17.11.2023 - Audemars Piguet

What are the top European watch brands?

Europe is home to several renowned watchmaking brands known for their precision, craftsmanship, and luxury. 

The brands who make the top list are renowned for their heritage, innovation, and commitment to producing some of the finest timepieces in the world.  With some of the most popular brands being made in Switzerland, Swiss makes feature heavily in our top European watch brands list.

While consumer preferences and market dynamics can change over time, factors like  economic conditions, shifting trends, and the emergence of new competitors may influence the popularity of watch brands.  Additionally, the best-selling watch brands can vary by region and may be influenced by local tastes and preferences.

According to Statista, Rolex made around 9.7 million US dollars in sales revenue in 2022, making it the leading luxury watch brand in the world.  Cartier came in second was quite a significant gap between Rolex and Cartier in second place.

So without further ado, here are our top 10 European watch brands

  1. Rolex (Switzerland)

Dating back to the early 20th century, Rolex is one of the most iconic and prestigious watch brands globally, known for its high-quality and durable timepieces. Its watches hold their value well in the resale market, making them an attractive buy for consumers as they see it as not only a luxury item, but a potential investment.

With timeless designs, Rolex watches appeal to many. With such exacting standards in quality control, the craftsmanship is unrivalled and with its use of high-quality materials including premium metals and precious stones, it takes some beating as a brand.

  1. Cartier (France)

While originally a French company, Cartier is now headquartered in Switzerland. It is known for its elegant and luxurious watches. 

With Kate Middleton, Jay-Z and Angelina Jolie among its fans, Cartier has a rich history dating back to its founding in Paris in 1847. Over the years, the brand has become associated with royalty, celebrities, and the elite. The heritage and historical significance of the brand add to its appeal.

Cartier is known for creating iconic and timeless designs. The Tank, Santos, and Ballon Bleu de Cartier are among the brand’s most famous watch collections, characterised by distinctive shapes and attention to detail. The brand uses quality materials, precision movements, and meticulous finishing, contributing to the overall durability and performance of its timepieces.

  1. Omega (Switzerland)

Omega is a Swiss watchmaker that has gained fame for its association with the James Bond film franchise, the Olympic Games and of course, the Apollo 11 mission.

The Swiss brand is known for its commitment to precision and innovation in watchmaking. The brand has developed numerous groundbreaking technologies, including the Co-Axial escapement, which enhances the accuracy and longevity of mechanical watches.

4. Audemars Piguet (Switzerland)

Well known for its Royal Oak series, Audemars Piguet is yet another Swiss manufacturer of luxury watches. 

The recognisable model, introduced in 1972, was designed by Gerald Genta, and was the world’s first luxury sports watch made of stainless steel, challenging traditional perceptions of luxury timepieces.

The brand often produces limited-edition watches, contributing to its exclusivity and collectibility. These limited editions can feature unique designs, materials, or complications.

5.   Patek Philippe (Switzerland)

Patek Philippe is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer with a long history of producing high-end, intricate timepieces.

Whilst honouring a rich history dating back to 1836, Patek is best known for its innovation.  The company has introduced several technical advancements and innovations in the industry, showcasing a dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in watchmaking.

Patek Philippe made 1.9 million dollars in sales revenue in 2022, taking it to 5th position in the world leaders of global luxury watch sales.

6. Jaeger-LeCoultre (Switzerland)

Jaeger-LeCoultre is a Swiss watchmaker known for its sophisticated and innovative timepieces. It offers a diverse range of watches, from classic and elegant timepieces to sportier models. This versatility allows Jaeger-LeCoultre to cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

Certain Jaeger-LeCoultre models have achieved iconic status in the watch world, such as the Reverso, which has a distinctive rectangular case that can be flipped to protect the dial. The Reverso’s timeless design and historical significance contribute to its enduring popularity.

7. IWC Schaffhausen (Switzerland)

IWC is a Swiss watch manufacturer that produces both luxury and aviation-themed watches. Best known for using high-quality materials in the construction of its watches, some materials used include stainless steel, gold, platinum, and innovative materials in some of the newer models.

IWC watches often feature advanced and complex movements. The brand has a history of developing and manufacturing its own movements, showcasing technical prowess and innovation in the world of horology.

8. A. Lange & Söhne (Germany)

A. Lange & Söhne is a German watchmaker known for its high-quality and precision in watchmaking. 

Often featuring in-house movements that are intricately designed and meticulously finished, the movements are often visible through a transparent case back, showcasing details such as hand-engraved balance cocks, gold chatons, and other high-end finishes.Dials are often simple, elegant, and highly legible, with a focus on readability.

9. Vacheron Constantin (Switzerland)

Vacheron Constantin is one of the oldest Swiss watch manufacturers, producing luxury timepieces since 1755. The brand has a long and prestigious history, and it has consistently maintained a commitment to traditional craftsmanship and watchmaking techniques.

Vacheron Constantin watches are renowned for their meticulous craftsmanship. Each timepiece undergoes extensive hand-finishing, with skilled artisans working on details like beveling, engraving, and polishing to achieve a level of excellence.

10. Chopard (Switzerland)

And last in our top 10, but by no means least it’s Chopard, the Swiss luxury watch and jewellery brand that is recognised for its craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Chopard is renowned for using high-quality materials, including precious metals and gemstones, in its watchmaking. The brand is committed to maintaining a high level of craftsmanship in the creation of its timepieces.

It’s one of the few luxury watch brands that produce its own movements. The company has its own manufacture, Chopard Manufacture, which designs and produces both the mechanical and quartz movements used in their watches. This contributes to the exclusivity and uniqueness of their timepieces.

Need assistance?

These brands are renowned for their heritage, innovation, and commitment to producing some of the finest timepieces in the world. Keep in mind that the watch industry is dynamic, and new brands may emerge while existing ones evolve over time.

If you need help to find your next luxury watch, we would love to help out. Visit us at our Epping boutique or call our helpful team.