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
Founded: 1891
Stocked Styles: Chrono
Anonimo Firenze
Founded: 1997
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Nautilo
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: Dress
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 : BMW
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: Diamant
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:

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:
Stocked Styles: Martin-Baker
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:
Stocked Styles: Tank : Drive
Stocked Styles: G-Shock
Chanel Chanel, a name long associated with high fashion, accessories, and beauty products, established a watch division in 1987 with the launch of the Premiere line of watches. While these pieces and the following designs of the Matelasse line were financially successful, the 1999 release of the unisex J12 line truly cemented Chanel as a noticeable presence in fine timepieces. Due to the specially constructed ceramic cases of the J12 series, this line is highly resistant to scratches and must be fashioned, sculpted and polished by diamonds, one of the few materials that rates above it on the Mohs hardness scale. The marriage of the aesthetic foundation laid by Coco Chanel and the expertise of the watchmakers of La Chaux-de-Fonds allow the brand to bridge the gap between fine jewelry and fine watches.
Stocked Styles: J12
Chronoswiss The relatively young Chronoswiss was founded in 1983 by Gerd-Rudiger Lang, a master watchmaker who had previously produced movements for other major brands. Lang attached the name in 1982 to the world's first chronograph with a moon phase display and a mineral crystal back, beginning his brand with a first and continuing that standard of innovation in later years. The year 1987 saw the company find its signature design -- a screwed and channeled bezel, an onion-shaped crown, and screwed strap lugs -- as well as launch the Regulateur model, the first continuously produced regulator-style wristwatch. The more recent Timesmaster series pays tribute to racing and classic cars, while the 1993 Orea model indicated a rebirth in horological art with its hand-crafted white enamel dial. In 2012, the family-owned Chronoswiss was bought by a Swiss family of entrepreneurs who have continued the company's traditional production of precise mechanical watches.
Founded: 1983
Owned by: Independent
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Kairos
Founded: 1918
Stocked Styles: Chronomaster
Founded: 1955
Owned by: Citychamp Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Bubble
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: Casablanca : Long Island
Girard-Perregaux One of the few genuine Swiss 'manufactures', Girard Perregaux has supplied leading Swiss brands such as Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget and Ebel with its thin calibers 3000 and 3100. When making their own watches the company often uses their own calibers though they will also use a painstakingly reworked A. Schild or ETA movement. Girard-Perregaux has proven themselves to be a master of technically demanding pieces. The company holds multiple Tourbillion calibers, including the famed Three Gold Bridges originally created by Constant Girard-Perregaux in 1889. The longstanding relationship between Ferrari and Girard-Perregaux recently came to an end, but the company has channeled its love of racing chronographs to the new Laureato EVO3 and its passion for the race to the America's Cup and the BMW Oracle Team. Sea Hawks featuring the BMW Oracle logo as well as extremely rare Tourbillion models of the Sea Hawk have been produced in celebration of the union.
Founded: 1791
Owned by: Kering Group
Stocked Styles: Vintage
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: Pano
Grand Seiko
Owned by: Seiko Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Heritage : Sport : Elegance
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:

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: Pilot's : Aquatimer : Spitfire
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 : Reverso

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: Conquest
Lord Elgin
Stocked Styles: Vintage

Montblanc, which was established as a manufacturer of writing instruments in 1906, introduced their first line of Meisterstuck watches in 1997 at the Salon International de Haute Horlogerie. Designed for an energetic lifestyle in robust stainless steel cases, the Sport line was unveiled in 2000.

In a move by Richemont, the owner of Montblanc, the company was annexed in 2006 with Minerva, a watchmaker established in 1858, to create Montblanc Villeret. Shortly after this merger, the company proudly introduced the MB R100, their first caliber manufactured in-house, at the 2008 SIHH. The new division truly made its mark on the haute horlogerie world in 2010 with the introduction of their limited edition Metamorphosis timepiece, a wristwatch that converts between two faces, one a classical dial and the other a chronograph, at the push of a button. Like Montblanc's other watches, the Metamorphosis combines an elegant design and aesthetics while utilizing a creative approach to watchmaking.

