Swiss Watch Brand Summary

A. Lange & Sohne The German watchmaker Ferdinand Adolph Lange founded A Lange and Sohne in Glashutte, German, in 1845 after apprenticing with master watchmaker Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes in Dresden. This first Glashutte workshop was staffed by stonemasons, farmers, and others with little to no technical skill but, under Lange's leadership, the company still produced precision pocket watches and helped start the Glashutte watchmaking industry. The company's main facility was destroyed in the final days of World War II and Soviet expropriation removed the name of A Lange and Sohne from the dials of watches in 1948. Walter Lange, great-grandson of the company's found, was forced to wait until 1990 and the fall of the Berlin Wall to restore his ancestor's company to its former glory. He, along with watch industry executive Gunter Blumlein, has now recreated one of the great German watch brands, carrying its illustrious lineage into the 21st century. The watch lines carried by A Lange and Sohne -- the Zeitwerk, the Richard Lange family, the 1815 line, Saxonia, and Lange 1 --are made from gold and platinum, with rare exception, and the movement of each watch is developed, produced, and assembled by the company. In addition, each movement is made from "German silver," an alloy of copper and nickel that gives the piece a very particular sheen and color.
Founded: 1845
Owned by: Richemont Group
Audemars Piguet Founded in 1875 in LeBrassus, Switzerland and still owned by its founding family, Audemars Piguet is world-renowned for their commitment to quality manufacturing methods and innovative designs. Elegance and luxury are synonymous with this brand, both qualities ingrained in their designs with a focus on tradition. This company is perhaps single-handedly responsible for the resurgence in popularity of the mechanical watch in the late 1980s.
Founded: 1875
Owned by: Independent
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Royal Oak
Ball The Ball Watch Company, established in 1891, was a response to the railroad's need for precision and ruggedness, and remains a stalwart champion of durability in timepieces. These were the first wrist watches permitted for use on American railroads, and Webb C. Ball himself was appointed as Chief Time Inspector for the Lake Shore Lines in 1891. Still working under the banner of "Accuracy under Adverse Conditions," the brand offers tritium gas light technology for nighttime use, antimagnetic shielding for less daily variation, and fierce protection against the elements. The Ball Watch Company was designed to withstand the rigors of exploration and industry, a legacy it maintains to this day.
Founded: 1891
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Engineer : Trainmaster : Fireman
Baume Mercier The two Baume brothers setup their first watchmaking house in the Swiss Jura mountains in 1830. In 1918, William and Paul Mercier entered into a partnership. Years later, in 1999, Baume et Mercier joined the prestigious Richemont group, along with such notable brands as Cartier, Piaget, and Jaeger-LeCoultre. With such good company, it is no wonder Baume & Mercier is well established as a contemporary brand that is not afraid to take risks. They have been one of the fastest growing high-end brands in the United States in the past decade.
Founded: 1830
Owned by: Richemont Group
Stocked Styles: Capeland
Bell & Ross

Bell & Ross was launched in 1992 by designer Bruno Belamich and businessman Carlos A. Rosillo and immediately became a brand focused on four guiding principles: readability, performance, precision, and water-resistance. Catering to those working in extreme environments, the designers and engineers behind their watches study the rigorous jobs of astronauts, military pilots, underwater bomb-disposal experts, and racecar drivers, among others.

Bell & Ross instruments are created with a strong acknowledgement of their rugged and efficient heritage. Taking aesthetic cues from aircraft cockpit panels, these watches are designed to be utilitarian and effective, ideally suited to the needs of the professional on the job in intense conditions.

Founded: 1992
Official Site:
Breguet The storied history of the Breguet watch begins in 1775 at 51 Qaui de l'Horloge in the center of Paris. From his shop on the Ile de la Cite, Abraham-Louis Breguet catered to a long list of famous names -- including several French kings and noblemen, Queen Marie Antoinette, and Napoleon Bonaparte -- and introduced the tact watch, the first carriage clock, and invented the tourbillon. The Breguet line is also to thank for the design of the first wristwatch, created in 1810 for Caroline Murat, the queen of Naples. Today, watches produced by Breguet maintain a tradition of classic design and elegant features, but are complemented with water resistance and advancements of the innovations made by the company's founder.
Founded: 1775
Owned by: SWATCH Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Marine : Classique

The Breitling name is almost synonymous with quality chronograph watches, for good reason. Breitling develops and finishes its own chronograph modules for its automatic watches to obtain the highest accuracy and all quartz watches feature a thermo compensated movement.

