As a retailer of luxury watches, we often encounter customers who are new to the world of luxury timepieces. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to luxury watches, to help you understand the key features and considerations to keep in mind before making a purchase.
What is a Luxury Watch?
Luxury watches are timepieces that have been crafted using the finest materials and the most precise movements. They are designed to last for decades and often feature intricate details and unique designs. Luxury watches are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike, due to their quality, craftsmanship, and exclusivity.
Key Features of a Luxury Watch
When shopping for a luxury watch, there are several key features to look for:
- High-Quality Materials: Luxury watches are typically made from materials such as gold, platinum, or stainless steel. The straps or bracelets may also be made from exotic materials such as alligator or ostrich leather.
- Precise Movements: Luxury watches often feature mechanical movements, which require no battery and are powered by the movement of the wearer’s wrist. These movements are highly precise and accurate, and can be serviced and maintained by a skilled watchmaker.
- Intricate Details: Luxury watches often feature intricate details such as hand-engraving, enamelwork, or gemstone settings. These details add to the value and exclusivity of the timepiece.
- Brand Name Recognition: Many luxury watch brands have been in business for over a century and have built a reputation for quality and craftsmanship. The brand name alone can add value to a watch and may be an important consideration for collectors.
10 luxury watch brands that are highly respected in the industry:
- Rolex: Founded in 1905 by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis in London, Rolex is now one of the most recognizable and respected luxury watch brands in the world. The company’s innovations include the first waterproof wristwatch, the first wristwatch with an automatically changing date, and the first watch to show two time zones at once.
- Patek Philippe: Founded in 1839 in Geneva, Patek Philippe is known for its exceptional craftsmanship and complicated timepieces. The company has a long history of making high-end pocket watches and is now known for its stunning mechanical wristwatches.
- Audemars Piguet: Founded in 1875 in Switzerland by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, Audemars Piguet is known for its sophisticated and complex mechanical watches. The company’s most famous creation is the Royal Oak, a luxury sports watch that debuted in 1972.
- Omega: Founded in 1848 in Switzerland, Omega is one of the most well-known luxury watch brands in the world. The company has a rich history of making precise, reliable timepieces, and was chosen as the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games in 1932.
- Cartier: Founded in Paris in 1847, Cartier is known for its luxurious jewellery and watches. The company has a long history of creating iconic timepieces, including the Tank, Santos, and Ballon Bleu.
- Jaeger-LeCoultre: Founded in 1833 in Switzerland, Jaeger-LeCoultre is known for its high-end, complex watches. The company is responsible for some of the most innovative and groundbreaking watch designs, including the Reverso, which features a reversible case.
- IWC Schaffhausen: Founded in 1868 in Switzerland, IWC Schaffhausen is known for its precision engineering and technological innovations. The company’s most famous watches include the Portuguese, Aquatimer, and Pilot’s Watch.
- A. Lange & Söhne: Founded in 1845 in Germany, A. Lange & Söhne is known for its sophisticated and precise watches. The company was forced to shut down during World War II but was resurrected in 1990 and has since become one of the most respected luxury watch brands in the world.
- Vacheron Constantin: Founded in 1755 in Switzerland, Vacheron Constantin is the oldest continuously operating watchmaker in the world. The company is known for its exceptional craftsmanship and complicated timepieces and has a long history of creating stunning watches for royalty and other elite customers.
- Hublot: Founded in 1980 in Switzerland, Hublot is a relative newcomer to the luxury watch world. The company is known for its innovative use of materials, including carbon fibre, ceramic, and titanium, and has created some of the most striking and unique watch designs in recent years.
FAQs About Luxury Watches
What is the difference between a mechanical watch and a quartz watch?
A mechanical watch is powered by a wound spring and a series of gears, which keep the watch running. A quartz watch is powered by a battery and a small quartz crystal, which vibrates at a precise frequency to keep time. Mechanical watches are generally more expensive and sought after by collectors due to their precision and craftsmanship.
How often do I need to service my luxury watch?
It is recommended that luxury watches be serviced every 3-5 years by a skilled watchmaker. This will ensure that the watch is running accurately and that any worn or damaged parts are replaced before they cause further damage.
Can I wear my luxury watch every day?
Luxury watches are designed to be worn and enjoyed. However, some models may be more delicate than others and may require more careful handling. It is also important to ensure that the watch is properly maintained and serviced to ensure its longevity.
How can I tell if a luxury watch is authentic?
Authentic luxury watches will have a serial number and other identifying marks on the case back or movement. It is important to purchase from a reputable dealer who can provide authentication papers and who has a reputation for selling authentic watches.
Choosing the Right Luxury Watch
When choosing a luxury watch, it is important to consider your personal style, budget, and intended use for the watch. Whether you are looking for a classic timepiece for everyday wear or a rare collector’s item, there is a luxury watch that will meet your needs.
At Watches of Distinction, we pride ourselves on offering the finest luxury watches from the world’s most renowned brands. Our experienced team of watch experts is here to guide you through the process of choosing the perfect timepiece for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or visit our showroom to see our collection in person.