List of the Top Luxury Watch Brands
“To be the Man, you gotta beat the Man!” – Ric Flair, wrestler
A brand needed to have developed a stellar reputation and consistent quality to be known as the ‘cream of the crop’. They are most likely risk-takers, willing to push the boundaries and conformity of what is known as a ‘watch’.
In order to be the best, you need to be unlike the rest and work, claw your way through the top and these brands have done so. Through time, the following watch brands became iconic and churned out some of the best examples of what a watch should be.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you looked up ‘wristwatch’ in the dictionary, one of their examples would be the visual description for it.
There are only a select few to be known as the most prestigious, and this is what Gracious Watch has compiled.
Feel free to comment if you agree or disagree. We love honest feedback!
Purchasing an expensive watch certainly costs a lot of money; but there are several reasons why a luxury timepiece is worth every penny.
For one, it is a precision instrument that has been made in accordance with the highest standards and will be able to keep time accurately for many years.
Secondly, it has a long-term investment value and will likely command a higher price in the future. Moreover, a luxury watch can become a valuable family heirloom that can be passed from one generation to another.
Below are some of the more prestigious watch brands that you can add to your collection.
Top Luxury Watch Brands
The top watch brands we’ve included in our list include: IWC, Omega, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breitling, Audemars Piguet, Hublot, Zenith and more.
The International Watch Company popularly known as IWC is a high-end brand of Swiss watches located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
The IWC was founded in 1868 with the objective of combining Swiss craftsmanship with the modern US engineering technology.
Since then, the IWC has continually engineered powerful and luxurious watches.
Through its passion for innovation and technical ingenuity, the IWC has developed a prestigious reputation. The Destriero Scafusia was built by IWC in 1993 and even to this day is considered one of the most complicated wristwatches ever made.
The craftsmanship and design of IWC watches is impeccable. This Swiss watch manufacturer has been designing masterpieces which combine precision engineering with exceptional design. There is no doubt that the IWC watch are quintessential luxury timepieces.
IWC watches are identifiable by their their classic shape and advanced materials. Even in recent years they’ve managed to stay current without losing their “look and style”.
We love the Aquatimer diving watch, just about every one of their pilot watches and the elegant Portugieser and Portofino.
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Quick Links: Shop for Omega Watches, Official Website, Read our Reviews
Popular: Seamaster Planet Ocean, Seamaster Aqua Terra, Seamaster 300M “Diver”, Constellation, Speedmaster Professional, De Ville
Widely known for designing state of the art mechanical watches since 1848, Omega is an admired brand of Swiss watches.
Initially the watches were sold under the brand name Omega. In 1894, brandt’s two sons developed a new technology that allowed watch components to be interchangeable.
The success of Omega resulted to its official founding in 1903. The rest as they say is history.
In 1917, Britain’s Royal Flying Corps chose the brand to be its official timekeeper. The American army did the same in 1918. In 1969, Omega was chosen by NASA, making it the first watch brand to reach the moon.
The accolades don’t stop there either with Omega watches being the official timekeeper of the Olympics since 1932. The brand has also been the choice for James Bond films since 1995. In short, Omega is one of the most successful watch brands owned by the Swatch group.
The timekeeping mechanism is the most accurate in the world. This brand of watch has set the precision records and continually redefining the standard of luxury Swiss watches. With its polished and refined appearance, Omega watches are classic and modern at the same time.
The Omega watch is a legendary timepiece. Advanced engineered and superb quality and high-end materials along with classic designs makes this one of our favorite Swiss watch brands.
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I bet there is zero surprise to see Rolex on this list of the best Swiss watch brands. The Rolex Swiss watch is one of the most respected and renowned watches in the global market, with almost universal brand recognition even amongst non-watch fans.
Since 1905, the Rolex Company has been designing timeless and elegant luxury watches. Rolex has set the record in terms of cutting edge innovation and technological revolution in the watch industry. However, this Swiss watch brand is as much about smart marketing as it is about watch technology.
Rolex watches are less about complicated movement and more about high quality, maintenance friendly watches that can be worn every day. Reliability in high end watches isn’t true for every watch maker and this is where Rolex excels.
This brand of watch was able to manufacture the first waterproof wristwatch, the first wristwatch with an automatically changing date on the dial, the first wristwatch to show two time zones at once and the first wristwatch with an automatically changing day and date on the dial.
Due to its noteworthy significance in the watch history, Rolex is one of the most admirable and recognized watch in the world.
Overall, the Rolex watch is a symbol of timeless luxury and eternal magnificence.
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Founded in 1851, the Patek Philippe & Co. (PP) is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer located in Geneva and the Vallée de Joux. Patek Philippe designs and manufactures classy timepieces as well as some of the most intricate mechanical watches.
This is the most prestigious Swiss watch brand in many experts opinions. If you hear two watch guys talking about buying a Patek Philippe timepiece, you know you are listening to really rich folks.
achieve record sums at the largest auction houses, where one of its watches can trade ownership for a two figure million sum.
Patek Philippe watches often break auction house records, going to tens of millions of dollars. Like a lot of very high end luxury brands, Patek Philippe uses long wait times on their most coveted models as a way to create mystique and cultivate their premium brand.
It’s more than a marketing ploy because we know that the annual Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon production number can be counted on one hand (yes, as in less than five units). Better hope you know somebody super-important at the company if you want one.
This brand pioneered and invented the perpetual calendar, split-seconds hand, chronograph, and minute repeater in watches.
