No matter how far we come in technology, the mechanical movements of a timeless wristwatch will always be a fascinating work of art. An art that has been fine-tuned and perfected over centuries of passionate innovation, refined craftsmanship and relentless dedication.
Horologists who have carried on the spirit of human ingenuity, leaving us with precious heirlooms of the past. The luxury watch signifies a gentleman’s appreciation for style, class, but most importantly, for tradition.
Are you still fumbling for your smartphone to check the time? Whether you are new to the wonderful world of watches, or a prominent collector of timepieces, these are 55 watch brands that you need to know.
Watchmakers across the globe know when they’ve come across an Audemars Piguet perpetual calendar watch. A highly regarded Swiss brand, AP is known for their aesthetically pleasing, explicitly technical, and sonorous luxury timepieces.
Inspired by celestial bodies, the Royal Oak conceptual wristwatch line integrates lunar phases alongside a traditional calendar. Classic gentleman can experience AP’s Classique pocket watch, or indulge in the simple elegance of a Jules Audemars model. Every hand-wound watch, a masterpiece. Emulating technical designs unmastered by competing engineers. Built on avant-garde craftsmanship, AP stands by their saying “to break the rules, you must first master them”.
A. Lange & Söhne
German luxury watchmakers A. Lange & Söhne craft their timepieces with one objective in mind, technical perfection. Every movement crafted with aesthetic precision. True traditional timepieces, showcasing engraved balance cocks, gold chatons and untreated German silver plates. Known for their complicated watches, Lange incorporates split-seconds chronographs as well as perpetual calendars into these timeless pieces.
The GRAND LANGE 1, redesigned for elegant proportions and balanced dial layouts. A classic styled wristwatch for a classic gentleman. For a more technical looking watch, explore the added mechanical features of the Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst.
Baume & Mercier
Founded in 1830, Baume et Mercier began developing Swiss luxury watches for functionality and sport. After World War 1, they became increasingly popular for their wristwatches performance over traditional pocket watches.
Using this as a catalyst, the company launched themselves amongst the contemporary and innovative workings of craftsmanship, resulting in the prestige watchmakers they are today. Watchmakers that set themselves apart from the rest with their timeless collections like the Capeland, Classima and the Linea. An everyday wristwatch for a man who appreciates contemporary style with classical watchmaking finishes.
Bell & Ross
Up to 350 select pieces go into the production of a single Bell & Ross wristwatch, a reflection exquisite French engineering. These luxury watches defy conventionality, a timepiece for those with only the most adventurous lifestyles.
Originally designed for pilots, astronauts, and divers, a Bell & Ross watch can withstand extreme conditions, while maintaining unparalleled functionality. A GMT line for the luxury traveler, a Vintage line for a man of authority, a high tech collection for the risk-taker. Each timepiece has a purpose, each purpose…a meaning.
In a life full of unpredictable measures, keep a Bell & Ross on your wrist and know that you are guided by mechanical excellence, sleek styling and unmatched precision.
Every Blancpain timepiece over the past 250 years assumes an integrated, classical element amongst endless innovation. For 13 generations, these Swiss watchmakers exceed brilliance in their devotion to crafting prestigious mechanical timepieces.
With a limited yearly production, each piece upholds to the selective standards of luxury. Sheer elegance. A story which unfolds through their top collections: the Ref. 1106, the Fifty Fathoms and the 1735. Collections which showcase centuries of contemporary innovation while holding on to the traditional mechanical design of their first luxury timepieces.
Traditionally designed for functional aviation, Breitling’s iconic chronometers have become a status quo for those who express a lifestyle of luxury fashion. Whether upon a gentleman or his lady, a large dial, Swiss Breitling watch shows onlookers nothing less than pure appreciation for opulence.
Don’t fall short to the quartz models, for Breitling offers Titanium and Gold pieces with diamond encrusted elements. Explore their ageless collections, like the Navitimer, or SuperOcean GMT. For prestigious exclusivity, Breitling offers the Bentley series. An expression of the relentless functionality of two high-powered companies, through a one-of-the-kind wristwatch, just for you.
Setting the Swiss standards for excellence and ingenuity, Chopard has stood the test of time for over 143 years. After uniting under jeweler Karl Scheufele, the company flourished, incorporating handpicked stones and jewels into Louis-Ulysses Chopard’s traditional chronometers.
You’ll find Chopard watches rightfully where they belong, locked in place around the wrists of famous celebrities and members of the affluent classes. Elton John, Mille Miglia and the Cannes International Film Festival are notable partners of Chopard timepieces. From their world-famous Happy Diamonds collection to the elegantly refined L.U.C. series, Chopard has continued to shatter the watchmaking industry with innovation, precision and luxurious brilliance.
