No matter how far we come with regards to 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.
Not only is a watch an incredibly useful accessory, a nice watch also 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 watch brands that you need to know.
What are the best swiss watch brands?
Rolex, Tudor, Breitling, IWC Schaffhausen, OMEGA, Patek Philippe or some of the world's best brands.
Which luxury watch brands hold their value best?
Rolex and Patek Philippe hold their value the best. Audemars Piguet also holds well due to popularity amongst Basketballers and Real Estate Agents.
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Based out of Geneva, Switzerland, Alpina watches are made for the man of adventure. Specialising in sports watches, an Alpina watch can be found on the wrists of divers, skiers and climbers alike. These watches are built to withstand even the most demanding elements of nature. Strap into their feature watches, such as the first Horological Smartwatch.
A watch which adventurers like Borge Ousland are wearing while they cross the North and South Poles, unsupported. We’ve also got our eyes on the Alpiner 4 and Seastrong Diver 300 for watches that endure a rugged lifestyle while looking luxe at the same time.
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.
Arnold & Son
With deep roots in English horology, Arnold & Son has produced prestigious timepieces for over 250 years. A company built on technical expertise, John Arnold constructed the first of his timepieces with a goal in mind of finding longitude at sea. Upon their global re-emergence in 1998, the British timekeepers have continued to innovate under the same technical guidelines as John Arnold himself.
Using only the finest materials, Arnold & Son has released groundbreaking timepieces, such as a Deck Marine Timekeeper, a triple-time-zone watch and a Longitude Timekeeper. Experience classical elegance by sliding on a wristwatch from the Royal collection, a series of pieces that uphold technical brilliance with a modern styling for men and women.
Baume & Mercier
Founded in 1830, Baume & 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. 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.
One of the oldest active watch brands, 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.
Breitling's defining character is their long association with the world of aviation.
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.
A window into Europe’s dense, historical culture, a Breguet timepiece tells a story of ancient aristocracy, timeless romance and classical elegance. A story told by Louis XVI, the First Republic and most notoriously, Napoleon. Many of Europe’s great leaders have worn nothing less than a Breguet watch throughout their leadership.
The tourbillon, a piece now seen throughout luxury wristwatches, was invented by Breguet in France centuries ago. Classically known for their secret authenticity engravings, modern Breguet watches boast guilloche silver dials, reeded edges and the Breguet signature. For an everyday wrist watch, check out the “Transatlantique” or “Marine” lines. As a collector, dive into the historical relevance their classical collections and become apart of Europe’s intriguing past.
Innovation, creativity and wristwatches that provide “Accuracy Under Adverse Conditions” is the name of the game when it comes to Ball watches. These high-end watches integrate micro gas light technology into each engineered watch, to ensure a prominently lit screen for 25 years.
With a -40 degree Celsius temperature rating and 7,5000 G force shock resistance capability, a Ball wristwatch meets the needs of those with a rugged lifestyle. Trainmasters, firemen and engineers each have specialised collections by Ball watches. Where durability meets boutique styling, every gentleman should have at least one Ball timepiece amongst their collection.
With a passion for vintage aircraft and mechanical workings, two British brothers set out to develop an understated, yet highly refined pilot’s watch. Not just any old pilot’s watch though, a beautifully crafted, aviation chronometer rooted in precision and functionality.
Within their short industry presence, they’ve collaborated with partners like Martin-Baker, Jaguar and most notably, Boeing.
Putting American watchmakers on the map, Bulova was established in New York City in the late 1800’s. Since then, these innovative watchmakers have been known to buck trends and herald firsts throughout the industry – most notably the Accutron, one of the first commercially available quartz watches.
One of the world's most prestigious jewellers, Cartier are also highly regarded for their timepieces – a unique status in the highly-competitive watch world.
Models like the Tank, Pasha de Cartier and Santos Dumont are icons, and their savoir-faire is legendary.
One of the world's biggest and most prolific watch brands, CASIO has a specialised watch for any type of lifestyle. From their Pro Trek Smart Outdoor Watch, to a classical 3-Hand Analog style, a gentleman can take to the likings of CASIO’s extensive collections. For a high-end, durable timepiece from these Japanese watchmakers, check out the G-Shock series.
Like Cartier, Chopard might be best known for their jewellery, but they make damn good timepieces too.
You’ll find Chopard watches where they rightfully 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.
Corum is the pinnacle for unapologetically progressive timepieces, a constant innovation off traditional Swiss watchmaking. Beginning with the $20 Liberty Eagle watch, Corum has continued to pioneer architectural timepieces which has brought them classical recognition along a mere 60 years of existence.
Although a young company, the core values of mechanics and tradition emulate through their works. These values are reflected in their timeless collections, such as the Admiral’s Cup, Romulus, Bridges, and the prestigious Limelight.
