Watches have been long used for practical, aesthetic and collectable purposes. On the one hand, a watch is an essential device for telling the precise time to the exact seconds. And on the other, a watch is a symbol of status and achievement, conveying esteem and prestige. Luxury watches with its complications are so much more than simple timepieces; they are wearable work of true craftsmanship, aesthetic form and function through reliable mechanics. It is no wonder that luxury watch brands would stir a feeling or discussion not only amongst watch enthusiasts but just about everyone. Here, we have rounded the top five luxury watch brands in the world.
- Patek Philippe: is the most expensive luxury watch brand in the world today. Founded by Antoni Patek Adrien Philippe in 1839, the company is renowned for its world-famous complicated mechanics and movement which includes chronographs minute repeater and perpetual calendar as well as traditional styling. To celebrate its 175th Anniversary, Patek Philippe watches showcased their remarkable feat of micro-engineering by creating the most complicated timepiece: The Grandmaster Chime. With 20 complications, an elaborately engraved 18k rose gold case, it is the first double-face wristwatch. As the saying goes “You can’t rush perfection”, Patek Philippe takes pride in devoting time to develop, design, assemble and produce some of the most prestigious, rarest timepieces. Patek Philippe is the favoured choice, fit for royalty when it comes to men’s luxury watches as well as women’s luxury watches. It’s famous tagline “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely take care of it for the next generation” boasts that it can be an heirloom too, thanks to its sheer functionality for years to come.
- Jean Marc Vacheron: Jean Marc Vacheron founded one of the oldest manufacturers of luxury watch, Vacheron Constantin, in Geneva, Switzerland in 1755. Vacheron Constantin is the second most expensive watch brand in the world today. For its 260th anniversary, Vacheron Constantin built a watch that featured the most complicated mechanics in 2015 that took three watchmakers a total of eight years to make! Vacheron Constantin reflects heritage, precise detailing and remains committed to traditional shapes and styling. It is no wonder then that Napoleon Bonaparte himself and Harry Truman were said to have worn their watches.
- Audemars Piguet: Jules-Loouis Audemars and Auguste Pieguet founded Audemars Piguet in 1875. Audemars Piguet, one of the luxury watch brands in the world, is noted for creating the first steel luxury sports watch in 1972, the Royal Oak. The Royal Oak has become a modern-day icon because of its recognisable and distinctive octagonal bezel attached with eight hexagonal screws. Its trademarked dial featuring the “tapisserie” pattern and integrated bracelet makes the Royal Oak a stand out piece amongst the crowd. Each watch produced met the criteria for stylishness in design, sheer luxury, best materials combined with impressive workmanship and brilliance in design.
- Rolex: Rolex is arguably the most famous, most identifiable, most sought after luxury watch brands in the market. Hans Wilsdorf founded the Rolex watch manufacturing company in 1908. The brand is internationally recognized and it is coveted by society as the symbol of status in both men’s luxury watches and women’s luxury watches. Its consistently classic as well as timeless form and function helps it to stand the test of time and remain prevalent in popular culture. Rolex watches are given all the attention and dedication to ensure they meet the brand’s strict standards, using only in-house base materials, hand assembling and independently testingeach one in Switzerland. Rolex is at the helm of innovation, being the first brand to offer water and dust proof, multiple time zones and date display on the dial. Some recent models even feature an anti-magnetic case. It has and continues to achieve international fame through its productions of bi-coloured ceramic bezels, making their own gold and variations like pink gold as well as yellow gold and going to the deepest point of the ocean with the Rolex Deepsea Challenge to guarantee the waterproof depth of 12, 000 metres.
- Panerai: Panerai is the perfect mix of Italian design and Swiss technology, with service and passion for the seas. Founded in 1869 in Florence, Italy, Panerai had a humble beginning in its role to assist frogmen of the Decimal Flotilla MAS in their operations during World War 2. The brand is known for its bold, robust, minimalist military style and simplistic numeral display as well as an iconic case, with a patented design feature that protects the crown. Panerai is famous for being a material, element and technological innovator when it comes to their timepieces. Some of their cases are made of entirely ceramic or carbon. The new Panerai LAB ID Carbotech is an example of Panerai’s ability in revolutionizing watch making. As the case is made of Carbo-tech – a composite material based on carbon fibre, every case is completely different and individual in terms of sheen and wood-like marbling details. The most impressive thing about this watch is that there are no traditional oils or greases used anywhere in the watch as the movement are made from a tantalum-based ceramic, containing high percentage of carbon making lubrication of the gear train pivots unnecessary. Panerai also offers a 50-year guarantee as a testament to its stand behind its technology.