A luxury watch is a timeless, meaningful and investment-level timepiece that can exude class and serve as a status symbol while making a bold fashion statement. The best luxury watch brands are trusted names that create beautiful timepieces with elegant designs, premium materials and precision engineering. Some of the most expensive designer watchmakers include Patek Philippe, Rolex and Audemars Piguet, each with a rich history and unique aesthetic, but the industry has several lesser-known companies that offer stunning and luxurious timepieces.
When it comes to high-end watches, the best brands are respected and famous for their legacy, craftsmanship, materials and innovation, making their exceptional timepieces an enduring symbol of sophistication and success. Once acquired, checking the time will never be the same.
From men to women, knowing the manufacturers that have earned a global reputation for exquisite work can make all the difference in your decision.
Browse the most popular luxury watch brands in the world to inspire your search for the perfect piece.
The Best Luxury Watch Brands
Audemars Piguet is an expensive watch designer celebrated for its exceptional craftsmanship, innovative pieces and family-owned philosophy. Founded in 1875 by young watchmakers Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet, the brand focuses on handcrafted timepieces with contemporary aesthetics. Their Royal Oak timepiece is a consistent sellout and boasts a gorgeous octagonal bezel and sleek metal strap. Sportier types can choose the Offshore variation with its oversized aesthetic and chronograph mechanism. Along with impeccable technical features, this luxury watchmaker also prides itself on using fine materials like rose gold, platinum and titanium for durability and style.
Vacheron Constantin has been around since 1755, making it one of the most established watch manufacturers in the world. The company is known for its Swiss-made timepieces and exceptional artistry which can be seen in the luxurious Patrimony and Overseas collections. Their designs are relatively simple, but top-quality materials like 18-karat gold, platinum and stainless steel add to the high-end feel. Throw in mirror-polished chronograph movements and hand-crafted touches, Vacheron Constantin is a storied and respected watchmaker that will never go out of fashion.
Patek Philippe is a family-owned luxury watch manufacturer that has impressed collectors and enthusiasts since 1839 with premium materials, fine craftsmanship and beautiful heritage pieces. These designer watches are produced, hand-assembled and finished in-house. An impressive four years of work also goes into producing every timeless Calatrava Watch, making these timepieces the pinnacle of handmade luxury. Combining iconic Swiss techniques, beautiful materials and complex mechanics, this classic designer is an unbeatable choice for a trendy and durable piece.
Rolex is a trusted and respected luxury watch brand that offers beautiful, investment-level timepieces for men and women. The company uses only the highest quality materials, including luxurious 18-karat gold, 904L-grade stainless steel and hardy platinum for timeless elegance. The Rolex Submariner is perfect for hard-wearing workaholics who need a waterproof timepiece. For enduring trendiness and style, the Datejust collection with its self-winding chronometer and stunning dial is a solid choice. With every watch meticulously crafted in-house, you’ll know that you’re getting top-notch form and function.
Founded in Switzerland in 1735, Blancpain is a family-owned watch designer that has become known for its striking mechanical timepieces. They are famed for creating the world’s first modern dive watch with the Fifty Fathoms. But it’s the Villeret collection that oozes timeless elegance with its minimalist dials, beautiful gemstones and precise movements. Known for using Liquidmetal™ for depth gauges and ceramic for its durable cases, every single element of each watch is tested to perfection.
Chopard creates high-end watches that range from sporty and practical picks to gem-encrusted statement pieces. Not only do they have more than 150 years of experience in the industry, but they pride themselves on strict quality control. Plus, you can’t beat their in-house crafted movements, chic dials and gemstone embellishments. What sets Chopard apart is their ethical sourcing, and they’re committed to using only Fairmined Gold in every watch. With limited production, these timepieces quickly become exclusive and have excellent resale value.
Hailing from Switzerland, IWC is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer that creates meticulously crafted watches with precise movements. The timeless and understated design of each dial and bezel makes each timepiece effortless to style. Along with their quality-controlled in-house movements, the company offers innovative personal accents like perpetual calendars across several collections. Clean-cut and stylish, an IWC watch is a refined choice for any modern professional.
Offering over 170 years of experience, Ulysse Nardin crafts complicated mechanical watches that are durable and detailed. Intricate enamel dials and steel bracelets ooze sophistication and old-school charm. But innovative materials like silicon springs and minute repeaters keep this brand forward-thinking. Combined with a commitment to fighting plastic pollution through their Sustainable Innovation Lab, this company offers some of the nicest watches on the market.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is all about timeless appearances, technical expertise and clean lines. Their motto has been “Everything Is Possible” since the 1960s, with their multi-axis tourbillons and exceptional reverse case design proving their commitment to innovation. Every watch goes through a rigorous quality check in-house to ensure accuracy, but it’s the hand-painted dials that scream sophisticated elegance. Suitable for everyday wear and formal events, a timeless Jaeger-LeCoultre timepiece will spice up any ensemble.