Welcome to the Edox universe, a timeless space of contemporary chronographs, luxury sporting instruments and artisanal watches. A space where skilled watchmakers constructed the first Geoscope timepiece. The Geoscope is known for it’s ability to cover every world time zones while keeping time for 50 major global cities.
A must have wristwatch for the jet setting gentleman. “Les Bemonts Ultra Slim”, Edox’s record breaking collection boasting the thinnest calendar watch to date. Cutting edge, yet stylish designs keep these watchmakers busy, pairing up as timekeepers for high-class offshore races, Class 1 Powerboat Championships and WRC rally drivers.
An original player of traditional Swiss watchmakers, Eterna spent the earlier days of their career revolutionising the industry. From designing the first integrated alarm system, to the clever ball-bearing-mounted rotor, Eterna continues to set and solve challenges. Their El Primero line is especially famous.
From a tinkering top-quality watch repairman to the world-renowned Master of Complications, Franck Muller has made his place among global luxury watchmakers, and he’s staying there. Each year, Franck Muller releases one new timepiece collection, known as the “World Premiere”. This means that each and every year, the team of Swiss horologists that make up Franck Mueller must stay on their feet. Not an innovative moment missed, for oversight would disrupt the brands dense, yet rewarding heritage. A heritage that has lead the industry with key timepiece models, such as: the Master Banker, Revolution3, Colour Dreams, and Crazy Hours.
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.
High-end watchmakers Girard-Perregaux have been producing watches since 1791. Deeply rooted in craftsmanship, their timepieces are bold in design, classically refined and emulate a luxurious aesthetic unmatched by traditional watchmakers.
Over the years, Girard-Perregaux has helped revolutionise the industry with its high-frequency mechanic movements and speciality tourbillons. Highly recognized, their tourbillon with three gold bridges became emblematic for the company, celebrating the model’s redesign multiple times since patented in 1884.
A. Lange & Söhne isn't the only German watch brand of note. Glashütte Original, based in the eponymous Eastern German town that's been a centre for watchmaking for hundreds of years, is also worth a look-in.
Collectors and enthusiasts alike can spot a Graham chronograph from a mile away. One of a kind timepieces, a Graham watch is characterized by its large, eye-catching design with luminous elements and thick rubber straps. Their tough construction allows them to withstand underwater pressure, resist tearing and keep time effortlessly.
On land, Graham offers a variety of styles which incorporate luxurious elements like diamonds, silver and colour bracelets. Notable to Graham is the Tourbillograph collection, a beautiful variety of luxury timepieces with black, gold, silver and chrome. A robust touch of elegance for any occasion, and a sheer way to captivate your audience.
In 2004, Greubel Forsey launched their first high-end Swiss wristwatch. Upon endless innovation, this new company devised the first double tourbillon 30 degree, a keynote piece made exclusively for their watches. Their claim, when one tourbillon rotates inside another, they average out, which reduces gravitational errors that can be found amongst competing timepieces. Precision at it’s finest.
The Greubel Forsey GMT featured complications using the finest golds, platinum and anthracite materials. Premiere models Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain and Double Balancier 35, premier excellence in timepiece production. Sport one of these sophisticated timepieces by Greubel Forsey at formal outings, casual events or an addition to your ever-growing collection.
Revolutionary designs complemented by distinctive features, a Hamilton wristwatch represents traditional American horology. You can find a Hamilton watch on the wrists of Hollywood stars, such as Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and Matt Damon. We prefer the classic design of the Ventura Collection or the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Day-Date.
heir 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.
H. Moser & Cie
Elegance, clean-cut design and quality craftsmanship. These watchmakers have released key models such as the Moser Perpetual 1, the Monard and the Mayu. In 2006, the Perpetual 1 was presented with the most prestigious title in the Swiss watch industry, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneva, category “Best complication”.
At the Geneva Watchmaking Gran Prix 2012, their brand was awarded the “Best Innovative Watch”, an attribute of respect in the industry. Any collection of HYT is guaranteed to spark your interests in the linear fluid revolution. For us, the H1 and H3 collections provide a favourable glimpse into the future of Swiss horology.
As magnificent bastards, our wrists are calling for the IWC Destriero Snafusa Ruckseite for classical elegance and peculiar design. For secondary favourites, the 2017 Da Vinci collection sports a simple, yet timeless throwback design from the 80s.
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 Tourbillon is one of their extraordinary timepieces known for a flip-over case and art deco design. Since ’31, the Reverso collections have become nearly half of the brand’s 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.
A later model, the Junghans wristwatch designed by Max Bill, became a popular timepiece rooted in Haute Horlogerie. Modern men embracing classicalism at it’s finest. On their 150th Anniversary, the brand released a limited edition “Meister Chronoscope”, reinstating their prestigious presence in the industry as an innovative leader.
