People have been using wristwatches to keep the time for centuries. Alongside giving you a convenient way to check the hour, a timepiece also provides the wearer with a way to accessorize and show off their personality. This has been true since the creation of watches in the 1800s. Modern wristwatch companies have been around forever—some for longer than other. In this article, we’ll take a look at who has been making a name for themselves on the scene the longest.
1. Carl F. Bucherer – Lucerne, 1888
Carl F. Bucherer has been around since 1888 and is one of the few manufacturers of Swiss watches whose founding families still have ownership. They take inspiration from the spirit of Lucerne that is quite cosmopolitan, and this is something that can be seen with a simple look at the imagery of the brand. They create beautiful timepieces reflective of their hometown, and the result is fine Swiss watches that have a timeless touch.
2. Audemars Piguet – Vallée de Joux, 1875
Having been making watches since 1875, Audemars Piguet has quite a reputation for solid designs and reliable watches. The Audemars Piguet company has always put their focus on complicated watch mechanisms, something that had them standing out among other watchmakers in their prime. Today, they still create high-end, luxurious Swiss watches that take inspiration from the natural world around them, namely the water, forests, rocks, and ice that their iron is taken from. The mechanisms are based around nature and astronomy.
3. Waltham – Massachusetts, 1850
Between the years 1850 and 1957, Waltham created over 40 million watches, compasses, clocks, and other such instruments, making them leaders of their time. They were founded in Walham, Massachusetts, in the United States, though they are now made in Marin-Epagnier where the tradition of the creation of their precision instruments lingers on. The movement of each of their watches has its own serial number to allow watch owners to estimate and understand just how old their watch is, too, for a more personal ownership experience.
4. Patek Philippe – Geneva, 1839
Patek Philippe is and always has been one of the most popular known and sought-after brands of watches. This company was the one to make the very first Swiss wristwatch in 1868. The company was founded in 1839, winning awards as little as five years later for its unique hand-setting system and keyless winding mechanism. They made a big splash on the world stage when they started, and they continue to stand out among the other luxury watch brands today.
5. Longines – Saint Imier, 1832
Founded in 1832, the Longines – Saint Imier was brought to life by three men who wanted to create one-of-a-kind pocket watches featuring crown-wheel escapements, not unlike those that are made in the Swiss timepiece industry. Over time, their mechanical features began to advance, and their reputation for being one of the best luxury watch brands also grew. Today, they produce modern takes of their luxurious classics for all contemporary timepiece collectors to enjoy.
6. Gallet & Co – Geneva, 1826
Based in Geneva, Gallet & Co was founded as far back as 1826 and, today still produces some of the most iconic timepieces around. The company has been through the wringer with deaths of owners and subsequent shifts in ownership while also surviving huge devastating economic events such as the Great Depression in the United States and two world wars. Having never faltered in their sales, they continue to not only be one of the oldest watch brands in the world but also one of the most successful as well.
7. Breguet – Paris, 1775 (now made in Vallée de Joux)
Founded in Paris in 1775, Breguet is a timeless watch brand that keeps up with the trends to bring one-of-a-kind watches to modern collectors. They are and have always been known for their uniquely complicated timepieces with busy dials that do more than just keep the time and can have their wearers staring at the dials in awe. They have made such a name for themselves with their diverse creations that there have even been museums erected in their honor.
8. Vacheron Constantin – Geneva, 1755
Founded in Geneva in the year 1755, Vacheron Constantin is a long-running watch brand that has been providing elegant, luxurious timepieces since its creation. They have more than 265 years of experience, giving the company plenty of time to perfect and then reinvent the art of watchmaking. Their expertise and passion certainly show not only in the watches of yesteryear but also the ones produced today for modern audiences to enjoy.
9. Favre-Leuba – Le Locle, 1737
Founded by a watchmaking apprentice in 1737, the Favre-Leuba brand got off to a good start with knowledgeable minds making it easy for the company to jump right in. Their timepieces have received numerous awards since their creation, and even today, they prove to be noteworthy with their consistently sophisticated and one-of-a-kind designs. Today, one of their watches has hit the achievement of summiting Mt. Everest, symbolizing just how far they have come and just how reliable their watches are.
10. Blancpain – Villeret, 1735
Founded in Villeret by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain, the Blancpain watch company has been a family-owned-and-operated business since 1735. This company took the traditional way that watches were being made at the time of the company’s creation and changed the game with their new additions to the process. Today, they continue to create timeless watches that are reminiscent of the time period where the company was born while still being decidedly modern and stylish.
In this article, we have outlined ten of the oldest luxury watch brands in the world who have been providing customers with gorgeous, quality watches for years. These brands are still available for you to purchase from today so you can enjoy one or several of your own!