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Top luxury watch brands
In a world where men’s fashion remains particularly conventional, for many men, watches are the only
In a world where men’s fashion remains particularly conventional, for many men, watches are the only form of eccentricity allowed. Great care must be taken when choosing a watch… especially today, when competition from connected watches has spurred prestigious brands to compete with one another to invent new models.
Choosing a brand and model of luxury watch may be a highly enjoyable experience for watch aficionados, but it can be difficult for those who are new to the world of luxury watches, given the wide variety of options available. There are many different factors to be considered: dial display and diameter, of course, but also comfort, choice of materials, and last but not least, the brand’s reputation. Setting one’s heart on just the right timepiece is all the more important considering that it will most often be passed down to children and then grandchildren. To quote a famous brand’s slogan, « You never really own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.”
Rolex: the reigning champion
Does the king of luxury watches really need an introduction? Invented at the turn of the 20th century, Rolex takes first place year after year in Bank Vonotobel’s ranking of sales figures from the biggest houses. The brand with the crown logo owes its success to its timeless image and its capacity to reinvent itself by regularly introducing new iconic models such as the Submariner, released in 1953, or the Yacht-Master, unveiled in 1992 and designed especially for yachting enthusiasts. In just over twenty years this model has managed to establish a prominent reputation in the exclusive world of sports watches.
Breguet: a touch of history
Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVI, Napoleon Bonaparte, Michel Ney, Alexander I of Russia, George Washington, Queen Victoria, Winston Churchill… What do all these statesmen and women have in common? They all wore Breguet watches. The history of Breguet dates back to 1775 when the watchmaker Abraham Breguet set up his workshop on Quai de l’Horlogerie in Paris. Not only does the list of famous people who have owned this legendary brand read like a history textbook, its popularity has also led to its presence in many fictional works: Phileas Fogg, in Around the World in Eighty Days, Eugène de Rastignac in Le Père Goriot, or Baron Danglars in The Count of Monte Cristo, are all described as wearing the precious timepiece.
Just like Breguet, the story of Omega has intertwined with world history since its creation in the mid-19thcentury. After all, it is the only watch to have « been to the moon », as the brand supplied watches for the astronauts of the Apollo program. When Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon he was wearing a Speedmaster model. But the brand also distinguished itself by equipping Royal Air Force pilots during WWI and being the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games ever since the Los Angeles Games in 1932…
Patek Philippe, a certain concept of luxury
Another iconic name in fine Swiss watchmaking, Patek Philippe, grew out of an encounter between Jean Adrien Philippe and Antoine Norbert de Patek at the Universal Exposition of Paris in 1844. The brand has filed patents for numerous inventions (precision regulator, perpetual calendar, double chronograph, Gyromax balance…) and prominent owners have included Pope Pius IX, Princess Louise of Denmark, and the sultan of Egypt, Hussein Kamel.
Hublot, the insolence of a young brand
The quotation from Corneille’s Le Cid, « For souls nobly born, valour doesn’t await the passing of years », could almost have been coined to describe the Hublot brand. Founded in 1980, the Swiss watch maker has built up a strong reputation. The Big Bang model, introduced in 2005, has been a huge success, as has its King Power model. The brand has become famous in large part due to its popularity amongst celebrities, including the sportsmen Usain Bolt and Kobe Bryant.
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