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.
MB & F
The company does indeed produce a less intrusive timepiece with their Legacy Machine. But don’t be fooled, for these designs represent the Swiss watchmaker’s dedication to elegant complications. Look but don’t touch, for their Performance Art pieces are limited and used to showcase the company’s ground-breaking innovations. The HM1 Red Gold and HM3 Starcruiser are the top contenders for the wrists of us at D’Marge.
The classic OMEGA Constellation utilises the brands first automatic chronometer, which set the standard for future models. Experience the classically elegant design of the brand’s 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.
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.
Reflecting a car gear, this innovative design boasts a transversal arrangement with eclectic construction. Expensive, limited, and a horological rarity. A year later, the brand released the first watch made from palladium 950, being first in the industry to manipulate such a precious metal. The most defiant models of Parmigiani lie in the collections of Toric, Kalpa and more specifically, the Bugatti Type 370.
In 1989, the brand finished developing the Calibre 89, a design with 1728 components and 33 complications. In 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 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.
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.
Their refined colour palettes embody a sleek yet robust design complemented by matte and metallic surfaces. The brand’s innovation was recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records for the hardest watch on earth, the V10K. We recommend the complications of the Centrix collections or the minimalist designs with the True Thinlines. Other extraordinary models are the swipe-friendly Esenza Touch and the travellers HyperChrome Dual Timer 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.
For Roger Dubuis, old world knowledge was expressed through their luxury watches since day one in 1995. An unusual marriage between avant-garde designs and mechanical expertise with exceptional calibres, handcrafted by the finest watchmakers in Geneva, Switzerland. Roger Dubuis has given the industry flawless masterpieces like the Excalibur line.
A line characterised by bold appearances, intricate mechanisms and architectural brilliance. The Velvet line, where precision timekeeping is expressed through elegance and precious stones. On your journey, explore the inner workings of the Hommage Double Flying Tourbillon for a true expression of the finest horological pursuits Roger Dubuis has conquered.
Sophisticated complications and avant-garde craftsmanship trademark the brand, which released the baffling luxury model RM 012.
A timepiece containing 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 a 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”.
The brand has received awards like “Best Mechanical Wristwatch Chronometer” and “IEEE Milestone Award” for their quartz wristwatches, specifically the SEIKO Quartz Astron. Today, they are popular for their SKX781 “Orange Monster”, SKA366 Kinetic Black Ion and SNA411 Flight Alarm Chronograph.
To counteract and reestablish the Swiss watchmaking spirit, Swatch pumped inexpensive, cool watches into the markets. An impressive marketing strategy which lead to over 3.5 million Swatches sold in the first 21 months.
This allowed a comeback for Swiss watchmakers and Swatch to acquire some of the most prestigious brands in Switzerland. Popular Swatch models are the Sistem Fly, Once Again and New Gentleman.
In this time, they constructed the Monaco V4, a bold watch with mechanical movements whose workings reflected a power transmission. In 2016, TAG Heuer released the Carrera Calibre 5 “Ring Master”, a token of their appreciation for Mohammad Ali at his first official tribute since his death. Through innovation and functionality, TAG Heuer has remained a staple amongst luxury and high-end watch enthusiasts.
The Fastrider and Heritage Chronographs will captivate the wrists of those fascinated by technological expertise.
They have continued to win over 4,300 awards, as well as hold the highest amount of mechanical patents in watchmaking, a thought leader in the Swiss luxury watch community. Their series of watches are bold, elegant and reliable. Experience sheer excellence with their Marine Annual Calendar Chronometer, the Classico Automatic or one their phenomenal, and utterly inspiring astronomical models.
The grandfather of Swiss horology, Vacheron Constantin has been manufacturing watches for over 250 years. In those years, they’ve introduced benchmark designs to the industry with everything from perpetual calendars to retrograde displays and skeletonized refinements. In 2005, they released their 250th anniversary watches. Various complications, elegantly designed and valued at nearly 2 million francs, these are more than just timepieces. They are timeless masterpieces from their inner mechanics to outward appearance. Unique appearances which can be seen in their astonishing key models, Homage to The Great Discoverers, Metiers d’Art and Quai de l’Ile.
Riding on the enthusiasm, Victorinox released the no-frills Original wristwatch into the market with many successes. The brand has gone on to manufacture renowned watches for pilots, businessmen, casual and sports utility. The Alliance Chronograph is a clean-cut, high performance watch with reputable mechanics. Their more recent I.N.O.X. collection is a play on titanium for robust designs, lightweight features and unmatched strength. Although not a luxury watch brand, they offer high-quality, stylish watches for all to experience.