Luxury Watches Guide – Top 20 Brands You Should Know

Your guide to the world of luxury watches.

What is a luxury watch

Looks matter. Buying luxury watches is becoming more and more essential. Luxury watches have always been a symbol of prestige, so what is so special about luxury watches? Several questions have risen about the luxury watch industry and we hope that you will find your answers in our guide.

Ages ago, watches were just a tool man needs to know the time but as time passes, it’s become a part of humans’ prestige. Watches then used a mechanical mechanism to work, a pendulum or a balance wheel, but then, there was the “Quartz revolution”, an electronic motor with the electric current going through the quartz crystal. Quartz mechanism actually needed fewer parts, and therefore, it was cheaper as well as more precise than the mechanical one. Being cheaper, quartz watches were mass produced, which made the primary watchmakers, huge, famous Swiss companies at that time, resist switching their industry to quartz instead of mechanical. Some of those companies died then and some created a new quartz trend, Swatch which has later become the largest watch group in the world, instead of those cheap plastic quartz watches while others, such as Patek Philippe and Rolex, chased up the market to be the luxurious brands we know today.

Rolex, for instance, started making their watches in gold, enhancing the quality of their materials, making their watches symbols of prestige. Quartz then was considered a time-keeping technology but mechanical watches were, and still are, a symbol of luxury. They made their customers “want” the mechanical watches even though they don’t “need” them.

Not just the history of luxury watches is what makes them special but also, building the luxury watches’ mechanism part needs a lot of work and research. Mechanical watches are much more expensive to make than quartz ones. For example, Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Merite spent 4 years of research and development to make one mechanism and one model of one of their watches. And the production of luxury watches needs huge manpower which is not cheap as well, taking months to produce such watches.

Moreover, luxury watches are a piece of art. Most of the luxury watches are entirely made by hand with various precious and rare metals, including gold, platinum, titanium, etc. So, of course, such craftsmanship costs higher than those watches made in bulk by machines. And also, such rare and precious materials cost more than cheap plastics.

The watch dials themselves are art as well. Handmade enamel dials can take many years of work to be created at high perfection and such beauty, of course, costs more than those fabricated by machines.

Luxury watches are the most durable. Many of Rolex’s and Omega’s watches are divers’ ones, withstanding the high pressure under thousands of meters under water. Omega is even famous for being the ideal watch for space as a result of its dependability and durability. And such durability requires a lot of testing and teams of experts to go over each part of the watch.

Luxury watch industry

Only some countries are ruling the global watch industry and the luxury watch industry is clearly ruled by Switzerland, presenting to the world the traditional Swiss values in traditional Swiss products. Moreover, the luxury watch industry is also proof of how strong the country’s economy is. The Swiss luxury watch industry is considered a huge system in which all the individuals, starting from suppliers to retailers, working together to ensure the success of such an entity. Being the most valuable watch brand in the Swiss luxury watch industry, in 2018, Louis Vuitton’s brand value raised to be up to 41,138 billion US dollars.

In the mid-90s, the demand for luxury goods increased, which benefited the luxury watch industry greatly. Such an increase in demand, together with the increase in individuals’ incomes and prosperity, has remarkably led to huge growth in the luxury watch market.

In the era of technology and with the rise of the smartphones and smartwatches industry,  it’s become a challenge for luxury watch manufacturers to maintain their sales. As a result, the exports of Swiss watches’ value has dropped by 10% of its value in the year before, estimating it to be of 19.4 billion USD.

So, some luxury watch manufacturers have joined the race, creating their own versions of smartwatches while others declared that smartwatches are just a fad that is going to fade shortly, stating that smartwatches had nothing to do with watches. On the other hand, some manufacturers decided to create their own models, mixing between the new digital watches and the traditional mechanical ones such as the “Connected Modular” watches of TAG Heuer, is the best seller.

TAG Heuer Men's CAK2110.BA0833 Aqua Racer 500 Automatic Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch

$3,599.99  in stock
2 new from $3,599.99
Buy Now
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as of October 21, 2020 1:46 am

Features

  • Stainless steel watch featuring textured black dial with date window and three subdials
  • 44 mm stainless steel case with anti-reflective sapphire dial window
  • Swiss automatic movement with analog display
  • Stainless steel bracelet with deployant-clasp-with-push-button closure
  • Water resistant to 500 m (1,640 ft)

Despite the apparent impact that smartwatches may cause to the luxury watch industry, manufacturers and retailers don’t feel threatened, stating that there would be zero impact on their industry. And of course, mixing between the new digital watches and the traditional mechanical ones into new luxury watch models have helped their industry flourish. Even, some luxury watches manufacturers find that the smartwatch revolution is a blessing in disguise as it attracts the attention back to the wrist, making youth wear watches again. Moreover, some luxury watch manufacturers offered their customers the opportunity to trade in their smartwatches for traditional mechanical luxury watches, assuring that the luxury watch industry is still far from dead.

