Best Swiss Watch Brands Hierarchy

From Entry-Level to Top Tier: Explore Swiss Watch Brands Hierarchy

Your guide to the best Swiss watch brands: Understand price trends, historical significance, and craftsmanship from Tissot to Patek Philippe.
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The Swiss watch industry, renowned for its precision and craftsmanship, offers a diverse range of timepieces that cater to various segments of the market. This article explores the spectrum of Swiss watch brands, from entry-level options like Tissot and Longines to ultra-luxury names like Richard Mille and Audemars Piguet. It delves into the heritage, innovation, and price points that define each brand, providing a comprehensive guide for enthusiasts and potential buyers.

Best Entry-Level Swiss Watch Brands


Tissot Best Entry-Level Swiss Watch Brands

Because of its low price and famous Swiss-made label, a Tissot is a great first luxury watch. You can be sure that a Tissot watch is accurate, precise, and made with Swiss technical know-how, but it's still a good idea to learn about the main styles to make sure you buy the right one.

While staying true to their traditional Swiss roots, Tissot has changed their skills over the years to remain a modern and innovative brand with more than 170 years of experience in making watches. Since then, Tissot has become a part of the Swatch group, which only includes the best Swiss luxury watch brands.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $409


Longines Best Entry-Level Swiss Watch Brands

We recommend Longines if you want to start collecting watches and have a few thousand dollars to spend. Longines makes a wide range of watches, including dress watches, military watches, chronographs, and divers' watches.

All of them have brilliant designs and reliable movements. You can also easily get into the antique market with Longines, which has models from almost 100 years ago. Additionally, their Heritage watches are some of the classiest modern watches in their price range.

Longines is a good quality watch for the price. A lot of the brand's models are driven by reliable movements made by ETA, which is also part of the Swatch Group. A lot of Longines watches cost around $1,000 to $4,000. However, some of their most valuable vintage watches, like their Art Deco watches or 13ZN chronographs, can fetch five figures at sale.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $1,100

Read More: 8 Best Watch Winder for Automatic Watches: Top Picks 2024

TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer Best Entry-Level Swiss Watch Brands

There are a lot of connections between TAG Heuer and racing, and the company is known for making accurate timepieces. This Swiss brand was started by Edouard Heuer in 1860 and has been a leader in the development of chronographs and sports watches. The company shows the core values of Heuer, which are family leadership and technical progress.

TAG Heuer watches are known for their sporty looks, solid construction, and high level of accuracy. The brand has been the official timekeeper for many racing events, such as the Formula 1 World Championship, which shows how dedicated it is to accuracy and performance.

TAG Heuer makes a lot of different kinds of watches, from traditional chronographs to cutting edge models. As the brand keeps coming up with new ideas, it uses cutting-edge materials and technologies in its watches, which makes them appealing to both watch collectors and racing fans.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $2,200


Tudor Best Entry-Level Swiss Watch Brands

The 1926 is Tudor's starting level violin. It was released in 2018 and is a simple, no-frills wristwatch that comes in a number of sizes and with different dials and features a Sellita or ETA movement.

As a tribute to early Tudor watches, it has a basic look that doesn't make it stand out, but it's still a good choice for a first or only mechanical watch. Like many other modest and conservative Rolex models, the Datejust or the OP is the closest relative, but since it's the entry-level model from an entry-level brand, it costs less.

For a lot of watch fans, Tudor is known principally, if not exclusively, as a maker of sports watches – and, let's be real, Black Bay watches. And yet, the 1926 is the gateway into the world of Rolex/Tudor and merits attention in its own right.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $3,100

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Best Mid-Range Swiss Watch Brands


Omega Best Mid-Range Swiss Watch Brands

Omega is another well-known Swiss watch brand that has a long history that goes back to 1848. Omega was started by Louis Brandt and quickly became known for being precise and reliable. The brand is linked to many important events in history. For example, it has been an official timekeeper for the Olympics since 1932 and NASA's first choice for timekeeping instruments on space flights.

Omega is known for making chronographs and divers' watches that are very good. When it came out in 1957, the Speedmaster made a big splash as the first watch worn on the moon by astronauts on the Apollo 11 mission. With its high level of resistance to water and durability, the Seamaster collection has long been a choice among divers and watch fans.

