Independent Watch Brands

Browse our stocked Independent watches
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: www.audemarspiguet.com
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: www.ballwatch.com
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: www.bellross.com
Stocked Styles: Vintage BR : Vintage WW1
Breitling

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: www.breitling.com
Chopard

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: www.chopard.com
Stocked Styles: Mille Miglia
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: www.chronoswiss.de
Stocked Styles: Lunar
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: www.fortis-watches.com
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: www.graham-london.com
Stocked Styles: Chronofighter : Silverstone
Kobold Founded in 1998 by a fledgling young watchmaker named Michael Kobold, Kobold is an American watch company operating primarily out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. What started as an assignment for an entrepreneurship course soon became a one-man passion project selling his creations online to watch enthusiasts. As his company grew, Kobold became well-known for high quality, durable timepieces. The company has also made strides in American watchmaking, moving closer and closer each year to producing the first entirely American-manufactured watch, a goal Kobold hopes to reach by 2025. Famously recommended by renowned explorer Randulph Fiennes, the adventurer has taken Kobold watches to the summit of Mount Everest, among other expeditions he’s embarked on. Notable lines of Kobold watches include the Soarway and Spirit of America models.
Founded: 1998
Official Site: www.koboldwatch.com
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: www.oris.ch
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: www.patek.com
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: Grand Classic