I remember overhearing my parents chatting with friends, sometime in the mid-’80s when I was about 5, about a Rolex. Someone they knew fell into some money, and the first thing he bought was a Rolex.
I had no idea what a Rolex was but knew it had to be something special by how they were speaking about it.
That was the first of many brands that stood out for me as leaders in quality, style, and prestige, with a considerable emphasis on the distinction.
Other than a luxury car and maybe a few toys, luxury watches and brand prestige go hand in hand.
The best luxury watch brands bring a certain level of status and achievement that only the most prestigious brands carry with them.
The icing on the cake is that they look freaking amazing with a lifespan that far exceeds our lifetime.
When you buy a luxury timepiece for the first time, you become a beginner collector without the option to choose otherwise.
It just happens!
We think about what we will get next when we hit that next level or milestone; it’s normal.
You become an official watchaholic from that very first purchase, and we welcome you with open arms to the club where we celebrate your new addiction, with no hope for rehab.
My partner and I have two watches each and will be getting a 3rd for our wedding, and you better believe that all three are on the list below.
After carefully looking at about 30 brands, we narrowed down the top 12 best luxury watch brands with the highest marks in style, quality, innovation, prestige, and reputation.
We have ranked our finalized list from 1-12. Scroll down to see the complete list. They all kick-ass, but the gold went to:
The 12 Best Luxury Watch Brands For Men – Fall 2020
BREITLING: A Swiss luxury watchmaker based in Grenchen, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling in Saint-Imier. Breitling is known for precision-made chronometers designed for aviators
ROLEX: A Swiss luxury watch manufacturer based in Geneva, Switzerland. Originally founded as Wilsdorf and Davis by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, England in 1905, the company registered Rolex as the brand name of its watches in 1908 and became Rolex Watch Co. Ltd. in 1915.
PATEK PHILIPPE: A Swiss luxury watch and clock manufacturer founded in 1839, located in Canton of Geneva and the Vallée de Joux. Since 1932, it has been owned by the Stern family in Switzerland.
AUDEMARS PIGUET: A Swiss manufacturer of luxury mechanical watches and clocks, headquartered in Le Brassus, Switzerland. The company was founded by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet in the Vallée de Joux in 1875, acquiring the name Audemars Piguet & Cie in 1881.
IWC: International Watch Company, a luxury Swiss watch manufacturer located in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Founded by American watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones in 1868, IWC has been a subsidiary of the Swiss Richemont Group since 2000.
HUBLOT: A Swiss luxury watchmaker founded in 1980 by Italian Carlo Crocco. The company operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of France's LVMH. In 1980, it also marked the birth of the “Fusion” concept a few months after being founded.
OMEGA: A Swiss luxury watchmaker based in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. Founded by Louis Brandt in La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1848, the company formerly operated as the La Generale Watch Co until incorporating the name Omega in 1903.
PANERAI: Officine Panerai is a luxury Italian watch manufacturer, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A. Officine Panerai designs, manufactures and markets watches through authorized dealers and company-owned stores worldwide. Giovanni Panerai founded Officine Panerai in Florence, Italy in 1860
TAG HEUER: A Swiss luxury watchmaker that designs, manufactures and markets watches and fashion accessories, as well as eyewear and mobile phones manufactured under license by other companies and carrying the TAG Heuer brand name.
CARTIER: Founded in 1847 in Paris, Cartier stands as one of the world’s most esteemed and respected Maisons in the luxury industry. Today, the Maison is renowned worldwide for its jewelry creations and watches.
LONGINES: Compagnie des Montres Longines Francillon S.A., or simply Longines, is a Swiss luxury watchmaker based in Saint-Imier, Switzerland. Founded by Auguste Agassiz in 1832, the company has been a subsidiary of the Swiss Swatch Group since 1983.
JAEGER-LECOULTRE: Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre SA, or simply Jaeger-LeCoultre, is a Swiss luxury watch and clock manufacturer founded by Antoine LeCoultre in 1833 and is based in Le Sentier, Switzerland. Since 2000, the company has been a fully owned subsidiary of the Swiss luxury group Richemont.