Although the rise of smartwatches may seem to be competitive to luxury watches, luxury watches are still valued among Millennials worldwide. In 2017, a survey was conducted to report those who owned a luxury watch among Millennials and it showed that 70% of them did own at least one traditional analog watch and even those who didn’t afford to buy one, still prefer luxury watches over smart ones. Another research reported that only 1% of people say that there’s no need for a traditional watch after buying the online, digital smartwatches while the rest wears both or just wears the digital watches daily at work but for the weekends, it’s time for a more luxurious watch.

It might be a fact that once you get into watches, you will always get hooked into such a world. Actually, in the past five years, about 60% of luxury watches’ customers have bought more than one watch, leaving an evidence that the luxury watch industry is still far from dead. Moreover, in the era of technology, to reach more audience, especially the Millennials and Generation Z, luxury watch manufacturers adapted new ways of marketing and sales techniques, coping with the changing times, directing their attention to using social media and online marketing Such as Rolex and Patek Philippe.

Top 20 luxury watch brands 2019

There are many luxury watch brands but through history, only some of them have earned and were able to maintain their elite rank among luxury watches. Here’s a list of the 2019’s top 20 luxury watch brands:

  1. Patek Philippe

    TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Mens Watch Waw2080.FC6288

    $47,995.00  in stock
    2 new from $47,995.00
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    as of October 21, 2020 1:46 am

    Features

    BindingWatch
    BrandTAG Heuer
    Catalog Number ListCatalog Number List Element: WAW2080-FC6288
    CreatorMonaco
    DepartmentMens
    EAN0683498413851
    EAN ListEAN List Element: 0683498413851
    LabelTag Heuer
    ManufacturerTag Heuer
    ModelWAW2080.FC6288
    MPNWAW2080.FC6288
    Package Quantity1
    Part NumberWAW2080.FC6288
    Product GroupWatch
    Product Type NameWATCH
    PublisherTag Heuer
    StudioTag Heuer
    TitleTAG Heuer Monaco V4 Mens Watch Waw2080.FC6288
    UPC683498413851
    UPC ListUPC List Element: 683498413851

    Read more about Patek Philippe!

  2. Audemars Piguet

    Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Automatic Mens Watch Q1308470

    $18,750.00  in stock
    1 new from $18,750.00
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    Features

    • Moonphase display
    • three sub-dials

    Read more about Audemars Piguet!

  3. Vacheron Constantin

    Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona Ice Blue Dial Automatic Mens Chronograph Watch 116506

    $107,999.00  in stock
    3 new from $107,999.00
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    as of October 21, 2020 1:46 am

    Features

    BindingWatch
    BrandRolex
    ColorBlue
    Departmentmens
    EAN0842047109601
    EAN ListEAN List Element: 0842047109601
    Item DimensionsWeight: 99
    LabelRolex
    ManufacturerRolex
    MPN116506IBLDO
    Package DimensionsHeight: 330; Length: 750; Weight: 220; Width: 550
    Part Number116506IBLDO
    Product GroupWatch
    Product Type NameWATCH
    PublisherRolex
    StudioRolex
    TitleRolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona Ice Blue Dial Automatic Mens Chronograph Watch 116506
    UPC842047109601
    UPC ListUPC List Element: 842047109601

    Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona Ice Blue Dial Automatic Mens Chronograph Watch 116506

    $107,999.00  in stock
    3 new from $107,999.00
    Buy Now
    Amazon.com
    as of October 21, 2020 1:46 am

    Features

    BindingWatch
    BrandRolex
    ColorBlue
    Departmentmens
    EAN0842047109601
    EAN ListEAN List Element: 0842047109601
    Item DimensionsWeight: 99
    LabelRolex
    ManufacturerRolex
    MPN116506IBLDO
    Package DimensionsHeight: 330; Length: 750; Weight: 220; Width: 550
    Part Number116506IBLDO
    Product GroupWatch
    Product Type NameWATCH
    PublisherRolex
    StudioRolex
    TitleRolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona Ice Blue Dial Automatic Mens Chronograph Watch 116506
    UPC842047109601
    UPC ListUPC List Element: 842047109601

    Read more about Vacheron Constantin!

