The smart watch world has been described as a phase by many mechanical watch enthusiasts and this couldn’t be more true if you do understand the art behind horology.
Some of the world’s most recognisable watch brands have tested the barriers of time and have been creating watches for over hundreds of years. Still, to this day we continue to buy watches to wear, keep and pass down as a treasurable air loom. If you are looking to invest in a luxury timepiece, here are just a few of the world’s oldest and most famous watch brands.
Starting out with the world’s oldest watch brand, Blancpain was founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jaques Blancpain. This luxury brand is well known for their top-of-range watchmaking skills. The timepiece manufacturer maintains their status by producing a limited amount of watches per year.
The brand has been sold to the Swatch group, however, they maintain that although they have altered the focus of its collections, they continue to create timepieces that are built with the values the make up the brand’s DNA:
“Whether in improving complications, designs and production methods or in conquering new horizons, it has always been the ambition of the Manufacture to take the watchmaker’s art to places it has never been before. Thus, from the very first pieces created in the 18th century to the prestige timepieces of today, the brand has built up a true tradition of innovation.”
Breitling is one of the last remaining independent Swiss watch brands left in the world. Founded by Leon Breitling back in 1884, the horologist devoted his life’s work to creating precision instruments that were fit for competitive sport, automobiles and aviation industries.
Still to this day Breitling are creating world class timepieces for the purposes of sport and aviation. The Emergency Night Mission is one of their latest releases and is the world’s first wristwatch with a built-in dual frequency personal locator beacon.
Unlike other watch brands, Breitling set them themselves apart from the competition by creating original innovative timepieces, rather than copying what else is out there.
If you have been to see latest Hollywood blockbuster from Marvel, “Doctor Strange”, then the brand Jaeger-LeCoultre should be extremely familiar. The superhero is the owner of a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual.
Founded in 1833 by Master horologist, Antoine LeCoultre, Jaeger-LeCoultre started out in what is now a watchmaking workshop, in Le Sentier. Jaeger-Le Coultre is so recognisable as each time piece created heir was crafted by hand.
Still to this day Jaeger-LeCoultre are creating models based on the Reverso technique that was founded back in 1931.
No timepiece article would be complete without Rolex. This watch brand in known worldwide and their history dates back as far as 1905! Rolex was envisioned by 24-year-old, Hans Wilsdorf who founded a company in London, that specialised in the distribution of timepieces.
Rolex claim that it was Hans that dreamed that one day timepieces would be worn on the user’s wrist, instead of in their pocket. At this time a wristwatch was very rare and those available were not very precise, however, Hans wanted to create a piece that would not only run successfully but would look extremely elegant.
You may be wondering why Hans chose the brand name Rolex. Hans wanted a brand that could be recognised globally, that was short enough to fit on the front of his watches. The word Rolex originated in a rather strange way, Hans once said:
“I tried combining the letters of the alphabet in every possible way. This gave me some hundred names, but none of them felt quite right. One morning, while riding on the upper deck of a horse-drawn omnibus along Cheapside in the City of London, a genie whispered ‘Rolex’ in my ear.”
Flash forward over one hundred years later, Rolex are one of the most successful brands in the world and are continuously releasing timepieces built with innovation and class.
Melissa Lang works for Repairs By Post. Repairs By Post specialise in luxury watch repair and vintage watch restoration.