Founded: 1906
Owned by: Richemont Group
Stocked Styles: Timewalker : Star : 1858
Nomos Glashutte
Founded: 1990
Stocked Styles: Tangomat
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:
Oris Founded in 1904, Oris has become a favorite of watch collectors through the years for their strict standards of quality and moderate prices. Among watch enthusiasts Oris has long been considered to be a high-value brand. For decades Oris made their watches only in steel, only recently introducing titanium and PVD into their lines. You won't find a single quartz movement in the Oris line, only high-mech automatic watches. You also won't find many price tags over $2,000, unlike other precision brands. Many variations are available for retails under $1,000.
Founded: 1904
Owned by: Independent
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Divers : Aquis

Officine Panerai Firenze started supplying the Italian Navy with precision instruments such as calculators, fuses for torpedoes, depth meters, and compasses in the 19th century. The demand for an extremely waterproof timepiece 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
Parmigiani Fleurier
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Toric
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: Gondolo

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:
Owned by: Seiko Group
Stocked Styles: Prospex

Sinn established itself as a brand for professionals from its introduction in 1961. The model lines are full of technical innovations and achievements applicable to professional (and amateur) pilots, astronauts, engineers and divers. They would send watches into space in the early 90s aboard Mir and Columbia missions. In the mid 90s the company began introducing magnetic field protection to its watches as well as revolutionary Ar-dehumidifying technology and special oils which resist exposure to extreme temperatures. During this period in the 90s Sinn would partner with Bell & Ross for a number of models including their famed "Bomb Disposal" watch.

The early 2000s saw more material improvements for Sinn, such as a lubrication free movement and specially hardened (tegimented) and sourced (submarine) steel to meet compliance standards for diving equipment. More recently, the TESTAF line was introduced in 2012 to meet the first technical standards for pilot watches.

Founded: 1961
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Chronograph : Pilot
Stocked Styles: Personal
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 : Carrera : Link : SLR

A subsidiary of the legendary Rolex brand, Tudor watches began making a distinct name for themselves from their inception by Rolex founder Hans Wildorf in the late 1940s. Wildorf had been experimenting for years with the idea of bringing a line of classic watches to a broader audience at more modest prices, without sacrificing the extremely high caliber quality that Rolex had been known for. Tudor accomplished this by using in-house Rolex cases and parts but installing less expensive, but still extremely reputable, ETA and Valjoux watch movements.

In its early days, the parallels to Rolex models were immediately apparent in their original Tudor Oyster Prince and its utilitarian diver watch alternative, the Tudor Submariner, introduced in 1958. However, Tudor began distinguishing itself with small touches to their designs, such as implementing the ‘Snowflake’ and ‘Lollipop’ hour hands, both unique choices that gave Tudor their own design separate from their Rolex siblings. This trend continued through the turn of the century and into current models, as Tudor continued to establish its own voice and style in its timepieces, operating independently of the choices of Rolex. Some more recent Tudor pieces have introduced complications and ideas never implemented by its parent company, such as stylized second hands in their women’s watch designs or alarm functions not seen in any Rolex models. Tudor’s recently unveiled designs offer even more substantial innovations, including unique and decidedly non-Rolex bracelet options and Tudor “Manufacture” movements.

Though the Rolex influence is still evident in Tudor’s timepieces, they have developed into a distinct and noteworthy brand worthy of any watch enthusiast’s attention.

Founded: 1946
Owned by: Rolex SA
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Black Bay : Pelagos
Vacheron Constantin Another very old and respected watchmaker, Vacheron & Constantin have been creating fine timepieces since their inception in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron. The watchmaking business stayed in the Vacheron family exclusively for several generations, until 1819; as the company began exporting its watches to other European countries, and continuing to gain the attention of the watch community, current owner Jacques-Barthelemy Vacheron partnered with Francois Constantin, and the pairing was complete. Constantin began travelling abroad, further increasing visibility and notoriety of their brand. Vacheron & Constantin have been behind some notable moments in watchmaking history. The company was instrumental in the development and creation of timepieces that resisted magnetic fields, or were even entirely nonmagnetic themselves. They are also the brand behind one of the most expensive wristwatch ever made, the Kallista, as well as the world’s most complicated mechanical watch, the Reference 57260; this privately commissioned piece hosts 57 complications in total and took 8 years to complete. Today, Vacheron & Constantin is a member of the Richemont Group, standing with many other proud and storied names in watchmaking including Panerai, A. Lange & Söhne, and Jaeger-LeCoultre among others.
Founded: 1755
Owned by: Richemont Group
Stocked Styles: Ultra Thin
Zenith Originally established in 1865 by watchmaker Georges Favre-Jacot, Zenith has been crafting fine timepieces of all kinds in the small Swiss city of Neuchâtel for over 150 years. Since their inception, Zenith produces its works entirely in-house, from design and creation to finalized and tested products. In more recent years, Zenith become known for its incredibly precise in-house movement, the El Primero. This caliber is widely recognized as one of the most sophisticated and accurate mechanical chronograph movements in the industry and is seen in many different models of Zenith chronographs. It was the El Primero caliber that helped Zenith come out of the quartz movement crisis at full speed, ready once again to produce fine mechanical watches. Today, Zenith watches are appreciated both for their functionality as well as their fine craftsmanship and elegant designs.
Founded: 1865
Owned by: LVMH Group
Official Site:
Stocked Styles: Port Royal : Chronomaster : El Primero : Elite