Firstly, by nature of being on our site you already know not all watches are born equal. Some names stand out more than others, and we’re going to tell you the ten luxury men’s watch brands you should be aware of. If you’re also looking for a luxury smartwatch, see our top picks here.
Montblanc probably brings a fountain pen to mind faster than a watch. However, did you know they make extraordinary luxury watches?
Crafted beautifully by hand, a Montblanc timepiece is certainly as functional as it is sophisticated. Which is no surprise. Montblanc has over a century of experience creating sensational items. The company started in Berlin in the 1900s and was handed down the family. Each new owner was a visionary and the brand soon built a reputation rivalling the quality of Cartier and Piaget.
Having fully-immersed into the world of luxury watches, you’ll certainly find some of the most modern technology in their smartwatches and revolutionary designs in their traditional pieces.
Michael Kors holds a licence agreement with the Fossil Group so this means the former makes and distributes their watches. We know the Fossil Group is vast. They design, manufacture and distribute quartz and mechanical watches all over the world.
At the high-end, you’ll find Swiss-made mechanical watches, ranging from $750 all the way up to $25k.
Fossil watches themselves are price-accessible, but Michael Kors is a different breed, being a well-known fashion brand.
Specifically looking at the watches, they’ve become remarkably popular. This is down to successful digital marketing, along with superior development. 16m people follow the brand on Instagram, who posts frequently about their watches. It’s no doubt a Michael Kors watch is certainly at the pinnacle of timepiece fashion.
Follow our link for a cool history lesson on how Breitling came to be a watchmaker.
Breitling is the 15th most-recognised Swiss watch brand, globally. It’s a major brand in the luxury watch market and known for superior quality at half the price of a Rolex.
Breitlings are certainly an excellent quality watch. Their brand recognition is a direct indication of this.
Breitling has a speciality for professional watches for pilots, military personnel and rescue operators. The brand offers several smartwatches catering to these specific individuals due to features such as distress beacons and emergency locators.
If you started looking for a Breitling now, you’d have thousands of models to peruse, including many limited editions. Furthermore, they come with quartz or mechanical movements, depending on your need for precision.
Rolex is, above all, the undeniable number one most-recognised Swiss-made watch brand in the world. With near-enough 100% brand recognition. Internationally, it’s the 3rd most recognised, behind Nestle and Nescafe. They’re one of the few brands where you’d get more for reselling your Rolex than what you paid for it.
Rolex has an absurd number of models. Dripping in diamonds and precious metals.
The most iconic of all is the Submariner, closely followed by the Sea-Dweller.
They produce mechanical timepieces with highly-accurate movements and chronographs. You can expect precision around +/- 2 seconds a day.
We know James Bond sported a Rolex in many of the films. You can read more about that in our article here.
OK, they’re not actually considered a luxury, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. At the $500 top end, you can find some superb timepieces that, to some dreamers, rival a lower-end Rolex.
Here’s why. Bulova, owned by Citizen, has an exceptional reputation for creating timepieces boasting stellar accuracy, durability and style. Their entire ethos is about developing something considered a luxury, but equally affordable.
Tag Heuer is another well-known brand that’s carved a name for itself worldwide. It offers a beautifully-crafted timepiece that makes a bold statement.
Tag Heuer began around 1860. Year-after-year, building itself a fantastic reputation for accuracy and impressive design. The precision offered by a Tag Heuer watch is so good that they became the official Olympic Games timekeeper in the 1920s. If you’re interested in something cutting-edge, formed from years of experience and craftsmanship, check out our review of the Connected Modular 41.
Tudor as a brand was founded in the early 1920s by the Rolex founder. Immediately you expect a level of quality. It’s not uncommon for a major brand to have a smaller sister company who can produce more cost-effective watches.
A Tudor looks like a Rolex. Over time, Tudor began introducing in-house movements. Stepping away from being the “Poor Man’s Rolex”. They focus on design and technology. Constantly developing. Making improvements from successful releases.
To see an example, read our review of the Pelagos, here.
Victorinox is actually famous for creating the Swiss Army Knife. They made the knife for well over a century when the owners decided it was time for a new specialism.
They wanted to encapsulate the knife-quality in something new. So began production of the Swiss Army Watch, sometime around 1990.
Today, Victorinox is a luxury watch brand offering Swiss watches with fine craftsmanship.
Maurice Lacroix is a Swiss watchmaker from Zurich. As with a lot of watchmakers, they didn’t start out as such. Originally making just components, their success was so unprecedented that they began making watches of their own.
By 1990, Lacroix was famous for making affordable luxury. The brand has grown to become one of the most highly-ranked Swiss manufacturers after they launched Les Mécaniques, their high-end range.
We couldn’t write a whole article about luxury watches for men without ending on Cartier.
Back in 1903, Cartier created its first men’s watch. It was aimed specifically at pilots. The watch, named Alberto Santos-Dumont, was named after aviation pioneer and close friend to the designer himself.
Originally and still known for fine jewellery, Cartier watches became loved as a functional accessory. Their timepieces flourished into one of the most well-regarded in the world.
If all those dollar signs have blinded you a little, take some respite in our article detailing the best watches for men under $200, here and if you are looking for something a little more tech savvy then check out the new Apple Watch 6 here.
Last Updated on February 5, 2021