To avid collectors, every name on this list will be familiar. It has been witnessed on the silver screen and in some of the most iconic moments in our history, on the wrists of some of the most important people of our time. Watches have come to mean so much more than just an instrument; they are a symbol of prestige and luxury, a statement in itself.
If you read their tag lines, you will know that that luxury watch brands are an entire genre in themselves, inviting you to indulge in and cherish and behold their beauty. Below, we mention the top 5 names in luxury watches. They constitute the upper echelon of their world.
It would be blasphemous to not start the list with the most recognized brand name (a recognition rate of 100%) on earth. With a tagline like “A Crown for Every Achievement”, Rolex is the undisputed king of watches. Some of the most popular lines from this brand are Daytona, Submariner, Sky-Dweller, and Yacht-Master.
There are many reasons for its popularity: the one that the company prides itself most on is the accuracy of these watches. It has a superlative chronometer that boasts of the accuracy of +2/-2 seconds per day. By contrast, a regular COSC chronometer is considered impressive when it has an accuracy of +6/-4 seconds per day.
Based on its historical performance at the observatory trails Omega boasts of a tagline on its watches with “Exact time for life”. Their Moonwatch (the Omega Speedster Pro) is the one that Buzz Aldrin wore on the moon landing, and the Seamaster, the one to feature in every James Bond movie since Goldeneye; they are brand endorsement enough for the prestigious watchmaker. Omega has a 70% global recognition in the world, making it the second most recognized watch brand.
Making use of material that is impervious to electromagnetic influence, the watchmaker has managed to cross a major hurdle that troubled watchmakers when it came to keeping time accurate. Although Omega is one of the costliest brands in the world, its entry-level starts at a much lower point, making it easier to own one for daily use.
- Patek Philippe
The holy grail of luxury watch brands, Patek Philipp, the brand that invented the very first wristwatch. They have a motto and slogan that says “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” It is a statement to the longevity and trustworthiness of the brand. Some of their most popular models include the Nautilus, World Tome, Twenty-4, and Aquanaut.
Patek Philippe is known for making intricate and carefully designed watches that adorn the wrist of landmark figures in history. Passed on from one generation to the next, it is immensely valuable.
- Vacheron Constantin
Being operational since 1755, Vacheron Constantin is the oldest continuously operating watchmaker today. The brand is synonymous with making some of the most unique and creative horological masterpieces. The Vacheron Constantin 57260 is the most complicated watch ever designed (with an astounding 57 complications) and is priced at USD 8,000,000. With such an intricate timepiece, the company has lived up to its motto of “Do better if possible, and that is always possible.”
The brand has built itself around the idea of making technically and aesthetically excellent watches. Some of its best-known pieces are the Patrimony, the Overseas, the Traditionnelle, Harmony, Malte, 1972, and the Les Historiques.
- Audemars Piguet
Making watches since 1875, Audemars Piguet is most famous for its AP Royal Oak series of watches. The equally popular Royal Oak Offshore series is one of the most sought after diving watches. Taking a cue from its slogan of “To Break the Rules, You Must First Master Them”, Audemars Piguet was the first to use stainless steel (a non-precious metal) in sports watches and charge a luxury price for it, it proved to be a game-changer for them.
The big paradigm shift here was that it allowed watchmakers, for the first time, to charge luxury prices for their craftsmanship rather than the precious metals used. This opened the doors for many watchmakers to step up their game, for the first time in a very long time; there was an incentive to design more intricate watches.