With today’s smartwatches taking timepieces to a whole new level, there is a lot to be said for the regular, old-fashioned watch assigned with the sole purpose of telling time. From vintage or retro to professional, chic or sporty, wristwatches come in a variety of different shapes and sizes – all of which say a lot about you as a person. Choosing the right brand to reflect your personality and lifestyle can prove trialing at first, especially with the plethora of options out there.
A brief history of the wristwatch
The watch industry has evolved dramatically over the years. Although the exact origins of the first wristwatch remain a controversial topic, the gentlemen’s pocket watch was the first to enter the scene in the 18th century. Similar styles of the original pocket watch now make popular necklaces for women. According to the Guinness World Records, the first wristwatch was invented in 1868 by the Swiss watch manufacturer Patek Philippe. It was designed for the Countess Koscowicz of Hungary and is known as the first true wristwatch. During World War I, the wristwatch gained a lot of attention with soldiers wearing them for military purposes. Although the wristwatch once was considered a feminine accessory, its sightings in WWI well and truly secured it a place in fashion for both men and women for the rest of time.
The changing face of the classic wristwatch came about with the introduction of the smartwatch. With pieces like the popular Fitbit, the Apple Watch or the Samsung Gear, features such as heart rate monitor, GPS, fitness tracker and music streaming brought watches to a whole new level, and continue to do so. The classic, luxury watch brands however, are incorporating the latest technological developments into their watchmaking process in their own way, all the while combining tradition with innovation in a unique package.
Whether you enjoy shopping for watches on your local high street or hunting for bargains on the various digital marketplaces, the timepiece you finally opt for could be your lifelong companion.If you’re struggling to find the best luxury watch brand for you, we’ve created a list of some of the top watch brands, and a few notes on what makes them stand out:
This Swiss watchmaking company was founded over a century ago and is currently under the ownership of the Swatch Group. Its broad range consists of a collection of elegance, tradition, equestrian, sport and heritage watches – each with the class and sophistication that the brand has become recognized for. Longines watches are normallystocked in boutique shops across the globe, but second hand models can also be found on specialist online marketplaces.
As already mentioned, Patek Philippe has been a strong contender in the watch industry for a long time. What started with pocket watches, quickly grew into one of the most respected fine watch manufacturers around. Producing some of the most complicated mechanical watches around, a Patektimepiece is a companion for life.
A top French contender, Cartier is not only well known for its wristwatches but also its jewelry. With plenty of celebrities, and even royalty donning a French timepiece, the brand is now associated with a certain elegance and class that sets it apart from the rest. The French company has a Swiss manufacturing facility where all the complications and mechanics are taken care of by a highly-skilled team of artisans.
Tag Heuer is best known for its mechanical watches with automatic movements and its notoriously motivated CEO, Jean Claude Biver, whose passion and drive has fuelled the company since 2014. He found himself particularly inspired by working with Tag Heuer, as quoted in The Hour Glass: “What I’m particularly passionate about at TAG Heuer is the history of the brand, which I’m responsible for as CEO, and the product development and innovation that’s taking place, which I love.” Tag Heuer also happens to be one of the few luxury watch brands that has been brave enough to take on a smartwatch. For the latest edition of its Connected Modular smartwatch, the company partnered with Google to develop its Android Wear timepiece.