Find the best luxury watch that fits you

If you are in the market for a new luxury watch, finding the right one may be stressful. This site is designed to help you understand the basics and find a luxury watch you will fall in love with.

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Luxury watch movements

Movement Types

Movement refers to the interior mechanism of a watch that drives the timekeeping. In other words, the movement is the watch’s engine. Watches have mechanical, automatic, or quartz movements. Many brands offer each type in both men’s and women’s watches. Knowing how each movement works can help you decide which movement you would like in your next timepiece.

Movements

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Brands

With a dazzling number of watch brands out there in the same price range, it is hard to know how to separate true luxury watch brands from the new kids on the block. Here we categorize the different brands for you to help you decide which ones appeal to you.

Brands

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Components

While the movement is the part that you see and understand the quality of, a lot of people judge a watch by its looks. In order to tell a quality watch from an average one, we need to look at its components.

Watch Components

Movement Types

Movement refers to the internals of the part responsible for keeping an accurate time. Over the course of hundred years different types of movements have been developed. We are going to explain how they differ below and what you should look for. Quick note: Automatic self-winding movements are regarded the highest.

  • Mechanical Movements (Winding Movements):

    1. How it works: The most important feature of a mechanical movement is the mainspring that must be manually wound to store potential energy. This spring unwinds slowly, releasing energy to move the gears that power the watch’s timekeeping functions.
    2. Power reserve: Once wound, the average mechanical watch has a power reserve of 36 to 40 hours. You must rewind the crown on the watch case every time the energy is depleted. Usually, many users wind their mechanical watch every day to ensure it is working properly without delay.
    3. Efficiency: Because mechanical movements can gain or lose a few minutes over a month’s time, you must set the time regularly to ensure accuracy.
    4. If you appreciate the European tradition of the high quality timekeeping instruments, you may prefer watches with mechanical movements. Well-built mechanical watches often last for generations and keep their value over the time.
    Click here to watch this YouTube video on how to wind Mechanical Movements

    Shop mechanical watches on Amazon
  • Automatic Movement (Self-Winding Movements):

    1. How it works: Automatic movement is a mechanical movement with a self-winding. An automatic watch keeps the energy produced by motion to wind the spring. This movement features a rotor that spins when the watch is in motion; meaning when the watch is being worn. The mechanism transfers the energy from the spinning rotor to the main spring of the winding system.
    2. Power reserve: The watch will maintain its power reserve if you wear it every day. Most of the Automatic movements has 36 to 48 hours power reserve which will keep your watch running for 36 to 48 hours after taking it off. If you won't be wearing your watch for several days, storing the watch on a watch winder is recommended to keep it at full power.
    3. Efficiency: Like mechanical movements, automatics can gain or lose a few minutes per month, so check your watch regularly to adjust the time.
    4. Advantages: Automatic watches have all of the advantages of mechanical watches; detailed construction, durability and value keeping. And you don’t need to worry about battery change every once in a while.

  • Quartz Movement (Battery Powered Movements):

    1. How it works: Quartz movements are powered by a battery. It is called a quartz movement because the battery works in combination with a quartz crystal. The battery passes an electric current through the crystal to keep it oscillating at over 32,000 vibrations per second. This vibrating crystal drives a motor that moves the watch hands at a constant rate to keep time accurately.
    2. Power reserve: On average, the battery needs to be changed every one and a half years. A few quartz watches have solar-powered rechargeable batteries which recharges the battery by light. Seiko Watch Company features a kinetic system, also known as kinetic movement, similar to those in automatic watches, in which a rotor produces the electrical that charges the battery which powers the watch.
    3. Efficiency: A quartz movement is an extremely reliable timekeeper that only loses a few seconds per month, about one minute per year.
    4. Advantages: The greatest advantage of the quartz watch, other than its relative affordability, is the fact that the movement needs no winding to keep it working. Quartz watches require fewer time adjustments and less maintenance than mechanical watches. The most affordable watches have quartz movement, yet many high-end timepieces also use this efficient design.
  • Countries of Origin:

    1. Several countries specialize in watch movements: Most watch movements are designed and manufactured in Switzerland or Japan. Traditionally, Swiss made watches set the standard for quality, especially for mechanical movements. However, Japanese made watches have definitely caught up to the Swiss in quality.
    2. You'll find the country of origin on the watch: Manufacturers label the origin of the movement with a stamp on the watch case or the dial.
    3. "Swiss-made" is a special designation: A Swiss-made movement must have Swiss parts, be fully assembled in Switzerland and then be placed in the case at a Swiss factory. The case itself does not need to be manufactured in Switzerland, although most high-end Swiss watches feature Swiss-made cases.

Luxury Watch Brands

If you just look at the prices of watches in the luxury watch category you will see that most brands fall in the same price category. However, only a handful of these brands have been around for a very long time and have proven to deliver the value at the prices they demand. Here is a break-down of some of the more popular luxury watch brands.

Luxury watch movements

Raymond Weil

Raymond Weil is a family company founded by Raymond Weil in 1976. It provides a very fine line of entry level luxury watches. If your budget is under $2000 for a new luxury watch and you want a fine self-winding mechanical watch you should take a look at their line. Shop Raymond Weil at Amazon.