A Lange & Söhne
A Lange & Söhne is celebrated by aficionados for its German precision and attention to detail. Founded in 1845, the company has a long history of creating trends in Glashütte such as the iconic double-split chronograph. Their hand-engraved movements and artistic finishes are often released as part of limited collections, adding to the exclusivity of each piece. Before being sold, each movement is carefully chamfered by hand to give the parts a beveled and polished finish.
With their bold and stylish dials, Panerai watches are designed for enthusiasts who want to make a powerful statement. Aside from being aesthetically gorgeous, these timepieces are built to the highest quality possible with in-house movements, cushion-shaped cases and durable crowns. From the waterproof diving Submersible to the Luminor collection’s military-style dial, Panerai blends contemporary elegance with traditional mechanisms.
Piaget is a popular Swiss brand that makes luxurious watches, ranging from modern jewel-encrusted pieces to classic designs. The company boasts the thinnest automatic movement in the world, making its dress watches incredibly popular with high-flying businesspeople. For a glamorous touch, look out for their timepieces covered with precious stones and brilliant round-cut diamonds. Every watch is designed in-house, with dials, movements and cases being inspected carefully before hitting the shelves. From the ultra-thin Altiplano to the simple but stylish Polo collection, there’s something in the catalog for every taste.
Cartier is a high-end jeweler and watchmaker known for designing sophisticated bezels and two-tone timepieces. The Santos remains the brand’s bestselling timepiece with its signature square bezel, large lugs and timeless dial. The designer’s elegant pieces are also elevated with engraving, chic gem-setting and subtle enamel work for a personal touch, blurring the boundaries between fine jewelry and high-end Swiss watchmaking.
Breitling is an excellent place to check out for stylish timepieces and aviation watches crafted to extremely high specifications. Along with precision chronograph movements, the company is regarded for its robust and sporty designs. The super-legible dials are functional, while the bold cases and perfectly polished bezels bring a stylish finish to the mix. Although the Navitimer pilot’s watch will always be their bestseller, the impressive water resistance and durability on almost every model are exceptional.
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross has been rocking the watchmaking industry with its military-inspired watches since 1992. The company started as a humble university project between Bruno Belamich and Carlos Rosillo who simply wanted to create functional timepieces. The project quickly catapulted into a successful collection of watches boasting round dials, legible numerals and recognizable square cases. You can’t beat their gorgeous sapphire crystal and titanium accents. The BR Aviation, Marine and Experimental collections all cater to different lifestyles, making it easy to choose a piece that matches your aesthetic.
Omega is a respected watch brand with an impressive history of creating chronograph movements with pioneering technology. Not only have they been named official timekeepers for NASA and the Olympics, but their Co-Axial Escapement is an industry leader for accurate timekeeping. To prove their point, they’ve even introduced a Master Chronometer certification to test each watch’s magnetic resistance and accuracy. Whether you choose a stylish and functional Seamaster or an elegant De Ville, you’re unlikely to be disappointed with your timepiece.
Roger Dubuis is a fashionable watchmaker known for its radical Avant-Garde designs and next-level technical expertise. You should expect to see unconventional materials, bold case shapes and intricate mechanics that offer a rebellious aesthetic. Most of the company’s pieces also bear the Poinçon de Genève certificate which rewards watches with remarkable decorative detailing and craftsmanship. Because the company produces just 5,000 timepieces a year, every design makes a luxurious statement.
Bremont is a renowned British watchmaker that makes durable timepieces for adventurers. Many of the company’s watches are designed to withstand the pressure felt at 80,000 feet above sea level, making them ideal choices for pilots and skydivers. Their extreme hardiness and precise timekeeping ability have also made them a top choice for military units around the world. Using titanium, stainless steel and sapphire crystal as standard materials, Bremont watches can hold up against high temperatures, shock and even magnetic fields.
Louis Moinet is a Swiss watch company that offers premium timepieces made with exotic materials and impressive mechanics. The notched bezels, meteorite dials and stunning lugs make the skeletonized watches shine. But it’s the alligator straps and hand-finished movements that transform the brand’s pieces. For a unique touch, many of Louis Moinet’s watches also pay homage to historical events with delicate painted dials.
Baume & Mercier
Baume & Mercier creates high-quality quartz and mechanical watches with exceptionally accurate timekeeping. Founded in 1830, the company has been refining its cutting-edge chronographs for almost two centuries. Although these timepieces are elegant (while feeling light and contemporary), the diverse collections make Baume & Mercier a more accessible luxury brand. Boasting solid construction and Swiss heritage expertise, a Hampton or Riviera piece from this elevated watchmaker is bound to stand the test of time.
