The Rankings

The following list contains 676 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 

 New Quick Search:

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: watch-rankings.com-favorite

Last updated December 27, 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

Watches Attributes

  • < $500
  • Fashion / Sports Brands
  • Mass Production
  • Quartz or Automatic Movements made in Asia
  • Average Industrial Craftsmanship Quality
  • Usually have Mineral Crystal
  • Usually not worth servicing except for battery

 

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




486 thoughts on “The Rankings

  1. James Meacham says:

    I think Glycine, a Swiss watch company, is miscategorized geographically. Though they are owned by the dread brand Invicta, they are still Swiss watches.

    • Admin says:

      James, watches on this list are aligned with their current country of ownership. There have been discussions on this topic.

  2. Kutlay says:

    Baltic (France) and Traska (USA) are not listed. Don’t you see them as a watch brand? Because there are some brands like Lorier, Meraud, Yema, Sinn, Monta listed. Not all the same quality and value of course but as a micro-brands they are alike.

  3. Breska says:

    Pointless list. Why not just make these 4-5 stars together and 1-2 stars together. Trinity only at 4 stars while the others at 5 is just confusing. Finishing is just the same as the trinity, they’re only limited but that doesn’t mean they’re better.
    Alpina, Ball, Edox, Epos, Fortis, Hamilton, Oris, Rado, Raymond Weil, Revue Thommen etc are all “pseudo” on par with each other. I say pseudo because there really is no objective claims one are better than the other. From watch enthusiast’s perspective they are all on par with each other so why are they spread out through the list? Some of these brands have top models on Rolex/Omega/GS territory already based on price. Nonetheless good job compiling a lot of brands.

    • Admin says:

      Breska, Your comment is appreciated.  Regarding the 4 to 5 point, I agree with the fact that 5 is not necessarily “better” homologically speaking but those watches sure are more expensive.  The watches that those brands make are at risk of reselling at much lower costs.  You see that’s the aura and delineation that they bring.  It’s being on the edge, spending extra money for exclusivity, almost like throw-away money rich.  For example take a $1.5 Million Jacob & Co watch – while the movement is exquisite, yes it has diamonds galore, but the whole thing is like an ultra fashion statement for those who want to stand out in the crowd.  On the 4 Star side the classic example is Patek Philippe – the best watch brand period.  It’s a very safe buy, the most logical, elegant, best in lots of categories except one – that over-the-top craziness that 5 Star Ultra has.

      As for the 1-2 Star Categories, fundamentally there is not a big difference I agree.  But there is a delineation.  The 1 Star brands will typically sport Sapphire Crystals and some sort of entry level ETA/Sellita automatic movement.  It’s what gets them just beyond the $500 Entry Luxury threshold.  The classic example is there Tissot.  Yet a Tissot is a step lower than a Tag Heuer which is ranked at 2 Stars.  The quality of the Tags is just a bit better.  And it is hard to buy a Tag below $1,500.  While under the hood both may have ETA movements that are arguably very similar if not the same, the Tag heritage, case quality and price are just a bit higher than a Tissot.

      While a Tag is in my opinion better than a Tissot, it’s nowhere near the quality of a 3 Star Classic Luxury Rolex.  So if you think of it in those examples, Timex (0), Tissot (1), Tag Heuer (2), Rolex (3), Patek Philippe (4) and Jacob & Co. (5) hopefully you will see the 5 ranking tiers.

      Thanks again for commenting.

      • Breska says:

        I see. I’ve read your new blog about best entry level. You’re choices were Mido, Tag and Oris and Mido won. Mido in your list is 1 star while the other 2 stars and yet Mido is better for you. While I’m aware some brands like seiko have cheap entry levels while also having high level watches, it’s still kind of confusing to have them not under the same category. (TAG, Oris and Mido)

        Regards

        • Admin says:

          Breska, the Watch Rankings categories are based on Luxury levels not value. While there is generally a correlation with quality and luxury there are many outliers meaning that some brands charge much more than others at the same or even higher watch quality.

          There are many reasons for this discrepancy. For example Oris and Tag Heuer have higher advertising budgets and somebody has to pay for that (i.e. the consumer). This article is a bit of a David vs Goliath. It’s also educational to help the site visitors know what to look for.

          In the end while the Mido is a better value, in a social setting the Mido is likely to be the least recognizable.

  4. M kader says:

    I don’t see frank vila of Spain Arnold Schwarzenegger made them semi famous and they are/were produced in very limited numbers
    Thank you Maher

    • Admin says:

      Franc Vila is already listed in the 4 Star High-End Luxury Watches (Swiss) $10,000 – $40,000. Use CTR+F keyboard shortcut to search the page or the search component at the top.

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