Top luxury watch brands create quality timepieces that showcase great design and optimal quality—and are designed to last a lifetime.
Because these timepieces sell for thousands (and sometimes even millions) of dollars, deciding which luxury watch brand is the best fit for you can take some research.
So let’s look at the top 10 most popular luxury watch brands currently on the market.
What Are The Top 10 Luxury Watch Brands Of 2023?
Despite the soaring popularity of Rolex women’s and men’s watches, each timepiece is still made by hand. Internationally recognized as a status symbol, Rolex watches are forever in high demand. Especially the Rolex Daytona and Rolex Submariner.
Rolex is a clear number one brand that scores perfectly with all of the criteria applied. Born in the early twentieth century Rolex has devoted their now unparalleled manufacturing capability to creating high end watches of utmost quality and durability.
This has paid off for the company and their customers. Rolex watches hold their value across the board unlike any other watch in the marketplace. They are produced with the finest quality materials to the highest standards. As such, they are expected to be precise for a lifetime and more.
Rolex is exclusively owned by a private foundation and their decision-making is consistently long-term driven. This also means their sales data is not public.
Based upon some public information, such as independent 'chronometer' testing, Rolex produces and sells in excess of 800,000 watches per year. Ask any retailer in any country what watch sells the best, to all generations, the answer will be Rolex.
The company identifies itself with quality, precision and achievement. Their name is respected in every corner of the globe and their presence has reached the summit of Mount Everest as well as the greatest depths of the Pacific Ocean.
- Key models: Datejust, Day-Date, Submariner, Daytona, GMT-Master II, Explorer, SkyDweller
- Price range: $5,100 – $120,000+
- Approximate average price: $11,800
- Approximate annual production: 810,000
- Ownership: Independent and owned by the Wilsdorf Foundation
- Company motto: A Crown for Every Achievement
- Rolex fun fact: Other than their Cellini dress watches, all Rolex watches are in their Oyster Perpetual family and these words would be found on every dial. Oyster signifies the waterproof case and Perpetual signifies the automatic, self winding movement inside.
When it comes to craftsmanship of a watch case, and especially of a watch movement, Patek Philippe breaks to the top. They receive particularly high scores and praise from a significant group: the watchmakers themselves.
In the world of high horology, a complication is a good thing. And, Patek Philippe is expert at producing such good things.
Many of their mechanical movements are built to go far beyond telling time. This manufacturer has the skill sets that can produce:
- Perpetual calendars
- Minute repeaters
- World timers and handcrafted plates
- Bridges and parts that are surpassed by none
Patek Philippe produces some of the most coveted and high-end timepieces in the world, fetching millions of dollars for some of their rarer models. This prestigious watch brand with a history of innovative designs, has long been favored by royalty.
'You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation' is not only an award-winning campaign it is also a truism of the brand. They are generational and every year forward in time serves to prove just how special they are.
The powerhouse auction houses of the world feature historical and vintage timepieces from the Patek Philippe annually. They draw the same, if not greater success as they would from the works of art from Picasso or Rembrandt.
- Key models: Nautilus, Calatrava, Aquanaut, Gondolo, Twenty-4 and all Grand Complications
- Price range: $15,000 – $300,000
- Approximate average price: $40,000
- Approximate annual production: 58,000
- Ownership: Independent and owned by the Stern Family
- Patek fun fact: In 2021, new stainless steel Nautilus models that retail for $34,890 consistently sell in the secondary market for over $100,000. A 2021 version with an olive green dial just sold at auction for $363,600.
Still owned today by its original founding families, Audemars Piguet is one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world.
Right now the premiere model in the Audemars Piguet lineup, the Royal Oak, is so desired that it is a ghost in the marketplace. Like Patek Philippe’s Nautilus model, the Royal Oak often fetches prices well over suggested retail.
Audemars has a legacy of fine watchmaking dating back to 1875. But it was in 1972 that the company shifted towards a path of greatness by introducing this iconic model.
The Royal Oak is simple, rugged, thin and highly recognized by the inner circle of enthusiasts who appreciate the brand.
Audemars Piguet is also adept at grand complications and they continue to earn high credibility with annual creations that push new boundaries of what a mechanical timepiece can do.
Their motto is 'to break the rules, first you must master them'.
- Key Models: Royal Oak, Royal Oak Offshore, Millenary, CODE 11.59, Complications
- Price range: $13,000 – $150,000+
- Approximate average price: $37,000
- Approximate annual production: 42,000
- Ownership: Independent and family owned
- Audemars Piguet fun fact: The most expensive Audemars Piguet sold was a signed Audemars Piguet Geneve Leap Year Perpetual for $545,000 in 2015.
