seiko, Stuhrling, Casio, Tissot, Triwa, Citizen, Timex, and Mondaine.
Are luxury watches a good investment?
Luxury watches are a good investment for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they can increase in value over time, especially on limited runs and rare models. Collectors can be willing to pay a lot for well-looked after vintage watches. Secondly, luxury watches can have enormous sentimental value, especially if they become family heirlooms. If you have the cash to splash and are looking for a way to treat yourself that can pay off in the future, then a luxury watch is a good idea. Plus, in the meantime, you’ll be looking and feeling stylish whenever you check the time.
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