Luxury Watch Categories

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  1. I'm a newbie when it comes to high-end watches. I've learned bits about many of the top brands from reading this forum. But I am still trying to get educated about how the brands relate to each other before I make a purchase. I found a helpful classification system here:

    But it appears that web page is old and missing some brands I'd like to know about. For instance, in which categories would IWC, Chopard, and Tissot be classified?

    Thank you for any advice and insight. The world of fine watches is rather complicated, and I'm trying to navigate it well enough to find the best combination of price, function, beauty, and reputation for my money.
  2. IWC is a well known brand with very distinctive designs (portugieser chronographs, pilot watches, and the gerald genta designed ingénieur). They are for the most part bold designs in large case sizes and come with modest or decent movement finishing).

    Chopard is a company that produces two distinct watch types: jewelry and technical. The jewelry watches have basic movement with minimal finishing but interesting designs such as the happy diamond line, while the technical line is called L.U.C, which produces outstandingly finished watches.

    Tissot is what the Swatch group would like to call entry level luxury, which means a great value for money Swiss watch. These watches have minimal finishing but come in interesting and modern designs that are continuously changing to meet the needs of fashion conscious individuals.

    If you want to stand out in the crowd, choose a L.U.C line Chopard watch, since they will be better finished than anything else they other companies produce, while being an incredible value for money. Chopard's use of micro rotors also allows for a thinner and more refined automatic watch than a traditional automatic movement would allow (more similar to a manual wind).
    baghagg and cdtracing like this.
  3. That's really helpful. Thank you, Christofle.
  4. I love this subject :smile: tried to find the brand Chaumet on that page but i couldnt find it. Its worth looking at their watches. I absolutely love the Class One designs from their collection. But really they have many other designs. Mine was a 2005 graduation gift from my beloved brother bless his heart. I wear it almost daily since then. Its been through a lot! I bought a couple of straps in leather and rubber to change its look over the years. I cherish it forever. Now i have a pink strap since my daughter was born 2 years ago. The color is so happy yet classy in a way.
    My plan is to get a metal strap one day. It originaly came with its classic rubber black strap.
    baghagg likes this.
  5. Love the story of your Chaumet and the symbolism behind your pink strap, vanilla_addict.
  6. From what i've read the top three (holy trinity) watch brands are Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin.
    After that, the next tier is Breguet, Jaegeur LeCouture and A Lange & Sohne.
    After that there's Rolex, IWC, Omega, Panerai.

    The brands that hold their value the most are Patek and Rolex.
  7. Patek Philippe is known for high artistry yet are delicate.
    Rolex are known for being strong tool watches
    IWC is highly respected yet overpriced
    Jaegeur LeCouture is known as a watchmaker's watchmaker for having excellent movement
    Panerai is sleek Italian style
  8. Tag Heuer is a bit frowned upon for selling out during the quartz movement.
    Seiko's are adored by watch collectors but have a cheap branding to the mainstream.
    lovely_bag likes this.
  9. Lange und Söhne produces far better watches than Patek and are the highest quality production watches on the market (aside from independents). Vacheron however follows a more artistic approach with its many marquetry and micro enamel paintings on dials.

    Patek has rested on its laurels for far too long and some people are still upset about their price manipulation of vintage pieces (they secretly bid at auction to raise the prices of their vintage watches to falsely add a collectibility factor).
    As for Jaeger LeCoultre, their hybris machina line up which accurately recreates the Big Ben's chimes is a mechanical marvel of the highest order.

    Breguet is mainly known for their exquisite guilloche dials and brand history. Audemars Piguet is mainly known for their Royal Oak watches, while their beautiful Jules Audemars line up tends to be disregarded.
    Bling&Bags, floodette and DizzyFairy like this.
  10. Hammer and Christofle, thank you for sharing your expertise. I love am wondering if you would indulge one more question. Can you recommend for me the Massaccesi of ladies watches? By which I mean this: I have become a fan of Marco Massaccesi handbags because they are very well constructed by hand in Italy, yet they are reasonably priced for my modest budget, and the designs are simple -- even the logo does not call attention to itself on the bag.

    What are the watches in a similar category with the perfect combination of quality, understatement, and affordability? Christofle, earlier you suggested Chopard LUC in this sweet spot, and I have started saving to execute that recommendation some day (specifically for a pre-loved, lower-end vintage LUC). Are there any others I should be looking at?
  11. Such a useful thread

    I have been hunting today for a new watch... and chris pointed out, if was exactly ehat the salesman advise me

    Thx for advice
  12. I like my Frederique Constant automatic black dress watch. I got it used for $380 from a watch forum, and it's build quality is almost comparable to my high end watches.

  13. I would also take a good look at the grey market stores that routinely have amazing sales on old stock, which would mean you could score a great new watch at a used price. You should also take a look if anything Girrard-Perregaux or Zenith suits your fancy since they tend to have huge deals on both the grey and used markets.
  14. Much appreciation for your being so generous with your expertise.