The Watch Pages went live a little less than one year ago and boy has it been a wild ride! We decided to take a look at the Top 10 watch brands that you searched for this last month. And your Top 10 most popular watch brands are in alphabetical order:
Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875 and is one of the few remaining big independent brands. It is the oldest watch brand still managed by descendants of the founding families. Audemars Piguet was the first company to release a high-end sports watch in steel, the Royal Oak, which is still one of the brands best seller today. In 2019 they launched a new collection: The Code 11.59 by Audemars Piguet, seen in the below pictures. Only 32’000 watches are produced every year, making Audemars Piguet very exclusive watches.
CODE41 was launched in 2016 by watch designer Claudio d’Amore and a group of friends from the watch industry. They took to Kickstarter to fund their first watch and raised over 500’000 CHF in their initial round. Today there are four collections: The Anomaly-01, Anomaly-02, X41, and the recently launched DAY41. CODE41 prides itself on its transparency concerning origin, development, and price. When they are planning a new watch they reach out to the CODE41 community who vote on each step of the project from the case size to the movement.
Founded in 1980 by Carlo Crocco, Hublot is one of the youngest major watch brands. In 2004 Jean-Claude Biver joined the company as CEO and unveiled the brand’s flagship collection, the Big Bang Chronograph, the following year. The Big Bang remains one of their best sellers today. In 2008 Hublot was bought by the LVMH Group who also own watch brands like TAG Heuer, Bvlgari, and Zenith. Hublot is very active in partnerships and was actually the first watch brand to sponsor soccer starting with the Swiss National team. Hublot was also the first brand to use rubber as a strap material on a luxury gold watch. Contrary to most brands, each Hublot boutique is unique, taking its inspiration from its location so in a Swiss ski resort you will find yourself entering a cozy chalet.
Jacob & Co
Jacob & Co was founded in 1986 by Jacob Arabo, a diamond designer. He quickly built a following with celebrities. As an avid watch lover, Jacob started producing his own watches in 2002. He was well known for his diamond-studded men’s watches before moving on to more technical pieces. The first milestone was the Quenttin in 2006, which features a vertical movement with a lateral-side tourbillon and a 31-day power reserve stored in seven barrels. The introduction of the Astronomia featured below, caused a sensation in the watch industry. The Astronmis depicts a vision of the celestial world with planetary indications in constant motion under the control of a triple-axis tourbillon.
Oris was founded in 1904 and is still based in the same building where the two founding brothers started the company in Holstein, Switzerland. Oris only makes mechanical watches and is known to have an excellent price-performance ratio. They develop many of their own in-house calibers. Their signature complication is the Pointer Calendar where 31 days are displayed on the inner circle of the dial with a pointer showing the date. The watches are recognized for their unique design as well as the red rotor, the symbol of Oris mechanicals. The Oris collection is separated into four worlds – culture, diving, aviation, and motorsports.
Panerai was founded in Florence, Italy in 1860 by Giovanni Panerai. To this day, Panerai is one of those unique and recognizable brands that are popular with many. Their most famous models are the Radiomir and the Luminor. The Radiomir was designed in 1938 as a diving watch for the Italian Navy and became part of its standard equipment for many years. In 1949, Panerai made a move to reformulate its glowing dial paint and trademarked its new luminescent chemistry as Luminor. In 1993 Panerai unveiled its first three models available for the public to buy. An unexpected marketing boost came when the actor Sylvester Stallone, who discovered the brand while shooting the film “Daylight” in Rome, purchased a Luminor Marina and wore it on camera. The rest, as they say, is history!
Patek Philippe is the last independent, family-owned Genevan watch manufacture in existence today and is considered by many watch aficionados to be one of the most prestigious watch brands. Patek Philippe creates and engineers all of the components they need for their movements and cases, which are assembled and finished in-house. The company has been owned by the Stern family since 1932 and is today managed by Thierry Stern, President and his father Philippe Stern who is an Honorary President. Patek Philippe holds the world record for the most expensive timepiece ever sold at auction – in 2019 the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime sold for $31 million at the Only Watch auction.
Richard Mille founded his watch brand under his own name in 1999, after having worked for many years at a number of French watchmaking companies. The first-ever Richard Mille watch was the RM 001 Tourbillon limited to 17 watches. Each Richard Mille model has a number reference but they were not all released in chronological order as some took longer to develop than others. Richard Mille is one of the most successful “newcomers” in the watch industry and his watches are often the holy grail for many collectors.
Rolex is a brand that needs no introduction – founded by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in 1905, Rolex is arguably one of the most famous names in watchmaking. Rolex invented the first waterproof watch and was the first watchmaker to earn the chronometer certification for a wristwatch. The Rolex Daytona 1969 previously owned by Paul Newman was sold at auction for $17.8 million in 2017 and was the most expensive watch ever sold at auction until 2019.
Tudor is the little sister of Rolex founded in 1946 by Hans Wilsdorf to offer a range of wristwatches at a more affordable price than his other brand, Rolex. Over time Tudor became well known for its tool watches, producing watches for professional divers and the military. The Tudor Submariner and the Oyster Prince were both used by the US and French navies. The brand went through a major brand relaunch in 2019 with new product lines. Today Tudor’s key timepieces include the Heritage Black Bay, the Heritage Chronograph, the Pelagos and the Fastrider.