Whether you’re a lifelong watch aficionado or sparking off a brand new interest in luxury watches, there are a number of brands that ooze style, class and prestige. You’ll see world-class timepieces pop up time and time again that are so much more than just a piece of jewellery, they’re pieces of art to invest in.
Watches throughout history
From time immemorial, watches have had a place in advancing modern history. The first man to walk on the moon took his wristwatch on his lunar exploration. The first flight would never had made it to the sky without the chronograph in his cabin. Throughout wartime, soldiers lived and died with watches in their pockets. Once smitten by the love of watch collecting and the place of watchmaking in history, it’s hard to step away from this heady world of sophistication, precision manufacturing and design. Here’s our summary of the ten top luxury brand watches you should know.
The Longines brand is synonymous with elegance, time-held tradition and performance, and most recognisable for their experience keeping time for sporting world championships and international sports federations. Headquartered in Saint-Imier in Switzerland since 1832, its watchmaking expertise has been renowned for its elegance and endurability.
2. Patek Philippe
Patek Phillipe is one of the world’s most prestigious brands. The last family owned independent watch manufacturer in Geneva, they are said to create the world’s finest timepieces. Built around core values of innovation, aesthetics and emotion, their pieces boast complex mechanics and traditional styling, favoured by Royalty throughout their vast 170-year history. A Patek Phillipe is an investment to be handed down to future generations and an honour to adorn your wrist. You can find lots of different Patek Philippe models online in over 150 countries worldwide.
3. Audemars Piguet
This luxury brand was born in 1873 by technology student Jules-Louis Audemars and economy student Edward-Auguste Piguet, as an experiment in manufacturing, precision work and quality. Today these values still run true and are part of the reason their signature Royal Oak or a Millenary piece are so desirable multi-generationally. When you own an Audemars Piguet, you can be assured of a stylish mechanical watch made with incredible craftsmanship and impeccable finishing. Famed for creating the first luxury steel sports watch, the Royal Oak and the first oversized watch, the Royal Oak Offshore.
This famous jewellery brand is as well known for their luxury Swizz watches as they are for their high end jewellery. Beginning life as an artisan watchmaker, Louis-Ulysse Chopard created timepieces that became known for their innovative designs and artistic value. Early customers include Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. With distinctive chronometers, superior attention to detail and state-of-the-art technological innovation, Chopard is one of the world’s premier luxury watch brands in the world today.
5. Vacheron Constantin
Dating back to 1755, Vacheron Constantin is one of the longest standing luxury watch manufacturers and clockmakers in the world. Like many of its competitors, the brand was founded in Geneva in Switzerland by Jean-Marc Vacheron. With a rich, uninterrupted 260-year heritage of precision and a keen eye for traditional styling, a Vacheron Constantin timepiece brings you into great company. Owners of their work include Marlon Brando, King Farouk of Egypt, Napoleon Bonaparte, Harry Truman and Pope Pius IX.
6. IWC Schaffhausen
Bostonian watchmaker Ariosto Jones founded IWC Schaffhausen in 1868, unifying progressive American production capabilities with the hands on skills, design and craftsmanship of Swiss watchmakers. This international affair creates watches with impeccable standards of aesthetics and functionality. As well as their commitment to all of the above, the brand has impressive credentials in sustainability and environmental production and have build a reputation not just for exquisite timepieces but a brand with substance.
Rolex is a brand that needs no introduction, whether you’re a watch enthusiast or casual observer of popular culture. Synonymous with the term luxury watch, Rolex is a prestigious brand, highly recognisable by all and adored for its ageless look, feel and function. Rolex’s Day Date collection has stood the test of time, yet producing over 2,000 watches per day, there is a whole history of models, collections, and finishings to explore.
Cartier is irrefutably one of the world’s most recognisable luxury watch and jewellery brands, not in so far for its positioning in popular culture and the celebrity infused media. Born in the mid 1800’s in Paris, the heart of the fashion world, Edward VII described Cartier as the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers. Today, the brand stands proud as a creator of luxury treasures and the ideal watch to splurge on if you’d like to indulge in a little extravagance.
Like Rolex, Breitling is a brand name that’s synonymous with the luxury watch brand market and a highly covetable piece of kit both for long time watch enthusiasts and aspiring watch lovers. Yet the brand is known for so much more than just desirability and an impeccable look and feel. Their reputation was built upon excellence in durability and razor sharp precision. Inspired by aviation, they are said to have conquered the land, the air and the sea. Many of their timepieces include features and tools used by pilots and they have the under the sea market covered too, with diving watches that are as versatile and reliable as they are stylish.
OMEGA have a stellar reputation. Since inception in 1848, the brand has been present at some of the world’s most impactful moments. For over 170 years, their watches and timepieces have been present in worldwide history, adorning the wrists of the world’s most powerful leaders, in the ocean’s depths and have even travelled to space. The OMEGA customer is one who appreciate high performance and exquisite design. In 1917 Britain’s Royal Flying Corps selected Omega watches as the official timekeepers for their combat units and were followed in 1918 by the USA Army too. From the moon to official sponsor of the Olympic games, OMEGA has been there. A complete guide on Spot The Watch will give you every bit of information when it comes to selecting the best Omega timepiece for you. They also provide a list of the cheapest Omega watch that you don’t want to miss out.