Vacheron Constantin has one of the deepest histories on this ranking, having been a master of the art of watchmaking uninterrupted since 1755. One of the esteemed members of the holy trinity of high horology, they have mastered vast complications and their cases, dials and movements are works of art.
Their current brand message is that their timepieces are 'one of not many'. This means that at their core, they devote their expertise and energy to the crafting of the best timepieces possible without the need to create and sell volume.
Their watches are truly rare and special. Like some of the offerings from other top luxury watch brands, Vacheron models such as the Overseas are seemingly impossible to find.
- Key Models: Patrimony, Overseas, Metiers d’Art, FiftySix, Historiques
- Price range: $18,000 – $250,000+
- Approximate average price: $28,500
- Approximate annual production: 27,000
- Ownership: Richemont Group
- Motto: The original company motto is the words of founder François-Constantin: 'Do better if possible and that is always possible'.
- Vacheron fun fact: The Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 introduced by Vacheron Constantin in 2015 is regarded as the most complicated watch in the world. It is a mechanical pocket watch which features 57 complications.
The House of Cartier is world renowned for high jewelry and their exceptional watch designs. Propelled for over a century by their advanced creative touch. Their manufacturing expertise has become equally responsible for their great brand success.
Their watch models are clean and highly recognized designs that appeal to clients for possessing both simplicity and style. Through the years they have judiciously relied on outside companies for many components in their timepiece production satisfying many without necessarily drawing the interests of the elite aficionados.
This is changing as in recent years they have begun to create exceptional watches of all kinds on their own. Their production volume has become one of the highest in the category all without losing their quality standards. Their upward move on this list is an indication that Cartier is a proven powerhouse watch brand that is getting even stronger.
- Key Models: Tank, Santos, Ballon Bleu, Ronde, Drive, Panthere, Tortue
- Price range: $3,000 – $250,000+
- Approximate average price: $5,200
- Approximate annual production: 490,000
- Ownership: Richemont Group
- Motto: A Cartier motto is to 'never copy, always create'. This establishes them not only as jewelers of the first rank but innovators as well.
6. Richard Mille
Richard Mille is the fastest growing manufacturer on this list landing at number 6 after only being born in 2001. With limited production their average price per unit is an impressive six figures. They build and market a specifically designed watch to a specific type of client.
To understand what makes Richard Mille wrist watches special, envision how legend Raphael Nadal wears the watch on his wrist as he strikes 110mph tennis balls. Then consider how the Richard Mille company vision is to build 'a racing machine on your wrist'.
The tonneau-shaped watch design is bold and modern. They are built exceptionally well inside and out, almost always showing off the beauty of their stylized movement with a skeletonized front.
They have become some of the most sought-after watches amongst professional sports stars and elite watch collectors around the world.
- Key Model: Tonneau
- Price range: $80,000 – $2.5 million+
- Approximate average price: $184,000
- Approximate annual production: 4,600
- Ownership: Independent and family owned
- Richard Mille fun fact: Rafael Nadal is not the only Richard Mille client athlete to wear the brand while he plays. McLaren F1 drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris wear them as they race and NFL great Odell Beckham Jr. wore, at least once, a team-themed RM 11-03 as he caught sideline passes.
Internationally renowned for its intricate designs, Jaeger-LeCoultre is also famed for creating the world’s smallest watch caliber.
In the 1930s Jaeger-LeCoultre answered the question of how to best protect their vulnerable wristwatches with a novel model design called the Reverso. It remains their signature watch of today.
They were constructed with Polo players in mind, and the intensity with which they play. The rectangular-shaped Reverso could flip over easily so that the delicate dial and crystal would face down and be protected. While a solid case back withstands the trials of the match.
Based on this now highly recognized system Jaeger has been able to invent advanced designs of complication and elegance. Such as the Reverso Duoface featuring a two in one concept.
For example, one side of a Reverso Classic Duoface may have a silver arabic dial. Then when you flip it over you can transform it into a black index dial.
In one watch you possess two dials with contrasting aesthetics and functionality. The brand is strong in the world of round wristwatches too. With classic and sporty Master Compressor and Master Control models made from steel and precious metals.
- Key models: Reverso, Master Compressor, Master Control, Geophysic, Rendez-vous
- Price range: $7,250 – $500,000+
- Approximate average price: $11,500
- Approximate annual production: 100,000
- Ownership: Richemont Group
Jaeger LeCoultre fun fact: In an early scene of the 1999 movie 'A Thomas Crowne Affair', the lead character is a debonair billionaire and art thief played by Pierce Brosnan. While caught in 5th Avenue traffic moments before a dramatic midday museum heist, the star is purposely shown flipping his Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duo.
This is to convey the anticipation of his plan as well as to foreshadow the dual sides of his life and penchant for switching high-priced works of art.