This brand is notable for manufacturing its own parts and machineries. Patek Philippe is also known for producing the most expensive timepiece in the world. This brand of watch is patronized by the royalty and other powerful figures worldwide.
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Breitling has been making great watches since 1884. It is known for producing high-end watches known for their precision and accuracy especially in the aviation industry.
Known for its aviator chronographs with a multitude of additional functionality they are advanced watches with lots of cool features for the technophiles amongst us.
The Breitling watches are typically categorized for diving (SuperOcean), aviation (Navitimer), and luxury (Breitling for Bentley).
Breitling has played a critical role in the innovation of the wrist chronograph watches. It is also the world’s only major watch brand to equip all its models with chronometer certified movements and produce its own mechanical chronograph movement.
With its durable, reliable and high-performing timepieces, Breitling is definitely one of the most prestigious brands in the watch industry.
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Audemars Piguet is an iconic luxury Swiss watchmaker that is admired around the globe. With some of the most unique-looking watches on the market they have built themselves a niche spot in the upper luxury end of the market.
The roots of Audemars Piguet can be traced back to 1874. From humble beginnings when founded by Jules-Louis Audemars and Edward-Auguste Piguet, Audemars Piguet now delivers over 30,000 watches per annum.
This Swiss watch brand has attained tremendous worldwide success and became one of the most legendary watches makers ever, largely by being original and focusing on the top end with unique looking and luxurious watches that can’t be found anywhere else.
It has introduced several special and limited edition watches for celebrities and athletes. The quality and workmanship of the Audemars Piguet watch is exceptional.
With its revolutionary designs and state of the art mechanism, the Audemars Piguet watch is one of the most remarkable Swiss watches in the global market.
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Luxury and Indulgence are the foremost features of the Hublot watch. Founded in 1980, Hublot is a globally recognized brand for luxurious and classy timepieces.
In April 2008 it was announced that luxury goods group LVMH had acquired Hublot from founder Carlo Crocco for an undisclosed price.
At present, it is manufacturing the most expensive watch in the world worth $5 million.
This brand is well known for engineering the first natural rubber strap in the history of watch manufacturing. It took 3 years of research to create the strap. Despite failing to attract a single potential customer on the first day of its debut at the 1980 Basel Watch Fair, the watch quickly proved to be a commercial success with sales in excess of $2m in its first year.
Since then, Hublot has attained a commercial success as proven by its increased profitability.
With its superb quality and high-end materials, this watch will surely last for a lifetime. The Hublot watch is highly recommended due to its technological innovations and distinctive designs.
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Zenith is a high-end luxury Swiss watch brand founded in 1865 by 22 year old George Favre-Jacot. Fun fact of the day that the same factory has continued to make watches since 1865.
It has attained an esteemed reputation for manufacturing high quality and precise watches. This award winning brand of luxury watches still produce its own timekeeping mechanisms and movements and is considered by many watch enthusiasts a “real” manufacture because of that fact.
One of their most popular models is the El Primero caliber which was introduced in 1969. This timepiece was one of the first watches powered by an automatic chronograph movement. The El Primero put the Swiss watch brand on the map.
It is one of the most commendable and renowned brands in the world due to its remarkable significance in the watch history. Today, it’s a calibre with a high frequency of 36,000 oscillations per minute and its accuracy is considered an absolute reference in the watch industry. Rolex depends upon El-Primero calibres for its Daytona collection
Zenith has played a crucial role in the history of watchmaking by accompanying historical figures in their grand adventures.
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Breguet is a Swiss watch manufacturer founded by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1775. As one of the oldest watchmaking companies in the world, it has pioneered several technologies in the making of watches.
From patenting the tourbillon in 1795, to being the first to develop the first wristwatch in 1810, the company has stuck to its commitment of continually innovating and improving its products.
Today, Breguet watches are the results of meticulously performed processes by craftsmen who consider watchmaking as a sacred duty.
It is said that no two watches made by A.L. Breguet were ever alike. This legacy still lives on, evident in the individuality exhibited by every Breguet timepiece.
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In keeping with the inventive mind of its founder, Antoine LeCoultre, this Swiss watch manufacturer continues to foster a culture of innovation and creativity up to this day.
This is evidenced by the more than 1,200 calibres that have been developed, along with 413 registered patents.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre workshop in Vallee de Joux, Switzerland houses over 180 types of processes involved in watchmaking, manned by artisans, technicians and engineers with only one goal in mind: to create timepieces of excellence and quality.
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If awards are to be the measure of a watchmaker’s ability, then the 4,300 that Ulysse Nardin has under its name would rank it as among the world’s best.
The brand is recognized for creating extremely precise timepieces, borne from more than a century of making marine chronometers, the most accurate mechanical clock.
Today, the House of Ulysse Nardin continues to break new ground in horology with innovations, one of the most notable of which is the revolutionary Freak watch.
It is not surprising, then, that watches bearing the brand’s name are highly valued by enthusiasts and collectors.
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Italian watchmaker, Panerai, was founded in 1860 by Giovanni Panerai.
Aside from the luxury timepieces, the brand is also well-known for the sporty look of its watches.
Among Officine Panerai’s notable achievements as a watch manufacturer was its status as the official watch supplier of the Royal Italian Navy in the 1900’s. The company is proud of its birth place of Florence, Italy, the cradle of the Renaissance; and this pride is reinterpreted in the creativity, technicality and design of the timepieces that the brand offers to its customers today.
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