What are the Top Ten Watch Brands ?
There will always be debate on the top ten watch brands and choosing a “definitive” list is very complicated, there are so many factors to take into consideration including; watch functions, materials used, cost and intended usage. This list is my own, which has been compiled using my own set of criteria, many may disagree with the choices and we would be interested to hear from you with your own list and reasons for your choices.
1- Omega– Omega has been making quality watches in Switzerland since 1848 and is a phenomenally popular global brand. As well as the obvious quality of their timepieces, in my opinion, Omega are popular for two reasons: firstly, in 1969 it was an “Omega Speed-master Professional Chronograph” that was worn by Buzz Aldrin as he set foot on the moon (Neil Armstrong left his in the lunar module) and secondly, Omega watches have been associated with James Bond for over 20 years, an association that has helped cement their reputation as a watchmaker of rugged, good looking, quality time pieces designed to be used in extreme conditions.
2- Patek Philippe- without doubt, Patek Philippe watches can only be described as luxury time pieces and in my opinion sit at the top of the tree when it comes to quality. From their humble beginnings in 1839 when the company was founded in Geneva by two Polish immigrants, the brand now enjoys the reputation as the “Grand Cru” of watchmakers. Credited with numerous horology innovations, a Patek Philippe watch will set you back a small fortune but you can be certain it will only appreciate in value over time.
3- Cartier- Cartier needs no real introduction and is internationally renowned as makers of fine jewellery and watches. Founded in 1847 they have become synonymous with supplying quality watches to royalty and the rich and famous. The Cartier “Tank” watch designed in 1917 and modelled on French tanks being used in the first world war, is in my opinion the most famous and easily recognisable of the Cartier watches.
4- Gucci- The house of Gucci was founded in Florence in the early 20th Century. Gucci watches are clearly aimed at the fashion conscious and although their modern watch making history is less than 20 years old, they have quickly gained a major foothold in this sector of the market. Gucci watches are purchased more for their fashionable looks than their precision Swiss movements and their immensely popular designs have spawned a whole industry of replicas.
5- Tag Heuer- I first bought a Tag watch about twenty years ago as it was a well-known brand being the “official” Formula One time keeper. I’m pleased to say the watch is still going strong and the design which has changed little over the years still looks current. Tag watches are well known for their association with sports; especially motor racing and their watches, designed for an active lifestyle are worn and endorsed by several sporting personalities.
6- Breitling- Breitling watches are hugely desirable and have a reputation as being the watch choice of professionals. Formerly a maker of aircraft instruments, it’s no wonder so many of the Breitling watches pay homage to this industry in terms of design and functionality. I remember being immensely impressed a few years ago on a sailing course when the skipper showed off his Breitling “Emergency” watch, fitted with the capability to broadcast an emergency signal and costing the same as a small boat.
7- Rolex- In many people’s eyes, a Rolex watch is
“the” brand to own if you are looking for status. In the United Kingdom,
if you asked most people to name a quality watch brand, most would say
Rolex. Surprisingly, Rolex started life in England and moved to
Switzerland at the end of the First World War.
Credited with many innovations over the years including the world’s first waterproof watch the “Rolex Oyster” a model that in various guises is still in production today. Definitely, the largest “quality” watch brand in the world, and the one that most people aspire to own.
8- Longines– I’ve purchased several of these over the years and to my mind, they offer discreet quality at a very favourable price. With a history in Switzerland dating back to 1832, Longines watches have a long association with sporting events and exploration. Longines have been credit with many technological firsts in their lengthy history have made other 30 million watches.
9- Panerai- Panerai watches combine Italian style with Swiss precision and reliability. Panerai have a history dating back to the 1860s and their watches are often items of understated luxury. Closely related to sport and sporting events, Panerai watches are often worn both those that have a demand for highly accurate time keeping in a watch with an uncluttered easy to read design.
10- IWC- Although, It’s number 10 on my list, the International Watch Company is probably my favourite, the watch designs are pure class including the “ Portuguese” a stunningly simple yet beautiful design and various “ Flieger “ Chronographs with straight out the cockpit looks designed for the aviation professional.
If you require watch insurance, for any brand, contact Assetsure. We can insure single items without the need to insure the remainder of your contents.
If you disagree with my selections, let me know ?