A Brief History
On September 9, 2014, Apple Inc. announced its first smartwatch named the Apple Watch and released early 2015. As is the case with most products on the market, not all models and types of smart watches are of the same quality and prestige. Top brands always combine only the most impressive craftsmanship with the utmost style and aesthetics. The results are breathtakingly beautiful watches, with unbelievable prices. In this article, we will go over several of the top brand pieces available.
1. Audemars Piguet
One of the more venerable companies on this list, AP was established in 1875 by Edward-Auguste Piquet and Jules-Louis Audemars. Audemars Piguet produces 36,000 precision timepieces each year, and their watch movements, the guts of any wristwatch or clock, are used by Tiffany & Co as well as Bulgari. A trend setting company, AP is acknowledged as the maker of the first steel luxury sports watch in the world, the Royal Oak in 1972. In 1993, their next innovation was the first oversized watch, the Royal Oak Offshore. The Audemars Piguet brand is definitely a standard setter in the watch industry.
2. Vacheron Constantin
An even older luxury watch company, Vacheron Constantin is one of the oldest makers of luxury watches in existance, founded by Jean-Marc Vacheron in Geneva, Switzerland, back in 1755. A member of the Richemont Group, Vacheron Constantin’s fine watches remain testament to their centuries old heritage. Their craftsmen utilize precise detailing alongside the traditional shapes and styling of them, and they are truly unique. Among owners of Vacheron Constantin watches can be named some of the most illustrious men in history, including Napoleon Bonaparte, Harry Truman, and Pope Pius IX.
3. Patek Philippe
Patek Phillipe & Co is a Switzerland based luxury brand that was founded in 1851, with a reputation for producing rather complicated mechanics and a traditional style. Their watches are some of the most prominent status symbols that can be worn on the wrist, and many members of royalty have worn Patek Phillipe timepieces. Truly works of functional art, their distinctive classic and unique designs are quickly recognized around the world. The brand remains true to their organizational goals and marketing strategies, which keeps their watches among the most desirable in the world.
Although currently a subsidiary of the Swatch Group, like most high-end brands, they were founded long ago, all the way back in 1735! The brand has gone through major developments and grew considerably during the whole of the 19th century. Not content with standing still in a changing world, Blancpain is always seeking ways to update and modernize production and products, and is known to come up with major innovations with their top quality watches. Far from a niche supplier, Blancpain has a wide variety of watch types, ranging from elaborately complex watches to minimalist pieces.
Rolex is arguably the most famous brand of luxury watches, instantly recognizable and with a name nearly synonymous with luxury watches. Owning and wearing a Rolex watch is recognized by society as a status symbol, and Rolex is the watch to wear when you succeed. Referring to a watch as timeless may seem incongruous, but timeless is the description that comes to mind when the form and function of their legendary watches comes to mind. The presence of Rolex watches looms over popular culture as an icon of success. A British brand, Rolex is famous for their classic designs they offer to their dedicated customer base. Forbes recognizes Rolex on their list of the most powerful global brands in the world. In addition, Rolex is the largest producer of luxury watches, assembling 2,000 rugged and precise pieces each day. And they look good!
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For more information, please see…
Brunner, Gisbert, Helmut Kahlert, and Richard Muhe. Wristwatches: History Of A Century’s Development (Schiffer Book for Collectors). Schiffer Pub Ltd, 2004.