Finding a nice watch should be the top priority for any modern man. The humble watch is more than just a piece of jewelry, it is a form of expression and a true look into a man’s character and sense of style. However, finding the right watch for you can be a challenge because there are many variables at play that one must consider.
A watch must be comfortable, look good, fit the wrist well and be versatile enough to go with many of the pieces in your wardrobe. There are many different styles of watch, however, on the list below, are 20 of the most luxurious brands, many of them offering time pieces that start at incredibly high prices, but I have also included a few quality brands that provide a better entry level for the modern gentleman looking to upgrade his watch game for a good price.
No man should be exempt from looking their best and the watches below will ensure that you always do. When shopping for a quality brand of watch, one must take certain factors into consideration, price, style, and comfort.
For many, this is the real deal breaker or dealmaker. Unless you are a millionaire, you are likely going to be shopping for a watch with a budget in mind. Now it is important to understand that many of the watch brands on this list are luxury brands and their craftsmanship and unique creations will set you back at least $800-1000, so do have that as a minimum when beginning your search, scaling up from that can be easy because there are many quality watches available from these brands within the $1000-2000 mark.
Of course, if you pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a watch, you want to make sure that you look good wearing it and that you are happy with the style. Styles can vary depending on the watch and many brands have their own unique style. So understanding whether you want a round or square clock face, or a steel, leather or fabric strap can make all the difference in narrowing down your search.
What good is buying a watch if you are not comfortable wearing it or if it irritates your skin. Many watches do take a period of adjustment, depending on the weight and the material, but ultimately, finding a watch that fits well, is not too heavy on the wrist and offers comfort is key when searching watch brands.
In terms of accessibility and price, Fossil is probably one of the most entry level watch companies on the list. They are very focused on offering style and comfort for a reasonable price and that is evidenced across their collections. There are quite a number of Fossil stores located across the United States and online they do ship to Europe as well. They have also recently released the Gen 5 Smartwatch which retails for about $175 and gives you a classic and elegant look, with all of the benefits of a Fitbit or apple watch, what’s not to love?
2. Daniel Wellington
I’m not going to lie, this is probably my favorite brand of watch on the list, purely for the stunning design and for the fact that I am a sucker for fabric straps on a watch. In terms of DW themselves, they have evolved greatly over the past 10 years and, like Fossil are one of the more accessible and budget friendly elegant watch brands. Expect to pay between $150-300 for a DW watch and expect to absolutely love it. They also do leather straps, but their all-black fabric with rose gold or their tricolour watch designs are their best sellers and for good reason (insert flame emoji here).
Now on to the slightly more upmarket brands. Their chronographs range from casual to high-end and high-tech and many of their watches come in at quite a reasonable $180-250. One of their best sellers is the Waterbury watch, it offers a beautiful brown leather strap and an expensive looking clockface with a stunning pale-yellow face. The mixture of leather and metal is modern and for its price tag of $200, it is well worth considering if you are new to watch collecting or buying.
You will be hard pressed to fins a more unique looking set of watches than the Daem brand. They are designed in Brooklyn and many of their clockface designs are artistically hand-drawn, giving them a unique and personal feel. They are then made in Switzerland, the king of watch-making countries, so you know that they are both quality in design and in craftsmanship. Expect to pay anywhere between $300-2000 but expect a unique and artistic timepiece.
Hublot has been an industry leader for a long time, and that is down to both their excellence in quality and their uniqueness in design. Their open face mechanism allows the owner to see the mechanics on the inside of the watch, which for many is an incredibly attractive and unique feature.
It is also a brand of watch that is loved by many athletes, but keep in mind that there is a reason for this, the Aerofusion Moonphase King Gold watch will set you back a cool $27,500-35,000. So get the check book ready. That being said, there are cheaper models of Hublot available, but they still range in the thousands.
Another powerhouse of the watch industry is Omega. They base their design on three elements, sport, the sea, and space. The watches have a sporty yet elegant feel to them and are in fact one of the sponsors of the Olympic Games! Many of their watches are water and shock proof, keeping to the theme of sport and sea, and many of the watches do range at a reasonable price, from between $3,000-9,000. (That may not be reasonable but I’m comparing it to the Hublot).
Back to slightly more affordable quality, Swatch is a Swiss based company that make affordable and quality time pieces. Their Golden Tac watch is only $70 for example but is made of comfortable and durable plastic that is waterproof and looks stunning with its fusion of black and gold. They also let you design your own swatch from $125 and you can choose from thousands of designs. A unique and quality brand.
A brand of watch that does not sell their items for $70 is Asorock. They are named after a mountainous range in Africa and look to model their watches design upon those African influences. Their watches have a signature monolith style, which gives a big and bold masculine shape, which for some can seem bulky or heavy, but for others is a show of quality and durability.
