Today’s luxury watch buyers expect well-finished mechanical movements, extremely precise timekeeping, attractive dials, and comfortable bracelets and straps. The high-end watch world has long since rebounded from the so-called “quartz crisis” of the 1970s-1980s. Currently, a huge number of luxury watch brands offer models in a greater variety of sizes, colors, styles, and complications than ever.
Luxury Watches for Men
The typical size of a “men’s watch” has gradually increased from 30mm to about 40mm over the past 80 years. Dive watches and chronographs are particularly popular among men’s luxury watch enthusiasts. Today, countless watch brands–ranging from tiny independents to LVMH-owned companies–are offering men’s luxury watches in a variety of materials, designs, and price points.
Luxury Watches for Women
While the watch market is past its red-hot late 2021 peak, the amount of women’s luxury watch enthusiasts only seems to be growing. Brands like Cartier and Rolex have done very well with their ladies’ watches in recent years, and even Richard Mille regularly releases luxury watches for women. But there are many more interesting brands to look at, too.
Luxury Watch Brands
The market for fine wristwatches is dominated by Swiss brands, but some excellent luxury watches come from Germany and Japan as well. We’ll show you offerings from top luxury watch brands, ranging from entry-level luxury all the way to haute horlogerie.
It’s no secret that Rolex absolutely dominates the luxury watch world, outselling its closest two competitors (Cartier and Omega) combined. While most top luxury watch brands only have one or two truly popular model lines, Rolex offers several iconic and desirable watches like the Datejust, Submariner, GMT-Master II, Explorer, Oyster Perpetual, Daytona, and Day-Date.
Audemars Piguet has earned its place in the “Holy Trinity of Watchmaking” with some spectacularly finished complicated movements and amazing attention to detail. But they’re best known for their iconic Royal Oak model, launched in 1972, essentially defining and creating the sports luxury watch segment.
Many (if not most) luxury watch collectors consider Patek Philippe to be the greatest watch brand in the world, period. Although their sports watches–the Aquanaut and Nautilus–are incredibly popular, Patek Philippe has been earning their incomparable reputation for over 180 years with their grand complications and outstanding finishing.
Which watch brands are considered luxury?
Some people consider brands in the $1,500-4,000 ballpark (like Oris, Zodiac, and Longines) to be “affordable luxury,” with “luxury watches” starting somewhere around $5,000. Of course, this is entirely arbitrary, and you could argue that affordable luxury is luxury–or you could go the other way and say that real luxury starts closer to $8,000. In any case, Luxury Bazaar generally focuses on luxury watches above (sometimes much above) $5,000.
Learn more at the Grey Market Magazine
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