This is the watch brand that is unofficially recognized as the watch for pilots and racetrack pit-crew members due to their incomparable chronograph timing accuracy. About 5% of Breitling's customers are pilots and several Breitlings have been to space including the Cosmonaute and Aerospace.

Founded: 1884
Official Site:
Cartier Cartier, as part of the Richemont group, could easily refer to themselves as jewelers first, and watchmakers second. This can be attributed to their large line of rings, necklaces, purses and charms that carry the same characteristics as their watches: elegant and refined without being over-the-top. Don't get the wrong idea, however, because while Cartier watches are stylish, their functionality is akin to the caliber of other leading brands today.
Founded: 1847
Owned by: Richemont Group
Official Site:

Chopard was founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in a workshop in Sonvilier, Switzerland, where the then 24-year-old watchmaker initially focused on developing precision pocket watches and chronometers. The company expanded and moved to Geneva in 1937 after Louis-Ulysse made a tour of eastern Europe, Russia, and Scandinavia, garnering new clientele -- including Tsar Nicolas II of Russia and his court.

After the 1963 acquisition by Karl Scheufele II -- who helped modernize the company and added a jewelry division to the enterprise -- Chopard began making headlines: the introduction of the Happy Diamond family, in 1976; in 1988, the company paired with Mille Miglia and began producing watches to commemorate the Italian racing tradition; and in 1996 the company began producing mechanical L.U.C. movements, their name a memorial to the company's founder. This was the same year the company's calibre 1.96 movement was introduced, a piece of horological technology that is considered one of the finest Swiss automatic movements currently produced. One year later, the movement made its debut inside L.U.C. 1860, which was voted "Watch of the Year" by Montres Passion. Throughout their lines of watches, from the Classic family to Happy Diamonds to their Imperiale line, Chopard strives to uphold its core values: independence, quality and excellence, heritage, respect, and audacity.