Omega added the Master Chronometer Certification to its watches in 2015. This means that in addition to being certified by COSC, Omega watches have also passed a set of tests by METAS (The Federal Institute of Metrology). The brand has always been dedicated to accuracy and performance, which makes it a top pick for mid-range watch brands.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $6,500


Breitling Best Mid-Range Swiss Watch Brands

Breitling has always been on the cutting edge of stylish designs and new features for watches. The brand makes a lot of different high-quality watches, from the classic Breitling Navitimer, a pilot's watch with a slide rule bezel, to the sleek and modern Breitling Premier line.

Breitling watches come in a lot of different price ranges, from cheap ones to expensive ones that are only made in small numbers. Set a budget before you start looking. This will help you cut down your choices. Keep in mind that the price of a watch can change a lot depending on its materials (like gold vs. stainless steel), features, and movement type (automatic vs. quartz).

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $6,700

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IWC Best Mid-Range Swiss Watch Brands

American investor James Buckingham started IWC in Switzerland. Using their background as a business, IWC has risen to the top since then, making a name for themselves by using new materials in their high-end watches.

Although most watchmakers use stainless steel, IWC was one of the first to use titanium because it was lighter and easier to wear for long amounts of time.

IWC is also breaking new ground by making some of their products out of pottery. IWC's most well-known watches are still from their classic Pilot Watch line, which combines new features with classic style.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $7,000


Panerai Best Mid-Range Swiss Watch Brands

Giovani Panerai started his first watchmaker's business in Italy in 1860, starting Panerai, a Swiss luxury brand. After only making timepieces for the military, Panerai began selling them to the public in 1993. Panerai watches were known for their legibility and water resistance, which are still present today.

To find the right Panerai watch, you must examine various factors. Assess your priorities, such as water resistance, movement type, and dial design. Panerai has models at various price points, therefore budget is equally important. Consider a dive watch, pilot watch, or dress watch for your lifestyle.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $10,700

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Best High-end Swiss Watch Brands


Jaeger lecoultre Best High-end Swiss Watch Brands

The Swiss luxury watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre is very well known and admired by its competitors. A lot of people think it's one of the best luxury watch companies and maybe even one of the most famous watch companies in the world that is vertically integrated. This is because, among other things, they make their own moves and many of the parts that go into them.

People hold watchmakers who can make their own movements in high regard and praise them for being able to control quality and skill right down to the smallest detail. Many of Jaeger-LeCoultre's parts are made by the company itself. Watch collectors and experts all over the world playfully call it "JLC."

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $8,700


Rolex Best High-end Swiss Watch Brands

It would be unfair not to mention Rolex, the world's most famous watch brand with 100% brand recognition. We should recognize them for their watchmaking skills, not only their status as the most famous watch brand. Rolex makes many wonderful timepieces.

It is estimated that their production is approximately 2,000 watches per day. People shout and rave about this most famous watch brand's greater average resale value than any other. Rolex is one of the most precious watch brands in the world, which explains this.

Rolex creates popular men's watches. Popular collections include Daytona, Submariner, GMT Master II, Datejust, Yacht-Master, Yacht-master II, Day-Date, Sky-Dweller, and more. As an adventurous luxury watch company, its watches have been worn at the highest peak and the lowest depth of the ocean.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $12,200

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Chopard Best High-end Swiss Watch Brands

Louis-Ulysse Chopard established his company, L.U.C, in 1860 with a focus on crafting movements and watches. Alongside esteemed brands like Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Rolex, and Oris, Chopard's company has managed to maintain its independence throughout the years, which is a rarity in the Swiss watchmaking industry.

L.U.C Chopard is renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship and is often considered a boutique watchmaker. Their timepieces rival those of esteemed brands like Patek Philippe, Jaeger LeCoultre, and Vacheron Constantin. They attract discerning customers who appreciate the allure of something unique and also value the opportunity to save some money.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $14,400


Hublot Best High-end Swiss Watch Brands

Hublot is a known Swiss watchmaker celebrated for its bold and innovative designs. Hublot made history by introducing a solid gold watch on a rubber strap, a groundbreaking move that was as daring and unconventional as pairing sneakers with a suit.

After four decades, the brand continues to push the boundaries of watchmaking, constantly exploring new materials. Their latest achievement is the ability to craft an entire watch case from a single block of lab-grown sapphire.

