The Rankings

The following list contains over 360 watch brands ranked in a pecking order hierarchy from Entry level to Ultra Luxury based on their typical price point, quality and exclusivity delineating between Swiss and non-Swiss brands:

CategoryLuxury StarsTypical Price Point
Ultra Luxury Watches5 Stars>$40,000
High-End Luxury Watches4 Stars$10,000 - $40,000
Luxury Watches$5,000 - $10,000
Basic Luxury Watches$1,500 - $5,000
Entry Luxury Watches1 Star$500-$1,500
Watches< $500 

See our FAQs on why certain watch brands are placed in a particular category.  If a watch brand does not have a hyperlink it is because the brand is not in business anymore.  In addition, watch brands that stand out within their respective category are decorated by the red heart symbol:

Last updated July 12, 2020 - view the change log here and if the watch brand you're looking for is not ranked then check the rankings in progress here.

Ultra Luxury Watches Attributes:

  • > $40,000
  • Superb Heritage/Pedigree
  • Exclusivity (Limited Quantities)
  • May not have the best resale value
  • Small niche boutiques (Independents)
  • Impeccable Handmade Craftsmanship
  • Brand recognition in horology circles
  • Complex Automatic In-House Movements
  • Precious Metals and Stones
  • Sapphire Crystal

High-End Luxury Watches Attributes

  •  $10,000 - $40,000
  • Superb Heritage/Pedigree
  • High resale values
  • High Quantities (on most pieces)
  • May have famous very expensive rare pieces
  • Brand recognition by greater public
  • Complex Quality Automatic Movements, most In-House
  • Impeccable Craftsmanship, often Handmade
  • Precious Metals and Stones
  • Sapphire Crystal

Luxury Watches (Swiss) 3 Stars

Luxury Watches (Other countries) 
3 Stars

Luxury Watches Attributes

  • $5,000 - $10,000
  • Respected Heritage/Pedigree
  • High resale values
  • Mass Production, some rare pieces
  • Quality Automatic Movements, some In-House
  • Great Craftsmanship
  • Some Precious Metals and Stones
  • Sapphire Crystal

Basic Luxury Watches (Swiss) 2 Stars

Basic Luxury Watches (Other countries) 2 Stars

Entry Luxury Watches (Swiss) 1 Star

Entry Luxury Watches (Other countries) 1 Star

 Watches (Swiss) 0 Stars

Watches (Other countries) 0 Stars

New: View the ranking list change log here.

Why is your watch brand not here?  First check if the ranking analysis for the watch you're looking for is currently in progress here.  If it's not there, well, we may have missed it.  Tell us in the comments where it should be ranked at on the list.  OS

401 thoughts on “The Rankings

  1. Irfan says:

    There is a watch brand called Aries Gold based in Singapore that makes some fine looking watches as well. Perhaps you can look into it and maybe add to the list.

  2. Lizabeth says:

    I don’t understand how these are “rankings”. Except for a few widely scattered hearts (appearing low and high in the listings), there appears to be no distinction of “better” or “worse” brands. Indeed, each category is published alphabetically.

    A better word to describe this page would be a list of watches

    • Admin says:

      Lizabeth, the watch brands are alphabetical within the 5 luxury brand categories. Therefore the brands within a category are similar with notable standouts within each category adorned with the red heart symbol. A description for each Category is listed at the top right section of the category. This means that watches made by brands in that category reflect those attributes of cost, prestige, etc. I hope this helps.

  3. Nicklause says:

    Why is Kurono and Ming placed at entry level luxury ($500-$1500) though? I know they used some reworked stock movements but they are still quite high regarded in the watch community

    • Admin says:

      Moved Kurono (Japan) from the 1 star Entry Luxury Other Countries Watches category $500 – $1,500 to the 2 star Basic Luxury Watches Other Countries category $1,500 – $5,000. Thanks for pointing out the miscategorization.

    • Admin says:

      Jacob & Co is ranked as a 3 Star Luxury Other Countries $5,000 – $10,000 while Richard Mille is a 5 Star Ultra Luxury > $40,000 for a couple of reasons. First is because Jacob & Co is not a horological purist. It laces their time pieces with precious metals and looses their edge and focus of the time piece. This is evidenced by having a bunch of watches under $5K and the use quartz movements. In some ways they are like mall fashion brand (think Calvin Klein or Michael Kors). With that said Jacob & Co does make some impeccable pieces like the TWIN TURBO FURIOUS BAGUETTE or the OIL PUMP.

      Second is the price. While Jacob & Co makes some of the most expensive time pieces in the world, just like Patek Philippe it makes a bunch of sub $10K watches. Example, if you sort a bit on you will see that there are some Jacob & Co watches under $2K while the cheapest Richard Mille is $41K.

      Jacob & Co link:
      Richard Mille link:

  4. Nakul Ingole says:

    IWC should be in high-end luxury group, at par with JLC, Blancpain, GP, etc.

    Don’t understand why they are put one tier down?

    • Admin says:

      Agreed with Nicholas. While IWC is a distinguished brand having peers like Rolex and Omega, it’s not quite there with the JLC’s. Objectively, a scan on shows 10,090 IWC for sale of which 7,260 are under $10,000 while there are 7,561 JLCs of which 5,015 are under $10,000. That’s 71% for IWC and 66% for JLC. On the other spectrum, looking at the top 30 most expensive watches indicates that IWC’s total prices add up to $4,951,394.00 while JLC is $10,292,463. So no, IWC is not quite there in line with a JLC.

      IWC JLC
      1 $240,550 $894,000
      2 $223,000 $550,581
      3 $215,000 $513,882
      4 $209,000 $495,000
      5 $204,000 $468,000
      6 $199,000 $445,000
      7 $191,000 $390,000
      8 $191,000 $380,000
      9 $186,000 $370,000
      10 $185,000 $371,000
      11 $178,000 $366,000
      12 $177,000 $355,000
      13 $173,000 $343,000
      14 $172,000 $330,000
      15 $170,000 $295,000
      16 $167,000 $293,000
      17 $163,000 $272,000
      18 $155,000 $271,000
      19 $149,000 $268,000
      20 $145,000 $263,000
      21 $143,000 $250,000
      22 $140,000 $250,000
      23 $138,000 $250,000
      24 $134,000 $250,000
      25 $125,000 $250,000
      26 $122,000 $245,000
      27 $117,844 $239,000
      28 $116,000 $230,000
      29 $113,000 $200,000
      30 $110,000 $195,000
      Totals $4,951,394.00 $10,292,463.00

      IWC Link:
      JLC Link:

    • Nicolas says:

      IWC uses ETA movements and charges a massive amount of money for them. Their markup is one of the highest in the watch industry. Nothing against the brand, but definitely not high-end luxury.

  5. Roger Pritchard says:

    You have the brand ‘Pulsar’ as Japanese.
    I have a vintage 1950-1970 ‘Pulsar’ dress watch that has Germany engraved on the movement???
    I also have a vintage 1950-1970 ‘Fabry’ dress watch, Swiss made and this brand is not listed. Do you know anything about them?

  6. iShvets says:

    Is the Revue Thommen brand still alive? There is no news and socialmedia activity since 2016. Is their place correct in ranking?

    • Admin says:

      Moved Revue Thommen from the 2 star Basic Luxury Watches category $1,500 – $5,000 to the 1 star Entry Luxury Other Countries Watches category $500 – $1,500 as the company seems to be out of business and the price of their watches dropping to lower levels.  Thank you iShvets for pointing this out

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