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10 Best Watch Brands

Shopping For The Best Watch Brands

Watches are about so much more than just telling time. A statement piece, it can be the perfect finishing touch to any ensemble. Or keep one from the right brand long enough and you may even be able to make some money. In my listicle, I’ll introduce you to the best watch brands out there.

Watches were developed in the 16th century and modeled after clocks. Can you imagine what a groundbreaking concept they were back then? Essentially a portable way of telling time, watches resembled something like an orb-shaped pendant designed to be worn around your neck. 

Fast forward another century, and pocket watches were the new norm, sleeker and more compact than their predecessors. Wrist watches weren’t officially common until the 20th century.

After they became popular, electric movement was introduced and now 90% of the world’s watches have quartz movement. Let’s get into the best watch brands and see what makes them tick.

5 Best Watch Brands

1. Rolex

Best Watch Brands
Rolex

No matter who you ask, Rolex will always be the #1 watch brand in the world. Why is it so iconic? It’s been around since 1905, founded in London, England by Hans Wilsdorf. He was just 25 when he started his company, and while wristwatches were, at the time, unreliable and often wrong, he knew he could make them so much more. And he did. 

Recognized around the world for its high-quality Swiss watches, Rolex watches never depreciate in value. That’s just one reason why so many invest in its pricey timepieces.

Another reason why the brand is so coveted? It only releases a limited number of each model. Watches range from $3,600-$86,000

Highlights

  • Iconic brand
  • Impeccable quality
  • Swiss movement
  • Limited release watches
  • An investment that never depreciates

2. Omega

Best Watch Brands
Omega

Think of luxury watches and Rolex is pretty much synonymous with the category. But it turns out that Omega’s watches outperform Rolex’s. And they are less expensive. Founded in 1848 in Switzerland by Louis Brandt, Omega has made some serious accomplishments through the years. 

Though Rolex was 007’s first watch of choice, in the later films, he sports an Omega Seamaster. Pop culture aside, Omega outdid its competitor’s dive record and pretty much blasted its magnetic resistance out of the water.

The Speedmaster Professional Chronograph was worn to the moon and was the first watch to ever get there. Prices range from $2,000-$60,000.

Highlights

  • Swiss luxury watches
  • Less expensive than other high-caliber brands
  • Outperforms competitors
  • Historic brand

3. Timex

Best Watch Brands
Timex

You probably knew that Rolex and Omega would make my list of the best watch brands, but it wouldn’t be complete without the affordable brand Timex. It’s actually been around longer than both of its competitors.

Founded in 1854 as the Waterbury Clock Company, it officially became Timex when Thomas Olsen bought it in 1941. A few short years later it officially became the most popular watch brand in America

Why do so many people like it? Because its watches are well-made, dependable, and look good. And they even do this all without being overly expensive. With a great selection of digital, analog, and water-resistant watches, you can get most under $100, though its most expensive model is $1,100.

Highlights

  • Very affordable
  • Reliable quality
  • Great range of every day & occasion watches
  • Quartz movement

4. Citizen

Best Watch Brands
Citizen

Citizen is known for its beautifully crafted watches. But it’s not just their look that’s landed them on my list of best watch brands. Their watches are also incredibly reliable and durable.

A great choice if you’re looking for high quality at a mid-range price, Citizen makes only a limited number of watches in each collection, like Rolex. 

Citizen’s history is pretty cool. Named in 1920 by Count Gotō Shinpei, the Mayor of Tokyo, the brand was officially founded by watchmaker Kamekichi Yamazaki with the mission to make high-quality watches more affordable.

Prices range from $150 for simpler styles like Ecodrive to $2,000 for the Promaster series. 

Highlights

  • Affordable, high-quality watches
  • Japanese movement
  • Collabs with pop culture brands like Marvel Studios, Star Wars, etc.
  • 1% of sales donated to support the environment

5. Casio

Best Watch Brands
Casio

Casio has the reputation of being a drugstore watch, and it is, but that also means that a lot of people are wearing one. By default, it lands as one of the top choices on my list of best watch brands. 