  4. Tag Heuer

    Hublot Kobe "Vino" Bryant Limited Edition Unico 18ct Rose Gold Burgundy

    $59,999.00  in stock
    2 new from $59,999.00
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    as of October 21, 2020 1:46 am

    Features

    BindingWatch
    BrandHublot
    CreatorHublot
    DepartmentMens
    EAN8772889099285
    EAN ListEAN List Element: 8772889099285
    LabelHublot
    ManufacturerHublot
    MPN413.OX.4738.PR.KOB15
    Part Number413.OX.4738.PR.KOB15
    Product GroupWatch
    Product Type NameWATCH
    PublisherHublot
    StudioHublot
    TitleHublot Kobe "Vino" Bryant Limited Edition Unico 18ct Rose Gold Burgundy

    Read more about Tag Heur!

  5. Lange & Söhne

    Breguet Tradition GMT Manual Skeletal Dial Leather Mens Watch 7067BRG19W6

    $30,500.00  in stock
    1 new from $30,500.00
    Buy Now
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    as of October 21, 2020 1:46 am

    Features

    • 18kt rose gold case with a brown alligator leather strap. Fixed rose gold bezel. Skeletal dial with blue and silver-tone hands and Roman numeral hour markers.
    • Minute markers around the outer rim. Dial Type: Analog. Two sub-dials displaying: dual time at the 8 o'clock position and am/pm at the 9 o'clock position.
    • Manual movement. Scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Transparent sapphire case back. Case diameter: 40 mm. Case thickness: 12.65 mm. Round case shape.
    • Deployment clasp. Water resistant at 30 meters / 100 feet. Functions: GMT, second time zone, hour, minute, second, am/pm.
    • Luxury watch style. Watch label: Swiss Made. Breguet Tradition GMT Manual Skeletal Dial Leather Mens Watch 7067BRG19W6.

    Read more about Lange & Söhne!

  6. Jaeger-LeCoultre

    Blancpain Le Brassus One Minute Flying Carrousel Mens Watch 2253-4034-53B

    $75,458.90  in stock
    1 new from $75,458.90
    Buy Now
    Amazon.com
    as of October 21, 2020 1:46 am

    Features

    BindingWatch
    BrandBlancpain
    Departmentmens
    EAN0842047131343
    EAN ListEAN List Element: 0842047131343
    LabelBlancpain
    ManufacturerBlancpain
    MPN2253-4034-53B
    Part Number2253-4034-53B
    Product GroupWatch
    Product Type NameWATCH
    PublisherBlancpain
    StudioBlancpain
    TitleBlancpain Le Brassus One Minute Flying Carrousel Mens Watch 2253-4034-53B
    UPC842047131343
    UPC ListUPC List Element: 842047131343

    Read more about Jaeger-LeCoultre!

  7. Rolex

    Panerai Men's Swiss Automatic Resin and Gold and Platinum Watch, Color:Black (Model: PAM00615)

    $13,950.00  in stock
    3 new from $13,950.00
    Buy Now
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    as of October 21, 2020 1:46 am

    Features

    • Brushed titanium case with a black rubber strap
    • Uni-directional rotating bezel. Black dial with luminous hands and index hour markers
    • Minute markers around the outer rim
    • Dial Type: Analog. Two - 60 second and 12 hour. Automatic movement. P.9100 engine

    Read more about Rolex!

  8. Hublot

    Piaget Altiplano Black and Silver Dial 18kt White Gold Black Leather Mens Watch G0A39111

    $18,694.50  in stock
    1 new from $18,694.50
    Buy Now
    Amazon.com
    as of October 21, 2020 1:46 am

    Features

    BindingWatch
    BrandPiaget
    ColorSilver
    Departmentmens
    EAN7613268324912
    EAN ListEAN List Element: 7613268324912
    Item DimensionsWeight: 99
    LabelPiaget
    ManufacturerPiaget
    MPNG0A39111
    Package Quantity1
    Part NumberG0A39111
    Product GroupWatch
    Product Type NameWATCH
    PublisherPiaget
    StudioPiaget
    TitlePiaget Altiplano Black and Silver Dial 18kt White Gold Black Leather Mens Watch G0A39111

    Read more about Hublot!

  9. Breguet & Fils

    Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Big Blue Men's Watch 215.92.46.22.03.001

    $11,500.00  in stock
    1 new from $11,500.00
    Buy Now
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    as of October 21, 2020 1:46 am

    Features

    • Blue Dial with Date Feature
    • Self Winding Automatic Co-Axial Master Chronometer Movement
    • Blue Ceramic Case on Blue Rubber Strap with Orange Stitching
    • Case Diameter: 45.5mm
    • 600 Meters / 2000 Feet Water Resistant

    Read more about Breguet & Fils!