Corum is a Swiss watch brand founded in 1955 that perfectly blends technical expertise and aesthetic appeal. Each distinctive piece is crafted with an in-house movement to complement avant-garde designs like the Admiral’s Cup and Feather watches. Although Corum prides itself on using exotic alloys, gemstones and high-grade ceramics to create gorgeous timepieces, they’re also regarded for precision. Every single piece goes through a rigorous quality control process, letting you move through each day with confidence.
Dating back to 1791, Girard Perregaux is one of the oldest Swiss watch manufacturers in the world. Their upscale designs range from classy to modern and sporty, offering a range of impressive timepieces for men and women. The iconic Laureato is a gorgeous pick with its integrated bracelet, while the Cat’s Eye collection remains incredibly popular with its mechanical movement and timeless appearance. Whether you want detailed enamel work or a gorgeous gem setting on limited edition timepieces, Girard Perregaux watches are beautifully-crafted luxury goods.
Glashütte Original is a distinguished watch designer renowned for its high precision standards and stunning Saxony craftsmanship. As a result, you’ll find hand-engraving, a collection of tiny parts and fine finishing on most of the brand’s collections. To add to their impressive manufacturing standards, every aspect of each timepiece is made in the same central location. The company is known for its extremely elegant designs and classic aesthetic, making its pieces suitable for everyday wear and formal occasions.
Hublot is a cool and contemporary watchmaker known for fusing traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics. They tend to use unconventional materials like ceramics, sapphire and carbon fiber to create durable but attractive timepieces. Sports enthusiasts may also recommend this trendy brand through their sports partnerships with Formula 1 and the FIFA World Cup. From their bold Classic Fusion and Big Bang collections to regular designer collaborations, Hublot is pushing boundaries year after year.
Breguet has been a pioneer in the watchmaking industry since 1775 and is credited for creating the tourbillon and self-winding mechanisms. The brand is regarded for its gorgeous enamel work and intricate engraving, but its delicate Guilloché dials are also striking. Known for their hollow apple shape and gorgeous gold and silver aesthetic, they’re an effortlessly chic and sexy addition to any wrist. Whether you want a diving-inspired Marine watch or the timeless Classique, you’ll be blown away by each elegant design.
Tag Heuer is an affordable luxury brand adored for its high precision standards, motor racing associations and incredible accuracy. Founded in 1860 in Switzerland, this iconic name has been at the forefront of chronograph development for years with its Mikrograph and oscillating pinion technology. If you’re a celebrity worshiper, you might be interested in the gorgeous Monaco watch that was sported by Steve McQueen in Le Mans. Whatever your style, the company’s exclusive and tailored shopping experience promises to make you a repeat customer.
Maurice Lacroix is an exceptional high-end watchmaking company that has been making luxury timepieces since 1975. Although they’re certainly considered upscale purchases, the company’s in-house movements, manual-winding calibers and stunning faces will set you back far less than comparable brands. Along with premium leather for the stylish straps, you’ll find stainless steel, gold and sapphire crystals used in their bestselling Masterpiece and Aikon collections. Perfectly balancing contemporary design work with traditional Swiss manufacturing techniques, Maurice Lacroix is an accessible brand to keep tabs on.
Chanel is regarded for its chic suits and memorable fragrances, but its collection of fashionable watches rivals established Swiss-based companies. This iconic fashion house stars trends and uses luxurious materials like sapphire crystal, gold, stainless steel and diamonds to spice up each design. From the classic J12 collection to the sleek Premiere watch, the classic and clean lines of each dial will complement your wardrobe effortlessly. Seamlessly bringing functionality and timeless aesthetics to the table, Chanel’s undeniable prestige is worth rocking on your wrist this year.
Arnold & Son
Arnold & Son is a London-founded manufacturer that has been rocking the industry with stellar marine chronometers since the 18th century. Despite being a British brand, Arnold & Son is based in Switzerland and abides by traditional Swiss craftsmanship and quality control methods. The striking Perpetual Moon and transparent Tourbillon Chronometer are among the company’s best-selling picks. But their skeleton designs are worth checking out if you’re on the hunt for a contemporary aesthetic with a modern edge.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels has been charming fashion fans with its gorgeous poetic complications since the release of their first wristwatch in 1923. Each piece is refined with precious gemstones, platinum, gold and leather for a luxurious feel. The timeless elegance of Van Cleef’s timepieces is undeniable, but it’s the motifs and animations of the gorgeous dials that elevate each watch. With several moving parts at play on any dial, you’ll be treated to an enchanting story every time you lift your wrist.