The brand has become increasingly popular in the luxury watch market, especially for its incorporation of unique materials such as carbon fiber, ceramic, and rubber in its timepieces. Hublot watches are widely praised for their exceptional craftsmanship, top-notch quality, and distinctive aesthetics.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $18,200

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Best Ultra Luxury Swiss Watch Brands

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe Best Ultra Luxury Swiss Watch Brands

For inventing the first wristwatch, Patek Philippe & Co. is a leading watchmaker and famous worldwide. Patek Philippe is one of the 3 Holy Trinity Watchmakers. Some of their most popular models include the Nautilus, Aquanaut, World Time, Twenty-4, Calatrava, and more.

The Graves Supercomplication, one of the most exclusive watches ever made was sold for an astounding $11,000,000 USD in 1999 at a New York auction and featured 24 complications that took 8 years to research and create.

Aside from being considered one of the best watch brands, another great accomplishment of Patek Philippe at one point was the creation of the world's most complicated watch known as the Patek Philippe Calibre 89 with 33 complications. At the time, it was the watch with the most complications. Many luxury watch purchasers consider Patek one of the most expensive and exclusive brands.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $40,000

Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron constantin Best Ultra Luxury Swiss Watch Brands

Our next famous watch brand is the world's oldest jeweler that has been in business for over one hundred years. With over three hundred years of history, this name has made watches. Vacheron Constantin is another Holy Trinity Watch brand that has been making some of the most amazing, one-of-a-kind watches since 1755.

Forbes estimates that the brand new Vacheron Constantin reference #57260, which is also known as the world's most difficult watch with a mind-boggling 57 complications, is worth $8,000,000 and is the best example of their mechanical genius. Before they did this amazing thing, they were already known as a top luxury watchmaker.

The "holy trinity" includes Vacheron Constantin, which is one of Switzerland's best watchmakers. The company was founded on the idea of achieving both technical and aesthetic excellence, which can be seen in their many successes and innovations in the field over the years. By doing this, they've become one of the best watch brands in the world.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $38,700

Read More: Top 5 Watch Winder for Patek Philippe Watches: Wind it Right in 2023!

Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet Best Ultra Luxury Swiss Watch Brands

The famous "holy trinity" of watchmakers includes Audemars Piguet. Since its founding in 1875, the company has been making some of the most beautiful watches. Their best-known line is the AP Royal Oak series. This famous collection of watches changed the game for Audemars Piguet because it was the first luxury brand to use stainless steel, a non-precious metal, in a sports watch design.

Audemars Piguet then produced its underwater version of the iconic watch, the Royal Oak Offshore series which became one of the most popular diving watches in history. As one of the trinity, AP has consistently over-delivered throughout the years and is highly respected.

Furthermore to their numerous Haute Horlogerie watches, Audemars Piguet is known for being very innovative in the fashion world and has created a number of Haute Joaillerie pieces, such as the Diamond Punk and Diamond Fury watches for women. Aperture Plus watches are also famous for their many special editions and high-complication watches, like the Jules Audemars. Their name is worthy of being in your horology vocabulary because they make great watches.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $48,400

Richard Mille

Richard Mille Best Ultra Luxury Swiss Watch Brands

The brand’s co-founder, Richard Mille, started his career in the 1970s at boutique French watchmaker Finhor (which was absorbed into the now-defunct French group Matra). After years in the industry, Mille wanted to strike out on his own to address everything he disliked about ordinary watches—to make something that would break the status quo, says Alexandre Mille, the company’s global commercial director and son of Richard. The elder Mille drew inspiration from F1 racing machines and linked the brand’s identity to sports cars.

Richard Mille was starting the company, he’d go to conventions and throw the watch on the pavement to show that it wouldn’t break. His goal was to make a stylish watch that was durable, something that could withstand anything, Alexandre Mille says. The watches are hand- and machine-tested, subjected to both small and big shocks, as well as ultraviolet and moisture tests

In a little more than two decades, Richard Mille has come out of nowhere to crack the top six watch brands by sales, with revenue rising 15% in 2022, to 1.3 billion Swiss francs ($1.5 billion), according to a 2023 Morgan Stanley report. By comparison, Audemars Piguet—founded in 1875—makes 50,000 watches per year at an average price of $51,000 each, with $2.27 billion in annual sales in 2022, according to the report.

Average Retail Price According to Morgan Stanley Report 2023: $275,000

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Swiss watches remain a symbol of luxury and technical mastery. The article effectively outlines how different brands have carved niches at various price points, sustaining their appeal in a competitive market. Whether one is seeking a starter luxury watch or a high-end investment piece, the Swiss watch industry offers options that combine tradition with cutting-edge technology, ensuring there is a timepiece for every taste and budget.

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