There for so many other things the niche world of timepieces and watches brands often seems like a daunting one to enter. The tricky vocabulary, the annual collector scramble for new models, the encyclopedia of complications—where to start? The easiest point of entry is to get familiar with the best watches brands. Yes, there are those household names that often make parents and bedside tables and song lyrics, but are they worth it? (Short answer: oftentimes, yes.)
But, there is more to consider: is there a new brand worth looking at when going for a purchase? And what if you’re just starting your watch collection? Or adding one for not too much money? Which brands will most likely accrue value over the years? Etc. There is information on all of these questions—answered in very broad strokes—below; see and shop our extensive list of the best brands to know.
Up there in the most well-known of watch brands, Rolex watches are continually and constantly a hot commodity. Their value holds—and most often increases—years after purchase. This is true of almost all styles.
2. Tag Heuer.
Largely thought of as the premier sports watchmaker—driving, soccer, diving, etc. They also made clean and slimmer options for those who want something more demure.
Similar to their jewelry, Cartier’s cult classics have been a celebrity and watch-buyer favorite for decades. Watch models get an update every few years to keep them cutting edge
4. Grand Seiko
This Japanese watchmaker is a bit of a sleeper brand. These watches have a lot to pay attention to, however: good looks, stellar craftsmanship, and not too spend
The French luxury brand has a way with watches as well. This is models are an extension of what they do so well refined and timeless.
R E A D M O R E
Classic and sporty options from the official timekeeper of the Olympics, the partner of most every recent James Bond, and what’s on the wrist of Cindy Crawford and Nicole Kidman.
7. Nomos Glashutte
Clean and crisp in design, the Nomos Glashütte watch brand offers designs that are quiet and won’t compete with an outfit.
There’s plenty of history in the almost two hundred years of watchmaking from Longines. This brand has equally petite and chunky styles to offer.
10Van Cleef & Arpels
Watches as jewelry is how many people style their Van Cleef & Arpels pieces. The storied jewelry recently leaned into this philosophy with a watch pendant as an extension of their quintessential Alhambra line.
11. Audemars Piguet
A real balance of flashy and functional, Audemars Piguet has everything from a classic watch to an all-gemset full of sparkle.
These Detroit-based brands that are also known for their bicycles and leather goods started with watches and Proudly partnering Swiss-made movements with American craftsmanship, Shinola has as many rugged options as they do ladylike.
Though they are best known for their sporty-luxe ceramic J12 model, Chanel’s watches have plenty more to off like their more restrained Boyfriend watch—and pieces with more classical watchmaking skills like hand-painted dials and chronographs.