Top 5 Best Watch Brands
Luxury timepieces are celebrated for their classic watchmaking tradition, intricate movements, masterful designs and innovative features. But what are the top 5 best luxury watch brands? Our watch experts have compiled a list of their favourite brands with an explanation as to why.
Keep reading to discover the best watch brands and their hallmark characteristics.
What Are The Best Watch Brands?
- Best Watch Brand at Holding its Value: Rolex
- Best Watch Brand for Complications: Vacheron Constantin
- Best Watch Brand for Value: Omega
- Best Watch Brand for Versatility: IWC
- Best Watch Brand for Durability: Richard Mille
1. Best Watch Brand At Holding Its Value: Rolex
Rolex is one of the leading names in luxury watches with universal brand prestige and a history of innovation. This brand invokes the image of luxury and status among watch enthusiasts and the everyday watch wearer. Rolex was founded in 1905 by Hans Wildsdorf, who wanted to increase the popularity of wristwatches. The brand quickly became known for their small and precise movements, expert craftsmanship, and ability to last for generations. Due to Rolex’s tight product line, many of their collections (such as the Day-Date and Submariner) have become household names.
Rolex watches retain more value than many other brands because of their masterful craftsmanship, limited product lines, iconic collections and most importantly, high demand. Sports models in particular retain the most value, with many GMT’s, Submariners and Daytona’s selling for up to 50% of retail price. While some older, discontinued models increase in value due to their scarcity.
2. Best Watch Brand For Complications :Vacheron Constantin
Vacheron Constantin was founded in 1755 and, as such, is the oldest fine watch manufacturer in the world. The brand is celebrated for its many technical achievements in the timepiece industry, excellent craftsmanship, and creating some of the highest quality watch complications. Their watches remain highly coveted whether they were crafted in the mid-20th or today.
Some of Vacheron Constantin’s achievements include:
- They have created the world’s most complicated watch, called reference 57260. This watch has 57 complications, including multiple calendars, alarms and a double retrograde split-seconds chronograph.
- Vacheron Constantin is credited with creating the first known complications for days and dates as well as the first quarter-repeater.
- After Auguste Leschot joined the company in 1839, he revolutionized the timepiece industry by stabilizing watch movements into calibres.
- Vacheron Constantin became the first watchmaker to receive the Hallmark of Geneva in 1901, which means that their watches comply with the strict traditions of Genevan workmanship. This certification ensures that all Vacheron Constantin’s watches work flawlessly, are durable and crafted with ethically sourced components.
3. Best Watch Brand For Value: Omega
Omega’s watches are some of the best value watches on the market, perfect for watch enthusiasts and new collectors alike. In 1848, Louis Brandt founded a watchmaking company that would later be known as Omega. They soon established themselves in the industry thanks to their advancements in the timepiece industry, notable series and exceptionally precise timekeeping. For someone beginning their watch collection, Omega is a one of the best entry-level luxury watches.
Some of Omega’s notable achievements include:
- Omega created a new movement in 1894 known as the Omega calibre. This revolutionary movement established Omega’s prestigious timekeeping reputation.
- Omega further established their watch’s excellent precision at the 1931 Geneva Observatory trials where they won first place in all categories. The following year, Omega served as the official timekeeper of the Olympics, marking the first time a single brand was entrusted with timing all events.
A watch that best combine’s Omega’s rich history, multitude of features and elegance is the Speedmaster. Also known as the Moonwatch, this timepiece is synonymous with spaceflight and adventure. The Speedmaster has been authorized by NASA to be worn in space and was used during the first moon landing in 1969. Since its creation in 1957, the Speedmaster’s design has hardly changed. When purchased, this Speedmaster comes with a special presentation box consisting of a NATO strap, astronaut strap, loupe, metal plate and book illustrating the Speedmaster’s adventures.
4. Best Watch Brand For Versatility: IWC
IWC carries a wide range of versatile timepieces including watches for everyday use, dress watches and professional sports watches. All of their watches are created with meticulous design and complications. Today there are 7 lines in the IWC collection: Ingenieur, Portuguese, Da Vinci, Portofino, Aquatimer, Jubilee and Pilot’s Watches. Each watch is distinct and beautifully crafted, making IWC a perfectly versatile brand for any watch enthusiast.
Founded by Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868, IWC was created with the goal of combining Swiss craftsmanship with advanced American technologies. Jones embraced the spirit of innovation and dedicated himself to pursuing innovative solutions. IWC’s reputation was established when they developed their first movement, known as the Jones calibre. The brand continued to pursue technical innovation when they made the first digital hours and minutes display in 1885, created the first automatic winding mechanism in 1950 and introduced the first titanium watchcase and bracelet, which was thought to be impossible. During the quartz crisis in the 1970’s, IWC maintained focus on creating masterful watches designed with precise engineering and timeless deigns.
5. Best Watch Brand For Durability: Richard Mille
Richard Mille has been involved in the watchmaking industry since 1975. He combined his love of the Swiss watchmaking tradition with technologically innovative materials when he launched his own brand in 1999. Richard Mille understood the importance of exclusivity in the realm of luxury watches. His watches start at $80,000 with some pieces that cost millions of dollars. When producing watches, Millie does not prioritize production costs, according to a Blog to Watch, instead Mille focuses on “the use of modern production techniques and materials for maximum performance.” His watches are typically made with non-traditional luxury materials, such as those used in airplane and Formula 1 race car production. One of the brand’s first slogans were, “a racing machine on the wrist.” Due to his watches rigorous production and high-end components, Richard Mille watches have a highly limited production.
To demonstrate Mille’s unwavering confidence in the durability in his timepieces, he partners with professional sports players who wear his watches under extreme conditions. Mille has worked with world-renowned tennis player, Rafael Nadal since 2010. Nadal’s watch is able to withstand, “the shocks incurred for hours on end on clay courts, which can involve forces of several hundred G, while remaining totally comfortable and ridiculously lightweight.” Mille continues to work with renowned athletes as this partnership motivates him to further advance watch technology and aesthetics.
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