Founded: 1860
Owned by: Independent
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Mille Miglia
Stocked Styles: Challenge
Daniel Mink
Stocked Styles: Professional Diver
Ebel EBEL (Eguene Blum et Levy) was founded in 1911.  The company rose to significance primarily as a manufacturing and assembly plant for other watchmakers under the leadership of the family founders.   A partnership with Cartier helped launch the company into the modern era.  In 1972 Ebel launched a collection which cemented their high luxury status.   The Movado group acquired Ebel in 2003 from LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Moet & Hennessy).   The acquisition was intended to allow the Movado group to move further upmarket.  The 1911 line is a tribute to the founding of Ebel.  Particularly desirable 1911 models utilize the company's in-house Ebel calber 137 chronograph movement which is C.O.S.C. certified.
Founded: 1911
Owned by: Movado Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Classic
Epos Epos was founded in 1925 by Jean Aubert, a former engineer of Valjoux and Landeron. Today, Epos is known for its in-house innovations, complications developed by the son-in law of the founder and watch engineer in chief, Jean Fillon. The Jumping hour, power reserve, big date and regulator complications have been constructed on base calibers from Unitas or Peseux. These complicated models have lavishly hand-decorated movements, with crystal display backs.
Stocked Styles: Carre : Tonneau
Fortis Fortis, a Grenchen-based company established in 1912 by Walter Vogt, is best known as the official timepiece supplier for the Russian space Program. Since 1994, a Fortis watch has been part of the Cosmonauts' official equipment, worn during flights onboard the International Space Station and even keeping time during spacewalks and extra-vehicular activities. The 1926 Harwood model, the first factory-produced automatic wristwatch, was launched after a collaboration with the design's inventor, John Harwood. Eleven years later, Fortis celebrated their 25th anniversary with their first line of chronographs, a design that has become the Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chronograph Automatic Alarm. In addition to their partnership with the Russian space program, Fortis also supplies watches for the Mars 500 project, a long-term experiment testing the feasibility of sending a manned mission to Mars.
Founded: 1912
Owned by: Independent
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Marinemaster : B-42
Franck Muller While the Franck Muller manufacture has only been in existence since 1991, the man behind the name himself has been working on watches his entire life. The end product of a collaboration between Muller and watchcase designer Vartan Sirmakes, the company now produces around 40,000 exquisite timepieces a year from their "Watchland" headquarters in Genthod, Switzerland, not too far from Geneva. Emerging as they did during the quartz revolution of the early nineties, Franck Muller introduced new cases -- their Cintree Curvex case, meticulously crafted to curve in three dimensions -- and began using brighter colors on their dials, another industry first, that kept them on the leading edge of watch design and kept clients returning for new pieces. Added to their use of complex movements, these changes lent themselves to a more modernized style and kept the brand's name at the forefront of the mechanical watchmaking industry. The company introduces new lines each year in their annual World Premiere; past premieres have included the Evolution 3-1, the first three-axes tourbillon; the Aeternitas Mega 4, which, at 36 complications and 1483 components, is the most complicated wristwatch in the world; and the Giga Tourbillon, a timepiece that contains a 20mm tourbillon and four 16mm paired barrels, giving it a power reserve of 10 days. These, along with other lines like Secret Hours, Vegas, the Conquistador series, and Color Dreams, attest to Franck Muller's well-earned title of "Master of Complications."
Founded: 1991
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Master Banker
Glashutte Original The tiny town of Glashutte in Germany saw a revival of their historic watchmaking industry after the reunification of Germany. Glashutte Original is the successor to a number of smaller manufacturers that were forced to conglomerate after World War II. Glashutte Original has an extensive facility, where they produce and finish parts in-house for their manufacture movements. Traditional elements of Glashutte watchmaking include a three-quarter plate, swan-neck fine adjustment, Glashutte ribbing, and double sunburst decoration. These features along with a low production of only a few thousand pieces per year make the watches desirable to collectors of fine timepieces.
Founded: 1994
Owned by: SWATCH Group
Stocked Styles: Senator
Graham Graham is part of the British Masters, a combination of English and Swiss watchmaking heritage, which also includes Arnold & Son. George Graham is considered to be the father of the chronograph, so it is no surprise that the only watches produced by this brand are chronographs. In the tradition of British sports racing, they are predominantly left-hand chronographs, which allow for better use while driving. These oversized wrist-machines combine well-designed column-wheel chronograph movements with lever activated controls to achieve a completely unique timepiece.
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Silverstone : Chronofighter
Hublot Hublot is an infant brand among the centuries-old Swiss giants with which it competes, yet within years of its founding in 1980 became known as the watch of European royalty. Within months of its introduction the Hublot had caught the eye of the King of Greece, quickly followed by the King of Spain, the King of Sweden and the Prince of Monaco. Few brands can claim such a speedy successful rise as Hublot. Hardly a watch enthusiast can be found today without at least one rubber-strapped watch in their personal collection - they are standard equipment on sport watches, but at the time the Hublot (French for porthole) was introduced, rubber was not to be found on a fine timepiece. The rubber strap is specially made to not crack or stain, it is chemically fused with steel for strength and mixed with a rare and potent vanilla to eliminate the odor associated with rubber.  New elements and materials are being brought together to form pieces such as the Big Bang. We are proud to offer many pieces from the classic Hublot line, luxurious, but not flashy, comfortable, but not dressed-down.  LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) recently added the Hublot brand to its growing portfolio of watch companies which include Zenith, TAG Heuer, Chaumet, Fred, Dior and DeBeers.
-- Read more about The Story of Hublot
Founded: 1980
Owned by: LVMH Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Big Bang : Elegant

The International Watch Company was established in 1868 by Florentine Ariosto Jones, an American engineer and watchmaker, in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, with the assistance of manufacturer and industrialist Johann Heinrich Moser. Its location in Schaffhausen makes the IWC the only major Swiss watchmaker to set up shop in eastern Switzerland.

Their Ingenieur model of watches -- a design based on the classic IWC Pilot Watch, a line made for the British Royal Air Force in the 1940s -- are specifically designed to counter the effects of external magnetic fields, making them ideal for pilots. The company's Portuguese line is designed for the avid boater; the Da Vinci family of watches pays tribute to the Renaissance inventor; the classic lines of the Portofino line recall Hollywood of the 1950s and movie stars' love for the Italian fishing village; and the IWC's Aquatimer series, along with their support of the Charles Darwin Foundation's preservation efforts, shows the company's history and respect for the diving community.