It’s not just Casio’s affordability that makes it stand out though, I love this brand for how approachable its watches are in general, as well as the fact that its designs keep up with luxury competitors. In fact, both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates wore Casios, which use solar-powered movement and have impressive water resistance. 

Founded in 1949 by Tadao Kashio in Tokyo, Japan, Casio has become a beloved and trusted brand worldwide. Although Casio is known for its digital styles, the brand has some impressive analog options as well.

Prices start at $15, and while the G-Shock is normally about $100, its 18k solid gold model goes for $69k. Don’t worry, prices linger around the $25 mark for most. 

Highlights

  • Most affordable option
  • Solar powered designs
  • Waterproof
  • Worn by Steve Jobs
  • Reliable quality 

6. Montblanc

Best Watch Brands
Montblanc

Known for its luxury essentials, Montblanc makes everything from pens to backpacks. Their watch collection fits in beautifully with these high caliber items, offering 5 core designs of automatic and chronograph watches for men and women. 

Founded in 1906 by August Eberstein and Alfred Nehemias, the brand got its start making fountain pens. Today, its pens have moved past the essential category, and along with their watches, make an impressive gift for friends and colleagues. Most designs hover in the $3,000-$5,000 range.

Highlights

  • Most affordable option
  • Solar powered designs
  • Waterproof
  • Worn by Steve Jobs
  • Reliable quality 

7. Van Cleef & Arpels

Best Watch Brands
Van Cleef & Arpels

Breathtaking jewelry is this brand’s specialty. It’s made our list of the best watch brands because of just how stunning its designs are. 

While more of a jewelry maker than a watchmaker, take one look at its creative collection and you might just abandon your chronograph. Founded in 1968, prices start at $600 and go up to $375,000.

Highlights

  • Jewelry-meets-watches
  • Luxury design
  • Precious gems & metals

8. Cartier

Best Watch Brands
Cartier

Renowned for its quartz movement watches, this luxury jewelry brand was founded in 1847 in Paris by Louis-Francois Carier. Creating some of the world’s most iconic watches, if it’s a meaningful look of opulence you’re after, don’t pass up this brand. 

Men’s and women’s styles range from $2,500 for a simple leather strap model to $270,000 for a diamond encrusted watch bracelet.

Highlights

  • Jewelry meets watches
  • Top tier luxury designs
  • Iconic brand
  • Quartz movement

9. Zenith

Best Watch Brands
Zenith

Zenith watches have just as notable a reputation as Rolex does, though somehow, they aren’t purchased as collector’s pieces quite as much. 

Founded back in 1965 by Georges Favre-Jacot, celebrities and public figures like Gandhi have worn this brand. A self-proclaimed master of chronograph, Zenith watches go for between $4,700 to $19,000.

Highlights

  • More affordable than Rolex
  • Automatic high frequency chronograph watches
  • Makes own chronograph movement in-house 

10. Tag Heuer

Best Watch Brands
Tag Heuer

You’ve certainly seen Tag Heuer on the who’s-who of entertainment. The brand’s latest collab is with Ryan Gosling, but its watches have been sported by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Brady too. 

Offering a collection of timepieces and smart watches, Tag Heuer was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer in Switzerland. Prices range from $1,300 to $27,000.

Highlights

  • More affordable options
  • Owned by the elite
  • Timepieces & smartwatches
  • COSC certification 

What is Considered the Best Watch? 

Best Watch Brands

Quartz movement watches are considered the best type. Using a battery as its main source of power, you won’t need to constantly wind your watch for it to work.

Additionally, quartz watches are more accurate than mechanical watches and tend to cost less too. A durable pick, all you need to do to keep your watch running is replace the battery every 1-2 years.

Which Brand of Watch is the Best?

Best Watch Brands

When thinking about the best watch brands, each of them stands out for different reasons. I love Casio because its watches are low-cost and dependable, but when thinking about a top-of-the-line watch brand, I’d have to go with something a little more expensive. 

For that, I give Omega the first prize. Although similar to Rolex, it outperforms the luxury watch giant, has been around longer and costs less. With high-caliber styles to invest in, if you’re looking for a watch that increases value with time, I’d recommend splurging on this one. 

Are There Different Types of Watch? 

