Top 10 Most Exquisite Watch Brands In The World 2021

Explore 10 of the best watch craftmanship in the world from some of the most exquisite brands

What makes an automatic watch so valuable and sought after? Well, Patek Philippe sums up the beauty of having an automatic watch with their slogan:

“You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.”

Unlike a battery-powered watch, an automatic, also known as a self-winding watch, has the ability to last generations and will never stop working – if it is looked after it properly! This long-lasting endurance of an automatic watch leads to many getting passed down through generations, acting as family heirlooms.

An automatic watch will usually appear to be heavier than a conventional quartz wristwatch. This is because there are hundreds of cogs, gears and jewels working inside the mechanism to give the watch the ability to harness kinetic energy and evenly it over time to allow the watch to maintain power.

When you conduct your own research on an automatic watch, you will notice that retailers will include a feature called power reserve, which is unique to automatic watches. This feature explains the amount of energy, the hairspring inside the watch, can hold before it will lose power. The more complex the mechanism the larger power reserve the wristwatch will have.

In order for an automatic watch to build up its power reserve again and maintain power is pretty simple, you have to keep wearing it. Inside the watch mechanism, there is a pendulum which rotates with the movement of your wrist, and as this moves, it will be changing the state of the hairspring.

The internals of a luxury automatic watch is a thing of elegance, and many luxury watch brands will release models of their watch which show off the movement with a clear case back.

Since the internal workings of an automatic watch are so complex, it takes a lot of time and precision to build the engine, which usually increases the pricing of this style of watch. However, an automatic watch can be built with varied complications, which usually correlates to more gears and cogs being used to make it even more accurate. But adding different features like a chronograph, moonphase, perpetual calendar functions also add to the complexity of the watch design.

When choosing to buy an automatic watch you are not just buying something that you will forget about in a few months, and then throw out when you stumble upon it years later. Purchasing a wristwatch is not like buying a car either, which instantly depreciates once you drive it out of the garage.

An automatic watch is like a piece of art, its value is not reflective of the price of the canvas but on the painting aesthetic, and the artists skill and popularity.

To find a high-quality luxury watch, it can be quite confusing, as the value and quality is less dependent on the material used and more focused on the Calibre (movement), heritage and durability.

We have created a short list of the best automatic watches under £10,000 that we could find which focus on the elements mentioned above.

A. Lange and Söhne

A.Lange & Söhne

A highly exquisite watch brand, A. Lange & Söhne is a staple of German watchmaking excellence, which has an interesting history.

It’s not just Switzerland that makes great luxury timepieces. A. Lange & Söhne has separated itself from the herd with its unique Glashütte watch style that differs from Swiss styles.

Its timepieces are distinguishable by their “austere” design. The case and the dial are usually straightforward, assertive, and cogent, offering the wearer a degree of solace.

Breguet

Breguet

The watch brand that started it all.

One of the oldest watchmakers in the world, Breguet created the world’s first wristwatch in 1812. Its exquisite watches are distinguished by their coin-edge cases, guilloché dials and the watchmakers own ‘Breguet hands‘.

Breguet watches have been and continue to be worn by many notable people including royalty, politicians, intellectuals, artists and entrepreneurs.

PIAGET POLO SKELETON MOVEMENT SAVOIR-FAIRE

Piaget

Originally a manufacturer of luxury watch movements in the 19th century, Piaget started making its own line of exquisite timepieces a century later.

Piaget began their journey by crafting elegant pocket watches and highly precise clock movements. The brand has been completely transformed through 4 generations of Piaget family leadership and is recognised today for its glamorous and daring designs.

Its exquisite timepieces continue to attract the attention of ‘high society‘ through their savoir-faire craftsmanship.

Patek Philippe 5726

Patek Philippe

As one of the oldest watchmakers in the world, Patek Philippe is regarded by many as the most prestigious watch brand in the world.

And it’s easy to see why.

Having created the first-ever Swiss wristwatch, Patek Philippe has since produced some of the most exquisite timepieces for people like Queen Victoria, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandel, Queen Elizabeth II, Pablo Picasso among many more.

Each timepiece contains an assortment of splendid decorations and subtle enrichments, making these exquisite watches very desirable.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas tourbillon skeleton

Vacheron Constantin

Being the oldest watchmaker in the world is bound to create an aura of absolute prestige.

This is exactly what Vacheron Constantin has been able to capture in every one of its exquisite watches. When it comes to the fine art of watchmaking, Vacheron Constantin has left its mark on the world through its many innovations.

These include the world’s first timepiece that is able to withstand magnetic fields, producing the world’s thinnest manual winding movement and creating the most complicated mechanical watch ever made.

The Portugieser is the oldest and favourite style in the IWC collection. It was originally launched in 1998 and was slightly restyled and re-launched in January 2020. The main difference being the clear face back.

Louis Moinet Memoris

Louis Moinet

Legendary watchmaker Louis Moinet invented the world’s first chronograph.

His legacy and heritage live on through the Louis Moinet watch brand. A truly exquisite watchmaker, Louis Moinet specialise in producing only the finest timepieces using unconventional materials and avant-garde techniques.

Each Louis Moinet watch is either exclusively made, limited edition or a completely unique timepiece.

Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph

Blancpain

Using an unorthodox approach to watchmaking, Blancpain has remained one of the most exquisite watch brands since it made its first timepiece in 1735.

With only around 10,000 timepieces produced per year, each Blancpain watch is hand-assembled by a single watchmaker. This alone makes Blancpain watches highly sought-after.

Not to mention the level of craftsmanship that goes into making each (master)piece.

Blancpain knows how to be different and stand out. At a time when quartz movement was the standard, the watchmaker chose to go a different route. Its famous slogan is “Blancpain has never made a quartz watch and never will.“

 

Roger Dubuis THE KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE

Roger Dubuis

The newcomer that took the world of luxury watches by storm.

Roger Dubuis was only founded in 1995, but has already managed to capture the hearts and the imagination of watch enthusiasts from around the world. Specialising in fine skeleton watchmaking, Roger Dubuis creates exquisite watches that are made up of several hundred components finished by hand.

Its bold and daring designs have allowed the brand to stand out from the rest and appeal to those who want to be different. Extravagance and an unorthodox approach to watchmaking are at the core of Roger Dubuis.

Recognised for its extraordinary work, Roger Dubuis has been awarded the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva.

Jaeger-LeCoultre reverso tribute minute repeater savoir faire

Jaeger-LeCoultre

Regarded as one of the most prestigious watchmaking brands in the world, Jaeger LeCoultre has changed the landscape of the luxury watch market.

Having developed hundreds of innovations and over a thousand movements, Jaeger LeCoultre has been able to produce some of the most exquisite timepieces in the world.

These include the smallest movement in the world, the world’s most complicated wristwatch (Grande Complication) and a near-perpetual clock (the Atmos clock).

Audemars Piguet and Mark Ronson partnership

Audemars Piguet

This Hollywood-favorite watch brand has been family-owned since it was founded in 1875.

Audemars Piguet or AP for short has proven to be one of the most exquisite watch brands in 2021. AP is famed for its Royal Oak watch collection, which became the world’s first luxury steel sports watches.

The design of this highly sought-after timepiece was inspired by the design of early diving helmets.

It’s creator, Gerald Genta, thought that “if the screws gripping the helmet’s faceplate were strong enough to avert water from getting in, the same can be applied for a watch”.

With around 90 per cent of the AP watches sold today is from the Royal Oak collection, it’s clear that he made the right choice with his design.

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