Founded: 1868
Owned by: Richemont Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Aquatimer : Portuguese : GST : Da Vinci : Ingenieur
Jaeger-LeCoultre Part of the Richemont group's Haute Horlogerie division, Jaeger Le Coultre is a fully fledged Manufacture, whose in-house movements grace not only their own prestigious timepieces, but often lend their prestige to other high-end brands. Antoine LeCoultre founded the brand in 1833 but it was not until 1866 that his son would transform the workshop into a manufacture. Paris watchmaker Edmond Jaeger did not join his name to the company until 1903. He brought with him ultra-thin movement calibers as well as a prestigious customer for the movements, Cartier. Today, the company is well known for a number of achievements, including the Reverso, the Memovox automatic alarm watch and the Atmos clock.
Founded: 1833
Owned by: Richemont Group
Stocked Styles: Master
Founded: 1998
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Soarway

Auguste Agassiz began working in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, for a Comptoir (a trader of watch parts in 1832, and began the legacy of Longines when he and two associates took over the business the following year. The brand wouldn't be officially registered until the 1880s, after expanding their business, helping to industrialize Swiss watchmaking culture, and producing their first movements.

In 1919, Longines was named the official supplier for the International Aeronautical Federation, a move that would link the company to aviators for decades to come. Four years after Charles Lindbergh's non-stop transatlantic flight of 1927, the company began to produce the watch designed by the aviator for air navigation -- the Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch, which is still produced today.

The company's first digital watch, the 1972 Longines Liquid Crystal Display, was also an industry first, and in 1979, they introduced the Feuille d'Or, a quartz watch just 1.98mm thick. Longines has had a hand in timekeeping for aviation competitions, baseball and basketball, equestrian sports, Formula One racing, tennis, and the Tour de France.

The brand was acquired by the Swatch Group in 1983. Their lines include the DolceVita and PrimaLuna collections, the Longines Master Collection, the diving watches of the HydroConquest line, and the Heritage Collection.

Founded: 1832
Owned by: SWATCH Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Admiral : Master Collection
Maurice Lacroix  
Founded: 1975
Official Site:
Owned by: Movado Group
Stocked Styles: Verto
Nomos Glashutte
Founded: 1990
Stocked Styles: Orion
Omega Founded in 1848 by the 23-year-old Louis Brandt in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Omega began its existence as "Louis Brandt et Freres" and would eventually become a watch trusted by Olympic officials, favored by the latest incarnations of James Bond, and worn by the first men to step foot on the moon. The company's first self-produced calibres, including the Labrador and Gurzelen, ensured the celebrity of the brand by the 1880s and inspired its renaming after the development of the 1894 Omega calibre. In 1904, the company passed to four young people, including Paul-Emile Brandt, who forged the merger of Omega and Tissot into the Societe Suisse pour L'Industrie Horlogere in 1930. Over the next several decades, the SSIH either absorbed or created around 50 companies and became Switzerland's number one watch producer. Weakened by the influx of quartz watches and economic downturn in the 1970s, the company went through several upsets and acquisitions to emerge as the Swatch Group in 1998.
Founded: 1848
Owned by: SWATCH Group
Official Site:

Officine Panerai Firenze started suppling the Italian Navy with precision instruments such as calculators, fuses for torpedos, depth meters, and compasses in the 19th century. The demand for an extremely water proof time piece with luminous hands for legibility, led them into the world of horology. Over the past 145 years, the company has evolved from basic blunt instruments into one of the most sought after brands.

Panerai was very quiet through the second half of the 20th century, until the Richemont Group (then Vendome Luxury Group) bought the company in 1997. Richemont relaunched many of the models and they were an immediate international hit.

Founded: 1860
Owned by: Richemont Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Luminor : Radiomir
Patek Philippe

One of the most exclusive brands of fine timepieces, Patek Phillippe has been in the watchmaking business since 1839 when a pair of Polish entrepreneurs, businessman Antoine Nobert de Patek and watchmaker Francois Czapek, began making pocket watches in Geneva. In 1845, French watchmaker Jean-Adrien Phillippe joined the company, and in 1851, the company's name was changed to Patek Phillippe S.A. The company's 80+ patents are just one of its claims to fame; others include its royal customers -- including Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Hussein Kamel, and Countess Koscowicz of Hungary, for whom they created the first Swiss wristwatch -- and a long history of experimental innovation, including some of the world's most complicated horological creations.

To celebrate Patek Phillippe's 150th anniversary in 1989, the Calibre 89 pocket watch -- which has 39 complications, including the date of Easter, sunrise, sidereal time, and a 2,800 star chart -- was produced, and became the world's most complicated timepiece. All of their more common pieces incorporate the same fine manufacturing, elegant styling, precision craftsmanship, and precious materials in their production.