Their watches are usually home to a beautiful leather strap and can be bought for between $120-200. They even donate a portion of each sale to help build libraries in Nigeria, so your money is doing more than just buying a watch.
9. Talley & Twine
There is a lot to like about this unique brand of watch. Designed to be unique and go against the grain of the regular watch industry, Tally & Twine watches offer quality, sleek design, at a great price. Their all-black stainless steel chronograph retails for around $250 and has stunning monocolor design the whole way through, from the hands on the clockface to the minute dots, it is all black.
Similarly, it is also a business run by colored people, that look to give back to their community as much as they can, another great example of a brand that goes above and beyond.
10. TAG Heuer
Another brand that takes inspiration from sport and turns that inspiration into quality is TAG Heuer. A sponsor for Formula 1 racing, they often create their watches with soe form or racing theme. Many of their watches are a timeless stainless steel and the chronographs are big and bold as well, with elements of the strap design built into the face to give a sense of connectivity.
Their watches can range up to $3,000-10,000, however they do have a smart watch out as well, the TAG Heuer Connected range offer style and are perfect for the active gentleman, just expect to pay $2,000-2,500 for one.
The granddaddy of them all, Rolex is often seen as the most luxury and expensive watch brand on the market. The truth is their commitment to quality and timelessness is unrivalled. Many of their older watches even appreciate in value over time and are seen as collectors’ items. Even their newer models have an element of class to them and regardless of whether you are out for the evening, out for business, or playing sport, the all-metal design is both sleek and comfortable. Expect to pay between $5,000-$50,000, but expect to be wearing a piece of art.
Speaking of art, Panerai offer one of my favorite brand on the list for its simple and effective design. They are an Italian company, and their watches are as Italian as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. They are in fact, the watch outfitter for the Italian navy and supply them with compasses as well. Their Luminer and Radimer designs are among their most stylish and sleek and can be bought for a reasonable $6,300, which for a beautiful timepiece with hand-crafted Italian leather, is a rather good deal if you ask me.
13. Patek Philippe
It doesn’t get more luxurious than the Swiss-made Patek Philippe watches, crafted for some of the worlds leading figures, their designs range from classic and basic, to modern and complex. Their price point is extremely high, with their signature Nautilus, embezzled with diamonds, setting you back a cool $84,000. You probably won’t find them being sold in your local shopping center, but if you gave $85,000 to spend on a watch, it is a fairly good option.
A brand that is famous for its women’s jewelry as well as its incredible watches, Cartier has been a leading brand in watch creation for a long time. Their range of Tank watches are perhaps its most unique, with their rectangular face and brown crocodile leather strap. The throwback kind of design is timeless, even by todays standards and looks perfect with any suit on any gentleman. I do also love the roman numerals on the clockface, however, the $12,900 price tag, I most certainly do not love.
Similar to Omega, the Breitling brand of watches are designed for action. Made to be shock resistant and water resistant, many Breitling watches are functional in both the everyday world, for fancy events or gatherings, and for action. They also offer the option with many of their watches to change the straps, giving you the ability to have a completely new and unique looking watch depending on the occasion.
Another unique watch brand that is inspired by aviation, Bremont is a British company that bases their design off of aviation and the more mechanical side to watch making. They see the engineering of a watch in the same ways that see the engineering of an airplane. Making for a unique and complex design. The Watches themselves are expensive, ranging from $3,500-$15,000, but again, like the others, you are paying for something that is inspired by and created based upon such beauty and precision.
17. Louis Moinet
If you want to talk about art combining with watch design, you have to include Louis Moinet. Not only a designer of watches, but a painter, a sculptor and horologist. The brand itself is based in Switzerland and is often stated as being the creator of the chronograph. Their faces are truly complex and amazingly crafted, showcasing the time and effort spent on design. The price also reflects this, with their ‘Mechanical Wonders’ series of watches fetching about $18,000-$30,000.
Not only do Montblanc make pens, they also dab their hand in the watch industry as well and actually have a collection of stunning and relatively affordable watches and smartwatches. They have a series of timeless and classic collections that fetch about $1,500-$1,800 and are a great option for a watch enthusiast looking to buy a middle-priced watch.
19. Arnold & Son
Created and mastered by John Arnold, who released the first Chronometer, the brand of Arnold & Son watches are as aesthetically beautiful as they are expensive. Made with genuine leather and a gorgeous rose-gold steel frame, their Perpetual Moon series will set any buyer back between $16,000-$27500, but when you see the beauty behind the price, you will understand why.
And last but not least on the list is Tudor. Tudor is a subsidiary of Rolex and offers a similar design at a more reasonable price. The goal of the Tudor brand is to cater for the gentleman who appreciates quality design, but also appreciates a budget. Their timepieces range greatly, offering leather, fabric and steel straps, catering to all watch lovers, and their price tags range from $2,000-$6,000, a fraction of the price for a Rolex.