Tudor is an established name offering stunning timepieces with unparalleled craftsmanship and style. Each watch feels robust and durable, giving wearers a chance to play around with mechanical or automatic calibers depending on their taste. The Tudor Royal is an aesthetic and affordable bestseller with striking bezels, but virtually any timepiece from their quality collection will complement a high-end outfit.
Grand Seiko has been shaping the watchmaking industry with its artisan timepieces since bursting onto the scene in 1960. The brand closely abides by strict Japanese manufacturing standards, and most of the watches produced are COSC-certified for accuracy. The company’s Spring Drive technology and an innovative electronic regulator keep these watches ticking over efficiently. But it’s the Zaratsu polishing technique that lends the casings, dials and hands an exceptionally polished finish. With a broad collection dressy, sporty and modern models, Grand Seiko makes exceptional watches.
Salvatore Ferragamo is an Italian luxury brand that offers fashion-forward timepieces with sophisticated designs. The signature Gancini logo looks amazing etched onto the fashion house’s premium stainless steel and soft leather straps. Although there are several classic styles available, Ferragamo’s versatile sports watches are ideal for adding casual elegance to any ensemble. Whether you opt for funky enamel detailing or a white-silver dial with a glamorous sunray finish, you’re bound to uncover a distinctive style that suits you.
Montblanc might be better known for its smooth pens and leather goods, but its collection of quartz and mechanical timepieces is equally stunning. Not only does this luxury brand adhere to old-school Swiss manufacturing standards, but its high-quality chronographs rival those found on more expensive timepieces. The iconic Heritage and TimeWalker collections will always make a strong statement on the wrist, but any watch featuring the company’s signature high-quality finish will turn heads. Functional and more affordable than competing brands, Montblanc is a gorgeous and more affordable choice.
Boasting bold designs, vibrant colors and unique dials, Doxa watches are an ideal look for trendsetters. Founded in 1889, this Swiss watch manufacturer was one of the first companies to investigate increased underwater visibility and rotating bezels for dive watches. Although Doxa timepieces are best known for their extreme water resistance and innovative helium escape valves, fashion-forward shoppers will appreciate the signature orange dial. Striking and reliable under extreme conditions, Doxa is a fantastic affordable luxury watch brand for the modern man.
Luminox is an established Swiss company that offers high-performance watches for anyone who needs a reliable timepiece. These hardy watches are designed with an extremely innovative energy-independent LLT illumination system to keep the dial highly visible. Throw in their incredible water resistance, affordability and ability to withstand extreme temperature changes, and you’ll see why Luminox watches are sported by military members, explorers and first responders.
Citizen is a Japanese electronics company known for creating eco-friendly watches engineered with precision and style. Those who despise being late are bound to appreciate the company’s atomic timekeeping watches that offer next-level accuracy. Eco-lovers also adore Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology that eliminates the watch’s battery by driving the mechanism with light as a power source. If the exceptional timekeeping and environmentally friendly construction weren’t enough to sway you, the clean dials, stellar readability and top-notch build quality will.
Founded in 1832, Longines is a popular heritage brand that specializes in sports and aviation watches that are durable, functional and elegant. The company’s Master Collection offers gorgeous clean lines and high-quality movements, while the HydroConquest and Avigation lines are regarded for their incredible hardiness. Longines keeps every timepiece accurate with premium quartz movements that are entirely Swiss-made. Whether you’re an equestrian lover or a dive enthusiast, you’ll find the perfect piece to suit your aesthetic at Longines.
Reliable and effortlessly chic, Zenith watches are renowned across the globe for their precise chronographs and classic appearance. The El Primero calibers are responsible for keeping the smooth chronograph moving at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations an hour for unparalleled accuracy. If you value style and substance, the Defy Collection’s striking functionality and modern look is a great high-performance alternative to the Pilot pieces.
Popular Luxury Watch Brands
The most popular luxury watch brands are respected, trusted, and world-known names like Patek Philippe, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, A. Lange & Söhne, Breitling, and IWC. Designer watches are well-made, expensive, and beautiful masterpieces that will exude sophistication, elevate your social status, and generally transform your vibe. Whether you’re looking for an alternative investment, a valuable collector’s item, or a prestigious accessory, some of the best men’s and women’s timepieces in the world are produced by these famous watchmakers.
Do Luxury Watches Hold Their Value?
Most luxury watches like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and other premium brands retain their value and generally appreciate over time. These high-end watchmakers have built a reputation for their excellent craftsmanship, innovation, quality materials and consistent demand in the market. Rarity, uniqueness, purpose, brand, condition and age will determine how much a timepiece is worth. Whether you’re investing or selling, the best luxury brands are consistently a good investment across all asset classes, including watches.