8. A. Lange & Söhne
A. Lange & Söhne was an established and flourishing German brand for a century prior to the beginnings of WWII. The ensuing destruction of war followed by decades long occupation by Soviet forces shuttered A. Lange & Söhne along with all other fine watch manufacturers in the historic German watchmaking city of Glashutte.
As freedoms returned the brand was reawakened in the early 1990’s, a period considered to be a second founding for the brand. True enthusiasts immediately began to pursue the manufacturer’s limited timepieces for their clean and clear, distinctly German, lines. Lange Söhne watches are built to tell time with clarity and few ornate features.
Their signature oversized date windows are not for flash, it is done to more easily see the date. While case designs sway simple, the capabilities and craftsmanship of the movements reveal levels of engineering. These plant the brand firmly as the third member of the high horology holy trinity.
- Key models: Lange 1, Saxonia, 1815, Zeitwerk, Richard Lange
- Price range: $17,500 – $500,000
- Approximate average price: $35,000
- Production: 4,500
- Ownership: Richemont GroupA company motto is “State-of-the-art Tradition” as well as an original quote from founder Ferdinand Lange “The entire pursuit of a watchmaker should be the perfection of each and every watch.”
The discussion of the watch brand Breguet requires a discussion of watchmaking history. Abraham Louis Breguet is a legend in the world of watchmaking and is considered a father of high horology.
In the late 1700s he handmade intricate bespoke timepieces for the elites of France and Europe including special productions for Napoleon, King George IV, King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette.
Some of these commissioned pieces took decades to complete, and in the process, Breguet invented mechanical capabilities never used before and still used today.
His signature invention is the tourbillon, an advanced movement complication that rotates the entire escapement to offset the detrimental influence of gravity on timekeeping.
Other achievements pioneered by Breguet include advances in the self-winding mechanism, hairspring design, shock absorbers and artistic designs for dials and hands. He took great steps to miniaturize the mechanical movement and is widely credited with the first wristwatch in 1810.
The modern Breguet invests material and effort to design and create timepieces that rise to the standards and ambitions of their great namesake.
- Key models: La Marine, Classique, Tradition, Classique Complications
- Price range: $10,000-$350,000+
- Approximate average price: $28,000
- Approximate annual production: 23,000
- Ownership: Swatch Group
- Breguet fact: The grand complication commissioned in 1783 for Marie Antoinette did not make it on time. She met her demise in 1793 while the timepiece was finished and delivered in 1827.
Tudor was started by Hans Wilsdorf in 1946, the same industry genius who started Rolex. Tudor is essentially a younger sibling (or cousin) brand to the great and more established manufacturing giant.
Their shared DNA is clear. Tudor watches are durable and mostly sports watches with strong waterproof cases, screw-down crowns and self-winding movements.
There were points in decades past where Tudor watches were seen as too similar to Rolex even sharing parts such as case backs that read Rolex Oyster. Tudor of the 21st century has grown and evolved along a newer path.
Guided by their motto 'Born to Dare' the younger brand has license, and a mission, to build their high quality wristwatches a new way. They feature new materials like brass or titanium.
A version of their Pelagos watch has a left-handed winding crown. Black Bay models with different colored bezels hit the marketplace with red-hot demand. Tudor even features their own proprietary movement.
The result of these design and production choices is a brand that stands apart from Rolex and delivers the best value pricing in the industry.
The world has taken notice, overall Tudor production has quietly risen to over 200,000 watches annually and the brand has landed at number 10 on this list.
- Key models: Black Bay, Prince, Pelagos, Royal, Clair de Rose, Heritage Chrono
- Price range: $2,000 – $16,000
- Approximate average price: $3,800
- Approximate annual production: 210,000
- Ownership: The Wilsdorf Foundation
- Tudor fun fact: The brand has featured and maintained two distinct logos through the years. One is a knight’s shield and the other is a rose.
The Other Top Watch Brands:
19. Tag Heuer
20. F.P. Journe
21. Bovet Fleurier
22. Jaquet Droz
23. Grand Seiko
28. Ulysse Nardin
29. H. Moser & Cie
30. Nomos Glashhutte
Where To Buy A Luxury Watch?
For the finest selection of watch brands at competitive prices, turn to myGemma. With an extensive inventory of luxury and designer timepieces, myGemma offers a diverse array of watches spanning various price ranges.
Rest assured, each and every watch featured on myGemma's website has undergone rigorous authentication by our team of in-house experts, guaranteeing your peace of mind when making a purchase.
How To Sell A Luxury Watch Online?
If, on the other hand, you are looking to make a sale. myGemma also buys your unwanted watches from you. The entire selling process is quick and easy, and it can take as little as 24 hours to receive payment following your price quote.
Just fill out the online form today to get started.