  10. Chopard

    Read more about Chopard!

  11. Girard-Perregaux

    Read more about Girard-Perregaux!

  12. Blancpain

    Read more about Blancpain!

  13. Cartier

    Read more about Cartier!

  14. IWC Schaffhausen

    Read more about IWC Schaffhausen!

  15. Ulysse Nardin

    Read more about Ulysse Nardin!

  16. Panerai

    Read more about Panerai!

  17. Piaget

    Read more about Piaget!

  18. Breitling

    Read more about Breitling!

  19. Omega

    Read more about Omega!

  20. Montblanc

    Read more about Montblanc!

As a result of their elite status, such brands’ values are estimated by millions of CHF. A survey was conducted in 2018 to estimate the value of different luxury watch brands and it reported that Louis Vuitton has the highest value among all, being at 41,138 billion US dollars. Hermès then followed at 28,073 billion US dollars.

Although the luxury watch industry is ruled by such kings, there’s still a chance for new luxury watch brands to shine in such competitive field such as Farer which was created just two years ago, making luxurious watches with Millennial-friendly designs and low prices, compared to its fellow brands.

Rolex

Most of us have heard this name before, Rolex with its royal crown symbol. Hans Wilsdorf, a 24-year-old timepiece distributor, created Rolex in London, 1905. He chose “Rolex” to be the name of his brand as it’s short, easy to say in any language so, everyone around the world would remember it, and he took the right decision then, choosing “Rolex”. Since then Rolex has been famous for its quality and workmanship, which made it worth to be collectible.

Rolex was the first one to develop waterproof watches and still one of the best to manufacture such watches, creating a watch that’s waterproof in the deep sea at the depth of 3900m in 2008. Moreover, Rolex has created several watch models for explorers and adventurers such as Mercedes Gleitze, the first woman to cross the English Channel swimming in 1927 and Edmund Hillary who wore a Rolex while conquering Everest Mountain in 1953.

That’s why, Rolex has become one of the leading luxury watches manufacturers, being one of the best resale values and still in high demand.

Pre-owned luxury watches

Are preowned luxury watches much cheaper? Actually, you can save one thousand to two thousand dollars for pre-owned luxury watches in a perfect condition, just like new. It may seem little but if you intend to resell it and shift to another luxury watch, it will save tons of money for you as the loss then won’t be as much as the new-to-used loss.

Luxury watches price

How expensive actually are luxury watches? The latest statistical analysis of luxury watch prices was conducted a few years ago, showing that the average cost of luxury watches can be of thousands of dollars. For example, the average cost of Patek Philippe’s watches is around 44,000 USD, being the most expensive one, while the least expensive ones are those of TAG Heuer, costing averagely about 2,000 USD. Such statistical analysis was based on the sales of new or pre-owned luxury watches.

Luxury watches online

Online marketplaces for luxury watches are available online but before purchasing a luxury watch online, you have to search for a credible website as there are many fake ones across the web. Also, some websites are more expensive than others so, you have to search for those who have great value for your money. Here’s a short list of few online luxury watch retailers ruling the web.

Chrono24

Since 2003, Chrono24 has been dealing with more than 10,000 professional dealers and private sellers in more than 90 countries. Chrono24 has a buyer protection program that guarantees the in-house screening of over 2,000 dealers before selling the watches on their website. No fakes or replicas are allowed on their website. There’s also a post-selling support for different post-sale issues. Moreover, all the orders are fully insured with a tracking ID.

Mr. Porter

This UK-based, award-winning website is an authorized watch retailer for every brand on it, which contributed to its unique, exclusive collection of luxury watches. Express shipping is offered to 170 countries that are insured and tracked till your package is delivered at your doorstep, together with a 24/7 services to solve any post-selling issues including a warranty for 5 years on all working parts as well as manufacturing faults.

Hodinkee

Hodinkee, like Mr. Porter, is an authorized retail partner to every brand on the website, stocking perfectly designed luxury watches with the best durability. It’s considered the most respected online luxury watch website in the world and it has now its own store, offering shipment to all over the world with insurance and free returns and exchanges within 7 days of the purchase.

Jomashop

Since 1987, Jomashop has been in the luxury watch industry, offering fine luxury watches at competitive prices, either new or preowned. They have an authenticity program that ensures the authenticity of all their new and unworn luxury watches, purchasing them from authorized dealers and distributors. Their new watches have their original serial numbers with a warranty program of 1 to 5 years, shipping them with full insurance.