Do you enjoy the feeling of walking into a room and turning everyone’s eyes to you? Of course you do! That’s why you should get to know the best luxury watch brands.
Every man can adore a good luxury timepiece, and for good reason. After all, men rarely own many accessories. A luxury watch is one of the few items a man can rely on to reflect his refined taste and style.
These brands have been making watches with exquisite designs and robust build quality for over a century. If you view watches as valuable keepsakes and want to learn more about some of the best timepieces the market has to offer, keep reading. In this post, we give a thorough look at the best luxury watch brands every connoisseur needs to know.
Best Overall: Rolex
Rolex is the most well-known watch brand in the world. No matter where you go, people will instantly recognize a Rolex on your wrist. Even non-enthusiasts will probably ask you: “Is that a Rolex you’re wearing!?”
Rolex has been making high-quality timepieces since 1905. With excellent build quality and high-grade in-house movements, Rolex watches offer a complete package for a man who wants a tough yet stylish timepiece. Over the years, the brand has released many iconic designs, including the Submariner and the Datejust.
The one downside to Rolex’s worldwide recognition is its high demand and comparatively low supply. If you want to get your hands on that brand new Rolex from an authorized dealer, you will probably be put on a waiting list for months. However, you can still find them in the used market. If you manage to obtain one you will have an outstanding watch that will last you for many decades and accompany you on all your adventures. Plus, you’ll be the talk of the town!
Most Expensive Watch Brand: Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe is considered by many to be the Rolls Royce of watches. It is one of the most prestigious and expensive watch brands and the ultimate goal for most watch lovers.
Patek has been manufacturing watches non-stop since the mid-1800s with many world firsts to their name, including the first-ever wristwatch. They use the best quality materials and develop some of the most premium and complicated movements in the market. They offer a wide variety of models to please all kinds of watch wearers. Their offerings range from sportier designs such as the Nautilus and Aquanaut to more sophisticated styles like the Calatrava, as well as several Grand Complication models.
Patek Philippe watches have been seen on the wrists of some of the most famous people throughout history. That’s why it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most prestigious and sought-after watch brands in the world. These figures President John F. Kennedy, Princess Diana, and Queen Elizabeth II. Wouldn’t you love to add your name to the list?
Also, Patek Philippe produces some of the most expensive watches ever sold, consistently breaking records. 8 out of the top 10 most expensive watches ever sold in auction were Patek Philippe timepieces.
Best Entry-Level: Omega
While it’s not one of the most expensive watch brands, Omega still remains the most well-recognized name in the world of watches, right behind Rolex.
What you get with Omega is a high-quality luxury watch with an excellent build quality at a reasonable price. Omega has also recently started using in-house Co-Axial movements in their watches, a modern innovation that adds to their overall quality, durability, and prestige.
Omega has actively strived to establish its models as icons in the eyes of the public. For instance, the brand has been providing the watches used in James Bond movies since 1995. Both Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have been sporting different variations of the Seamaster during their missions.
Omega also managed to win the space race back in 1969. The Speedmaster was the official watch used by NASA astronauts during the Apollo 11 mission, making it the first watch on the moon.
Best Sports Luxury Watch Brand: Audemars Piguet
In the 1970s, Audemars Piguet decided to abandon precious metals in favor of stainless steel and created the first high-end luxury sports watch. Thus, the Royal Oak was born in 1972, a watch that would change how the world viewed luxury sports watches. Whoever said that the best luxury watches are only made of precious metals is eating their words right now.
Audemars Piguet assigned the design of the Royal Oak to the renowned designer Gerald Genta. He created a unique octagonal design with exposed screws and an integrated bracelet, giving the watch an industrial aesthetic. Audemars Piguet then utilized their excellent watchmaking ability and ended up creating an iconic watch that combines elegance with utility and masculinity.
Of course, Audemars Piguet produces several other models, including the elegant Jules Audemar line. However, the Royal Oak and its variations are the models that soared the brand to prominence.
Audemars Piguet has several renowned brand ambassadors, like LeBron James and Michael Schumacher. Many famous actors are often seen sporting their AP timepieces, including Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Best Aviation Luxury Watch Brand: IWC Schaffhausen
IWC was established in 1868 in Schaffhausen. It is mostly known for producing the best aviation luxury watches.
IWC was one of the main providers of military spec aviation watches throughout World War I and II. Its focus on aviation watches still remains to this day, with some of its most popular models being the Pilot and Big Pilot series.
However, its watch lineup is one of the widest, including sportier designs such as the Ingenieur, dive watches like the Aquatimer, and the modern classic Portugieser models.
IWC was the first watch brand to introduce titanium to its watches and bracelets. This lightweight and sturdy material provides the necessary toughness for an everyday timepiece and reduces the overall weight of the watch. The brand has recently found its way into motorsport, being one of the team partners for the Mercedes-AMG Formula One team, as well as collaborating with world-famous F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.
And while we’re on the topic of Formula One…
Best Luxury Watch Brand For Motorsport Fans: TAG Heuer
TAG Heuer, formerly known as Heuer before its acquisition by the TAG Group in 1985, is a prominent luxury watch brand with great involvement in the world of motorsports.
Since its inception in 1860, Heuer has been producing stylish luxury chronograph watches adored by racers and racing fans. The company also manufactures timing equipment used in professional motor racing, including Formula One. TAG Heuer has been heavily associated with the sport for many decades, providing watches for Ferrari and McLaren, and more recently having sponsorship deals with the Williams and Red Bull F1 teams.
Heuer was also involved in the creation of the first-ever self-winding chronograph movement. Some of its most iconic models include the Autavia, the Carrera, and the Monaco with its instantly recognizable square case. The Monaco has also been famously worn by Steve McQueen in the movie Le Mans, as well as by Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad.
Best German Luxury Watch Brand: A. Lange & Söhne
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about luxury watches? It has to be Switzerland. However, there are several luxury watch brands that operate outside of Switzerland, including A. Lange & Söhne.
At first, the brand began by producing pocket watches and luxury timepieces made from precious materials. In 1948, after Germany’s occupation by the Soviet Union, the brand ceased its operations. In 1990, the company was restored and began production again in 1994.
Lange & Söhne is one of the most prestigious and exclusive luxury watch brands, producing 5000-6000 watches annually. It emphasizes quality over quantity with exquisitely finished cases and some of the best movements in the market. Some of its more popular lines include the 1815, the Zeitwerk, and the Lange 1.
The brand also tries to embrace its German identity with more austere designs. The movements are made from a special German silver that requires additional attention from the watchmaker.
Getting in the Know
The world of luxury watches is a large one, so it’s hard to make an exhaustive list. However, each one of these companies is an iconic manufacturer that excels with at least a few types of watches. No matter what kind of watch lover you are, there is a luxury watch brand out there that will help you express your unique tastes.
Owning luxury watches can be an expensive hobby. As your collection grows, it can easily reach tens thousands of dollars in value. As you learn more about these luxury brands, make sure to also consider how to properly store your watches.
When you aren’t using them or when you travel, Operandi Firenze’s got your back, with high-quality watch rolls designed specifically for timepieces from the best luxury watch brands.
So get on collecting, and don’t forget to keep an eye on the time!