The 10 World’s Best Watch Brands | Top Selling Watch BrandsNoman
The watch industry is one of the most competitive and lucrative in the world. The market is so large that even giants like Rolex, Patek Philippe and Omega struggle to maintain their lead over smaller players like Cartier, Longines or Zenith. In this article we’ll look at the top ten watch brands in the world by revenue (from 2016).
Patek Philippe is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer founded in 1839 by Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe in Geneva. It is currently owned by the Swatch Group, which is headquartered in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland.
In 2016, Bloomberg named Patek Philippe among its list of “World’s Most Innovative Companies”, largely due to its recent efforts to create watches with improved accuracy, including the Patravi TravelTec GMT (ref. 5169G-001). The company manufactures its own components for the production of movements for all timepieces and produces them at three sites: Le Brassus (movement manufacture), Plan-les-Ouates (case manufacture) and St.-Imier (dial manufacture). Patek Philippe has produced more than 1 million watches since its founding in 1839 as well as many precision instruments such as repeaters and split seconds chronographs.
Rolex is a brand of watches, founded in London, England in 1905. It is the largest single luxury watch brand and costs about $6,000 for an entry-level Oyster Perpetual Datejust model. The Rolex brand has become synonymous with success and wealth and is often associated with the worlds of sports (especially golf), fashion and Hollywood.
Rolex was founded by German Hans Wilsdorf, who later moved to London where he set up his business headquarters at Place Vendôme in Paris (the company’s current headquarters are still located at this address). As one of the first companies to use self-luminous radium on their dials during World War II as part of their war effort; they became known as “The Watch For Professional Divers” due to their reliability under extreme pressures underwater.
This led them into developing watches specifically suited for deep sea diving with features such as helium escape valves which allow pressure equalization when ascending from depth allowing air bubbles trapped inside not only prevents water ingress but also keeps your wrist free from chafing!
TAG Heuer is a Swiss luxury watchmaker that was founded in 1860. The company’s headquarters are located in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and it sells its products through more than 3,000 points of sale worldwide.
TAG Heuer also makes timepieces for other brands such as Ralph Lauren, Bell & Ross and Oakley. The company has been the official timekeeper of the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2012.
Omega SA is a Swiss luxury watchmaker based in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland. It’s one of the most known and prestigious watch brands in the world. The company was founded in 1848 by Louis Brandt as “Omega Watch Co” (Ω) and its original purpose was to produce keyless marine chronometers with industrial machines, which would later be sold to watchmakers all over Europe.
In 1894 it became independent from the Omega Watch Co and changed its name to “SA Omega Watch Company Ltd.” In 1903, Ernest Irénée Audemars & Edward Piguet joined forces with Charles-Édouard Heuer Sr., who had acquired several companies including Jaquet-Droz S A & Frères SA, along with other businesses related to timekeeping such as LeCoultre & Cie SA (later called Montres Universal Genève).
This allowed them not only access into other areas of manufacturing for their products but also gave them access into different markets around Europe where they could sell their watches at lower prices than before because they didn’t have any fees associated with producing those pieces anymore since they were now owned by someone else’s product line rather than being made solely under one brand name like before when it was just called “Omega” without any additional names listed after that word such as “Watch Company Ltd.” or “.S A GmbH”.
Longines is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer that has been making timepieces since 1832. It is owned by the Swatch Group and produces both mechanical and quartz watches, including some with tourbillons. The company also makes movements for other brands.
Longines was founded in Saint-Imier, Switzerland in 1832 by Nicolas-Mathieu Rieussec as a workshop for making springs and other components for pocket watch movements. He later partnered with Auguste Agassiz and renamed his firm “Rieussec & Co.” When Agassiz died in 1840, Rieussec became sole owner of the company which he renamed “Manufacture d’Horlogerie de Longines” (Longines Watch Manufacturing Company).
The company began producing complete watches under its own name in 1867, but continued to sell parts to other manufacturers until 1921 when they stopped supplying movements entirely due to low sales volume compared to their own production lines at that time which produced more than 100 different models annually during World War I
Cartier SA is a Swiss luxury goods company that produces and distributes watches, jewelry, leather goods, fragrances, and ready-to-wear.
Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier. The company remained under family control until 1964 when it was sold to the Richemont Group. Deemed too bold for mainstream tastes at the time of its initial launch, the Santos watch had to wait for nearly half a century before it became one of the most famous models of all time.
In 1974, Cartier introduced the highly successful Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch with its iconic blue sapphire cabochon crown cover which quickly became an icon itself. Nowadays there are more than 30 000 different watches available from this brand!
Zenith S.A. is a Swiss high-end watch manufacturer founded in 1846 by Frédéric Baumgartner and based in Le Locle, Switzerland. It has been a member of the Swatch Group since 1999 and operates as a subsidiary of that company. Zenith produces chronographs (watches with stopwatch functions), including this one from its Admiral Collection:
The company also produces luxury timepieces under the brand name “El Primero”.
Seiko is a Japanese watch company that has been making watches for both men and women since 1881. Seiko is the largest watch manufacturer in the world, with over 200 million watches produced annually worldwide. The brand offers a wide range of styles from traditional to contemporary, as well as high-end luxury timepieces.
Audemars Piguet Holding S.A.
Audemars Piguet Holding S.A. is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer and international brand best known for its use of steel, gold and rose gold in their timepieces. It was founded in 1875 by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet in Vallée de Joux and currently manufactures 25,000 watches per year through the production facilities located there.
The company has earned multiple awards at international competitions including a Gold Medal at the 2011 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) competition for their Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph watch design as well as other prestigious awards from other organizations such as the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA). Some of their most notable designs include; The Royal Oak collection which was created in 1972 and features one of their most sought after pieces: Avant Garde or “Avant-Garde” chronograph with a tourbillon movement that costs over $600k!
Hublot is a Swiss luxury watch and jewellery manufacturer founded in 1980 by Italian Carlo Crocco and businessman Jean-Claude Biver. Hublot is based in Nyon, Switzerland. It designs, manufactures, markets and distributes watches, jewellery and accessories made of precious metals including gold and platinum as well as more affordable versions using base metals such as steel or titanium.
Hublot’s watches are usually oversized with bold designs such as the cloverleaf-shaped case of its Big Bang line that has become the company’s most recognizable feature. Hublot produces its own movements (calibres) which are developed in-house at its manufacture located in Neuchâtel.
The company has been involved in Formula One since 2010 when it joined forces with the McLaren team through an exclusive brand partnership. This followed other partnerships between brands like Dolce & Gabbana (Ferrari), Ralph Lauren (Porsche Team USA), Aston Martin Racing (Aston Martin Vantage GTE) etc., which have all been successful because they have given these brands global exposure rather than just exposure to car enthusiasts who may not be familiar with them otherwise.
After expanding into sports sponsorship deals involving athletes like Rafael Nadal, Usain Bolt or Maria Sharapova, today it also sponsors several other sports events like the World Boxing Super Series, European Rugby Champions Cup, FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup, International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship.
These are the ten top watch brands in the world.
- Patek Philippe
- TAG Heuer
- Omega SA
- Cartier SA
- Zenith S A
8 Seiko Holdings Corporation (No longer has watchmaking divisions) 9 Audemars Piguet Holding SA 10 Hermès International
We hope you enjoyed our list of the top ten watch brands in the world. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below!