Founded: 1839
Owned by: Independent
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Annaul Calendar

Established in London in 1905 by 24-year-old Hans Wilsdorf, Rolex has become one of most recognized brands in fine wristwatches. Among the company's most important achievements: the first watertight watch design, the 1926 Oyster; the world's first self-winding mechanism, the perpetual rotor, in 1931; the 1945 Datejust was the first watch to automatically change its date; and Rolex carries the distinction of having the first chronometer certification for a wristwatch.

Rolex watches have been worn from the peak of Everest to the depths of the Mariana Trench, and constantly make appearances everywhere in between. Designed for strength and reliability but with a refined appearance, Rolex watches are a standard among explorers, connoisseurs, and executives.

Founded: 1905
Owned by: Rolex SA
Official Site:
Romain Jerome

Romaine Jerome was born in 2004 and quickly became known for its unique approach to watches: incorporating the material DNA of legends. Each of the brand's watches incorporates the spirit and materials of a modern legend, combining tributes to historic events with a reliable timepiece within a robust and attractive design. The brand's Titanic-DNA line incorporates steel scavenged from the infamous wreck into the bezel; pieces in the Moon-DNA line use metal from the Apollo 11 crafts, authentic moon dust, and fibers from ISS spacesuits; and the Eyjafjallajokull-DNA watch dials are made from slices of cooled lava while the bezel contains volcanic ash from the volcano.

Each collection pays homage to an event that will live on in the world's memory. In addition to their DNA lines, Romaine Jerome also offers Capsule collections -- lines that commemorate the contemporary world, drawing their inspiration from classic video games like Space Invaders, cars like the Delorean, and the artistic designs found in the culture surrounding el Dia de los Muertos.

Founded: 2004
Official Site:
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: P-Series
TAG Heuer

A legend in sports timing and official timekeeper of the Indy Racing League. While the company was founded in 1860, the legend of Heuer was born during the Olympic Games of the 1920s. The games were measured by the Mikrograph, designed by the son of the company's founder, it was capable of measuring 100ths of a second with its balance beating at 360,000 oscillations per hour. In 1985, Heuer joined Group TAG (Techniques of Avant-garde). Several models honor the company's long history of sponsoring teams and timing the worlds most famous races - The Monaco Grand Prix, the Carrera Pan-Americana and the Formula One Italian Grand Prix.

TAG Heuer continues to move this brand upmarket, introducing Chronometer certified movements in many models including the Link Calibre 6 and the recently announced Calibre 8 movement for the Grand Carrera GMT as well as an upgraded Calibre 17 RS movement for the Grand Carrera Chronograph. A Zenith designed Calibre 36 Chronograph movement, also Chronometer certified, is available in both the Link and Monza model line.

Founded: 1860
Owned by: LVMH Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Aquaracer : Link : Formula : Carrera : Monaco
Owned by: Rolex SA
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Heritage : Ranger
Tutima The Tutima Military Air Force Chronograph is largely responsible for the popularity the brand enjoys today. The adoption by German Air Force NATO pilots over Breitling and IWC was quite a coup for this former ebauche manufacturer turned watchmaker. Tutima nearly didn't survive World War II and the quartz shock of the 1980s. Today Tutima manufactures exclusively in Germany using movements from Switzerland.
Owned by: Independent
Stocked Styles: Valeo
Ulysse Nardin

In 1846, a 23-year-old watchmaker named Ulysse Nardin settled in Le Locle with the knowledge imparted on him by his father, Leonard-Frederic Nardin, and master watchmaker Frederic-William Dubois to create marine chronometers. For decades, the Ulysse Nardin company created chronometers for navies that set a high standard and were used by more than 50 armadas around the world.

Now, the company produces intricate mechanical watches, though their Marine line harkens back to the company's early days. After the 1983 acquisition by businessman Rolf Schnyder (in collaboration with watchmaker Ludwig Oechslin), Ulysse Nardin released their Trilogy of Time set -- the Astrolabium Galileo Galilei, the Planetarium Copernicus, and the Tellurium Johannes Kepler -- over the course of several years. The Astrolabium Galileo Galilei was named the world's most functional watch in 1989 by the Guinness Book of World Records, adding to the more than 4,000 awards won by the company. Other award-winning pieces by the company include the Freak Blue Phantom, a tourbillon watch with no real case, crown or hands, and the GMT +- Perpetual, which combines a perpetual calendar with the ability to move the hour back or forth with one-press buttons.

Founded: 1846
Owned by: Kering Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Marine : Sonata : El Toro
Founded: 1865
Owned by: LVMH Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Port Royal : Captain
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