Timeless elegance and flawless detail, a watch designed by Frederique Constant reflects their passion for luxury. Based in the heart of Swiss watch culture, FC embodies the essence of mechanical precision with modern elements. Developing the first silicone escapement wheel, these watchmakers have been able to lighten the load for your convenience, all while withholding to their core philosophy and values. This core philosophy allowed them to develop a classically designed, activity tracking horological smartwatch. Where cloud storage, activity tracking and a world timer make this timepiece of first-class nature. For a fashionable piece without the tech side, we recommend the bold, fashion-forward collections of Vintage Rally and Runabout.
After their groundbreaking release of the Big Bang Red Gold, Hublot has relentlessly made their way to the top. Along the way, they’ve amassed accolades such as, “Best Oversized Watch”, “Sports Watch Prize” and “2005 Design Prize”. A fusion of classical horology and contemporary masculinity, Hublot holds true value among their luxury watches for men. They’ve become global timekeepers for NBA teams, ski championships and FIFA World Cups. Their Hublot Oceanographic 4000 King Gold White has passed water resistance tests of up to 5000m, a necessity for deep sea divers. Hublot’s more luxurious, best-selling Big Bang collection boasts gold encasement, sapphire crystal glass and automatic movements. Wearing a Hublot timepiece showcases opulence, innovation and appreciation for the workings of modern horology.
When it comes to developing effective form movements, Jaeger-LeCoultre is an industry leader for luxury watches. Based out of the Vallee de Joux, Switzerland, these watchmakers innovate on the core value of precision movements over casing.
Historical distinctions of LeCoultre are developments such as, the flattest watch movements, or the smallest watch in the world, weighing in at .9 grams. The Reverso Tourbillo is one of their extraordinary timepieces known for flip-over case and art deco design. Since ’31, the Reverso collections have become nearly half of the brands production.
Known for their exquisite complications, the Duometre a Chronographe was chosen “Watch of the Year” in 2008, an honourary mention by famous German editorial Armanbanduhren.
Maurice Lacroix holds a reputable position amongst Swiss luxury watchmakers for their introduction of numerous manufacture movements, including heritage and automatic. As the brand grew, they acquired in-house case maker, Queloz S.A., a unique element compared to competing companies. Popularity soared after the release of their high end line “Les Mecaniques”, now known as the “Masterpiece” collection. In collaborating with Andreas Strehler, Maurice Lacroix released the chronograph calibre ML106. A prestigious timepiece, allowing them the claim of manufacture status. The Memoire 1, an extraordinary chronograph, features the experimental “memory function”. Boasting a world of complications and innovations, this piece is only owned by a select amount of individuals.
Luxury watch manufacturers Montblanc established their place in the industry with their calibre model MB R100. Featured in their astonishing timepiece, the Star Nicolas Rieussec Monopusher, the R100/200 double-barrel movement boasted a power reserve indicator, date function and 12-hour second time zone with day/night indications. These specifications supported an innovative, slice display, branded by the company’s star logo for a recognisable and elegant style. These German watchmakers have designed exclusive lines like “Villeret” and “1858” for collectors and enthusiasts alike.
“Omega”, the final state of perfection. A perfection that’s represented these Swiss watchmakers since 1848 with their distinctive designs and precise timekeeping. By developing the co-axial escapement, Omega showcased their secret to making long lasting, quality watches. They’ve expressed their relentless passion for watchmaking by becoming the official timekeepers of the Olympics, NASA and James Bond films.
The classic Omega Constellation utilises the brands first automatic chronometer, which set the standard for future models. Experience the classically elegant design of the brands De Ville series, or fulfil your inner James Bond with a model from the Seamaster collection. Discover the finest manufacture movements and imperative innovations that keep Omega on top of the game with one of their select models today.
Italian precision engineers Panerai are known for their legendary nautical instruments and watches. Over the years, the brand has produced prestigious and functional equipment for the Royal Italian Navy, including watches, aiming devices, depth gauges and mechanical calculators. What sets Panerai from other watchmakers is the use of “Radiomir”, a luminous substance which allows their pieces to be read in water and low-light settings.
After being acquired by luxury goods powerhouse Richemont, Panerai became a leader in the sports luxury watch industry. Landmark designs like the Luminar Submersible and the Radiomir Tourbillon GMT provide credibility to the excellence of their craftsmanship. Be sure to check out their 2017 special edition Lab-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech for a modern, sleek and luxurious wristwatch worn by gentlemen under any circumstance.