Omega watches

Omega

Omega is one of the oldest Swiss watch makers dating back to 1848. Both the British and United States armies chose Omega as their official watchmaker in 1900s. Today it provides entry to mid-level luxury watches mostly between $2,000 and $5,000. Shop Omega watches on Amazon.

Tag Heuer watches

Tag Heuer

Tag Heuer is probably one of the most commonly recognized luxury watch brand in the industry catering to entry to mid level market with prices between $1,000 and $3,000. It dates back to 1860s. After a couple of acquisitions currently it is owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy, the parent organization of Louis Vitton. Endorsers of the brand include Leonardo DiCaprio, Tiger Woods and Uma Thurman.Shop Tag Heuer on Amazon.

Patek Philippe luxury watches

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe is the Ferrari of watches. Founded in 1851 by Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe, the brand caters to the high end of the luxury market. With prices over $5,000 they certainly know how to deliver on the promise. What sets them apart is that they manufacter all of the components themselves.Shop Patek Philippe on Amazon.

Rolex watches

Rolex

Rolex is the king of mid to high end luxry watches with prices ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. First founded in London and moved to Geneva in 1919, it is one of the most powerful watch brands in the world today. It has associated itself with sporting events such as Wimbledon, Asutralian open. The introduction of the watch to the US dates back to World War II when Rolex offered to replace the Air Force personnel's confiscated watches when they were taken hostage. Shop Rolex on Amazon.

IWC luxury watches for men

IWC

IWC is a high end watchmaker in eastern Switzerland, founded by an American watchmaker in 1868. It combines a series of outsourced movements from Swatch watch company for its lower range items and in-house movements for its higher end models. It caters to the higher end of the market with average prices starting from $6,000. Shop IWC on Amazon.

Watch Components

While the movement is the part that you see and understand the quality of, a lot of people judge a watch by its looks. In order to tell a quality watch from an average one, we need to look at its components. We broke down watches into their building blocks. You can read more about cases, crystals, dials, crown, bezel, hands and straps below.

  • Watch Cases

    • Stainless Steel Cases are the most common watch case type that you will encounter in the luxury watch market. Stainless steel stands the test of time against scratches and nicks and its shine catches the eye. However, steel cases tend to be a bit heavier than others.
    • Gold Cases are also used in higher end watches. They provide a beautiful look to the watch and are the choice of many. However, there are a couple of things to watch out for if you are in the market for a gold case watch. Firstly, make sure that the gold used is 14K. If it is lower than that the resale value of the watch will be much lower than what you pay for. Also, it is sometimes common for lower end watch manufacturers to gold-plate brass cases. Refrain from those as you will be paying a premium for a low-end watch!
    • Titanium Watches provide the durability and the lightness that many look for. Their downside is that they are not well received in the high end watch community. If you are looking for a very light watch made out of titanium you may have a harder time in the market getting one.
    Below you can find a diagram of different cases in the market.
    different luxury watch case shapes
  • Crystal

    The Crystal is a glass covering the dial or the face of the watch, protecting it from dirt and water. There are three major types of crystals produced and used in watch making.
    • Synthetic Sapphire:This transparent, lab grown element has exactly the same chemicalcomposition as natural sapphire. They are strongest and the most expensive type of crystal. The majority of watches imported from Switzerland contain them.
    • Mineral: Mineral crystals are made of glass. They are less expensive and less durable compared to sapphire crystals, usually costing less than one hundred dollars to replace if damaged.
    • Acrylic:Acrylic is the most affordable type of crystal. It can be easily polished to remove light scuffs.
  • Dial

    The dial is the face of the watch. There are many ways a dial can be marked. The examples below show some of the most popular dials. A subdial is a small dial set within the main dial, used to display an additional complication such as chronograph readout, seconds, or date.
    Luxury watch dial schematics
  • Hands

    The dial is the face of the watch. There are many ways a dial can be marked. The examples below show some of the most popular dials. A subdial is a small dial set within the main dial, used to display an additional complication such as chronograph readout, seconds, or date.
    Luxury watch hand schematics
  • Crown

    The dial is the face of the watch. There are many ways a dial can be marked. The examples below show some of the most popular dials. A subdial is a small dial set within the main dial, used to display an additional complication such as chronograph readout, seconds, or date.
  • Bezel

    The dial is the face of the watch. There are many ways a dial can be marked. The examples below show some of the most popular dials. A subdial is a small dial set within the main dial, used to display an additional complication such as chronograph readout, seconds, or date.
  • Strap (Bracelet)

    Strap of the watch is usually made of leather, alligator or canvas. It is attached to the case and bound by a buckle, keeping your watch on tight. Bracelet is usually made of metal or in combination with another material such as rubber, as with link watch bands, the bracelet keeps your timepiece securely attached and looking sharp. When there is no discontinuity between the bracelet and the case, this is called an 'integral' bracelet

Our Picks

We did most of the hard work in finding the best watches for the value in the market. We considered the movements, case types and brand value of each watch and put them into price categories. Thus, you will be able to browse for the style and movement you like in the price category that fits your budget. If you cannot find what you are looking for drop us an email in the contact section.

Luxury Watches under $2,000

Luxury Watches under $5,000

Luxury Watches over $5,000

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