The Most Expensive Watch Brands in the World

Feb 02,2021 | 09:00 EST By Bidsquare

The popularity of luxury items is on a constant rise. Leading watch brands provide limited-edition and first-class items to collectors and other patrons. Designer brands are especially capable of blending fashion and reliability. They design and manufacture watches that live up to their prices while making a style statement. Many customers look for watches that suit both their budget and fashion preferences.

Luxury vintage watches are the product of outstanding craftsmanship intended to last for centuries. These watches can be used and enjoyed by you and your descendants. The first step in your luxury watch investment is finding the right brand. Here are some of the most expensive and quality watch brands in the world. 

Lot 2086, An 18 Karat Yellow Gold Ref. 3448 Wristwatch, Patek Philippe for Tiffany & Co., Circa 1970. Sold for $228,125 at Hindman in 2014

Patek Philippe 

If you wish to buy one of the priciest watches in the world, you might want to check out Patek Philippe. The brand is known as one of the most expensive and luxurious producers in the world. Patek Philippe watches range in price from USD 15,000 to millions of dollars. Apart from having a niche market of its own, Patek Philippe’s patrons include John Mayer, Queen Victoria of England, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert Downey Jr., Prince Albert, and Prince Louis of Denmark.

The Patek Philippe brand is of Swiss origin and is associated with luxury watchmaking. The company was founded in 1839, and its quality timepieces are now sold in many major cities. The Patek Philippe headquarters is located at Plan-les-Ouates in Switzerland.

The Henry Graves Supercomplication watch is one of the most expensive pieces sold by the brand at $24 million. The Patek Philippe 5004T sold for $3.9 million in 2013 and the 1946 Patek Rare Platinum Chronograph sold for $2.21 million.

Lot 190, Rolex - A 18K yellow gold wristwatch, Rolex, Oyster Cosmograph, Ref. 6263, circa 1969. Sold for $127,995 at Finarte in 2019

Rolex

A luxury watchmaker based in Geneva, Switzerland, Rolex has been ranked as the world's 71st most valuable brand in 2018 by Forbes. The watchmaker has three lines of watches: Oyster Perpetual watch, Professional and Cellini ("dress" watches). As of 2019, three of the world's top 10 most expensive watches sold at various auctions happened to be Rolex ones. Paul Newman's Rolex Daytona holds the distinction of being the second most expensive wristwatch and the third most expensive watch, sold at 17.75 million US dollars in New York in 2017.

The brand is known for developing and producing a waterproof and dustproof wristwatch under the "Oyster" line way back in 1926. In the subsequent year, British swimmer Mercedes Gleitze became the first Rolex ambassador and swam across the English Channel wearing an Oyster in her necklace.

Lot 314, Audemars Piguet, 'Royal Oak Jumbo Ultra thin' pink gold wristwatch, Ref. 152020R. Sold for $68,750 at Rago in 2020

Audemars Piguet 

Audemars Piguet is one of the top ten Swiss luxury watch manufacturers. The brand is associated with manufacturing and designing luxury watches and was founded in 1875. On an annual basis, Audemars Piguet releases around 36,000 watches. By the end of the 2018 fiscal year, it achieved $1.2 billion in revenue. Audemars Piguet watches are sold for between $7,000 and $850,000 each. An Audemars Piguet Geneve Leap Year Perp watch was sold in 2015 for $545,000.

The brand is also known for manufacturing the thinnest watch in the world with a minute repeating movement. The watch is called the Royal Oak wristwatch. Some celebrities who sport Audemars Piguet pieces are Lebron James, Kevin Hart, Tom Cruise, Justin Bieber, Sachin Tendulkar, James Corden, and Serena Williams. 

Lot 3002, An 18 Karat Pink Gold Chronograph Wristwatch, Vacheron & Constantin, Circa 1949. Sold for $23,438 at Hindman in 2014

Vacheron Constantin

This Swiss luxury watch brand was founded by Jean-Marc Vacheron in 1755. It is counted among the oldest luxury watch manufacturers and designers. Vacheron Constantin is known for its focus on shape, details, and style. 

Vacheron Constantin produced approximately 20,000 units in 2018. Prices for these watches range between $18,000 and $6 million. Famous individuals who wear Vacheron Constantin watches include Gustaf Mannerheim, Napoleon Bonaparte, Donald Trump, Pope Pius XI, Harry Truman, and Rick Ross. A watch owned by King Fuad I was sold in 2005 for $2.77 million in a Geneva auction. In 1979, Vacheron Constantin’s Kallista watch reached $5 million. The piece was revalued in 2016 at $11 million. 

Lot 194, Tag Heuer Monaco Twenty Four Men's Watch. Sold for $5,000 at Fortuna Auction in 2017

TAG Heuer

This Swiss brand is associated with designing, manufacturing, and marketing luxury watches. Edouard Heuer founded the brand in 1860. TAG Heuer’s watches often feature a trendy and sporty look. These watches are favored by sports personalities, politicians, fashionistas, and film stars alike. Brad Pitt, Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Patrick Dempsey, and Leonardo DiCaprio have all worn TAG Heuer timepieces.

The current TAG Heuer watches product line includes Formula One, Grand Carrera, and Aquaracer. Their watches are typically sold for between $1,500 and $10,000. Steve McQueen's Heuer, which is one of the brand's best-known timepieces, sold for $799,500 in 2012.

Lot 2010, Jaeger-LeCoultre Skeleton Reverso Platinum Number One Ref. 270.6.49, Limited Edition. Sold for $20,000 at Fortuna Auction in 2020

Jaeger-LeCoultre

Jaeger-LeCoultre designs and manufactures unique timepieces that often incorporate advanced technologies. This Swiss brand is one of the world's most expensive watch producers. Antonie LeCoultre founded the company in 1833. It is now a subsidiary of Richemont, a Swiss luxury holding group.

Over its long history, the brand released many iconic timepieces. Some of its clients include Queen Elizabeth II, Christian Bale, Pierce Brosnan, and Matt Damon. Jaeger-LeCoultre watches are priced between $5,000 and $2 million. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos 561 sold for $425,000 in 2013.

Lot 176, A. Lange & Sohne White Gold Datograph Perpetual ref. 410.038FE. Sold for 75,000 at Fortuna Auction in 2018

A. Lange & Söhne

This German brand was founded by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in 1845. The company had to stop production in 1948 but was revived by the founder's great-grandson Walter Lange in 1990. A. Lange & Söhne is currently a subsidiary of Richemont.

A. Lange & Söhne designs and manufactures timepieces in the Glashütte style. Many pieces sport more of a British style than Swiss in both appearance and design. Thanks to its innovative products, the company is one of the most expensive watch brands in the world. Some of the famous personalities who wear A. Lange & Söhne watches are Vladimir Putin and Carmelo Anthony.

A. Lange & Söhne boosted its production output to 5,000 units in 2008. Its watches are sold for between $15,000 and $1 million. The Platinum Tourbillon watch sold for $333,000 in 2005.

Conclusion

These watch brands design and manufacture timepieces that are nothing short of art. Each piece carries both style and history. Browse the wristwatch listings on Bidsquare and find the perfect brand for you.