A timepiece crafted by Patek Philippe depicts a story of timeless innovation. Being a leader of significant inventions since 1845, the company owns over 70 patents related to fine watchmaking. From modern crown winding to the annual calendar, the succeeding complications allowed Patek Philippe timepieces to be recognised as horological masterpieces. In 1989, the brand finished developing the Calibre 89, a design with 1728 components and 33 complications. 2002, a Patek Philippe wristwatch was auctioned off for 6.5 million Swiss Francs, the most expensive in history. For their 175th anniversary in 2014, the company released the a series of complicated watches engineered by their innovative team. Opulent, elegant and ageless. The decorative workings of a Patek Philippe timepiece radiates through their dynamic models, the World Time Moon, the Multi-Scale Chronograph and the Chiming Jump Hour.
Improvements and advancements are what gets you ahead of competing Swiss watchmakers. For Piaget, their mastery in extra-flat watch movements characterised their distinctive timepiece stylings. A major player in the luxury watch industry, Piaget has become one of the highest priced brands in the market. For the gentlemen of elegance, indulge in the Piaget Altiplano. A refined design, characterised by ultra-thin manual winding and simple dial. Looking for a luxe watch with edge?
The Emperador model with their square and rectangular shapes have got you covered. The Upstream model by Piaget boasts a folding clasp and self-winding calibre, an element that sparked a buzz throughout the community.
Ranked the 64th most powerful global brand by Forbes, Rolex is the largest luxury watch brand in the world. Seeped in heritage, Rolex consistently innovated off the classics, earning them a plethora of “firsts” in the industry. Their accolades include the first automatic changing date and day on-dial, first to display two time zones at once and the first chronometer to be certified as a wristwatch. The brand has developed watches for rough terrain and extreme sports, including famous Mount Everest expeditions and polar exploration. Counterfeits are everywhere. Ensure you are purchasing your Rolex from an official retailer when you decide to buy. Well-appointed models of Rolex are the Daytona, Cellini Date, the Yacht-Master 40, Submariner and the Datejust Oyster.
The master of experimental designs, Frenchman Richard Mille continues to shatter the notions of traditional horology with his timepieces. Sophisticated complications and avant-garde craftsmanship trademark the brand, which released the baffling luxury model RM 012.
A timepiece contain a stunning platinum tourbillon, vivid transparency and tubular movement composition…talk about complexity. After awarded the prestigious “Golden Hand” at the Grand Prix D’horlogerie de Genève 2007, the innovation failed to cease.
Watches characterised by futuristic design, unusual materials and skeleton dials separated a Richard Mille watch from the rest. Watch collectors should own the 004-V2 Split Seconds, the highly-regarded 012, or the RM 018 “Hommage a Boucheron”.
This watch manufacturer began its journey in 1860 out of Saint-Imier, Switzerland. Over the years, they released an unparalleled amount of popular timepieces and movements ranging from chronographs, to stopwatches and more. After being taken over by Louis Vuitton, the company began releasing replica editions of legendary classics like the Carrera, the Monza and the Monaco. In this time, they constructed the Monaco V4, a bold watch with mechanical movements whose workings reflected a power transmission. In 2016, TAG released the Carrera Calibre 5 “Ring Master”, a token of their appreciation for Mohammad Ali at his first official tribute since death. Through innovation and functionality, TAG Heuer has remained a staple amongst luxury and high-end watch enthusiasts.
A subsidiary of Rolex, the Swiss brand Tudor offers sophisticated timepieces in the price range below their parent company. Don’t mistaken their price to lack of quality, for Tudor has notably became the more progressive brand of the two. From chronographs, to dive watches and luxury models, Tudor has a timepiece for any style. For a feel of refinement, explore the Classic models with diamond-set or white dials as everyday wear. Looking for distinct features? The Fastrider and Heritage Chronographs will captivate the wrists of those fascinated by technological expertise.
Zenith made a name for themselves with the release of “El Primero”, their first automatic chronograph. To this day, the model timepiece is continually produced and regarded by connoisseurs as one of the best chronograph movements. After merging with TAG Heuer, they grew as a Swiss luxury watch brand and supplier of manufacture movements. Their style emulates bold refinements complemented by mechanical complications. For a vintage timepiece, the El Primero Triple Calendar Chronograph is an attractive design. Their Captain Elite Center Seconds 40mm sports a clean, simple and elegant design. An adventurous gentleman may opt for the more robust features of the Type XX GMT.
Report by dmarge.com