Best Watch Brands

Oh boy, are there ever. Watches vary in terms of their display, movement, and style. Here are some key watch varieties below:

  • Display: Analog, digital 
  • Movement: Quartz, automatical, mechanical
  • Style: Field, sports, dress, dive, chronograph, racing, pilot’s

How Do I Pick a Good Watch? 

Best Watch Brands

These days, watches are bought to either tell the time, serve as a style piece, or track fitness stats and health vitals. No matter why you’re reading my list of best watch brands, there are questions you’ll need to ask yourself to narrow down your options. I’ll take you through the lot below.

Brand  

Looking for an iconic brand? You’ve come to the right place. All of the names on my list of best watch brands are indeed iconic in their own right. But still, one may resonate with you more than another because of its history or style. 

Usually, you’ll be able to pick out a brand that’s right for you just by browsing its collection. But if you need more information, finding out where its watches are made and how may help steer you in the right direction. 

Quality

Since this is a list of the best watch brands, they’re all of great quality. With that said, some are of higher quality than others. To make your choice, decide how often you will wear it, what you’re buying it for (investment vs. everyday piece), and how much you can spend. 

Consider The Recipient First

Not everyone searching for the best watch brands is buying one for themselves, and I get that. That’s why selecting the right brand means thinking about who you’re buying it for. If it’s not for you, think about the recipient’s style before settling on a brand.

Watch Movements And Materials

There are three main watch movements: quartz, automatic, and mechanical. Quartz and automatic are more precise than mechanical watches are, so if you want a less fussy item, go for those.

With that said, there’s something undeniably classy about a mechanical watch that you, or the recipient, may appreciate. As for materials, look for stainless steel or titanium, as well as sapphire glass, and a good quality leather strap, if applicable. 

Styles And Features 

Watches come in all shapes and forms and your first hurdle will be deciding on whether you’d like a digital or analog watch. If you go with the latter, your options really open up and you’ll choose from dress, field, dive, chronograph, racing, and pilot’s watches which vary in terms of features and number size. 

Price

The brand, materials, movement, and style of your watch greatly impact its overall price. Now, I’ve included some iconic, historic watches on my list of best watch brands, and those come with high price tags.

With that said, it’s still possible to get a good-quality watch without spending a fortune. Set your budget and look into the materials of the watch rather than the brand to find a more affordable option for you.

FAQ

Best Watch Brands

How long can a watch last?  

This depends on what type of watch you have. Automatic and mechanical watches have enough battery life for 40-50 hours, so you’ll need to wind yours every two days. If you have quartz movement, you’ll get about 1-2 years out of your watch. 

In general, quartz movement watches will last 20-30 years before their electrical pieces start wearing out. Mechanical and automatic watches can last a lifetime, but you’ll need to make sure you service them every 5-10 years.  

Is a watch a good investment?

A watch is a really solid investment for many reasons, and it’s one fashion piece that’s worth spending a little more on. Whether you’re buying one to resell it later, or because you want to celebrate a milestone in style, you probably won’t regret splurging on a high-quality watch that will last a lifetime.

Are the mechanical watches accurate? 

Mechanical watches are less accurate than quartz watches are. They can lose about 5-10 seconds per day, meaning you’ll constantly have to adjust their time. Why is this? Because the components of a mechanical watch are so small that it’s tricky for watchmakers to adjust them precisely.

How do you properly use a Watch? 

There is a right and wrong way to wear a watch. If you want to make sure you’re wearing yours correctly, follow these guidelines:

  1. Wear it on your non-dominant hand. It will get less damaged this way
  2. Place it above your wrist bone for the most comfortable fit
  3. Adjust the strap so that it’s secure but not too tight. You should be able to fit a finger between the strap and your wrist

Final Thoughts

Best Watch Brands

You’ve read all about the best watch brands, now what? Hopefully, you’ve zeroed in on the right brand and have found your perfect style.

Remember, your perfect watch may be different from someone else’s, so figuring out your preferences before shopping will certainly come in handy.


Check out our other curated lists of top brands:

10 Best Golf Club Brands

5 Best Essential Oil Brands

10 Best Bras For Big Busts

9 Best Bookshelf Brands

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