The world’s 9 most prestigious watch brands

most prestigious watch brands in the world

What are the most sought-after watches in the world among watch enthusiasts and collectors? Watches that have the most status on the market and that every watch enthusiast longs to wear on their wrist.

To get an idea of this, you only need to go to one of the auctions and check out what is on offer. But the world of watches is of course much bigger than that. In the case of auctions, it is usually a question of certain unique specimens, while buying new production is a completely different matter.

Here we highlight some of the models that are most sought after by watch enthusiasts right now.

What should you consider when buying your first quality watch?

most luxurious watches in the world

What should you consider when buying your first quality watch? Obviously, you want to wear something that you think looks good, but other factors can also be good to keep in mind. Here are some of them.

1. Make and model

What has become increasingly apparent in recent years is that some models and brands have a higher second-hand value than others. In many cases, the value of the watch you bought may even increase.

When it is a well-known model from an exclusive brand, it retains its value extremely well and therefore one could almost speak in terms of “investing” in a quality watch. It is a purchase for life. A quality watch is meant to last from generation to generation.

2. Service

Given that the watch is supposed to last forever, it is extremely important to maintain it continuously. Annual servicing of your watch is recommended just as if in the case of cars. This service should always be carried out by authorised service points specialised in your particular brand.

3. Features

most luxurious watches in the world

When you buy your quality watch, it also needs to have all the features that you want in a watch. Many people buy their watch as decoration, but it is so much more than that.

Are there special features you want it to have? Should the hands be clearly visible in the dark and should they be suitable for deep-sea diving? All these factors should be clear before you make your decision.

4. When will it be used?

Following on from the previous point, when will you mainly use your watch? Obviously, you can have many different models for different purposes, but most of us still only own one quality watch.

If it’s a suit watch, you don’t need to have water resistance all the way down to 200 metres. Think about the contexts in which you usually use your watch and the style of clothing you usually wear. A quality watch is meant to be used, not put on a pedestal!

Where to find the best quality watches online

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There are two websites in particular that we can recommend when it comes to quality watches. Farfetch has a great selection of both new and used luxury watches. Here you will find luxury brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet.

best website for new luxury watches

The other website we can recommend, especially for new watches, is Mr Porter. Here you will also find an excellent service on the watches. Especially if you are looking for new watches from brands like Cartier, Jaeger LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin, Mr Porter is highly recommended.

9 watches with status

This brings us to the main point. What are the watches that have the highest status in the watch world right now? Given all the auction results we’ve seen over the years, there’s no getting away from the fact that brands like Rolex have high status in the watch world.

However, there are other brands that are in high demand and have great value among watch enthusiasts and collectors.

1. Rolex Daytona

most prestigious watch brands in the world

Rolex Daytona is the model that currently holds the record as the most expensive watch sold at auction. It was sold at auction in New York in 2017 for just over $148 million.

The Daytona has been in production since 1963 and includes a chronograph, 44 jewel movement with 78 hours of power reserve and is water-resistant to 100 metres. The old movement was the El Primero, nowadays Rolex’s own “Inhouse” movement is used.

Rolex also has several other classic models such as the Submariner, Date-Just and Day-Date just to name a few.

2. TAG Heuer Monaco

tag heuer monaco most luxurious watches

The model Monaco from TAG Heuer is one of the most iconic and classic watches on the market, and also one of the most affordable on the list. Launched in 1969, Monaco was the world’s first waterproof square wristwatch. You can read more about the model here.

3. Patek Philippe Nautilus

most sought after watches in the world

A highly sought-after model on the market is Patek Philippe’s Nautilus model. The fact that it is constantly sold out at retailers speaks volumes about its popularity. Unlike other high-end watch brands such as Rolex and Breitling, Patek Philippe is not as well known to the general public. But that only makes it more sought after by experts as it is a status symbol that few know about.

If you are looking for another prestigious watch with high collector’s value from Patek Philippe, keep an eye on the Calatrava model. A suit watch sells for high prices at auctions around the world every year.

4. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

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Audemars Piguet is widely regarded as one of the world’s top watch brands and the Royal Oak model is by far one of the most sought-after. It was also this model that would elevate the brand to the absolute pinnacle of the watch industry when it was launched in 1972.

Audemars Piguet is also known as the first brand in the watchmaking world to introduce the minute hand in 1892. They were also the first to come out with models of so-called Skeleton watches in 1934.

5. Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso

most luxurious watch brands in the world Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso

Among the finest and most classic you can wear in the category of suit watches is the Reverso model from Jaeger LeCoultre. It was originally created in 1931 to withstand the hard knocks a watch was subjected to during horse polo matches.

The unique feature of the case is that it can be turned completely around to protect the glass. With its Art Deco design, it remains one of the true crown jewels of classic watchmaking to this day.

6. Cartier Tank

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Another classic suit watch is the Tank model from Cartier. Cartier also has several other unique rectangular classics such as the Santos. But it is the Tank that is the most famous and at the same time the original. The Tank was created by Louis Cartier in 1917 and the design was inspired by the Renault tankers he saw on the Western Front during World War I.

The watch went into full production in 1919 and even today it is one of the most popular costume watches among those who desire exclusive wristwatches.

7. Officine Panerai Luminor

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If you’ve ever felt a watch from Panerai, you know what we’re talking about. The weight of the watch and the special design makes it something quite unique in watchmaking. Panerai was founded in 1860 in Florence and until 1996 the brand only produced watches and depth gauges for the Italian armed forces.

The Radiomir is the slightly more “dressy” model, while the Luminor Marina is more sporty. It is in the Luminor Marina that we see Panerai’s trademarked barley solution over the crown. Panerai only makes a few watches a year, which further adds to their exclusivity.

8. Omega Speedmaster

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Omega launched its first line of chronographs in 1957. The Speedmaster Professional or “Moonwatch” is the most famous and the longest in production. It is also the one worn by the astronauts on the first Apollo 11 moon landing.

Other classic models from Omega include the Seamaster, which has appeared in several James Bond films over the years. Even the newest Bond film coming this autumn features James Bond in a watch from the Seamaster range.

9. Breitling Navitimer

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In the pilot watch department, there is one model above all others. Breitling is the official supplier of movements to the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots’ Association) and with its Navitimer model, which came on the market in 1952, it has the most classic pilot watch on the market.

The most distinctive feature of the Navitimer watch is the unique counter on the outside of the case. Anyone who buys a watch from Breitling can also expect top-notch service at their brand workshop that you can find in most countries.

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